Thankfully that's what this book delivered. A lush, full story with twists and turns and likeable characters. While this is definitely a sweet romance (the love scene was steamy but definitely romantic and felt very suited to the story of Evander and Lisette), I would actually say that the romance isn't the strongest thread to this book. The courtship between the slightly rakish Evander and the sweet and loyal Lisette takes it time and blossoms slowly. There is a certain amount of love/lust at first sight, but neither go down the route of falling in love instantly. This slow build is refreshing.
Interestingly, the fact that their love isn't the only focus of the book is what gives it such a strong, enveloping feel. With a cast of two villains, some loyal friends and the rest of the ballet corp, you feel completely immersed in the world of the Victorian ballet and are willing Lisette and Evander to defeat the bad guys and the rules of society at the time, so they can find their happy ending. I knew it was coming--prayed for it to happen--but I'll admit, there was a few times I felt sure it was all going to come crumbling down. In spite of the sweet nature of this story, both villeins are twisted and cruel and add a real element of threat.
For an absorbing, rich, fantastically historical setting with a fresh feel to it, I highly recommend this book.
Cinderella meets Swan Lake in this Victorian-era set story about a ballet dancer, an aristocrat, and their class-crossing romance...
Lisette yearns for freedom, security and love, but none are offered on the run-down stage of The Imperial Theatre. Instead she has hard work, a tyrannical aunt, and the hope of one day becoming a prima ballerina. Dancing on the stage she catches the attention of two powerful men: Lord Gainsworth and Lord De Vale.
Lord Evander Gainswith never expected to fall in love, let alone with a woman so wholly unacceptable to his family and his peers. The sinister Lord De Vale covets Lisette's youth and strength, and is willing to pay well for it. Lisette may dance roles in fairy tales and fantasies, but the real world is about to intrude, bringing with it the harsh realities of life for a young girl with dreams of rising above the demimonde.
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