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Tango, like love, is complicated

Journalist Dani McKenna delves into the world of tango to expose the decades of lies and deception that threaten three generations of her family. She’s desperate to understand the reason her mother abandoned her twenty years ago to become a world-class tango dancer, why her grandma lives in fear of all things tango, and how the brutal murder of a tango music legend in 1950s Buenos Aires now affects her family.

Dani meets the enigmatic Carlos Escudero, a revered tango dancer and man of intense passion, who helps her unravel tango’s sordid history. Despite Dani’s lack of rhythm, they create their own dance of the souls until the differences in their cultures causes a deep rift. As she seeks to reconnect with Carlos and rebuild her family, tango – the dance of passion – becomes a complicated dance of betrayal.

325 pages, Paperback

First published August 1, 2014

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About the author

Alli Sinclair

9 books202 followers
Alli Sinclair is an Australian multi-award winning author published who has lived in Argentina, Peru, and Canada. She’s climbed some of the world’s highest mountains and worked as a tour guide in South and Central America. Australia has always been close to Alli’s heart as she loves the diverse landscapes and the rich multicultural heritage of this wonderful land.

Alli’s books explore history, culture, love and grief, and relationships between family, friends and lovers. She captures the romance and thrill of discovering old and new worlds and loves taking readers on a journey of discovery. When not writing novels, Alli works as a producer and screenwriter for TV and cinema.

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5 stars
64 (40%)
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51 (32%)
3 stars
28 (17%)
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14 (8%)
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2 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for Kylie D.
464 reviews516 followers
February 10, 2019
Luna Tango is a marvellous book by Alli Sinclair. It has everything, mystery, romance, angst, and it's a cracking good read. We follow newly heartbroken Australian journalist Dani to Buenos Aires to write a feature on the tango, but she didn't count on falling for sexy, yet enigmatic tango instructor Carlos while writing her story. Then there is her estranged mother who she hasn't seen for twenty years, a world famous tango dancer, now living as a recluse somewhere in Argentina. Dani isn't sure whether to look for her or not, but fate intervenes. There is also the story of the cold case shooting of a tango great back in the 50s which Dani wants to pursue, much to Carlos' chagrin. So we have quite a bit going on here to keep us turning the pages compulsively. I found I couldn't put this one down, but that didn't surprise me, I found all of Alli Sinclair's books are like that. A wonderful read, highly recommended.
4.5 stars rounded up to 5.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,233 reviews2,738 followers
February 28, 2020
Daniela McKenna’s mother abandoned her when she was just five years old, and she hadn’t seen or heard of her since. Dani was a journalist so heading to Argentina to report on the famous and well-loved tango was a good cover story. After all, her mother became a famous tango dancer in that country. Her meeting with the legendary tango dancer Carlos Escudero, was fraught with difficulties from the start. Carlos no longer danced because of a past accident, but he taught. He also had a hatred of journalists – Dani as good as had the door slammed in her face.

The secrets of the past; the murder of a music legend in the 50s; Dani’s grandmother Stella’s fear; and her own mother’s disappearance – Dani was hoping to solve it all. But she was up against problems with every step she took. Would it be possible to solve the issue of the past that Dani had crossed countries and oceans to solve? Or was she destined to fail?

Luna Tango is the 1st in the Wandering Skies series by Aussie author Alli Sinclair and I enjoyed it very much. The beauty and majesty of the tango music had me wishing I could actually hear it instead of imagining it. There was intrigue, mystery, murder and secrets – also passion, betrayal and love. Luna Tango was a great read which I recommend.
Profile Image for Claire.
2,309 reviews709 followers
July 9, 2016
3.5 - "Tango is the journey of the soul." Stars!

Midnight Serenade is a beautifully written tale spanning three generations of women, crossing continents, and wholly different lifestyles.

