Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bookish Tuesday ~ A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal plus #giveaway


By Narelle Atkins @narelleatkins


Today I'm sharing a book recommendation for A Season to Dance - the debut novel from ICFW blog member Patricia Beal.



Book Description


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?

Narelle’s Thoughts


I absolutely loved reading A Season to Dance. I read the book within twenty-four hours, during the time I should have been using to write my own book, because I just couldn’t put it down. I needed a bunch of tissues to mop up my tears toward the end of the story and my family had a late dinner because I lost track of the time.

It was a powerful story and an emotional read, but before I go into more detail there’s something I’ll share with you first. This wasn’t the first time I’d started reading this book.

Patricia’s debut novel released in early May 2017 and I’d planned to read and review it for my May posting date on the Inspy Romance group blog. I’ve known Patricia online for a few years and I was thrilled to see her debut book release. A Season to Dance had great endorsements and early reviews, and I’d set aside time after the release date to read the Kindle version.

There was only one problem. I read Chapter One and the ending chapter hook triggered a deep fear I’d been grappling with for eight months. The fear of losing my husband to a life threatening health issue. I read Chapter Two but it became too hard to continue reading. The characters were too real, the writing too vivid, the story too good and too painful to read at that point in time.

For Inspy Romance in May last year, I used this reading experience to springboard my ideas for the post I wrote on Hot Button Issues and Trigger Warnings in Christian Romance. And I prayed. A Season To Dance had revealed to me an issue in my life that I needed to work through and hand over in prayer. I made the decision to put the book aside and read it in His timing. At the same time I won a print copy from a giveaway. The print book sat at the bottom of a pile of books on my bedside table, waiting for its turn to be read.



Ana is a girl from small town Georgia who has big dreams of an international ballet career. Her goal is to dance at the Met in NYC.

Ana isn’t a Christian at the start of the story. This means she doesn’t hold Christian values and doesn’t follow Biblical principles regarding morality. She’s real and she makes mistakes. Her life is complicated and messy as she lives out the consequences of her unwise decisions. The bedroom door is closed but the reader is aware of the physical nature of Ana’s romantic relationships in the story.

A love triangle plays out between Peter, the landscape architect from back home and Claus, a successful German dancer who travels the world. I’m not usually a fan of the love triangle romance trope, but the unique twist it adds to the plot is brilliant.

We journey with Ana to Germany and Prague and also experience the angst in her complex journey to faith. The setting in Europe and Georgia is stunning. I enjoyed travelling with Ana and gaining an insight into the world of ballet.

The opening chapter doesn’t reveal the identity of her husband and it may seem odd to jump ahead in time at the start. In the second half of the book the importance of the placement of Chapter One makes sense and adds to the building tension in the story.

I loved the ending and closed the book with a smile on my face.


The gospel message in the story is clear and powerful. The author’s note at the end of the book explains how the author herself became a Christian while writing the book.

A Season to Dance is a contemporary romance I’d recommend to Christians and seekers who are exploring Christianity. It addresses the hard issues in life and how our inherent selfishness will hurt others, including the people we love.

Many thanks to Patricia for blessing me with a print copy. It’s now on my keeper shelf. Learn more about Patricia and her book at her website and stop by our blog tomorrow to read about Patricia's real life journey in the book setting with her characters.

Have you put aside a Christian fiction book that was too hard or challenging to read, and later been blessed by reading it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings.


*Remember to comment to participate in the giveaway. The prize is one autographed print copy of A Season to Dance (open worldwide, void where prohibited). The deadline to comment is 11 p.m. EST on Friday, January 12. Participants can comment on the A Season to Dance review posted by Narelle Atkins on January 9 and/or on Patricia Beal's Wandering Wednesday real life settings post on January 10. People who comment on both posts get two entries. Winner will be selected via random.org and announced on Saturday via comment on both blog posts. Thanks!

About Narelle Atkins



A fun loving Aussie girl at heart, NARELLE ATKINS was born and raised on the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has settled in Canberra with her husband and children. A lifelong romance reader, she found the perfect genre to write when she discovered inspirational romance. Narelle's contemporary stories of faith and romance are set in Australia.

14 comments:

  1. Thank you for spending time with my book baby, Narelle. I've been so discouraged lately. Reviews like this make it all worth it. It's so easy to forget that our words, our written and prayed-upon words, do matter :)

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    1. Hi Patricia, Please be encouraged that there are readers like me who love your book and look forward to reading your next book. I'm glad to have the opportunity to share your book with our blog readers. :)

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  2. Fabulous how Patricia's novel grabbed you in a number of different ways, Narelle. Wonderful that it stirred you to take a fear to the Lord - love how He works through books we read.

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    1. Hi Ian, Patricia's book is a special book that really spoke to me and challenged me. :)

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  3. This has been on my to-read pile for ages. I've loved the last few books Narelle has recommended!

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    1. Hi Iola, yes, this is one book worth moving to the top of your TBR list. I’m glad you’ve loved my recommendations. :)

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  4. Thank you for the review, Narelle. I'm always on the look out for new books and your review of this one has me intrigued.

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    1. Hi Beth, I’m glad you’re intrigued by my review. A Season to Dance is different to the typical contemporary Christian romance, and I hope you’ll have an opportunity to read it. :)

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  5. Your line ' I loved the ending and closed the book with a smile on my face" says it best. That's all I need to know to put this book on my tbr list.

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    1. Hi Arletta, It’s a great feeling to finish a novel with your heart feeling happy. It’s one of the reasons why romance is my favourite genre to read. I hope you’ll have a chance to read ‘A Season to Dance’. :)

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  6. The beautiful cover, the descriptive dance scenes and insight into the ballet world...I enjoyed this one! Narelle, personal connection you shared about your first attempt to read is very touching.

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    1. Hi Karen, I agree, Patricia’s cover is perfect for the book and I loved experiencing the world of ballet in the story. It’s not everyday that a story speaks to us in the way ‘A Season to Dance’ spoke to me. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  7. Congratulations, Iola Goulton! You're the winner of the autographed print copy of A Season to Dance! I hope you enjoy it :)

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    1. Wonderful! I'm looking forward to my book mail :) Thank you!

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