Dance Of Temptation
by Janice Sims, contemporary (2011)
Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86218-4
Janice Sims's Dance Of Temptation features a pair of main characters that are a little bit different from the usual Kimani archetypes - yes, they are both physically gorgeous and financially well-off, but ballerina Belana Whitaker and sports agent Nicolas Reed are den parent types. They are both sensible people who often lecture - good-naturedly, of course - their charges when these people do silly things. Both are looking for something more than a fling, although they aren't sure that they are looking at the right places. Nick is a widower who lets his mother care for his daughter - he is too busy running around the country, you see - and his daughter is predictably feeling neglected. She is a student at Belana's dancing school, so it won't be long before Nick and Belana meet. Sparks fly, but it takes a while before they both realize that they are meant to be together.
Belana and Nick, like many of the author's main couples, are likable sensible people with good chemistry. They may be more gorgeous and richer than many average Joe and Jane out there, but there are many things about them that feel real and make them accessible to me, the reader. This is both a plus and minus. It's a plus because... well, duh. But Dance Of Temptation is structured more like an ensemble drama than a straight-up romance, with the main characters interacting as often with various secondary characters as they do with each other. The thing is, their quiet scenes together are easily far more interesting than those other scenes, and after a while, I begin to wish that the author has given those two more cozy time together.
Belana and Nick's scenes with other characters see them playing the den parents. It makes sense, therefore, that they often find themselves advising their friends and family members and even consoling them when things are down. However, there are some moments when the author has her characters launch into a "Nowadays, people are like this!" type of monologue, and that's when it becomes obvious that Ms Sims has gotten on her soapbox. I agree with Ms Sims's view on things, so it is no hardship for me to go along with the flow, but some readers may find such scenes disruptive. It's as if the author had personally entered the room to address the reader. I also feel that there are too many secondary characters here, especially when some of them are one-scene-wonder types, showing up in one scene only to vanish from the rest of the story.
All in all, Dance Of Temptation is a pleasant read featuring a pair of likable characters who do really seem to be into each other. It's just that there are some technical aspects of this story that hold it back from being a truly memorable read.
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