Book Reviews, Nell Iris' Christmas

Christmasvaganza: Sunday Review


Happy Holidays everyone. Christmas Eve is when Swedes have their main celebration so as you read this, I’m probably stuffing myself full of my parents’ wonderful food, hugging my daughter, and enjoying the Christmas spirit. But if you want to curl up on the couch with a good book before your celebration starts, I have just the thing for you. This book gave me the warm and fuzzies and made me feel just the way you want to feel on Christmas. Like everything is right in this world. Read it. You won’t be sorry.


Ballerina Dad by Amy Aislin

ballerina dadAttending his daughter’s holiday dance recital should be easy for pro hockey player Patrick Barnes. Showing up in a tutu, however, wasn’t exactly part of the plan. And yet the holidays get even more interesting when he bumps into Lee, the man he let get away years ago.

Ballet instructor Lee can’t believe who just walked into his studio. He also can’t believe how quickly the flare of attraction between he and Patrick resurfaces, despite the years that have gone by since they last spoke.

Once upon a time, they let opportunities get away. Is it possible they’ll now have the chance to pursue the spark that has come back to life after just one conversation?

Holidays are a time for giving, and neither Patrick nor Lee are about to take this particular gift for granted.

First time I ever heard about this book, I wanted to read it. Who can resist a big hockey player showing up at his daughter’s dance recital in a pink and purple tutu? I can’t, that’s for sure 🙂 Anyway, I pre-ordered it and when I got the email from Amazon that it had been delivered to my Kindle app, I jumped at it and started reading it at once.

And OH MY GOODNESS, I almost died of happiness.

But first things first and a fair warning: before I continue with the actual review, I’m gonna go off on a tangent: My (now 22-year old) daughter was a dancer when she was little. Ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, you name it. She danced in her room, she danced on her way to school, she danced all the time. And the best thing I knew, was going to dance recitals and watch 20 little girls or so doing their routine. How they always looked at the teacher to make sure they got their moves right. How cute they were in their tutus. How happy it made them. When I read this book, I was transported right back to that time. The opening scene with Pat in his tutu and his adorable daughter Jordan made me miss it. However. In my daughter’s dance classes, there weren’t any dads in tutus. Too bad, that would have been awesome.

Oh well. Back to reviewing. I loved the characters. Ballerina Dad himself, Pat, is a big guy, a pro hockey player who’ll do anything for his daughter, including dancing with her in a tutu and (accidental) glitter in his beard, even if he worries about pictures of him showing up on social media (he’s famous…pro hockey player, remember?)

“Fuck it. He was going to own this damn tutu. And when he did the group mother-daughter dance, he was going to rock it like he’d had more than two days to rehearse with Jordan. If his teammates gave him shit, so be it. A happy Jordan was a happy Patrick. So there.”

Lee is Jordan’s dance teacher and a big surprise to Pat. It turns out they know each other. They met in high school and had a thing for each other back then, but because of life and circumstances they never had a chance to date or be together.

Until now. When they meet after not having seen each other for ten years, the stars align in their favor. Their chemistry is still off the charts. They decide to go on a date and that first date was so adorable it could have melted the heart of the Grinch. Amy Aislin has done a fantastic job of showing their connection, how deep their emotions run, so even if the relationship moves at warp speed, it’s totally believable.

I mean:

“It was more than that: a belief, a knowing, that if they were ever to become more than friends, they’d have something incredibly special.”


“…this wasn’t about sex or lust. It was discovery and longing and the freedom of two souls finally in the right place at the right time.”

*happy sigh*

I felt connected to the MCs and love that they’re not stereotyped like they could have been. I loved Jordan and the rest of Pat’s family (and a non-villain ex-wife is SO refreshing… as is a guy who’s bisexual without anyone making a big deal of it!!) I loved every word and Amy Aislin’s writing style. She’s been on my reading radar for a while. I’ve even bought another book by her, but not gotten around to reading it. That will change now, though, because if this book is representative of who she is as a writer, she just rocketed up high on my list of favorite authors.

Five glorious, heart-melting, aww-inducing Christmas trees.


6 thoughts on “Christmasvaganza: Sunday Review”

  1. What a great review for Ballerina Dad! I put it on my wish list – I was supposed to be a Christmas baby but came at the end of January. Hard on my mom but great for me. I actually get birthday presents. At my age, I’ve convinced my kids that ebooks are the best thing in existence. So this one I will hopefully be reading soon. My daughter took ballet but I was at the run-every-errand-in-the-world stage so I didn’t see many lessons (drop off, grab groceries, pick up). But now my 3-year old granddaughter is taking her first class and I get to watch every week. It is exactly as you described and so much fun. Happy Holidays to all who read this. May 2018 be healthy and happy for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Holidays to you and your family! I’m happy you liked my review, and I really hope you got the book for Christmas. It’s soooo cute and fantastic! And I’m so happy you get to see your granddaughter dance; it truly is one of the best things I know!

      I hope your 2018 is filled with joy and happiness.


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