The Duality of Swans by Lilly Atlas

One horrible night changed the lives for both Liam and Tate, where one man swore to return and try to challenge a small town's prejudice and the other fearing to ever confront it. Liam's acceptance may just be what Tate needs to love himself.

From the The Duality of Swans blurb:

A male ballet dancer walks into a rural small town…

Liam, a professional ballet dancer from New York City, moves to the tiny town of Swan, Oklahoma, with a mission. Haunted by what he endured as a teenager, he returns as an adult to conquer his fears and challenge the town’s outdated prejudices. He plans to modernize Swan by opening a dance studio and showing its residents that there’s a place for everyone and all should be accepted.

Tate has never traveled beyond the Oklahoma border and knows little of life beyond his small rural town and blue-collar job. Deeply entrenched in secrecy and surrounded by people who’d never accept him if they knew what he hid beneath the surface, he’s resigned to a life of lies and loneliness.

Liam and Tate’s worlds collide a safe distance from Swan, where they form an instant connection but plan to walk away after one night, no matter how much more their encounter leaves them yearning for. Fate, however, has other plans. When Tate shows up for a renovation job at Liam’s new studio, their initial shock gives way to a tentative friendship with complicated emotions.

The pressures of small-town life, narrow-minded family members, and Tate's insecurities threaten their budding connection from day one. Liam is determined to show Tate the beauty of living as his true self, but Tate has seen the consequences of such a life firsthand, and they’ve imprinted on his mind.

As they grapple with their feelings and the harsh realities of Swan, Liam and Tate must decide if love is worth the risk. Can they find a way to be together in a world that seems set against them?

SNik's review:

Standalone. Small town. Hurt/comfort. Dual POV. Heed content warnings. 

Liam is determined to open a dance studio in the small Oklahoma town that once almost destroyed him, so he leaves his professional dance career behind with a dream and determination. Tate is far, far in the closet, living surrounded by homophobic and bigoted family and coworkers, keeping his head down working as a tiler with only the occasional secret hookup. 

Even though Tate is the one with the most personal struggles to overcome, Liam is the true hero of this story as he is patient, compassionate and so forgiving of Tate’s circumstances even when they are hurtful and difficult. I felt empathy for both Liam and Tate, and rooted for them as they built a very fragile relationship that became stronger over time. When Liam and Tate are on page together they are sweet and plenty spicy, and they eventually work together as they confront all their external obstacles to fight for their HEA. Overall a charming read.

The Duality of Swans is currently available as an e-book and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription