Wednesday, April 3, 2013

REVIEW: In a Heartbeat by Teodora Kostova

“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?

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.

When I read the synopsis for In a Heartbeat, I knew it would be a book that I would fall in love with.  What I didn't know, was that it would become A PART OF MY SOUL.  It has latched on to me, CONSUMING my thoughts, causing such an overwhelming degree of ADULATION, for the story found within the pages of this book. 
I started reading In a Heartbeat later in the night thinking I would read for a short bit and then pick it back up in the morning since I was out for spring break.  HA!! Little did I know that I would be so enthralled with the tale laid in front of me, spelled out with the intriguing lives led by the characters in this book; that I stayed up all night just to find out what happens at the end.  I am so glad that I did. It was worth every hour that night...The only thing I regret now is that as much as I wanted to KNOW the end, I DID NOT WANT it to end. I have grieved this book ending because I am so captivated by it.  Don't you just love it when you come across a book that does that to you?  I know I do!  It is the absolute best thing in the world!!
So, I bet you are wondering...why do I love this book so much?  Well, there are many things.  First, it is wonderfully written.  Teodora does a fantastic job of allowing the reader to connect and feel exactly what her characters are going through.  Plus, she paints such a beautiful world with her words, that you actually feel like you are walking on that gorgeous beach in Genoa, Italy or walking along the streets visiting shops.  Ultimately melting away the real world and entering the world found in In a Heartbeat.
Secondly, the cast of characters utterly enchanted me.  From the very beginning in meeting Stella, you instantly like her.  She is fun, spirited, with a strong will...which plays such a major part in the struggles and battles that she has to overcome in her life.  And even though she starts out this way, by the end of this book, I was just blown away at how much she transformed.  There is so much that a person can learn from Stella.  She touched my heart and warmed my soul.  Now, of course, what great story doesn't have a handsome guy that completely turns you in to GOO the minute he comes around?  Well, no worries, In a Heartbeat has that covered too!  Ahhhh...meeting Max. *sighs heavily* I mean, what a guy!! Respecting the boundaries put up by Stella to only be friends, he barrels on and by being himself...a true gentleman, passionate, caring, honest, trustworthy...he eventually breaks down that invisible wall....Allowing for a romance of epic proportions.  The love shared between these two STILL fills my heart to the point of which I think it is going to explode. 
But, it is not all happy times.  With moments of discord and unrevealed secrets, relationships are pushed to the limits and there is no way of knowing if there is going to be an HEA...I was holding my breath, my stomach was in knots, pain in my chest...WAITING....WAITING....WAITING.....
Yeah...I'm not going to tell you how it will have to read for yourself...
So, go get this book...
You don't want to miss out on such an elaborate cast of characters: Stella, Max, Lisa, Beppe,& Gia. They fill these pages with fantastic scenes; you find yourself sitting right along with them at their dinners, bonding, creating friends...*sighs* When does the next book come out???? I miss them so much already!!
 ***Watch for tomorrow, we will be participating in a release day blast for In a Heartbeat.  Make sure you check in on the blog to enter the giveaway and then join Teodora Kostova on Facebook for fun, games, and PRIZES***

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