Dance with the Devil

Fiction - Drama
429 Pages
Reviewed on 09/30/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Gobi Jane for Readers' Favorite

Dance with the Devil by Ren'e Fedyna is the second entry in the Dance Series, a book that follows the lives of three women and their unavoidable destinies. Lola La Fontaine refuses to marry the man betrothed to her from birth and is disinherited by her father. Her dream is to become a cabaret performer, and she travels to the US where she experiences immense success, living her dream. Then when everything seems perfect in her life, she learns of secrets that force her to return to France. Mimi La Fontaine is Lola’s daughter born in France. She believes that her mother died in childbirth, a lie peddled by her rich grandfather, Emile La Fontaine. She lives a life of luxury, a spoiled child who will do anything to get what she wants. Rita O’Reilly is also Lola’s daughter who feels abandoned by her parents. At the age of twelve, she is on a dangerous journey that brings her into contact with dubious characters and danger.

This novel is cleverly plotted. The international setting in Paris is brilliantly portrayed and the author introduces the key players right off the bat. Readers immediately understand the disagreements between father and daughter, a conflict at the heart of the story that will affect the daughters and granddaughters of Lola La Fontaine and Emile La Fontaine. I enjoyed the way the author captures the details of life in Paris at the period in which the story takes place. The characters are elaborately developed and I loved how well the author handles motivation in the characters. The writing in Dance with the Devil is gorgeous and the descriptions are terrific. The cultural elements of the setting are skillfully woven into the narrative, and expressions that are typically French are aptly inserted into the dialogues to give readers a feel of the place. Ren'e Fedyna has a gift for both plot and character and has written a story that kept me reading.

Lucinda E Clarke

Dance with the Devil by Ren’e Fedyna is the second book in a trilogy. It follows on from Dance of the Restless Soul and continues the story of Lola and her daughters. Despite not having read the first book, I found this book can act as a standalone and the connections between the family members in both France and America were clear while leaving space open for reading the tale in the earlier years. We meet Emile in Paris who dotes on his granddaughter Mimi, possibly one of the most charming villains you will ever meet in fiction. When Sophie opens her Parisian bordello, she has hit new heights, but she is no saint and she has a dangerous secret to keep. Michael escapes poverty in Ireland to make a new life in America. A chance meeting with a partner will change his life forever, and then he meets and falls in love with Lola, Emile’s daughter. Rimrock Springs is the frenetic center of the goldrush and, a few years later, a child is born whose fortunes will lead her into some riveting situations.

I really enjoyed reading Dance with the Devil by Ren’e Fedyna. I connected with Lola, although much of the book tells the story of her daughter Rita. We get more than a glimpse into the gold-rich days in America, the land of the Native American peoples, and circus life. The author paints vivid pictures that transport you to the time and place, both in Paris and California. The author has done some considerable research that has brought her locations to life. Because the second in the trilogy can be read as a standalone, I’m sure that anyone who picks up this book will eagerly reach out for the other two in the series. I loved this story. A well-deserved 5 stars.

K.C. Finn

Dance With The Devil is a work of fiction in the family saga, interpersonal drama, and historical fiction sub-genres, and was penned by author Ren’e Fedyna. Focusing on the life of central protagonist Lola La Fontaine and her two estranged daughters, this novel forms the second work in the Dance series after we were introduced to Lola’s difficult predicament in Dance of the Restless Soul. Years later, Lola has risked it all to fulfill her dreams in the bright lights of America, but shocking revelations about her past cause her to connect with the tumultuous and complex lives of her children, Rita and Mimi. What results is a detailed and heartfelt family drama with plenty of struggle and suspense.

Author Ren’e Fedyna has crafted a truly compelling tale of female empowerment and the pursuit of destiny in this highly inviting historical family drama. The French roots of the tale are everywhere, no matter the setting, serving elegant phrasing and atmospheric drama with small touches, like details in the scenery and the dialogue of the characters. I found Rita the most engaging for her gritty emotional arc, but I’m certain that each of the women will appeal to readers in different ways because they are realistic and fully developed characters. This makes for some really tense and effective moments when danger rears its head, and it will be sure to keep you invested through the many emotive twists to the plot. Overall, I would certainly recommend Dance With The Devil and the series in general to fans of immersive historical family drama.

Ruffina Oserio

Dance with the Devil is the second book in the Dance series by Ren’e Fedyna and an enchanting tale that follows the lives of three gorgeous characters. Émile La Fontaine, former minister to the French government, has just won a great deal of money at the Hippodrome, the racetrack at the elite Bois de Boulogne gardens. He is a very rich man. However, he has a problem: he is a lonely man because of the mistakes he has made, and one of them has been disinheriting his daughter, Lola La Fontaine.

Lola refuses to follow the wishes of her father to marry Marquis Bouton. She sets off to pursue her dream as a cabaret performer. She overcomes many challenges and finally travels to the US where she succeeds in her dream. Everything is perfect until she learns disturbing secrets and must return home to Paris. Rita O’Reilly is one of Lola’s daughters who feels abandoned at the age of twelve and who has to stand up for herself through a very dangerous journey. Then there is Mimi La Fontaine, Lola’s daughter who was born in Paris, and who believes that her mother is dead. Her grandfather has lied to her, telling her that her mother died in childbirth.

Dance with the Devil is the story of three women who must face their destinies and the reader will want to see how their destinies intersect. It is a story of family, of abandon, of lies and deceit, of parenting, and adventure. The characters are well-written and the author creates a wonderful setting in France and allows readers to have a strong feel of the way of life of the noble class. The dialogues are interesting. From the very beginning, the conflict is introduced as Emile La Fontaine is presented as a troubled character, whose wrong choices do not just affect his daughter, but his granddaughter. The plot is strong, the pacing fast, the characters lovable. A tale that is hard to put down.

Rabia Tanveer

Dance with the Devil is the second book in the Dance series by Ren'e Fedyna. Destiny meets Lola again, but this time it also teaches a lesson to her daughters. When Lola left the aristocratic life back in Paris to live her dream, she had no idea she would be leaving so much more behind than just a man she didn’t love. Living her dream as a cabaret dancer proved to be everything she hoped it would be, but something far more important than her dreams would call her back to Paris one day. When Lola left Paris, her daughter Rita believed both her parents had left her. Rita was on her own and realized life would never be easy for her again. On the other hand, her daughter Mimi was living the life of a princess. She never had anything to worry about or fight for. She had no idea her life was going to change a lot more than she had ever anticipated. Destiny awaits Lola and her two daughters. What will they do when they have to face life at its worst?

Dance with the Devil was such a descriptive and eloquently put together story. Lola, Mimi, and Rita are three strong and determined characters. All of them had their flaws, they had their battles to fight, and they had their triumphs to achieve. I enjoyed how Ren'e Fedyna did justice to each of these characters and gave them plenty of opportunities to show readers that their stories were worth reading. I enjoyed Rita’s story and her progress. She was lost, vulnerable, and thinking she was truly alone in the world. Her responses felt genuine, her reactions were real, and she had to mature almost overnight if she wanted to survive. The story moved fast enough to keep it interesting, Other characters added just enough intrigue to make it even more attention-grabbing. There was nothing that I wanted to change in this story. I was sad I did not read the first novel in the series. This was truly amazing.

Suzanne Ward

I loved it! Ren'e Fedyna's research is awesome. I loved getting to know the different groups-gold miners, ranchers, the Nedero Indian clans and the performers. Rita is my favorite character-I felt like I really knew her and understood her. I cared about what happened to her, I also felt like each of her adventures could be a book in itself.

Brenda Schancer

This is a much-anticipated sequel to book #1: "Dance of the Restless Soul." I became invested in the lives of these characters and I am excited to find out what fate and the future have in store for all of them.

Jackie Kaperick

This book is a real page-turner. I couldn't put it down! I loved the first book in the series, "Dance of the Restless Soul," and now that I've read book 2, I can't wait for book 3!

Claire Middleton

I was immediately drawn to the story in book one and so I looked forward to book two and was not disappointed. The author has a way of taking us on a non-stop journey of her characters, each so different and each so interesting. I'm looking forward to the next book with eager anticipation.

Pat Simmons

After reading the first book, I anxiously awaited the next book in the series and it certainly didn't disappoint. I am totally invested in the lives of the characters and look forward to the next book in the series. So, get writing Ren'e!