If you like your romance a little different than I think you will love this one. Told in several points of view and in different decades you are given the love story of Louise Gilchrist in fifties Buenos Aires, having arrived there after being orphaned during World War Two, after a life of poverty she has fallen on her feet somewhat as the muse to famous and beloved composer Pascual Canziani, although she loves him it is only in a friendly way, much to his dismay. Little does he know that her heart belongs to someone else...

"The moon always bought her back into my heart."

This part of the story is discovered and then expanded upon by Dani McKenna, newly fledged feature writer, whilst putting together a series of articles on the infamous tango, for Tourism Argentina during her information gathering in Buenos Aires she meets Carlos Escudero, famed tango dancer, now tutor due to a horrific car crash. Dani and Carlos’s chemistry is palpable from their first meeting, but Carlos has been burnt by the press before and is more than a little cautious when it comes to their connection, as well as providing her with any information on the dance and its heritage, that made him famous.

"I’m following my heart..."

As I said this is a story that spans decades, Louisa is linked to Dani, and as the story progresses the clues are gradually revealed. This is my first book by this author, but her beautifully descriptive prose really took me on the journey that these women were experiencing. From Argentina to Brazil and Australia as well, it was all really easy to envisage.

"That dance is a curse on our family."

My only struggle with this story, was Dani’s behavior in the latter stages of the book, she seemed to degenerate back to a teenager in her behavior and reactions when it came to facing facts and dealing with the truth, her relationship with Carlos suffered because of it, and I could wholly understand why he pulled back. The end was all a bit abrupt as well, but not enough to leave me frustrated.

However this is a beautifully complex story, love and loss, secrets and lies, death and life are all looked at through its telling, and I will certainly be looking to read more from Alli Sinclair in the future.

"I thought we would have forever."

ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was a pleasure to provide the above honest review.
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books319 followers
December 14, 2015
Three and a half stars.
Dani wants to know why her mother abandoned her when she was only five. Her mother then went on to come a world class tango dancer, leaving her own mother Stella to raise Dani. When Dani decides to try and find out more about tango and the hold it has on her mother, her grandma is appalled. Despite her grandmother’s objections, Dani fees to Argentina. There she meets Carlos Escudero, a legendary tango dancer. Dani finds more than she bargained for as she uncovers a murder shrouded in a world of secrets.
While reading I learned a bit about Argentina, which was great as it is not somewhere I am likely to get a chance to visit. At least now I can picture it. Not being a person overly greatly into dance, I also learned more than I ever needed to about tango. At times I found myself skimming.
While I enjoyed the dual story and the romances from both the present and the 1950s, I never really connected that well with the characters, especially the bossy and temperamental Carlos. I did enjoy the setting and the way the story tied together and had to smile at Dani’s initial reaction to the musical instrument known as the bandoneon. Her reaction to it, was similar to mine with bagpipes.
A lot of people will enjoy this unconventional and exotic romance. It will be interesting to see what this Australian author writes next.
Profile Image for Jaylee Neal.
105 reviews
October 28, 2017
My heart. All I can say is I fell in love with Dani and Carlos this book got better and better with every twist and turn Alli had in this book. Again the world needs to fall in love with Alli's ability to storytell
Profile Image for Renee.
Author 60 books150 followers
October 14, 2016
I am always on the lookout for books that feature dancing, especially partner dancing. I had my eye on Luna Tango for a while, and how could you not with a cover like that! The passion displayed on the cover continued in the novel, and had me longing to read the sensual dance scenes even more than the bedroom ones (though they were swoon worthy too).

I related most to the modern storyline and enjoyed seeing how the two timelines came together. I loved Carlos voice - I could just hear him speaking in that sexy, Argentine, English is not my first language way. Swoon. I just wanted to throw myself at him and tango! Vertically, horizontally, either way would be fine with me!

This was a fantastic debut from Alli and I can't wait to read the next book in the Dance Cards Series. I was so excited to win an autographed copy of Luna Tango in a competition on Facebook and I loved using one of the matching bookmarks while reading it.

