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.
Today, though, Charlene wasn’t there to spoil her fun, so Lucy drew closer to the source of music. A smattering of people surrounded the young man with the guitar. She maneuvered her way through the crowd, hiding out near the back, then slipping a bit closer, her camera at the ready.
The singer had a warm, deep voice, and Lucy had to hold herself back from singing along. The song ended and she was reaching into her pocket for loose change when the couple in front of her picked up their daypacks and slipped away. Nudging forward into their vacated place, Lucy lifted her camera. She got a shot or two as the musician bent to gather up a five-euro note somebody had flung at his feet. Dark, longish hair obscured his face. Just as she emerged from behind the camera, he straightened and caught her eye.
Shockingly, it was someone she knew. How could that be, in a city where she knew hardly anyone? From his expression, she could tell he recognized her, too. It was Jesse – Nello’s roommate. He looked as surprised to see her as she was to see him.
“You,” she said. She didn’t mean to be rude, but that was the first word that popped into her mind.
“You,” he replied. “How’s your new room?”
Was this a reproach? She wasn’t sure. “I like it,” she said.
“Good.” Then he smiled – a wary smile, but not at all sarcastic. He might not be her favorite person in the world, but bumping into him like this when she’d been arguing with Charlene made him feel, oddly enough, like an old friend.
Lucy dimpled in return. “The view’s great,” she added. “Thank you for trading with us.” Bystanders were watching them now. Somehow she’d become part of Jesse’s act.
“You’re all by yourself?” Jesse scanned the crowd. “Where’s your friend?”
“I lost her.” But this wasn’t the whole truth. “Or maybe she ditched me. I seem to be driving her crazy. Actually, it’s mutual.”
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About the Author
I'm April Lindner, author of two young adult novels,Catherine, a contemporary retelling of Wuthering Heights, and Jane, a retelling ofJane Eyre, both published by Poppy. A third YA novel, Love, Lucy, is due out from Poppy in January 2015.
I'm also a poet, with two collections in print: This Bed Our Bodies Shaped, from Able Muse Press, and Skin, winner of the Walt McDonald First Book Prize from Texas Tech University Press. I write literary criticism and edit poetry anthologies too.
By day, I'm a mild-mannered English professor at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. By night, I attend way too many rock concerts and travel wherever and whenever I can. I also lavish attention on my rescued pets--two wonderful mutts and two exciteable guinea pigs. I'm a wife, mother, a lover of all things Italian, and a New Yorker at heart though I haven't lived there in quite a while.