Finding Your Feet (Toronto Connections #2) by Cass Lennox #trans #asexual #review @CassLennox @RiptideBooks

While on holiday in Toronto, Evie Whitmore planned to sightsee and meet other asexuals, not audition for a dance competition. Now she’s representing Toronto’s newest queer dance studio, despite never having danced before. Not only does she have to spend hours learning her routine, she has to do it with one of the grumpiest men she’s ever met. Tyler turns out to be more than a dedicated dancer, though—he might be the kind of man who can sweep her off her feet, literally and figuratively.

Tyler Davis has spent the last year recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship. So he doesn’t need to be pushed into a rushed routine for a dumb competition. Ticking major representation boxes for being trans and biracial isn’t why he went into dance. But Evie turns out to be a dream student. In fact, she helps him remember just how good partnering can be, in all senses of the word. Teaching her the routine, however, raises ghosts for him, ones he’s not sure he can handle.

Plans change, and people change with them. Learning a few steps is one thing; learning to trust again is another entirely.addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da14ruth-tag

In Finding Your Feet by Cass Lennox (Toronto Connections series #2), Evie Whitmore comes to Toronto on holiday from her home in England to stay with friends she met online in an asexuality forum and get to know the city in preparation for an upcoming move to Toronto for graduate school. She’s recently been let go from her job and it seems like a welcome respite from her normal life, overbearing family, and the drudgery of day-to-day. It’s meant to be a casual holiday and nothing more. The last thing she expects is to be recruited into a dance competition that is being hailed as part of Toronto’s annual Pride festival, but when she stumbles into auditions while touring the city with her friends that’s exactly what happens.

Tyler Davis is a professional dancer who has spent the last year trying desperately to great cover from the shambles is emotionally abusive relationship with his ex-girlfriend and former dance partner left him in. He doesn’t want to dance with another partner period, most certainly not another female partner and a beginner at that. However, when he is volunteered by a friend to participate in a ludicrous dance competition against another dance studio where each person tries to teach a beginner dance routine and only a week, that’s where he finds himself — step teaching not only a beginner but a tourist, no less.

From the beginning, despite their obvious reluctance, Tyler and Evie have a chemistry that is obvious to everyone around them, except for them of course. Both have had bad experiences with relationships in the past – Tyler because he is transgender and Evie because she is asexual. They determine they should be just friends, but despite their best efforts, the relationship turns deeper than either one of them had expected. Are they brave enough to make a go of it or will the ghost of their pasts keep them apart?

Like the first book in the series, my favorite part about this book is the exploration of non-heteronormative sexualities. This is a very character-based series, and I really enjoyed the individual characters trying to navigate their lives and relationships without falling into the standard romance pattern of moving quickly from kissing into sex. Intimacy comes in many levels and works in many different ways for different people, and this series does a great job of exploring that. That being said, this is no political diatribe. The characters are human, fallible, frustrating and often funny. It’s a step sideways from standard romance but quite enjoyable in its own right.

Purchase LinksTAG
Kindle | Riptide