Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book review of In a Heartbeat (Heartbeat #1) 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?


If you follow my reviews you know that I like action packed, fast-paced books. Although this didn't deliver in the fast-paced department, I really enjoyed it. I couldn't put the book down once I started it. 

Stella has lost her uncle, father, and brother in a tragic car accident. Her world fell apart. She didn't only lose those important people in her life, but as a result, was left without her cousin and best friend Lisa and her aunt Niki, when they decide to start over in Genoa, Italy.

Fast forward four years and Stella finds out she has liver cancer. She's had numerous surgeries and she has 3 months before her next check up when they will test to see if the cancer is back. Feeling the best she has in a while, she decides she wants to visit her cousin Lisa in Italy to forget about her illness for a couple of months.

I had read a few reviews promising that this was as heart wrenching as The Fault in our Stars (which I LOVED). So, unfortunately, I came in with super high expectations. With that being sad, I am so glad I read this!

Her first day in Italy, Stella sees Massimo (how sexy is that?!) who goes by Max. Max is a sexy, Italian lifeguard *drool*. She literally stares at him like this:

Without giving away any important plot, they end up becoming friendly and way more than "friendly" if you know what I mean...

I thought it was a really sweet story and I absolutely fell in love with Max. Not only is he drop dead gorgeous, but he's Italian, hot, sweet, sexy, thoughtful, kind, and CAN COOK! He's a keeper! Stella was also really great and likable. I really admired how strong she was and how much she loved and protected those closest to her.

I loved the sexual tension between Stella and Max. And I really liked the pacing of the story. I didn't get bored because there was plenty of background on Stella, Lisa, Max, and even Lisa's friends. The only thing I thought was a little weird, is that besides being exhausted from running around, Stella never really felt or seemed sick. I feel like that could've been played up a little more- especially being this kind of book.

I would recommend this book to those looking for a sweet and heartfelt story. I can't wait to read the next book in the Heartbeat series!

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