Monday, June 17, 2013

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Dancers and Divas Series by Kathy Petrakis

Today is my stop on the Dancers and Divas blog tour. You can follow along with the rest of the tour HERE

Passion and Pain (Dancers and Divas #1)
Does passion and desire guarantee success? Can friends really be trusted? Can true love be found beneath lust and deceit? 

These are questions tenacious street dancer Elena Martinez faces as she struggles to compete against the most talented students at New York’s top Performing Arts High School. Along with her best friend, the carefree and mischievous Sebastien Duval, they are determined to make center stage. 

But the singing diva Letitia has other plans. Beautiful, talented and popular, her desire for revenge could ruin everything for Elena and Sebastien. Now, they must fight against prejudice, treachery and deceit as Letitia sets out to destroy Elena’s friendships, her romance, her dignity and her dreams. Can Elena win the battle for true love, happiness and success?

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Bittersweet (Dancers and Divas #2)
Can secrets stay hidden forever? Can people really change? Are some mistakes unforgivable? 

As Elena and Sebastian embark on a fresh start, will Letitia keep his secret, or will she use it to destroy them? 
As Veronika falls in love, Frankie is out of rehab and trying to make amends, but will it last for either of them? 
Meanwhile, as Anya is torn between loyalty to her Nana and love for Darius, could Darius fall for the new temptress, Rosa? With her stunning looks, her powerful, sensual dancing and her desire to seduce, she has everyone nervous but what secret is she hiding? 
Continue the roller-coaster journey with your favorite characters as they try to survive junior year at the country’s top performing arts school. 

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts on Book #1, Passion and Pain:

So what if dancers never really made it big outside of ballet? that didn't mean she couldn't have a career as a dancer.

"Fame and success are two different things. As long as you do what you love, you will make it"

When I was in school, the performing arts subjects were the reason I went. I loved them. Although unlike the characters in  Kathy Petrakis's Dancers and Divas series, I have no talent when it comes to dancing and acting. But that didn't stop me from loving book one in the series, Passion and Pain.

This book centres around 15 year old Elena Martinez and her talented group of friends. All dealing with varying degrees of issues that are faced by teens in todays society.

Her body was betraying her but she was not feeling loved. She felt like a puppet being used for a show.

Elena, is a normal fifteen year old, trying to fit in at school, make good grades, be a good friend, experiencing her first love and dealing with all the conflicting emotions that that involves. She feels an attraction towards Jay from the first time she sees him and eventually they start dating. The author did a great job or showing us the reader how easy it is to be swept up in the feelings of love and therefore be so forgiving of letdowns by your partner and not be able to see things clearly. I really felt for Elena because even I was fooled by the things that were happening there for a little while. And then I just got angry!! There was one statement that Jay made after talking to his sister and I just wanted to put my hands through the book and throttle him. (Cryptic I know. Sorry, I don't want to spoil things!)

"You are going to live to regret this," Letitia said as he opened the door to leave, "Nobody says no to me. Did you hear me? Nobody!"

When you have a group of teenagers competing for coveted positions there is bound to be someone who feels threatened and gets their nose put out of joint. And that person is Letitia. She was the preverbal mean girl. She has an instant dislike for Elena and sets out to make her life a misery. She has students wrapped around her finger and at times even the teachers are bowing to her demands.

She knew how other girls looked at him. But she was his best friend and still very protective of him. Not every girl was good enough for her Seb.

My favourite characters by far were Sebastian and Darius. Elena's best friend Sebastian, was a big loveable goofball. Incredibly talented with a good heart and an incredibly soft and deep side to him. There were times that I just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him not to give up. Darius had this tough looking outer shell, but inside he was a big marshmallow. He said the most absolute sweetest things!! To be honest, I really can't resist tattoos so maybe that was where my initial reaction came from. But the more I got to know him the more I found I liked him. He's not in the book a great deal, but when he was he was just perfect.

And while this book is full of the arts it also deals with some pretty deep issues. Teenage drinking, drugs, rape, bullying, sex, death... All are touched on in this book, but done in a way that wasn't too heavy, preachy or overpowering.

Passion and Pain was a really enjoyable read. I enjoyed the writing, which flowed smoothly. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in book two. There are dramas to be had I think!!

4/5 Stars!!

Author Bio:
Kathy Petrakis was born and raised in Sydney Australia by Greek immigrant parents. She always had a passion for the performing arts - dancing, acting and singing but they were hobbies giving way to a traditional professional career in banking. Before this book, her writing was used to entertain friends with her unusual, and often disastrous travel adventures from around the world. 

By the hand of fate, Passion and Pain and Bittersweet were born while living in London, heaven for lovers of the performing arts. After launching Passion and Pain, she returned to Sydney for the launch of the sequel, Bittersweet.

Author Links: Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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