Monday, May 16, 2011

Learning to Waltz by Jenna Jones

Learning to WaltzConor was hired by the Todd family to keep Gabriel safe and sober. Conor has done his job so well that Gabriel no longer needs a caretaker, but they can’t bring themselves to part ways.

Gabriel and Conor live in a comfortable rhythm, pushing and pulling each other in a cautious dance. Conor doesn't think he's Gabriel's perfect partner, but Gabriel may have other ideas…

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After three years of looking after Gabriel, Conor's lost his heart but has resigned himself to being the employee/friend who runs interference at the club, with the family, and everywhere else. It's a pretty intimate job, even if Conor doesn't have to inspect for track marks anymore. Seeing Gabriel at the club with a pick-up in his arms isn't new -- what's changed is how Gabriel not only picks someone who looks like Conor, but discards him in a heartbeat in favor of going home and eating popcorn and watching movies with Conor.

The waltzing is a sweet way of convincing Conor that Gabriel's intentions have changed. The close dance, first in private, then in the public eye of Gabriel's family, leads them to a different kind of intimacy -- Conor's willing to throw over his job as nanny in favor of a romantic relationship. The transition is sweet and the sex is hot.

The ending left me thinking that Conor's read a little too much into the actions of someone he knows is kind of manipulative, but I was still rooting for them to make it.

The writing is lovely and gets a lot said with subtly and misdirection -- Conor's extreme dislike for Gabriel's brother is a shining interaction. So maybe the author thinks she's been a little clearer about final declarations than I think she's been. 4 marbles

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