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Profile Image for MarciaB - Book Muster Down Under.
227 reviews31 followers
November 28, 2014
The first thing about this novel that caught my attention was its striking cover. The second, that its backstory is based on one of the most passionate Latin dances around - the Argentine Tango.

With a present day timeline entwined within a historical one, which takes place in 1950’s Buenos Aires, Alli Sinclair gives us Dani and Louisa.

From the wide open spaces of Australia and the populous city of New York where she has lived for the last three years and, against the wishes of her grandmother, Dani McKenna, our present day heroine, finds herself on the narrow cobbled streets of Buenos Aires, trying to save her career by writing an article on the Tango. While she anticipates that the article will give her flailing career the lift it needs, she hopes her trip will also afford her the opportunity to delve a bit deeper and shed some light on the reasons why her mother abandoned her when she was five years old. She’s got just one problem though – she needs to interview Carlos Escudero, the revered Tango dancer, but their first meeting doesn’t go at all as planned.

Injured in a motorbike accident and having suffered injuries that ruined his dancing career, Carlos hates the media with a passion and shies away from all kinds of publicity – even the ones who say they have no interest in his personal story, but when she presents herself, asking for an interview, she is not expecting the cold reception he gives her.

Not to be thwarted by his obvious dislike of journalists (or is it just her), and their incessant attempts at breaking the story behind the accident and the break-up with his fiancé, Dani persists, causing him to finally have a change of heart – on condition that he has control over what she writes and that she learns to dance the Tango – for every step learnt, he will answer one question.

Finally given access to the world of the sultry Tango, the dance, with its impassioned portrayal of seduction and despair, soon casts its timeless spell over Dani, as she tries to uncover the secrets buried deep within her family history and begins to break all of her own rules. However, it is a photograph in Carlos’ possession that will have her questioning everything she has ever known about her family. Who is La Gringa Magnifica?

In the parallel timeline, it is 1953 and we are introduced to Louisa Gilchrist who had endured life in war-torn Britain where she lost her parents in the London Blitz at the age of thirteen. At seventeen, Louisa found herself in the slums of Buenos Aires, determined to find her only living relatives. Just like Eva Peron, Louisa arrived in Argentina penniless, having to work her way up in the world – until she, like Eva, met someone who could offer her a better life. For Eva it was Juan Peron. For Louisa, it was the esteemed composer, Eduardo Canziani, who plucked her out of poverty.

Louisa becomes Eduardo’s muse and, whilst they share a platonic relationship, it is still no easy feat, especially when she realises that she has fallen in love with his protégé, Roberto. Keeping it a secret from Eduardo proves to be quite difficult and the lovers are finally forced to find a way to be together forever. When Eduardo is murdered in cold-blood on the streets of Buenos Aires, Louisa, fearful of the consequences, is encouraged to take flight. However, it seems as though their relationship is doomed when Roberto doesn’t arrive at their designated meeting place, forcing Louisa to go to extremes to find the man she loves. Will she ever find him?

Seguing between present and past, we come to know Louisa, Eduardo, Dani and Carlos as they are swept into the dance's embrace, journeying to uncover the secrets, betrayals, loves and losses of lives torn in two by Tango.

Did you know that Argentina is known as “the Paris of South America”? Well, I didn’t, but I am so grateful for this “thing” I have when I am reading novels with a background that really interests me - my own research. In the case of Luna Tango, I scoured the web for hours looking at amazing pictures and reading about this country I know so little about. I soon realised, after also doing some digging on Alli Sinclair, that it’s no wonder she has the ability to intertwine the rich history of Argentina into the lives of her characters, along with the sultry atmosphere and nature of the Argentine Tango - because she has lived there.

