Review: One More Dance by Valentine Cardinale

Book Title: One More Dance
Author: Valentine Cardinale
Published Date: July 12th, 2013
Published By: Outskirts Press Inc.
Genre: Mystery
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Link: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble) 
One More Dance is a powerful tale about two people looking for love, a family in crisis, and the search for a mysterious assailant. After Julian Case, a Manhattan realtor and widower, meets Alegra Rossini, a university professor and single mom, at a wedding in Italy, he’s confident he’s found new love. On the plane back to the States he’s already making plans to see her again. But when he enters his home in New Jersey, he discovers his son has been savagely attacked and left for dead. Fearing that whoever beat the young man into a coma will try to finish the job, Julian puts his life on hold to assist in the investigation to find the assailant. 

And so the mystery begins, taking the first of many telling twists and turns. Who did it? Is there a likely suspect? Will the attacker strike again? Can a father unlock the secret connection and find his son’s attacker before it’s too late? Will Julian lose his chance at new love as he throws himself into the chase? 

In Italy, Alegra, who feels as strongly about Julian as he feels about her, can only continue teaching, caring for her eight-year-old daughter, and hoping. Will she let real love slip away from her? Can she wait as Julian deals with a family crisis that may take months, or years, to resolve while she struggles to get on with her life? The quest to find new love after the death of a spouse is understandable and a universal concern. But when it conflicts with a grave family matter, does it have to take a back seat? Should Julian be denied the chance for one more dance in his life?

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

When I received a request to review this book, I was intrigued. The premise looked promising and involved Italy, a place I have wanted to travel to for a long time. Unfortunately my initial excitement over the book’s premise faded as I began to read the book. It was a very quick read. In fact I finished it in less than six hours. 

The writing style did not appeal to me at all. It seemed as though very little thought was put into it as the descriptions of things seemed to use the least amount of words possible. Now I’m not saying every book has to be the size of J.R.R Tolkien’s classic Lord of the Rings books,but what I am saying is that this book read like an extended fan fiction. I found no spelling or editing errors in the book so that was definitely a plus.

I couldn’t connect to any of the main characters. I tried throughout the entire book to connect with Julian or Allegra or Florence or Leo or Frankie, but I just couldn’t. That’s when I really started to get frustrated with this book. If I cannot connect in some way to the characters, then I am more than likely going to hate the book. I liked Florence and Frankie enough but I just didn’t connect with them. I think, had Allegra been a bigger part of the book I would have liked her, but she wasn’t so I didn’t. I blame the lack of character development.

One of my biggest issues came near the end. I can’t specifically talk about what happened as it is a major book spoiler. But what I can say is that in involved a certain piece of medical equipment that the author clearly didn’t understand how it worked.

I was really annoyed at the supposed romance because I didn’t feel it. I need to feel like I can root for these characters and because of the lack of character development and the lack of chemistry between Allegra and Julian, I just couldn’t root for them. 

So I have to give this book 2 stars, the lack of character development, the poor writing and the lackluster effort towards this book are the reasons why. Maybe someone else will take a chance on this book.