I could not wait to get my hands on Racing the Sun by Karina Halle. I am a huge fan of hers, and this one immediately grabbed my attention with the blurb. As usual, I really enjoyed the story and Karina did an excellent job bringing her characters to life here. I really felt like I was right there experiencing everything with them and I couldn't get enough.
Amber MacLean has been traveling the world, but it is time for her to face reality. She is broke and her parents are no longer supporting her, and she has had to use the money she had been saving for her return home in order to live. When she arrives in Italy, she seeks employment and ends up working as a teacher for a man raising his two younger siblings after an accident took their parents from them. Amber and Derio begin to get to know each other, and soon the sparks between them turn into passion rather than dislike. But as they grow closer, the lines begin to blur when suddenly Amber finds herself not only teaching them but also becoming their nanny. But what happens when time begins to run out and Amber's scheduled return home is suddenly approaching? Can she find a way to stay with the man she is falling for, or will she return home to the safety of the life she knows?
I absolutely loved Amber and Derio together. At first Derio comes across as mysterious and cold, and he was unfriendly for quite awhile. But as Amber began to break through his walls, it was clear that he was going through so much and he was suffering alone rather than letting anyone else in. His life had changed so much in such a short amount of time, and it was obvious that he didn't know how to handle it. I felt badly for him, and I was really glad that Amber was able to help bring him back to life. Amber was such a likable heroine. I loved her honesty and found her to be fun and refreshing to read about. She wasn't afraid to say what was on her mind, and she was one of those heroines that was just so full of life. Amber and Derio were really great together because they were different, and I really felt like they balanced each other out well. They were supportive of one another, and the chemistry and love between them was so natural.
I thought that Karina Halle did such a great job of bringing Italy to life here, it really was easy to visualize everything as Amber and Derio were experiencing it. I found myself wanting to visit immediately as I fell in love right along with the characters. Karina Halle is a great writer, and I can always count on her books to a great story. I will say that Derio pissed me off at the end of this book though, and I really felt like he should have had to grovel a bit more than he did. He seemed to have a sudden personality shift for a portion of this book, and it broke my heart to see him and Amber struggling. Though I liked the ending, I wish that we had been given a bit more. If you are a fan of Karina's, you are definitely going to want to check this book out. If you are new to Karina Halle, I highly recommend looking into her books and Racing the Sun is a great place to start.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**