Friday, February 7, 2014

BOOK NOOK REVIEW: FALLEN ANGEL, by Lisa Swinton

Fallen Angel
 
Debuting author, Lisa Swinton, just released her romantic, love-at-first-sight novel, Fallen Angel. Swinton has written a killer opening that, quite literally, makes you wonder if she's killed off the romantic interest on page two. After she grabs your complete attention, she takes readers on a delightful Italian adventure.

Here's the blurb from the back cover:
Antonio does not believe in love at first sight until he sees her fall into a street in Milan and get hit by a motorcycle. Compelled to know if she can return his affection, he becomes Renatta’s hospital volunteer only to learn that the accident erased her memory. Together they must discover her past, present and future. In the way of happily ever after stand her opera career, tyrannical mother, and fiancĂ©.  Antonio must win Renatta’s heart before she bends to the will of her mother and marries Marcello.  Failure means a lifetime of loneliness, for love at first sight never happens twice.

Swinton pulls from her own life experiences to create an intriguing Italian setting that swirls around the highly competitive world of opera. Swinton's writing style and sentence structure mimic non-English-speakers-speaking English. This interesting element, along with an interspersion of Italian words and locations, cement the reader in the culture, and add a lovely mystique to the book.

The amnesia storyline is not unique, but Swinton adds several story elements that combine to create a unique twist on the theme. The opera element sets up a dramatic family dynamic that threatens the  romance budding between the amnesia patient and the man they believe is her hospital volunteer. Likewise, the momentary connection made between Antonio and Renatta before tragedy strikes leaves us rooting for this couple, while we hold our breath, knowing trouble lies ahead.

Swinton has created rich, multi-dimensional characters readers can quickly invest in, but I particularly appreciated that she took the high road, painting Antonio's rival for Renatta's affections, the dashing Marcello, with whom Renatta has shared a rich past, as Antonio's equal in every way, with equal goodness and honor. This decision on the author's part makes the recovering amnesiac's choice not merely a choice between two men, but a choice between the comfort of history, and the excitement of discovery.

Fallen Angel is a self-published book that lacks some editorial polish in places, but these errors did not diminish my enjoyment of the read. The reasons behind the strained dynamics in Renatta's family push the boundaries of believability in the middle of the book, but hang on. Swinton does a very nice job of illustrating the manic reasoning behind the breach in the family, and she ties things up in a satisfying conclusion.

Fallen Angel is a clean read with some sizzle. Adult situations are treated with dignity, but parents may want to read it before handing it off to preteens.

I am very impressed with Lisa Swinton's style, and her ability to build a world that allows her readers to escape their own for a few hours. I recommend Fallen Angel to anyone who enjoys a good romance, and I look forward to her next book which is slated to be released in the coming months.

 
About the Author
Lisa Swinton caught the romance bug early by way of fairy tales and hasn’t been able to cure it since. Instead, she feeds her addiction with romance novels and films. In between being a doctor’s wife and mother of two, she occasionally puts her B.A. in Musical Theater to good use via community theater, church choir and teaching the art of singing. In her elusive spare time she enjoys researching her family tree and baking (especially with chocolate). She loves to travel, Jane Austen, and all things Italian. In her next life, she plans to be a professional organizer

 
 

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4 comments:

  1. Laurie, thanks for your beautiful review. You truly have a magic touch with words. Thanks for being such a marvelous mentor and friend!

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  2. Looks like a great book! My dream car would be a Mustang convertible. :o) Probably red.

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  3. My dream car is a self-driving one.

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