Shadow Danceby Julie Garwood
Jordan Buchanan is thrilled that her brother and best friend are tying the knot. The wedding is a lavish affair–for the marriage of Dylan Buchanan and Kate MacKenna is no ordinary occasion. It represents the joining of two family dynasties. The ceremony and reception proceed without a hitch–until a crasher appears claiming to be a MacKenna guest. The
Jordan Buchanan is thrilled that her brother and best friend are tying the knot. The wedding is a lavish affair–for the marriage of Dylan Buchanan and Kate MacKenna is no ordinary occasion. It represents the joining of two family dynasties. The ceremony and reception proceed without a hitch–until a crasher appears claiming to be a MacKenna guest. The disheveled and eccentric professor of medieval history warns that there’s “bad blood” between the couple’s clans, stemming from an ancient feud that originated in Scotland, and involving the Buchanan theft of a coveted MacKenna treasure.
Jordan has always led a cautious life and has used her intelligence and reason to become a successful businesswoman. So she is intrigued but skeptical of the professor’s claims that the feud has been kept alive by the grave injustices the Buchanans have perpetrated over the centuries. But when Noah Clayborne, a close family friend and a man who has never let a good time or a pretty girl pass him by, accuses Jordan of being trapped in her comfort zone, she determines to prove him wrong and sets out on a spontaneous adventure to the small, dusty town of Serenity, Texas, to judge the professor’s research for herself.
Maneuvering through a close-knit community in which everyone knows everyone else’s business, Jordan never anticipates the danger and intrigue that lie in her path, nor the threat that will shadow her back to Boston, where even in familiar surroundings, her life is at risk.
A powerful thug who rules by fear, a man who harbors a simmering secret, and an unexpected romance that pierces all defenses–beloved author Julie Garwood weaves these dazzling elements into a brilliant novel of romantic suspense. Shadow Dance is a searing tango of passion and peril.
- Random House Publishing Group
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- 6.84(w) x 4.18(h) x 1.09(d)
Read an Excerpt
The wedding of Jordan Buchanan's brother Dylan to her best friend, Kate MacKenna, was a joyous occasion, and the reception a beautiful affair
Jordan walked into the ballroom and stood near the entrance trying to find Noah in the crowd on the dance floor. He still had her glasses in his pocket and her contacts were bothering her.
"What's got you frowning?"
Her brother Nick asked the question as he sauntered over to her.
"I'm not frowning. I’m squinting. Noah has my glasses. Do you see him?"
"Yeah. He's right in front of you."
She focused in, spotted him, and then did frown. "Look at those silly women panting all over your partner. It's disgusting."
"I think," she replied. "Promise me something."
"If I ever act like that, you'll shoot me."
"Be happy to," Nick promised before laughing at her.
Noah had excused himself from his fan club and walked over to join them.
"What so funny?"
"Jordan wants me to shoot her."
Noah glanced down at her, and for a second or two she had his full, undivided attention.
"I'll do it," he offered
There was a little too much glee in his voice to suit her. She had just decided to walk away from the two of them when she spotted Dan Robbins heading her way. At least she thought it was Dan. He was too blurry to be sure. She’d had one dance with Dan earlier in the evening, and no matter what music was playing, whether it was a waltz, a tango, or hip hop, Dan bounced to his own tune in something that resembled a spasmodic version of a polka. Jordan changed her mind and stayed put. She moved a little closer to Noah and smiled at him. The ploy seemed to work. Dan hesitated and then turned away.
"Don't you want to know why she wants me to shoot her?" Nick asked.
"I already know why," Noah said. "She's bored."
She slipped her hand into his pocket, found her glasses, and put them on.
"I am not bored."
"Yes, you are," Noah said.
He was looking over her head when he spoke to her. She suspected he did it on purpose just to irritate her.
"He's right," Nick said. "You have to be bored. All you had was your company, and since you sold everything…"
Nick shrugged. "You've got to be bored."
"Just because I don't like the same things you two do doesn't mean I'm bored or unhappy. I have a wonderful social life and–"
Noah cut her off. "Dead people have a better social life."
Nick agreed. "You really don't have much fun, do you?"
