Racing the Sun by Karina Halle
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Release Date: July 28th, 2015
Atria Books | 384 pages | ISBN 9781476796482
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.
No one can argue, Karina Halle is maddeningly flawless with her ability to create fantastical imagery. Her innate ability to transport her readers to exotic places, seeing everything through the eyes of her characters, is her gift.
This gift was overwhelmingly evident in Where Sea Meets Sky. The artistry of her writing was inspiring, but unfortunately the plot could not keep up. It was good, a nice story, but the strength of her descriptives smothered it. It was missing something, It needed something. A plot to match the power of her writing.
Racing the Sun got it right! I was engaged in the plot just as much as I was with the beauty of her writing. When reading a book, sometimes it’s painfully obvious that the author is trying to tell a story. The effort is obvious. Karina Halle doesn’t try, she is telling a story.
I hate comparing books to other novels, but in this case I do it with the most positive of intentions, with the intent of expressing the stories classic romantic feel intertwined with a uniquely written modern day romance. Derio and Amber’s story was reminiscent of a mixture between Beauty & The Beast and Jane Eyre. I really couldn’t put it down.
The tension. The build. Did I mention the tension?
It wasn’t without flaws. However, they didn’t tarnish my overall feel for the book. I was left with a few unanswered questions about “the accident” and the ending’s resolution did transpire a little quickly. I understand how the “tragic event” made Amber re-evaluate her issues with their relationship, but her one-eighty was rather abrupt. She just seemed to drop her concerns without any real resolution.
Maybe I’m being selfish. In fact, I know I am, but I also wish we could have gotten more out of the epilogue. I guess I just needed more Derio and Amber. See. Selfish.
Overall, I found this to be a great summer read. Truly engaging and enticing. I seriously couldn’t put down. In fact, I may have to go read it again.
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