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For my last review of summer, I’m bringing you a super sweet enemy to lovers holiday romance!
The Spanish Love Deception was high up on my list this summer (not least because enemies to lovers is my favourite trope ever). Although I was a little disappointed, it still made for a really cute read.
So… lets get into it!
“A wedding. A trip to Spain. The most infuriating man. And three days of pretending. Or in other words, a plan that will never work.
Catalina Martín, finally, not single. Her family is happy to announce that she will bring her American boyfriend to her sister’s wedding. Everyone is invited to come and witness the most magical event of the year.
That would certainly be tomorrow’s headline in the local newspaper of the small Spanish town I came from. Or the epitaph on my tombstone, seeing the turn my life had taken in the span of a phone call.
Four weeks wasn’t a lot of time to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic–from NYC and all the way to Spain–for a wedding. Let alone, someone eager to play along my charade. But that didn’t mean I was desperate enough to bring the 6’4 blue eyed pain in my ass standing before me.
Aaron Blackford. The man whose main occupation was making my blood boil had just offered himself to be my date. Right after inserting his nose in my business, calling me delusional, and calling himself my best option. See? Outrageous. Aggravating. Blood boiling. And much to my total despair, also right. Which left me with a surly and extra large dilemma in my hands. Was it worth the suffering to bring my colleague and bane of my existence as my fake boyfriend to my sister’s wedding? Or was I better off coming clean and facing the consequences of my panic induced lie?
Like my abuela would say, que dios nos pille confesados.
The Spanish Love Deception is an enemies-to-lovers, fake-dating romantic comedy. Perfect for those looking for a steamy slow-burn romance with the sweetest Happily Ever After.“
I was so excited going into this one because I immediately got major The Hating Game vibes. 1. The romance is between work colleagues who absolutely despise each other (ring any bells), and 2. Aaron and Lina (The Spanish Love Deception) felt pretty much identical to Josh and Lucy (The Hating Game).
Unfortunately, it just didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Although the start was really strong and I did enjoy the romance, it sped up and got too intense too fast for me (somehow the romance just didn’t feel totally believeable?).
But that’s all to come.
The set-up for the book seemed so perfect at first glance. Two employees (Catalina ‘Lina’ and Aaron) at a tech company who absolutely despise each other (but obviously are secretly attracted to each other).
However, it quickly felt like the romance was speeding up a little too fast and then the pacing was all over the place. The first 50% of the book they hadn’t even gotten to Spain and the major conflict occurred in the last 5% (it was a juicy conflict, but resolved way too easily).
“Ever since that day a year and eight months ago, I was never late. Why? Aaron Blackford.”– the spanish love deception
The initial setting did feel a little off: some of Lina’s work colleagues were nasty in a totally exaggerated way and the whole workplace atmosphere felt a bit fake. I didn’t like the sense that some of Lina’s colleagues were set up as sexist on purpose, just so Aaron could come to her rescue and stand up to them (especially as Lina was such a fiery character).
However, the second part of the book mainly revolved around the wedding in spain, which really captured the summery feeling I was looking for. I LOVED the drama surrounding Lina’s family in Spain and the way gossip spread between them so easily.
“I don’t think I’d be able to deny you a single thing if you asked, Catalina.”– the spanish love deception
One of the major saving graces for this book was that I really connected to Lina and got completely wrapped up in her thoughts. She was a bit of a typical ‘I’m so plain’, quirky character who the guy just can’t work out, but it was pulled off a lot better than in most other books I’ve read.
She reminded me a lot of Lucy from The Hating Game (except not quite as kooky and even more oblivious), but sadly Aaron just did not do it for me. He initially came off as extremely cold– I know that’s what you want in an enemies to lovers books, but for me it just made it hard to later believe that he was secretly in love with her. He then switched so quickly to ultimate loving and caring boyfriend that it felt like they were fake-dating the whole time (even after they FINALLY realized they had feelings for each other). As romances go, these two were so oblivious to each others feelings, it was almost laughable. I love a bit of confusion but this level of miscommunication does annoy me a bit.
“When I finally kiss you, there won’t be any doubt in your mind that it is real.”– the spanish love deception
Lina’s friend Rosie was fun and sweet, but felt like a filler character (this was weird as she was actually quite a major character). Although I enjoyed her character, I don’t actually remember learning anything about her life, interests, feelings that wasn’t linked to Lina and progressing her relationship with Aaron.
I loved Lina’s family as a whole, especially her sister who was so overly dramatic, but I wish we could have spent more time with them. Instead, we spent about 20% of the book at a weird bachelor auction (that didn’t really matter at all to the plot), where Lina had to ‘save’ Aaron from the hoards of women who wanted to buy a date with him.
“Because it was all you were willing to give me. And I’d rather have you hating me than not have you at all.”– the spanish love deception
This wasn’t my favourite romance I’ve read over the summer but it’s still definitely a really sweet one to pick up, especially if you get chance to read it while on holiday! I also know that loads of people have LOVED this one, so there’s a good chance you’ll really enjoy it.