Love, in English by Karina Halle
Published by Metal Blonde Books
Published on April 20th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance
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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.
I was waiting for a book in the New Adult genre that would set my heart on fire—blazing, soul screaming fire! A book that would mirror the madness, deep passion and life changing “I HAVE to be with you” forbidden love that I experienced in my own past. I read Love, In English. My day had come. My heart, my soul, everything burned and sang, and it allowed me to feel it all again ten fold. Though my past circumstances were different, the feelings were exactly the same. As much as I read this book, this book read me.
Love in English is a true love story about Vera and Mateo, two people from completely different universes, who by mainstream standards, shouldn’t be together. It unites them at the exact moment in time where their separate lives are meant to combust and then fuse together whole. This is fate and love so real, so raw; that it grips you from the moment they meet.
I grinned up at him. Everything he said was so disarming, how casually he treated this, like there was an us, like we’d been friends for a long time. He made me feel like I was the only person in the room.
Vera on the surface is one cool chick. She’s an astronomy studying college student from Vancouver who is covered in beautiful tattoos. She’s the perfect mix of a carefree soul and someone who is still internalizing the experiences around her. She’s ready for the unknown of a different life by traveling to Spain to teach conversational English to Spaniards. She also truly enjoys sex and I can’t tell you how empowering it is to read a MC who is not afraid to be a real woman. But Vera also has no real roots and is a bit of a loner. She is insecure about her place in her family and where she is headed in life. When she boards to the bus to Las Palabras though, she meets Mateo, a married, ex-professional Soccer player. That’s it…her world is blown wide open.
The minute I saw him walk in the door, back in his white linen shirt and black dress pants, the heat of the night glistening on his arms and collarbone, I knew it was game over. I was drunk and improperly dressed, he was here, and there was a damn good chance that I was in love with the man.
Mateo is so polite, but yet so passionate and fiercely loyal that at first you might wonder what he may be looking for from Vera (because, yes, he’s MARRIED). But you’re not wondering for long. The sparks, the connection these two have is UNREAL. As you get to know Mateo more, you realize that he’s just as lonely as Vera is. What’s a life of prestige and fame when he’s lacking happiness and all consuming love? Mateo’s words are sensuous and have a way of cutting right to your core that you fall hard for him. He cares so much for Vera, about Vera, that you know every humming thread of his being is in tune with her soul.
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.”
While reading this book, the age gap, the cheating, the differences in their lives…none of it mattered to me. NONE. Vera is not a villain, though she often feels like one, and Mateo is not a careless husband looking for a fling. I can only describe watching Vera and Mateo’s relationship build up to the point of no return like this: When two souls find each other and are ready to take that leap together, there’s just the now, ONLY the now. The past doesn’t matter, none of the other trivial or large obstacles that still have to be overcome in that moment, matter anymore. All you see is that person. You live them, you breathe them and you go insanely mad. It’s living day-by-day, hour-by-hour, with hope, fear, torture and searing love coursing through your veins.
He placed his forehead against mine, nose against nose, and closed his eyes. “You bring light to my life. When you leave, there will only be a black hole inside of me. You’ll take my heart with you.” His breath deepened and you looked into my eyes. “Vera, I am in love with you.”
This love they share is so intense that when it all finally does comes crashing down, they suffer. They suffer and bleed for each other and for everyone else they hurt, leaving them balancing on an edge with frantic thoughts and open hearts. Vera and Mateo’s story takes you on that edge with them and after you get done, you’re completely broken but yet so, SO full of life, love and the stars.
“There will be nights where you will feel alone and lost,” he murmured into my hair. “Where I will feel alone and lost. When that happens, I want us both to remember this, right now. Bring our thoughts back to this room, this moment. Where we aren’t lonely. Where we are both found.”
I swallowed the brick in my throat. “I hope it will be enough.”
“It will never be enough,” he said.
This book is insanely beautiful. Not only the romance but also the backdrop of Spain was stunning in it’s own right. Karina blazed the pages with raw emotions and truthful inner monologues. I was in awe of how deep she went to convey such passion and pain, finding so much of her strewn throughout this book. Her first go at a full on romance was both solid and amazing. I raced through the pages as I became completely obsessed with every part of their relationship. I cried over and over while reading, from the sheer heart and brilliance that filled every last page. But I also cried for the connection I sought out and found between my own life and theirs.
Love, In English has ruined me for other romance novels. It’s neither predictable nor the norm. Others in the New Adult genre need to take notice and step up their game because this is the type of romance that makes you open up your mind to the gritty truth of real love.