Racing the Sun by Karina Halle
Format: nook book
Stars: if I could give this book ALL the stars, I most certainly would, but I guess I’ll have to settle for 5 stars.
If you’ve read Where Sea Meets Sky, you got a glimpse at Amber. She’s outgoing, shy, has a bit of a dirty mouth, confident, self-conscious and so many more things. I love female characters that are more than just one thing; because I can’t remember the last time I met a girl that was JUST shy or JUST the life of the party. As people, we’re all multidimensional and that’s exactly what Amber is.
Amber is on a backpacking trip. Searching for something; for herself or for her path, she’s not sure. She hasn’t found happiness or stability in the US after graduating college and decides that this trip is the next step. After months of traveling she finds herself in Italy and out of money for the return trip home.
Desiderio Larosa is a mystery. He’s in charge of his younger siblings but doesn’t quite seem to have a handle on taking care of himself. Life has handed him a few bad cards and instead of dealing with it, he’s resorted to keeping to himself.
“If you can handle that man, then you can handle the children. Then you can handle anything.”
Amber is a bit unsure about her job as tutor to two Italian seven-year-olds but her need for money and a way home make her take the job anyway. She wants to at least be able to prove herself wrong and prove she can help these children. If only she would stop thinking about their mysterious, dark and brooding older brother.
Amber reminds me so much of herself as she’s looking for her true purpose that I found I could very easily relate to her and her struggles. I love that even though she’s a bit self-conscious, she’s also strong and confident. She is the perfect level of her contradictions. This book had me laughing, crying, happy, sad, mad, and so many other feelings (which was a bit weird while I was at the office). I absolutely loved the setting of the book. Every description of every corner of Capri had me wanting to get a backpack and just go.
Amber and Derio learn to conquer their fears together and you really root for them to figure it out. The kids are so cute, once you get past the facts that they are brats based on circumstance. After they start letting Amber in, they truly become great kids that you want to love. You want Amber and Derio to work out, for themselves and for the kids.
“Are you comparing me to a bad habit?”
“Maybe I am. But I happen to like a lot of my bad habits.”
One of the things I love most about Amber and Derio is that they have this building attraction to each other but take their time to act on it. By the time they do, it’s like they’ll explode if they have to wait just one more second, and you feel like you might too. Derio is passionate and Amber is bold, they’re both equally stubborn; the combination of their personalities makes for some really interesting interactions between them.
They will go through their ups and downs; but as any good, lasting couple should they will come out stronger in the end.
Overall, this book will hook you with a hot love story and make you stay with the wonderful imagery of Capri. This book is written in such a way that you feel like you’re splashing in those blue blue waters. When THAT (you’ll know what I mean when you get there), happens, I was literally in my cubicle ugly crying. If you can do that to me as an author, I love you. Also, no matter how brief, I got to remember some of my Italian from college, which is always welcome. When Derio uses his Italian with Amber, it just really melts your heart.
“tu sei il grande amore della mia vita. Senza di te, la vita non ha più senso”
One tiny, tiny little thing… I wish we had gotten to hear the story from Derio’s POV at times. After reading Josh and Gemma’s story, I was kind of expecting it. I mean, it makes perfect sense why we wouldn’t do this, since Derio’s Italian, his inner monologue is naturally in Italian. But I definitely would have liked to know what what going on behind those eyes at times. But, with that said, Amber is 100% interesting enough to carry the whole book and more on her inner monologue and she does more than an amazing job.