Love Waltzes In
Just in time for the finals of Dancing With the Stars, airing this week, I read Love Waltzes In, a romance novel featuring the reunion of a professional ballroom dancer and a Marine. Selena and Bret were teen partners and dance champions, but their relationship broke up when he joined the military. Now, he’s returned to compete against her on Dancing Under the Stars to raise money to benefit the family of a deceased colleague. Will their first love be rekindled?
Well, of course — this is a romance novel, and part of the appeal is the formula. In this case, though, I found the behind-the-scenes insight into the dance show more interesting than the love story, which reads as perfunctory. Most of the characters are two-dimensional, and some have no clear motivation for their actions, beyond being selfish or needing to be mean for the story to progress. One key mystery, who tipped off the tabloids at a significant point in the story, isn’t even answered.
But Alana Albertson clearly knows the field. She’s a former competitor herself. Her insights into the process are the best part of the book, although the actual competition is abbreviated. The story goes from the leads meeting their celebrity partners to competing in semifinals relatively quickly.
In between the chapters are cheesy, one-paragraph dance descriptions that were unnecessary and felt like filler. I also found the ending rushed, coming too quickly compared to the pacing of the earlier sections. Overall, the storytelling is choppy. I would have recommended another editing pass. Still, fans of dance shows will find the milieu fascinating and enjoy the book just based on that. That’s what kept me reading.
Albertson already has two sequels planned, following other dance couples, and right now, the Kindle version of the book is only 99 cents, making it a cheap try. (The publisher provided a review copy.)