As there is so much contained within this story and, in order to prevent this review from becoming overly lengthy, I have been placed in a position where I will not be able to wax lyrical about everything I loved. Instead, I'm going to have to just concentrate on a few facets of what really struck me about Alli's writing - and believe me, these are just a few.

Firstly, her love of history and culture definitively shine through the narrative as her descriptions drip with the history of both Argentina and its Tango, enhancing it and giving us an engrossing and informatively well-balanced story that captures the strength of her characters as well as the intensity of the city and the dance itself. As it echoes its tango-bar days, we come to learn that the Argentine Tango is a lifestyle with its own rules, politics, codes and plenty of drama!

Secondly, the details often associated with Latin America – over-polluted streets, hazy smoke-filled dance halls and the endless pulsating rhythm of dancing and music, the heady aroma of gardenias and the tantalizing smell of buttery pastries, to the mentions of Argentina’s beloved Eva Peron and the presidential building of Casa Rosada, the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo (who continue to march in mourning of their children who “disappeared” during the Dirty War), the infamous Calle Florida and the pedestrian mall of Mendoza’s Avenida Sarmiento with its bustling sidewalk cafes, to smaller details such as an “ornate gate” and a “delicate brass handle” – are brought to life with vivid precision, lending authenticity to the entire novel.

Let me also just say that this is one of those novels where you can judge a book by its cover because it is so striking and evocative of everything contained within, from the baroque architecture to the passionate embrace of a Tango dance. And, fear not if you have neither visited the country nor ever danced the Tango, because Alli’s writing is so assured that I guarantee you will be able to experience the exoticism of the place and the passion of the art form directly from your armchair. In fact, you might even find yourself taking a Tango lesson or two!

Despite the fact that the novel is published by Harlequin (who are well-known for their romances), Luna Tango’s romance is, whilst at times a bit heated, somewhat understated, as it is rather the mysteries and discoveries surrounding La Gringa Magnifica and the cold case of Eduardo Canziani taking place in the midst of this vibrant city, that will have readers turning its pages well into the night, trying to solve these puzzles alongside Dani. Don't get me wrong, it is a love story - just one you've never experienced before.
Profile Image for Bree T.
2,157 reviews92 followers
August 14, 2014
Journalist Dani McKenna has journeyed to Argentina to kickstart her career in writing features. Helped along by Tourism Argentina, Dani plans to write articles on the famous tango and she wants the help of Carlos Escudero. A renown tango dancer, an accident ended his career and now he famously keeps to himself. He has a known distrust of journalists and Dani needs to win him over.

Carlos offers Dani a deal – for every step she learns, he will answer a question. Dani has never danced. When she was 5 years old her mother left her and her father and ran away to Argentina and became one of the most celebrated tango dancers. Dani thinks she has two left feet but Carlos is confident that he can teach anyone to tango.

While learning from Carlos, Dani becomes fascinated of a legend of tango and music from 1950s Argentina. She feels drawn to it, she needs to know more. Despite Carlos warning her off digging deeper into the story, Dani cannot help herself. She knows that this story not only needs to be solved but also that it involves her and her family and explains three generations of heartache, loss and love/hate for the tango.

Because tango, like love is complicated.

I have to admit the cover of this book was pretty much the driving force behind my requesting it for review. There’s something so compelling about that close pose, the gorgeous building in the background. I was ready for a story of passion and dance and mystery. And to be honest, that’s pretty much what I got.

Dani has arrived in Argentina and sets out to secure the impossible, an interview with the now famously reclusive Carlos Escudero. A hot blooded Latin to his core, Carlos was one of the country’s most celebrated dancers, along with his ex-fiance before a car accident left him with a damaged leg. He no longer dances, instead he teaches others and although Dani has always avoided the tango, as it brings painful memories, she wants Carlos’s input and so she agrees to his conditions.

