Title: “Come Dancing”
Author: Leslie Wells
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Allium Press
Release Date: 14th June, 2014.
Julia is a book-loving publisher’s assistant. Jack is a famous British rock star. “Opposites attract” is an understatement.
It’s 1981. Twenty-four-year-old Julia Nash has recently arrived in Manhattan, where she works as a publisher’s assistant. She dreams of becoming an editor with her own stable of bestselling authors—but it is hard to get promoted in the recession-clobbered book biz.
Julia blows off steam by going dancing downtown with her best friend, Vicky. One night, a hot British guitarist invites them into his VIP section. Despite an entourage of models and groupies, Jack chooses Julia as his girl for the evening—and when Jack Kipling picks you, you go with it. The trouble is … he’s never met a girl like her before. And she resists being just one in a long line.
Jack exposes her to new experiences, from exclusive nightclubs in SoHo to the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood; from mind-bending recording sessions to wild backstage parties. Yet Julia is afraid to fall for him. Past relationships have left her fragile; one more betrayal just might break her.
As she fends off her grabby boss and tries to move up the corporate ladder, Julia’s torrid relationship with Jack takes her to heights she’s never known—and plunges her into depths she’s never imagined.
With a fascinating inside look at publishing, this entertaining story of a bookish young woman’s adventures with a rock superstar is witty, moving, and toe-curlingly steamy.
Complimentary copy provided by the author through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
New York, 1981. To say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book would be an understatement. Being a child of the eighties, I cannot say that I remember much from that time period, but I have seen enough movies and read plenty of books depicting this decade, so I believe that Miss Wells has given us a really great romance novel that is true to how life was like when you were young and living in the metropolis that is New York.
Although I have read quite a few books about “the average girl meeting and falling in love with a rock star”, I must say that this is definitely one of the better ones. This is also due to the fact that Miss Wells is showing great storytelling skills, and you can most certainly feel that she is very knowledgeable about the setting and genre she has chosen to write in.
I really enjoyed getting to know the heroine, Julia Nash, especially how she struggles with making a name for herself in the publishing industry. She does not come off as being naïve or disillusioned about life – rather, she seems to be a very realistic, down-to-earth kind of girl who does not want to become another notch on the bedpost of famous British rock star, Jack Kipling. Even though she is a massive fan of the band, and has been harboring a bit of a crush on Jack for years, she knows that he is living his life in a completely different way than she is. And the question is if Julia dares to let herself fall for a man who seems hell-bent on avoiding any kind of commitment even when his own heart is urging him to let go?
I feel that the life of Jack Kipling is described really well: he is charming, sexy, and a bit of a manipulator. The way that he is drawn to Julia is really sweet and fun to read about; because here is this famous rock star who cannot fathom why a gorgeous, brainy girl such as Julia will not simply fall at his feet and let him have his way with her! Yes, the “courting” of Julia is particularly enjoyable to me. But I also find him to be rather vulnerable, and I loved seeing him open up to Julia, albeit on his own terms; does he, at times, seem selfish and annoying? Absolutely! However, as these two characters get to know each other better, you can really feel the need and longing for love they share – even when one of them (read: Jack) does not exactly want to admit it.
The whole rock star lifestyle was also depicted really well in the book: theirs is a life of excess and indulgence, living each day as if it were the last, and not taking things too seriously – at least, not when it concerns other matters outside the band and its success. The way Julia is, at times, a bit overwhelmed by everything feels very realistic to me, and I think that one of the things I really admire about her is the fact that she does not let go of her own values, trying to make herself become a person she is not: she stays true to her life’s goals.
I am choosing to give this book 4.5 stars because of two things: the ending being one of them. Because even though all seems well in paradise – for now, at least – I feel that it is a bit too abrupt. It may seem like a small matter to a lot of readers, but I have to be honest: if I had not known that a second book about Julia & Jack will be out next year, I would be really disappointed, because their story seems far from being over. Also, I would have really liked getting inside Jack’s head, because he can be so puzzling sometimes, so I hope that we will get a few chapters written from his point of view in book #2.
All in all, I would recommend this book to any lover of romance novels: the scene of New York in the eighties is fascinating; Julia and Jack – as well as the secondary characters – are well-rounded, loveable and flawed characters that you will come to care about a great deal; the writing of Miss Wells is flawless and engaging; and, last, the banter and sexual attraction between this couple will make you smile, laugh, and swoon – not to mention, even perhaps blush a little bit.
I am so looking forward to reading the next book!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leslie Wells left her small Southern town in 1979 for graduate school in Manhattan, after which she got her first job in book publishing. She has edited forty-eight New York Times bestsellers in her over thirty-year career, including thirteen number one New York Times bestsellers. Leslie has worked with numerous internationally known authors, musicians, actors, actresses, television and radio personalities, athletes, and coaches. She lives on Long Island, New York.