Sunday, 1 January 2012

Prima Donna by Karen Swan

Pia Soto, Chicago Ballet's amazing ballerina with an even bigger ego has climbed her way from poverty in Brazil to being the most feted dancer in the world, her ambition is to gain the illustrious title of Ballerina Assoluta.  Will Silk, financial whizz has Pia in his sights, but she's not impressed with his showy largesse until a disastrous accident which puts her career on the line means she has to give in and accept his help during her recovery.  To encourage her return to form Silk sets up a "dance-off" between Pia and her only rival, Ava,  to show she's back in business, but Pia isn't sure she's willing to give him all he wants as a pay off for his support.
Tanner oversees Silk's polo horses, but decides he's had enough of his high handed behaviour.  Living next door to Silk's estate, he comes across Pia on several occasions and witnesses her diva-ish behaviour at close quarters, she and Silk are perfect for each other!
Sophie has been running away from herself for years and by being Pia's personal assistant for a few years she's been able to bury herself in work, but she is dismissed without reason after Pia's accident.  She returns to Chicago where her artistic talents are finally recognised and she becomes their resident artist to promote their centenary and the appointment of Ava as their new lead dancer.  A betrayal makes Sophie return home to Ireland where she has to face her ghosts and meets the talented Tony.

So it's Jilly Cooper in tutus (and there's still some horses!) and that's not a bad thing!  I've not really read many of the bonkbuster type chick-lit in the past few years as I started to find them a bit same-y and had moved onto other reads.  However, as I'm still very much wallowing in all things ballet (blame seeing two different versions of The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty all in a month!) so I enjoyed the indulgence!  The contrast between the grind of everyday life for dancers and the thrill of performance was well done.  All the strands come together and although it wasn't a great surprise in how everything was resolved, it was all very satisfying when the baddies get their comeuppance, Sophie gets her life sorted and despite her prima donna behaviour you are actually rooting for Pia to succeed.

It's fast paced and an ideal holiday/ chill out book, which is exactly what I expected.