Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for Love Waltzes In by Alana Albertson

Join author Alana Albertson on her Virtual Book Tour for  Love Waltzes In, presented by Tasty Book Tours from  November 11- November 29, 2013.  Please leave a comment or question for Ms. Albertson to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can follow the rest of her tour here, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.

Romance on the Dance Floor by Alana Albertson

            Though ballroom dancing seems very romantic, professional ballroom dancers often struggle having personal relationships. There are three options for a professional dancer to have a relationship:
1.      Date his/her partner
2.      Date a dancer in a different partnership
3.      Date a non-dancer.

     Each of these scenarios creates unique challenges.  If you date your partner, often your personal relationship will interfere with your dance partnership. It is also difficult to spend up to eight hours a day training and then also try to have a romantic relationship. Any problems in the relationship will create problems on the dance floor.

If you date another dancer, there is often jealousy toward the more successful dancer. The less successful dancer may secretly want to dance with his or her significant other.

Non-dancers usually have problems understanding the intimate relationship dance partners have. My boyfriends had difficulty dealing with the travel to other states for competitions and the amount of time I spent with my partners. Also, the suggestive nature of the dancers, lead to jealousy.

Love Waltzes In
By Alana Albertson
Dancing Under the Stars, Book 1

Publisher: Bolero Books
Release Date: November 16, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 305 Pages
ISBN:  978-0989624312

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About the book: 

To her millions of fans, ballroom champion Selena Marcil seems to have the perfect life: a great dance partner, a hit reality show, and celebrity perks. But underneath the glamorous ball gowns, Selena longs to find someone to share her life with when the stage lights dim.

Selena’s childhood sweetheart, Bret Lord, hung up his dance shoes after winning two national titles with her as a teenager, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He never saw his former fiancée again, except on television and on the cover of men’s magazines. Ten years and three deployments later, Bret gets an offer to audition for Selena’s dance show. 

When the Marine Corps gives him temporary leave to appear on the series, Bret can’t refuse the quick cash that will enable him to provide financially for the widow of his buddy, even if it does mean coming face to face with his past.

When Bret shows up at her national championship, Selena is shocked. For years she searched for him to no avail. After spending time with Bret, Selena realizes despite their past romance, they have no future. He has no desire to live under a spotlight and she has no desire to leave it. Can Selena and Bret recognize when Love Waltzes In?

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Staff Sergeant Bret Lord sat on the dirty floor of his tent, going through the day’s mail: the latest Men’s Fitness magazine from his sister, a care package from his mom. He ripped open the package—socks, lip balm, sunflower seeds, and a thin letter that contained an old magazine clipping.

Dear Bret,

I miss you very much. Benny asked me to send you this article. I really wish you would consider his offer. Please stay safe.

Love, Mom

He swallowed hard. A neon sticky pressed on the wrinkled page had a note scrawled on it from his former master dance coach.

Bret, m’boy,
We’ll make it worth your time.
Cheers, Benny.

Thumbing the edge of the article, Bret stared at the sixteen-year-old boy in the picture and could barely recognize himself. His shoulder length, wavy blond hair was slicked back, not shorn in a “high and tight” like his current haircut. No signs of the tattoos or muscles that currently defined his body. Golden skin stained from a bottle, not the harsh sun of Iraq. His arms were wrapped around a gorgeous, curvy young girl with long jet-black hair. The jade Latin gown she wore matched the color of her almond-shaped eyes.

Bret tossed the article aside and removed his nine-mil pistol from his holster to clean it.

Lance Corporal Hernandez walked by Bret and snatched the article off his cot. After staring at it, Hernandez’s face brightened.

“Hey, Staff Sergeant, this you?”

“No, it’s my clone who’s also named Bret Lord.” Bret slid the rail back on his weapon and began disassembling it.

“Staff Sergeant, you know Selena Marcil? Did you hit that?”

“Shut up, Hernandez, or the one getting hit will be you—with the butt stock of my rifle.” Bret grabbed the paper out of Hernandez’s hands, and smacked him on the side of the head. The kid didn’t flinch.

“Staff Sergeant Twinkle Toes. Hey—can you hook me up with Selena? I’ll be her boy toy. I love her. Man, she’s smoking. Has the nicest ass. Not like all those skinny, Russian chicks on that show.” He nodded to himself with an eyebrow dancing. “Selena’s on my list. She’s Latina, too. We’d be perfect together. What was she doing with a gringo like you?”