Interspersed with Dani’s story is that of Louisa, muse for the famous composer Eduardo Canziani in 1953 and how it ended in murder and tragedy. Despite being warned off by Carlos, because this is an Argentine mystery, Dani still feels as though she could possibly find out what happened. She also needs to work through her issues with her mother, who is believed to be living somewhere remote in Argenina, having retired from dancing. Dani wants answers from her mother why she left her, why she gave up her family in order to dance. Despite the fact that tango has been the cause of much pain in Dani’s life and she feels negatively about it, there’s no doubt that it’s already in her blood and that she’s drawn to it. After all she’s made it the subject of her articles and she agrees to Carlos’s demand that she learn to dance. And under his tutelage, she is making a lot of progress.

I found both the historical and contemporary stories really easy to become invested in. I liked Dani almost immediately and enjoyed most of her sparring matches with Carlos. At first he tends to believe that all journalists are evil and opportunistic and Dani is trying to prove to him that she doesn’t care about the accident that ruined his career, only the history of the tango and how it evolved. Slowly he comes to believe her, especially when she gives up opportunities for other stories, things that would run in gossip columns and probably receive a lot of attention. Dani is coming off a broken engagement but she and Carlos have a simmering kind of attraction almost right from the beginning and the more they get to know each other, the more it seems obvious that Dani is going to find more than just answers on this trip.

As a mother myself, I had a little trouble understanding Dani’s own mother Iris and her motivations for leaving behind her husband and 5yo child. One of my children is 5 and the idea of vanishing from his life by choice is so foreign to me, something that I cannot grasp. Much is made of tango being a way of life, an obsession, something that takes precedence over all others and the seeking of that perfect moment in harmony with another person (entrega) but perhaps I’m far too practical to really be able to grasp that. For me, my family is far more important and always would be and even if I were unhappy in my current life, I couldn’t see myself being happy anywhere else without them. I actually thought Dani, after a little bit of anger, was pretty forgiving of the choices her mother had made. I guess she wanted the chance to have the relationship with her mother as an adult that was denied to her as a child.

Luna Tango is an entertaining blend of romance, passion, mystery and intrigue in an exotic setting that I really enjoyed reading. I loved watching the story of Louisa unfold and actually, I think I could’ve read a whole book devoted to that. Interestingly, this is the first in a series so I’m curious to see where it goes from here.
Profile Image for Tien.
1,870 reviews73 followers
July 21, 2014
Judge a book by the cover? Always! Sometimes the cover does tell you quite a bit on what the book is about and Luna Tango definitely falls within this category. Let’s not dismiss the title either though I can tell you that it’s definitely not about (literally) dancing the tango in moonlight ;) A gorgeous cover with bright colours and a promise of the exotic –what more can you ask for as cover for a romantic novel? And which girl can resist a sexy & broody hero?

Dani McKenna’s love life has just bombed out and she’s now in pursuit of her career –or so she thinks. She has decided to write about Tango, the curse of her family, and her first interviewee is to be Carlos Escuedero; a well-known tango dancer who has had to give up his dancing days due to some scandal. As always, things are not what they seem and Dani & Carlos will have to work out whether they can trust each other with their secrets.

Parallel to Dani’s story is Louisa’s story set in 1950s which had become (by Dani’s time) a somewhat mysterious legend for when the truth is known may rock the Tango world and maybe even the country. I must confess my preference for this past-world as I feel the love story was more heartfelt and rather grand –reaching over the years despite the anguish. With this comparison, I also found that the Dani & Carlos ‘relationship’ seems to be rather easy... ie. ‘stumbling blocks’ seem rather like pebbles and all smoothed out with just a tad of distress. Their attraction and sexual tension was felt but there was a lack of the entertaining playful teasing that I most appreciate in romance novels; I seem to only remember one particular bit of this in this book.

