A very good new adult romance
Katia Rose has been on my automatic author-to-read list since I’ve read her novel Catch and Cradle. I especially like the Canadian settings and her approach to new adult romance, with characters who are still trying to figure out their place in life.
Moira and Kenzie have been rivals since they were little girls competing in opposite highland dance schools. Now that they are in their early twenties, they find themselves opposite each other again fighting to win a big college scholarship. But as they spend their time plotting against each other, they also realise that underneath their mutual hate hides a lingering attraction…
This is an enemies-to-lovers new adult romance. Despite the title, this book has nothing to do with The Devil Wears Prada, maybe with the exception of the presence of an ice queen. But because the novel is written in first person from the point of view of both main characters, the reader realises quickly after being in Kenzie’s headspace, that behind her cool facade there’s more to her than you can initially think.
The book has the background of a Scottish Highland dance environment which is quite unusual. I don’t recall reading any sapphic fiction featuring this dance before, at least with that much prominence. I liked the way the author described the dance competition setting, it looked very much like the Irish dancing competitions that I used to take my son to, the outfit preparations, the nervous excitement before the competition, the parents’ pressure for their children to win, etc. Everything surrounding the dance competition world sounded very plausible and realistic.
Despite the initial levity of the meet-cute and the interactions between the mains, this is not a light read. The Devil Wears Tartan deals with difficult issues such as depression, substance abuse, family pressure and life choices. In the fashion of an opposite-attracts romance, Moira and Kenzie couldn’t be more different, but the story goes beyond the superficial opposing traits to reveal the reasons behind them. Both characters experienced very different family situations and the beauty of the story is how each of them tries to rise beyond that and meet in the middle. It’s very easy to empathise with both of them and root for a happy resolution. The chemistry development from hate to love is very well done too.
If you are looking for a new adult enemies-to-lovers romance with a good side of angst and lovely characters, this one is for you. No need to be a dance fan. 4.5 stars.
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.