Blog Tour: Racing the Sun by Karina Halle (Review + Giveaway)

Racing the Sun by Karina Halle
Publication date: Jul. 28, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Category: New Adult - Romance
Source: Received from publisher via Netgalley (Thanks!)
Summary: It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, & 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 mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience (and hormones) at every turn. But when her position turns into one as full-time nanny at the old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse & soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States & the uncertainty of Derio. (

The good
When I reached the last page of Racing the Sun, I thought to myself — this is one of my favorite Karina Halle books! And I have no doubt most readers, old fans or new, will have the same reaction. Halle has a talent for taking impossible situations and making them feel real through the emotions of her characters. Each person has so much heart and pain and an overwhelming desire to be loved. We may have never been in their exact shoes but it’s easy to relate to those feelings. Which brings me to twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean. She’s spent the last six months backpacking through New Zealand (you may remember her from Where Sea Meets Sky), Australia and Southeast Asia and she’s officially broke. She’s stranded in southern Italy (which is hard to complain about if you ask me!) until she can earn enough money for a plane ticket home to her perpetually disappointed parents in California. This is how she ends up with a live-in job teaching English to two bratty children, whose older brother and guardian just happens to be an extremely handsome but surly ex-motocycle racer named Desiderio (Derio) Larosa. From the moment they meet, the romantic tension is palpable and I couldn’t wait to see it explode. There’s honestly no other way to explain it.

But as with all of Halle’s books, it’s not just about getting straight to sexy times between Amber and Derio, despite how good she is at those scenes. It’s about Amber and her feeling uncertain and sometimes helpless when it comes to her future. Insecurities that are further magnified by her parents and as circumstances forces her to become a full-time nanny to the two children. She’s torn between her growing affection for them and innate desire to help them and Derio. But at what personal cost? Then there are her feelings for Derio, who has issues and fears of his own. Scars from the loss of his parents, past relationships and whether or not he is worthy a guardian. I loved their relationship and how they helped each other to be better. But you can’t deny the idyllic life they're living on the island and sooner or later, they both have to make choices about the future and their relationship. The journey to that moment of decision was both heartbreaking and uplifting.

(No) Reservations
None! Just be prepared to want to hop on a plane to Italy and find a Derio of your own after reading!

Do I recommend?
I do! I love Halle’s companion novels (that can act as standalone) and each one has continually impressed me. I’ll always have a soft spot for Love, in English but this is a very close second favorite. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

1 comment

  1. As you already know, Racing the Sun is my favorite Halle! I just loved the Italian setting, but more importantly, I loved Amber and Derio. I was fascinated by their love story, and the themes of their individual stories too. So glad I got the chance to read this one early as well!


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