Under Midnight Lights by Bree M. Lewandowski. It should come as no surprise that I chose this one. It is the sequel to Under Winter Lights, which was my pick for my first ever Indie Book of the Month back in January. I knew I wanted to read the second installment, and I hoped Ms. Lewandowski would return to submit it so I could feature it as another book of the month, so when she did my choice was obvious.
The first book in this series took me by surprise by making me love a romance novel. It was able to do that by being much more than just a sweet love story. It's also the story of a young dancer fighting for her career. As it did in the first installment, ballet takes center stage in this book. I loved reading all the details about rehearsals and performances. I even enjoyed reading about the costume fittings. Having started ballet lessons late in life (my mid-thirties) I have a rudimentary understanding of the art form. Just enough to be fascinated by all the detailed descriptions in this series. While the first book focused on The Nutcracker, a ballet I think we're all familiar with, this one mentioned ballets I'd never heard of before, and I'm not ashamed to say I looked a few of them up on YouTube.
As for the romance itself, that part of it was also wrapped up in the dance aspects of the story. Should Martina follow her dreams or follow her heart? Or is it possible to do both? Does a relationship with Maraav mean having to leave her first love, ballet, behind? She struggles with this question all through the book, and without giving away too much, I can say that I found the ending quite satisfying.
Again, I can't recommend these books heartily enough, and can't wait to see what's next for this author.
The book is available on Amazon.