(ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Rafe Murano is home on deployment. Still heartbroken from his previous relationship, Rafe drowns his sorrow in meaningless sexual encounters and a lot of alcohol. He feels lost without the purpose and camaraderie he had during his active duty. When he meets his buddy at a gentlemen's club he can't get one sexy dancer out of his head. A ballet dancer. Yes, you heard that right. A ballet dancer. At a gentlemen's club. Fallon isn't just a dancer at Velour. She's also part owner. When Rafe gets into a fist fight defending one of Fallon's dancer from assault, she is quick to get him out and distract him before the police arrive. One night of distraction turns into more than either of them bargained for.... Fallon and Rafe can't seem to fight their attraction for each other, although, neither is willing to admit it. What starts as a purely physical attraction leads to much more as they each share their past personal struggles.
Fallon was such a interesting character. I was very surprised that although she was the owner of the club she still danced. She danced because she liked it, not because she had to. Dancing was a way to keep in touch with her former self. On the outside she was tough, but on the inside she had a softer side that had suffered in silence a lot. She just had to find the right person to reveal it to. Rafe was also haunted by his past... the loss of his mother and a relationship gone bad. Alone they were each misfits. Together they fit perfectly. Their relationship might have started out as insta-lust but over time it grew to be love.
Rafe and Fallon weren't the only fully developed characters in the novel. I loved reading about Rafe's family. They seemed like the type of people you would love to sit down with and watch the Superbowl or eat Thanksgiving Dinner. Family members that make jokes, have fun together, and truly care about each other.
One thing that I loved is that even though there are some familiar storylines (dancer and a military hero) they were handled in a unique way. There were no cliches. There were also a few twists I didn't see coming. Overall it was a well developed novel that I enjoyed immensely.
I have read all of Kelsie Leverich's Hard Feelings novels. This was by far my favorite. Rafe and Fallon had my heart singing with happiness. I was rooting for them the whole book. They were such unique characters who just needed the right person to heal their wounds. There was so much depth to their love I could literally feel little butterflies in my stomach at the end when they finally got together. 4.5 Stars for A Beautiful Distraction!