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Art of Love #1

Dance With Me

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Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?

In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two find a partnership they never thought possible.
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs.

The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.

210 pages, Paperback

Published April 1, 2019

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About the author

A.M. Heath

12 books290 followers
Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, ladies’ Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
After years of watching Scooby Doo, Matlock, and Murder She Wrote, I’ve partnered with my best friend to write Christian cozy mysteries under the pen name Chelsea Michelle. What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

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5 stars
42 (72%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 43 reviews
Profile Image for Abigail Harris.
Author 25 books181 followers
April 9, 2019
My Review:

Genre: Historical, romance, Christian fiction.

My Rating: 5 stars.

My Recommendation: 13 up.

My Favorite Character/s: Neil, was sweet and strong. I’ve never read a book so focused on dancers and I loved getting to read his and Arleen’s story! I want to say more about them but … You need to read the book to find out more about them!

My Verse for both Niel and Arleen is Psalm 86:12

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. (King James Version.)

My Thoughts: So, to start off I’ve loved each of Mrs. Heath’s books I’ve read, and after I read every one I’ve thought it’s the best … And yup, I think so again! This book was so … amazing! Genuinely amazing! The characters, the descriptions, the dialogue, every word shows a story of love, not a romantic love but a love from Christ, even if at times the characters weren’t perfect which in my opinion made them even better. And the way that I was pulled into the story was so enjoyable, you definitely need to read this book as soon as you can!

Warnings: There is a character who is abused by their father. But that’s all.

I received an ARC of this in exchange for my honest review and am truly happy to provide it!
Profile Image for Loretta Marchize.
Author 6 books35 followers
April 9, 2019
Five stars

Prose: 4/5
Romance: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5


The story was told through two different characters, and in two different time periods. I enjoyed how Mrs. Heath carried out these sections and thought she did an excellent job.

One of my favorite parts! I love how it was a slow falling for character traits rather than a lust sort of relationship.

A very good point of the novel. One of Mrs. Heath’s strengths for sure. I fell in love with each of these characters and their individual stories.

Mostly centered around the romance, but still very engaging.

A very cute novel, inspiring and a good read.

Mentions of being drunk, and going too far with romantic relationships. All of these things are considered bad and sinful, and are portrayed as wrong.

*I don't remember the exact days I read this, just that it was in March*
Profile Image for Faye.
1,689 reviews
February 15, 2021
Told from the future (2010) looking back in the format of a human interest story for a news story, Arleen and Neil take turns telling the story of their rivalry turned partnership in 1959.

Neil and Arleen are rivals on the floor, each representing competing dance clubs they go 1-2 in every competition. When their dance clubs decide to join forces for a televised competition, Neil and Arleen are matched up as partners for the first time.

A captivating read with compelling characters, each sharing in their own words what happened in '59. Neil is a skilled dance partner and strong Christian, patient and willing to listen, he was probably my favorite character in this book. Arleen hides her pain, dancing, and dating, the rumors run rampant about her reputation. I loved how Neil is understanding and kind, he gives Arleen support takes time to see the real her.

Overall, I fell in love with this story from the dancing, strong faith, natural romantic building and chemistry, this was solid read for so many reasons! Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,993 reviews5 followers
February 27, 2021
I can't say I have read every book by many authors but I have read every one of A.M. Heath's book and I am pleased that none has disappointed me. The thing that I absolutely love the most is that her boos have so much heart and soul poured into her stories. When reading her books, the reader knows that her faith is real and she wants her readers to know that and there is always one character that shows the Christian faith is the best way to live life.

"Dance with Me" is about dance competitions. I have never wanted to watch the show "Dancing With The Stars" but after reading this novel, I want to watch at least one show.

This story is about how someone is not always the way someone appears to be.
I absolutely love the ending, it was a complete surprise, this story is definitely a clean love story and about someone who lets God change their lives.

The tears might fall at few scenes, both happy and sad, because this book has real issues surrounding Arleen Thatcher.

