Title ~ Siempre
Author ~ Tessa Cardenas
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Genre ~ M/M Romance, Contemporary
Rating ~ 4 Stars
As a principal dancer for a contemporary New York ballet company, Sean has the privilege of working with student interns. The company’s newest intern, Lupe, is a talented dancer from Purchase College—but the man who picks her up from class really piques Sean’s interest.
Jaime is Lupe’s cousin, a photography and graphic design student at Purchase. Not long after Sean and Jaime start dating, their casual hookups evolve into something special, something neither wants to lose—no matter how a commitment will complicate their lives.
Lupe figures out the nature of their relationship and outs Jaime to his extremely religious Arizona family. Sean decides to support Jaime all the way, even though Jaime might choose pleasing his family over a life of love and freedom with Sean
I loved The Strongest Shape, so I was looking forward to reading Tessa Cardenas new story. A story that takes place in the realm of art and ballet, what a promising, encouraging premise. The outcome didn’t disappoint me at all. I found this to be an absorbing book with a number of positive features, a realistic portrayal of two men who meet and fall in love. It was emotional without being over the top angsty, with good writing and great texture to the scenes. The author really delivered a heart-felt story that begins as a sexual adventure but soon turns into something more.
Sean is a principal dancer for a New York ballet company. The company’s newest intern is Guadalupe, a talented dancer. Her cousin Jaime, a photography and graphic design student, who picks her up from class regularly, piques Sean’s interest. Sean and Jaime start dating and even though they know a commitment will complicate their lives, their casual hook-ups grow into more. But there is Jaime’s extremely religious family. He knows they will never acknowledge his sexual orientation, leaving Jaime faced with an important choice - pleasing his family or living a life of love with Sean.
I liked Sean’s passionate love for the ballet. There is one emotional dancing scene in which you can feel Sean’s love, his sadness, and his grief in every movement. I felt the author’s dedication to the ballet with every single word. It just took my breath away.
The secondary characters are well written and the world building is reasonably strong. I loved Travis, Alana and Alexandria and appreciated how much they invested in their friendship to Sean and Jaime, how much they cared. I’m sure without those great friends Sean and Jaime’s relationship wouldn’t have stood a chance.
The book is told exclusively from Sean’s POV and you can’t not love him. In some places the story feels like a diary, a daily report of the progress or development of Sean and Jaime’s relationship. I missed Jaime’s thoughts, though. He isn’t a great talker and I only got short sneak peeks of his thoughts… when Sean manages to make him talk… or write. A large part of their conversations takes place in text messages.
The one thing that was difficult for me to understand is how Jaime deals with his extremely religious family. Since I don’t want to spoil anything, I won’t give away too much details, but I would have expected a more drastic reaction from his side. I never found out why he tolerates his family’s behaviour so long.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read, a great book packed full of emotional moments. I look forward to reading more from this author. Recommended.