Review: Save the Last Dance by Roxanne Rustand.

This review contain spoilers.

Kate and Jared have been married for quite some time. They have a daughter who has just gone off to college and they both lead very busy lives. Kate runs a veterinary clinic and Jared is a lawyer who has just opened up a legal aid office. Jared and Kate haven’t had the smoothest of marriages: a mother-in-law who hates Kate, and accusations from the past which have never fully healed.

I have to admit, it’s been a while since I have read any Harlequin romances that are not from the Mira, HQN or Luna line. The last few category books I’ve read from Harlequin haven’t been good. I’m sorry to say that Save the Last Dance falls into that category. Bigtime.

The story is told from the past and present. The past tells us how Kate and Jared meet and the story of their courtship and the interference of the awful mother-in-law, Sylvia, who does everything in her power to split them up.

When Jared expresses his interest in Kate numerous times, she shuts him down because she thinks their backgrounds are too far apart. Jared doesn’t care about Kate’s background, but Sylvia does. Enter ze evil mother.

Sylvia was a soap opera character. A badly clichéd one at that. She’s snooty, she’s disdainful and the comments she comes out with would be perfect for a soap. In this book, it came off as silly and unbelievable. Kate and Sylvia finally meet, and what a showdown it is. Sylvia immediately lets Kate know she is not good enough, and Jared is to marry someone in his social station and not a poor upstart like Kate. She dramatically tells Kate she will ruin Jared’s life because of her ugly background and how she will be a stain on Jared’s reputation. So of course, Kate does what the obvious evil mother says, and breaks it off with him. On the rebound, Jared gets engaged to a socialite while Kate buries herself in her studies to become a vet.

Throughout the book, this carries on with the present and past intersecting where we see Kate and Jared finally wed. We see past heartbreaks and the present where Kate is sitting by Jared’s bed, hoping he will make it through.

The past where we meet Kate and Jared wasn’t enough to carry the book through  I though. The resolution at the end didn’t ring true for me.

Everything – including the random and bizarre threats that Kate and Jared had been receiving – was explained in the last 7 pages, which conveniently ties up with Jared’s accident. It was just a mishmash of different tropes rolled into one story. I’ll list them for you:

Poor girl and rich boy storyline
Evil Mother-in-law
Accusation of infidelity
Hero in car accident
Threats aimed at hero and heroine

All this in 147 pages.

I actually thought my Sony Reader was listing the incorrect page number. I was saying to myself, This can’t be right. I only have 7 pages to go. No way can this story finish yet. Heck, why am I still reading the story? The flaming hero isn’t even awake yet.

How are they able to make things right with each other after all these years of things which were left unsaid, all in the last 2-3 pages of the book? It didn’t seem possible for me and like I said above, it didn’t ring true.

I give Save the Last Dance 2 out of 5. I did think the start was ok, but as the story went on it lost its way, and I found myself not even caring what happened in the end.

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