As a librarian, I have made it my mission to diversify our shelves and read outside of my norm. I ran across Finding your Feet by Cass Lennox as I browsed Netgalley, and fell in love with the premise as well as the characters.
Evie Whitmore meets an ace like her on Tumblr and travels to Toronto. She accidentally auditions for a dance competition between two queer dance studios. The problem? She doesn’t dance. The kicker? Her partner is the enigmatic Tyler Davis.
Tyler is a transgender teen who has been burned hard. He doesn’t want to teach a newbie to dance. Especially one he’s attracted to. That’s not even considering the one week timeline and the fact they are up against the premiere dance studio in Toronto. What he doesn’t expect is Evie with her sharp wit and take-no-prisoners attitude.
Soon, it’s all they can do to separate their emotions when dancing brings them so close together.
Evie was a refreshing character for me. She’s tough, and even though she hasn’t found the acceptance she needs from her family, she demands it of Tyler. It’s the kind of girl he needs, especially after the number his ex did on him. Evie just gets him.
…knowing that people came in a variety of genders and that sometimes people had to make physical changes to transition to their true gender was one thing; remembering it and applying it when looking at people—interrupting the socialized, automatic need to identify everyone’s presented gender—was another.
Their connection is immediate, an inexplicable attraction that Tyler can’t deny, especially as his routine challenges them both to let go of their past.
She’d liked that he trusted her to handle him that way. No guy had ever asked her to lift him except as a dare. Tyler had been excited about it; he’d lit up as soon as he knew she was strong.
It had been quite a while since she’d spent time in another person’s space like that.
Tyler broke my heart throughout this book. The one woman he thought he had loved – that he had shared the intimacy of dancing with – drained his self-confidence. He has such fears that Evie will find him lacking in some way.
Which is ridiculous because when they dance together – talk and laugh and take selfies with Godzilla (Read the book ;)) – he’s so much more. Equal parts playful and serious; a leader, but a follower; confident but shy. It’s a combination that grabs Evie’s attention and doesn’t let go.
“See how easy you move now?” he pointed out.
She turned to face him, blushing but smiling. “Yes, I got it. Thank you for letting me vent. You’re good to talk to.”
Pride filled his chest. “Girl, I had so much therapy when I was younger, I should be charging you for this. Dr. Davis’s patented dance therapy.”
She stroked her chin thoughtfully. “I see, I see. I’m indeed grateful, Dr. Davis. Is this first consultation free?”
Ha. “Hey now, nothing’s free in this world.”
“Then how should I pay you, Dr. Davis?”
“For starters, you can stop stealing the lead.”
She dipped him. “Never.”
Which leads to the great and diverse cast of characters that Lennox brings to the stage – a true representation of what makes us human. Different and yet similar, all at once. Tyler is transgender, half black/half white. Evie is asexual. Gigi – Tyler’s best friend – is a homosexual male. And that’s simply naming a few characters. Their dynamics together make them such a great and supportive group. I loved them all.
At first, I was confused on all the various players. There are a LOT of names and identities thrown out, so I had to reread to make sure I got everyone’s relationship – past and present – to the other. But seeing as I haven’t read book one in the Toronto Connections series, this librarian plans to make up for the oversight immediately.
I highly recommend this sweet and touching book which is guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings.