Reviews for Keep Dancing

“Set in the 80s and dripping with the excesses this time period excelled at, Julia and Jack have reached a point in their relationship where the hard work begins. Julia is working towards her own stardom, while Jack continues to play in the world that made him. As external forces do their best to force this unusual couple apart, Jack and Julia will need to decide if they should keep dancing or find new partners. Emotionally plump with laughter, love, and heartbreak…”

—Smexy Book Reviews

 

“This is one case where I am overly relieved to have book 2 available, as I finished book one, Come Dancing. My heart was so invested in these two and needing to see if they could ever land on solid ground.

There is no rest for the wicked, and Jack and Julia… have many complications with making a relationship work. They have deepened their connection, but there are forces working to undermine the potential of their relationship. As a romantic, I held onto to hope until the very end, and you’ll need to do the same.”

–The Book Enthusiast

“HOT”—“The 80s were an unforgettable decade, and in case you missed it, Wells gives plenty of reasons for why we loved to hate this time of big hair and rock music. In book two of the Jack and Julia series, Wells once again titles chapters after hit songs, and finds even more ways to describe the excitement surrounding New York City as she did in the debut…”

Romance Times

“I love this series because of Jack and Julia.  They are hilarious as they wade their way through the ups and downs of a relationship.  Add to the mix that Jack is a famous rock star and Julia just a tad insecure in their relationship, and you have a recipe for disaster at times.Yes, we’re talking some sparks flying! …For me, these books are an escape.  I get to enter Jack and Julia’s not-so-perfect world at times, and it’s so much fun.  They both have great personalities, and together they are sizzling… It’s a great series, and I’m hoping there is still more to come from Jack and Julia. Highly recommended.”

—Peeking Between the Pages

“In Keep Dancing, Leslie Wells continues the story of New York book editor Julia Nash and her whirlwind relationship with British rock star Jack Kipling in the early 1980s.

When last readers met with Jack and Julia in Leslie Wells’s Come Dancing, they were deep in the throes of a rollercoaster love affair after misunderstandings and meddling enemies had threatened to tear them apart. In her new follow-up novel, Keep Dancing, the author takes readers back to the tumultuous world of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll in New York’s glittering 1980s. We follow Jack and Julia through the end of 1981, when the British rocker sweeps Julia away to England to meet his imposing family; but as 1982 dawns, new challenges and old adversaries once again test Jack and Julia’s relationship. British rock star Jack is set for a multi-city tour across the States, while book editor Julia is on the rise at a fabulous new job, but as their newly-minted living situation seems to be paving the way for a lasting relationship, the stresses from both of their jobs will put them to the test. Add to the mix a screaming nephew, a screeching smoke detector, a wily puppy, and a penthouse full of praying mantises, and Julia will find herself at wit’s end. Struggling to balance her career aspirations with her newly-domesticated home life, she’ll also have to face her uncertain trust as Jack flies off on a star-studded, drug-laden rock tour with his raucous bandmates and a raving horde of devoted groupies at their disposal.

Keep Dancing hits many of the same notes as Wells’s terrific first novel, with a full cast of charming characters, steamy romance, and writing that strikes as both humorous and poignant. While it could certainly be read as a standalone novel, Keep Dancing reads at its best following up the story of Jack and Julia’s first meeting. The duo gets caught in some of the same dangerous webs this time around as high tempers and fragile trust threaten to derail their relationship, while Jack’s meddlesome manager Mary Jo and the band’s conniving lead singer Patrick both try to sabotage what Jack and Julia have built together. Through this novel, though, Jack and Julia have had a chance to grow through their past challenges. As a result, they’re both looking at their relationship – and Julia her career – with mature new eyes. Jack wants to start a family, a sentiment readers see brought to life through his devoted interactions with his sweet-but-destructive nephew Oliver; Julia, meanwhile, sees a glimmer of her own fame in the distance as she strives to take on a posh literary author in her new editing job. As Jack’s want of domestic bliss and Julia’s craving for career achievements draw tension between them, Wells once again allows her characters to grow through the ups and downs of their love for each other.

