Saturday, January 11, 2014

Love Waltzes In by Alana Albertson

2.5 Star

To her millions of fans, ballroom champion Selena Marcil seems to have the perfect life: a great dance partner, a hit reality show, and celebrity perks. But underneath the glamorous ball gowns, Selena longs to find someone to share her life with when the stage lights dim.

Selena’s childhood sweetheart, Bret Lord, hung up his dance shoes after winning two national titles with her as a teenager, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He never saw his former fiancée again, except on television and on the cover of men’s magazines. Ten years and three deployments later, Bret gets an offer to audition for Selena’s dance show. When the Marine Corps gives him temporary leave to appear on the series, Bret can’t refuse the quick cash that will enable him to provide financially for the widow of his buddy, even if it does mean coming face to face with his past.

When Bret shows up at her national championship, Selena is shocked. For years she searched for him to no avail. After spending time with Bret, Selena realizes despite their past romance, they have no future. He has no desire to live under a spotlight and she has no desire to leave it. Can Selena and Bret recognize when Love Waltzes In?

Kathryn - 2.5 Star

Love Waltzes In left me with mixed feelings for a review.  I found myself more interested in the business of professional ballroom dancing than I did the characters in the novel. While I found their story of separation and coming back together believable I didn’t find myself warming to either of the main characters.  There were also so many supporting roles that I was confused most of the read and couldn’t keep all the names and tangled relationships straight, I gave up on sorting them out about half way through.

Selena seemed sometimes distant and sometimes very clingy - I didn’t really believe her relationship with her dance partner and it made very little sense to me that they would have entangled their lives quite so much that they had joint banking? Selena’s friendships were non-existent. Perhaps I am completely naïve? Maybe when you’re entangled in this professional/reality TV world of dance you don’t have relationships that are really real?  I would hope that she would have formed some other friendships throughout her life that she could trust but I didn’t even really feel that her one friend in the dance world was reliable.  I was convinced she was the one who let the cat out of the bag… Selena would have seemed personable had she had some true friends or family that she confided in - it would have given her some warmth.

Bret seemed more realistic but I didn’t get much out of him either unfortunately. While I appreciated he joined the show to help out a fallen army friend’s family he just didn’t have much of anything else in his life.  He was interested in Selena (that was pretty obvious from the start) but his hesitation at the climax of the book was based on her not informing him of an event in their past- but as she didn’t have any way to reach him at the time I hardly think this should have been a sticking point?  I got a bit annoyed with his stubborn fixation when reality TV star versus army lifestyle should really have been the main issue of debate in pursuing something together.

While I enjoyed the dance aspect of Love Waltzes In, the characters were somewhat flat for me. I wish they hadn’t been because with a bit more warmth from Gina and Bret this would have been a fun read.

Thank you to Bolero Books for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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