The Dance
by Joe Matlock
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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Toby Eisler hadn't planned on falling in love that day. He was a part-time private helicopter pilot for Air Link, and his services were needed by Hollingsworth Enterprises. After the job was finished, Toby landed at the Sherman Hollingsworth Estate. That's when he first laid eyes on Sherman's daughter, Sharon Hollingsworth. He was attracted to her immediately.

The feeling was mutual as far as Sharon was concerned. However, they were complete opposites. Toby was tall and strong. Sharon was petite. Toby came from a working class background, while Sharon had always lived a life of affluence.

These two souls tried to fight their feelings. Even Sharon's father tried to keep them apart, but Sharon and Toby were meant to be together.

The Dance chronicles the unconditional love between Toby Eisler and Sharon Hollingsworth. Several obstacles stand in the way of their relationship. Toby, the Coast Guard/private pilot, is uneasy around the opulence of the Hollingsworth lifestyle. Sharon is thankful for her wealth, and she uses to make a difference in the world. However, she has no plans to give up her fortune for Toby.

As readers, we come to know the main characters through their daily lives. Author Joe Matlock provides several Coast Guard rescue scenes in which Toby is involved. Sometimes these chapters deterred from the love story, but this reviewer found them to be interesting and exciting anyway. Matlock does a great job explaining the slang and various terms used by the Coast Guard and that added to my satisfaction.

All too often, authors develop a case of "common character syndrome" where the lead female is rich, beautiful, intelligent and about as deep as a wading pool. Danielle Steel and Mary Higgins Clark often suffer from this tendency. However, Matlock is to be commended for creating a believable woman in his leading lady. Sharon Hollingsworth is really likeable. Granted, she is rich and pretty, but she is kind, caring and human as well. Authors Steel and Clark should take a note here.

As an avid reader, I devour a lot of books. So many, in fact, that they sometimes tend to look alike. The Dance stands out from the pack, however. Why? Because it is a love story written by a male author in the perspective of a male main character. The story isn't sappy. Instead, it is quite moving, as it is clear the words come from the heart.

That last point is important because as a whole I do not like stories about love and romance. I find them silly and non-dimensional. Though Toby and Sharon were fictional characters, the love shared in the story was real. At some point in time, two people felt this strongly about each other. Joe Matlock just took the time to write it down.

And this effort is probably why the book moved me so. That being said, I do recommend The Dance as a refreshing change from the standard love story. Read it and I bet you won't be disappointed.
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