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Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
Dances of the Heart by Andrea Downing is a contemporary romance with two interweaving story elements. Carrie Bennett is a author who is successful at writing but unsuccessful at love. Conducting research for her newest novel, she travels Hill Country Texas with her daughter Paige, who is dealing with her fiance's tragic death. Things change when the mother-daughter pair meet father-son pair Ray and Jake. Ray is also grieving a loss, the death of his oldest son. His younger son, Jake, just returned from Iraq and holds his own secrets. Secrets about his deceased brother that could ruin the reputation his father still holds dear. When the foursome connect, it starts a chain reaction of events that takes the story from Texas to the beach of East Hampton to New York penthouses and a Mexican border town. None of the four characters knows how the story is going to end, but if they can't forget about past hurts and look to the future, they know they will never have the happy ending they all so desperately deserve.
This is a sweet romantic story that tries to make something beautiful out of so much loss. The characters really spoke to me in this story, especially as they tried to deal with the death of loved ones. Learning to love after a loss is such a hard thing to do, and readers will fall in love with these characters as they wear their hearts on their sleeves and open themselves up to the pain and pleasure of loving again.