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Enjoy the Dance

Narrated by: Iggy Toma
Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Summary

Dance with your heart, and love will follow.

Kindergarten teacher Spenser Harris has carved a quiet, stable future out of his tumultuous past, but his world turns upside down the night a homeless teen appears on his doorstep - a boy whose story mirrors the one Spenser has worked so hard to overcome. The decision to shelter Duon is easy. What's tricky is juggling the network of caregivers in Duon's life, especially TomAs Jimenez.

TomAs wouldn't have hesitated to take Duon in, but his plate is already full working three jobs to support his family. Though Spenser's carefully constructed walls are clearly designed to keep the world at bay, TomAs pushes past Spenser's defenses, determined to ensure the man is worthy of his charge. As the two of them grow closer, TomAs dares to dream of a life beyond his responsibilities, and Spenser begins to believe he might finally find a home of his own after all.

But Spenser and TomAs's world is forever poised to crash down around their ears. Duon's grandmother isn't sure she wants him to be raised by a gay man and challenges Spenser's custody. TomAs's undocumented parents could be deported at any time, and all the while the state of Minnesota votes on a constitutional amendment against marriage equality and the US Supreme Court debates whether or not Spenser and TomAs get a happily ever after. All they can do is hold tight to their love, hope for a better future...and remind each other to enjoy the dance.

©2016 Heidi Cullinan (P)2016 Heidi Cullinan

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good for the most part

Would you listen to Enjoy the Dance again? Why?

Really enjoyed the start and main part of the story. Well narrated and has an interesting plot line. Characters feel very one-dimensional but that's hardly a novelty in this genre.
The final hour however is very disappointing. It feels like the author ran out of ideas and just wanted to tie up all loose ends repeating the same lines to get the "happily ever after" message across ".. they laughed, they cried, they made stories together...", etc; all drama dissipated but it continues for another hour.

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Spenser & Tomas....and politics....

Much preferred book one of this series as far as the story goes. This one, well...it contains some fairly serious US social and political commentary from Heidi [not surprising as she regularly has a go at right-wing political muppets], and especially relevant and timely in view of November's fiasco of an election result across the pond, and the possible overturning of the same-sex marriage law by President-elect Trump [hah!!] and his Republican cronies. We can only consider ourselves extremely lucky that we no longer have those worries over here in the UK, although I have no doubt that gay couples of whatever persuasion have to jump through huge hoops to adopt kids over here too, but it also has to be said that the rules, requirements and regulations [although absolutely necessary] must seriously put quite a few well-meaning couples off....which unfortunately doesn't help those kids in greatest need one little bit.

Great narration from Iggy Toma as usual, and I can only hope we get Duon's story at some point. I really liked this story about Spenser and Tomas, and it was great catching up with Laurie and Ed again, as well as Arthur and Paul from the Minnesota Christmas series.

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A great third book

I listened to this twice as I missed part first time round and glad I did. I felt at first that it was a bit flat about a third of the way into it. I still feel that but it really seemed to pick up steam again.
It's particularly interesting listening to it in the light of the recent Republican victories in 2016 and also being a Brit living in UK. It became a real campaign story pushing the needs of minorities in a thought provoking way. I found myself moved towards the end. The descriptions of how the main participants felt were thought provoking and well written. The author conveys well the feelings of 'not beLonging'.

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Profile Image for Shandara Majere
  • Shandara Majere
  • 17-11-16

Just Dance

This book wrought so many emotions in my heart that I was crying and sometimes shouting at the same time. Good writing can do that but so can characters relatable to those we see daily and love singularly.

Enjoy the dance brings to light a host of issues in a way that is poignant and thoughtful. It also serves as a light to show how far we have come.

It is not only a truly beautiful love story it is an empowering life story.

Enjoy your dance my friends but love your life in its darkness and in its light. That's what this book says, in darkness there is strength in daring to hope and love and of course..to dance.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for L.D.
  • L.D.
  • 17-02-20

Sweet and Tender

Tomas and Spenser are both young men striving to do good in a world full of complications. Tomas has the responsibility of providing for his family. Spenser is doing the best he can as both a teacher and foster father. Together they overcome obstacles both internal and external, while falling in love with each other.

The story is a little cheesy, but it’s sweet with an edge of angst. The writing is good, but there’s a bit of too much telling for my taste and it can sometimes sound preachy. Overall, this is a sweet story and of tenderness.

Iggy Toma does a fantastic job with the narration.

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  • Nori
  • 02-01-20

So Relevant

An insightful and relevant novel that inspired me to stop hiding from our painfully conflicted society. Am donating to the homeless youth organization the author describes in her story. While that’s not only the reason I recommend reading this book, it’s an unexpected gift to see a little more deeply into the lives of people struggling for equality.
Excellent narrator.

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  • Patrick Gallanger
  • 28-09-19

An excellent record of the time

This is a very well written chronicle of a very important era in the US. It also deals with some important LGBTQ issues. Most of all it presents an interesting concept on the best way to live life.

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  • Aerielle
  • 22-09-19

Good story but....

I was very excited for this audio....I love the combination of Iggy Toma and Heidi Cullinan. This story started of great. I loved the interactions between Spenser and Tomas. I just felt that their story was over shadowed by the politics that were happening during this time. Narration was great. I am a huge fan of Iggy!

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Profile Image for Jerry B.
  • Jerry B.
  • 10-07-19

Please Heidi write book three

4.5-5 stars

I loved the first book 'Dance with Me' and all the care that Heidi took to create it. She also took great care to write this second book as well and also wove historical events effortlessly into the story. This is a sequel but also a continuation of the first book as well as a focus on a new couple with additional family added. As I listened to Iggy Toma narrate the first book, I was caught up in his precise pronunciation which perfectly characterized Laurie Parker. In this book, his voice was focused more on the softer sounds of Spencer, Duon and Tomás. I highly praise Ms. Cullinan and Mr. Toma for the seamless way the story continued from the first to second book.

When I was middle school age, for 5 years my parents cared for 4 foster boys who lived in our home. I have both good and bad memories of that time. The good ones are for the boys my parents selflessly helped become adults. So most stories that have a foster child tug at my heartstrings. Wonderful what Spencer and Tomás did for Duon.

My heart was almost constantly in my throat over Tomás's family situation with his parents being undocumented is heartbreaking. Laurie's godfather was a godsend in helping get them legal. But also sad in that it takes knowing the right people to allow that to happen. This complicated situation is still with us and made worse every year.

The story was set during the nail biting time of Minnesota voting on an amendment to outlaw gay marriage. Spencer could loose his job and Tomás could loose his parents. Talk about angst. After each major event in the voting I would stop the narration and check Wikipedia for the facts, mostly to clearly understand the timeline. Wonderful that gay marriage is the law of the land now, but there are forces that are out to try and change that. So even in victory there is fear.

Heidi wrung lots of tears from me on this one. I look forward to re listening to both books.

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  • Nica Flor
  • 16-02-19

Moving and relevant

The performance by the narrator was impecable, with every emotional note ringing true during the acting. Each character was distinctive and recognizable, and the tone of the story was consistent. The plot of the story is certainly moving and, very sadly, the obstacles presented by the main characters continue to be relevant to the state of our nation. LGBTQ people continue to fight for their rights to protection at the work place, marriage equality, and against homelessness and abuse, and undocumented inmigrants continue to live in fear with no immigration reform in sight. Duane, Spencer and Tomas's lives are lived by many millions every day, but luckily, they get a happy ending in a beautifully written story about second chances and hope.

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  • Ms ddne
  • 14-02-19

a little over the top

I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first one too much politics too much dance metaphors

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  • m.willard
  • 06-02-19

it was ok. novel wise it was not spectacular. but

the fact that it represented a real part of life in the US and some struggles meants some. gay romance is def not my thing but i didnt mind..

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Profile Image for VivL
  • VivL
  • 20-11-18

Wonderful!

This is the second book I’ve read by Heidi Cullinan and I’ve truly enjoyed them both. I especially love the message and deep meaning they brought out - especially this book. Yes, we do still live in a time of hatred and bigotry which is sad. I live in the Bay Area CA and you would think everyone is open minded. No, but I do believe in hope and change. Yes, love and dance too. Thank you for a very wonderful story.