If you're looking for more books similar to 50 Shades of Grey and you like dark romance books or BWWM books, check out His Black Swan. This short romance book is perfect if you love romantic stories and interracial romance books. Maya, a young black woman, is a pure college student with a passion for ballet, but as a black ballerina, she’s had her share of setbacks. Victor is an attractive billionaire visiting his stepsister in college when he attends a performance of his favorite ballet, Swan Lake.
He falls for the graceful Odette, played by Maya, while she’s on stage and finds himself desperate to meet her. Outside the theater, he sees the beautiful butterfly and introduces himself.
Maya is instantly drawn to this tall handsome stranger and when they make various confessions to each other, she’s drawn even closer to him. Victor is an older billionaire who’s lost faith in love and Maya is a young, dedicated ballerina who never had faith in it to begin with.
When they fall into each other’s arms, change is inevitable… just not the change they were expecting.
He became enamored with Maya the night of her performance. He was only in town for a few days, visiting his step-sister at university when he decided to see what it was college students got up to between classes, drinking and the library. Victor knew it would have probably been a lot better to just go back to his hotel and take a much needed break from his stepsister. She was just a freshman in college and incredibly demanding in nearly every way. “Victor can I have alcohol”. “Victor can you bring me coke”. The girl was a spoiled brat who wanted everything handed to her.
Victor sat back in the theater seats and waited for the lights to go out. It’s just a college ballet. “There’s no way this can’t be at least a little entertaining,” he thought to himself. Victor stared at the stage as the audience lights dimmed and the stage was illuminated by a bright yellow color. Swan Lake had always been Victor’s favorite ballet and he settled into his seat hoping this production would do Tchaikovsky’s work justice.
From the moment she entered the stage, one dancer in particular stuck out to Victor. He wasn’t sure if she stood out because it was so unusual to see a black ballet dancer or if she were just that good. The girl had a standard ballerina’s physique. She was short to be sure but elegantly elevated her height on pointe. Her legs were long, pure muscle and her upper body was relatively flat yet completely graceful. Victor could tell her hair was thick and beautifully curled despite her attempts to tame it into a ballerina’s bun. She played Odette, and throughout her entire solo dance, Victor couldn’t take his eyes off her.
As the dancer gracefully tiptoed on pointe with seemingly little effort, he wondered how old she was or if she’d ever considered dancing ballet professionally. She didn’t belong here in this prestigious (but tucked away) university. She belonged in a professional dance company or on a stage for all to see. Victor desperately wanted to speak to this young woman, to know her story. He could see the passion with which she danced and combined with her obvious skill, it made a beautiful sight.
After the final act, Victor nearly had tears to his eyes. He had always loved Swan Lake and he’d seen it performed by nearly every ballet company to cross his path. In terms of technique, this production was hardly the best. After all, these dancers weren’t professionals, just students. But to Victor their technique didn’t matter. It had been his favorite performance to date.
The dancer who played Odette was named Maya Stone. After the performance, her legs ached and ached. She knew her feet would be bloodied and soaking in an ice bath the entire night. Maya thought the show had gone well. She’d made a couple mistakes but it was nothing the audience would have noticed. Maya still felt disappointed in herself. Errors, no matter how small they were, were setbacks in her ultimate goal.
Before attending this university, Maya had been intensively training at an elite Ballet Academy. One major injury and she’d been expelled. Her only chance of ever dancing professionally again would only come after she had healed. But Maya knew by the time she was healed she might be too old or too fat to ever have a chance of dancing on a big stage again. The thought of giving up dancing was too much to bear. So despite the pain, she’d enrolled in the university with the toughest non-professional ballet program and she’d kept practicing, kept working with the desperate hope that her dream could still become a reality.
Just the other week, Maya had been feeling particularly low. Her best friend outside of ballet was a petite Asian girl with a loud mouth named Diana. Diana was extremely superstitious and she’d taken Maya to a fortune teller on the rougher side of their college town. Maya had reluctantly entered the frankincense scented lair of the mystical Jamaican fortune teller hoping to gain some insight, some clarity or at least some motivation to keep going.
