Wren Valentino’s Debut Novelette ‘Fast Beat’ Goes Deep

CHICAGO, IL, May 28, 2020 /Neptune100/ — Fast Beat, a new novelette from contemporary romance author Wren Valentino, could easily be mistaken for another opposites attract love story. Yet this urban tale is poised to standout in the literary crowd due to the universal issues the author explores, specifically classism and grief.

In the book, a young street dancer named Cassidy Downs has two weeks to find a new partner to compete in the All City Dance Off. When she discovers Giovanni De Luca, a classically trained member of a conservatory, Cassidy convinces him to become her new partner. In typical romance fashion, the two develop feelings for one another, despite coming from different socioeconomic backgrounds. However, it’s the differences between them, including the shared grief of losing a parent, that elevates this love story. Cassidy has lost her mother to breast cancer and Giovanni’s father was killed while trying to stop an assault. When the two express their sorrow, a bond is formed. By becoming their own support system, their feelings intensify.

In Cassidy, Valentino creates a feisty heroine. Working multiple jobs to save money to buy a building she hopes to convert into a neighborhood dance studio, Cassidy’s never-give-up attitude speaks to the struggles of young creative women.

Instead of a rags-to-riches story, Valentino opts to bring a character to the forefront who embraces her working class roots and uses her survival instincts to succeed on her own. Early into their relationship, Cassidy is quick to respond to Giovanni’s criticism of her part of town. “You’re not allowed to talk bad about my neighborhood,” she tells him. “This is my home. It’s where I come from. I need you to respect it. Understand?”

The more privileged and cultured Giovanni is a sharp contrast to the scrappy Cassidy, as evident in a key scene in which he acknowledges his late father for giving him access to the arts and to culture at a young age, access Cassidy didn’t necessarily have.

About writing Fast Beat, author Wren Valentino says, “I wanted to tell a story about people dealing with tough personal issues who connect with each other out of a deep need for healing…and love.”

Blue Dasher Press is an independent publisher of novels, poetry, and stage plays.