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The Courtship Dance (Harlequin Feature Author) [Mass Market Paperback]

Candace Camp
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 377 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (18 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037360601X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373606016
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 25.4 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 229,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read but not spectacular 9 Mar 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read all 3 other books in the Matchmaker series, I had high hopes for the final instalment. I am in two minds as to whether I enjoyed this book. I like the characters, I especially enjoyed the drama and tension toward the end of the story.

However, I found the plot sort of stale. Francesca as a character became terribly annoying, always dwelling on the past and having the same repetitive monologues with herself. In addition, she didn't seem the strong character she had been portrayed as in the other books. Rochford was enjoyable, as expected, yet hardly any of the story was told from his perspective and he made few appearances in the story. The majority of the text continuously recycled Francesca's reasons for finding Rochford a wife and ignoring her feelings for him, why no-one must discover her financial problems, yada yada. Then there are more pages of the same. It became tedious to read and I was tempted to jump ahead to the conversations between characters.

All in all, the book was satisfactory but didn't live up to the full potential of the characters. It felt dragged out, then rushed towards the end, and there were too few interactions between the two leads, which meant Rochford was given far too little page time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Courtship Dance 6 July 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The conclusion of the quartet well worth waiting for, Candace Camp knows how to tell a good story. Its always great to catch up with charators from Candace's previous books that you have gotten to know and love
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in the series!! 23 Jan 2009
By T. Fong - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Okay, so saying that this is the best in the series isn't actually saying much for me, because I did not love the other books in the series. They were pleasant enough, but also very ordinary. The leading ladies in those stories were not as intriguing or likeable as Francesca and the men were nowhere near as magnetic as Rochford. In fact, I found myself skimming through the main storylines while slowly savoring every mention of these supporting characters. I can't say why, but I just loved the strained interactions between the two and the hint of something deep and tragic that happened between them in the past. They stole the show. I actually read the second and third books mainly to find out more about them. So of course, I could not wait for The Courtship Dance to be released.

For those of you who feel the same way about them in the previous novels, let me assure you---the finale will be well worth the wait! I was afraid I had too high hopes for this book and tried to convince myself that it would be difficult for Camp to write an entire novel centered on these two characters without messing it up in some way. It was a relief when I read this that I was not disappointed.

Though we only saw glimpses of their characters in the previous books, their personalities that developed in this book were exactly as I had imagined and hoped. They are both very proud and honorable people, but in a respectable and not irritating sense. I never got annoyed with them as I often do with lead characters with strong personalities, but instead fell even more in love with them. I love how they knew each other so well and had so much history together, so their "grownup-up" relationship had much more depth and substance compared to the whirlwind type romances that are often written. This made the ending much more sweet and satisfying. The main conflict also does not focus on some Big Misunderstanding (not the way I see it, anyway), which was refreshing. Generally, the storyline is rather predictable, but in a good, comfortable and entertaining way (I find most romances to be like this though).

I'm not good at summarizing plot lines and don't want to accidentally give out any spoilers, so I will just leave it at that. I hope everyone enjoys this book as much as I did!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second chance love in satisfying series' finale 7 Feb 2009
By statengirl - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is time for the matchmaker to find love of her own in this satisfying finish to Camp's "Matchmaker" series. For readers of the series, there was never any doubt that Lady Francesca Haughston, society darling and matchmaker extraordinaire, would end up in the arms of Sinclair Lisle, Duke of Rochford. The chemistry has been there from the series' start, but something in their past prevented them from acting upon it. It was eventually revealed in the last book that Francesca and Sinclair had been secretly engaged 15 years before, but Francesca broke it off when she found Sinclair in a compromising position with another woman, and she would not listen his claims of innocence. Francesca married on the rebound - it was a disaster - and is now widowed; Sinclair never married; and neither has been truly happy since. As it turns out, it was all a terrible mistake, for Francesca discovered just weeks ago that Sinclair had been set up and was completely innocent. Francesca is now determined to rectify the great wrong she did to Sinclair. She believes he swore off marriage after her rejection, so she sets out to find him a suitable young bride. Sinclair plays along with her scheme, feigning interest in the parade of candidates...but in his heart, it is the matchmaker he's hoping to win.

This is a sweet and satisfying end to a charming series. It is clear to the reader early on that Sinclair wants Francesca - and only Francesca - for his wife. She, however, is clueless. It is alternatingly funny and moving to see her jealous dislike of the prospective brides and her struggle to come to grips with her own feelings. There are many good tear-filled moments as Francesca fears that all is lost or mourns what might have been. Sinclair shows he is the absolutely great guy that I have long suspected - generous, brave, steadfast, kind, fiercely protective...and of course passionate.