This book is totally rated on the ease of reading and it was so very easy –I inhaled it within a few hours and basically ignored everybody else in the house. It was a precious few peaceful hours well spent in the company of tango (there were bits & pieces about tango including some history that I appreciated). I think all I was missing was the background tango music in an otherwise, perfect evening in Argentina with a bunch of exotic men <3 <3 <3

Thank you, Harlequin Books Australia for copy of eARC via NetGalley
Profile Image for Janine.
611 reviews31 followers
December 26, 2016
First book of Alli's that I have read. This book is set in South America and tells the story of Dani who is hoping to break into a key journalism role by reporting on the history of the Tango. It is also a way for her to escape a recent break-up with her boyfriend who is also her boss, and search for the mother who abandoned her when she was 5 to pursue her dreams of being a revered Tango dancer.

The time frame switches back and forth between two different periods and it took me a little while to get into it, but once in I actually read the last half of the book in a day. Alli has obviously done great research into the lingo and the Tango and the history of dance in this country. It is a story of love, discovery, music, dance, family secrets and discovery. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!
Profile Image for Michelle Heeter.
Author 3 books1 follower
November 9, 2014
I bought this book for 2 reasons: I love the tango (though I never managed to master even the basics of the dance), and because I've written romantic short stories for magazines and I'm considering trying my hand at a romantic novella or novel. Normally, romance is not my preferred genre as far as reading goes.

The author is not a great stylist, not that you'd expect it in this sort of book. The plot, although rather improbable, kept me turning the pages, and I found the descriptions of Buenos Aires enjoyable. Overall, the book is pretty good, for a romance novel.
Profile Image for Malvina.
1,451 reviews9 followers
August 7, 2015
I enjoyed this book, but probably liked the flashback mystery more, as it drove the novel onwards. I enjoyed the parts about the Tango, and yes, even looked up what a bandoneon looks and sounds like - lovely music. At times I felt the modern day story wasn't motivationally and emotionally explained, and it had a rushed ending, but it was still a satisfactory ending. And such a gorgeous cover. It will be interesting to see what Alli Sinclair comes up with next.
Profile Image for Kerrie Paterson.
Author 13 books17 followers
July 26, 2014
In her debut novel, Luna Tango, Alli Sinclair skillfully weaves a modern day story with one set in the 1950s. With its exotic setting and fascinating history, the two stories draw you into the tango world and have even someone with two left feet like me wishing they could dance :)

I devoured this in a few hours and am now looking forward to the next book in the Dance Card series!
Profile Image for Dannielle Line.
191 reviews3 followers
March 11, 2019
Abandoned as a child, journalist Dani McKenna hates the beach, the Tango, and the melancholy tones of the Bandoneon, a concertina instrument, with a passion. Each reminds her of the mother who left her behind with only her emotionless grandmother to raise her after her father died of a broken heart. She knows there’s more to the estranged relationship between the three generations than either women will reveal, and she’s determined to discover the truth. Perhaps then, she can move forward with her life.

In Argentina, she meets tango champion, Carlos Escudero, a man who hates journalists with a passion. Dani needs his help if she’s turn learn more about her mother’s deep desire to be a tango dancer, and in turn, discover the dark secrets she’s hiding. But Dani never dreamed she’d fall for the enigmatic man or find the dance she hates has wound itself into her very soul because the Tango holds her own secrets and learning the truth comes at a terrible price.

