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One and one half moon gifXlibris Corporation (Paperback), ISBN 0-7388-2656-1
In this inspirational romance, Wilson uses all the right formulas for a good romance. Heroine Tamara Leigh Woods, a sad, lonely and very successful horse whisperer/trainer, longs for a husband. Blake Jefferson blunders into her life -- handsome, debonair and a real grouch suffering from a disillusioned attitude. Blake desperately wants to ride his late wife's horse, Raven Rocket, in the Galloway Grand Prix. Unfortunately for the terse and very rich Blake, Raven Rocket doesn't like him and insists on throwing Blake every time the television cameras pan their way.

Book: Staci Layne Wilson, The DanceMeanwhile Tamara's best friend California attempts to seduce Blake. The arrival of the stable owner's "English" nephew -- who sports the unlikely name of Kipper Kelso -- adds more fire to the flames.

Will Tamara realize which man she really loves? Will Blake come to his senses and realize which woman he really loves? Will California and Kip realize who they really love?

Well, only God knows…a very interesting point.

The failures of The Dance fall more in the area of inspiration than romance. Wilson force-feeds Christianity to her readers. Obviously a devoted Christian, Tamara believes all of her success (and others' failures) can be attributed to her great faith (and their lack of same). Instead of weaving this into Tamara's actions and behavior (doesn't this heroine ever have doubts?) Tamara constantly preaches that Christianity makes one's life perfect. The author seems to forget that faith alone doesn't guarantee perfection.

Book: Staci Layne Wilson,  Horrors of the HolyAnother major problem, at least for this Englishman, lies with Kipper. Kipper comes across as a really strange mix of American and English. For example -- an English student on his first trip to America certainly wouldn't refer to his last college term as a "semester." And a little more research needed to be done on INS marriage/immigration procedures. Speaking from first hand experience -- as a British ex-pat recently married to an American citizen -- getting married and moving from one country to another does not happen overnight. It entails a lot of paperwork, proven visits to each spouse's country, interviews and tons of patience. Figure a year at the minimum.

Overall, the plotting and pace of The Dance works. Unfortunately, typos abound and detract a lot from the enjoyment of the text. Also, if the author managed to insert her faith more naturally and, perhaps, made her second lead an American nephew rather than British, this book would have proven a worthwhile read. As it stands, The Dance reads like a Sunday sermon.

Stephen John Smith

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