Book Reviews

Like No One Is Watching (Dance, Love, Live 1) by Jaime Samms

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Erotic Romance / BDSM
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 07-March-2023

Book Blurb

One dancer. One cleaner. Two very different worlds.

If Conrad isn’t good enough to be a principal dancer, at least he makes a stellar teacher, stern with the kids coming through his studio, but chatty with anyone else who stands still too long.

Dusty likes the quiet spaces between words. Since a brutal beating as a teenager, he’s content to go unnoticed, reconciled to his broken brain and a dance career lost before it ever began. Cleaning Conrad’s studio is perfect for a guy who doesn’t want to be the center of anything.

Convinced if Dusty comes out from the shadows, he’ll shine, Conrad can’t seem to leave him to his simple work—or stop talking. Because Dusty not only hears him, he also listens. It’s been a long time since anyone listened.

Far from being annoyed, Dusty is drawn to the man hidden behind Conrad’s babble. But Conrad has the life Dusty never got to have, and wanting someone from that world could shatter him all over again.



First edition published at Dreamspinner Press, November 2015. This edition includes the short story, Out of Step, previously only available in the series print anthology.


Book Review

“Because every once in a while, I try again, when I haven’t had to limp in a while, when I almost forget, and every time, I end up on my ass, and it doesn’t matter what I might have been. It only matters what I am. A guy who got hit in the head, and got his knee cranked, and couldn’t concentrate inside the classroom anymore, and couldn’t hobble his way across a ballet studio to save his goddamn life.”

It seems as if lately I've been reading books where the two main characters are as different as night and day. I can certainly say that again, here, about Dusty and Conrad. Dusty never finished high school, he wasn't smart enough, and he's a janitor who has had more than his fair share of jobs. Conrad grew up wealthy but lonely, in a houseful of people who didn't understand him and didn't try. He studied Russian ballet from an early age and was on the fast track to stardom when an injury derailed his future. Now he owns a ballet studio, and Dusty is his new janitor.

Dusty doesn't understand Conrad, but he can see the need to submit within him. For Dusty this is a novel concept since he's a smaller man, pretty much all of his past encounters have led the way. Conrad knows it will take Dusty a while to figure out why Conrad needs him as his safe place, and Conrad is willing to wait for that realization. Of course they also have to deal with the fact that Dusty probably has a little OCD, and Conrad is a slob. An equally difficult obstacle outside of their other differences.

"Dusty didn’t stop or look back. He should have known better. He should never have even hoped anything between himself and someone from the upper echelon of society could be other than a disaster. They were too different. Had nothing in common. People like Conrad simply didn’t understand what it was to have nothing."

Oh, Jaime, my heart bled for Dusty. It poured blood, not just because of what he's endured in his life, but the pain he feels being back inside a dance studio knowing he can't ever have that joy again. The best he can do is to try to help a young dancer find her confidence. The struggle Dusty has with his broken brain after some "friends" caved his skull in and broke his knee when he was fifteen. Conrad didn't make me bleed, although I felt sorry for him and his constant talking just hoping someone would listen to him. His life has been lonely and constantly having to be in charge has created a need for someone else to take control, provide a safe place, where Conrad only has to obey in the bedroom.

A beautiful story about impossible odds, and the importance of dancing like no one is watching.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. The first edition of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 207 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-March-2023
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link