Thursday, April 21, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway - The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom from Alison Love

Book Synopsis

An epic love story featuring an Italian singer and a British dancer, set against the backdrop of war-torn England. 

The first meeting between Antonio and Olivia at the Paradise Ballroom is brief, but electric.

Years later, on the dawn of World War II, when struggling Italian singer Antonio meets the wife of his wealthy new patron, he recognizes her instantly: it is Olivia, the captivating dance hostess he once encountered in the seedy Paradise Ballroom. Olivia fears Antonio will betray the secrets of her past, but little by little they are drawn together, outsiders in a glittering world to which they do not belong. At last, with conflict looming across Europe, the attraction between them becomes impossible to resist–but when Italy declares war on England, the impact threatens to separate them forever. 

The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom is a story of forbidden love and family loyalties amid the most devastating war in human history.


My Review 

I always enjoy historical fiction set during World War II, and The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom was no exception.  As a great fan of historical fiction, the first thing I look for is the historical details, and they were beautifully captured in this novel.

I also found the story of Antonio and Olivia very compelling.  They really loved each other, but their relationship just did not seem destined to be.  The characters were particularly well realized.  This was a quiet, realistic novel, and very well written.

The novel focused a good bit on the Italian immigrant experience in England during World War II.  I knew very little about this before reading The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom, and found this aspect of the book particularly interesting.

This was my first read by Alison Love, but I will certainly look for her other novels.  I recommend The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom highly for fans of historical fiction, and especially for anyone who likes World War II vintage settings.  This is really a lovely read.

Author Bio

ALISON LOVE is the author of the historical novels Mallingford and Serafina. Her short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and in 2013 her story Sophie Stops the Clock was shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize. Alison has worked in the theater, television, and public relations. The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom is her American fiction debut.


Win a copy of The Girl From the Paradise Ballroom.  Open to readers in the U.S. and Canada.  The entry period closes on April 28 at midnight.  The winner's name will be drawn on April 29 and winner will be notified.  Winner must respond within 48 hours, or a new name will be drawn.  The prize will be sent from the author or her publicist.

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I received a copy of this book from  TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.