If you are a fan of love story with a twist or a fan of Dance competitions , then I am sure you will want to read this book.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author. These opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Ejayen.
497 reviews7 followers
May 30, 2019
It is a super sweet story of a couple of dancers learning about each other and learning to love each other. The Christian aspect was well done, not super preachy, super unrealistic, nor shallow.
Profile Image for Kim Hampton.
1,200 reviews36 followers
February 20, 2019
I've read all of this author's books, and they just keep getting better and better! Her characters are so real, you feel like you could meet them for lunch and a chat. I also love the Gospel message that she weaves into her stories. Do yourself a favor and pick up a few copies of this book, because once you read it, you'll want to share it with your friends.
Profile Image for Linda Ellen.
Author 11 books88 followers
March 11, 2019
Oh my stars, I couldn’t put this book down! I was privileged to receive an ARC of "Dance with Me" from the author in exchange for a fair review, and I was totally blessed. This may be, quite literally, the best book I’ve read in years. A.M. Heath can write! I hadn’t read any of her books before this one, but I’m sure going to invest in them now. I can’t think of one negative thing to say, it was just totally wonderful.
The plot, about two ballroom dancers from competing dance studios who are asked to partner together for an upcoming televised competition—and in 1959, the year I was born, lol—drew me right in. I adore watching good ballroom dancing (not the raunchy kind though, lol) and the dance scenes were pleasingly authentic. I was drawn to both of the main characters right away. Arleen really touched my heart, as her home life strummed a chord in me. Mine wasn’t quite as bad, but I felt her pain with each sentence, and I admired how she coped. I loved how the Lord had given her a father figure who had nurtured her in her early years, much as He had done in mine. And then there is Neil, oh my, be still my heart, lol. I adored his character as well as his family. Such a strong Christian man, he was truly an inspiration. I loved reading his thoughts and feelings toward Arleen and how he kept fighting his attraction to her...she’s just my partner. She’s just my partner. LOL. How he handles an unforeseen crisis that happens really cemented my adoration for him.
The music and songs mentioned were right up my alley and I found myself singing lyrics and hearing the beat when they danced to them, lol. I don’t want to give spoilers, but there are so many sweet scenes, especially one about ¾ through the book that really touched me—a scene by a pond where the two would meet to talk, or just dance together. The emotion, feelings, and Christian content of the story were woven seamlessly together like a finely crafted woolen shawl and leave the reader feeling warm, safe, and content. The story flowed along smoothly, there were no parts that seemed obsolete or bothered me as a reader. This story is so wonderful and a blessing to read. It’s uplifting and fun, as well as deep and meaningful. This author is a genius, and the writing, editing, and proofing are flawless. If I could give the book 10 stars, I surely would. Bravo and standing ovation! This is one of a small handful of books that I know I will read again and again, it’s that good.
657 reviews3 followers
February 8, 2019
"Dance With Me" is the first book in the Art of Love series, but each book is a stand alone novel and not necessary for the others. I really enjoyed reading "Dance With Me" and once I started, I didn't want to stop. I found the book to be well written and felt that it flowed well. I liked how even though most of the story was a flashback, we got to see the story unfold and not know the conclusion before the end of the book. I liked getting to know Arleen and Neil. I felt the faith thread was woven through the book well and liked getting to see the growth and transformation of characters. I liked how "Dance with me" meant so much more than just the physical act of dancing. I cried while reading the end of the book and finished with a contented sigh. I could really see this book as a movie.

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.
Profile Image for Morgan Giesbrecht.
Author 1 book48 followers
January 6, 2022
Yet another sweet story! The biggest thing for me was that story felt authentic - Arleen’s struggle to trust (particularly men) was real and relatable while Neil is the steady friend we all wish for.

I also appreciated the strong themes of healing hearts and the power of words. We often believe the things people say about us and consequently see ourselves through their eyes. But as Christians, it is Christ who gets to define us. A reminder I needed to hear again.

