“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?

Book Dame Rating 4 Stars

“Do you believe in love at first sight?”

This is a gut wrenching love story. First off, I usually shy away from sad stories, but this sucked me right in! I had to find out if Max and Stella would have their happy ever after! Could Stella open her heart up, can she realize that maybe pushing him away is worse then letting him fight with her? Max and Stella both deserved a love story like no other and I really think they got it! Max won me over at Italian lifeguard. He was funny and sweet, and instantly in love! Swoon!

“Say it, Stella, please, say it. Say you love me. Say you want me. Say you won’t leave.”

I really enjoyed the other characters as well, and hope we get more of them in the other Heartbeat series! I need more of Lisa and her broken mystery man. I also need to know what happens with Gia and Beppe.

“Don’t exist. Live. Cheers!”

Where to find In a Heartbeat: