Smitten's Book Blog · Apr 21, 2015

Love, in English (Love, in English #1), by Karina Halle ★★★★★

He’s thirty-eight. I’m twenty-three.

He speaks Spanish. I speak English.

He lives in Spain. I live in Canada.

He dresses in thousand-dollar suits. I’m covered in tattoos.

He’s married and has a five-year old daughter.

I’m single and can’t commit to anyone or anything.

Until now. Because when they say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, boy ain’t that the f*#king truth.


To a restless dreamer like Vera Miles, it sounded like the experience of a lifetime. Instead of spending her summer interning for her astronomy major, she would fly to Spain where she’d spend a few weeks teaching conversational English to businessmen and women, all while enjoying free room and board at an isolated resort. But while Vera expected to get a tan, meet new people and stuff herself with wine and paella, she never expected to fall in love.

Mateo Casalles is unlike anyone Vera has ever known, let alone anyone she’s usually attracted to. While Vera is a pierced and tatted free spirit with a love for music and freedom, Mateo is a successful businessman from Madrid, all sharp suits and cocky Latino charm. Yet, as the weeks go on, the two grow increasingly close and their relationship changes from purely platonic to something…more.

Something that makes Vera feel alive for the first time.

Something that can never, ever be.

Or so she thinks.

5 Stars for Mateo & his Estrella.

My Casting:

Oh my goodness, I devoured this book! I loved it. It was exactly what I needed right now. I really felt like getting lost in a book, and Love, In English certainly caused me to lose myself!

This is the story of Vera, a twenty-three year-old, tattooed, tearaway student from Canada, who is off on her travels to Europe and Mateo, a thirty-eight year-old, married, Spanish, ex-pro footballer, turned business man.

“You and I, we were always a memory in the making.”

Now, I read the first two books (and the novella) in Karina Halle’s Artist’s Trilogy and, as much as I intended to read the final instalment, I’ve not gotten round to it yet. I think because the amount of drama and the will there/won’t there be a happy ending, made me nervous. So I was a little hesitant to read this book, but I thought I’d give it a shot.

And I’m so glad I did. Karina, if you are reading this review, I was absolutely blown away by this book. It sucked me in from the very beginning, made me slack off of work and hooked me until I finished it last night and jumped straight into Love, In Spanish.

“What is love? In English.” I raised my brows. “Love, in English, is love?” “What is it in Spanish?” I was so enthralled by his hypnotic eyes, I could barely remember. “Amore?” He shook his head ever so slightly. “No. Love in Spanish is you.”

I love Vera!! She’s hilariously blunt, ballsy, flighty, confident and rebellious and I want to be her friend!! She’s covered in tattoos and piercings and has dabbled in all things sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. Honestly, Ms. Halle does a superb job of writing Vera and making you believe in her.

Mateo. Oh my goodness… this man! I will be swooning for days!! He’s hot, sharp, famous, talented, brooding, Spanish, did I mention hot? I just… *picks tongue up off of floor* I am in love.

“I was in love, in lust, in something with him and all logic, all fact, all reality, none of that seemed to matter, not to my body and not to my heart”

There is the most delicious slow burn when it comes to Vera and Mateo’s romance. And, of course, it’s totally taboo, because he’s married, of course. So it’s naughty, it’s sensual, it’s gradual, it’s frustrating, it’s scrummy… I was flicking pages like a mad woman, like‘Get it together already, guys! Screw the wife!!! What wife?!!!’

This book turned me into a total deviant. So, ordinarily, I hate cheating in a book, but apparently, what I hate is when my lead characters cheat on each other… Turns out, if they cheat together, I’m all good with that. So, yes, it seems I have hideous double standards and I’m totally not ashamed! The beauty of books is that we immerse ourselves in these characters that allow us to push boundaries and explore scenarios that we would never dream of in real life, and that’s absolutely what Love, In Englishdid! Do I think it’s ok to sleep with a married man? No. Did I want to Mateo and Vera to bump uglies from the very beginning, wife back home be damned? Hell yeh!

“But I’m starting to think that most villains aren’t evil—they are just misunderstood. Or victims of that most manipulative force: love.”

This story is probably totally unrealistic. And sometimes, when a book is unrealistic, I just can’t believe in it. But then, every now and then, an author takes a story that would likely never happen in real life and writes so engagingly that you just believe in it anyway.

As you can tell, I loved this book. I’d highly recommend it, but I’d also warn you to leave your morals and your judgements at the door and just enjoy the feels that Vera and Mateo draw from you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to lose myself in Love, In Spanish (Love, in English #2).

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