WALTZ THIS WAY - Dakota Cassidy
Ex Trophy Wives , Book 3
Riverbend, New Jersey - Present Day
Melina Cherkasov found out in the worst possible way that her husband of twenty years was divorcing her: the paparazzi tracked her down as she learned that she's been locked out of her dance studio. Thanks to a pre-nuptial agreement, Mel is left with nothing but her dog and has to borrow money to get back to her father's home in New Jersey . Mel met Stanislov Cherkasov when she was nineteen and dancing in her first Broadway show. The famous Russian ballet choreographer swept her off her feet, and she eventually gave up her own career to support his. Now, though, Mel is left with no job skills other than dancing, no money, and no home.
Six months later, Mel has a part-time job working at the retirement village her father lives in, but she hasn't gotten over what has happened to her life. Her employer, Maxine Barker, runs an agency that helps abandoned trophy wives get back on their feet, and while Mel doesn't think of herself as a former trophy wife, she agrees to work with Maxine. A full-time job as a dance instructor at a school for young geniuses seems to be the perfect fit—until Drew McPhee shows up. Mel met Drew when he came to pick up his incorrigible great-aunt from the retirement village, and she was surprised to realize that she can still find a man attractive. But when he learns that she'll be teaching his twelve year old son, Nate, to waltz, he's not quite as attractive. In spite of their initial disagreements, Drew's attraction to Mel is hard to resist, and when he keeps running into her, he finally asks her out. But is Mel ready to see what dating is like after divorce?
WALTZ THIS WAY is both funny and poignant as we watch a woman who's had her life ripped out from underneath her battle back. Mel has never really lived on her own, so she has no idea how to take care of some of the basic things most people take for granted: such as a checking account. In spite of her famous husband and the high-profile life they lived, Mel is actually not quite the princess everyone expects her to be. She misses her dance studio where she taught mostly underprivileged kids, more than the money and fame. Her reaction to Drew is a surprise to her, and she doesn't handle it very well, providing for some pretty funny moments. Drew is also divorced, and though it's been a little longer for him, he's still holding on to some of his baggage.
Though part of the Ex Trophy Wives series, other than the appearances by Maxine and Frankie (YOU DROPPED A BLONDE ON ME and BURNING DOWN THE SPOUSE respectively) this book stands alone. The two women from the previous books help Mel out a lot with getting her life back on track. Mel also gets support from her father, as well as Neil Jensen, her dance partner from her championship days, and now a choreographer on a celebrity dance show. Other secondary characters include Drew's boisterous family, especially Nate, who is too wise for his years even if he's a genius; and Drew's Aunt Miryam, who calls it like she sees it and is unapologetic about that.
A book that will have you both tearing up and laughing out loud, WALTZ THIS WAY is a tale I highly recommend.