"Of course I do. I enjoy reading and…"
They were both grinning at her. They were obnoxious clowns, and she was about to tell them so when Nick said, "She does like a good book. What was it you were reading a couple of days ago?"
"I don't remember. I read lots of books."
"I do," Noah said, his voice gratingly cheerful. "Nick and Dylan and I had just gotten back from fishing, and you were sitting on the deck reading the complete works of Stephen Hawkings."
"It was riveting."
They had a good laugh over her defensive comment. "Stop making fun of me and go away. Both of you."
Her timing could have been better. As soon as she told them to leave, she spotted Dan approaching her again. She grabbed hold of Noah's arm. She was sure he knew what she was doing and why–he'd have to be blind not to notice Dan strolling toward them–but he didn't say anything about it.
"Your sister lives in a box," said Noah.
Nick agreed. "Jordan, when was the last time you did anything just for fun?'
"I do lots of things for fun."
"Let me qualify that question. When did you do anything fun that didn't involve computers or computer chips or software?"
She opened her mouth to answer and then closed it. She couldn't think of anything, but surely that was only because she was under pressure.
"Have you ever done anything impractical?" Noah asked.
"Where's the logic in that?" she asked.
Noah turned to Nick. "Is she serious?"
"Afraid so," Nick answered. "Before my sister would ever consider doing anything on the spur of the moment, she would have to first analyze all the data, then figure the statistical probabilities of success…"
The two men were having a fine time tormenting her and would have continued if their employer, Doctor Peter Morganstern, hadn't joined them. He carried a plate with two pieces of wedding cake.
Morganstern had become a good friend of the family and wouldn't have missed the wedding for anything in the world. Jordan liked and admired him. He was a brilliant forensic psychiatrist who ran a highly specialized unit operating within the FBI. They called it the lost and found department. Her brother Nick and Noah were part of Morganstern's program. Among their responsibilities was finding lost and exploited children, and Jordan believed they were a substantial reason for the program's success.
"You three seem to be enjoying yourselves."
"How do you stand working with them?" Jordan asked.
"There are moments when I question my sanity. Especially with this one," he said, tilting his head toward Noah.
"Sir, I'm sorry you and your wife got stuck at the same table with our Aunt Iris," Nick said. "Did she find out you were a doctor?"
"I'm afraid so, yes."
"Iris is an obsessive hypochondriac," he explained to Noah.
"What are the odds the doctor would get stuck sitting next to her?" Noah asked.
Everyone turned toward Morgantern’s table where Aunt Iris sat.
"One chance in one hundred seventy-nine thousand seven hundred," Jordan answered before she could stop herself.
The men turned back now to look at her.
Astonished, the doctor asked, "Is that an exact number or a guess?'
"An exact number based on six hundred guests," she said. "I never guess."
"Does she do this kind of stuff all the time?" Noah wondered aloud.
"Pretty much," Nick answered.
"Just because I have a mind for math–"
"But with no common sense," Nick finished.
"I could certainly use you on my team," Morganstern said. "If you ever consider a change in careers, come work for me."
"No," Nick said emphatically.
"Absolutely not," Noah said at the same time.
The doctor turned his head toward Jordan and gave her a conspiratorial wink. "I wouldn't put her in the field right away. Like you two, she would need extensive training." He looked as though he were pondering the possibility for a second or two and then said, "I've got a good feeling about Jordan. I believe she'd be an asset to the unit."
"Sir, isn't there a rule against two members of the same family working together?"
"I don't have that rule," Morganstern said. "I wouldn't make her go through the academy. I'd train her myself."
Noah looked appalled. "Sir, it still isn't a good idea," he insisted while Nick vigorously nodded agreement.
Exasperated, Jordan turned to Noah and said, "Listen, Mister Butinski. This isn't your decision. It's mine."
The doctor seemed fascinated by Noah's reaction to his proposal.
"Would I get to carry a gun?" she asked.
"A gun is out of the question," Nick said.
“You're too uncoordinated and you’re blind as a bat," Noah interjected. "You’d shoot yourself,” he predicted.
She smiled at Morganstern. "It was lovely talking to you. Now if you'll excuse me, I'd like to get away from these two cretins."
