April 30, 2017

# Spotlight # SpotlightSunday

Dazzle Me by Juliana Haygert Spotlight Sunday!

The weekend before starting her dream job, Rayna Monroe goes out with her friends to celebrate. What she thought would be a fun girls’ night, ends up with her and a hot guy in her bed. But, before her wild, sexy night even starts, he walks out leaving her alone and naked. Ignoring the shame that consumes her, Rayna is determined to focus on her amazing new job as one of the corps-de-ballet members of NYBT—the best ballet company in the country—and forget all about that awful night. Only when she walks in on her first day, she bumps into no one other than the guy who abandoned her two nights ago.

The life of a ballet dancer is hard. The life of a male ballet dancer is harder, and Joshua Connelly knows it well. Living a lie, Josh just wants to focus on what he loves most while he can—without any distractions. What he didn’t expect was to come face to face with the girl he ran out on before doing something he’d regret.

Mortified over their failed one night stand, Rayna and Josh are determined to avoid each other. Except, they are chosen to represent the company in a big competition. Which means, they have to dance together. Not only on the competition day, but for several hours a day for an entire month.

Despite their attempts of keeping it strictly professional, their hearts have other ideas. And for a moment, everything seems perfect.

And then, it isn’t.

Faced with the truth and tragedy and forced apart, Rayna and Josh will have to find themselves, before they can find each other. If they can.

Author Interview with Juliana:
1) For those who don't know you, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself
I'm Brazilian who came to live in the US in 2004. My husband is also Brazilian. We came when he was transferred to work here. I'm a former ballerina and also studied architecture for 3 years. And I have a BA in Arts (though I suck at any arts and crafts lol). And I'm a mommy of two beautiful and sweet daughters :)

2) What was the last book you read that you fell in love with?
Empire of Storm. Anything Sarah J. Maas writes is a big hit!

3) When you're not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Besides reading? I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, and watching movies.

4) In your opinion, what makes a great story?
Great, flawed characters we can't help but love pushed through difficult situations. 

5) When did you first realize you wanted to become an author?
Hm, around 2008, I think? Though I had been writing since I was 13yo, but it was just a fun hobby back then.

6) What was your inspiration behind Dazzle Me?
Did I mention I'm a former semi-professional ballerina? (The "semi-professional" is my husband's way to say it lol). I danced for twenty years and in many, many competitions, and in five different countries. Ballet and dance is a part of me, even if I don't actively dance anymore. It was only natural that, as a writer, I came up with a series about dancing. 

7) If Dazzle Me were turned into a movie, which actors/actresses do you picture as the lead roles?

Bah, this is hard, because the lead actress and actor would have to have at least some notion about dancing, or they would have to be dancers with some more experience in acting. I would have to research extensively to find good matches …

8) What is your favourite quote from Dazzle Me?
This one: 
“Well, if you kept on dancing and looking at me every few seconds, if you smiled at me—” I smiled at him. He stared at my mouth for three seconds before continuing, “Chicks flip their hair when they want someone to notice them.” On cue, I flipped my hair. “If you licked your lips—” His eyes flicked back to my mouth. I didn’t waste the opportunity to lick my lower lip. I had to contain a satisfied smile when his eyes grew darker. “If you got too close to me.” I stepped right into his personal zone, bumping my feet into his and leaving only a couple inches between us. He groaned and wrapped an arm around my waist. “Come here,” he whispered, before pulling me flush against him and lowering his mouth to mine.

9) Do you have another book in the works? If so, what is it about?
Right now I'm writing a secret project - can't wait to announce it! In the next ten days, I hope to switch gears and go from drafting to editing Breaking Down (The Breaking Series book 4). Then I have Seduce Me (When You Dance book 2) to write. I have this entire year planned so I could keep telling you all about my next books ;)

Dazzle Me by Juliana Haygert was an incredible read!!

Rayna and Josh were two characters whom I completely fell in love with. They each had their own quirks and personality traits, completely individual to who they are. Through one chance, and explicit  meeting these two characters lives are changed even before they knew it.

I loved how both characters grew throughout the course of the novel. Rayna was constantly pushed into doing things that she did not enjoy through the demands of her mother. Josh was keeping a huge secret from his family, one that could reck their relationship forever. As the book progresses, Rayna and Josh are able to be their for each other and offer support through the difficulties and challenges. I loved this dynamic to their relationship where they were able to be open and honest with one another.

Finally, I loved that the novel revolved around dancing. There are not enough books out there that deal with professional dancers, especially in ballet. It is because of this, the novel especially appealed to me since it is so original and unique!

This was the first book I have read by this author but it certainly won't be the last. After reading Dazzle Me I am eager to pick up the rest of Juliana's novels!

I definitley urge everyone to go and pick up this amazing novel today! You certainly won't regret it!

5/5 Stars!

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