“This is a 5 star series… I loved the chemistry between Jack and Julia. By the end of Come Dancing, I was chomping at the bit to follow the continuing drama that is Julia’s life, with or without Jack Kipling.”
–The Book Enthusiast
“Leslie Wells brings to life all the eclectic, edgy style of New York City at the dawn of the 1980s as she spins a story of spine-tingling romance and the complex issues that can threaten a relationship. Through her effervescent writing style she catapults the reader into a world of excess and indulgence, while delving into some honest and heartfelt struggles along the way. … Come Dancing is a love story with lots of heart and plenty of heat.”
—Literary Inklings Book Reviews
“Lovers of modern rock star romances should enjoy Wells’ take… Set in New York in 1981, it’s filled with rich descriptions of a world right before MTV, cellphones and the Internet. Come Dancing not only gives an interesting glimpse into the rock star lifestyle, but also of the hustle and bustle of the publishing world.”
“Sometimes a book like this comes along and takes me out of the niche reading that I tend to find myself in. Yes, this is a romance, but it was definitely a more literary romance. It had meat to it… a real story, and I so appreciated it! … I didn’t realize there would be so much “bookishness” to this story. So very sex+the city feel to me. I am in love.
…Even with all of the trademark 80’s references, the emotions make it very worthy of a 2014 read. Julia, working hard to make it in a publishing company, and Jack, a hard partying rock and roller, make for an entertaining couple. She makes his life interesting by not falling for his usual charms and being determined to be independent of his glamorous life. He makes life interesting by giving her a behind the scenes look at the sex, drugs and rock and roll that made up the life of an 80’s rocker. I might’ve taken a long time to fall for Jack…but he won me over! … ‘Almost Famous’ is one of my favorite movies, and this also reminded me of that with the rocker, and the would-be love of his life… My heart raced, my heart was sad, and then was happy, and then was sad. The characters in this story added so much flavor and spice to the words (such beautifully written words) that I am smiling as I am writing.
The 80’s references were authentic and a great reminder of just how different technology has made our lives, how much cleaner NYC is, and how AIDS has changed our sex lives; I thought all of these little reminders were a nice touch. I also loved the fact that there was a story here; we really got to know Julia outside of her love affair with Jack–the life of a hard working assistant trying so hard to work her way up the ladder made this so much more than a steamy romance (and there definitely was steam)… This may have been more ‘literary’ than we read on a regular basis, but I highly recommend it. It has flair and sexiness. Mmmmmm. So exciting!
If you’re looking for something steamy and romantic but with a little more to it, I’d definitely give this novel a look. Indeed! Love me some Leslie Wells. Can’t wait to read more from her.”
–Must Read Books or Die
“Come Dancing is a contemporary romance set in the early 80’s by Leslie Wells. Displayed against the glittery excess of the 80’s, Wells pens a sexy, sweet, and somewhat complicated romance about two complete opposites who find they have more in common than they ever thought if they are willing to take the time to look beyond the masks they both present to the world. Wells builds an emotionally poignant love story, abound with romance and humor. Readers will enjoy watching the relationship develop between our protagonists; gleaning the deepening connection as each layer is pulled back.
Heavily character driven, they breathe life into the storyline and elevate it beyond a simple contemporary romance. I loved that it’s set in the 80’s where people still listened to 45s on turntables, dubstep was nonexistent, and no one had to stop and answer their cell phone or check their social media pages.
Julia is a personable character that everyone will relate to. Intelligent and witty, she is the ultimate underdog whose self-deprecating style shows that she has a healthy self esteem. Fun and career-oriented, it was nice to see a young woman who genuinely enjoys her life and deals with everyday issues that most of us face. Julia’s battles against the inner cogs of the publishing world is an eye-opener, and only serves to further endure you to her.
Jack is an attractive, sweet-natured, sexy bad boy whose trappings of fame and fortune hide a much deeper animal. He embraces life and lives it to its fullest, sometimes not thinking too hard about the possible destruction he leaves through his wake. Elusive and hard to pin down, his outlook is pretty much on par for famous musician. Though we see some selfishness in his actions and words, he has an innate goodness that shines through and resonates with you.
