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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ambitious - Monica McKayhan

Released September 2011

Monica McKayhan
Harlequin/Kimani Tru

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

As a teenager, my best friend and I spent hours reading Bantam's Sweet Dreams romances. Carrie's mom was a huge Loveswept fan and passed on her love for romances by making sure Carrie had the latest Sweet Dreams novel on her night stand. After the 1980s, it seems that teen romances faded away. It's nice to see the publishing world turning their focus to teenage girls.

Ambitious finds Marisol Garcia, Mari for short, auditioning for a prestigious performing arts school. When she makes it in, Mari has no idea what's in store, but she's thrilled to be in a school devoted to her dream of becoming a famous dancer.

Drew Bishop's father used to play professional sports and wants his son's basketball career to take off. Drew has other plans because he loves the stage. When he's accepted into Premiere High, he hopes he can get his father to understand his passion for acting.

Soon the two form a solid friendship. As Drew works on his acting career, Mari enters a dance competition that has the potential to make her a star. Mari's mother isn't certain that her daughter is ready for Hollywood, but with Drew supporting her, Mari hopes she can prove to her mother that her passion for dance means everything.

Ambitious is kind of a Glee meets So You Think You Can Dance. The story isn't focused mainly on a teen's romance, instead it looks at the dreams of two teenagers lacking support from their parents. There are other subplots within that create tension in the right places. Overall, I found the story to be quite charming and a great set up for what could become a popular series romance.

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