July 15, 2013

Spotlight on: Losing Francesca by J.A. Huss

Book Details:
Losing Francesca by J.A. Huss
Publication date: July 1st 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
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Francesca Sabatini came to America to take in the sights, celebrate her high school graduation, and have fun wasting time before college starts in the fall.

That’s not what happens.

Fresh off the plane and barely on American soil more than a handful of minutes, Francesca’s face is recognized by TSA scanners to be a match for a child who was kidnapped twelve years ago.

Brody Mason remembers the day Fiona Sullivan went missing during a family vacation in Italy and it’s haunted him his whole life. So when Francesca shows up at the Sullivan farm down the road, he’s compelled to figure out if this girl really is his long lost friend.

But Francesca knows she’s not Fiona Sullivan. She knows exactly who she is. At least she thinks she knows – until Brody Mason relentlessly pursues her and she begins to have feelings for him. Maybe being Fiona isn’t so bad?

Reality becomes blurred, secrets are revealed, and life will never be the same when the final questions are answered: Is she Francesca or Fiona? And where does she really belong?

Losing FrancescaLosing Francesca by J.A. Huss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, this book was amazing. It was also terrifying in that it reminded me, as a parent, that there are millions of children that go missing each year - kidnapped and never seen again. This book wasn't exactly about that, but it definitely triggered those feelings within me, and to me that is a mark of a good book. It makes you think. It makes you feel things that sometimes you don't want to feel. It becomes a very personal experience for the reader. That is what happened to me with this book.

Francesca Sabatini is an Italian teenager on the brink of finally turning eighteen and attending college. She takes a vacation to America to enjoy the sights and a little bit of freedom before school starts, but very quickly her vacation turns into a nightmare. TSA scanners identify her as a match for a facial rendering of a girl that was kidnapped twelve years ago. TSA takes Francesca into custody and forces her to return to the horse farm that was the home of Fiona Sullivan, a.k.a. Francesca, before she was kidnapped. They tell Francesca that she has to live there for the seventeen weeks it will be until she turns eighteen and is legally an adult and can make her own choice about who she is. Francesca, of course, is outraged. She knows that she is not Fiona Sullivan, and she is definitely not the adopted daughter of Frank Sullivan, the horse farmer. She is a pampered, spoiled brat of a rich Italian man. Or is she?

Matters become even more complicated when Francesca meets Brody Mason. Brody is the little boy from down the road that was in love with Fiona Sullivan before she was kidnapped twelve years ago. He thought Fiona was his soul mate and that they would end up together forever. Now that Francesca has returned, he is determined to prove to her that she is Fiona, and that she is his soul mate. Francesca finds herself becoming more and more confused. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to be Fiona? Maybe her life would be better if she was? Maybe if even she isn't really Fiona, it would be better to pretend that she was? Then she could have Brody - and he might be worth losing everything else that she thinks she is.

J.A. Huss is such a good writer. I love how everything flows, and she is also very gifted with characterization. I connected with both of the main characters in this book, and did so almost from the beginning. Francesca was a bit of a brat at first, but it was understandable. She was very angry with the situation she found herself in, and was indignant and confused all at the same time. She reacted pretty much how every other seventeen year old girl put in her same position would. And then there's Brody. Oh my, he was heavenly. He loved Fiona so much, and was so sincere and honest for a boy his age. He was steadfast and unwavering in his feelings for Fiona, and I think that shows a depth of maturity for a boy his age.

Overall, I really, really loved this book. It is one of my new favorites. And like the disclaimer says, "WARNING: This book contains no smut. It’s not smexy or hot. It’s sweet and filled with a longing so deep, your heart will ache and maybe even break. This book is about bare feet on the beach, the sound of crashing waves, first kisses, losing your faith and then, against all odds, finding it again. This book is about bad things that change people’s lives, a father’s love for his daughter, a brother’s love for his sister, a bad boy who finally figures out why he’s so broken, and a girl who grows up." Truer words could not have been said. I usually lean more towards books that are filled with the above mentioned smut, and smexiness, but this book connected with something else inside me. It was sweet and innocent, and pure and true, and if you haven't read it yet, you are definitely missing out. I highly recommend it!

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J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.
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  1. Thanks a bunch for your review, Jessica! I'm glad you enjoyed the story! :)

  2. So happy you loved it, Jessica! You definitely sell this book, well! :) Fab review!!


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