Bus Stop

Title: Bus Stop
Author: Pepper Espinoza
Publisher: Rainbow Trail Press
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (51 pages/13k words)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn

One Sentence Review: Sweet little story about an American and Italian falling for each other


What starts as a friendly gesture can lead two men to their destinies…with each other…

Patrick Curtis has been living in Rome for several months, but due to the stress at work and his own shyness, he’s never been able to connect with anybody. One rainy morning, however, a stranger interrupts Patrick’s loneliness by graciously offering to share his umbrella at the bus stop.

Lealdo Fanucci is charming and gorgeous, and a smitten Patrick is left to wonder if there could be anything more between them than an innocent flirtation…


Patrick is in Rome on a temporary work visa, but hoping to remain longer if he can pass an upcoming interview with his bosses. On the way to work one rainy morning, he is approached by Lealdo, who offers him belated shelter under his umbrella. Patrick is instantly attracted to the tall, good-looking Italian.  They share a cramped bus ride, and although he wants to, Patrick is too shy to ask to see Lealdo again. Knowing this, it’s up to Lealdo to make the next move, hoping the handsome American will accept a dinner invitation and maybe more.

I found this to be a sweet, uncomplicated, gentle short read. Well-written with good pacing that moved the simple plot along, it focuses on the two men to the exclusion of anyone else, which worked for me. They meet, share attraction, have a date, spend a lot of time kissing (sexy!), smexx it up over a weekend, have a plausible HFN. I liked Patrick as the shy, reserved American with low confidence and Lealdo as the more outgoing Italian who draws him out of his shell. Though the length of the book really doesn’t allow for deep characterizations, I thought Espinoza did really well with what she had to work with, and I felt like I got to know both men.


Bus Stop would be of interest to fans of the author and those who are in the mood for a fairly short, sweet romance.


  • Lynn
    I love Pepper’s books and this one would be great for a Sunday afternoon. thank you for this – it sounds like a really sweet story.

    Re the lube or lack of it – I don’t know about you but I sometimes get tired of authors taking us step by step through the prep. We KNOW what’s going to happen, spare us the details and just get to the romance and actual sex. LOL

  • Good review Lynn. Thank you. I really like Pepper Espinoza’s writing. I third that “Ouch!” Maybe she was trying to spare us the step by step directions that can be so distracting? I always shake my head when a character says “no lube – I want to feel you”.

  • Ha! Sounds good, but I’m still not of my Italy trauma just yet!

    No lube? Not even spit? Something?

  • I did enjoy this but noted that lube is never used and I’m not sure condoms were either if I remember correctly. No condoms fine, but no lube? Ouch. But it’s a cute little story about meeting someone.

    • Condom, yes, lube no. And I noticed that as well and didn’t mention it. In fact, as I was reading it, I remember saying to myself exactly what you said — “ouch!”

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