This is a glamorous and passionate book of betrayal, show business and romance.

Karen Swan has a way of writing characters to make them intriguing enough that even if they are unlikeable you can’t help but be curious to find out why they are the way they are – and a prime example of this is the character Pia in Prima Donna.

Pia is considered to be the best ballerina in the world – but her temperamental behaviour makes her also a bit of a liability, always to do things her way. She loves her freedom, which is why when financier Will Silk sets his eyes on her, she is determined not to sacrifice any part of herself to a man – which might prove difficult, particularly during the aftermath of tragic accident that threatens to cut short her career. In contrast to this, her personal assistant Sophie is an unassuming and quiet personality with secrets of her own that she will have to confront in order to move forwards with her life.

Sweeping readers to locations across the globe, Karen Swan has crafted a story that is glamorous as it is ruthless in terms of the way it captures the brutal nature of show business and how it can lead to all forms of betrayal. But it also has amazing character development that really helps to keep the reader engaged – in particular the way in which Pia slowly but surely becomes more vulnerable and opens up about her life and past, you understand on a deep level that she uses her feisty and somewhat snooty behaviour as a way of protecting herself. Meanwhile, although Sophie’s development comes slightly later (I feel as though her story could have been written as an individual novel in its own right) again there are some unexpected twists and turns that keep you guessing about her secret past. Her story feels perhaps a little less developed but Swan ties both individual journey’s together in a nice if unexpected way.

Filled with plenty of glitz and glamour, every description is dazzling and the reader does feel as though they are side by side with both the central characters as they navigate their way through many obstacles. But there is plenty of romance and passion to be enjoyed,interwoven into the bigger plot that keeps things light and breezy. It is a simply engaging and entertaining read for those who love a contemporary style romance with a strong plot at its centre.

By Emma Clarendon

Prima Donna is available to buy now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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