Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: Dancing at the Chance

Dancing at a Chance by DeAnna Cameron

Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: Paperback, 336pp
ISBN-13: 978-0425245590
ISBN: 0425245594

 (Received for an honest review from the author)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

DeAnna Cameron on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from Dancing at the Chance (Courtesy of Unusual Historicals)

To celebrate the back-to-back releases of DANCING AT THE CHANCE and the reissue of THE BELLY DANCER, weekly prizes & a grand prize of a Kindle or Nook (winner's choice) are up for grabs on the author's website. Visit and follow the contest link for details. 


New York City in 1907 is a kingdom of endless possibilities for anyone who dares to dream. The Gilded Age has ended, and immigrants fill the bustling streets. The glamour of Broadway lures those who desire the limelight—but only a few are fortunate enough to thrive in the lights of a city that casts long, dark, and merciless shadows…
Pepper MacClair and her mother arrived penniless in New York thirteen years ago, and their fortune has not changed. A dancer of fluid grace and motion, Pepper is still only one chorus girl among dozens, struggling for an opportunity to prove herself worthy of something bigger.
For now, Pepper dances at The Chance, a rundown venue long past its prime. It is not only Pepper’s workplace, where she has pushed her physical endurance to its limit, but also her home. And as the larger world changes around her and she is pulled into the intrigues of New York’s elite, it is her last hope, not only to fulfill her dream, but to fulfill her heart.


DeAnna Cameron's latest novel, Dancing at the Chance is a book that will appeal to both historical fiction readers and theatre lovers as well. Cameron has a knack for realistic, believable characters and her knowledge of the behind-the-scences antics of a working theatre is remarkable. With rich period detail and a compelling plot, this novel is sure to be a favorite of romance readers around the country.

This was my first experience with DeAnna Cameron's writing and I'll have to save that I was impressed. Cameron's sense of atmosphere was exceptional. The Chance theatre took on all the characteristics of a character itself. It was the backbone of the story and that one place where all the action and characters seemed to come together. The reader will get all the ambiance of sitting in the audience, hearing the cheers and feeling the emotion of the performances.

Cameron's character develomment was also on par. She created characters that were authentic with real feelings and respsonses to situations. Readers will become invested quickly in Cameron's characters and want the best for them. Her characters will remind them of people they know and respond in ways they are familiar with, yet they will remain unique and different.

Pepper MacClair is such a wonderful heroine. She was interesting and driven and typical of a young woman with ambition and dreams. She comes across as passionate and forward. She has her own ideas of how things should go and she isn't afraid to voice them. I loved the fact that she took charge of making things happen for herself, in her personal life and in her career. In the end she finds that the only dreams worth having are ones worth working for and her growth throughout the story made it all worthwhile.

There were several secondary characters and historical figures that appear in Dancing at the Chance. Em is a great supporting cast member who is eccentric and daring. She is in character on and off the stage most of the time and per protective nature is compelling and comes across as real and heartfelt. Characters like Flo Zeigfield and Edwin Porter lend credibility and to this vaudville era story. With details of how Zeigfield nearly took over the theatre business and the birth of motion pictures. This is a novel with exceptional characters and detail about the times.

I loved all the behind-the-scenes info about the theatre. It was something I have always found interesting and it added a lot to the story. But there were moments that all the detail made the story drag a little. It wasn't an action based story, there was a lot of emotion and romance, but it wasn't a real fast mover. That would be my only critism, there were moments when I wanted things to speed up just a little bit. But this didn't take away from the overall effect of the novel. It was still very well written. The author did an amazing job with her charcters and I look forward to reading her other books.

Dancing at the Chance is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

DeAnna Cameron served as a writer and editor for a number of newspapers and magazines before turning to fiction. She lives in Southern California with her family.


DeAnna Cameron said...

Hi, Deb! Thank you for such a lovely review! It makes me smile to know you loved the behind-the-scenes peek into the theater world as much as I do.

justpeachy36 said...


Thanks for taking the time to stop by... I loved the book and wish you the greatest success with it.