Title: Finding Edward by Suzanne McKenna Link
Publisher: Suzanne McKenna Link
Genre: Contemporary, Adult, Romance
Length: 207 pages
When Edward’s beloved grandmother dies, she doesn’t just leave behind money. His inheritance includes a father in Italy he never knew he had.
Now he’s forced to navigate a country he doesn’t know, using a language he doesn’t speak, in search of a man who has no clue Edward even exists.
He’s expecting disappointment. He’s expecting anger. He’s expecting pain. But what Edward isn’t expecting is to stumble across the one woman to ever steal his heart … the one woman he can never have.
Edward’s past and future collide, leaving him more lost — and more alive than he’s ever felt before.
Purchase Link: Amazon
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I left the hotel smiling but stopped several yards from the restaurant. A crowd of people had surrounded Ivayla’s table. My heart dropped into my stomach, and I rushed forward, calling her name.
“What the hell’s going on?” I pushed through the crowd until her deep mahogany eyes met mine. “Are you all right?”
“Yes, perfectly fine!” She waved a hand at the people. “They are not here for me. They are eager to meet the local hero who saved Franz’s life.” She stood, put a hand on my shoulder, and turned to face the group. “Questo è l’uomo. This is the man. This is Edward Rudack from America.”
Cheers and happy greetings accompanied pats on my back. Local shopkeepers, men, and women, came forward to shake my hand. One offered me a sack of baked goods, another, a basket of beautifully ripened fruit. I got invited to visit shops and to dine at restaurants, sulla casa—on the house.
They stunned me to speechlessness, but I followed Ivayla’s lead and accepted the shopkeepers’ gratitude. It didn’t stop until I’d shaken everyone’s hand and the little bistro table was stockpiled with gifts.
Alone again, I sat down next to Ivayla, still buzzing from the experience.
“Wow, that was both awesome and crazy. People really like Franz,” I said.
“My aunt owns that restaurant.” She pointed to a darkened storefront down the block. “She is close to these people. They treat each other like family.”
On Ivayla’s suggestion, we loaded the Vespa’s saddlebags with the presents, hung baskets from the handles, and strapped my duffle bag to the seat. I pushed the bike up the hill, Ivayla walking beside me.
The sky canopied the rising town with shifting colors like bleeding watercolor paints, ebbing from blue to orange and pink. Despite the late hour, the temperature was still warm. My shirt grew damp pushing the loaded bike up to the top of the winding, inclined road.
“When I woke up yesterday morning, I had no idea everything would turn around for the better. I had just hoped to talk to you again.”
“In only a couple of days you saved a man’s life, have been hailed as a local hero, and now,” she said as she strolled, staying at my side, “we are friends.”
Friends? Oh, that word on the lips of a beautiful woman. Nothing could crush a guy’s spirit more.
Still, could a guy get any luckier? Well, he might, if it weren’t for a gray-haired doctor dude with a southern accent.
È così, as Mario said. It is what it is.
“You know, an old man asked me if I knew his cousin in America.” I chuckled softly. “He said his cousin lived in Florida. I almost laughed.”
“I hope you didn’t.”
“I didn’t. Only because I realized he was serious.” The man wore one of those old-style caps and he’d clutched my hand, the skin around his eyes held deep time-thickened wrinkles. “The best part is, he wasn’t the only one to ask me if I knew of an Italian friend or relative who lived in the United States. They think everyone in the States knows everyone else.”
“It’s a small community. Most of the older generation has never left the area. They’ve grown up with these people.” She stopped at the crest of a hill to let me rest a moment. “Here, everyone knows everyone else. As you’ve seen from your greeting in the piazza, word gets around quickly. When good fortune comes to one of our neighbors, we all celebrate.”
“I can’t imagine what that’s like. My family has lived in the same house for most of my life, and we hardly know our neighbors.”
“I like to travel, meet new people, and explore things I’ve only read about. But I love coming home.” She inhaled, and I watched as her eyes traveled the streets, her gaze trailing over the surroundings familiar to her. “I love it here.”
Her shoulders rose, lending conviction to her declaration. I studied her profile outlined by the watercolor sky. Strong brow and nose, softened by prominent cheeks and full lips with an exaggerated bow as if painted, perhaps, by her artist father. Blue-black hair, the same color as Paolo’s, falling in luxurious waves down her back.
I couldn’t move. Didn’t want to move. She might be off limits, but I could look. I wasn’t dead. And damn, I wanted to keep looking. Her beauty stirred something deep inside me. I craved a pencil or a piece of charcoal and a sketchbook to capture the moment.
Suzanne McKenna Link works for a family of newspapers that cover events in and around the South Shore of Long Island, New York. She lives in the town of Sayville with her husband and two children.
SAVING TOBY is her debut novel. The literary love story follows the moving journey of a damaged young man and his love for a girl who might just save him. An avid interest in psychology has Suzanne digging deep into the reasons for her characters’ behaviors. The native Long Islander is fascinated by the how and why of people’s actions. As a result, her characters come to life on the pages.
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