Bold, seductive chemistry brings Jack and Julia together but a sense of belonging keeps them together. Jack’s brazenness is the perfect foil for Julia’s more down to earth sensibilities and they burn together in all the right ways. Though the sexual aspects are presented in a quick fashion, the actual romance builds slowly. They become friends and Wells uses that to build a bridge between them, offering lessons in trust and communication, despite their apparent differences. No tired clichés, mind numbing angst, and emotional whining is used to facilitate their romance. Theirs is not an insta-love, and I appreciated that.
Come Dancing is a steamy fun summer read that will appeal to the romantic in all of us.”
—Smexy Book Reviews
“For those of us old enough to recall the 80’s punk and new wave scenes, Come Dancing is a fun walk down memory lane. You know, life before cell phones and the internet. Come Dancing is a fun, angsty romance between a recent college graduate, Julia Nash, who attracts the attention of an older and well seasoned rock star Jack Kipling.
What starts out innocently enough, the readers getting to know Julia and her life in NYC, quickly turns angsty – in fact, from the moment the two meet. The story is given to us through Julia’s perspective, and her youth and relative innocence come through strong and clear. She’s no match for Jack’s wild world. Much of the story is Julia second-guessing Jack’s interest in her and his ability to be in a monogamous relationship.
There’s a LOT of story in these pages. Leslie Wells does an amazing job creating the chaotic world of rock’n’roll and the life of Jack Kipling. I really wanted Jack to give Julia more stability and security as the two seem to have an innate chemistry, but I don’t think the author could have characterized the tumultuousness of their relationship any better. Jack has a decade on Julia and a decidedly crazy foundation. They have mad love, but they both have a hard time owning up to their feelings.
They also have people who are intent on getting in between them, and Julia’s insecurities over Jack’s lifestyle and her place in his world seem nearly insurmountable. …
By the end of Come Dancing, I was chomping at the bit to follow the continuing drama that is Julia Nash’s life, with or without Jack Kipling.”
—The Book Enthusiast
“5 Blushing Stars!! Come Dancing is quite the story. I loved this story and could not put it down. I got lost in the story, imagining the rock stars and their groupies partying it up, while finding themselves and falling in love. Opposites certainly do attract and make for an explosive time! You will love the many layers of Jack; you will also want to smack him at times too. Julia will have you rooting for the underdog and wishing she had a better clothes fund Through it all, the many naysayers and people out to split them up, they make it work! Fate seems to finally take its stand and allows for this fairytale story to end the way it should—hot, sexy and combustible!”
–Blushing Divas Book Reviews
“The novel has a lot of heart,and is a story many people will be able to relate to….There is a tangible affection between Julia and Jack which I truly appreciated, and I admired the journey their relationship takes over the course of the story. . .. Come Dancing is brimming with both humor and heart. A realistic romance that is sure to entertain.”
–Flashlight Commentary Book Blog
Indie-Reader Approved Aug 28, 2015:
“Come Dancing’s memorable heroine and witty writing are the cornerstones of this novel.”
IR Verdict: “COME DANCING offers a witty protagonist in a creative, colorful, and charming work, painting exciting portraits of the publishing world, the rock star life, and the ever-bustling New York City before the time of cell phones.”
“COME DANCING is the story of a lovable young book publisher’s assistant who finds herself thrust into a world she never expected when she falls into a whirlwind romance with the guitarist of a famous rock band.
Heroine Julia Nash is a 24-year-old bright-eyed post-graduate from New York University, with dreams of becoming a respected book editor. Scrappy and smart, she is a small town girl at heart who is determined to make it in the big city, no matter what it takes. Skirting around a lascivious boss while taking piles of manuscripts to read over the weekends and cobbling together a wardrobe of secondhand clothes in a $300-a-month apartment without air conditioning, Julia is the type of funny and wholly relatable protagonist who is easy to root for. She by no means has everything handed to her so this makes her story all the more satisfying to read. It’s fun to cheer for Julia when she catches the eye of British guitarist Jack Kipling because it’s obvious she’s not like the airhead model groupies that throw themselves at rock stars. Her strong voice and endearing personality drive the story forward, along with the vivid description of the lives of the rich and famous, which, juxtaposed against her contrasting meager lifestyle, make for an enthralling and quick read.
