Monday, November 17, 2008

Julie Garwood: Shadow Dance

Shadow Dance: D-
Jordan Buchanan & Noah Clayborne

Jordan Buchanan is thrilled that her brother and best friend are tying the knot. The wedding is a lavish affair–for the marriage of Dylan Buchanan and Kate MacKenna is no ordinary occasion. It represents the joining of two family dynasties. The ceremony and reception proceed without a hitch–until a crasher appears claiming to be a MacKenna guest. The disheveled and eccentric professor of medieval history warns that there’s “bad blood” between the couple’s clans, stemming from an ancient feud that originated in Scotland, and involving the Buchanan theft of a coveted MacKenna treasure.

Jordan has always led a cautious life and has used her intelligence and reason to become a successful businesswoman. So she is intrigued but skeptical of the professor’s claims that the feud has been kept alive by the grave injustices the Buchanans have perpetrated over the centuries. But when Noah Clayborne, a close family friend and a man who has never let a good time or a pretty girl pass him by, accuses Jordan of being trapped in her comfort zone, she determines to prove him wrong and sets out on a spontaneous adventure to the small, dusty town of Serenity, Texas, to judge the professor’s research for herself.

Maneuvering through a close-knit community in which everyone knows everyone else’s business, Jordan never anticipates the danger and intrigue that lie in her path, nor the threat that will shadow her back to Boston, where even in familiar surroundings, her life is at risk... (amazon)

Huge Noah Clayborne fans will find this to be a very, very disappointing read.
I am not a big Noah Clayborne fan (since I can't really remember the books prior to this one), and I still found this to be a HUGE sub-par read.

First off, why is this book called Shadow "Dance" ?
I'm feelin' really dumb, but I don't get it. The book isn't about dancing, neither of the characters dance... nor does the villain. In fact, I don't think music and dancing is even mentioned. Oh wait, it was kind-of mentioned in Dylan and Kate's wedding. Something about it playing and people dancing.
...wait a minute. Was that why Shadow Dance was named Shadow Dance? (confusion)


Second, where is the romance?
Something like this happened:

Jordan: Ooh, I don't Noah. He's handsome and charming. I don't want to fall for him!
Noah: Oh, kid sister of my best friend. No lookey no touchy.
Jordan: Ooh, I think I'm starting to like Noah. But I must resist! Resist!
Noah: Hey, she's pretty hot. And why are the other guys staring at her?
Jordan: Uh-oh, bad things are happening to me.
Noah: Uh-oh, bad things are happening to her.
Jordan: Noah will protect me! (But I won't like him!)
Noah: But I will protect her!
Jordan: I love him.
Noah: ...I love her...???!
(he's surprised, like the rest of us)

See that gap?
That's where the love happens.
Sadly, it never did.

It was one of those 'blindsided by love' romances, but it was lame. I honestly don't see how they could have had more than a fondness for each other (minus the lust and physical attraction that is always so rampant in these novels).


Third, what is going on with Ms. Garwood's writing style?
It was as if she was narrating the entire story. I wasn't there IN the action with the hero and heroine, I was looking from afar - with the story being told to me. It attempted to be witty, but fell flat.

One hundred and twenty pages in, I was still thinking, 'Okay okay, when's everything gonna start?'
Then: 'Oh. Wait. It started a hundred pages ago.'
Then: 'What the heck have I been reading?!'

Fourth, another dreadful romantic suspense!

Fifth, sucky characterization.
Garwood tried to make Jordan a "smart ditz." You know, the very smart computer nerd who is "adorably ditzy" and cute. It didn't work so well; Jordan seems to have a schizophrenic nature.


I actually don't know that much about him. I'm guessing a lot of his character was revealed in the previous books, but since I can't remember the books, I can't remember what he's like. And since the book didn't do much in describing him, minus the overall "charming handsome player" feel, I don't know why he's so damn hot.

Why?! Is it because he's an FBI agent who arrests people?
Why?! I want to know!

In short: Do not read.
It sucked.

(someone tell me why I'm reading Shadow Music? far, it has not mentioned music. I'm 30 pages in.)

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