Though the ending was what I expected, it felt a bit rushed. As I read, I thought, “Whoa, wait, we’re here already?” But it was still sweet.

Content: couple touches due to types of dancing but all proper; a few kisses; mentions of alcohol and drunkenness
Profile Image for Angie Thompson.
Author 27 books1,075 followers
September 12, 2019
Admittedly, I knew going in that I was not really the perfect audience for this book, but I was interested to see what the author did with it. So let me make clear right off that most of my discomfort with this story comes from my personal opinions about dancing (not that I think it's sinful, but I don't really think it's smart), and as sweet as the story was, it just pretty much reinforced my opinions about the whole subject.

There were a couple of other parts I didn't anticipate going in that also made it a bit of a challenging read for me--the alcoholism/abuse issue and the kinds of attention/advances Arleen's flirtatious nature tended to attract. I did appreciate and applaud the standards she had put in place, but besides the general discomfort of her flirtatiousness, the hints at the kind of relationship men were after with her were very much on the edge of my comfort zone.

All that said, the author definitely did a good job of handling things in a pretty tasteful manner and of creating characters that I really liked and wanted to root for. The choreography bits were interesting (and not so detailed as to overwhelm a non-expert), I liked the lesson Arleen eventually learned, and the ending was very sweet. Readers who don't have an issue with dancing will probably enjoy it much more. :)

Content--a woman is extremely flirtatious and goes as far as kissing several different men; she makes clear that she's not going to go "beyond first base" with anyone, but there are allusions to men wanting to push her further and some suggestive comments made; mentions of drinking and drunkenness; a man beats his wife and daughter ; with the dancing theme, there is a lot of physical touch and closeness (not suggestive)
Profile Image for Hailey Rose.
Author 5 books104 followers
April 19, 2020
I'm not one to gush about books if I don't absolutely love them, and I'm definitely not one to spend money on a paperback copy just to have it on my shelf unless I plan to read over and over again forever. Both of those things happened after reading this book. <3

Oh. My. Gosh. *heart eyes* I don't think I could POSSIBLY love this book any more. Every single thing that makes a perfect story a perfect story is in this book, and then add in the magic of the 1950's and ballroom dancing.... *swoons* (By the way, you better believe I'm gonna be taking ballroom dance lessons as soon as possible). The characters were so believable, so real, so touchable. I got completely lost in the story, thoroughly sucked in to the character's heads. This is one of the sweetest, most genuine romances I've read in a good long while. The characters motives and struggles were clear, realistic, and made me want to smile and cry all at the same time. Absolutely beautiful.

Also...from a writer's point of view, I love how the author made it abundantly clear who's head we were in, since this book jumps between Arleen and Neil's 1st person POV. Taking notes for whenever I attempt to write a dual 1st person book. :)
Profile Image for Laura.
723 reviews103 followers
April 8, 2019
Head over to my blog for an interview with the author!

I received a copy of Dance With Me from the author, A.M. Heath. All opinions expressed are my own.

Trigger warning: alcoholism, abusive parents

"The truth was, I knew better than to look twice at Arleen Thatcher. That gal was trouble if there ever was trouble."

1. The characters. In this story, two main characters take the stage, so to speak: Arleen and Neil. They're surrounded by a moderate amount of supporting cast characters (the two owners of their respective studios, Arleen's various paramours, Arleen's mother and father, and Neil's mother). In terms of Arleen and Neil, I loved their scenes together and because the book is dual POV (from their perspectives), I got a really great sense of their personalities. I do wish that the other supporting characters would have been given some more page-time and had been developed a bit more. However, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Arleen's two selves (and the reasons for those) and her dancing as well as Neil's mindset about religion and his dedication to his art form. Heath does an excellent job of developing these characters fully and examining their motivations. In fact, because of the characters themselves, I think this book will end up making it's way into my regular rereading rotation.

