Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
“‘But’ — he lowered the main halyard, and the sail started to come down —’if you’re one with nature, like this…’ He continued to take tension off the left downhole before cranking the main halyard back up then replacing the main sheet with the reef line. The sheet puffed as wind filled it with a heavy thwack. He’d just made a smaller sail out of a bigger one to work better with the changing winds. ‘Then the wind will always be on your side.’”
When I met K.K. Allen as an author for the first time, it was after reading an ARC of Defying Gravity. I love dance. I love watching it and doing it (when given the opportunity, which isn’t often). There is something beautiful about the art form that captures my heart, so when I realized she was writing a series about dancers, I HAD to read the books. When I applied for the ARC of Defying Gravity for an honest review, I was excited. As I started reading it, I fell deeply in love with Allen as a writer because she is doing something that other romance writers aren’t: incorporating multi-media to help our imaginations understand the dances of her book. In my review for that book, I was effusive about her brilliance in doing this. When the blogger sign-up for The Trouble with Gravity hit my email, I knew that I would once again traverse into Allen’s universe of dancers. There was absolutely no doubt in mind because I knew she would take us on a journey of dance and romance. And The Trouble with Gravity did NOT disappoint.
This book follows the dancer, Kai. This book begins with a flashback, a moment in the past that becomes a moment of change for Kai. It affects her emotionally, causing her a fear that potentially derails her future. As Kai’s journey begins, we know a couple of things: she’s a hardworking dancer and she desperately needs work as her bank account is low. She isn’t destitute, as she has fellow dancer friends who will help her, but Kai is independent, and she wants to earn a living by dancing. A job opportunity becomes available, something different than her normal auditions. She doesn’t know the details behind it prior to her audition but she knows she needs the work. On the day of the audition, a reckless motorcyclist takes a corner sharp and splashes water onto her, potentially wrecking her look for the audition. Angry, with little time to change, she quickly prepares herself, fixing the problem, only to find that the unapologetic motorcyclist, Sebastian — the bad boy of Broadway, is the creator, composer, and pianist for the musical that Kai is auditioning for. Remaining professional, she dances her heart out and earns one of the lead spots. Needing the job, Kai expects to accept the offer even though she doesn’t like the creator of the musical; however, her fear, the one created in her youth, makes her deny it.
Recognizing that Kai is the best fit for his musical and trying to avoid casting the former dancer who originated Kai’s role, Sebastian needs Kai for his musical. He pursues her, intent on helping her overcome her fear while casting her in his musical. Attracted to her, he struggles to remain professional instead of falling under her spell. Kai and Sebastian’s love-hate relationship creates much of the spark of this story, and you wonder if these two can ever find their happy ending.
What are the reasons that you should read K.K. Allen’s The Trouble with Gravity?
- This book is a multi-media experience just like Defying Gravity. To ensure that her readers understand the movement of the dance and its significance in her story, Allen incorporates the YouTube links for the dances that inspire the dance in the book. As someone who loves this art form, I love this extra component of her book, as it sets her writing apart. It heightens the reading experience, helping us connect more with her characters and their stories. There aren’t many other writers adding this layer to their books.
- You’ll love to hate Sebastian, the hero of this story. Sebastian is a complicated character in that he’s struggling with his past and its issues. He wants retribution against his producer for the sins of their pasts, and this causes him to be hot-headed and impulsive in his treatment of others. He’s unapologetic in his early treatment of Kai. This causes you to initially want to throw your book across the room. He makes choices that self-sabotage their journeys, and it’s frustrating at times. One minute, he adores Kai, working to help her overcome her fear. In the next minute, he becomes cruel, creating distance between them due to their roles in the musical. When he finally accepts his longing for Kai, it transforms him, and the Sebastian later in the story becomes one of your favorite characters. He falls deeply for Kai, and it changes him. The later Sebastian is a composite of people who finally forgive themselves and others for the hurts perpetrated against us.
- Kai is the crowned jewel of The Trouble of Gravity. She is the impetus for change in Sebastian’s life, but she represents inner strength. Through her journey, we recognize the message of Allen’s book: that trying to control every variable of our lives leads us to miss out on the opportunity to live a full life. Both Sebastian and Kai struggle with “gravity” (control). As Kai begins to let go of her fear, she models for Sebastian a bigger and better life. She is passionate, determined, and the epitome of strong womanhood. She is the only character able to challenge Sebastian to become a better person, as such she was my favorite person in this story because she exudes strength and power.
Many of us struggle with giving up control. It weighs us down, anchoring us to our pasts, our fears, or our sins. When we allow ourselves to fully live life, no matter the circumstances, we become free, weightless, connected fully to our emotions. K.K. Allen’s The Trouble with Gravity illustrates this message beautifully through dance, character development, and a plot that pulls you in from the first page. There is something special with Allen’s voice in the romance world, and readers far and wide should take advantage of the stories she’s peddling. They will challenge and entertain you in ways that other romance writers simply don’t.
In love and romance,