Ms Sinclair is amazing. Her story is every bit as intriguing and passionate as any tango. Cleverly interwoven into Dani and Carlos’s story is a rich tapestry of love, danger and intense betrayal which leaves the reader swaying, breathless, their heart pounding a staccato beat, and clamouring for more. The sudden change in dynamics between Dani’s world and times past is as much a dance as the tango itself. The emotion in this story will tear at your heart as any good tango should, for this story, much like the dance, will reach in to your soul.
246 reviews1 follower
August 4, 2017
An interesting, well-crafted modern write of Australian provenance. unusually for a 'quick read' it is not soon forgotten. The author brings erudition and a clearly well-travelled background into a lightly engrossing romance. It is lifted from a 'chick-lit' category into something more appealing by virtue of the large element played by a knowledge of The Tango and its origins. The importance of this to the characters, as they deal with each others' pasts, creates the narrative.
An easy read but not a waste of time. Enjoyed.
Profile Image for Emma Bladen.
9 reviews3 followers
January 19, 2021
If you dance or love the idea of it, and the thought of dancing tango in a beautiful, romantic city far away, then you'll love Luna Tango. The author places her heroine in the exotic city of Buenos Aires where she has gone to solve a family mystery, and along the way finds love, learns about her heritage, and discovers herself. It's a gorgeous read which also tells us a little of the history of Argentina and the history of tango itself. The author weaves all of this into the story beautifully. I enjoyed this. It was a great escape.
Profile Image for Loraine.
877 reviews
February 12, 2023
I wouldn’t change a thing. This is an amazing story. Plot, characters, location, energy, dialogue. It is a beautiful love story. But also with mystery and history involved. I love the historical fiction part of these books. I didn’t know as much about tango before I read this book. Fascinating.
Profile Image for Liv Arnold.
Author 6 books90 followers
November 30, 2018
I learnt so much about the tango in this book. I particularly enjoyed the suspense of will Dani find her mother. She was a relatable character and I liked the flash back stories.
Profile Image for Cheryl Brown.
207 reviews4 followers
March 25, 2020
Entertaining but overly cliched chick lit. A good yarn with notable spots in Buenos Aires as background.
Profile Image for Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews.
1,958 reviews280 followers
November 17, 2014
* 4.5 stars

Luna Tango is the debut novel by Australian author Alli Sinclair and the first in a trilogy called the dance card series. It is sensual, colourful, has a touch of history and an air of mystery in the form of long held family secrets. The book opens when we are introduced to Dani McKenna, a journalist on an assignment for tourism Argentina, who is writing an article on the history of the tango. In conducting her research, Dani meets Carlos Escudero, once a world famous Tango dancer, now confined to teaching the dance due to a debilitating motorbike accident. Carlos is brooding and mysterious but he strikes Dani’s interest in following a story linked to the history of the tango. It is the sordid and unsolved tale of the 1953 brutal murder of revered composer Eduardo Canziani. As Dani digs deeper, she discovers a love triangle between Eduardo’s muse, Louisa who disappeared shortly after the murder and the legend composer’s protégé Roberto Vega. Dani tries to solve this age old murder mystery while simultaneously trying to uncover a very personal secret. Her own mother abandoned her 20 years ago to become a professional tango dancer, known in Argentina as La Gringa Magnifica. Dani’s professional and personal journeys begin to converge in ways she never would have imagined, revealing decades of betrayal, lies, passion and heartbreak.
Immediately I was attracted by the striking cover of Luna Tango, which was matched by an engaging and highly original storyline, weaving the theme of tango around a romantic adventure. The author successfully combines the dual stories of Dani in the present day and the flashbacks to 1950’s Argentina featuring the Tango Composer murder mystery. The narrative is crafted in a such a way that it subtly reveals more to the reader about Dani’s story, her mother’s and the 1950’s thread. I found Dani’s journey utterly compelling and I found myself easily immersed in the culture, history, sights and sounds of the exotic location of Argentina, the spectacular setting for this novel. The romance in the present between Dani and Carlos was beautifully written, I loved the inclusion of the mystery surrounding Carlos, which complimented the 1950’s love story. The 1950’s storyline is a sweeping historical thread, that highlights a point in history and a place in the world I as a reader was unfamiliar with and greatly appreciated reading. Luna Tango is an atmospheric novel of love, loss and family set against an exotic locale. I look forward to the next installment in the dance card series by a new and talented Australian author, who is now high on my reading list.
1 review1 follower
September 10, 2014
It is always a joy to find a book that you can curl up on the couch with and soak up the atmosphere and relish in the characters. That is why I was so pleased to come across Luna Tango, a book, which from the start sent me flying on an exotic journey of discovery with its protagonist Dani McKenna. Dani sets out to try and find the truth surrounding her mother’s abandonment to far off Argentina when Dani was a young girl. While tracking her mother down Dani also starts to uncover the truth behind a murder that took place in Buenos Aires two generations ago. This novel weaves a story of three generations of emotional disconnect and self-imposed isolation. Dani’s quest to unearth family secrets by learning the Tango from the handsome Argentinian Carlo is the start of changing this family cycle. Carlo teaches Dani so much more than merely the steps of the Tango. In learning the Tango Dani ignites her own passion, both for Carlo and the dance itself. No longer identifying herself with the loss of her mother, she starts to find a sense of self she hasn’t known before; someone who is passionate and strong in equal measure. Carlo’s sense of family loyalty, both the good and along with the bad, gives Dani a new paradigm for family in which she learns what true commitment and forgiveness is.