Noah grabbed her arm. "Come on. Dance with me."
Since he was already dragging her toward the dance floor, she felt it would be pointless to argue. The bride had coaxed her sister into singing. Isabel had the most wonderful voice, and when she began to sing Kate's favorite ballad, a hush fell over the crowd. Young and old, they were all mesmerized by her.
Noah pulled Jordan into his arms and held her tight against him. She had to admit it wasn't completely unpleasant. She did like the feel of his hard body pressed against hers. She liked his scent too. Whatever he was wearing was ruggedly sexy.
He was looking over the top of her head when he asked, "You wouldn't really consider working for the doctor, would you?"
He actually sounded a little worried. She couldn't resist provoking him just a little. "Only if I get to work with you."
He smiled as he shook his head. "Not gonna happen. And you can't really be serious, right?"
"Right," she agreed. "I wouldn't consider working for Doctor Morganstern. Happy now?"
"I'm always happy."
She rolled her eyes. Oh, brother. The ego. "By the way," she said, "Doctor Morganstern wasn't serious. He was teasing to get a rise out of you and Nick. It worked too. You did get riled."
"The doctor never teases, and I never get riled."
"Okay, even if he wasn't teasing, I still wouldn't consider working for him."
He flashed a smile, and for a fleeting second she forgot how irritating he could be.
"I didn't think you would be interested."
Annoyed, she asked, "Then why are we having this conversation? If you knew the answer, why did you ask?"
"Just making sure. That's all."
They swayed to the music for a good half a minute, and she was actually feeling relaxed when he ruined it.
"You'd be terrible at it, by the way."
"How would you know if I'd be good or bad?"
"You live in a comfort zone. That's how I know."
"I'll bite. What's a comfort zone?"
"It's where you live. You never step outside your safe environment, your comfort zone," he explained. "You stay in the shadows." Before she could object, he said, "I'll bet you've never done anything in your entire life that was spontaneous, or taken any risks."
"I've taken plenty of risks in the past year alone."
"Yeah? Name one."
“I sold my company.”
“That was a calculated decision and you netted a huge profit,” he countered. “What else?”
“I’ve been doing a lot of running. I thought I’d try for the Boston Marathon next year,” she offered.
“It’s a regimen, requires discipline. Plus, you do it to stay fit,” he argued.
He wasn’t looking over her head now. He was staring into her eyes, and he was making her extremely uncomfortable. For the life of her, she couldn't think of a single spontaneous action or risk she'd ever taken. Everything she did was well thought out and planned down to the last detail. Was her life really that boring? Was she that boring?
"Having trouble coming up with one?"
"There's nothing wrong with being careful." Great, now she sounded like a ninety year old.
He looked like he was about to laugh. "You're right," he said. "Nothing wrong with being careful."
Embarrassed because she had only just realized how dull she was, and guessing that he had already figured that out about her as well, she hurriedly changed the subject to get the focus off of herself. She blurted out the first thought that came into her mind.
"Isabel has a great voice, doesn't she? I could listen to her all night. Did you know she's been hounded by agents wanting to make her a star. She's not interested though. She's only a freshman, but she's already decided she wants to be a history major, then get her masters and teach. Interesting, don't you think? She's giving up fame and fortune. I think that's amazing, don't you?"
Noah gave her a piercing smile that went right through her, but he looked puzzled as well. No wonder. She was babbling like a toddler. She knew she should stop talking, but she couldn't seem to make herself close her mouth. Thanks to his scrutiny she had a bad, bad case of nerves.
For the love of God, Isabel, wind it up. Enough already.
"And did you know that in a few years Isabel is going to inherit land in Scotland? It's called Glen MacKenna," she rushed on. "She invited the strangest little man to the wedding and the reception. I just met him, and he has all the information he’s collected in boxes in Texas. He's a professor, you see, and he's done quite a lot of research on a feud that he says has existed for centuries between the Buchanans and the MacKennas. According to the professor, Dylan and Kate should never have gotten married. There's a legend about a treasure too. It's fascinating, really it is."
She finally had to pause to take a breath or she’d pass out.
