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~The Dancing Floor~

by Barbara Michaels

Heroine: husky

American school teacher Heather Tradescant has journeyed to merry Olde England on a trip that is anything but merry.  She is living out her father's last wishes and visiting the famous ancient gardens as they had once dreamed of doing together


          Heather particularly desires to see the seventeenth century garden of one Troyton House, but is denied access by the owner.  Determined to at least get a glimpse of the fabled grounds, she gives in to impulse and trespasses on the property, blundering her way through a monstrous prickly hedge that does far more damage to her than she does to it. 


          Arriving on the far side of the vegetation Heather is left with a deep-seated sense of uneasiness extending far beyond that of merely breaking the law.  She senses that perhaps God's own laws are somehow being broken at Troyton House, but by who or what she does not know--and is desperately afraid she will find out.


What worked for me:

           I give Heather big points for being a teacher, and a lover of gardening, traditional Regency romance novels, and chocolate!


            I enjoyed the fact that the story was steeped in the lore of several cultures.  I wish it gone into even further detail in some cases, it was so interesting.   


            Size-wise Heather describes herself as being big-boned but flat-chested.  But it didn't seem to lessen her appeal to the other gender, as she had four men interested in her at one time or another.


What didn't work for me:


            Reading this story felt like mentally traversing a maze with its twists, turns, and false leads.  And yet, it wasn't that highly suspenseful for me.  I think I went into it expecting something shocking, like a "Blair Witch" meets contemporary gothic romance sort of hybrid, and when I didn't get that kind of intense, high-speed action I found it to be a bit draggy.




               "The Dancing Floor" didn't quite have the zing the back cover blurb really promised.  Still, it's definitely worth the searching out at the library if you are a fan of witches and/or gardening.


Warning:   There are several mentions of the occult in this novel and don't expect many mentions of floors, dancing or otherwise in this oddly-named story.


If you liked "The Dancing Floor" you might also enjoy "Aunt Dimity and the Duke" or "Thornyhold".


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