“Hernandez, you’re way out of line.” Bret reassembled his pistol.

“My bad, Staff Sergeant.”

Bret grabbed the article, his pack, and his rifle. It was impossible to get some privacy in the tent. His only option was to sit outside in a sandstorm but even that sounded like a welcome retreat from his immature men. He walked about five hundred feet, then plopped down in the hot sand.

The red sky hung above him, thick from smoke from the nearby town. Bret struggled to catch a glimpse of the distant mountains. Sand seemed to pelt down from the heavens, blinding him and settling into every crevice in his body. He closed his eyes against the sting of the sand, and turned his thoughts to Selena. Was she the diva the tabloids made her out to be? Even after ten years, he could almost smell her buttery-coconut scent. A welcome change from the overflowing shitters, toxic diesel, and stench of his fellow Marines who hadn’t bathed in three weeks. 

Author Info
Alana Albertson is the former President of both Romance Writers of Americas’s Young Adult and  Chick Lit chapters and the founder of Academe Advantage, a college admissions & test preparation company. Alana Albertson holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. 

A recovering professional ballroom dancer, Alana currently writes contemporary romance and young adult fiction. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two young sons, and four dogs. When she’s not spending her time needlepointing, dancing, or saving dogs from high kill shelters through  Pugs N Roses, the rescue she founded, she can be found watching episodes of House Hunters, Homeland, or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.

Author Links

My Review

Born with a love of music, and two left feet, I fell in love with dance, and dance movies, at a young age.  Reminding me of what I love best about dance movies, Love Waltzes In byAlana Albertson is a well paced, sexy contemporary second chance romance.  Well developed characters, good dialogue, plenty of emotional angst and a good romance kept me turning the pages to discover Brett and Selena could put their differences aside long enough to discover their love could make things work out.

Dancing from the time she was a small kid, Selena Marcil has always wanted to win the professional dance competition in Blackpool, England.  Being a celebrity dance “star” on Dancing Under the Stars helps pay the bills, gives her the ability to continue to afford competing and keeps her in competitive shape.  While she knows she should be grateful for what she has, and she is, Selena also knows her life isn’t quite what she had hoped; she’s still single and wants a family.  She even wonders if pursing one dream has resulted in the loneliness that’s become a part of her life.

A former dancer turned Marine; Brett Lord was once Selena’s dance partner and fiancée.  Tired of the superficial life of a dancer, Brett chose to join the Marines.  Receiving a “Dear John” letter, Brett has focused on his life in the military and the real people he fights for every day.  When his old dance instructor offers him a chance to represent the Marines and make enough money to help out a deceased buddies family, Brett jumps at the chance.  He just didn’t plan on reuniting with the woman who broke his heart.

The scenes between Selena and Brett are well written, have plenty of emotional angst and plenty of physical chemistry.  While they’ve both matured, they still have unresolved issues from their past; Brett’s still hurt by how Selena dumped him and Selena’s worried about letting him get too close.  Contrasting their emotional reunion with their competition on the dance floor, Ms. Albertson lets us see the differences between their lives, their goals and what drove them apart.

The secondary characters are also well developed and are an interesting bunch.  From Benny, their old dance instructor and Selena’s manager, to Dima, Selena’s current dance partner, and his constantly roving eye, they all contribute something to bringing Selena and Brett back together.  Ms. Albertson does a good job managing all of her characters, on and off the page, and making me feel as if I’m seeing the dances she’s describing. 

Will Brett and Selena learn to let go of the past and open their hearts to a new future?  And will they learn they can spend their future together?  You’ll have to read Love Waltzes In to find out, I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book in the series, Waltz on the Wild Side

My Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars

FTC Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

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  1. this sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing :) I don't know the name but I'd love to learn the basic ballroom dancing for like weddings and formal events.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thank you for the wonderful review!!! And yes - Erin - you should take ballroom lessons. It's so much fun.

  4. Just to waltz properly would be wonderful.

  5. Being able to do ANY ballroom dancing would be cool. Tangos always look so fierce and romantic, but I'd probably just end up falling and ruining the act :P

  6. I would like to learn waltz.