| CONTEMPORARY & HISTORICAL book reviews | 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. REVIEW: Themes like illusion vs. reality and being a star on the stage vs. being a pedestrian in the street are addressed in Moore’s historical romance about a ballerina who falls in love with an English lord. Lisette Devore strives to follow in her deceased mother’s footsteps to become a prima ballerina and make good on the debt she owes her Aunt Marie for taking care of her. Lisette is tugged in various directions as three men vie for her attention while her aunt, the consummate slave driver, pushes her career on stage. Moore’s expressive language gives readers a feel for Lisette’s conflict. As a star on stage, she fosters the audiences illusions about her but as a pedestrian, she feels like an unloved and unwanted orphan. Undercurrents of deception and manipulation behind the scenes of the performances personalize the characters and move audiences to become enamored of Lisette. emulates a cunning strategist. The dynamics of the characters relationships are true to the Regency period but told in more graphic language than what 19th century writers had used and audiences had been accustomed to hear. Censorship is eschewed in this romantic tale and modulated for contemporary mindsets, though the lesson that home is what’s in the heart remains the same one communicated in Bronte’s classic works. The author’s use of descriptive settings is on par with John Steinbeck, and the language employed in the dialogue has period expressions accented by modern phrasing. | Reviewer: Marie Haney | Alex’s Destiny Amy Gregory Contemporary/New Adult Heat Rating: 4 | Reviewer: Susan Frances | Josette Danielle Thorne Historical Romance Heat Rating: 4 Nothing would make Josette happier than to see her sister and herself settled within the palings of Beddingfield. But dark, brooding Captain Carter rides into their lives with news that ruins everything: Brother George has been lost at sea. Only Captain Carter and his delightfully spinsterish relatives can stop the Price girls from making a choice that would be the greatest tragedy of all. REVIEW: The story shares parallels with Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, an independent heroine bound by honor and a noble hero who means to dissuade her from making an irreparable mistake. It’s not a rehashing of any story from the annals of 19th century women’s fiction but rather has a modern perspective with a malevolent antagonist whose character 28 | www.BTSeMag.com Alex Sterling has devoted her life to teaching the racers at her family’s motocross racing school, and to the one man she’s been in love with since she was four. Alex is brains and innocence wrapped up in one beautiful package every man wants, but only one man can have. Dallas Hunter is a pro-racer on the motocross circuit, following in the footsteps of his father Eli. For Dallas it has always been Alex, but he’s determined not to hurt his family, even if it means letting her go. Alex finds herself caught up in a disturbing game of cat and mouse and is too terrified to tell anyone. Dallas knows something is wrong and races back home, but what he finds almost kills him. Fixing Alex’s pain is all he cares about and suddenly he must decide if his love for her is greater than his love for racing. Dallas knows he has to help his best friend, the woman he loves, and do it without tearing his family apart. REVIEW: Amy Gregory taps into the unconditional love that first-time sweethearts have no fear of expressing. She channels the voice of a young woman who knows what her heart wants; and yet, nagging insecurities continue to block her from the one man that her heart beckons her to pursue. The author has a perceptive voice and a visceral understanding of a young woman who is torn between allowing her desire to lead the way and doubting the accuracy of her compass.