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Publisher's Summary

Two years of living with his controlling boyfriend left Chico worn down long before that boyfriend revealed he'd been seeing someone else. With no other choice, Chico moves in above his cousin's garage in a small town in the redwoods, where he merely goes through the motions. To get him out of the house, his cousin pushes him to volunteer at a local dance studio to help with their annual show.

He's not expecting to end up in a dance class, or to start feeling alive again in the arms of his dance instructor. Rafael is the studio owners' son and was once a well-known dancer in his own right, but now enjoys being a teacher. Although Chico likes him, he's afraid of taking a chance. But Rafael is determined, and it only takes one dance for Chico to start to realize he might still have something to learn.

©2016 R. Cooper (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press

What listeners say about Dancing Lessons

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-06-2016

Charming story but disappointing narrative-DNF!!!

Chico is a charming main character, and the story itself is light, amusing, and entertaining. I have enjoyed many of this author's narrated stories already, so I succumbed to the temptation of immediate purchase without listening to the sample.

This narrator sounds like he is doing voiceover for a rather boring nature show, his voice holds none of the nuances of expression one would expect in a story about humans instead of gerbils. I listened for about 20% of the narration, after all sometimes narrators do improve as they warm to the story. But to no avail, I simply could not finish, this lovely story was rendered boring, and I intend to return to Audible for a refund.

I expect more than someone simply reading a story aloud when I purchase an audible story. I expect a performance, why else would I spend money?

I cannot recommend this audiblized story to anyone. By all means read the ebook, Ms Cooper is a very imaginative storyteller.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 16-05-2018

the book is decent, but the narrator is horrible.

the book is decent, but the narrator is horrible. his attempt at different voices for the characters is a joke.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Yvette
  • 29-08-2016

Bad Narration

The narrator was not very good and as a result I couldn't really get too involved in the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Katie Pizzolato
  • 03-08-2016

Reviewed for Prism Book Alliance

Story Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Story Review:

I really enjoyed this sweet but steady romance. It was light and cute but had just enough slow burn to keep me pulled along until the end.

Chico was such a tragic character, yet he was real. He was full of anxiety and self doubt and really just needed someone in his life to show him that his ex was full of crap and that he was not broken or weak or fragile. Normally I hate whiny, overly self deprecating characters, but Chico never crossed that line into annoying for me. He was broken and constantly second guessing everything, but the author presented him in such a way as to garner my sympathy rather than my annoyance. And it was wonderful to see him slowly blossom as he gained his confidence back.

Rafael on the other hand was Chico’s perfect complement. He was strong and patient and understanding and exactly what Chico needed while he healed. Rafael never did the healing for Chico but helped him to see his best self. Together these men were sweet and perfect for one another.

Finally, I loved the ballet and how the author used the story of the Clockwork Dancer to bring out the evolving romance between the main characters. And I loved the ambiance the author so easily created with the stars and the tension and the emotion. It really emphasized the romance while not becoming tedious or distracting. Would I have loved more images of Rafael and Chico dancing, yes. But that was just me wanting that tension, no something lacking in the story.

I enjoy a sweet romance from time to time and Dancing Lessons by R. Cooper hit the spot when I needed it. I have now listened to this one three times and plan to come back for more

Narration Review:

This narration was…ok. Brian Schell’s voice was clear and his reading of the story flowed well, But I don’t think he was the right fit for this novel. He did not do any voices or really perform and often his take on the emotions did not fit the story. In the end, I enjoyed this one but it was more because of the story than the narration.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Leah Petersen
  • 25-01-2021

Read the book instead

I'm a huge fan of R. Cooper and some of her audiobooks are divine. This is not one of them. It's a great story so please go buy the book if you don't have it. But the narrator is awful for this story and takes what should be shy, sweet, and smoldery and makes it full of exclamation points. Maybe you won't mind if you haven't read the book, but I've got plenty of her audiobooks that I've never read on paper or ereader and am head over heels in love with them. I think this one I would have written off sooner if I hadn't kept hanging in there trying to recapture the love I had for the written version.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Annika
  • 18-01-2020

Slow-Burn

Dancing Lessons is a slow-burn romance about daring to love again.

After an awful two year relationship ends, Chico finds himself starting over in a small town, moving into the apartment above his cousin’s garage. In order to start socialise and live again, said cousin orders him to the local dance studio to help setting up their annual show. Only he accidentally ends up in a dance class and the dance teacher’s arms. But the remnants from his previous relationship is keeping him to take a chance.

I liked how Chico slowly came out of his shell. Like with the costumes for the dance recital. First being very reluctant to help out, but more and more finding joy in sowing again and adding his own flare to the costumes. I also enjoyed watching Chico and Raphael figuratively and literally dance around each other. Theirs is a very slow burn romance and I love how Raphael really lets Chico heal and explore his feelings and attraction on his own time table. It grew organically. Theirs was an uncomplicated and sweet love story.

Brian Schell was a new entity for me, I can’t recall I’ve ever listened to any other of his works. I’ve come to realise something this past year while listening to “older” audiobooks. Many of them are read instead of performed Dancing Lessons not excluded. As a reader Schell does a good job. His pacing and pronunciation are on par. For the odd side character, like an elderly dance student, he does vary his voice, but for the most part he narrates the book with the same voice. It does require the listener to pay attention a bit more to follow the story, but all in all it was a good narration.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

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  • Cecil Ingram
  • 03-12-2019

Dancing lessons By R. Cooper

I love this book a scared hurt man who is trying to love again beautifully done Rafe and Chico slowly fall in love If you have ever been in love and been hurt this book will speak to your heart

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  • Cat
  • 23-08-2016

A sweet romance , loved the ballet.

Chico is hiding in an apartment over his cousin's garage in the middle of the woods after a bad breakup leaves him devastated and feeling worthless. His cousin pushes him into helping with the local dance studio preparing for the big dance performance. He meets Rafael the owner's son and a dance instructor by accidentally wandering in on a lesson.
Rafael is intrigued by Chico and wants to help him break out of his shell, but is Chico too damaged?

Dancing Lessons was a sweet story. I loved the story and how it was loosely based on the clockwork dancer.I will have to say though I loved Rafael I didn't like Chico as much. I found him a bit too whiny and wanted to shake him a few times I did warm up to him as the story moved along, though.

Te narration was more like just a read Where Brian Schell had a relaxing voice and told the story well; I would have liked a bit more acting of the voices.

If you like designers, dancers, Ballet and a sweet romance with some angst, you will like this one.
*I received a copy for an honest opinion*

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  • Elishah
  • 30-07-2016

Narrator destroyed any hope of liking this book

Would you try another book from R. Cooper and/or Brian Schell?

I'd recommend R. Cooper, but not Brian Schell's interpretation of Cooper's work

Would you recommend Dancing Lessons to your friends? Why or why not?

I might recommend the book, but not the audio version. I like my friends.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I'm usually pretty good about separating even the worst narrator with a book, but this one was impossible. Brian Schell sounds exactly like the owner of the Shane Company jewelry store's ads.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It had potential. I really liked the idea of expressing emotional pain through dance and coming to terms with it through the movements and letting go.

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  • Morgan A Skye
  • 10-07-2016

Not a good narration, fairly good story

Chico is struggling with depression. His friend suggests he volunteer to get him out of the house and on with his life. He ends up at a dance studio where – at first – he ends up in a class by mistake. There he meets Rafael.

Rafael owns the studio and is immediately drawn to the fragility of Chico. He knows he’s not there for a class, but he sucks him into dancing to draw him out.

The two gradually (very slowly) move towards one another – Chico is a jumpy, at best, where relationships are concerned.

**
I think R Cooper’s writing is a matter of reader preference. Like some people LOVE poetry and others will never see the beauty in it…

I’ve had this book a long time (in my world) and it’s taken forever for me to sit down and finish it because every time I start reading it I put it back down. I kept waiting for “the right mood” to strike – I’d seen all the positive reviews and thought it must be a great book… but I never got into it.

Chico is very well fleshed out – he’s sad, crushed by life’s disappointments and his depression is very well articulated. I didn’t get nearly as strong an impression of Rafael, other than that of savior to Chico. The relationship building felt kind of chaotic and I didn’t really feel that strong a connection.

I found the writing distracting and difficult for me to fall into, but I know others have found it to be lyrical and expressive. So… I think it’s a matter of taste.

3 of 5 stars


Audio

I got this on audio to review because I'm always interested in new narrators. I also got it because sometimes a good narrator can elevate a so-so book (for me) to higher heights just by the narration being so engaging. Well... that did NOT happen here.


Brian Schell is a new narrator to me. He is very nasal in his tonality and somewhat flat as far as emotion goes. He also doesn’t pronounce Chico’s name correctly (Sheeco) which is in the story itself, nor does he give anyone any sort of accent at all. At times I felt like I was listening to an instruction manual. There was no “acting” at all. I couldn’t actually listen to the entire story as it was too annoying. I “sampled” it in parts to see if I could find some redeeming qualities but… well I just didn’t like this. I don’t think I’d buy anything by this narrator in the future. If it hadn’t been free, I’d think about returning it because I can’t see myself actually listening to it all the way from start to finish.

1 of 5 stars

Overall 2 of 5 stars

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  • Mervyn Dacre
  • 10-03-2021

sweet story but odd narration!

this is a very sensitive, rather melancholy but hopeful story of a man starting a new life after a traumatic breakup. it's very sweet and gentle but unfortunately the narrator doesn't suit at all; he sounds like a jovial grandpa! very hammy and inappropriate for the subject matter

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