Book Review: I Hope You Dance

**This is not part of the Write 31 Days writing challenge. I have some books that I have promised to read and review, and this is one of them. I am trying to fit the reviews in between the writing challenge. Crazy, that. I know!

From Book Description

“Grant Nichols is a genius in the kitchen and a klutz on the dance floor. But his friend’s wedding is shaping up to be a shindig the likes of which Kings Meadow has never seen—including dancing. Lots of dancing. Then he learns that a local dance teacher, Skye Foster, is offering dance lessons for the wedding party. The first lesson is free, so what does he have to lose?

A former rodeo queen, Skye Foster teaches children ballet and tap during the day, but with the popularity of ballroom dancing and her own love of Country Swing, she’s been teaching adults in the evenings.

…Grant and Skye are no match on paper. But when they step onto the dance floor, they create a melody all their own.”

I Hope You Dance by Robin Lee Hatcher

My Comments

This short novella is simply adorable. Just like I’m not a fan of historical novels, I’m not a huge fan of western novels. However, I absolutely enjoyed this book. The characters are immediately relatable and likable. In spite of the short length of the book, there is true character development, especially with the protagonists Skye and Grant.

One thing that often bothers me about historical or western books is the writing, especially the dialogue. But not here. The writing is natural, flows well, and the dialogue is “real.” There is no flowery or inappropriate words often used to mimic a former period or different lifestyle. The writing and dialogue fit perfectly.

The pace of the book is good, too. The story progresses at a steady groove and ends in such a lovely way, that is truly “satisfying.” Although, I have to admit, I was a bit sad when the book ended. I wish it was a bit longer – but in a good way. I just didn’t want it to end. 🙂

If you are looking for a short, easy read, with a touch of tasteful romance, this book is for you. I give I Hope You Dance, four (4) stars.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: The Big House on Adams Street

From Book Description

With a heart full of cheer and hope, Fritz – a young, wealthy German – decides to go to America and build a community that will help people in need. With the completion of a beautiful, spacious, house, Fritz is witness to a series of unexpected events that bring together a cast of unlikely characters. Come journey with Fritz as he tries to complete a dream that will take your heart through a wondrous adventure of humanity.

Big House on Adams Street

My Comments

This book was offered to me as a “bonus” to an other book I was given to read and review. I was enticed by the book description and thought I would love this book. Sadly, I didn’t. Although there were parts of the book I liked a lot, there was much that troubled me.

On the positive side, I love the premise of the book. The idea of creating a community of like-minded people gathered to help the needy is an awesome idea. I also love stories of people who immigrate from other countries and create satisfying lives for themselves in America. I have a soft-spot for “rags-to-riches” stories, for sure.

As for the story itself, the first chapter moved swiftly but then it switches gears. In fact, the story switches gears a lot. It was hard to keep track of who was doing what or even who is the main protagonist of this story. Then, after the first chapter, the story slows down to an almost unbearable pace. I have a Kindle edition of the book and it isn’t until sometime into the 30% of the book that the house even gets built. Then, after going so slowly, the book comes to an abrupt stop. Boom! The story ends with no resolution or sense of completion.

In addition, there is no real character development for any of the characters. Characters came and went without any real introduction or opportunity to create an emotional bond. And, the characters are just too “perfect” and impossible to relate to. Even the “bad” ones, or those with problems seem too good to be true.

However, what confused me the most was the Christian aspect of the story. I knew going in that it was a Christian book, but some of the book seemed to be from a non-denominational Christian perspective and some of it seemed to be from a Catholic-Christian perspective. There were several mentions of St. Francis and his “Channel of Peace” prayer but one of the characters is supposed to be the “chaplain” of the group but he is just a holy man that Fritz became acquainted with. Also, another character makes a “confession” but I couldn’t tell if it was a Catholic confession or what. If it was, the theology is way off. I appreciate books with a Christian slant, and I appreciate it here too, but it was just confusing.

I should also mention that there are some glaring grammar and usage/spelling errors. There are enough errors to mention them but nothing that some good editing can’t fix.

Therefore, as the book stands now, I would not recommend the book. However, I think, with some good editing and re-working of the story, it has the potential to be a really good book. Thus, I give The Big House on Adams Street three (3) stars.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”