March 20, 2012

Review: Moving in Rhythm by Dev Bentham


Source: we received an e-ARC of the book through NetGalley for review purposes.

Two words: shy hero. How could you not want to read that book?! Way too appealing, I tried to resist because my TBR pile is huge, but I couldn’t resist. So I read it and I’m glad I did, because I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet love story about a guy finally confronting his issues and finding love. Oh! And there are dogs, and the other hero is a dancer. Yep, I pretty much could end the review here, but I won’t because I love torturing you with long reviews.

Mark Apolostolos suffers from crippling shyness. He gets panics attacks and can’t talk or think, his therapist even suggested he take some drugs for it, but the side effects were too bad for him to risk taking them. His triggers are multitudes and guys he’s attracted to, which couldn’t be worse since he’s a teacher and gay. He deals with it by teaching online courses and just casually hooking up in bars because as long as he doesn’t have to talk or have a relationship he can deal with it, so sex with random guys it is. But he is so miserable that he decides to give up sex altogether, instead of going through the humiliating sexual encounters. So for the past year he’s been celibate. 


When his brother calls him to ask him to stay with his pregnant wife because he’s about to be deployed to Afghanistan, he accepts. After all, he works from home and he doesn’t really have a life. So he moves there and keeps his daily routine of exercising, jogging with his dog and teaching when his sister in law invites him to join a Zumba class at the gym. He reluctantly agrees but things get interesting when the instructor walks in. Seth is everything Mark fears, sexy, hot and very male, so he panics. But faith keeps throwing them together and Seth is obviously interested, so will Mark be able to get over his shyness?

I loved Mark. His issues went beyond the shyness. He was half in and half out of the closet. He hadn’t told his brother about it, at first because their father was homophobic and he was afraid, but after he died, Mark was too afraid of his brother’s reaction so he kept postponing it. The shyness was a real psychological condition that was almost incapacitating, but he also used it as a wall to hide behind, as well as an excuse to deny his family issues and his own fear. His life became a prison but also a safe heaven and he had to come to terms with all of this before trying to have a relationship. Even by the end of the book he kept looking for excuses to not live. But I never felt sorry for him, angry, yes, but never sorry. And it was admirable how he kept trying to get better.

Shane was swoon-worthy and exactly what Mark needed. He was able to recognize Mark’s insecurities and knew how to work through them, and most importantly, how to be patient. This is Mark’s book and Shane is a secondary character, a very important one, but secondary nonetheless. However, we do get some insight into his life and issues which meant that he wasn’t just an instrument for Mark to recover, but a real person with feelings and a past. We never get his POV but it wasn’t necessary and by the end of the book I had a good idea of who he was.

The secondary characters are just as important and interesting. Mark’s brother and sister in law, and a woman he meets at the gym who plays an important role in his self-discovery. The book isn’t long but packs a lot of interesting stories and I wouldn’t mind revisiting all the characters.

Moving in Rhythm was very romantic and sweet, but the main story was about Mark dealing with his shyness and loneliness, so the romance develops slowly –as it should- and it doesn’t act like a magical cure. Yes, love and Seth help him, but that’s it, he has to do all the hard work and by the end of the book he remains a work in process. There’s a happy ending, but there’s also a tough road ahead of him. 

If you love sweet love stories, unusual heroes and contemporary romance, you should read this book because it’s all that and more. I’m very happy I read it and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Ms. Bentham. 

Review by Brie
Grade: 4.5
Sensuality: McSteamy

Synopsis:

Mark Apolostolos should be able to have any man he wants. Handsome and smart, he's also cripplingly shy, especially around attractive men. Tired of waking up alone, he's desperate to conquer his insecurities and have a real, meaningful relationship.  

He gets his first opportunity when he tags along to his sister-in-law's dance class and lays eyes on the sexy instructor. Seth Miller has a way of moving that takes his breath away. It isn't long before sparks fly and they share a steamy kiss, but Seth wants much more than just a casual encounter.  

If Mark wants a real relationship with Seth he'll have to come to terms with his sexuality—but will it be enough to break through the walls he's built up around his heart?

Carina Press. March 19, 2012.

9 comments:

  1. yesss...so sweet. And I'm so glad that there is a HEA but as you said, no magical love cure. I can't wait to read something else by this author. I hear she has something coming out with LooseID soonish.

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    1. I'll keep my eyes open, I went to her site looking for more books but didn't see anything, figured this one was it. Good to know there's a new one coming!

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  2. Awww, Mark sounds like a little scared puppy that you just want to love on and convince that they are safe with you. I can really feel for his situation. To have anxiety about men to the point of panic attacks must be scary, but it's admirable that he works through his fear. From your review I want to know more about Shane. He sounds like an upstanding guy.

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    1. Funny you should say that because Shane rehabilitates rescue Greyhounds and he approaches Mark with care and very slowly, like he would one of his dogs (this sounds wrong but I hope you know what I mean). Also loved that his anxiety wasn't just around guys, that would have been to gimmicky.

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  3. D'awww this sounds SO ADORABLE. I LOVE shy guys, but I bet I would have wanted to hug Mark. I love the way you talk about this one, and how you just made it sound so heart-meltingly beautiful. Thanks for this review, Brie!

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    1. This comment is making ME melt and want to hug YOU LOL! The book was adorable and romantic. Very cute story.

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  4. I'm not much into m/m and I tend to sometimes skip reviews of it... but I thought I'd read this one and you had me at that first paragraph. Indeed you could have ended there and I'll probably still be buying this book :) It does sound really good! I hope I like it as much as you. There's just something about shy heroes, right? :P

    I'm just a bit confused. Is the love interest Seth or Shane? Or is there both? ^_^;

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    1. It's Seth, sorry, I do this all the time, Seth-Shane, Mark-Matt, Jason-James... and Jade confused me! But there's only one guy and his name is Seth.

      It is a very sweet book, but now I'm worried because we never like the same books! Let me know how you like it.

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    2. LOL, I was just wondering :) Hey, we like some of the same series :) So you never know ;)

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The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.