Cinderella meets Swan Lake in this Victorian-era set story about a ballet dancer, an aristocrat, and their class-crossing romance…
Lisette yearns for freedom, security and love, but none are offered on the run-down stage of The Imperial Theatre. Instead she has hard work, a tyrannical aunt, and the hope of one day becoming a prima ballerina. Dancing on the stage she catches the attention of two powerful men: Lord Gainsworth and Lord De Vale.
Lord Evander Gainswith never expected to fall in love, let alone with a woman so wholly unacceptable to his family and his peers. The sinister Lord De Vale covets Lisette’s youth and strength, and is willing to pay well for it. Lisette may dance roles in fairy tales and fantasies, but the real world is about to intrude, bringing with it the harsh realities of life for a young girl with dreams of rising above the demimonde.
While I am thrilled to bits that there’s no topless guy pulling a girl out of a massive dress on this cover, and while I do like the cover, I have to wonder if it presents the book as more modern than it actually is…
I think I needed this book. I’d been reading a lot of Regency and Victorian romances, and everything was starting to feel the same. The same old situations and the same old conflicts. The same old narrow cast of characters.
I’d forgotten how much I love reading about the characters of London who fall a few rungs lower down the social ladder, and the author evoked memories of all the times (when I lived in there) I used to go strolling around the less ‘posh’ parts of the city.
Throw in a ballet and theatre theme, and I was in heaven reading this book. As a former ballet dancer and from a family heavily involved in the theatre, if an author makes one mistake when writing this theme, I’m not at all forgiving! However, whatever this author’s background is, I think she captured the theatre perfectly. It was very impressive.
The writing in Dancing On Air is… I guess you’d say ‘simple’. Now that sounds terrible, and that’s not what I mean. What I mean is that historical romances sometimes feel a bit laborious to read, and that wasn’t the case here. It was a simply-told story. It’s an easy read.
As for negatives? Well, a lot of secret information was passed on to the wrong people by characters listening at doors and vents. I can forgive it once, but it happened numerous times throughout the book. The action scene at the end was a little hard to buy…
I have never read anything by this Australian author before, and I’m glad I took a chance on this book.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.