This book makes me want to learn to tango. And re-watch Evita for about the fiftieth time. And find an amazingly artistic male lover to do a little tango beneath the sheets. Unfortunately, none of those are going to happen because I essentially have two left feet, Evita isn’t currently streaming on Netflix, and well…who are we kidding? That last one was never gonna happen!
What’s it About?
After twenty years of wondering why her mother chose the tango over her, Dani McKenna finally travels to Argentina. What was it about this beautiful, mysterious land that enticed one woman away from her own child—and broke another’s heart? As a journalist, Dani may have the opportunity to find out. And an enigmatic tango dancer may hold the key to her quest—if she can break down his defensive walls.
Carlos Escudero had been Dani’s mother’s protégé. Tragedy ended his career and he refuses to be interviewed. But he will give Dani some insights, on one condition: she must agree to his tango lessons. As the two begin the intricate dance of passion, Dani’s quiet, logical world is exchanged for one of music, motion—and mystery. For the clues to a tango legend’s murder may lead Dani to the truth about the past and its impact on her family—and free her to move toward a future she can claim as her own at last…
Honestly, it takes a few chapters before this book finally finds it’s direction. There’s a lot going on in this novel, and although this helps to constantly keep you on your toes, it also makes it seem a tad unfocused at times. I think the main contributing factor to this is the fact that we’re dealing with a multi-generational novel. Dani might initially seem to be the lead of the novel with her journey to Argentina and flirtations with a handsome tango dancer, but then we find out the book is just as much about her mother and grandmother as it is about her. Not to mention a few other dashing characters who get thrown into the mix.
From Dani’s search for her estranged mother, to her tango lessons with a devastatingly strict teacher, and even a 1950s murder mystery, I questioned whether or not the multitude of story lines presented in this novel could come together and form one cohesive plot. Happy to announce I was pleasantly surprised, as well as emotionally floored at the way all of these stories converge into one beautiful ending that will have you reaching for the tissues.
The Tango of Life
Throughout the novel, there are many references and equivalencies to how tango is just like life and love. In my opinion, there may have been a few too many comparisons at how they all contain overwhelming joy, sadness, heartache, passion and melancholy. However, in the end you can’t deny that tango has a supreme impact on every single character presented in this novel. At times it might seem like a curse, but it can also result in a deep connection with your perfect partner.
From 1953 to Today
While Dani is the main focus of the present day story line, we are also concurrently reading about the tumultuous tale of Louisa Gilchrest in 1953 Argentina, and her love affair with a talented musician who is pretty much off limits. I almost thought this historical romance could have been a book in and of itself. It was this story that had the bulk of the mystery, intrigue, political upheaval, and tragedy. It also made me slightly antsy, as there’s nothing that makes me squirm more with discomfort than someone who is accused of a murder they didn’t commit.
Eventually we do see how these two stories are connected through something much more than tango. As these two tales start to merge together at the end it almost becomes a race against time for all of the puzzle pieces to fall into place. But when they do? Oh…my…God. Devastatingly beautiful. It might not be the happiest of happy endings with prancing unicorns and bunny rabbits, but it will make you realize that life is always full of unexpected surprises.
*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: The Dance Card Series
Should you read it? The multi-generational aspect of this novel is definitely one of it’s most unique features. However, at the beginning this is also one of the main detriments of the novel, as it’s almost too many stories going on at once. Definitely worth sticking around though for the ending. You’ll also learn a bit about the history of tango, which is pretty interesting.
Smut Level: The characters of this novel insist that one of the main misconceptions about tango is that it’s all about sex. Though love and passion are a main feature of this novel, sex isn’t too much of a focus.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. Lyrical Press. 326 Pages.