A sneak peek at One Last Dance
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on my blog, so I thought I’d share an excerpt from my upcoming release, One Last Dance. It’s a steamy romance about ballet, forbidden love, and second chances.
One Last Dance will be released on Amazon on June 27th. It’s available for preorder here. If you’d like a sneak peek at the book, the prologue is below.
Prologue – Zoe
Zoe took her place on stage for the final act. The curtain rose. Thousands of eyes fixed on her. She took it all in, her pulse thrumming in her ears. She’d stood right here on this stage every night for weeks. That didn’t make this moment any less magical.
The stage was hers. The entire concert hall was hers. She held the hearts and minds of every single person in the audience.
But she wasn’t dancing for them.
As the orchestra played the opening notes of a gentle melody, Zoe closed her eyes, just for a moment, and took in a breath. Like every other night, she let the stage, the audience, and the bright lights all fade away, until she was back in that empty studio ten years ago, dancing with all her heart for the one person who mattered.
The music rose, and Zoe sprang to life. As she danced, she imagined that it was just the two of them, Zoe performing while Natasha looked on, mesmerized. She imagined Natasha’s quiet approval, her rare but radiant smile, her sparkling blue eyes. And her words.
You’re so beautiful when you dance for me.
Zoe had treasured those words in her heart for ten years. They rang out in her mind every time she took the stage. She’d never forgotten what it felt like to hear those words from Natasha. At that moment, she’d realized that Natasha, the woman who had haunted her thoughts since the day they’d met, had captured her heart.
Zoe continued dancing for Natasha alone. The ballet was Giselle, a tragic otherworldly romance. It was a bittersweet tale of unrequited love, of a beautiful young woman who died of heartbreak. Zoe became Giselle. She felt the high of Giselle’s love and the depths of her heartbreak. She channeled all those emotions for Natasha, her teacher.
The music swelled. Zoe leaped into the air, propelled by her partner in a string of jumps, ending in a grand jete. No, she wasn’t leaping. She was soaring.
But as Zoe landed, everything was wrong. She was off balance, by the tiniest fraction, but it was enough. As her foot hit the wooden floor, something snapped inside her ankle.
White-hot pain lanced through her foot. She gritted her teeth. Focus on the music, Natasha told her. And Zoe did just that, sinking deep into a trance of music, magic, and memories again.
She danced on, striving to reach that impossible perfection she’d been working toward her entire life. To move the audience with the beauty and wonder of her art. To show the world everything Natasha had instilled in her, and the love of dance that the two of them had shared.
The crowd hung onto her every movement, enthralled by Zoe’s Giselle. They gasped, laughed, and cried with her. And in the final moments when she, Giselle, returned to her grave at peace, Zoe knew that she had come closer to perfection than ever before.
The show ended with a standing ovation. Zoe curtsied once, and again, and again, until the applause died down and the audience released her. As she left the stage, reality rushed back to her, and the dull ache in her ankle flared hot and bright until it overwhelmed her.
Zoe collapsed onto the floor, her body racked with sobs.