+Blog Book Tour+ Come Dancing by Leslie Wells An unsuspecting #Contemporary #Romance novel set against the backdrop of the 80s rock scene & the book publishing industry.

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 by jorielov , , 3 Comments

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Come Dancing by Leslie Wells

Published By: Allium Press
Official Author Websites:  Site | Blog | Facebook | GoodReads

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #ComeDancingBlogTour

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Come Dancing” virtual book tour through Book Junkie Promotions. This is my first tour to host for Amy Bruno’s new endeavour where she is now able to host authors across genres and not limited to Historical Fiction! I look forward to successive tours with her in this new vein of book publicity and am thankful I was chosen for this one! I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Leslie Wells, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Interested in Reading:

I knew as soon as I read the premise for this story, it was going to be straight-up ChickLit and a bit of a departure from what I regularly read; yet that is exactly why I wanted to request it for review! I am always lamenting about how I like to break-out of my comfort zones in literature, try a story that is writ in a style and method that is not within my preferred niche of selections and take a chance on something uniquely different. I think it allows readers not to become clogged into a pattern of repetitive thematics and draws an expansive circle around the hearty breadth of what is regularly offered. I will admit, I can stumble a bit here or there, even find a miss amongst the gems, but what I appreciate about the journey is the unexpected joys, the startling wicked discoveries, and the wide expanse of what is being written across all spectrum’s of literature today. Mind you, as I already disclosed on my Review Policy, a bit of ‘heat’ isn’t something I blush away from reading, as I am far more concerned about the level of vulgarity in novels than I am about a bit of romance! And, as far as vulgarity is concerned — I prefer it to be non-inclusive or sparsely sprinkled if a necessity at best.

 +Blog Book Tour+ Come Dancing by Leslie Wells An unsuspecting #Contemporary #Romance novel set against the backdrop of the 80s rock scene & the book publishing industry.Come Dancing
by Leslie Wells
Source: Author via Book Junkie Promotions

Julia is a book-loving publisher’s assistant. Jack is a famous British rock star. “Opposites attract” is an understatement.

It’s 1981. Twenty-four-year-old Julia Nash has recently arrived in Manhattan, where she works as a publisher’s assistant. She dreams of becoming an editor with her own stable of bestselling authors—but it is hard to get promoted in the recession-clobbered book biz.

Julia blows off steam by going dancing downtown with her best friend, Vicky. One night, a hot British guitarist invites them into his VIP section. Despite an entourage of models and groupies, Jack chooses Julia as his girl for the evening—and when Jack Kipling picks you, you go with it. The trouble is … he’s never met a girl like her before. And she resists being just one in a long line.

Jack exposes her to new experiences, from exclusive nightclubs in SoHo to the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood; from mind-bending recording sessions to wild backstage parties. Yet Julia is afraid to fall for him. Past relationships have left her fragile; one more betrayal just might break her.

As she fends off her grabby boss and tries to move up the corporate ladder, Julia’s torrid relationship with Jack takes her to heights she’s never known—and plunges her into depths she’s never imagined.

With a fascinating inside look at publishing, this entertaining story of a bookish young woman’s adventures with a rock superstar is witty, moving, and toe-curlingly steamy.

Places to find the book:

Also by this author:

Genres: Contemporary Romance


Published by Allium Press

on 8th June, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 382

Author Biography:

Leslie Wells
Photo Credit: © Leslie Wells

Leslie Wells left her small Southern town in 1979 for graduate school in Manhattan, after which she got her first job in book publishing. She has edited forty-eight New York Times bestsellers in her over thirty-year career, including thirteen number one New York Times bestsellers. Leslie has worked with numerous internationally known authors, musicians, actors, actresses, television and radio personalities, athletes, and coaches. She lives on Long Island, New York.

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Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

Chapter 1: One Way or Another

“Are you ever getting out of there?” my friend Vicky complained.

I crooked the receiver in my shoulder, scrabbling papers together.  “I’m heading out now. Harvey dumped a bunch of stuff on me right before he took off.” My boss, the publisher, liked to clear his desk at the end of the week—which meant I got to stay late every Friday night.

