A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal

Genre: Romance
Publisher: Bling! Romance
Publication Date: May 2017

Ana Brassfield knows she’ll never be a prima ballerina. Instead, she focuses on goals within her reach, like dancing at the Metropolitan Opera House and her pending wedding to landscape architect, Peter Engberg. When renowned German dancer Claus Gert, the man who shattered her heart years earlier, arrives in Georgia determined to win her back, her carefully laid-out plans crumble. Especially after Peter, witnesses a kiss between Ana and Claus.

Her engagement now broken, Ana moves to Germany to live with Claus and hopefully salvage her remaining dream — dancing at the Met. Burdened by the memory of Claus’ late wife, her still burning feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company could prove to be Ana’s undoing as she begins to discover that achieving everything she dreamed of might not provide the happiness she longs for.

In A Season to Dance, Patricia Beal pens a story of forgiveness and second chances that left me extremely conflicted. The author possesses a unique and captivating voice that keeps the reader flipping pages. Beal brings the ballet scenes to life in an exquisite manner that has everyone who ever dreamed of being a ballerina living vicariously through Ana. The vivid setting, which isn’t limited to one city or continent, comes to life like a colorful set that invites the reader to step in and experience it for him/herself. I just wish I could have liked the characters.

Ana comes across as selfish and wishy-washy. The way she flitted back and forth between Peter and Claus had me questioning the sincerity of her feelings. She would drop one and pick up the other within 24 hours, making it look more like fear of being alone than real love. Sadly, the men weren’t any better. While Peter’s decision to break off the engagement after observing the kiss between his fiancée and Claus made sense, his consequent actions should have been a major red flag for Ana. Marriage to a man who responds the way he did to being hurt, is only going to bring more pain and trouble in the long run. As far as Claus, I don’t want to give away spoilers, but he proved equally disappointing. This novel is one of those rare times I would have preferred no romantic pairing in the end. Ana needed to find herself first — without a man.

The faith thread also lacked strength. It felt like something Ana picked up simply because it fell in her lap multiple times rather than a sincere interest and belief. Even by the end, her faith only appeared when convenient around her busy life and not as a priority. This being said, I liked the conversation between Ana and a woman on a bench because the author didn’t shrink from asking some tough questions — ones that many, if not all of us, have struggled with at one point or another.

Ultimately, if you love ballet and want a read that offers memorable settings and a fresh voice, A Season to Dance could be just the ticket. However, if you’re looking for an inspiring romance, I wouldn’t recommend this book.

Review copy provided by the author. Thanks!


Character Spotlight + Giveaway: Patricia Beal’s Ana, Peter, and Claus

About the story:

Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start towards her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.

Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.

Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?

Meet Ana

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: You – I would love for each reader to feel like the star of the story.

Age: Late twenties.

Loves: Ballet, her aging dog, the Chattahoochee River, Callaway Gardens, the Rhine.

Quirk: Counting when she doesn’t want to cry (trees, bricks, anything).

Favorite place to explore/visit: Callaway Gardens.

Biggest struggle: Finding joy, balance, and success.

Background: She’s been dancing forever and does well, but not as well as she’d hoped, and time is running out. She’s engaged and is happy, but her first love’s return to Georgia after a mysterious disappearance shakes her up.

Work: Second best at the Allen Ballet.

Meet Peter

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: Blake Shelton.

Age: Late thirties.

Loves: Ana, his ranch, and country music.

Quirk: He knows a lot about ducks and hawks.

Favorite place to explore/visit: Anywhere Ana is.

Biggest struggle: Trust.

Background: His first wife left him for another man. He believes that with Ana he can be happy again.

Work: Landscape artist at Callaway Gardens.

Meet Claus

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Age: Late twenties.

Loves: Ana, ballet, picnics by the Rhine, and his Mercedes.

Quirk: He’s an old soul.

Favorite place to explore/visit: Anywhere in his native Germany.

Biggest struggle: To get Ana back.

Background: Claus was born in Germany and met Ana when they were both starting their careers. After a mysterious disappearance and 10-year absence, he returns to Georgia to dance with her and win her back.

Work: He’s now one of the world’s most famous dancers.

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About the Author:

Patricia Beal is from Brazil and immigrated to the U.S. in 1992. She fell in love with the English language while washing dishes at McDonald’s and soon passed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). She put herself through college working at a BP gas station and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature.

Patricia writes contemporary Christian fiction and is represented by Les Stobbe. Her debut novel, A Season to Dance, just came out May 9 (Bling! / Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). She’s a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. She and her husband live in El Paso, Texas, with their two children.

You can connect with Patricia on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.