Book: Finding Your Feet
Series: A Toronto Connection Story
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Publication date: January 16, 2017
Length: 300 pages
Reviewed by Erin
While on holiday in Toronto, Evie Whitmore planned to sightsee and meet other asexuals, not audition for a dance competition. Now she’s representing Toronto’s newest queer dance studio, despite never having danced before. Not only does she have to spend hours learning her routine, she has to do it with one of the grumpiest men she’s ever met. Tyler turns out to be more than a dedicated dancer, though—he might be the kind of man who can sweep her off her feet, literally and figuratively.
Tyler Davis has spent the last year recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship. So he doesn’t need to be pushed into a rushed routine for a dumb competition. Ticking major representation boxes for being trans and biracial isn’t why he went into dance. But Evie turns out to be a dream student. In fact, she helps him remember just how good partnering can be, in all senses of the word. Teaching her the routine, however, raises ghosts for him, ones he’s not sure he can handle.
Plans change, and people change with them. Learning a few steps is one thing; learning to trust again is another entirely.
I'm a fan of really great covers. If a books cover doesn't catch my eye, it's likely I won't read the blurb. The covers for Cass Lennox's Toronto Series are absolutely attention grabbing which is why I picked up the first book in the series and why I was excited to read the second. Not to mention the diversity mentioned in the blurb had me anticipating Finding Your Feet. Trans rep, biracial rep, and asexual rep ... yes please!
I did have some issues with the book, unfortunately, but let me start with some positives first. The cover. It's gorgeous. Colorful, eye catching, and representative of the book. I love when that happens. The romance between Evie and Tyler in and of itself was rather angst free and was sweet and fluffy. I'm always a fan of drama coming from outside of the relationship. The dancing. It was written well and was really engaging. And lastly, the diversity of all the characters, both the main two and all of the secondary ones. Different gender identities, sexual orientations, ethnicity, backgrounds ... all made Finding Your Feet widely representative.
Now for the issues. I was really interested in Evie and Tyler as a couple. Evie identifies as biromanitc (bisexual, asexual) and Tyler is a biracial, straight, transman. I was really invested in seeing how these two navigated their relationship. The thing was, their relationship took a back seat to the relationship of two other characters in the book. At times it felt like this was a story about Gigi and Brock, not Evie and Tyler, and that left me really frustrated. I get setting up the next book in the series but there needs to be a balance and it wasn't present here. Not to mention that Gigi and Brock have A LOT of drama surrounding them ... it just really took away from getting fully invested in what happened with Evie and Tyler. There was also a pretty pervasive feeling of fat phobia and trans phobia present throughout much of the book. It left me feeling uncomfortable and cringing more than a few times.
It's really difficult to rate and review a book like this that has a number of very positive things about it and then some deeply troubling issues. I commend the author on the diversity of the characters, I just wish the fat shaming and the transphobia wasn't present. That being said, I'm not sure I'll continue with the series. Cass Lennox IS a very good writer though, so I will be on the lookout for other books from her.
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