Love, Lucy by April Lindner
While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.” But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.
In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.
Jesse led her down a narrow side street, straight to a gelateria. He ordered hazelnut and she ordered raspberry. Over her objections, he paid from his pocketful of coins. They sank down on the stone steps in front of yet another church and sat for a while in silence, both of them licking around the edges of their cones to keep rives of melting gelato from streaking down their arms.
“Oh my God,” Lucy said when her body temperature had cooled back to something like normal. “I’m starting to feel human again.” She looked around. “Where are we, exactly?”
“I’m not sure, but we were just in Piazza della Republicca.” Jesse pointed toward the square. “Were you looking for the Bertolini? When you bumped into me?”
“Not exactly. I was just… wandering. Without a map. Or a destination.”
Jesse nodded, as though this were the most normal activity in the world.
Lucy found herself wanting to tell him her whole life story: how she’d given up on acting and this trip was her consolation prize, and how things had been going so terribly wrong with Charlene lately. “My trip’s almost over,” she said instead. “I wanted my time in Florence to be special. I mean, I love it here; I really do. But all I seem to be doing is wandering around in circles.”
“Almost,” Jesse said.
Lucy looked at him, perplexed.
“Your trip is almost over. Which means there’s still time.” He nudged her arm with his elbow. “What would you like to see?”
Lucy remembered the list she’d made and left behind, folded in her guidebook. “The Duomo.” Again and again, she’d glimpsed the cathedral – the famous one in all the photos of Florence – its grand red dome appearing at the ends of streets, impressive even from a distance. She wanted more than anything to see it up close, to climb up to its roof and look out over the city. “But Charlene says the line’s super long.”
“So?” Jesse asked. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve got nothing but time.”
Hope you enjoyed the short excerpt and the lovely setting of Florence! If you’ve read the book, do share your thoughts on it! Also, don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour!