Wednesday, February 14, 2018

All the Beautiful Girls, by Elizabeth J. Church. Ballantine Books, 2018

Lily Decker is only 8 when an auto accident takes the lives of her parents and her sister. Her own survival with no injuries in nearly miraculous. She is sent to live with her aunt, who has no idea how to deal with a child or show affection, and an uncle who sexually abuses her from day one. Her only solace is dance, and a ‘mysterious benefactor’ – who she realizes right away is the man in the other car at the accident, a military pilot she refers to always as The Aviator.  As soon as she turns 18, she heads off to the place her dance instructor recommends: Las Vegas. With an intent to be a troupe dancer, she is startled and disheartened to discover what dancing means in Vegas. But a new friend convinces her it’s a good way to make a living, so she bites the bullet, takes off her clothes, and it’s living the good life, and money to put in the bank.

All is not good, though; her previous sex abuse has scarred her badly, there’s a lot of temptations in 1960s Vegas, and she must work her way through her problems.  And while she is very lucky, there are people who will take advantage of beautiful girls- especially when they are making good money. When she literally drops into the arms of handsome and charming Javier, she thinks she’s found true love.

I enjoyed the book but I wasn’t thrilled with it. Ruby is a good character, with good points and flaws, and I was really rooting for her, but somehow she never got under my skin the way truly great characters do. The other characters are a bit flat, sadly. The descriptions of Vegas in the 60s were great fun. But the book just lacked… something… to make it all come to life. Four stars out of five. 

The above is an affiliate link. If you click through and buy something- anything- from Amazon, they will give me a few cents. 

I received my copy of this book free from the Amazon Vine program in return for an unbiased review. 

Neither of these things influenced  my review. 

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