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First Position

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,950 ratings  ·  253 reviews
Anastasia Mikhelson is the rising star of the New York City Ballet. She’s sacrificed creature comforts, a social life, as well as her own physical well-being for perfection in dance. Even her reputation as The Ice Queen doesn’t faze her. Though Ana’s at the peak of her career, competition from a new and noteworthy dancer puts all she’s worked for in jeopardy.

While Natalie
Paperback, 249 pages
Published August 16th 2016 by Bold Strokes Books
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,950 ratings  ·  253 reviews

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How can something so formulaic be so good? You've got to hand it to Melissa Brayden. She's got the style and technique down pat. Match a pair of starkly opposite leads, whip up some sparkling repartee, throw up some impossible hurdles, and sprinkle some secret Brayden-branded pixie dust and you've got another hugely enjoyable read. If we were to examine the pixie dust under the microscope, this is probably what we'd find: (1) Humor—not slapstick, but the kind that just flows naturally and doesn’ ...more
Lex Kent
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-f-bsb-romance
My favorite Brayden book is Waiting in the Wings followed closely by Soho #1, so when I heard about this coming out I was dying to read it. It was good and enjoyable, just not quite as excellent as Waiting in the Wings is.
I liked both characters, but felt that I understood Ana more. I enjoyed how it was not love at first site, but pure frustration. The chemistry was absolutely there and built and built as the book went on.
I also thought Brayden added a bit of a twist I didn't see coming with ab
So you go about your days reading books, thinking oh yes this one is good, that one over there is so good, and then a Melissa Brayden comes along making everything else seem. . . well just less than. Dancing is an art form, one I was not blessed with. Don’t you snicker now, I have moves, as a matter a fact I can do the can do the Shopping Cart and the Lawnmower like a badass, but that isn’t going to land me on the big stage, there is always hope for America’s Funniest Videos though. Dancing, rea ...more
Firstly, First Position is a very good romance novel. Not my favorite by the author, but ranks third with Kiss the Girl taking first place and How Sweet It Is second. I really liked the leads, as well as a number of equally well-done secondary characters. Brayden has found her formula and she masterfully produces quality books one after the other. So far the only three (more precisely, three and a half) stars in my book are reserved for her debut Waiting in the Wings, but I liked its two leads a ...more
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful love story. Two actually.

Brayden is at the top of her game with First Position. She’s given us a story with heart, hope and a whole lot of wonderful. What sets her novels above the rest? Her ability to turn a simple story into something special, scenes so easy to imagine you think you are watching a movie and a cast you can’t help but admire and wish you knew. It’s an intoxicating combination.

Natalie is a dancer with raw talent and a creative spirit reveling in the freedom she
Diane Wallace
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
When you're used to a such good works from certain authors then there comes a time when their writings just do not have the "IT" factor. Well this book is just that,i had to check to make sure that i was really reading a Melissa Brayden's book. Could not pinpoint exactly the cause of what my struggles and frustrations were to get through this story but i sure had lots of skipping pages going and add to it,it took me extra time to get done because the storyline was not i think written to Ms.Brayd ...more
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Melissa Brayden Fans, Dance, FF Romance
3.5 Finding Out What's Important Stars
* * * 1/2

I am a sucker for anything Dance related. I took Ballet as a kid and once you have that in you... I think you always consider yourself a dancer. Now that is Not to say I was accomplished on pointe or continued after 11 years old. I segued into musical theater and that was more of the goal for my teen years. I share this so you will understand my quick click for this book.

Hey, it had a perfectly pointed toe shoe! Seriously, though, this book had all
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time listening to lesbian fiction on audio book. It was definitely an experience.

Natalie is a show runner in LA. She does art for the meaning and feeling of it. Not the commercial aspect of it. Unfortunately non-commercial doesn't pay the bills and the show has to end. A scout watches their final performance and fairy tale picks her up and drops her into the New York City Ballet. Anna is a stuck up dancer there that only strives to be the best. There is no such thing as a social life for h
I have a lot of feelings about this book so here goes my attempt to translate them into a coherent review.