As Julia and Jack get to know each other, the story moves at an exciting pace. Julia hangs out with Jack’s friends and bandmates, finds herself at extreme parties surrounded by lavish luxury, and at the same time, balances her own life at the publishing house. At work, there’s a rival in a snobby new hire who wants to elbow her out for the only promotion available.
Throughout her burgeoning romance with Jack and hectic race for upward mobility at work, Julia also still has time for her troubled relationship with her mother. It’s obvious that she faults her mother with the disintegration of her parents’ marriage and dreads becoming anything like her. Wells, however, finds a way to make the mother-daughter part of the narrative interesting and unexpected. This part of the novel feels very authentic, providing backstory on Julia’s personality and also striking a chord with anyone who has ever had to grow up away from home after graduation…
COME DANCING offers a witty protagonist in a creative, colorful, and charming work, painting exciting portraits of the publishing world, the rock star life, and the ever-bustling New York City before the time of cell phones.”
~IndieReader (Indie-Reader Approved)
“There have been a lot of versions to this story…the small town girl trying to make it in The Big City, the bad boy chasing the girl because she’s different. But Come Dancing really swept me away to a different time and place entirely! There was so much character and atmospheric detail for me to immerse myself in! Set in the 80’s, this is a more vintage and whimsical New York. Before digital mp3’s. Before DJ’s could perform a set all from their laptops. Before camera phones. It made me want to dig around for some vinyl records and lounge like a little hipster! The author’s attention to the little things–from the clothing, to the music–and her ability to set a unique vibe were my favorite thing about this book.
Heroine Julia Nash is a simple, thrifty girl at heart (she shops at places with names like Alice Underground…Love it.), but she’s also smart, talented, and hardworking (oh, the hoops she goes through as a publisher’s assistant). I could definitely see why Jack would set his eyes on her! I even liked the quirky things, like her love for blues and her special book diary. Yet, for all her independence, there’s vulnerability right underneath. Because of her tough childhood and relationship history, she fears being hurt and left alone. She fears going back to and being stuck in her hometown. I really felt for her throughout her journey in this novel. Falling in love, furthering her career, getting over her past.
Then, there’s Jack Kipling, British rockstar extraordinaire. The exact opposite of everything safe and sure that Julia wants. He has a reputation for being a ladies’ man and a wild partier…When he pursued Julia, though, he was a lot sweeter and warmer than I expected. He certainly had that rock-and-roll grit and grunge, but he was sweet and generous with Julia. It wasn’t a crazy or fast-paced romance like I thought it would be, but instead, I enjoyed the easy conversations, the more lighthearted things, and the witty quips. (The way he tricks her into finally going on a date with him? Adorable!) I certainly had my *squee* moments when Jack turned on the charm! And the steamier scenes? Hot!
Come Dancing had a good story, fascinating characters, and a charming vibe. If you enjoy rockstar/musician romances, this is definitely worth checking out!”
–Teacups & Book Love Reviews
“Come Dancing takes us back to the 80’s when cell phones didn’t exist, people still read print books, and listened to actual records. Come Dancing is not only a step back in time, but also a peek into the world of rock and roll, publishing, and a hot and steamy romance to wrap it all up!”
–Peeking Between the Pages
“I really loved this story. The differences between Jack and Julia’s characters and personalities made the story captivating and heart-warming. … This is a really well written book and an author I would definitely read again. The story has depth, twists and turns, and some emotional pain–but hey, it’s all in the name of love, right?”
