The Dance Deception

Kate Wareing is astonished when she secures a place in a dance competition in which beginners are paired with professionals to compete for a huge cash prize.Initially she’s matched with gorgeous French dancer Merle, who seems just as keen to work on their chemistry as their routine. But when the competition is rocked by a scandal, she’s forced to switch to a new partner, Aleksis, who is just as devastatingly attractive as Merle – but seems to hate her.With the odds stacked against them, Kate and Aleksis agree to embark on a showmance to try to win over the public. But what happens when Kate’s feelings for her fake boyfriend become all too real? And how far will Merle go to sabotage her chances – both in the competition and in love?Funny, sweet and oh-so-steamy, this is the perfect read for the Strictly Come Dancing obsessed and anyone who loved The Spanish Love Deception and The Love Hypothesis.

About me

I've worked in magazine publishing for 20+ years, as both production editor and travel editor, on publications ranging from the little known Public Sector Building to celebrity favourite OK!. I've written hundreds of travel features for New!, OK! and the Daily Express, as well as restaurant and theatre reviews, and a handful of short stories.I wrote my first book – a choose-your-own-adventure complete with drawings of dragons – when I was about ten and followed it up with around 200 angsty teenage poems and some song lyrics for Bon Jovi and DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (not to be found on any of their albums). There are a couple of further attempts at book writing in a box under my bed and in 2016 I compiled an illustrated children's book, The Pig Dog Tails, to raise money for charity. The Dance Deception is my first published novel.When I'm not writing, I'm often found at gigs and theatre shows, on a badminton court or engrossed in a crime novel. I'm lightly addicted to Wordle and Scrabble (I can't even admit how many games I've played on my phone) and I like a good pub quiz too.

Chapter 1

When you spend several hours pressed up against the muscular torso of a drop-dead gorgeous professional dancer, I promise you it will cross your mind how it might feel if there weren’t two layers of clothing separating your bodies. And that’s exactly what’s going through my mind now, a couple of hours into my first training session with Merle Picard, the ridiculously attractive French dancer from the Fire on the Dance Floor team, as he walks me through our first routine together.I imagine running my hands over his rock-hard abs, trailing my fingers across his smooth, tanned skin and working my way down . . . It sets off a light tingling sensation between my legs and an involuntary sigh escapes from my lips.Ça va?’ Merle asks.‘Oh yes, sorry, all good.’ I snap back to attention. ‘I was just . . . never mind. You were saying?’He goes back to explaining what his various hand signals mean – a double shoulder tap for a body roll, a lowered hand to prep for a turn – but despite my best efforts to stay focused, I slip back to picturing us getting more intimately acquainted.This time when he asks if everything is okay, I reply, ‘Oh, oui,’ with a shy smile.‘How about now?’ he asks, taking both my hands and pressing them firmly against his chest.I glance up and see the intense look in his dark brown eyes. ‘Um, better.’He takes my hands and moves them to his hips, curling my fingers round onto his taut buttocks. ‘And now?’‘Very good.’He puts one of his hands over mine and slides it round to the front so I can feel him getting hard through his gym tights. ‘And now?’My cheeks flush as my brain scrambles to formulate a response that won’t sound corny, but he saves me by planting a kiss firmly on my lips, his tongue pushing into my mouth to find mine . . .‘Kate, are you still with me?’ the real Merle asks. ‘I know it’s a lot to take in on your first day. We can go a little more slowly if you’d like.’‘Sorry, sorry, sorry,’ I babble, blushing. ‘I’ve got this, I promise.’‘Why don’t we take a few minutes to regroup? Grab yourself some water, use the bathroom if you need to, nip out and get some fresh air. Let’s get back to it in ten, fifteen minutes. Okay?’‘Good plan,’ I agree.A splash of cold water might help me focus. In five days’ time we’re going to be dancing in front of a live studio audience, as well as however many millions of people are watching on the telly, so I’ve got to pull myself together and start getting to grips with our routine. I’m here to learn, not to lust after my instructor. Even so, I can’t help hoping he’s into redheads.‘All set?’ Merle asks when I head back into the studio. And I nod, because I don’t trust myself to speak. I just can’t get over how achingly handsome he is.He walks towards me and places his hands on my shoulders, giving them a squeeze. ‘Just try to relax,’ he says. ‘To be a good dancer, you need to release all this tension you’re carrying up here.’But it’s hard to relax when his fingers feel so warm and inviting against my skin. I fight the urge to close my eyes, tip my head back and sigh with pleasure. He’s just trying to help me become a better dancer, I remind myself. But what I really want to do is tell him I know the perfect way for him to relieve any tension.‘Let’s try some breathing exercises,’ he suggests, stepping back and turning to face the mirror. It’s not exactly what I had in mind. ‘Take a deep breath in and raise your arms up above your head, like this,’ he says, showing me the move, then watching me to make sure I’m following his direction. ‘Then exhale as you bring them back down in front of you, like this. And again . . . ’I can’t stop looking at his sculpted biceps as he repeats the exercise, and I notice he doesn’t take his eyes off me, either. And it feels like something changes between us in that moment, because afterwards he reaches for my shoulders again, to see if I’ve loosened up, and this time I’m certain his hands linger for longer than is necessary.But just as I’m convincing myself this is not just wishful thinking on my part, he steps away again. ‘That’s much better, Kate. See how your shoulders are much softer now?’‘I do,’ I agree, even though they don’t feel any different to me.‘Great, then you’re all set. And now, let’s dance...’

Reader reviews

‘Like seeing the Strictly curse play out in real time… seriously sexy’
OK! Magazine
'Romantic, sexy and full of drama, The Dance Deception is absolutely sizzling!'
Melanie Blake, author
The Dance Deception is a breezy, sexy romance filled with passion, intricate dance moves, and a hero and heroine you can really root for. The perfect summer read!’
Kimberly Ash, author
‘A steamy yet heart-warming romance that will make your heart and temperature soar.'
Emily Houghton, author
'I was so sad when I finished it. Please write a sequel. I loved it so much.'
Kate Bates
'Brilliant, racy and so addictive. The perfect beach read.'
Catherine Usher
‘I loved it so much that I lived vicariously through this book throughout my entire read. It was perfect! Cute and witty characters, entertaining story and a sweet romance. Going to recommend to all romcom lovers.’
Reader review
‘A feel-good and steamy read with lots of funny moments. The chemistry is electric, and the dance and reality show concepts add an extra layer of excitement to the story.’
Reader review
‘A well written, entertaining story. I had a blast reading it. I instantly fell in love with the characters and found them very relatable. The chemistry between the two love interests practically sizzled off the page and there were so many laugh out loud moments as well.’
Reader review
‘Sexy, intriguing, and well-paced…will keep you entertained!’
Reader review
‘Lots of drama and steamy scenes. This was so good I stayed up late to finish reading.’
Reader review

Review in Heat magazine

Review in Bella

Voted Indy Book of The Month for August

Where to buy The Dance Deception


For more information, please contact:Meg DavisKi AgencyTel: 020 3214 8287Email: