“I’ve been in and out of hospitals for the past ten months. I’ve had half my liver removed and even though this time the doctors are very optimistic that they’ve removed all of the tumours, they can’t be sure. In another three months they want me here again for a check up. Right now I feel better than I’ve ever felt. I know the damn thing is gone, at least for the moment. Despite that, I can’t make any plans for the future, not yet. I need to go somewhere where nobody knows me, where I can relax and maybe even forget about all this. Where I can meet people who don’t think of me as the girl who lost her father and her brother in a car accident, and who has cancer. I want to have fun, even if it’s for a couple of months.”
When Stella decides to visit her estranged cousin Lisa in Genoa, she has no idea Italy will give her a new reason to live.
“Her gaze locked on a scene so beautiful, the picturesque beach paled in comparison. A lifeguard emerged from the water, his orange trunks stuck to his legs and water dripping all over him. He shook his head to get rid of some of the water in his hair and Stella felt as if everything started developing in slow motion – tiny drops of water slid from his neck down his broad chest and muscular arms, along a weaving tattoo on his right shoulder, and continued downwards towards his chest and washboard stomach, finally getting lost in the waistband of his trunks. A part of another tattoo peeked over his trunks on his left hip, the other part hidden under them. It was a total Baywatch moment.”
Their love is epic. But there are too many things keeping them apart.
“How could you keep this from me, Lisa? If you had told me the first day I met him, I would have avoided him like the plague. Nothing would have happened between us.”
“I kept your secrets, too, Stella.”
Are Max and Stella strong enough to fight not only for their love, but for their lives?
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When I agreed to review this book as part of this blog tour, I can say I really had no idea what I was getting into. I should have known better when I read the synopsis, but regardless I never thought I'd get swept off my feet by Max and Stella. From first to last page I was gripped not only by Stella's story but what the two of them could be like together. I gasped, I cried, I threw something at my computer, and ultimately I fell in love with these two.
We meet Stella after finishing a 10 moth stint of cancer treatments and just wanting to get away from everything, including the death of her father and brother in a car accident, she takes a vacation to Italy and tries to forget about all the "what ifs" left back at home. There she meets, Max, a gorgeous and drool worthy man who seems to have a heart of gold, and a will of iron for keeping up his wooing of Stella. He is so steadfast in breaking down her seemingly inpenatrable wall for keeping people out that he seems like the perfect boyfriend. He isn't of course, because nobody is perfect, but after secrets are revealed and feelings are FINALLY admitted, you root for these two to just give it up and be one.
Let me just say that I can completely understand where Stella was coming from. I myself am going through treatment for throat cancer and have felt a lot of things that she describes in this story. I can relate to the feelings of wanting to escape, or not holding on to hope when you could be let down. I can't imagine how someones goes through cancer AND having to deal with deaths of people that close to you, however when I was first diagnosed I didn't want to tell anyone what was going on, in fact I still don't. That feeling I get when someone finds out what I'm going through, sometimes makes me sick. It's not that I don't appreciate people sympathizing but that look or those words can sometimes feel horrible. I don't want people to think I'm sickly, or talk about "that poor girl" when I'm not around. I know it isn't coming from a hurtful place, but that doesn't make me feel better about it. I can connect with Stella simply because I am there right now, but I think anyone can relate to her in some way shape or form. I also think everyone out there needs a person like Max to pick you up and make you realize you don't have to be alone through anything.
I really loved this book from the characters to their stories to the setting. I felt like I was right in the heart of Italy traversing the beaches to the shops and standing right next to the characters. That is not an easy thing to do and this author does it WONDERFULLY. I really hope you all pick up a copy because you will captivated by everything about this story and your left having all sorts of feeling left in your heart. - My Opinion- BUY!!
About the author:
Hi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband Ted and my son Jason. I've been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job in 2010 when I decided that everything else I've tried bores me to death and I have to do what I've always wanted to do, but never had to guts to fully embrace. I've been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among other things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It's the only time that I'm truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time - my son has a bigger attention span than me.
When I'm procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Wii game by a five year old.
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