Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review: Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

Book Blurb:

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.

My Review:

4 Out of 5 Stars

Genre: New Adult--

Amber has spent the last month backpacking around Europe, but her money has run out two months earlier than she expected. Desperate for some cash, she finds a help wanted sign in Italy to teach children English. What could be better for someone with a degree in English? Forget the fact that she has never taught before and has never really interacted with kids, ever. Amber is desperate. What she finds is not at all what she thought she would. Stuck in a gloomy house with the two angry and depressed children, a strict housekeeper who gives her a ton of rules, and a gorgeous yet moody boss is not what Amber had in mind. Whatever, she can handle anything for two months until she has money to buy a plane ticket home. Right?

I had never read a book by Karina Halle before but I had heard rave reviews of her work and I have had the Experiments in Terror series on my wishlist since forever, but I have not had a chance to pick up one of her books until now. And let me tell you, I was instantly pulled in. I found myself caught up in the drama that was Harper's life, as well as the setting and the surprising frankness and humor that I found in the writing.

Yes this is a contemporary romance, but I found myself loving the book the most when it was Amber interacting with the twins, or the random strangers that soon became her friends, instead of just looking forward to the moments of quality alone time that she spent with Dario. Amber has an instant attraction to the "Italian Stallion" as she liked to reference him, but the two did not actually start to have a relationship until half way through the book. I feel like this time spent with Amber just as Amber was the best way possible for the reader to get to know her as a character, and to be honest, I really liked who Amber was. She has her faults and was perfectly truthful about them. My absolute favorite things though were her sense of humor, usually inappropriate in nature which is the best kind, as well as the random tangents that her brain went on. Add the fact that she is a self-proclaimed lover of books and likes Beauty and the Beast, and I am sold.

I was a little afraid that the story was going too well, too much of a good thing and no real conflict, but the last 40ish pages or so Amber grew claws and a backbone! I was sad for her as well as glad that she still had some self worth and an identity outside of being Dario's girlfriend. Her timing was ridiculous, to be perfectly honest, but whatever, you can't have it all. The ending wrapped up nicely and there was a "happily ever after" feel to the book with no loose ends.

Overall this was an entertaining and steamy new adult story that I would recommend to anyone who wants a fast and light read. I definitely want to read the other book in the series (even though each is a standalone) and I really want to read one of her dark romances that everyone raves over because I enjoyed her writing style.

I received this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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