The old woman had taken her scrawny hands which looked more like claws and held Maya’s hands tightly. “Ballerina,” she said and looked into Maya’s eyes with a knowing smile. “Bullshit,” Maya thought to herself. “Yeah I do ballet,” she murmured. The Jamaican woman squeezed her hand tighter and said, “A strange man will change everything. Be careful… there will be love and hate, victory and defeat.” Maya figured she had been speaking of some Russian ballet coach. She’d been perfectly satisfied with the fortune teller’s visit and Diana was thrilled that she’d finally convinced her friend that her superstitious antics were worthwhile.
Now, after this performance, Maya felt her frustration and despair matching the levels they were before she had seen the fortune teller. What was the point? She kept working, practicing, rehearsing her feet bloody and there was no salvation. She had lost her opportunity to be famous and it was never coming back. It had been a good performance, but Maya found herself abandoning the backstage cast and leaving the theater, practically limping her feet hurt so badly.
Victor was standing outside the theater after the show smoking a cigarette at the same time Maya had decided to leave. He heard the door open and saw the beautiful ballerina he’d been eyeing on the stage. Odette. He knew he had to say something to her and he had time. She was clearly limping, exhausted from her outstanding performance.
“Odette,” Victor called out to her, hoping she wouldn’t be annoyed and the cheesy pickup line would get her attention. Maya turned and looked at the tall white man who was outing his cigarette on the ground with fancy tipped shoes. Normally, she would have been scared. It was dark outside and there was almost no one around. But there was something about this man which made her feel comfortable.
It was probably his good looks if Maya had to be honest with herself. Victor was well over six foot three. He had pale skin and dark brown hair. His jaw was angular and chiseled; he looked particularly statuesque standing outside the theater with a cigarette. He dressed like he had walked right off the page of a Ralph Lauren ad. Maya couldn’t help but notice the smell of cigarettes which normally repulsed her smelled amazing on Victor. His eyes were a piercing steel gray and he was sporting a five o’clock shadow.
Maya walked closer to him and said, “My name’s actually Maya but I take it you enjoyed my performance.” She smiled and began undoing her bun, letting her bouyant curls highlight the round shape of her face. Victor smiled back at her and said, “Yes. Swan Lake is my favorite ballet. You did Odette justice. None of the other dancers lived up to you.” Maya grinned at the compliment. It had been a while since she felt good about her dancing. “Thank you. But you didn’t tell me your name?” she asked.
“Victor,” he said.
“Nice to meet you,” Maya replied.
“Are you headed somewhere Maya?”
“Nowhere in particular.”
“What would you say to a brief coffee date?” Victor asked her, staring into her light brown eyes.
“I would say yes to anything that would get me off my feet right now,” Maya said, smiling again. Victor found her smile refreshing and genuine. He couldn’t believe it had been that easy to get a date with the beautiful butterfly he’d just watched leaping across the stage. Victor wondered how old she was. She looked older than eighteen but she had to have been too young for him still.
“You’re eighteen right?” he asked her.
“Yup. I turn nineteen in July,” Maya replied.
They kept walking slowly towards the nearest cafe. Maya’s limp was getting better and better as she readjusted to being off her pointe shoes. Victor led her into the cafe and they both ordered espressos before sitting down. Maya sighed as she sat down, relieved to finally be off her feet and sitting across from an attractive man.
She’d never had a date after a performance. Maya had always thought being with men would break her focus, take her mind off her dancing more than she could stand. But today she had taken this risk, partly because her hope was waning and partly because of Victor himself. Who could say no to a man who looked like that? No one in their right mind.
They sipped espressos and began talking to each other. Within moments, Maya found herself confessing her life story to this strange guy she’d just met. She told him of her injury, her dying hope of becoming a famous ballerina and her lifelong dedication. Maya tapped into anguish she didn’t even know she had: her fears of having wasted her youth if nothing were to come of ballet, and her fears of disappointing her parents. Victor was more than a good listener. He was a great one. He filled in the silent gaps with the perfect words and reached across the table to touch her arm gently at just the right times.
Victor surprised himself with how interested he was in this young woman’s life. He tended to dominate conversations and control every room he was in. Being that guy had been absolutely necessary to his life. But here things were different. He felt absolutely mesmerized by Maya’s voice, watching the way she played with her curls, twirling them around her fingers as she spoke. When Maya seemed to be finished and began asking about Victor, he was more than happy to take the lead in the conversation.
If you enjoyed this short sample and you would like to explore more books similar to 50 Shades of Grey, I recommend you take a look at European Billionaire's Baby by Sugar Milan. Click here to read more!
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