Friday, September 19, 2014

BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: COME DANCING BY LESLIE WELLS


Publication Date: June 8, 2014
Allium Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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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.

Come Dancing Bonus Scenes


OUR REVIEW:
You know what? Sometimes a book like this comes along and takes me out of the niche reading that I tend to find myself in. Yes, this is a romance but it was definitely a more literary romance. It had meat to it..a real story and I so appreciated it! I did too! I didn't realize there would be so much "bookishness" to this story, and I am in love. So very sex+the city feel to me. I am in love. 

My students, in their infinite wisdom, might call this a 'historical' romance as it is set in the early 80's (haha) but even with all of the trademark 80's references, the emotions make it very worthy of a 2014 read. Julia, working hard to make it in a publishing company, and Jack, a hard partying rock and roller, make for an entertaining couple. She makes his life interesting by not falling for his usual charms and being determined to be independent of his glamorous life. He makes life interesting by giving her a behind the scenes look at the sex, drugs and rock and roll that made up the life of an 80's rocker. 

I might've taken a long time to fall for Jack...but he won me over! Have I ever told you guise that "Almost Famous" is one of my favorite movies? Probably not. But it is, and this also reminded me of that with the rocker, and the would be love of his life but they've both been hurt so they resist...the whole entire time. My heart raced, my heart was sad, and then was happy, and then was sad. The characters in this story added so much flavor and spice to the words (such beautifully written words) that I am smiling as I am writing. 

This was a fun novel. The 80's references were authentic and a great reminder at just how different technology has made our lives, how much cleaner NYC is, and how AIDS has changed our sex lives; I thought all of these little reminders were a nice touch. I also loved the fact that there was a story here; we really got to know Julia outside of her love affair with Jack--the life of a hard working assistant trying so hard to work her way up the ladder made this so much more than a steamy romance (and there definitely was steam).

You're right. So, I may've been born at the end of the decade, but I still appreciate all of the things that the 80's gave us. I did recognize the references and thought y'all would be proud. This may've been more "literary" than we read on a regular basis, but I highly recommend it. It has flair and sexiness. MMmmmm. So exciting! 

If you're looking for something steamy and romantic but with a little more to it, I'd definitely give this novel a look. Indeed! Love me some Leslie Wells. Can't wait to read more from her. 

Shelley: 4 stars
Courtney: 4 1/2 stars

Praise for Come Dancing

“Leslie Wells brings to life all the eclectic, edgy style of New York City at the dawn of the 1980s as she spins a story of spine-tingling romance and the complex issues that can threaten a relationship. Through her effervescent writing style she catapults the reader into a world of excess and indulgence, while delving into some honest and heartfelt struggles along the way. … Come Dancing is a love story with lots of heart and plenty of heat.”
—Casee Marie, Literary Inklings Book Reviews

“5 Blushing Stars!! Come Dancing is quite the story. I loved this story and could not put it down. I got lost in the story, imagining the rock stars and their groupies partying it up, while finding themselves and falling in love. Opposites certainly do attract and make for an explosive time! You will love the many layers of Jack; you will also want to smack him at times too. Julia will have you rooting for the underdog and wishing she had a better clothes fund :) Through it all, the many naysayers and people out to split them up, they make it work! Fate seems to finally take its stand and allows for this fairytale story to end the way it should—hot, sexy and combustible!”
–Kellie, Blushing Divas Book Reviews

“I’m never sure what to expect when I venture away from historical fiction, but I found Leslie Wells’ Come Dancing quite enjoyable. Though more contemporary than my usual fare, I think the novel has a lot of heart and is a story many people will be able to relate to.
By far, my favorite aspects of the piece were the atmospheric qualities of the narrative. This is a New York before cell phones and digital cameras. It has different rhythm to it and follows a social structure that is entirely different from the New York of today. There is a contrast in that, something both familiar and almost foreign that really appealed to me.
There is a tangible affection between Julia and Jack which I truly appreciated, and I admired the journey their relationship takes over the course of the story. . .. A pleasant fiction, Come Dancing is brimming with both humor and heart. A realistic romance that is sure to entertain.”
–Erin, Flashlight Commentary Book Blog

