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A salty, sexy story with a deeply likable heroine who's dancing as fast as she can.

Horsewoman and freelance writer Dunn unexpectedly loses herself in salsa, where she finds personal insight and a whole new community.

After nearly losing her leg in a horseback riding accident some years ago, Dunn was able to get back on the horse, but she didn't figure on doing much more dancing in her life. But after she’s (willingly, happily) seduced by her irresistible Latino blacksmith—he shoes her horse—she finds herself in desperate need of dancing lessons. Contrary to her expectations, she's almost immediately disillusioned with the blacksmith, but finds that the dancing has invaded her thoughts; she's begun to hear salsa beats as she walks down the street. Her teacher, too, has become strangely attractive to her after taking her out to a salsa club and showing her his amazing moves on the dance floor. Dunn can't understand the turn her life is taking, but she’s suddenly in total thrall to the Latin dancing world. She takes private lessons, seeks out gifted instructors and goes out to dance clubs every night, despite her bum leg and nagging lack of rhythm. She even begins wearing skirts, something she'd never imagined doing again after her accident. With a salty southern charm, Dunn is like the Brett Butler of the L.A. salsa scene, charming and seducing the reader into wondering whether maybe it’s time to sign up for salsa lessons at the local studio. As Dunn runs through her romantic misadventures and her stormy relationship with her mother, herself a dancer, she points to her many missteps, but the overall impression is of a woman who is finding her way, learning to trust herself and other people. Drama, humor and the heat of the salsa scene infuse the work.

A salty, sexy story with a deeply likable heroine who's dancing as fast as she can.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2005

ISBN: 0-8050-7678-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2005

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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