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The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom by Alison Love

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.

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Review:
 
This is one book that actually surprised me quite a lot. I don't read that much romance, but now and then do I like to take a break from reading crime and horror to read something a bit lighter. To be honest, I was not completely sold when it came to this book's story when I read the blurb. And, in a way, I was right about feeling a bit cautious when it came to the romance part of this book. But, I was wrong to think that this book wouldn't suit me. 
 
However, I will start with saying that I did not care an iota about Antonio and Olivia's romance, I never found their first meeting especially memorable and the subsequent meetings over the years never interested me or even gave a hint of some memorable romance. In short, the main story, the romance between Antonio and Olivia bored me. However, the book had a much more interesting character and that was Antonio's sister Filomena. I liked reading about Filomena's struggle to be with the man she loved. It was far more interesting to read about than Antonio and Olivia's forbidden love. Filomena was the one character that made the book enjoyable for me. Filomena and the fact that I have never read about an Italien family in England during WW2 and what they had to go through. Half the family was for fascism and Mussolini and the other half, not too enthusiastic about it. And, I found it fascinating to read about how the Italians in England thought that Mussolini, il Duce, was the one that would make Italy great again. 
 
The last part of the book was my favorite part because here Alison Love decided to twist to story in a way I never expected it to go. Here, I became was so completely intrigued by the book that I couldn't stop reading it, despite the clock closing in on midnight. And, the worst part, I loved the ending, despite it being so darn saccharin!

It was a wonderful book and I ended up enjoying it very much! 
 
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About Alison Love

ALISON LOVE is the author of the historical novelsMallingford 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.

Connect with Alison on Twitter.
 
 
 
 
 
Alison Love’s TLC Book Tour’s TOUR STOPS:
 
Monday, April 18th: Luxury Reading
 
Monday, April 18th: The Maiden’s Court
 
Tuesday, April 19th: The Lit Bitch
 
Wednesday, April 20th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
 
Monday, April 25th: Books a la Mode – guest post/giveaway
 
Tuesday, April 26th: Mom’s Small Victories
 
Wednesday, April 27th: BookNAround
 
Thursday, April 28th: Just Commonly
 
 
Monday, May 2nd: Kahakai Kitchen
 
Tuesday, May 3rd: The Best Books Ever
 
Wednesday, May 4th: Savvy Verse and Wit
 
Thursday, May 5th: Write Read Life
 
Monday, May 9th: A Chick Who Reads
 
Tuesday, May 10th: Bibliotica
 
Wednesday, May 11th: A Bookaholic Swede
 
Friday, May 13th: Broken Teepee
 
Monday, May 16th: Diary of an Eccentric