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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

ARC Review: Run to Rome by Stacey Joy Netzel

Format: Print (provided by author in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: July 20, 2013

Love him and leave him.

Nine months ago, undercover detective, Ispettore Evalina Gallo, protected her heart the only way she knew how, never expecting to see her savior-turned-one-night-stand again. When he returns to Italia--now a person of interest in an investigation of a local organized crime family--her personal connection to the rugged American gets her assigned to the case.

A second chance to make things right.

With his mother's pleas ringing in his ears, Ben Sanders plans to retrieve a stolen bible his father shipped to Italy thirteen years ago, and then get out as fast as he can. But with the arrival of the beautiful detective, he suspects his mother's desire to right past wrongs might not be the whole truth.

Destiny will not be denied.

Now, less than twenty-four hours after entering the country, he's getting shot at--again. In a race from Milan to Rome to find the precious book before anyone else, time is ticking for the one-time lovers. Attraction burns hotter than molten lava, but amid secrets and half-truths, they must learn to trust each other if they have any hope of a future together.

To think it all started with a book recommendation from a friend. Now I am officially a devoted fan and it's all Danielle from Book Whore Blog's fault. If any of you are regular visitors on her blog or chat with her regularly then you know that Danielle is THE #1 fan of author Stacey Joy Netzel. With good reason. Run to Rome delivers romance, suspense, humor and an overall good time in one wonderful book.

Ben Sanders and undercover agent Evalina Gallo were introduced to readers in book 1 (Lost in Italy). After nearly being killed by criminals, Ben spent one incredible night in Italy with Evalina, only to wake up to her gone. Nine months later Ben is not only back in Italy but face to face with the one woman he couldn't forget. Unfortunately it's not a happy reunion, Ben has become a person of interest in an investigation involving a local crime family with ties to Ben and his own complicated family. He's there to retrieve a stolen bible for his mother but begins to suspect there is more to the story than he's been told.

Ben is barely in Italy a full day before he's getting shot at. Again. Forced to work with Evalina to find the bible, Ben also has a chance to confront her about why she left him nine months ago, but with neither one of them willing to fully trust the other, the trip from Milan to Rome seems endless.

Nothing ruins a series quicker for me than when the secondary characters from book one are not the same when they become main characters in book two. Ben and Evalina haven't changed much since Lost in Italy and for that, I was thankful. I thoroughly enjoyed their bickering and sarcastic quips almost as much as I enjoyed the sexy chemistry they had going on. I know some readers will probably find Eva a real bitch but I didn't. I loved her and saw past that VERY prickly exterior to the vulnerable and terrified woman underneath. She wasn't bitchy because she was mean but because forcing people to keep their distance was the only way she knew how to protect herself.

Ben is a real stand up guy, he's tough and stubborn but he also doesn't shy away from what he feels. As much as he might resent it, he acknowledges that he still has feelings for Eva early on. He's a smart man as well, he knows that the only way to really get through to Eva is to be more stubborn and persistent than she is. Throughout the whole book he chips away at her armor to the real person beneath by simply shoving her out of her comfort zone. Eva's no slouch though, she can match Ben's sarcastic remarks with some well placed insults of her own.

Despite all their bickering, there's a strong chemistry between Ben and Eva that time, distance and apparently a number of villains couldn't dampen. If anything it was stronger because they knew EXACTLY how good it was between them.

Not to be outdone is the action, mystery and suspense in Run to Rome. From the beginning all the details and clues lead me to believe the book would have a certain ending but 3/4 of the way through everything started to change and I found myself in as much suspense and eventually, as surprised, as Ben and Evalina were.

From start to finish, Run to Rome held my attention and wouldn't let it go. It was one of those books that if someone interrupted me, they had something heavy launched at their heads. I finished it in only two days, that's how fun it was!

Though part of a series, Run to Rome can be read as a stand alone book, but I would recommend you pick up Lost in Italy at the same time if you're like me and don't like to read a series out of order..


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  1. Oo you have be with bickering and sarcastic quips. LOL Maybe that makes me kinda weird. Hmm. But I love that in a couple. It's so much fun to watch.

    Alright I'm gonna have to give them a go. I saw the book covers ages ago and though yeah I need to check em out. And yay for the characters staying the same . That drives me crazy too.

  2. Bickering and sarcasm is foreplay to us that's why. Lol. Anyway, if you pre-order Run to Rome for Kindle it's $2.99 instead of $5.99

  3. And Anna, if you haven't bought LII yet, it'll go on sale this weekend for .99!

  4. Adria, I'm thrilled you liked the book. *grin* Thank you for such an awesome review! So happy for my first official posted review!

    Like I just told Anna (and sorry I didn't see this sooner), I'm doing a promotion starting Saturday with Lost In Italy on sale for 3 days at $0.99, so anyone who wants to give it a try can do so then.

    And thank you for mentioning the Run To Rome pre-order deal, too.

    You're pretty awesome yourself!

  5. LOL that it is, that it is. ::snort::

  6. Aw thanks for the heads up Stacey! I'll spread the word around this weekend :)


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