“About time. I’ll see you at your place in an hour.”

“We’re going to stick together tonight, right? Avoid the meat market?” I loved dancing off my pent-up energy from long hours sitting at my desk. Vicky saw it more as a smorgasbord of men, served up buffet-style.

“Depends what’s on the menu. See you in a few.”

The minute she hung up, my line rang again. “Is this Julia?” a familiar voice screeched.

“Hi, Louise. How’s it going in Seattle?” Our high-strung author was on a twelve-city tour for her new thriller, and the campaign had been plagued with problems. A celebrated Texas crime reporter, she had braved drug dealers’ bullets but couldn’t cope with delayed flights and lumpy hotel pillows. Harvey had stopped taking her calls a week ago, and ever since she’d been haranguing me.

“The escort hasn’t shown up yet. Why can’t these people be prompt?” Louise fretted.

I held back from pointing out that it was over three hours until her event. “Let me see if anyone’s left in publicity; maybe they can locate her.”

I scurried around the corner to the desolate PR department. The lights in Erin’s cubicle were still on, which gave me hope. A few doors down, I found her on her knees in front of the copy machine. Erin looked up at me and smiled. “Got it!” she exclaimed, extracting an inky wad.

“Could you come deal with Louise? She’s all pumped up for her signing, but the escort has gone awol.” I rolled my eyes.

“God forbid she should ask the front desk to call her a cab,” Erin grumbled as she followed me down the hall. “She’s stared down gun-toting Mafiosi, but on the road she turns into a quivering mass of jelly.”

“Typical of her,” I said.  Most of our authors were great, but a few were real doozies. “Do you want to come out with me and Vicky later? We’re going to hit the Palladium around eleven.”

“I have to finish a press release for that astrology guide. Another glam night in the big city.”

“Okay, be that way. Call me if you change your mind.” I ducked into my office and switched Louise over to Erin, covered my typewriter, then crammed my weekend reading into my backpack.

I sprinted down the deserted hall past shelves overflowing with manuscripts, a few framed awards gathering dust. Our titles ranged from literary to pure fluff; with the economy still in the pits, we were hawking anything from pop psychology to diet fads. This had been a shock when I’d arrived as a starry-eyed editorial assistant after a brief stint in grad school, thinking I’d be spending my weekends holed up with hot talent from The New Yorker. But now I was seasoned enough to plow through the B-list celebrity memoirs and breastfeeding manuals, while relishing any good novels that came my way.

I caught the elevator with a jittery messenger who bounced his bike tire, making the floor shimmy. I waved to the security guard and headed down lower Park Avenue in the balmy air. Usually I walked home to save money on subway tokens; I figured I had time tonight since my best friend was probably still primping.

Vicky had left the company a few months ago to join the publicity department of a larger midtown publisher. I missed her at the office, and I was also envious of her escape from assistantdom. But we still got together on weekends, and now I couldn’t wait to go to our favorite club. We liked the Palladium for its edgy mix of punks, rockers, and regular people like us.

I wove through some guys hissing “Sens, sensimilla!” in Washington Square and stopped at a street vendor selling earrings. A pair with long strands of beads and feathers caught my eye. I fingered them for a minute, calculating. Seven bucks for drinks; three for a cab home tonight … Reluctantly I put them back.

Halfway down MacDougal, I came to a screeching halt. An absolutely perfect small table was sitting right in the middle of the sidewalk.  I stepped close for a better look. Gold leaf curlicues adorned its surface, and ornate lion heads were carved into its corners. I gave it a shake to see if the legs were loose, but it didn’t even wobble. I couldn’t believe someone had thrown out something this nice—it wasn’t even large garbage night! At last I could get rid of the stacked milk crates I ate on.

Now I just had to get it home. My place on Broome Street was eight blocks away, and the table was about three feet square. Maybe if I swung my backpack around to the front and hoisted the table on my back …

As I stood there considering, a guy in a dirty tee-shirt approached, holding a can of beer. “You need some help with that?” he asked, swaying a little.

“I think I can get it. Thanks anyway.”

The man leaned against the brick wall of the apartment building to watch. Turning around, I backed up to the table.  I tried to reach behind and grasp its sides, but I couldn’t bend back far enough—why I’d always stunk at the limbo-la. Maybe if I bent lower …   I crouched down, the backpack wedged against my belly like an unwanted pregnancy, and strained to get a grip on its legs.

Suddenly a woman ran screeching out of the building. “Stop that! What are you doing with my table?”

I stared at her. “This is yours? I thought somebody was throwing it away.”

“Are you kidding? This is an antique! You couldn’t have thought it was being thrown out.” The woman glared at me, hand on her hip.

Oh my god, how embarrassing. “I didn’t realize—I mean, it was sitting here all by itself with no note on it or anything. I thought it was meant for the garbage.”

“The garbage!” the woman shrieked. “I paid six hundred dollars for that! I was waiting for my husband to bring it upstairs! You should keep your paws off things that aren’t yours,” she huffed as she flounced back inside.

The man in the tee-shirt smiled and took a gulp of beer. “Baby, you just took a bite of the B-i-i-i-g Apple.”

“Actually, I think it just bit me.”

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Reviving the ’80s – the decade I grew up in yet barely knew:

As I spent my childhood in the 1980s, it is not a lightning bolt across anyone’s desk that I was immune to knowing too much about the rock & roll scene therein. I grew up on Adult Contemporary classics and Mo-Town amongst the Funk and Folk of the 1970s as far as music was concerned. I listened to Classic Rock on the fringes of what I regularly heard off the radio, but I was most definitely more into the earlier Pop influences with a heavy leaning on singer-songwriters who breathed stories alive in their ballards and songs. I hadn’t jumped onto the bandwagon of 80’s Rock nor Alternative Rock until I was thirteen where I wanted expand a bit past the classics of what I listened to as a child. I still craved the origins of rock & roll, but I liked listening to a bit of an edgy version of where music took the lyrics next. A lot of electric guitar and a firm presence of the drums helped to rock out the anguish of my teenage years.

I knew the club scene in NYC was a focal point of the 1980s, inasmuch as I knew it was landmark as far as parties and the entire nightlife that evolved out of the music. I might not have fully understood the ‘culture’ of the night, but I knew enough to realise and give a nod to it’s importance. I was more keen on The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and Captain & Tennille with interludes of Karen Carpenter and the sounds of the 50s to settle on the rock scene of my youth. Even the hair bands were elusive to me until I was a freshman in high school, whereupon I craved pulsing them on high whenever I felt school was beyond unfair and listening to someone rock out an angst ridden song just felt soothing to my ears. Of course, by then, the 90s had entered the picture and music was undergoing a new Renaissance of change.

Music was by far a capstone of my childhood — I attend symphonies as a young child, and grew up with a propensity for sound for motion picture as well. I cut my teeth on the legacy of John Williams and fancied the inventiveness of Danny Elfman long before either of them were seriously known amongst my own peers. Classical opera, the Bigband era, and music of Broadway were weaving in and out of my radar as well. To this day, I listen to a highly eclectic mosaic of musical diversity that is still expanding and evolving as I grow in my appreciation of musical influences and backgrounds. The advent of radio programmes such as Hearts of Space eclipsed my feelings on electronica as there are soundscapes in Ambient and Trance that help a writer fuse their imagination to the page. And, of course I am positively not only addicted to listening to samples on CDBaby but supporting the Indie Bands & Songwriters who populate the site through listening to the free music offered through their listener newsletter inasmuch as talking about the ‘singles’ I discover as I do to others addicted to wicked quality music such as I. At some point, I’ll have CDBaby on a regular shipping docket straight to my door as I want to gather CD and vinyls as budget allows.

And, lest I mention how many hours I spent listening to vinyls as a child! I have a proper collection of singles on vinyl including Physical by Olivia Newton-John! Collecting vinyls in the future will fully encompass my passion for the music of the early 20th Century and straight through the three decades I beloved growing up which were the 1950s, 1960s, & 1970s! I might just add in a dash of the 80s — as let’s face it, some of those are ‘classic’ to me now as well! Therefore, you can sort of gather how I became interested in reading Come Dancing as who wouldn’t want to soak into a novel set against a musical backdrop during an iconic moment of music history in New York City!?