—Jezabell Girl Book Reviews
“Wells paints a vivid picture of what New York City and its neighborhoods looked like during the post Disco/Punk rock era of the early 1980s.The plot is believable: Small town girl falls for big time rock star. So much of how Julia and Jack meet and fall for each other is so ordinary it could be mistaken for the truth, hence adding to the believability of the plot. The book is somewhat autobiographical. Leslie Wells is a former book editor in New York who has edited dozens of bestselling books and several number one bestsellers. … I found the book refreshing to read, and a complete change of pace from my usual romance fare. I would definitely recommend it!”
—Tangled Hearts Book Reviews
“I ended up loving this story so much … Even though this is a recent book, it is set in 1981. That’s right, disco is ending and it’s now time for a new type of rock ‘n’ roll… I fell in love with this book and could not put it down. It is a great read … I especially loved spending a bit more time in the 80’s. It was a fun place to be the first time, but seeing it in another city through another’s eyes, made it so much fun to relive a bit of history.”
–The Boyfriend Bookmark Blog
“This is a great story! With every great relationship there is always a bumpy road, and theirs is no different: Julia has her job as a publishing assistant, and Jack is a rock star. Two completely different worlds, and you get to see how they make it work. If you’re looking for a quick light read, this is the book for you! Once you start, you are completely unable to put it down.”
–Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews
“In Come Dancing, the year is 1981 and Julia is a young woman who is involved in the book publishing world. Talk about a dream job! She is just learning her way around the real world and is trying to navigate life in the big city. It’s all very new to her, and we get to do a lot of exploring with her, which I found very exciting. She goes out with her friends and ends up meeting a guitarist for one of the hottest bands in the world at the time. Julia is totally enamored with Jack and this kicks off a great love story. This book is about growing up and becoming an adult.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I know that it’s not necessarily historical fiction because it takes place in the such recent past, but I did appreciate reading about a time that I didn’t live through. I wasn’t born until 1985, so I have absolutely no memories of the early 1980s; however, they are endlessly fascinating to me. I loved seeing New York City at this time when so much was changing. NYC seemed like an especially exciting place to be during that time. I really like Julia’s character and I really enjoyed the love story in the book. I was rooting for Jack and Julia the whole way. This is a very smart love story, which I really liked. This was also a really fun book which can be billed as a romance. It’s a fun romp, and their sparkling characters definitely made it worth the read.”
–A Bookish Affair
“Music and dancing are very big ingredients in this story. I liked that about it, I’m always fascinated about stories that really delve into the aspect of a relationship, the highs, the lows, the real struggles, between a rock star/celebrity and a person who is not use to that life. It’s fascinating, and it was even more so to read about it especially in the 80′s. Jack is a popular, sexy rock star and is very sought after by the public, whereas Julie is just a regular girl putting the pieces of her heart back after a breakup, working hard in the publishing industry… Once you get into it you can’t put down, you need to know what’s going to happen.
Will they? Won’t they?
Are they? Aren’t they?
The secondary characters add so much life to this book too- the relationship between Jack and Julia can be quite intense at times, so it’s fun to have the secondary characters balance it out. They’re not just fillers in the story, either; they have depth to them. Vicky is Julia’s wild bestfriend and adds fun to the story. I’m really interested in her and Sammy’s relationship, rooted for them and want more. In a story there is always a jerk character, and in this one, that character comes in the form of Jack’s band mate, Patrick, biggest jerk possible, but brilliantly done because you find yourself wanting to know his story, wanting to know what his deal is? Dot is also quite the character and an important one in this story, she is Julia’s mother and the relationship between Julia and her mother is interesting, it’s lovely seeing how that develops in the book.
…While Julia is determined, strong and independent while trying to guard her heart and not fall for the big bad rocker, Jack is sexy and charming. British accent? hellooooo and he is complicated as hell with insecurities of his own. The characters had so much depth and have so much more story left in them. This isn’t the end of Julia and Jack’s story, it continues in Keep Dancing.
“The part where Jack does something really stupid. He’s so terrified of his feelings for his woman, he doesn’t call her right away to straighten out a bad misunderstanding… and his heart gets ripped into shreds.”
—Red Cheeks Reads