A new burst of music sounds, pulsating and wild, and suddenly, my thoughts fade clear away, blotted out as completely as the sun during an eclipse.
I see him.
Standing, poised, waiting for his intro, his body proud and arched, arms raised. There’s a girl waiting beside him, his partner, but I only have eyes for him.
God, he’s gorgeous. Dark curly hair, tanned skin, and piercing blue eyes that seem to shimmer against the gold of his skin. He’s dressed in a starched white shirt and tuxedo pants that fit him like a glove. The breath is sucked from my lungs, and I feel a thrill ripple through me, a sensation I’ve never known before: anticipation, as if I know something important is about to happen. Something life-changing.
And then he starts to dance.
Dear Lord …
I swear, time stops as I watch him move. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen: part Latin ballroom, part street, part modern contemporary. And all of it totally devastating.
I stare, awestruck, as he plays out a wicked game with his partner: bringing her in, sending her away, lifting her as effortlessly as if she was made of air. His movements are bold, dominating. There’s no cheap grinding, or tacky thrusts, but somehow, every step oozes sensuality, such an intimate connection between the dancers that I feel myself start to blush.
It’s mesmerizing, out of this world, and I’m completely lost to it, caught up in the story of love and betrayal they’re telling with their bodies until at last, he whirls her out one more time and then pulls her back; dipping her so low her hair grazes the ground.
They freeze there, holding the pose. There’s silence, so pure you could hear a pin drop, and in that moment, he lifts his head and looks out across the square.
Our eyes lock.
It’s only a split second, those piercing blue eyes on mine, but I feel the moment stretch for an eternity. His gaze crashes through me, setting every nerve and sense alight, as if I’m touchpaper and he’s a molten spark, dancing through my bloodstream.
And then the thunder of applause breaks the spell, and I realize I’m digging my nails into my palms, gasping for breath.
Who is this man?
Rome. The city of young lovers, old secrets, and intoxicating new desire…
I thought I knew what I wanted in life. I thought my destiny was set. Then I met him, and everything changed.
Raphael is bold, passionate, and seductive. He sees something in me I never dreamed possible, and now he’s determined to show me a world beyond rules — a dance without limits. I want to trust him, but I’m scared. Because I know once I fall, there’ll be no going back.
An innocent dancer. A mysterious stranger. As Annalise is drawn deeper into the romantic delights of Rome, she’ll question everything she believed about her future. But with opening night looming, can she find the strength to risk it all? And will she be forced to choose between her one true love, ballet, and the new passion in her heart?
Find out in this enchanting new series from Melody Grace.
NYT and USA Today Bestselling author – Sawyer Bennett
“Melody Grace has crafted a sweeping and emotional romance that pulls you in so deep, you won’t ever want to surface. It’s that good.”
NYT Bestselling author – Lauren Blakely
“Breathtakingly intense and unbelievably sexy – WITH EVERY HEARTBEAT will have you packing your bags for Italy to go find a real-life Raphael. Another sizzling must-read from Melody Grace!”
NYT Bestselling author – Monica Murphy
“WITH EVERY HEARTBEAT will touch your heart and stir your blood. Lush and enchanting, a must for all you Dirty Dancing fans!”
“That’s the dangerous thing about the truth: once you grasp it, it cannot be un-learned.”
Raphael is a molto caliente, and talented Italian modern dancer. He lives to dance. His father has never accepted that he chose dancing in a street troupe over attending school and becoming a successful businessman.
Annalise has been working her entire life trying to being the best ballerina she can be to make her mother proud. She lives and breathes dancing, from the moment she awakes, until she goes to bed at night. But, will she ever be good enough to live up to her mother expectations or will she constantly fail her?
Annalise and Raphael are kindred spirits brought together by destiny.
“I feel his eyes on me long after I turn away. That night, when I fall asleep, I dream only of him: dancing alone in a moonlit square, his body a blur of perfect motion. His eyes blazing pure as the heavens.”