My Review of Come Dancing:

Julia Nash is quite no nonsense about her life, her outlook on her career, and the choices she is making to create a positive contribution to the world of publishing. The spark of life she has to share with her close friend Vicky as they tour round the club scene as much as how different she is choosing to be in the relationship section of her life; proves that Julia is not your typical twenty-something living in NYC. She hails from a small towne in Pennsylvania, which I think explains why she’s grounded in acknowledging the consequences in impulsive decisions in relationships as well as why she is opting out to be a bit more cautious in whom she chooses to have a liaison with next. Career focused, she is mindful of her path but she refuses to believe that even if you choose a near-impossible field of work, it doesn’t mean without a bit of grunt work you cannot accomplish what you originally set out to do.

Jack Kipling has an allure to him that Julia finds exciting but she’s not buying into his elixir if it would only lead her down a rabbit hole of disillusionment after a brief fling. She wants more out of her life than a succession of causal dating escapades and yearns for a deeper connection past the physical. Her own upbringing led her to be curious about everything but with her parents broken apart at a young age, she saw firsthand what can happen when a woman’s heart is not aligned properly. She also wasn’t so sure she bought into the casualness of her peers as she was striving for something she couldn’t quite explain but knew she wanted more than raking through beaus. Jack on the other hand is one part rake and one part gentleman; which part wins out is anyone’s guess, including Julia’s.

What truly endeared me to the story is the fact that it didn’t live up to the traditional slot it could have had as a piece of straight-up ChickLit, for which I am not entirely sure I could ever fully read full-time. I’m much more into the relationship-based romance side of the genre, of which I have been forever blessed tenfold to have found ChocLitUK (as I refer to myself as a ‘ChocLit’ gal rather than a ‘Chick-Lit’ gal); yet the beauty is how moralistically Julia is conflicted. Her heart is ruling the roost of her passion, yet her felicity of believing in a strong relationship with a man is possible beyond the physical is what endeared me to the plot. Nothing is rushed between her and Jack, which was a nice turnabout of her character’s arc; she even challenged him to see outside the box of his regular inclinations. Julia Nash has a smartness about her that goes beyond her University degree; she cut her teeth on real-life experiences but she has a heart of gold whilst seeking to put her stamp on her field. Her pursuit of publishing wicked quality books whilst side-stepping the snarkiest of her colleagues gave me more than a wink of a giggle. She reminded me so very much of Tess from Working Girl; using her smarts to out think her competition and using her competency of the industry to outshine them too.

The music world and nightlife became an echoing layer in the background as the novel shifted forward into the quasi relationship stage between Julia and Jack. They were a slow building smouldering of a flame, sparked between chemistry and an interest for being with someone who wasn’t run of the mill. Once they ignited their passion for each other, there was no holding these two back from being together. They were explosively entwined with each other as much as George and Susie from Romancing the Soul! Unabashedly pursuing their relationship, with a bit of a lingering worry over permanency once the physical sparks die down; is the main concern Julia has in regards to Jack. Her mind cannot shake off the fact that he’s known as a player and one who could break her heart. Jack is experiencing his first relationship that has more components to it than his previous exploits based on only the superficial bits that are not as important as connecting to the person as a whole. The interesting part of the story is how Julia is giving Jack a way to mature as a boyfriend and shed a lot of his reckless pursuits that fused him to the wrong women.

The one disappointing aspect of the story is that rather than maintain the distance between the bedroom scenes and the relationship arc between Jack and Julia, Come Dancing has less to do with Julia’s fixation on dance and more to do with their explosive sex life. Originally, I had gathered that they were going to have an intense connection to each other, but I still thought the story would keep a thread of narrative centered on who they were in their careers, who they were around each other, and lesson the hold on the physical aspects of their relationship. The title of the novel confused me as it eludes the reader to a direction the story simply doesn’t take whilst your reading it. When I reached the halfway mark of the novel, I felt dissatisfied because the balance felt off to me completely. The plot was starting to become predictable and what I appreciated about everything in the first half is how it was fresh, fun, and kept a tempo of interest. I had a sinking feeling that if I kept going I was going to become further disappointed as I elected to keep the parts I enjoyed in my memory and hope that another reader will pick up this novel enjoying it in full.

