Review: Selina Kray – In Wild Lemon Groves

Author: Selina Kray
Reviewer: Natalie
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: MM

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: A telltale knock on a quiet winter night is a sound no husband wants to hear.

Sébastien Osaki has spent the past three years surviving the loss of his beloved Henry. When Seb lands in Amalfi, Italy, for their would-have-been tenth-anniversary trip, he’s haunted by the memory of the man he loved. Following Henry’s notebook leads him to some breathtaking coastal views but also right back to his despair. Seb’s there to get his groove back, not let the past wrong-foot him at every turn.

Enter Andrea Sorrentino, chauffeur, part-time pet whisperer, a Bernini statue in a soccer tee and tight shorts. From the moment Andrea picks Seb up from the airport, he knows just how to soothe Seb’s case of the sulks. But Seb isn’t sure he’s ready for Mr. Right Now, let alone a potential Mr. Right, in a part of the world where all roads lead back to Henry.

Can sun, sea, and eating your weight in pasta mend a tragedy-stricken heart? Will wine-soaked Amalfi nights and long walks through lemon groves work their magic on Seb’s wounded soul? Or will he slink back into the shell of his grief once his grand Italian adventure is over?

Review: Selina Kray is a new to me author and happily, I made an excellent choice with this book. It’s a lovely story, the writing gorgeously descriptive and evocative. I’ve never traveled to Italy but I could truly “see” much of Amalfi, the beaches and ocean, the architecture, even the traffic! Sebastien, or Seb, arrives in Amalfi planning to follow the notes his travel-writer husband wrote for the intended anniversary trip. Although attracted to Andrea when they meet at the airport, the two don’t truly connect for a few days. First, Seb meets a trio of vacationing ladies, Kath, Ceri and Maya, whose combined life experience, earthy common sense and humor help him let go of the last of his grief. I really enjoyed their dialogue, especially between Maya and Seb, but they all added so much to the entire story.

Andrea is more complex than he initially appears, and the developing relationship with Seb is well-crafted and believable. Seb is immersed in adventure while spending time with Andrea, horses, sightseeing, playing soccer, and being thrust into the middle of an Italian family restaurant. But Seb holds a part of himself back, knowing his stay is temporary and still uncertain of his emotions. The story is all from his point of view, but conveys full, rich characterization for everyone. Andrea is complex, a man with a commitment to his family, another to his own dreams, with the two sides often at odds. He and Seb are quite sexy together too, although heated scenes are moderate and not overly explicit. Descriptive prose did feel a bit purple at times, rather than coming across as euphemism, but aside from that, I found it an easy, light, yet absorbing read, gladly recommended.

 

 

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