REVIEW: Dance by Judy Cuevas

Dance by Judy Cuevas (1996)Dance by Judy Cuevas was written in 1996 and is about:

The woman, reaching for a dream, pulls away from her lover’s arms, still longing for his touch…. the man, reaching out to rekindle the flame, desires her all the more…
The emotionally powerful story of two people in turn-of-the-century Paris. A man and a woman drawn together by fate… but haunted by the brief moment of passion they shared in the past. Theirs was a dance of denial and attraction. Dreams and desire. Self-reliance and need. And each step drew them closer to the greatest sacrifice one heart can make for another…

I really enjoyed Dance by Judith Ivory aka Judy Cuevas. It is the sequel to Bliss which featured Sebastian’s brother, Nardi de Saint Vallier. Nardi is an artist and an ether drinker. In Dance the story is continued and seems to encompass a vast array of subplots that made this book great but at it’s heart, it is about a daughter’s love for her father and gaining his acceptance.

In Bliss, Sebastian was meticulous, cool, precise, stiff-necked and likes to be in control. It is when he loses that control that makes him so desirable and sexy and he does just that in Dance. As a lawyer, Sebastian has friends of influence from all over the world. He is well respected and admired. A connoisseur of art, history and poetry. He wasn’t exactly in control when he first meets Marie Du Guard in Bliss. To elaborate more will go into spoiler territory. In fact, if you haven’t read Bliss then this review is in a way a spoiler for you.

Marie Du Guard is looking to make a career in moving pictures. Her success is stymied by her lack of finances. It is Sebastian who greets Marie after she arrives in Paris. She is there to ask her father for money to complete her film. Georges du Guard refuses to give his daughter money because he finds her dreams unrealistic. Marie has always rebelled against her father as she finds that he always tries to control her life and always expecting her to fail. He also finds her flighty and without direction and refuses to invest in her career. So off she goes to find financial support elsewhere.

Find it she does with her producer and mentor, Russell-Smith, who’s a charlatan way past his prime. Marie along with her producer and his two models, Sally and Dot, take up residence in one of Sebastian’s ancestral homes in Normandy. After witnessing Marie’s fight with her father, Sebastian goes looking for her but doesn’t find her. He actually does have a chance meet with Marie’s producer but he is unaware that he has rented his property to him and their film crew. Of course Sebastian is unaware that Marie is with them, too.

The scene where Marie and Sebastian meet again is funny and painful (for him). Sebastian goes out to the property where the film crew is shooting a movie, only he doesn’t know that. He spies a young lady tied helplessly to a tree and goes to rescue her. However, after realizing that he has stumbled into a movie scene, it is the shock at seeing Marie again that makes him loose all sense of self and he stumbles, falls and breaks his leg.

The story really takes off when Sebastian is forced to stay with Marie and the rest of the film crew to allow his leg to heal. The sexual tension and the “dance” between Sebastian and Marie is worth the price of this book alone. Only I don’t know what the price for this book goes for today because I was lucky to find my copy long before this author grew popular. Moving on. There’s a sparring scene between Sebastian and Russell-Smith that was funny. The men try to match wits with each other and gain the attention of Marie. However, I think Sebastian has the advantage on that score.

Much of the sexual tension is generated by the back and forth bantering that seems to happen whenever Marie and Sebastian are alone together. I enjoyed all of their scenes together. The conflict between them is serious and involves Marie’s father, Georges. Sebastian must learn to work around Marie’s emotional baggage because Marie seems him as competition for her father’s affections. It is a “dance” that Sebastian must do carefully and cautiously in making sure that he doesn’t step on any toes.

Overall, this book is sadly out of print*. I had hopes that one day it would be reprinted but the author no longer writes. Judith Ivory aka Judy Cuevas wrote some of her best work prior to signing on with Avon. I think her work was very meaty and emotionally engaging – this story notwithstanding. Dance is an apt title for this book. It is about a young woman’s self-discovery and ambition to be a success and we see how she achieves it. It is about regrets and love lost, found and rekindled. The love story was a well written “dance” between two people who needed each other and it was beautifully choreographed. To conclude, I really enjoyed Dance and if you have to break the bank or beg or borrow this book – you should. My grade, A+.

*****

This review was written with some major editorial changes. I am very busy these days with nothing new to post at the moment and have decided to repost or reread and write reviews for some of my favorite romance fiction. Hope you enjoy and as always, thanks for stopping by.

*This book is going for $28.50 and up at Amazon.com.

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Grade A Reviews, Romance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to REVIEW: Dance by Judy Cuevas

  1. Janine says:

    I adore Dance! One of my favorite romances of all time. And what a lovely review this is. Thank you for letting readers know about it. I see that the book goes for $21.95 (on half.com) and up. I’m so glad I got my copies of Bliss and Dance before Ivory hit it big. Incidentally, Dance has one of my favorite opening lines.

  2. Avid Reader says:

    Hey Janine –
    I miss her voice in the romance genre. I really do. That might explain why I am hoarding Black Silk. I plan to read it this year, tho. I remember you mentioning how much you loved Black Silk. I can’t wait to read it.

  3. Janine says:

    Ooh. Let me know how you like it. Not everyone loves Black Silk — some people consider it kind of slow, or don’t like the fact that the hero has a married mistress (not the heroine) for a portion of the book — but I think it’s one of her best and that says a lot. It’s in my top ten favorite romances ever. Graham is just such a delicious hero, so complex and interesting and different from most of them. I really loved him.

    I wish Ivory would return to romance writing. She is sorely missed.

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