Buy the Book


An Excerpt
One Way or Another
 “Are you ever getting out of there?” my friend Vicky complained.
I crooked the receiver in my shoulder, scrabbling papers together.  “I’m heading out now. Harvey dumped a bunch of stuff on me right before he took off.” My boss, the publisher, liked to clear his desk at the end of the week—which meant I got to stay late every Friday night.
“About time. I’ll see you at your place in an hour.”
“We’re going to stick together tonight, right? Avoid the meat market?” I loved dancing off my pent-up energy from long hours sitting at my desk. Vicky saw it more as a smorgasbord of men, served up buffet-style.
“Depends what’s on the menu. See you in a few.”
The minute she hung up, my line rang again. “Is this Julia?” a familiar voice screeched.
“Hi, Louise. How’s it going in Seattle?” Our high-strung author was on a twelve-city tour for her new thriller, and the campaign had been plagued with problems. A celebrated Texas crime reporter, she had braved drug dealers’ bullets but couldn’t cope with delayed flights and lumpy hotel pillows. Harvey had stopped taking her calls a week ago, and ever since she’d been haranguing me.
“The escort hasn’t shown up yet. Why can’t these people be prompt?” Louise fretted.
I held back from pointing out that it was over three hours until her event. “Let me see if anyone’s left in publicity; maybe they can locate her.”
I scurried around the corner to the desolate PR department. The lights in Erin’s cubicle were still on, which gave me hope. A few doors down, I found her on her knees in front of the copy machine. Erin looked up at me and smiled. “Got it!” she exclaimed, extracting an inky wad.
“Could you come deal with Louise? She’s all pumped up for her signing, but the escort has gone awol.” I rolled my eyes.
“God forbid she should ask the front desk to call her a cab,” Erin grumbled as she followed me down the hall. “She’s stared down gun-toting Mafiosi, but on the road she turns into a quivering mass of jelly.”
“Typical of her,” I said.  Most of our authors were great, but a few were real doozies. “Do you want to come out with me and Vicky later? We’re going to hit the Palladium around eleven.”
“I have to finish a press release for that astrology guide. Another glam night in the big city.”
“Okay, be that way. Call me if you change your mind.” I ducked into my office and switched Louise over to Erin, covered my typewriter, then crammed my weekend reading into my backpack.
I sprinted down the deserted hall past shelves overflowing with manuscripts, a few framed awards gathering dust. Our titles ranged from literary to pure fluff; with the economy still in the pits, we were hawking anything from pop psychology to diet fads. This had been a shock when I’d arrived as a starry-eyed editorial assistant after a brief stint in grad school, thinking I’d be spending my weekends holed up with hot talent from The New Yorker. But now I was seasoned enough to plow through the B-list celebrity memoirs and breastfeeding manuals, while relishing any good novels that came my way.
I caught the elevator with a jittery messenger who bounced his bike tire, making the floor shimmy. I waved to the security guard and headed down lower Park Avenue in the balmy air. Usually I walked home to save money on subway tokens; I figured I had time tonight since my best friend was probably still primping.
Vicky had left the company a few months ago to join the publicity department of a larger midtown publisher. I missed her at the office, and I was also envious of her escape from assistantdom. But we still got together on weekends, and now I couldn’t wait to go to our favorite club. We liked the Palladium for its edgy mix of punks, rockers, and regular people like us.
I wove through some guys hissing “Sens, sensimilla!” in Washington Square and stopped at a street vendor selling earrings. A pair with long strands of beads and feathers caught my eye. I fingered them for a minute, calculating. Seven bucks for drinks; three for a cab home tonight … Reluctantly I put them back.
Halfway down MacDougal, I came to a screeching halt. An absolutely perfect small table was sitting right in the middle of the sidewalk.  I stepped close for a better look. Gold leaf curlicues adorned its surface, and ornate lion heads were carved into its corners. I gave it a shake to see if the legs were loose, but it didn’t even wobble. I couldn’t believe someone had thrown out something this nice—it wasn’t even large garbage night! At last I could get rid of the stacked milk crates I ate on.
Now I just had to get it home. My place on Broome Street was eight blocks away, and the table was about three feet square. Maybe if I swung my backpack around to the front and hoisted the table on my back …
As I stood there considering, a guy in a dirty tee-shirt approached, holding a can of beer. “You need some help with that?” he asked, swaying a little.
“I think I can get it. Thanks anyway.”
The man leaned against the brick wall of the apartment building to watch. Turning around, I backed up to the table.  I tried to reach behind and grasp its sides, but I couldn’t bend back far enough—why I’d always stunk at the limbo-la. Maybe if I bent lower …   I crouched down, the backpack wedged against my belly like an unwanted pregnancy, and strained to get a grip on its legs.
Suddenly a woman ran screeching out of the building. “Stop that! What are you doing with my table?”
I stared at her. “This is yours? I thought somebody was throwing it away.”
“Are you kidding? This is an antique! You couldn’t have thought it was being thrown out.” The woman glared at me, hand on her hip.
Oh my god, how embarrassing. “I didn’t realize—I mean, it was sitting here all by itself with no note on it or anything. I thought it was meant for the garbage.”
“The garbage!” the woman shrieked. “I paid six hundred dollars for that! I was waiting for my husband to bring it upstairs! You should keep your paws off things that aren’t yours,” she huffed as she flounced back inside.
The man in the tee-shirt smiled and took a gulp of beer. “Baby, you just took a bite of the B-i-i-i-g Apple.”
“Actually, I think it just bit me.”

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.

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