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Review: Circle Dance by Lynne Costantine and Valerie Constantine

Young, smart and beautiful with everything figured out – or so they thought. Born into a prosperous Greek American family, sisters Nicole and Theodora have achieved the perfect balance between the old world rich in Greek tradition and the freedom of life in America.

Headstrong and independent, Nicole plunges into life head-first, too often ignoring the risks. Her talent and astute business acumen make her the perfect heir to her father’s empire, but his old-world attitudes prevent him from giving the top spot to a woman. Nicole’s world spins out of control when she falls for a married senator who shares her heritage and her dreams. While struggling to navigate previously uncharted moral waters, she uncovers treachery and corruption that will break both her sister’s and her father’s heart. The decisions she makes will affect the happiness of those closest to her and will define the woman she is to become.

The young and conventional Theodora weds and quickly learns that marriage is not the paradise she envisioned. She must soon confront the growing suspicion that her husband is not the man he seems. Forced to endure the constant disdain and disapproval of her patrician mother-in-law, she resigns herself to the fact that she will always be considered an outsider. As she struggles to succeed at her marriage, she seeks the wisdom and council of her beloved Greek grandmother who has been happily married for over half a century. Ultimately she must come to terms with the reality of her own life and take responsibility for the role she has played in deceiving herself.

As the dramatic plot unfolds, the two young women must confront deceit and betrayal and their own shortcomings – while they struggle to preserve the values they cherish.

Set in Baltimore, Annapolis and the tiny island of Ikaria, Greece, Circle Dance provides a view into the lives of a dynamic family that has successfully achieved the American dream without abandoning the customs and traditions handed down through their Greek heritage. Artfully intertwined plots bring generations together in a dance of rejoicing and mourning, loss and healing that will keep readers enthralled until the last page.

When there is no one there to pick you up, ideally your family should be the one who lifts you up and dusts you off. If you are lucky to have a great family, than reading this book will make you appreciate everything about them. If you don't than this is one of those stories that show you how the love and support of a great family can get you through any obstacle life throws at you. Even though the story is centered around a Greek family, the traditions and values are interchangeable.

Not only was this a beautifully written story but it grabs you from the first chapter and unless someone prys it out of your hands, you don't want to stop reading. From the first page, you get hooked into and become part of the family. Such wonderful storytellers these ladies are, they created characters and storylines that had such depth that you lose yourself in the book. Each character I guarantee you know or you probably see in yourself. The story was so compelling, engaging and intricately woven together that it satisfied all expectations a reader would have in a great book. 

Here is a little bit about some of the characters to get you started:

Nick Parsenis - He is the husband of Eleni and the father to Nicole, Theo and Paul. He works hard and runs his own family business. He is what you would want your father to be. He's a committed husband and father who loves his family and is always there when you need him. He has in some thinking a bit of an old school mentality that has made him think narrowly at times but circumstances arise where those walls are broken down. Unfortunately, his thinking caused him to have blinders on that could've cost him his company and its' reputation.

Eleni Parsenis - She is the devoted wife to Nick. She stayed and home and raised her children. She is the type of mother who is devoted to their well-being instilling core values and family tradition. 

Theo - She is one of the daughters of Eleni and Nick. She is young, beautiful and smart. She has been working for the campaign of a senator whose has some secrets that potentially can ruin his family and hers. She married the man of her dreams that turns out to be the man of anyone's nightmares. She is taken on an emotional roller coaster that lands her trying to unspin tangled webs of deceit.

Stewart - He is the husband of Theo. He on the surface is smart, ambitious and has promise in her father's company to move up.  In reality, he is not what he seems. He has been keeping some secrets that potentially can damage his relationship and her father's company. 

Nicole - She is one of the daughters of Eleni and Nick. She is independent and ambitious. She sort of breaks the tradition in some many ways. Looking for love in all the wrong places, finds her heart and her head in conflict. While volunteer for her sister's job, she encounters what she thinks is Mr. Right and ends up going down a road that challenges everything she ever believed in. While working for her father's company, she discovers information that exposes the wrongdoing of someone close to the family that has dire consequences.

That was a little to get you started. This story has all the goodies: drama, deceit, love, loss, tragedy. I'm telling you that this is one if you love a great story, add to your reading list. Once you start reading, I promise you will not stop. It will all come full circle in the end. Since this book was rich in tradition, I leave you with one word to celebrate this awesome book: OPA! 

Reviewed by Michelle Bowles

Book Information
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: 11/7/12
Pages: 260

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