A divorced dad who has sworn off love tries to resist the allure of his daughter’s dance teacher in the first in a series about three Latina sisters.
Yazmine Fernandez left a busy Broadway dance career to return to her hometown in the Chicago suburbs to care for her ailing father. Although Yaz’s friends and family view her as a big success, a disastrous relationship has made her question her self-worth and her career. Yazmine finds contentment living at home and teaching dance to children, but she doesn’t want to disappoint her dying father, who sacrificed his own creative dreams so she could pursue hers. Complicating matters even further is her intense attraction to workaholic ad executive Tomás Garcia, the single father of one of her favorite dance students. Tomás was burned by a “career-focused woman” and wants a partner who puts family first. Both conflicts could be resolved by frank conversations, but feeling hopelessly incompatible, Tomás and Yazmine try to resist their mutual attraction, focusing on a growing friendship. Family is vital to both, and the well-developed secondary characters flesh out what could be one-dimensional leads. Tomás, a workaholic who often misses his daughter’s practices, will strike many readers as a hypocrite, while Yaz’s self-pity becomes grating. Yazmine’s father’s physical decline is presented sensitively, without overwhelming the romance, and both protagonists’ Latin heritage elevate the novel by introducing cultural influences and dynamics rarely portrayed in the genre.
A sweet debut marred by superficial conflict but worth reading for the well-developed secondary relationships and introduction to the Fernandez family.