Saturday, May 3, 2014

Review: Love, In English by Karina Halle

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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.
For most people, when they see a book may involve cheating of any type (whether it be physical or emotional) they are immediately put off by it. They label the book based on a few minor details revealed in a synopsis that doesn't truly do a book justice. It doesn't reveal the layers of emotions and circumstances that lead two people to each other. In their eyes, cheating is cheating and there is no gray area.

I read (and LOVED) the book, so I am obviously not one of those people. For me there is no black and white. There definitely is a gray area in life, where emotions take over and things can get messy. I am not Vera nor did my story unfold in the ways that hers did, but I understand the whole concept of the heart wanting what the heart wants, consequences be damned.

Think about this, what if you were in a relationship with someone who you are just drifting through life with but not really connecting with that person? And then one day, you meet someone that speaks to you so deeply you feel it in your soul. Would you be willing to walk away? Those are the types of questions this book will have you asking yourself.

Vera has never really felt connected with anyone before. Not on a deeply emotional level anyway. She is all about the carnal relations and then moving on. But when she meets Mateo for the first time, he touches her in a place that no one else ever has. You could clearly feel that it was more than a sexual attraction. But once she realizes he is married, she fights what she feels. And I must say, she gave it her all to bury it deep within her. But she was fighting a losing battle.

This book will take you on the journey of two people connecting in a way we all hope to, but few ever do. The author did a brilliant job of putting you in the middle of Vera and Mateo's growing love story, making you feel like you are right there with them to bare witness. You feel their fears, frustrations, sexual tension, hopes, and heartbreak. For me, it was not a book about a married man and the woman he falls for. It is so much deeper than that. But you have to go into this book with an open mind to see it.

An amazing debut for Karina in this genre! I hope it is one she continues to revisit.

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