2. The plot. I'm not going to talk too much about this because, at it's heart, this book is a solid romance. There's some great supporting tension brought in with the competition that drives the characters really nicely in addition to a dangerous family situation (this is where the alcoholism and abusive parent trigger warnings come it). The author also chose to do a frame story with this narrative and it works exceptionally well. There's the main story of Arleen and Neil in their youth which is framed by the present in which they've retired from the spotlight and are being interviewed about their legendary partnership. This, honestly, made the entire book for me as I absolutely love seeing how character's fare after the end of a book and these types of frame narratives bring in that opportunity seamlessly.

3. The romance. This is where all the meat is! Arleen and Neil have this really great slow-burn romance in which they agree to stay simply dance partners but gradually recognize that maybe they were meant for something more. I'm absolute trash for these types of stories and this one is no exception. There are plenty of 'aw' moments that kept me deeply invested in their relationship. The only qualm I have is in regards to the ending. Generally speaking, I just wanted more. Without venturing into spoiler-y territory, I'll just say this: Arleen's worries were solved by one conversation and while I don't have personal applicable experience here, I don't think trauma like that is overcome so quickly. Still, I found the ending adorable in every other way.

4. The writing. I just want to touch on a few items in this section before wrapping up. I was very impressed by the author's ability to construct a workable atmosphere in the amount of pages she did. This book is on the short side (210 pages) and while that worked against the author in certain circumstances, she did such a good job succinctly telling this story. The language is generally lavender (purple while still featherlight) but erring on the side of subtlety. Secondly, I do wish the author would have trusted the reader a bit more. I noticed at the ends of chapters, Heath has a tendency to explain the feelings of the characters directly when I had surmised those feelings from the way the character's spoke to each other and their body language. This is small but when reading, can provoke a superfluous feeling.

"The things I normally hid well from my dance partners, Neil saw as if I'd invited him to do so."

The Final Verdict:
While additional page time would do wonders for the supporting characters and ending, the characters, plot, and romance, are lovely, completely lavender and engaging.
4 stars
Profile Image for Deana Dick.
2,452 reviews61 followers
April 10, 2019
Grace, beauty, nostalgia, memories, healing and God's love. Those are the first words I thought of after reading this wonderful story of two people who are not only dance partners but so much more. I loved reading about the dances and it reminded me of the show American Bandstand. I may be showing my age, but that show had couples sliding across the dance floor with moves that impressed everyone. The story takes us from present day back to the late 1950s where dancing was just starting to be the craze.

Arleen reminds me of a flower that is just starting to bloom. The brilliant colors are starting to come out, but the flower is holding back. Arleen has not had a good home life and Neil may just be the person to help her overcome her insecurity. Her reputation around town is riddled with rumors that cause people to think bad of her. I could feel her pain buried deep down inside her. It was hard to read about Arleen's abusive father, but the author handled it with compassion . It lets readers get a glimpse into when she was younger and how her family life shaped her. Arleen has always been told that she was ugly so to get attention and to feel better about herself she flirted with guys. I can relate to her so much. My dad always told me I was ugly and would never amount to anything. Those words are hard to forget and for Arleen, she became an empty shell inside. It's easy to believe that you are nothing when you hear it everyday.

Neil is a strong dance competitor and finds himself teamed up with Arlene to win a contest. His faith will be tested as he encounters trials and a young woman who desperately needs to know that God loves her. I'm glad Neil came into Arleen's life just when she needed encouragement the most. It was beautiful to read Neil sharing God with Arleen. She needed to hear that she was loved, valued and could trust others.

The story is a journey that captures the beauty of a romance rich in humility, compassion and the unconditional love of God. Arleen and Neil's story is one you won't forget as you picture them dancing together while the world around them fades away. They embrace each other with honor and integrity and allow God to heal wounds that have stolen happiness from a young woman who wanted to be accepted. It's hard to leave this story without a tear or two as I feel like they have become my friends. I can still hear Neil whisper to Arlene, "Dance With Me."