He stopped dancing for a few seconds and then asked, "Do I make you nervous?"
"When you stare at me you do. I'd appreciate it if you would go back to being rude and stare over my head when you speak to me. That is why you do it, isn't it? To be rude?"
His face lit up. "And to irritate you."
"It works. You do irritate me."
Would Isabel never finish the song? She was taking forever. Jordan smiled nonchalantly at the couples gliding by as she wished for the dance to end. It would be rude to just walk away, wouldn't it?
Noah nudged her chin up with his index finger and looked squarely at her. "May I make a suggestion?" he asked.
“Sure," she said. "Suggest away."
"You ought to think about getting into the game."
She sighed. "What game would that be?"
Apparently he wasn’t through giving her suggestions on ways to improve her dull existence.
“Do you know the difference between you and me?" he asked.
"I can think of more than a thousand differences."
"I eat the dessert."
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” she asked.
“Only that life’s too short. Sometimes you just have to eat dessert first.”
She knew where this was going. “I get it. I watch life while you live it. I know you think I should do something spontaneous instead of always planning everything out, but for your information, I’m already doing something spontaneous."
"Yeah?" he asked, the challenge was there in his voice. "What's that?"
"Spontaneous," she stalled.
"And what would that be?"
She knew he didn't believe her. Come hell or high water, she was determined to do something spontaneous, even if it killed her. The satisfaction of wiping that arrogant know-it-all grin off his face would be worth any sacrifice, even if it wasn't logical.
"I'm going to Texas," she said, enforcing her decision with a nod.
"What for?" he asked.
"Why am I going to Texas?" She didn't have the faintest idea at first, but fortunately she was a quick thinker. Before he could say another word, she answered her own question.
"I'm going on a treasure hunt."
Meet the Author
Julie Garwood is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Slow Burn, Murder List, Killjoy, Mercy, Heartbreaker, Ransom, and Come the Spring. There are more than thirty-two million copies of her books in print.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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omg i love this book i could read it over and over again and Noah god bless this character, he was very entertaining and sweet. thank you Ms.Garwood for making my days to come.
Very Entertaining, funny, and overall good read.
I really loved this book, it kept me going until the end. And the love scenes weren't overdone. Plot was great, reccomend this book.
I was greatly disappointed in Shadow Dance..too many loose ends.
This book is AMAZING. It was the first JG book I read and after reading the rest of her books, I must say this one is my absolute favourite. I love the characters, the plot everything about it. you will not be disappointed
This one really made me interested in reading the Highland Laird's series - The Secret, Ransom & Shadow Music AND the Lairds Fiance's - The Bride and the Wedding!!! The Buchanan connection was the driving force!!!!
oh yes finally!!!from the pas 2 yrs. ive been busy on sci-fi novels etc. but one day i saw my Heartbreaker and Mercy book of Ms. Julie Garwood and wondering how's Nick, Laurant and Noah! ofcorz when i read Heartbreaker Noah became 1 of my fav character and been waiting for his story... this is it!!! really loved Noah, the story starts with Jordan trying to prove that she's able to leave her so-called "comfort zone" as Noah said, and went to Texas to find her Family's history... and then the mysterious killer who always dump dead body on her car. and then here comes our irresistible Noah to protect her... trying not to fall in love with the man, that every woman's dreaming of!!!! another one great novel to read from MS.JULIE GARWOOD!!!
The first book I read of Julie Garwood's was Murder List. It got me hooked! I loved the Buchanans but Noah was the thread throughout all. I then went back and read the 3 westerns about the Claybornes. WOW! IfI had read these first, I would have probably been a little disappointed in Shadow Dance. As other reviewers stated, little or no mention of the Clayborne ancestry was mentioned while the Buchanans and the McKennas were really overdone. I fell in love with Cole. A real legacy could have been developed with Noah. It would be nice to see a continuation of Cole's line down to Noah. Given the time lapse, she could really come up with some interesting characters in between Cole and Noah.
i love shadow dance. i have to admit that at the beginning it was kind of slow. but once the character of Noah Clayborne came out it was totally entertaining and romantic and funny. i definately recomend it
After reading Julie Garwood's previous Buchanan family's stories, I couldn't wait to read Jordan and Noah's, and was not disappointed. I have read all of Julie's books and this met all my expectations as I couldn't put the book down until I finished it.
