In a Heartbeat

In a Heartbeat  - Teodora Kostova

If life is like a card game, Stella has been consistently dealt with a bad hand! She lost her brother and her father together in a car accident. Soon after her best friend moves away and then came the cancer. Been in an out of treatment centers for quite some time, Stella wants a break after her latest surgery and decides to go meet Lisa, her best friend and cousin, in Italy – where no one knows about her past and no one would look at her with pity. Max on the other hand has had his fair share of lemons in life too and he deals with it in his own way. He is a Casanova with a baggage and even though Lisa warns Stella that he is a flirt, the connection between these two is undeniable. But will Stella and Max be able to overcome their own fears and stubbornness to find their way to each other?

The best thing about this book is its cast and characters and Stella is the shining star amongst them. I loved her character for being strong and resilient. It would have been very easy for her to break down and loose her way, but she struggled and fought on for a good life. Max is a yummy lifeguard – need I say more? Oh well, he also has other qualities that helps him warm up to the readers. He is respectful, caring with a ‘soft’ heart too. Then there’s Lisa, Gia and Beppe – they are more than just side characters in Stella and Max’s love story. They are instrumental to their story and each brings in a different flavor to the lives of our protagonists. The author’s style of narration is also rather favourable. I liked how she told us Stella’s back story in a single chapter – without dragging it. She tells a story as if she is narrating it to her friends and as such I felt drawn into the story pretty quick.

As for the plot, it is simple and almost predictable. There are a few inconsistencies, especially with regards to Stella’s health that bugged me towards the beginning. But as the story progressed, I found myself not caring about those little individual things and being caught up in the larger picture. The characters, the chemistry, the secrets, the struggles and the friendships – I loved this book as a whole and enjoyed the emotional rollercoaster ride.