I DO feel there were a few things missing from the story, such as the impending ball at which Sinclair was to announce his engagement...but which never materialized. Also, in the previous book, Sinclair's sister Callie suspects there are feelings between her brother and her dear friend Francesca ...yet oddly Callie is in this story for only a page or two and seems to have forgotten all about it. And Francesca is a bit more subdued in this book than previously. Overall, though, this is a good read and a fitting and happy culmination of Francesca's matchmaking days. 3 - 4 stars
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally the long awaited courtship! 28 Jan 2009
By J. Lee - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It has been a long wait for the story of Francesca and Sinclair, after bits and pieces of their interaction and hinted back-history had been dropped throughout the earlier books in the series.

I quite liked the first book "The Bridal Quest"...I think that it really gave this series a strong start, but like some of the other reviewers, I have to concur that the subsequent two books were only okay for me, and I was far far FAR more enthralled by Francesca and the duke, though they were only secondary characters. If anything, the earlier books were great in building up the anticipation leading up to the final telling of their story, which does not disappoint, in my humble opinion.

Definitely worth the wait (though I'm glad I don't have to wait any longer!)
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eagerly-Awaited Conclusion to the Delightful Courtship Series 3 Feb 2009
By D. Summerfield - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Unlike some of the other reviewers, I loved all four books in this well-written, thoughtful and ultimately quite satisfying Regency romance series. The talented Candace Camp planned the series very well. Although each of the four books in the series stands alone, they all give us a few more teasers about the hero and heroine of this last entry in the series, with tantalizing intimations throughout that "there is some history there" between the imperious Duke of Rochford and gorgeous matchmaker, Lady Francesca Haughston.

Now Ms. Camp has brought her series to a lovely, sigh-inducing conclusion with the story of the contentious, delicious love affair between Rochford and Francesca. As a reader who clearly recalls the earliest days of modern romance novels, (in the 1970s and 1980s) when the heroine could never be more than a virginal nineteen and the hero was always an experienced thirty-five, I have to say that I love these romances between more mature, seasoned and three-dimensional people.

Ms. Camp has created two characters who have been kicked around by life a bit, and who are wary of relationships. Francesca and Rochford are still vital and sexy, but finding love has been elusive and disappointing for them. Francesca has gone through an ill-advised marriage to a man who not only didn't appreciate her, but demeaned her, cheated on her, then died and left her penniless. Rochford has been betrayed in love, and so is approaching middle-age, realizing that he probably should marry sometime, but is not looking for anything other than someone who will give him an heir and live in her part of the castle. But fate seems to have plans for these two strong-minded people, and when they cannot keep away from each other -- fireworks!

I loved the repartee between these two characters and the interesting unfolding of their history and their fascination with each other. I also liked learning a bit more about the fates of the heroes and heroines who made good marriages in the other three books in this series.

The Courtship Dance will be joining The Marriage Wager (Matchmakers), The Bridal Quest (Matchmakers) and The Wedding Challenge (Matchmakers) on my keeper shelf. I have a feeling I will want to enter this lovely world again.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I give up. Really. 23 April 2009
By J. Myrna RottenRomance - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm not really sure why I've continued to read this author's work. I'm consistently disappointed. Well, no, that's not the right way to put it. I'm consistently underwhelmed. This book was not as bad as some of the others in the series, but it was up there.

Francesca went from being a funny, sophisticated, competent woman, to being a whiny, insecure, weepy, stilted woman. As someone else mentioned, the majority of the book took place as her internal monologue. There was almost no input from Sinclair. We have no idea why he felt the way he did, why he acted the way he did. I get that this author doesn't bounce back and forth between point of view, but since there was so little EXTERNAL dialogue we could get no real impression of him.

Also like another reviewer, I am not a fan of the Big Misunderstanding. Even less than that am I a fan for the "I had a poor sex life with my prior spouse, therefore I must be frigid." The CONSTANT references to her "cold nature" and frigidity were tiresome and unnecessary. I get that she felt insecure. I do not get how after consummating the relationship there is no reference to the amazing "recovery" she made.

The whole concept of Francesca finding Sinclair a wife to make up for the Big Misunderstanding was kind of funny at the end of the prior book. In actuality, though, the premise didn't work. The only person it made sense to was Sinclair, given his motives, but we were never privy to his motives! The dialogue is labored, not witty. The best thing I can say about the sex scenes is that they were brief. There is, as always, quivering and molten pooling, but thankfully only 2 references to loins.

Basically, I've given up. I have tried to like this author, I really have. She's not horrible and I know she tries hard. Her *characters* are good. The story lines are okay. But the books are flat. And they leave me rather sad that I've spent the time on them. So I'm done. I'm just calling it a day and saying, straight up, that this author and I are clearly not a good match. So I'm breaking up with her. I'm sure it's not her, it's me. Can't we stay friends? But not ones that see eachother -- just ones that if we bump into each other at the bookstore, there will be no hard feelings.
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