Author: Jane Harvey-Berrick
Series: The Rhythm #1
Release date: March 8, 2016
(Sub)genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
Music in my head, dance in my body, the rhythm of my heart.
How far can you fall in just one month? How quickly can the human spirit be broken? Where does evil hide in plain sight?
Ash wants to dance. Needs it. To leave behind a life of expectation and duty, to set his soul free.
But life is never that simple. Every step is a journey on a new road.
For every action, there is a reaction.
Every choice has a consequence.
And when you meet the wrong person, all bets are off.
Laney tolerates her limitations, pushing quietly at boundaries. But when Ash crashes into her world through rage and violence, it sets off a chain reaction that neither of them expected.
♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♪♫♪
Slave to the Rhythm by Jane Harvey-Berrick is the first book in her new ‘Rhythm series’. Having read and love her other books, the synopsis from this book intrigued me, I was wondering what this story would bring. The tale of Ash and Laney is beautiful and brutal, I highly recommend it.
“Dancing was everything to me and I’d lost count of the times I’d danced through the pain. That’s what I had to do right now—dance through the pain. Survive.”
Ash Novak is a professional dancer and very good at it. When he loses his dance partner and can’t find a new one in Slovenia, he responds to an advertisement and travels to America. From the moment he arrives at Las Vegas airport, Ash has a bad feeling; things feel off and other dancers seem to act frightened. It doesn’t take long before Ash finds out what’s going on; the dance show he’s hired for is a front-business covering up something much worse, human trafficking by the Bravta. When everything takes a turn for the worst and Ash is forced to do things he has never imagined himself doing, he’s saved by a pretty, sweet girl.
“Her hair was a warm, honey blonde that had been left straight and shiny. She’d worn a little makeup, but, only mascara and some lip gloss. I’d been attracted to her even though I knew that she wasn’t the type of woman who’d be interested in a guy like me. Not anymore.”
Laney Hennessey has a severe form of arthritis, making her life not easy from time to time. She has a longtime boyfriend, but over the years their relationship changed; Laney thinks he sees her as weak, feels like he’s her caregiver, not her lover anymore. When she and her two best friends are going to Las Vegas for a girls-only weekend, she leaves with their relation in limbo. When Laney sees a brutal attack, she and the victim – Ash – manage to get away and she decides to help him, against the advice of her friends and father.
“I gazed down at Ash’s sleeping body. He looked younger, despite the dark scruff on his face. Something about his peacefulness seemed young. Maybe sleep erased all the ugly things he’d suffered, if only for a few hours.”
Although Laney finds Ash attractive from the moment she sees him, slowly she starts developing feelings for him. Because of her relationship with her boyfriend, Laney fights the feelings she has for Ash, but the feelings won’t go away. Ash is in a bad place after Laney’s rescue. He’s relieved he has escaped, but he can’t be happy. He has left friends behind in a very bad place, and he’s feeling guilty he was able to get away, that their faith is uncertain. While the couple is dealing with their issues, the feelings they have for each other grow stronger each day. Though they have very different lives, it’s inevitable they will have their Happily Ever After.
Slave to the Rhythm is both beautiful and real. It’s written in the author’s familiar style I love with honest characters reacting realistically to all that happens to them. Yes, it’s a love story, but it also tells about the harsh, cruel world of human trafficking, killing the dreams of young people traveling abroad to find a better future. Besides the main characters Ash and Laney, other characters have gone through their own hell. It isn’t described in an explicit way, but the few words that are being given tell enough.
“I regret the way we met. I hate what happened to you, but I will never regret that we did meet, and I will never regret marrying you. We don’t make any sense, nothing about us fits, but we’re real.”
I adore Slave to the Rhythm and the characters, I give it 5 stars.