Lost In Italy by Stacey Joy Netzel
Past baggage issues (plus insane action in a foreign country)
Halli takes a vacation to Milan, Italy with her sister and brother. She's too busy video recording swans - and right as her siblings mistakenly/hastily get back in their car (and drive off without her), she innocently captures some footage of a murder. Immediately after this (like MINUTES later) movie star Trent Tomlin basically throws her in his car because the bad guys (framed/exploited his brother's murder-"suicide") are coming after them. It's basically a spiral of crazy azione throughout the pages: bustin' out of police stations, breaking into fancy homes, bustin' out of fancy homes, fighting off bad guys, save her siblings (Rachel and Ben) from the bad guys, blackmail, ransom, etc.
If I were in this situation... (and let's pretend I had zero Italian skills) I'm not going to lie, I'd be so confused and scared shitless. I'd run my ass to the American Consulate in Milan (Via Principe Amedeo, 2/10, 20121 Milan, Italy) and lawyer up immediately. Regardless of what anyone ever tells you about your family being in danger or your situation - you get your ass to American "soil" right away...
But enough of my paranoia - (that's only half the fun of reading a suspenseful action-packed romance!) Pacing was up and down between action/flirting/tension/reflection. Sometimes it was tough for me to really believe that Halli would be "able" to make out or let alone have sex with a gorgeous famous man she's just met - while her siblings were in danger, but then again half the time, I was reading the story with my Whoopi Goldberg voice saying, "Halli - You in danger girl!" So, yeah, plots and pacing can get crazy in these action stories. (Another note: This is a LOT of story to read at over 370 pages, so yes - you gotta like lots of action with your romance.)
Why do I empathize with the heroine? It was tough for me to empathize with Halli. And after all her bickering with Trent, I found myself thinking, "She doesn't deserve to be in Milan." - BUT, she did deserve to find her HEA. She's had a pretty crummy childhood and her parents in prison (con artists!), not to mention all sorts of crime drama that crapped all over her Italy trip. Major kudos to Halli and Trent for working this out though and saving the day.
Things I loved:
- Boats! (For some odd reason, I'm enjoying boat descriptions. I could care less about boats/boating IRL, but I'm all about having some boats in my romances! I don't know why.)
I still have to read Chasin' Mason - another ARC from Stacey Joy Netzel - and that looks like it's a western almost-YA kind of romance. Could be good for a summer poolside read. (Reading/Blogging Note: March 2013 was officially the worst month ever for free-time and reading. Blech. Hopefully, April is better!)