I liked the book, it was a good story. However, the love story between Jordan and Noah was not as well put together as JG's other books. I just felt like it needed to be built up better, like another reader said, it was thin. Very thin.
I was hoping for a better storyline. Especially since the others in this series were pretty good.
In fact I'm going to return it. I've been a fan of Julie Garwood for years, but I can't even believe she wrote this book. The plot, such as it was, wasn't remotely believable, and neither was the romance. I echo the other reader who asked, 'Where is the real Julie Garwood?' She isn't behind this unreadable effort.
I absolutely adore Julie Garwood, and I think her books are great. However, I think she did awful on this book. She is a romance writer, and this to me was not really a romantic book. The whole thing about the ancestry stuff should have been a subplot with Noah and Jordan's relationship being the main deal. There wasn't even a lot of the witty repartee that I love in her writings in this book. I just expected Noah's book to be more. Still, you should still read it, just because it is Noah's book.
After Heartbreaker and Mercy, it seems like Garwood is just phoning it in. The character development is just not there. It's okay but not comparable to Mercy or Heartbreaker- better than her last few though.
I truly expected more from the author considering her previous novels. Wrong. It was nothing but boring and a bit entertaining. The connection did not click for a long time, and when it did, it just plainly did. Yeah, right!
When I originally finished 'Shadow Dance', I definitely liked it. It was much better than the last two, and I liked Jordan better than some of her past modern heroines. However, now that I think about it, I feel disappointed. I'd been waiting forever for Noah's book!!! Readers fell in love with him immediately, and with each new release, I'd skim the book flap for Noah's name. I waited so long for him to have his own book, but like another reviewer said, he was hardly in it. And there were like 3 sentences about his awesome ancestry, and Cole wasn't even mentioned by name! What a great chance to reward her dedicated readers by paying homage to a past character, Cole Clayborne. Oh well. I wonder what will be next???? Another historical (as hinted in this book) or another modern??? Anyone know?
I was totally engaged throughout the book and then it just stopped. The epilogue was weak--in Garwood's other books she gives a little bit more detail about what happens after the climax. This was Noah's big book because he'll never be the same character again and he jumps right in to getting married. It would have been nice to see a little hesitancy that we see in the other male/female duos in Garwood's other books. And the book was too short. It seemed to end just as it was getting started. A good read, but too short.
Let me start by saying I love Julie Garwood. She is one of my all time favorite authors. That being said, what happened here? 352 pages and what happened? A couple of lines about Noah's ancestors and that was it! He is a great character that got let down in this book. Shadow Dance was touted as being Noah's book and he is only a supporting character. I find it hard to believe that in two days he became a one-woman man, what with his history with women and all. In previous books Noah is more involved with the mystery part. It seems like all that gets done in this book is 'leg-work.' Jordan is supposed to be a klutz - no hint of that in this story. I read this book in a matter of hours and it was a cute read. All in all, I am not thrilled. I would love to see a book now on Michael Buchanan and Regan's brothers from Murder List.
The dialog starts out very stiff and it is very hard to get a feel for the characters. The story is the same as the last 4 books. Someone is murdered, the heroine is in danger and the only one that can save her is the hero. They are surrounded by incompetent people and they can only depend themselves. If you have read Julie Garwood last 4 books, you will know what I am talking about. There is no real spark between Jordan and Noah. No special moments that make you want to reread or anything that makes you feel 'swept away in the story'. In fact the murder investigation drags out for so long I started skimming ahead in hopes that the story would focus back on Jordan and Noah but those moments were far and few. At the climax of the story, she abrutly skips ahead a few days and I was left wanting more. For those of you that held out hope that we would be returned to romance of Julie's earlier books...it is not to be
Family, love ,murder. It is mostly about stepping out of comfort zones. To see what you can accomplish when you put your mind too it.
In trying to find out what to do now that she has sold her .com company, Jordan Buchanan decides to get some research material for her BFF & new sister-in-law Kate.