TITLE– Dancing on Air
AUTHOR– Nicole Hurley-Moore
GENRE– Historical Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – 1st November 2013
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 182 pages
PUBLISHER – Escape Publishing – Harlequin Enterprises
Book Blurb/Synopsis –
Cinderella meets Swan Lake in a cross-class, Victorian novel about a ballerina, an aristocrat, and the space in between them.
Lisette yearns for freedom, security and love, but none are offered on the run-down stage of The Imperial Theatre. Instead she has hard work, a tyrannical aunt, and the hope of one day becoming a prima ballerina. Dancing on the stage she catches the attention of two powerful men: Lord Gainswith and Lord De Vale.
Lord Evander Gainswith never expected to fall in love, let alone with a woman so wholly unacceptable to his family and his peers. The sinister Lord De Vale covets Lisette's youth and strength, and is willing to pay well for it. Lisette may dance roles in fairy tales and fantasies, but the real world is about to intrude, bringing with it the harsh realities of life for a young girl with dreams of rising above the demimonde.
Lisette was weightless as she leapt into a grand jeté across the stage. She was free and in that moment her heart soared past the walls of the Imperial Theatre. She landed lightly and began the fouetté en tournant, whipping her leg from fourth position to behind her knee; she created impetus to spin on pointe. After the eight revolutions, she planted her feet and lifted her hand in the air, stopping in front of her aunt. There was a slight wobble in her legs and she tried not to wince. Fixing a smile on her face, she prayed that her aunt had not noticed. Lisette had wanted perfection but had fallen short.
A trickle of sweat slid its way down the middle of her back. Her heart beat rapidly and she tried to catch her breath as her aunt stepped forward.
Marie Devoré regarded her niece for a second. Her eyes bore into Lisette’s before she raised her hand and slapped her across the face.
Lisette’s head jerked to the side as the burning sting radiated over her cheek.
‘What was that? A farce...? A comedy, perhaps?’
‘No, Aunt Marie, I am sorry that I wobbled,’ she said as she looked at the well‐worn wooden floor and resisted the urge to cradle her cheek.
‘When you finish, the movement must be sleek, clean and set in stone, without any trace of a tremble.’
‘Go, out of my sight. Prepare the costumes for tonight’s performance,’ Marie said with a wave of her thin hand. ‘You will practice again tomorrow. Without the wobble.’
Lisette bowed her head before running off into the wings of the stage. She ran as fast as she could past the burgundy velvet curtains, beneath the scenery fly and the rigging, down the narrow flight of stairs that ran beneath the stage, until she was in the cool and narrow corridor, which led deeper into the bowels of the theatre. Her cheek burned but it was the sting of failure that hurt all the more.
Nicole has always been a lover of fairy tales, history and romance. She grew up in Melbourne and has travelled extensively, whilst living her life through the romance of books. Her first passion in life has always been her family, but after studying and achieving a History degree and Honours in Medieval Literature, she devoted her time to writing historical romance.
She is a full time writer who lives in the Central Highlands of Victoria with her family, where they live in the peaceful surrounds of a semi‐rural town.
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Lots of intrigue reminiscent of Phantom of the Opera, complete with sinister bad guy making dastardly plans with the Aunt nobody trusts, Dancing on Air is a charming read. I was captivated by the setting, which Ms. Hurley-Moore managed to deftly weave into the narrative. Evander is a swoon-worthy hero, who manages to personify Victorian gentlemanliness while at the same time, upping his machismo in a boxing match with the bad guy, making him panty-melting hawt.
Lisette was my only problem with this entire book. She was drawn to be a trusting, kind, talented ballerina with a heart of gold, but on her part, I couldn’t see the chemistry between her and Evander. But the book was so well written other than that. That was minor, comparatively speaking. This is one of those stories where the setting almost plays a character itself. The Imperial Theatre is Lisette’s family, granting her a serenity and safe haven unlike most of the people in her life.
This really is a lovely story, and I must say the first, but not the last of Ms. Hurley-Moore’s stories for me to read.
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