I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.
Profile Image for Karen Hadley.
521 reviews9 followers
April 10, 2019
I've had the privilege to have read all of her books! I love the way she
can transform a story of a life lived in the past to a life that is led to the now.
I loved the era in which this story takes place. I'm like, how do you do that?
She truly is a gifted author. In her newest release "Dance with me", you'll met Neil and Arleen and you will be in their corner rooting them on as they dance together in competition as well as battle each other in their hearts. Secrets emerge, fear is overcome, the desire to win pushes them to their limits. Is there romance? Can they face their feelings? Is love in their future? Hmmm, get the book and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Karen Hadley
Rating 5*
I received this book as a gift and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Connie Hill.
1,402 reviews19 followers
February 16, 2021
Dance with Me By: A.M. Heath is a Christian Historical Romance. This book is set in the late 1950/early 1960 time period. I have read books by this author before and I have always enjoyed them. In this book we see Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox . They are dance competitors. They are paired together for a dance competition. Neil is nervous about this pairing. Arleen does not have a great reputation. Neil is worried about his being tarnished so he holds her at arm's lengths. (ha ha) However as they get to know each other, learn to trust each other, Neil learns that there is more to Arleen then her negative reputation. Neil also learns that Arleen is in desperate need of God's love and forgiveness. Seeing their pairing build throughout the story had my heart pounding and had me excited to turn the page.

I love these characters. They are real feeling and flawed. I love how the author's message of God's love and forgiveness is well woven into this story. The author did some great research. The only dance competitions I know of is that of what I see on Dancing with the Stars. There is some flirtation on Arleen's part. But the author handles this with grace and tact. It is all part of her story.

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Ashley Dawn.
Author 8 books79 followers
February 17, 2021
This was an entertaining read. I will be the first to admit that I know very little about dance. That being said, the author does a great job with her descriptions that I felt I knew most of what was going on. Neil is hands down my favorite character in the book. He is just wonderful on so many levels.

I felt for Arleen. She didn't have it easy at all, and of course people and rumors make things worse. This isn't an instant love story, but more of a grow and show God's love type story. It was sweet and caring. There isn't a lot I can say about my favorite parts without giving away key information so I will just say that even if you aren't into dance, this one is worth reading.


Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit. I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.
463 reviews1 follower
February 18, 2021
Dance With Me is one of those feel good books that leave you smiling. Whether it is the music, the dancing, the romance, or truthfully, the saving grace of our Lord, this book moved me. The Christian perspective completes this story. Learning one’s worth in the eyes of our Lord changes everything. From the book: “I know in Christ, we’ll find peace that surpasses all understanding and strength to endure the pains of this sinful world. And I know that He promised to take everything and use it for good. Somehow. Someway.” I enjoyed this story! This book tackled some tough issues, too. I would highly recommend this book for those that like inspirational fiction, romance, books set in the fifties, and anyone that wants to read a good story.

This book was provided through Celebrate Lit, the publisher and author for me to read. The opinions expressed are my own thoughts.
Profile Image for Brenda.
312 reviews12 followers
March 26, 2019
This was truly an “Art of Love”! I certainly can give this book an easy 5 stars. An emotional book that will touch your heart. The dance was so much more than just a dance as each partner had to find just what they needed by themselves and together. Heartbreak, love, faith, redemption and triumph as this story of Neil and Arleen unfolds. I have enjoyed this authors books all along but I think she outdid herself this time. I believe this couple’s story will stay in my mind for a long while. I recommend this book to my friends.
I received a free copy of this book and all opinions and thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Pamela.
60 reviews
April 8, 2019
A.M. Heath has done it again!! She has written another hard to put down book. I loved going back to 1959 and learning about Neil and Arleen and how they became who the are in 2010. While reading I felt like I had actually slipped into another world, a world of dance.
I could hear the music through the pages and their dances swept me away from one chapter to the next. The way Heath wrote the dances I could actually see them and I completely understood all those dance moves. The title is so perfect for this book because they become very special between Neil and Arleen. This is such a romantic story of love but also a love from our Heavenly Father is shared throughout this beautifully written story.
As I closed the book I had a smile on my face.
**I received a copy of this free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. I wasn't required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.**
Profile Image for Marilyn.
985 reviews
March 20, 2019
Art of Love first book, Dance With Me, is one that will remain with this reader in days ahead. A.M. Heath has a way to create dimensional characters no matter the genre she’s writing. This time slip story of two dancers, Neil and Arlene, was inspired as they recalled their younger years of dancing with others until the time for a large competition that gave way to both dance studio owners suggesting Neil and Arlene partner together. Neil and Arlene’s lives were different but one never know what may transpire and how healing is brought through not only by the art of dancing but a caring friend. I appreciate the interwoven gentle faith message that gave way to new beginnings for characters with lives changed.

