Racing the Sun by Karina Halle
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: eARC, 336 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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 just love Karina Halle’s books. (Her contemporaries, anyhow. I’ve been too much of a chicken to read her horror series. One of these days…) I fell head over heels in love with Love, in English when I read it last year and I’m thrilled it has spun off into what’s essentially a standalone series. Love, in Spanish was a wonderful conclusion to Vera and Mateo’s story. Vera’s brother Josh’s story, Where Sea Meets Sky, made me want to embrace my own inner wanderlust and travel the world (and, you know, hopefully find love in the process). With Racing the Sun, it’s time for Amber’s story and I couldn’t wait to learn more.
We originally met Amber in Where Sea Meets Sky. I liked her character in that book, but she wasn’t the main focus so I didn’t form any strong attachments to her. In this book, however? I absolutely adored her. I found it so easy to get inside her head and experience the story from her perspective. She was a strong, smart woman and I found it really easy to be in her corner for the duration of the book. I loved her journey and how she matured over the course of this story.
Derio. Oh, Derio. How does Karina write such amazingly complicated, wonderful men every single time? How can you not fall for the quiet, brooding, sexy older brother of your charges? As much as I loved this guy though, I also wanted to smack him silly at times. He was so completely clueless about how his actions affected Amber sometimes. His life was on hold for a few years because of circumstances out of his control, so I felt like he should have been more aware that he was pretty much doing the same thing to Amber.
I really enjoyed how the romance progressed between Amber and Derio. It wasn’t something that happened overnight, but over time. It felt real. It was romantic and sexy. I enjoyed their banter and the oodles of chemistry between them. Their love was complicated, but there was no doubt it was also real. This book was sexy at times, but it was also quite emotional. I was so invested in Amber’s character and her relationship with Derio that there were definitely tears. This is definitely a book of the “feel all the feels” variety.
Racing the Sun is another beautifully-written novel about complicated love and everything that comes along with it. Karina’s writing style is such that not only do I feel every emotion the character is feeling, but it’s like I’m right there with them. Her descriptions of the settings and scenery are so detailed, so vivid, that I don’t even need to have prior knowledge of a place to be able to picture it fully. I just love her attention to detail when it comes to setting the scene for any one of her books. She always has a way of making me want to get a passport, jump on a plane and never look back.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.