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Monday, March 28, 2011

Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier by Lisa Dale

Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier by Lisa Dale
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (363 pgs)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Snapdragon

A family learns that time can erase mistakes when the heart remains true- from a refreshing new storyteller.

Fifteen years ago, Garret Sorensen's family, trust, and heart were destroyed when Thea Celik betrayed him and married his brother. Now they are divorcing. Garret's ready to finally mend his relationship with his brother. But being back in Newport, Rhode Island, triggers a lot of memories-all leading back to Thea.

Thea's not ready to let go of the Sorensens-even if it means being around Garret. As they cautiously circle around each other-finding themselves drawn together-they realize following their hearts could cast them adrift.

Lisa Dale waltzes right into the heart with her complex and intriguing new romance, Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier.

Main characters Thea and Garrett are so right - but also so wrong for each other - for so many reasons. Reasons they both see (and feel) all too clearly. If the opinions of Price’s Pier, Rhode Island townies don’t put them off, and If the risks too many family connections are a not an overwhelming concern, then there is still the impact Thea’s daughter, and Garett’s renewed relationship with his brother.

Sorting out the reasons behind the various relationships (even between Thea and Jonathan, the husband she is divorcing) is all important here. Most explosive of all, of course, is the feelings that persist between Thea and Garrett; so real and honest neither has to question it… its not the nature of their feelings, but the potential consequences that paralyze them. Concern about hurting others is valid, as is self-doubt and then also, finding fault.

For a while, this seems a chess game between important players: will ‘his’ mother have the most sway, or ‘her’ concerned friend? Are Irina’s expectations unreasonable? The friendship between brothers flirts with a certain, compelling honesty, yet, we the reader always have a sense of all that is left unspoken.

Support cast, from the largest to smallest – heck even the school teacher, all have their own ‘wants’ or personal goals. However, we gradually come to see that Slow Dance on Price’s Pier is truly all about feelings. Getting at that truth is only part of the journey. The rest is deciding what to do about it.

Ms. Dale gives nothing away, so that at times we don’t even quite know what to hope for. Her artful but unobtrusive turns of phrase are perhaps most revealing. These are good people, though “Good intentions had eroded into complacence like stone becoming sand.” When is ‘what is,’ good enough? The author also uses some clever outside commentary: Thea’s ‘coffee diaries’ read like blog – and though she doesn’t make personal comments in these, we do find yet another revealing perspective. Sure it’s about coffee, but it definitely gives us a different take on the complexities that make up Thea. I liked the modern feel the diary columns give the text, and thought it went well with Ms. Dale’s very straightforward writing style.

Our main character is truly central, regardless of any question of style or design. For Thea, decisions come down to what love is ‘supposed’ to be. Who hasn’t asked themselves the same question? Is love comfortable – or fairytale magical? Isn’t that a question everyone faces? Thea revisits that question more than once, not only in thought, but in conversation.

Emotional highs and lows build tension in key moments. Ms. Dale has a deft hand at creating believable characters and circumstances, while yet being completely unpredictable.

Read Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier, to share the heartaches and joys of a certain Rhode Island barista. You will lose yourself in this heartfelt tale. I know I did.