Review of ‘Pas de Deux’ by M. J. Duncan.

Well, I feel all I do is confess something or the other nowadays. I am a Duncan fan and have enjoyed all her novels. This author is one of the reasons I decided to renew my Kindle Unlimited membership as her books are available through this service. Of course, I figured that out after actually buying three of them. Wait, I don’t think I needed to confess that…

This is an age gap romance that sees Mallory Collingswood (age 39), a violin prodigy who has returned home to lead the London Symphony Orchestra, deal with a failed marriage proposal and give love another chance. That chance takes the form of Addison Leigh (age 24), a ballerina prodigy making waves with the Royal Ballet. Mallory is presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to collaborate with the Royal Ballet in a project that will push her skills to the max while getting her to step out of her comfort zone in other areas. Mallory accepts and finds herself working tirelessly alongside a new and unexpected partner.

This story starts almost a year after ‘Symphony in Blue’, which was released in 2017. You do not need to read that book to get the story in this one. In fact, I wonder if it was more of a hindrance for me since Mallory was not cast in a good light in that book. I had to get over the previous feelings of Mallory being self-centered and just plain inconsiderate and warm up to her in this story. It helped that Mallory does allude to her shortcomings and shows growth through the book.

This was a straightforward tale with no angst in it. Characters were rational and took their time to know each other. The relationship developed over time and at no point felt unrealistic. Ms. Duncan does a great job describing things such as little courtesies towards each other that allows the romance to feel genuine. The author also did a fantastic job of creating the setting. The ballet scenes were great and one could feel the anxiety and magnitude of the events within the scenes. More palpable though, was the beauty of it all. And I am not even close to being a ballet fan.

On the downside, the book felt drawn out a bit. There was no conflict at all in this story except for executing the ambitious show to perfection. The age difference came up once and it was simply an acknowledgment of it. Parents loved the mains so no conflict there either. Heck, the mains’ hectic schedules did not really affect anything either. The presence of a few typos seemed uncharacteristic for this author as well. That said, Duncan kept me reading as she usually does.

Overall, a solid slow-burn romance that will especially appeal to music/dance fans. 3.5 stars.

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