At first impression I was thinking, this is the Melissa Brayden version of Black Swan, the 2010 film. The characters of Ana and Natalie reminded me a lot of Nina and Lily from that movie, but to be fair, they could be compared to many other pairings with the typical "opposites attract" dynamic: one who is shy and closed off and another who is bright and easygoing and manages to pull the firs
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read! My third book by Ms Brayden and I’m getting hooked with her writing. Loved the story which had a feel-good factor; none of the back-stabbing or betrayal which I thought will be part of this writing. 2 strong MCs in Ana and Natalie who are the opposite and yet complement each other. I enjoyed their banters, felt their angst and immersed in their joy!

This is a book that I can read over and over again.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2O2O Book Challenge
Read A Brayden Once A Week

Brayden hits the nail right on the head once again. Emotional, sensual, romantic, almost everything about this book I adore. It had sweetness laced with heart-melting scenes that totally had me wrapped up in the story. Ana and Natalie made a good combo for a romance story, they are both a little broken which just made for a more believable connection between the characters. Call me silly but I believed their story, I was drawn into the drama and love
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh Melissa Brayden and her super sweet romances, we just can’t quit them. I would probably preorder her next 15 books if they were available. I usually purchase the ebook/paperback combo from bold strokes, and will for sure be purchasing the paperback copy. My favorite authors I rarely request an ARC, but with Brayden’s new book I couldn’t resist. I may not have loved this book as much as her other books because I just listened to her Soho Romances on audiobook. Her books are best read with a li ...more
Just a man's point of view
Reading a Melissa Brayden’s romance is like curling on a comfy sofa in the soft glow of a fireplace during Winter. In other words, it makes you feel all warm and cozy while reading about powerful emotions, sweet feelings, and a good dose of nice humorous banter. You’re surrounded by a very feminine, delicate atmosphere.

First Position brings the reader in the world of Ballet. A world, an Art, made of a stern and strict physical discipline on one side, and heart-felt, intensely emotional expressiv
This story is on POINTE. *ignores jeering at beautiful pun*

I knew it. I just knew this would be my favorite Melissa Brayden book ever since I saw its cover. I'm not a dance buff myself, but this world is ultra fascinating. It wasn't difficult to let Brayden take me away.

The initial spark of Ana and Natalie's relationship is one of my favorites: rivals to lovers. We could all see it coming like a Mack truck and that's half the fun, isn't it? And of course, I fell for the ice queen character, Ana.
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: l-books, romance
Excellent book.

It's all been said before great characters, dialogue and authentic settings.

However, not my favourite from this author (that would be Just Three Words), as the ending felt a bit rushed and a slight case of 'bait and switch'. Still a great book.

Book provided by the Publisher for an honest review.
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There is no doubt that Melissa Brayden is one of the best LesFic authors out there. As a few other reviewers have said it's crazy that books with a similar formula can still be so good. First Position wasn't my favourite of her books but it was still an excellent read. I don't think I'll read another that I loved as much as How Sweet It Is.

Ana has dedicated her life to ballet, her main aim to reach the top has caused her to isolate herself from friends and colleagues. As well as sacrificing a so
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The grit, resolve and determination it takes to deliver a ballet performance at the level expected was articulated in such a manner that you felt the range of emotion of the dancers, specifically passion, energy and pain. I was swept away with the complexity and growth of Anastasia Mikhelson and Natalie Frederico. It was intoxicating to observe the effect Anastasia and Natalie had on each other. Some of us may wish to have a person in our lives that care about the craft and you to say and do the ...more
Lexxi Kitty
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.

(For those who care about such things, two people from Waiting in the Wings appear and have relatively significant roles); just an FYI in case someone would wish to read that one before this book here (which I’d recommend doing)

This story has seemingly a cast of thousands, but two of them are the most important for today’s discussion, both of whom are roughly 27 years of age. Natalie Frederico and Anastasia
Bárbara Sousa
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sapphic-books
Melissa Brayden, I LOVE YOU!! I’ve been reading book after book after book by this author and they are all amazing! Like, amazing isn’t even word enough to describe how good these books are. I don’t even think there’s a word that’s good enough to describe these masterpieces. I feel like i’m in heaven every time I pick up a book by Melissa. Her writing style and her stories and her main characters are just everything.
And i have to say I loved this book even more because 4 characters from two othe
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am a big Melissa Brayden fan and she has never let me down with any of her books. I am excited to say that she didn't disappoint with this book! She creates fun lovable characters with funny dialogue that flows well throughout the book. I also love that her stories aren't predictable, yes she has a similar structure to her books but I never quite know what is going to happen and am often thinking I wasn't expecting that to happen.

