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Shadow Dance

Review

Shadow Dance

Playboy Noah Clayborne
exists in the shadows of Jordan Buchanan's life until Jordan
becomes involved in a mysterious ancient Scottish feud with a
secret treasure. Every woman should be so lucky as to have a knight
in shining armor like Noah Clayborne rush to their side in times of
peril. "Tall, athletic, outgoing, handsome --- he was a man's man
and a woman's fantasy. His sandy blond hair was always slightly in
need of a trim and his piercing blue eyes sparkled with mischief
whenever he gave one of his devilish grins."

New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood is a
master of romance writing, drawing the reader in with this enticing
description of a sexy hero on page six of her latest romantic
suspense novel, SHADOW DANCE. A superior romance novel is only as
good as the fantasies the male character keeps alive and the
passions he stokes.

Jordan Buchanan admits that Noah oozes charisma and is "one of the
sexiest men I've ever met." At the lavish wedding of Jordan's
brother, Dylan Buchanan, and her best friend, Kate MacKenna, Noah
and Jordan are paired in the wedding party. This gives Noah a
chance to tease and tempt Jordan about her lack of adventure and
fun. "As a mathematician and a computer engineer, Jordan dealt with
facts and abstracts, not fantasy." Pair that with sexy FBI agent
Noah Clayborne, and Garwood delivers a romantic suspense novel with
Noah pursuing Jordan in a steamy relationship set amidst a
sometimes-confusing story of feudal warring, a jeweled crown and a
missing treasure.

Many of Garwood's beloved characters from previous novels are
included in SHADOW DANCE, fueling interest in this latest pairing
of lovers. When Jordan learns of the mysterious tale from an odd
professor/wedding crasher, she decides to visit middle-of-nowhere
Serenity, Texas, to step outside her comfort zone and find out more
about the thirteenth century feud involving her family name from
the professor.

Two good things happen to Jordan in Serenity. She is warmly
welcomed by some of the local community, and her brother's FBI
partner Noah comes to her rescue when she finds a dead body in the
trunk of her car --- not once, but twice. Jordan becomes the focus
of the local investigation and sweetheart of the townspeople who
have embraced her. In my opinion, local bad guy J.D. Dickey and
local restaurant owner Jaffee's computer woes take up entirely too
much space.

Noah's realization that Jordan had "stopped being his partner's kid
sister and become the amazingly sexy woman he wanted to take to
bed" adds some real romance to a middle-of-nowhere plot. The feudal
scenes of fields of blood and body parts, legends and betrayals,
and warriors killing are long and confusing. Truthfully, I skipped
over some of them. Halfway through the novel, Garwood gets back to
writing what she writes best --- romance and steamy bedroom scenes
that are the heart of a romance writer's repertoire. Scenes like
this are worth the wait. Four pages of scorching kisses, raw
passion, teasing and intensity brought the most action the little
town of Serenity had ever seen --- or not seen --- behind closed
doors. Savage pleasures bring this novel to life.

Jordan denies to herself that she is a Noah groupie, but "If being
loved by Noah, even for one night, was a fantasy, she wanted to
indulge." When the heroine becomes a "wild woman in his arms" we
can be pretty sure this voracious playboy will succumb to love.
It's always amazing to read the novel ways in which writers
transform the sexy playboys into men who now long for a lasting
relationship. Love always seems to come out of nowhere for men,
even when the woman is in the shadows of his life.

The mystery of the dead bodies slowly unravels and follows Jordan
and Noah back to their hometown of Boston. Jordan is the victim of
a shooting made to look like she got in the middle of someone out
to kill her father, the judge. It is our hero Noah who puts the
pieces together and solves the crimes associated with Jordan's trip
to Serenity.

Noah's cocky self-assurance is part of what makes him attractive,
and being called "Sugar" is an endearment that Jordan and Noah's
groupies love to hear. A lover who says to a woman "You'll make me
the happiest man in the world" is the romantic hero of women's
fantasies and the object of their desires. Voracious lovers are
Garwood's expertise, and her legion of fans can expect passion to
reign over peril as she binds lovers together with aggressors who
make heroines melt and passions rise. It's what women want.

Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on January 23, 2011

Shadow Dance
by Julie Garwood

  • Publication Date: December 26, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction, Romantic Suspense
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345453867
  • ISBN-13: 9780345453860