I received a complimentary e-book from the author. I was not required to write a review but have expressed my sincere opinion. I highly recommend all of her books to readers no matter what genre they prefer because of the beautiful inspirational stories she pens. I’m always excited to hear another book is releasing from A.M. Heath as I know it’ll be story that will bring moments of laughter along with tears with a wonderful faith message.
June 24, 2020
Engaging Read

I really enjoyed reading this book. The story and the characters drew me in. This is a great story of healing and the developing relationship between the two dancers. As a reader, i could feel the chemistry between those two.

I definitely recommend this book!
Profile Image for Esther Filbrun.
369 reviews19 followers
April 15, 2019
I’ve been on an unusual reading kick these past few months—a legal thriller (a genre I haven’t read from before!), a Study Bible, and now a book about ballroom dancing in the ‘60s! Apparently, either I’ve been feeling ambitious, or the books’ synopses were too intriguing!

Dance With Me was a fascinating book. Neil and Arleen work for competing dance studios, but when the competition opportunity of a lifetime comes up, they are asked to make an unusual collaboration to see if they can put their town on the country’s map. Arleen is the flirt of the town. Neil, a “good” Christian boy, doesn’t have a very high opinion of Arleen—but could this be his chance to glorify the Lord through the work he feels like he’s been given to do? And can Arleen learn to work through the pain of her past?

Having never really been into the dance scene in any sense of the word, I found the descriptions of partnership working in that sort of a realm fascinating.

I also found it encouraging to see how the Lord can work in a variety of situations, to bring hope and healing to different ones. Although this is not a true story, it’s one that felt like it could be true, and it was encouraging to me to see hope for other people.

I loved the simplicity of the story, the focus on trusting versus wavering, of doing the next right thing even if it doesn’t totally make sense to do in some ways. And Christian themes of purity and family support were also interesting, too.

Like I said, this book was quite different from a lot of other ones I’ve read, but I love the piece of history I got here, as well as a Christian story. Recommended if you’re looking for something not so heavy to read, that still has some good morals to it.

I requested a free review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
September 29, 2022
I did not expect to love this book as much as I do. As in, this review is not just a casual endorsement of a book that is clean and tells a good story, but rather I loved this book!

Interestingly, the book starts in the present day, with Neil and Arleen recounting their story for a reporter. The story quickly jumps back in time to 1959, when the two were competitors instead of partners. From there we watch their relationship develop and change as they are thrown into the unusual situation of dancing as partners even though they usually dance for rival studios.

I know nothing at all about the world of competitive dance, and very little about small town life in the 1950s and 60s. However, I immediately felt comfortable in the book’s atmosphere and enjoyed learning about the setting as the story progressed. If you’re a fan of diners, classic cars, and old-fashioned virtues, this is a story you will feel at home in!

However, everything is not trophies and jukeboxes all the time. Unbeknownst to anyone outside of the house, Arleen’s family is falling apart, and has been for years. Substance abuse and domestic violence are prevalent, and this plays a large role in Arleen’s personality and her need to win every competition she enters. Over the course of months preparing for the big televised competition she and Neil are entering, this dark reality will come crashing out with dramatic consequences.

