So, I have a new photo editor. I'm not really loving it so far, but to be fair to it, I'm still getting used to it all. I don't think my photos are turning out well in editing as it gets too bright or not bright enough. I've gone for less bright just because I don't want to wash everything out. I'll figure it out eventually.
Shadow Dance is from one of my favorite authors, Anne Stuart. I'm impressed how she manages to jump around the romance sphere. This book is set around the year 1815, in Devon (UK). It totally has that 1990s cover (the Fabio-esque covers). It cracks me up but whatever works. Let's get to the recap/review thing then.
Title: Shadow Dance
Author: Anne Stuart
Page Number: 377 pages (paperback)
Genre: romance, historical romance, fiction
Publisher: Avon Books
Wrongly accused of his father's murder, handsome Valerian Romney must flee his vengeful pursuers—ingeniously disguised as his older brother Phelan's "wife." But desire endangers the Romneys' brazen masquerade. For ruffles and lace cannot hide Valerian's fevered passion for the lovely and confused Sophie—while Phelan yearns for the tormented beauty, Juliette, who has dressed in man's clothing to escape a heartless abuser. And now both peril and ecstasy await them all as they move in a seductive dance of deception—where every false, protective mask must ultimately be stripped away...to reveal the true, radiant and rapturous love beneath.
There is a new Kindle (ebook) cover, with less chesty men! Less Damsels-in-Distress! Less flowers, etc. It's above this paragraph.
Anyways, I did enjoy the book quite well. It wasn't as engaging as other Stuart books, even with the cross-dressing characters, undercover lovers, secret rendezvous, and slight murder plot...mostly because the focus was on each romance and stayed away from any deeper topic. We know that Juliette's husband is sneaky, fishy, and impotent...but he's a shadow character for most of the story. We don't really get into her fear (unless it's something that drives Phelan to be a dick). We also don't get much introspection into Sophie's confusion over her interest in Valerian (as a woman) verses Valerian as a man. I wasn't expecting that from this era of book...having read quite a few when I visited my grandma in the summer (that woman had a full on romance subscription and book swap in her town going...she had hundreds of chesty covered romances in her back room). Since I slept in the backroom, I absolutely devoured the books. I've read all sorts of nonsense. My point is, this is interesting for the time frame it was written (I don't recall a lot of men dressed as woman in these books, only a few woman dressed as men--usually aboard a ship?) but I wasn't expecting her to go beyond the base here. It's meant as a romances between two foiled pairs. I think it achieves it quite well. I rated it around four stars.