On the writing style of Leslie Wells:

Wells convinces you of the difficulties surrounding the publishing industry’s entry level positions as much as the heartache of being regulated to reading piles of books that have little to no interest to you personally, whilst you spent the time proving your capable of more responsibility in the eyes of the publisher. What truly surprised me was her way of etching in words and phrases I grew up hearing in the 1980s – almost as if the effect of being transplanted back into that decade was not only resplendent on the music nor the vibe of the clubs, but of the words your ears would hear whilst in conversations. Little remembrances of an era and of a slice of time that was a bit more innocent and a bit less hostile than today’s world. I delighted in smiling at all the ‘little bits’ she included in the backbone of the story itself, as it make everything eclipse and fold in on my own memories.

The biggest delight for me was the near-absence of any strong language — I attached a tag for vulgarity but I am not attaching a ‘Fly in the Ointment’ on this novel because none of what was included irked my ire and I think my readers know me well enough to know where my limits lie. It was such a refreshing change-up as I have felt a bit burnt on vulgarity in literature recently, and it was quite lovely to find a writer who didn’t use the words as a crutch nor as a method of shock value. Wells scored a lot of points in my book for writing a believable Contemporary Romance that stepped outside the traditional Contemporary box of stories.

Content NOTE: I only spotted one instance where I could have appreciated a different word used on page 141 – but as the rarity of language was happily absent I brushed over it taking it for what it was; I had a feeling I might find a heap more instances of language and thankfully I was proved wrong. There is lot of kinetic explosions of Julia & Jack’s relationship, and some of the sequences pushed my own limits of what I would find acceptable in a Romance novel. Although, given the bar of measuring heat in Romance novels, I am not sure if this would surprise traditional Romance readers as the genre has quite the reputation for what is contained therein. Their exploits redefine the lyrics of a song which includes the words “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” as a way in which to visually explore what those words are referencing within the lives of two unexpected lovebirds falling in love with each other. There is a song titled as such but I’m referring to a completely different artist entirely.

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Virtual Road Map for “Come Dancing” Blog Tour:
Previously on the tour was  my Author Interview 
as I held an eclectic conversation with Ms. wells.

Come Dancing Virtual Blog Tour via Book Junkie Promotions

 Be sure to visit the author’s website for more
wicked awesome content on this novel:

Books by Leslie Wells Badge

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Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:
Book Junkie Promotions on my Bookish Events page!
Whenever I find a novel I simply feel could benefit from a reader who can appreciate it more than I can myself, I am adding the title to my List on Riffle entitled: Stories Seeking Love from Readers. I have included “Come Dancing” as I was simply disappointed where the story segued out from where I was hoping it would take me in the end. My initial joy in reading the story ended at the mid-way point, but I am hoping another reader who regularly reads these explosively charged Romance novels will enjoy where it lead them.
I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts, kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon!
{SOURCES: Cover art of “Come Dancing”, Leslie Wells Books badge, book synopsis, author photograph of Leslie Wells, author biography, and the tour host badge were all provided by Book Junkie Promotions and used with permission. The Excerpt of “Come Dancing’ was an extra feature I requested whilst hosting the blog tour. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “Come Dancing”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Junkie Promotions, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Dating & Humour Therein, Drugs & Alcohol, Musical Fiction | Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction, Singletons & Commitment, Vulgarity in Literature, Writing Style & Voice




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3 responses to “+Blog Book Tour+ Come Dancing by Leslie Wells An unsuspecting #Contemporary #Romance novel set against the backdrop of the 80s rock scene & the book publishing industry.

  1. This definitely sounds like a fun read. I love that it takes place inside the publishing biz :D Although this story seems quite different, that movie with Rick Springfield came to mind! CanNOT remember the name of it though lol

    • Hallo Andrea!

      So good to hear from you! :) I’m positively elated someone is keen on this novel! I am sure the author herself will be thrilled my review sparked your interest & that you now have the book to read! :) Thank you for this compliment!

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