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Series: The Tetari's of New Zealand #1
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books on December 28, 2013
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
Just what is going on at the Tetari farm in New Zealand? First her father is injured in a suspicious hunting accident, now someone is after the Tetari family and their land. With the help of charismatic businessman and eldest son, Luca Tetari, Ally Edwards is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. As passion flares and love blooms, Ally and Luca search for the answers in Ellie Lyons’ romantic suspense novel, Stealing Luca’s Heart, Book 1 of her new, contemporary series.
When Ally Edwards’ father, Cal, is injured in a suspicious hunting accident in New Zealand, she takes leave from her job as a University of Iowa economics instructor to rush down to be at her father’s bedside. When she arrives, she finds herself hosted by her father’s friends, the Tetari family, who welcome her into their home.
Luca Tetari, the eldest son, is not only a businessman in the family corporation, but also the team captain of the All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team. Luca is the consummate player, skillful on the pitch and off, indulging his fans and beguiling everyone around him. But as she gets to know him, Ally discovers that Luca is far deeper as a person than his surface charm would indicate, and soon she finds herself falling in love.
But while Ally and Luca are realizing their new affections, the Tetari family and their land are under attack by unknown assailants. With a new “green” energy project in development, who is trying to take over their property, and how? Does this have anything to do with Cal’s injury? After all, if someone has hurt one person, mightn’t that same individual be willing to injure—or even kill—additional people to achieve his or her goals?
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
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.