Racing the Sun by Karina Halle
Published by Atria Books on July 28, 2015
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance, Travel
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From the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky comes a new adult novel about a young woman who becomes a nanny in Capri and falls for her charges’ bad-boy brother.
When I’m traveling, I feel like the secret to my life, to myself, to really becoming, is one step ahead. It’s in the next destination, the next town I get lost in, the next stranger I talk to. It’s always next but never here . . .
After six months of backpacking and soul-searching across the world, Amber MacLean is flat broke. There are worse places for a twentysomething to be stuck than the Amalfi Coast, but the only way she can earn enough money for a plane ticket home to California is to teach English to two of the brattiest children she has ever met.
It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, the young master of the crumbling villa tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.
When her position turns into a full-time nanny gig, Amber grows dangerously closer to the enigmatic recluse. But can she give up the certainty of home for someone whose closely guarded heart feels a world apart from her own?
Karina Halle’s descriptive prose is exquisite in Racing the Sun. Whether she’s writing horror, dark thrillers, or beautiful romances in exotic distant lands, I know the journey will be extraordinary.
Ms. Halle never fails to disappoint. She has taken us to Spain in Love, in English, New Zealand in Where Sea Meets Sky, and now Italy. I’ve managed to fall in love with the culture, the scenery, and the characters, without having to leave my house. Having spent time as a kid living overseas, I always get that itch to travel when I’m reading her books. Especially Racing the Sun, which is set in Capri Italy. I spent a few weeks in Italy as a teenager and I fell in love with the people as well as the history and gorgeous landscape. Racing the Sun transported me back to the country I visited over twenty years ago allowing me to fall in love all over again. I’m constantly reminded in Karina’s books that beautifully real characters can find love where ever and when ever. Love finds us, always.
Racing the Sun takes a more somber route with Amber finding herself in Italy with no money to get home to California. Forced to find work she lands on the island of Capri. Upon entering the Larosa family home aptly called The House of Sad Lemons, Villa del Limoni Tristi, Amber finds herself quickly immersed in the lives of two young children and their older brother. Tragedy has befallen the Larosa children, all of them, are in limbo. Suffering from the anguish of losing their parents. Amber with all her bad habits, parental issues of her own, and fears of falling both literally and figuratively, is most definitely out of her element. Her degree in English has not prepared her for teaching the language to the young twins, but she’s determined to try. With the job comes lots of rules, most surrounding the twins’ older brother, the broody Desiderio.
This is starting to sound like Beauty and the Beast. Oh my God, am I Belle? Is he an Italian Beast? Did I just stumble into the best scenario ever?
Derio has given up everything to raise his twin siblings, Alfonso and Annabella. Drowning in grief, unable to move forward he just exists. I’m sure many of us can relate to that sort of grief. You live day to day going through the motions wondering how you can go on without that someone. Lost, confused, afraid and you’re positive no one understands. Derio has shut out the world. Until his leonessa (lion) appears. Amber is the light he needs. Together they help each other heal. Karina has this incredible talent in creating characters that are relatable, real, flawed. You find that no matter the circumstances you’re rooting for them, desperate for them to find those happy endings. She doesn’t make it easy though and I think that’s what I appreciate the most in her writing. Amber and Derio face real life issues of raising a family while falling love. Trying to find themselves with and without each other. Overcoming their fears while having to conquer new obstacles. That test of faith and the test of true love.
“Sono ricco. You know what the means?” I shake my head. “It doesn’t matter. It sounds beautiful.” “It means ‘I am rich,'” he says. “Because of you.”
Karina Halle is and will always be a favorite of mine. I’m always honored to read one of her books.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*