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Center Stage  By  cover art

Center Stage

By: Denise Grover Swank
Narrated by: Elise Arsenault
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Publisher's Summary

Ten years ago Magnolia Steele fled Franklin, Tennessee, after an incident that left her with hazy memories and a horror of the place where she had been born and bred. Though her abrupt departure destroyed most of her treasured relationships, she vowed never to return...until she has no choice. When Magnolia's breakout acting role in a Broadway musical ends in disgrace, there's only one place she can go. She finds herself on her momma's porch, suitcase in hand.

Drama follows Magnolia around like a long-lost friend. She reluctantly agrees to help her momma's catering company at a party for a country music star, only to find herself face-to-face with a sleazy music agent from her past. After a very public spat, Magnolia finds not only him dead but herself center stage in the police's investigation. Now she must scramble to prove her innocence, relying on the help of acquaintances old and new.

But the longer Magnolia stays in Franklin, the more she remembers about the big bad incident that chased her away. The past might not be finished with her yet, and what she doesn't remember could be her biggest danger.

©2016 Denise Grover Swank (P)2016 Tantor

What listeners say about Center Stage

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

What the actual f***

I LOVE This author!! I have read many many many of her books and they are all very good as is this one. The only reason I'm even doing a review is because of the ending...no holds barred it fucking sucks, your gonna be pissed the hell off! You will put in at very least a whole day of listening and be left hanging, it wouldn't be so bad if I knew there was another book coming soon but nope there's no "others in this series". I'm sorry but this book was good but the ending just FUCKING sucked!!

5 people found this helpful

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Well Written Mystery ... and country music.

What did you love best about Center Stage?

It's well written, flows naturally and doesn't feel contrived.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

If it was another author I probably would have thrown the book out the window. But for Denise Grover Swank I'm willing to hold off on my final judgement.

What does Elise Arsenault bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Has a reasonably good vocal range but struggled a little with male characters.

3 people found this helpful

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Horrible!

This book made absolutely no sense. The characters are so overly dramatic that I spent most of the listening time rolling my eyes. I held on to the end hoping it wouldn’t be a complete disappointment, but it was.

1 person found this helpful

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  • SH
  • 02-07-17

Slow story initially, wish book was a bit longer

The book had a bit of a slow build, but gets much better towards end. I wish the author went into a bit more detail with the mystery side of the story.

1 person found this helpful

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What happened?

Fairly good story but there was no real ending . Left a lot of things Unanswered

1 person found this helpful

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  • KR
  • 11-01-22

Slow start and meh for a while...

Although I didn't necessarily struggle to keep listening, I can't say I was completely invested until about halfway...or maybe further.

I would say it felt like the exposition was drawn out, but I that's not really true. The main mystery of this story does, in fact, get underway fairly quickly; I think the issues are: first, it takes a lot of time -- and effort -- to warm up to the main character; and, second, I found the subplot more interesting than the main story. Obviously, this subplot will be further explored throughout the series, to which I greatly look forward.

But, back to the matter of the main character being hard to love... Magnolia is often prickly, bordering on downright unfriendly. I understand this is a defense mechanism, legitimately warranted by her history. I also suspect Magnolia's flaws are probably a deliberate aspect of her character arc, and, to be fair, she does become (even if only slightly) less tedious by the conclusion. Still, by the end, I can't say I quite love her yet, but I don't hate her, either. I'm cautiously hopeful about Magnolia as a character; as for the plot, I am very intrigued and eager to move on to the second book.

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Center Stage

I read this story hoping! it might be at least half as good as the first one I've had & can happily say I finally found a new favorite author. Time to start the next novel. I HIGHLY recommend this author as a 10!!

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Must read

Must ready all three. I couldnt stop listening they were so great. Who doesn't love a great love story.

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great book

totally enjoyable great characters 👍 can wait to see if there is another. fun.
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Frustrated by the non-ending

This is one of those series where you have to read four books to get the answer. I found the characters and story to be interesting . I wish it wasn’t a serial that was introduced as a series.

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  • Zeu
  • 04-12-19

Denise Grover Swank is the bes

gripping. loved it. whether she writes fiction or supernatural books, i can't put them down!

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  • Fleetwoodboy
  • 06-09-17

Don't go down to the woods today

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It had good flowing dialogue and s couple of storylines intermingled to give it a mystery of good whodunnit proportions. Only pity is after an exciting and page turning read it ended in a cliff hanger, however I look forward to the next two books . Lord of the Rings was a trilogy !!