Joint review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/03/16/joint-review-moving-in-rhythm-by-dev-bentham/
Lou: I saw this title on Netgalley during one of my rare requesting sprees, and the blurb appealed to me straight away. And when I saw Mandi from Smexy books tweeting about this, I thought to myself I really need to read this now. Some books will set off your book tingly senses and this happened for me in Moving in Rhythm. I adored this book so much, and I’m eagerly awaiting to see what the author will bring out next. I would even love it if this becomes a series and we see more of Mark and Seth.
Mark is not your usual run of the type hero. He’s very shy to the point of extreme awkwardness and he suffers from social anxiety. He’s very much a loner and he’s a social recluse. He knows that he’s gay, but he has no idea how to go about meeting someone with his extreme fear of social situations. When Mark’s brother is deployed overseas, he asks Mark for a big favour and that’s to look after his pregnant wife, Lisa. For Mark, this means moving from his safe apartment and his safe job to a new place where he will have to interact with people. But Mark can’t say no to his brother, so off he goes — along with his cute dog, Belle, — to his sister-in laws place to look after her whilst she is heavily pregnant. This is where Mark meets Seth, and oh what a sweet and lovely courtship romance this was. Mark was a sweetheart, and I couldn’t help but champion him on because he deserved so much happiness.
MinnChica: I too thought this blurb sounded so sweet and cute and romantic and wonderful. As I was reading, I couldn’t put the book down, it turned out to be so sweet, cute, romantic and wonderful. I loved the way that Mark dealt with his shyness, and when Seth walked into the picture, the way that they dealt with each other. This story was one of the most beautiful romance stories I’ve ever read!
Lou: I agree 100 percent. This had all the right ingredients for a wonderful romance, and it delivered quite a lot for a story that wasn’t full length. For me, Mark was so brave trying to deal and overcome his panic attacks with his social anxiety, and I thought it was pretty well documented as I do have experience myself of panic attacks. Despite knowing how much it would cost him mentally and emotionally, Mark looked after Lisa and they had such a great relationship looking out for each other. When Mark went to the dance classes with Lisa, he was adorable trying to fit in, and even more adorable and sexy trying to peek glances at Seth without Seth noticing.
MinnChica: I absolutely loved the relationship between Mark and Lisa. I thought it said a lot about Mark’s devotion to his family that he would pick up and move in with his sister-in-law, despite his social anxiety issues. It was obvious how much he adored her, and I loved their moments together. One of the other key relationships I loved reading was between Mark and Claire. I loved that Mark finally had someone he could talk to about his homosexuality, someone to lean on and get advice from. Like Lou said, for a short story, this book was just FILLED with so many wonderful moments.
Lou: Again, I agree 100 percent with you. Mark needed that distance from his family to talk about his fears about his sexuality, and Claire turned out to be the right person and a good friend. I really hope that we see more of Claire if the author does continue with this series, because I want to see how her relationship with her partner, Kate, plays out. Each character was very strong in development, but there was one character that I think wasn’t developed like the others, and that was Seth. I think it would have been great if we had Seth’s own POV. Seth was great in how he was so patient with Mark; he never rushed or pushed Mark until Mark was ready, and again, the zumba classes were hilarious with Seth and Mark both checking each other out. But Seth seemed to have something missing for me, and that’s what stopped this book being a perfect grade for me.
MinnChica: I agree, I would have liked to see more of Seth in the story. He was such a sweet and wonderful partner, and although I fell in love with him instantly, I also would have liked a little more insight into him. He was one of the most patient and caring heroes I’ve ever read. He gave Mark the right amount of space and time and companionship in order to deal with his anxiety and stress of coming out to his family. I loved that they would talk on the phone while at the dog park together, looking at each other from across the way. The emails that they sent to get to know one another were just so wonderful. Everything about their relationship had me melted into a pile of goo by the end.
Lou: You don’t get a lot of patient characters in a lot of romances these days, and the way Seth acted towards Mark really was sweet. It’s so nice reading a romance where the two characters got to know one another before hitting the sack. But whilst there is a sweet courtship and romance, the sex scenes were spicy between Mark and Seth, and I thought just about everything had the right balance. There were moments where Mark was incredibly emotional after having sex with Seth for the first time, and again Seth just showed how much of a great guy he was by his response.
MinnChica: All in all, I absolutely adored this story. I sometimes find that shorter stories don’t resonate with me as much as longer stories do, but this one really, REALLY worked for me. I loved everything about Mark and Seth’s relationship. I thought that they were so sweet and wonderful to each other. Their romance was one for the record books. I also loved the development of all the side characters and how wonderfully they fit within the story. Had the book been longer and had more time spent in Seth’s POV, it would have been perfect. I think this one might be a top read of 2012.
I give Moving in Rhythm an A-
Lou: This is one of my top reads of this year, and I can see myself re-reading this so many times again. I have no hesitation into bookpushing Moving in Rhythm onto others. If you love romance, courtship and adorable heroes, this is the book for you. If there had more of an insight to Seth, it would have had full marks for me. I give it a A-.