In Love, In English by Karina Halle, College student Vera Miles thought spending part of her summer in Spain, helping people learn conversational English, would be a great way to get away from rainy Vancouver, British Columbia, and meet new people. Plus it will involve weeks away from her mother and sister’s nagging about her free-spirited ways. Even majoring in Astronomy isn’t enough to keep them from criticizing Vera’s tattoos and piercings, with only her brother Josh on her side. Hopefully people in Europe will be a bit more open to diversity than her own family is.
“Love is like a thief, it robs you of all thought and logic, and all you have left is a heart that you can only pray is strong enough to survive the rest.”
Vera immediately falls in easily with everyone at the resort, feeling the freedom of being accepted as she is for the first time in her twenty-three years. One businessman in particular, Mateo Caselles, turns her head and gets her heart pumping. But he’s married, so he’s off the radar. As the weeks progress, though, their easy friendship becomes fraught with tension. Something is happening between them, and Vera isn’t sure what to do. She may not be a saint, but she definitely doesn’t mess around with married men. But can she walk away from the strongest connection she’s ever felt without seeing where it takes them?
He slowly turned around. “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.”
Love, In English is absolutely amazing. I thought Vera and Mateo’s romance was so passionate, so perfectly balanced between the drama and the love, that it was simply breathtaking.
Okay. So I know that a lot of people will read the synopsis and immediately skip over this book because the storyline is partly about cheating. I know. I know. I personally do NOT condone cheating in any form or fashion. However, I have read many romances about affairs and this is a completely different spin on the subject. Seriously. Just in the way author Karina Halle wrote this, with both Vera and Mateo resisting their feelings at every turn and showing remorse for even having romantic thoughts about each other–long before ever acting on it. There was no pursuing or spiteful intent involved on either of their part, which I found refreshing after some stories I’ve read.
I think what I loved most was the sheer honesty in the writing. The emotions were raw, with Mateo and Vera’s fears clearly laid out along with their joy, sorrow, and hope. I was utterly swept away while watching them go from acquaintances, to friends, to so much more. This was a very involved journey for them both, with a lot of difficult decisions to make along the way. The novel is told from Vera’s POV so we get a firsthand look at her thought process through it all. I loved how open and genuine she was. But even though Vera was a free spirit with her tattoos, piercings and funky style, she was a bit broken emotionally. Different situations over the years did a number on her self-worth, so I liked that Mateo was there to be that voice of reason, telling her how beautiful and valuable she was in his life.
Mateo, I thought, was a sexy, suave, mature businessman who was stuck in a situation that was making him extremely unhappy. It seemed like his marriage to Isabel might not have been right for either of them from the start, but he did try on account of his beautiful daughter Chloe Ann. Some readers may say he was just having a mid-life crisis or Mateo was using Vera to get out of his marriage. But I think he never truly set out to find someone else. What Mateo and Vera felt between them after meeting at the resort seemed to truly surprise them both. I could be wrong, so I suppose we’ll just have to wait to get his take on everything until we read book two, Love, In Spanish. It is Mateo’s POV about this story, plus it takes off where this one ends.
I cannot recommend this romance highly enough. If you enjoy stories that aren’t afraid to delve into complicated emotions with complete brutal honesty, I think Love, In English will make it onto your keeper shelf.
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.