The thing about destiny is that what’s meant to be, will be, no matter how hard you try to fight it.
Melody Grace does an excellent job in setting the stage and taking the reader behind the scenes and into the world of ballet. I could see the dancers, feel their pain after working such long hours, and feel sorry for them when they had to walk away from the pizza and gelato to keep up their tiny figures.
The character development is this story is exceptional. Annalise’s innocence and desire to please her mother really shines true. but Melody also shows you a strong, sexy, and mature young lady that can choose her own path and still be successful. Annalise becomes Raphael’s rock because she believes in him with all of her heart.
If you love hot, sexy, Italian men, who know what they want, and will stop at nothing to get it, then you will adore “With Every Heartbeat”.
When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer? When I was pretty young, about 11 or 12 years old. I would sit in the back of class scribbling bad poetry and lyrics in my notebooks 🙂 But I didn’t take it seriously until college, when I started working on my first novel. Then I was hooked!
Can you share a little bit about your writing process? I’ll usually have a nugget of an idea, and let it sit in the back of my mind for a while, until more elements come together. Then I like to outline — I’m a nut for outlining! Some authors can write by the seat of their pants, but I like to know how the story ends before i begin. After that, it’s a question of being disciplined and getting words on the page until the dreaded first draft is done!
The next two questions are more for me and my indie author friends that are too afraid to push publish on amazon.
How did you know when your book was good enough that you should take the risk to self-publish? And once you did how did you go about promoting your book? It’s always scary, putting your work out there for people. I was lucky to have my amazing agent, Rebecca Friedman, holding my hand through the whole process. She was a huge support, and gave me the confidence to push forwards. UNBROKEN was a book I really believed in, and I felt like i had to get it out there and share it with the world!
To promote it, I learned from the best: I looked at some of the big names like Colleen Hoover, Cora Carmack and Emily Snow (authors I really love and respect) and saw how they built a readership through social media. There’s no cutting corners, you really have to put time and effort into being a part of the community, and build genuine relationships with bloggers and readers to make it work.
Do you have a favorite food or drink that you have to have when you are writing?
I am asking this because Ella Grace/ Christy Reece has to have chocolate and Lauren Blakely has to have tea or it is all down hill. 🙂
I have such a sweet tooth, it’s not even funny. I’m trying to cut back on cakes and muffins, but i’ll usually fold and get a blended creamy coffee drink to help me along.
Where do you draw inspiration for your characters? All my characters are based a little bit on me… I try and ground them in emotions I’ve experienced, even if the details are different, to make that emotional connection with my readers.
I saw in your bio that you are a SoCal transplant. Where are you from originally? I’m from a little village in the countryside in England, so I’m a long way from home! I love California, especially this time of year. It makes a change from freezing back home!
Do you have any brothers or sisters? One sister, older. She says she can’t read my books, because she imagines me in all the sexy scenes! Ha, talk about a buzzkill.
Do you have any fun or interesting hobbies? I need to get one! I’ve been writing full steam this year, so I’m looking for ways to relax… Maybe I should take up knitting for winter.
Who are your favorite authors? On the indie side, I love Emily Snow, Lauren Blakely, Sawyer Bennet, Monica Murphy… The list goes on! I also love Marisa de los Santos, Eloisa James, and Sarah MacLean for my romance fix.
Is there any advice you can give to other indie authors out there? Believe in your work, be open to critique, and never stop improving your craft. I look back at my early drafts and cringe, but you don’t get better unless you keep trying, so don’t give up!
About Melody Grace:
Melody Grace is the USA Today bestselling author of UNBROKEN and UNTOUCHED. A small-town girl turned SoCal beach-lover, she spent years with her nose in a book before deciding it was time to write them for herself. She loves bad boys, good books, and pistachio-flavored ice-cream.
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Where you can find Melody Grace:
WITH EVERY HEARTBEAT Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18518814-with-every-heartbeat?ac=1
Melody Grace Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6926290.Melody_Grace
WITH EVERY HEARTBEAT Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2im1BPpjgE