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.