Review of Pas de Deux by EJ Noyes
EJ Noyes is one of my favourite lesfic authors since she stormed the lesfic world with her Ask, Tell series, and later on with Alone, on my list of best books of 2019. Every time one of her novels is released I drop everything else to read it. Once again, she didn’t disappoint.
Caitlyn Lloyd is at the top of her career as a dressage rider with hopes to win a medal or two at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Addie Gardner is an equestrian veterinarian filling a last-minute vacancy as the veterinarian for the US Olympic Dressage Team. Both women have conflicting childhood memories when they were members of the same Pony Club and Caitlyn is far from happy to see Addie again. As both have to work together towards a common goal they will discover that maybe they can leave the past behind and build a future together…
This was an entertaining sports romance with a small part of the enemies to lovers trope. After the author admittedly felt uncomfortable writing in third person in her previous novel, Reaping the Benefits, she’s back to her customary first person, in this case, from both main characters’ point of view in alternating chapters. The romance is both parts sizzling and sweet, but the main stars of this story are the dressage sport and the horses. Ms. Noyes knows what she’s writing about, firstly as a former member of a Pony club and living her own “enemies to lovers” romance with her wife, and secondly as an experienced horse breeder. So you will find a lot of level of detail regarding the sport and even a glossary of dressage terms at the end which isn’t essential to understand as Ms. Noyes explains everything in detail. I’m not a fan of that sport but found the dressage scenes very entertaining and the tension around competition at its highest level kept me turning pages. Additionally, Caitlyn’s horse Dewey is fleshed out so well that he seems like another human character.
If you’ve read Noyes’s Ask, Tell series or Alone you will see that this author is no stranger to heavy angst. However, Pas de Deux is very low in the angst department. I personally prefer little or no angst but some readers might miss that level of emotional roller-coaster present in the books mentioned above. Having said that, this novel doesn’t lack in the excitement department, typical of a sports competition at Olympic level. So if you are a sports fan and love a low angst romance, this book is definitely for you. Pas de Deux is another winner by EJ Noyes.
This novel is currently (May 2021) in the stages of production of the audiobook version, narrated by Abby Craden. I’m sure Ms. Craden will do a fantastic job as she normally does. Can’t wait to listen to it. In the meantime, the written version gets a 4.5-star rating from me.