I loved the differences between Ana and Natalie and how they com
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can't say much more or better than the reviewers before me. Favorite Brayden tied with Three Little Words. What are you waiting for? Go read it! ...more
Pippa D
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesbian-romances
Ana Mikhelson is the prodigy daughter of two Russian ballet stars. Technically brilliant, she finally rises through the ranks of the New York City Ballet to a leading role. Despite her obsession for ballet, her one weakness on the stage is a lack of emotion.

Her main competition for a new leading role is Natalie Frederico. Shipped in from outside the ballet company, her form is not perfect but what she lacks in precision, she makes up with her passionate and charismatic performances.

The artisti
Nov 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: vanilla
Yes,'s Brayden, so it could never be bad. It's got a sweet romance, and a nice enough setting. Brayden knows how to write.

However, I can't help but feel a bit frustrated with the whole thing. There's something missing from this book.
The premise is nice. I love stories where characters are artists, because it usually brings a whole new level of feels. Except in First Position, it doesn't. The story falls a bit short emotion wise.
The chemistry is fine in the first third of the book, the
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Melissa Brayden’s books or that Kiss the Girl is one of my favourite romances. There are things I’ve come to expect from her writing style, plot construction, and characters. But Natalie is not your typical Brayden heroine and First Position doesn’t have the banter I grew to know and love in the Soho Loft series, and I couldn’t be happier. I was delighted that Melissa Brayden blew all of my expectations out of the water and I can’t wait to see what else she h ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's relatively rare that I'll DNF a book I rate higher than two stars and the reasons vary widely. In this case, the romance culminated satisfactorily and I loved where the main characters were and their relationship was outstanding and strong and I totally bought the benefits each brought to the other. So at 70% all I could look forward to was pain and/or stuff going wrong. So, having put it down I found myself increasingly reluctant to pick it back up again.

Anyway, I enjoyed this romance and
Full disclosure - I love a performing arts trope. Whether the story is about actors, musicians, dancers, artists... I'm all about them. So this one was right up my alley.
Anastasia Mikhelson has just risen to the highest rank of  principal dancer for the New York City Ballet. She has worked for a lot of years to get there at great sacrifice to her body and social life. So when prodigy Natalie Frederico is brought in as a soloist from outside the company, seemingly skipping right over other dance
~ * K E L L I E * ~
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, read-2016
This is a Brayden book - you just know it's going to be a great novel before you start reading...

Ana has always aspired to be the best ballerina through hard work and dedication. Her technique is like no other, however she is very rigid and proper.

Natalie is a carefree spirit who loves variety when it comes to dancing. She doesn’t have the same perfection to match Ana's technique, however what she lacks she makes up for in spirit and passion.

Ana and Natalie are given co-leads for an upcoming b
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
ARC received from Bold Strokes via netgalley for an honest review.

I was dubious at best about a Lesbian romance with two ballerinas. I should have known if anyone could make it work it would be Melissa Brayden. It was a good, solid book. Complex main characters with a fun host of secondary characters that gave the book depth. Classic Brayden formula.

Having said all that, it wasn't my usual 5 start Brayden rating. It didn't quite hit the bar set by "Waiting in the Wings" or "Soho Loft Romances".
I wasn't that big of a fan of "Waiting in the Wings" and was pleasantly surprised by "First Position".

I found the characters of Natalie and Ana to be well-defined, excellent opposites, and very convincing. They felt real and the book is a simple, straight-forward satisfying romance. I thought it was great up until a certain point (view spoiler). Something about that incident felt extra tropey and the resolution felt too syrupy sweet for me...BUT, I still felt Ana and
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Anastasia is a dancer with the the New York City Ballet. She's very focused on furthering her career. Her social life is non existent due to always trying to improve her dancing. Anna starts feeling like an outsider when with her colleagues. Natalie is hired by the dance company and really shakes up Ana' s ordered life.

Natalie is a very talented dancer but not as dedicated to ballet as Ana is. She is more of a wild child and carefree loving modern styles of dance more than the tradition
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Melissa Brayden is the multi-award winning author of sixteen women-loving-women romance novels and is hard at work on more. She is a wine enthusiast, a fan of all donuts, and is probably staring off into space as you're reading this. ...more

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