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.
If Karina Halle ever decided to stop writing books, she should immediately be recruited by any country or city looking to increase their tourism exponentially. She made me fall in love with Spain, New Zealand, and now Italy. Other than wanting to tour vineyards, I never had any desire to tour Italy and had heard very little about Capri. After finishing this book, I love the region as much as her characters. It is one of the most amazing things about this group of books, the setting plays such a significant role in story. It is as if the reader is transformed to Capri, sharing the adventures with Amber and Derio. I could see the lemons, hear the waves, and see the endless beauty of Capri.
Amber appeared in Where Sea Meets Sky, and I adored her then. However, she completely stole my heart in Racing. She is hands down my favorite contemporary heroine Ms. Halle has written to date. She is witty and sarcastic, but has the alluring charm that makes anyone drawn to her, including Derio. She is a young woman trying to find her place in the world, and she’s not without insecurities and faults. That is what makes her so appealing; she is real. Her relationship with the kids was one of my favorite aspects of the book. It is as much fun seeing her fall in the love with them, as her relationship with Derio. She becomes a beacon that family desperately needed.
“All this light, chasing away the dark.”
Derio is the typical Italian Stallion, but there is real depth to his dark and brooding temperament. I usually prefer dual points of view, but it was interesting only knowing what Amber knew about him and the past. Their buildup is sweet torture, but I enjoyed every moment. Once he begins to open with Amber, he completely had me though. I have never been so desperate to experience the Blue Grotto as I am now.
“You taught me about everything I had forgotten and things I’d never known.”
If you are looking for a beautiful escape, I can’t recommend this book enough! I highly encourage readers to visit Ms. Halle’s social media as well to see her gorgeous photos of the places visited in the book. It brings the story to an entire new level. I cannot wait to see what adventure she takes us on next!
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With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.
Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her husband and rescue pup.