Racing the Sun by Karina Halle
Published by Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: July 28th 2015
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
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From the 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.
It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met.
It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.
But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart.
I’ve seen Karina Halle books around the internet but I haven’t ever picked one up before now and after reading this one, I’ll definitely be reading more from her.
Amber has been traveling around Europe and has run out of money. Since her money train has dried up (her parents want her to come home now) and she’s got nothing else to look forward to, she needs to find a job that will pay for her passage back to the states. She takes on a job teaching English to a couple of bratty kids and when she meets their guardian (and older brother) Desiderio, her life changes and the book really takes off.
This book was more than just a romance between Amber and Derio. It was also Amber’s coming of age story because you can really see her come into her own over the course of the book. When we first met her, she was listless, kind of just going through the motions with no kind of plan for her future and no real purpose to her life but as you get to know her and as she gets to know these kids, she starts building a life for herself in Italy. I liked it.
I loved the descriptions of Capri and of Italy in general. Halle did a fantastic job of taking me to all of the places that Amber went in this book. The castles, Derio’s house, the beach, I could see it all in my mind and I low key wanted to drop everything and just go to Italy.
On top of the delicious scenery, the romance between Derio and Amber was pretty great. I enjoyed getting to know them as they were getting to know each other. I loved seeing Derio come to life every day that he spent with Amber. I thought he came into his own over the course as well and when he finally lets go of the past and embraces the present with the kids and with Amber, I was glad.
Karina Halle did a great job of setting the scene for Amber’s story and the cast of characters that were introduced in this book were great additions to the overall story but there were times when it was slow going and I wanted something to happen. There were also times when I wanted to smack some sense into Amber but overall, this was an enjoyable book. It’s a book that I know will entertain plenty of readers. Good stuff.
Grade: 3.75 out of 5