Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Moonlight Dancer

Atwood, D. (2012). Moonlight Dancer. Pleasanton, CA: New Potato Press.

New Adult / YA / Supernatural Historical Fiction with Romance

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

In Moonlight Dancer, Deb Atwood creates an irresistible mix of romance, mystery, and mysticism which will keep readers turning pages.  On a trip to an antique shop, Kendra JinJu MacGregor is drawn to an old Korean doll, only to find purchasing it cost prohibitive. When Kendra can't help returning and spending all her living and college tuition money to purchase the doll, it is only the beginning of the high price she ultimately pays for bringing it into her life.  Once Kendra has the doll, which Kendra names NanJu, at home, strange things immediately begin happening, leading Kendra back to the shop for answers from the sexy and mysterious salesman Hiro Peretti. The magnetism between Hiro and Kendra is immediate, and though each has secrets that keep them apart, it is NanJu that creates the biggest barrier. Soon NanJu, who is really the ghost of a sixteenth century Korean shaman, is asserting full control, with a plan to carry Kendra into the ancient world of Korea to soothe and release NanJu’s tortured, restless spirit. Kendra’s actions are not her own, the stakes are high, and having pushed Hiro out of her life, will Kendra be able to survive the past on her own to return to the present?

Moonlight Dancer is told from several viewpoints, including NanJu’s, which is told in a series of not always sequential flashbacks. The writing is beautifully done, and Deb Atwood clearly has a gift for description that is truly lyrical, shining especially in the chapters with NanJu as narrator. Readers will feel transported into ancient Korea and will experience NanJu’s trials and tribulations as if sitting on her shoulder. The inclusion of tidbits of Korean traditions, conditions, and history provided for a very rich reading experience.  Kendra’s and Hiro’s chapters were less lyrical but certainly helpful in defining their characters and moving the story forward; however, readers will need to be willing to suspend their disbelief in order to accept how their relationship unfolds and how realistic are the conditions.  Kendra never shakes the damsel-in-distress persona, nor Hiro the hero, but perhaps that makes them a perfect match. Moonlight Dancer will appeal to fans of New Adult – though the sex scenes are mild – who enjoy the mysteries of the past woven in with some insta-lust of the present.

This book was reviewed for Readers' Favorite, who provided me a free eBook in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give.

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