One of the highlights of the novel is Julia’s alternately fabulous and heartbreaking experience as she accompanies Jack and the band on a leg of their cross-country tour. In these scenes, Wells is able to fully utilize her skill for capturing all the opulence and scandal of the 1980s rock scene, complete with devious gossip headlines and outrageous backstage antics. The other members of Jack’s entourage – southern boy Sammy, unpredictable Mark, and Mark’s patient wife Suzanne – come to life with renewed vigor, entertaining the reader at every turn of the page.

Meanwhile, Wells turns from the glitz of the rock star life to more serious, heartfelt matters as Julia’s search for her father takes her into all manner of uncharted emotional territory. And for Julia, an altogether new feeling of vulnerability befalls her when her rocky relationship with Jack leaves her feeling particularly isolated from everything she thought she knew. With grace, humor, and sparkling imagination, Keep Dancing is a worthy second chapter in a smart new series.”

—Literary Inklings Book Reviews

“Some of the reasons I enjoyed Come Dancing are the same reasons I enjoyed Keep Dancing–remembering life before social media and the age of the internet, imagining life as young woman in publishing, and the funny Brit-isms and behind-the-scenes things you’d like to think happen in a rocker’s life. Additionally, we got a story of figuring out how you work when both of you love what you do and neither of you really want to sacrifice the job. We got to see these characters explore the idea of family and trust and love and hardship and how juggling all of those things can be hard and rewarding… It IS SO FUN!…I fell back into life and love with these characters, and wouldn’t mind returning again!”

—Must Read Books or Die

“The characters in Keep Dancing are very endearing… They are realistically written and very believable. There are several characters that I even learned to dislike a great deal, and I’m hoping there will be another book that will tie this all up with a red bow and give the creeps exactly what they deserve! I even fell in love with Muddy, and wish them luck with a puppy of his size in New York City!

Keep Dancing isn’t all about HEA. Jack and Julia, being very human, have their doubts, their insecurities, and their love for each other. But you learn that love isn’t always enough. A relationship takes communication and trust before love can be successful. There are lots of lessons in Keep Dancing that can be learned about what it takes, and I applaud Leslie for being real in her writing and allowing her characters to be flawed, but working toward better! …I am highly recommending Keep Dancing, and I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. I’m giving Leslie Wells and Keep Dancing five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee!”

—Room With Books

 

“Hello, book 2!  The author answered our cries of love with a second release.  It was GREAT getting reacquainted with our leads while growing those connections and friendships (and frenemy-ships) that were more outlined in the first installment.  We get to see how their two worlds mesh together for better or worse, watch as Jack and Julia struggle to lay some common milestones they wish to reach in their relationship (one’s thinking “here-comes-the-bride”, another wants to make their twosome a threesome), deal with others close to them that are trying to tear them apart (no names shall be mentioned, but I’m obviously glaring at one particular person; no, make that TWO), and learn a myriad of ways to tangle above and below the sheets.

Here, we get to see Jack and Julia take their relationship to the next level… Julia does get to meet his mother (and extended family), and their “parting gift” of sorts is two weeks with Jack’s younger self, his nephew.  Rambunctious could be an understatement to define this wee one, but he is sweet and well intentioned, and he DOES allow us to see how Jack would be as a father figure.  Despite his sweetness, I gotta give Julia props.  She was a real trooper, especially with the “great mantis release” episode (~shudders~), and his surely innocent (yet still disturbing/funny) handiness in the bedroom.  Julia may not be a domestic goddess (I have two words for you: Cornish Hens; you’ll get what I’m referring to once you read the book), but she’s a stellar gal with grammar chops to boot and a determined spirit that could turn the hardest heart to liquid gold.  (Same can be said to a degree for her fella…) Will I be sticking around to see if the next installment brings a happy ending?  You bet; especially after what happens at the end of this one.  Curious to see what fireworks are set off by this chain of events.”

—Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers