Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris is a YA Contemporary Romance full of dancing, friendship, and secrets.
Guest Post: On writing romance!
“Look up the word “nerd” and you’ll find Lily Cooper’s picture. She’s got one goal: first stop valedictorian, next stop Harvard. Until a stint in the hospital from too much stress lands her in the last place a klutz like her ever expected to be: salsa dance lessons.
Look up the word “popular” and you’ll find Stone Torres’s picture. His life seems perfect—star of the football team, straight-A student, lots of friends. But his family is struggling to make ends meet, so if pitching in at the Torres dance studio helps, he’ll do it.
When Lily’s dad offers Stone extra cash to volunteer as Lily’s permanent dance partner, he can’t refuse. But with each dip and turn, each moment her hand is in his, his side job starts to feel all too real. But in dance, as in life, one wrong move and someone could get hurt.”
I was a sucker when it came to a romance story surrounding a ‘nerdy‘ girl. We follow the main character as she becomes hospitalized from a stress-induced illness after trying to balance her high school obligations and college goals.
When her father attempts to place her in dance lessons to try and balance her life, she gets involved with the popular guy in school. We get to see not only some swoon-filled moments, but her journey as she learns to relax and take life by the moment.
There were a few predictable moments throughout the book when it came to the relationship and dialogue. I didn’t think it took too much away from the story since I really enjoyed reading every minute of it. The interactions between the two were cute and fun.
I seemed to resonate a lot with Lily’s character which really drew me into the story. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it if you are looking for a nerdy romance with a balance of friendship.
Overall, this is a great, light-hearted book that is perfect if you love all things dancing!
“New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-
door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in
each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing. An admitted bookaholic and homeschool mom, she gets through each
day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes
young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!”
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From the Author:
On Writing Romance
“Romance. I’ve been obsessed with it since I was a toddler. There is video of me slow dancing with my robot before I could say more than a few words—although I could say his name. Danny, for those curious, named after a boy on a TV show my mom used to watch. My first full conversation with my grandmother? It was about a couple on the soap opera Guiding Light. Apparently, I did not like the guy Beth chose. By the age of nine I’d graduated to books and swiped my mom’s Harlequins on the regular.
Yes, romance shaped the woman I am today, just like it continues to shape my writing process. Regardless if I’m writing YA or adult, contemporary or fantasy, crafting the central romance in my story is key, and I go about building it in several ways.
Like people in real life, every character must have needs and wounds of their own, missing pieces they themselves may not even be fully aware of, other than a vague knowledge that something isn’t right, but that keep them from feeling fulfilled. The role of seeing beyond the mask and helping them become who they are meant to be is the role of the other main character. Now, don’t misunderstand me. They don’t magically “fix” the other person; the journey belongs to the individual. But their other half does believe in them. They guide them and push them and more than likely annoy the crap out of them until eventually, they push past the fear to the other side.
In fact, crafting the romance is such a vital part of my process that it informs my entire plot. After the initial set up and inciting incident, the entire first half of the book is all about showing the reader why this couple belongs together—even if the characters themselves don’t realize it—while all the other plot points get hashed out. This is the build-up stage, the falling-in-love section where everything is exciting and new. We get to know the characters as they open up to each other, letting us into their worlds. Usually I throw in an unexpected or almost kiss in this section, a moment that knocks our duo for a loop, a shakeup that inevitably is felt in other areas of their lives as well. The bigger, sexier, “on purpose” kiss happens near the midpoint (in Hollywood, it’s called “sex at sixty), followed almost immediately by the downward slope of conflicts, trouble, and old fears popping up out of the woodwork, testing our poor hero and heroine along with their new love, until we get to the thrilling climax and swoon-inducing grand gesture.
Romance cuts to the core of a person. So many of our fears and hang-ups are based on our inherent need for love and acceptance. The fear of vulnerability drives us to wear a mask or put up a front, to hide behind a certain job or getting good grades, to stay so busy that we don’t have time to reflect and notice just how lonely we are. The external goals and aspirations driving our favorite characters are tied to their internal needs—and, in my opinion anyway, love is the greatest of those needs.
So, why do I write romance? Because it’s universal.
And how do I write it? By discovering what relatable fear or wound my heroine has, pairing her with a guy who not only recognizes it, and pokes and prods it, but has his own missing piece needing healing. The journey the two take is unique, one they couldn’t and wouldn’t complete in the exact same way without the other person, and it ultimately leads to a Happily Ever After.
Love has the power to heal wounds, chase away hurts, and motivate greatness. It pushes us to go the extra mile, dive deeper, and believe in hope. There is far too much devastation in the real world—I love going into my favorite books knowing that things end the way they should. That while the world may get tipped on its axis, in the end everyone is happy. That’s the kind of story I want to read because that’s the kind of world I want to live in.
What about you?”
Published: 26 March 2019
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
How I Read It: Paperback from Publisher
*Disclaimer: I requested a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All of my reviews are based on my honest opinion only and are not influenced in any way.*
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