Luna Tango has an exotic backdrop rich with vivid colours, sights and sounds of South America. As much as it is an exotic and romantic adventure, at its core are themes of family, love and dealing with the pain of love lost. The dance of the Tango is cleverly interwoven throughout the novel and the reader comes to understand it to be as rich and complex as the characters lovingly crafted in the novel. You can feel how the Tango takes each of the three generations of women, one after the other, as it’s dance partner and how it taps into to their core and ultimately transforms one’s life forever. I now eagerly await Alli Sinclair’s second novel in the Dance Card trilogy which takes us off to another exciting journey of discovery.
Profile Image for Heidi.
28 reviews
July 10, 2016
Midnight Serenade is a compelling story that combines adventure, romance, mystery and history, all set to a tango beat. Alli Sinclair deftly weaves together dual time lines:a murder mystery set in 1950s Buenos Aires that is linked to a young Australian woman’s present-day quest to uncover the truth about her family’s enigmatic past. I fell in love with the characters: feisty Dani, with her refusal to give up no matter how tough the journey; sexy Carlos, whose crusty exterior protects a generous spirit. The author’s deep familiarity with Argentine life and culture adds texture and color to the story, and her meticulous research into the history of tango and the bandoneon is skillfully threaded throughout the story without slowing the pace. This deeply moving tale stayed with me long after I turned the last page and made me want to hop on the next plane to Buenos Aires.

After you finish reading Midnight Serenade, check out Alli Sinclair’s next book, Under the Spanish Stars, set in the world of Spanish flamenco, which releases in early December.
Profile Image for Sue Gerhardt Griffiths.
868 reviews42 followers
July 25, 2016
Lately my reading has taken me to some gorgeous locations. This time I was transported to exotic Argentina.
This beautiful, wonderful story, Luna Tango by Alli Sinclair took my breath away, I was mesmerised from the first page until the last. I've always been enthralled in partner dances, the way they move and float across the dance floor is captivating. And in this glorious novel we learn the history of the tango, the most passionate dances of them all. We discover secrets and witness the heartbreaking love story between Luisa and Roberto in a series of flashbacks. There's mystery and suspense to keep you gliding from page to page until the very end. This brought so many tears to my eyes - touching, heart-rending and so so moving.

A beautifully, crafted piece of work!
Profile Image for Juliet Madison.
Author 31 books147 followers
February 28, 2014
I was lucky enough to read this before publication, and absolutely loved it! Alli Sinclair expertly weaves a modern day story with the historical, creating a rich, vibrant, mesmerising love story set in the passionate and mysterious world of the tango.
The characters are well developed (readers will adore tango teacher, Carlos, I'm sure!), the story intriguing, and the overall feeling of the book made me want to visit Argentina and learn the tango!
The story is so well crafted and authentic that it has stayed with me long after reading the last page, like every good book should do. Definitely one of my favourite books and I cannot wait to read the rest of the the Dance Card Series!
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