Friday, July 31, 2015

Racing the Sun by Karina Halle: Blog Tour Review & Giveaway


Blurb:

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.


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About the Author:

Karina is represented by Scott Waxman of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

**I love to read when I have a chance. I love making new friends, too. But PLEASE don't add me if you're an author just wanting me to read your book and promote yourself shamelessly. You should have more of a reason for friending me than THAT. Also, please don't recommend me books, I have enough on my TBR and not enough time to read. And I'm a super picky reader. Cheers!**

The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she's preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

***disclaimer***

When I'm not writing, I'm reading. And when I'm not reading I might be writing up a review. I'm wary of books with a lot of hype but unless something has bad reviews across the board, I'll probably still take a chance on it and give my honest opinion. Everyone is different and I won't pass up an adventure just because someone else didn't like it. And that's what I think when I look at my bookshelf...what adventure can I go on today?

Social Media Links:

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Review by Yvette:

Breathtakingly beautiful writing, a swoon-worthy whirlwind romance, and characters that stealthily burrow their way into your heart – Racing the Sun by Karina Halle has all the makings of an unforgettable and hopelessly romantic love story. Fans of Karina Halle will recognize protagonist Amber MacLean as Gemma’s shy and unassuming cousin from Where Sea Meets Sky, but Racing the Sun presents a new opportunity for Amber, one in which she follows her heart and takes control of her own destiny. Every page of the story is filled with vivid descriptions that brought the story to life in front of my eyes, making me feel as though I were traipsing alongside Amber as she explored the island of Capri. Halle's writing is pure poetry, weaving a tale of adventure and romance with the perfect paradisiacal backdrop.

I remember Amber being quiet and easygoing when we were first introduced to her character in Where Sea Meets Sky so I was pleasantly surprised to see a different side of her in Racing the Sun – one that's confident, independent, and spunky. It’s not an exciting prospect being in a foreign country and running low on money so I admired her spirit when it came to finding and accepting a job as caretaker to two rambunctious children and their handsome, but troubled older brother, Desiderio Larosa. The moment Amber met her broody employer, I immediately likened the story to Beauty and the Beast, so I had to laugh when Amber echoed my musings shortly after taking the job. Her "inner nerd" called to my not-so-inner nerd, further cementing her likability factor.

With the delicious temptation of a sexy Italian in close quarters, I assumed the author would delve right into a romance between Derio and Amber. Their relationship, however, is more professional than romantic for a good portion of the narrative, thanks in large aprt to Derio’s standoffishness. While Amber is friendly and charmingly sincere with a pleasant disposition that's incredibly inviting, Derio is much more mysterious and slow to trust. He’s surly and world-weary in a way that prevents others from getting close to him, but there's something compelling about his story that drew me in and made me want to learn more about the man behind the gruff fa├žade. There’s an undeniable spark between Derio and Amber, although it took eons (slight exaggeration) for them to act on their attraction – a fact that I both loved and loathed. Luckily, the author more than made up for lost time.

Amber and Derio aren't perfect. This is a fact that we become well acquainted with over the course of the narrative. These characters have flaws and they make mistakes, but I appreciated getting to discover their strengths and their weaknesses because it made them more relatable. So much of what happens in the story is beyond the scope of what I myself have experienced to so it was nice to be able to connect with Amber and Derio on a baser level. Their romance may be fun and flirty, but it also packs just enough of an emotional punch to throw in some obstacles along their road to happily ever after. Racing the Sun is a modern day fairy tale about discovering yourself, facing your fears, and living life to the fullest and I enjoyed every moment of Amber’s incredible journey.

*complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars

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