When Ally’s dad is hurt while visiting friends in New Zealand, she’s on the first flight out of Iowa to be by his side. What was initially supposed to be a vacation has turned into a rushed trip, but it doesn’t stay that way long. Her father’s curious hunting accident aside, she finds herself in a beautiful country and in the company of an even more beautiful man.
Rugby star Luca Tesari wasn’t looking for love, but he couldn’t deny that instant spark he felt with Ally. Lucky for him, she’s staying with his parents while her father recuperates, so he’s going to make the most of having her around while he can. And the more time they spend together, the more he realizes that what they have isn’t something you walk away from.
Still, the mystery about the “hunting accident” looms, and something strange is going on with his brother. An oddly timed offer to buy his family’s land only adds to the suspense, and before they know it, Luca and Ally are swept up in both their feelings for each other and a malicious scheme to rid the Tesari family of their land.
Why, oh, why is that apostrophe in with the Tesari name on the cover? That mistake isn’t in the book, so obviously the editor knows better than to randomly throw it in when going for plural. Granted, if the internet is any indication, the rest of the world won’t know any better, but it would be nice if the cover artist did. Unnecessary punctuation aside, I kind of wish the cover showed something more, not because it’s not the perfect representation of Luca and Ally, but because I’m afraid people will see it and think it’s just another romance novel. It’s soooo much more than that.
Seriously? This is a debut novel? Ellie Lyons writes love stories like she perfected the genre.
I expected an interesting read. I expected some romance and drama and suspense, and maybe a little angst, since spontaneous romances on holidays always lead up to that day when the vacation ends. What I did not expect was to be blown away by a completely convincing love story that didn’t rely on graphic bedroom scenes and contrived drama or some emotionally closed off man to keep me hooked. And keep me hooked it did.
That’s not to say it didn’t have some incredibly hot moments (beach lovin’, anyone?) or nail-biting drama or times when the characters questioned their feelings, but at the heart of it was a very sweet love story between two people who weren’t fighting inner demons or playing impossible to get or any of that other crap that kind of starts getting old after a book or twenty. See? I’m so blown away I’m writing run-on sentences! Stealing Luca’s Heart accomplishes what so many other stories fail to do. In a sea of romances that rely too heavily on one aspect of the plot and overlook most everything else that creates the right background and build-up, Ellie Lyons creates the perfect, complete story, filled with romance, adventure, and suspense that will have you devouring the book in a single sitting.
And now I want a trip to New Zealand. And maybe a rugby player. And definitely every other book to come in this series.