The way Neil and Arleen’s friendship changes over time is depicted wonderfully. I love watching them interact, learn, and grow as individual characters and as friends. Although there are moments of frustration, they keep working. Both are loyal, although you wouldn’t know it by first glance at Arleen. Ultimately they support one another well.

Because this is Christian fiction, I also need to talk about the faith elements. Neil’s faith, along with that of the rest of his family, is strong from the beginning. Arleen develops an appreciation for and eventual belief in God as a result of getting to know Neil and his family. This is a good example of how powerful personal testimony can be, even if you don’t think your story is particularly dramatic. By simply caring for and respecting Arleen, the Fox family gains her respect and her ear, which she then inclines toward God at their urging. Arleen’s attitude and lifestyle change immediately following her acceptance of the Gospel, but life is still not completely easy.

On a related note, I appreciate the way Heath deals with domestic violence. Arleen’s father is, to say the least, awful. In the end, his character is not redeemed or explained away. There is no easy answer except that he is no longer in her or her mother’s lives. Arleen and her mother have lives that blossom as the book draws to a close, but her father remains stagnant. This is the reality of evil.

The Verdict

All in all, Dance with Me is a wonderful book. I read it fairly quickly and couldn’t put it down; I constantly wanted to know what would happen next with each of the characters! Speaking of the characters, they are well developed, evoking the intended emotional response deeply and easily. The setting, also, is enjoyable, and the background of the dance competition is unique enough to set the story apart without being unreasonable. Themes of friendship, faith, and loyalty are woven into a slowly building romance and (mostly) fun story that does not cover up unpleasant situations or gloss over sin. Neil and Arleen are dependable narrators and great characters. I highly recommend Dance with Me to fans of Christian fiction, clean romance, historical dance competitions, and happy endings.

I received a complimentary ecopy of this book and happily provide this review. All opinions are my own.
5,340 reviews
January 31, 2021
Dance With Me begins the Art of Love series. It is, also, the first book I have read by AM Heath. I thought it was a great read. It was set during the late 1950s. I enjoyed watching Arleen and Neil grow throughout the book and see how they lived during this era. There were a few lessons learned within the pages that so many readers could relate to. I thought it was such a beautiful, sweet and entertaining tale. I liked it.

I am giving Dance With Me four stars. I recommend it for readers who enjoyed reading clean Historical Romance. I look forward to reading the next installment from the Art of Love series, Painted Memories, when it releases later this winter. AM Heath has earned themselves a new fan.

I received Dance With Me from the publisher. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.
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1,473 reviews6 followers
February 23, 2021
I love the amount of research that went into the writing of this novel. While I don’t consider this a historical novel because I don’t consider this real history yet, this is a wonderful piece of fiction that does take you back in time. You go back in time to the 1960s. My parents were born in 1960 and 1961 so this is an era I’m not totally unfamiliar with.

The slang from the time period. Is it bad if I admit that I actually do and have used quite a few of them on a regular basis? I’m also very familiar with the music and love it. I grew up watching the TV shows and movies of the time period and definitely think they’re good ones. The fashion was fun too.

I enjoyed the complexity of the characters. Arlene for example has a bad reputation. One of those wrong side of tracks bad girl type things. But really, that’s not who she is. It’s just a product of what others think of her. I loved getting to see the layers peel off until Neil could see who she really was.

Speaking of Neil, I enjoyed his character as well. It’s definitely fun to watch these two learn to dance together and become a team instead of rivals. They’re good at what they do. But can they remain impersonal while dancing? Can anyone actually do that?

I think this is a great book and I will be checking out the rest of the books in this series. I read they are stand-alone books so that should help if you don’t want to read the series in order. Enjoy this book and come back to tell me what you think!

I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received through Celebrate Lit. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
560 reviews2 followers
August 26, 2019
This was a slow simmer romance. I really liked the H and his interactions with the h. A good story of things aren't always what they seem and the layers people have. I appreciated it being a clean story with the emphasis on two people growing and coming together and not all things physical. It had good dialogue and made me wish I could go dancing. We were show not told the romance and character growth.
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