Sunday 27 April 2014

Review ~ Love, in English by Karina Halle

Book Description:

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.
Our Review:
Reviewed by Willow ~ 5 Stars
"Love causes war and causes death, breaks souls and breaks lives. It runs people into the ground, makes them behave like moronic, immoral beasts, before it dances off, leaving only destruction in its wake -  hearts blown wide open for the whole world to see."

It's no secret that I am a huge Karina Halle fan so I usually dive right into her books and speed read them because I'm desperate to see what happens in the end. This book was totally different. It took me a long time to read, but it's because It was so good, I wanted to soak up every single word. In short, I thought it was the best book Karina has written.

It has a different feel to what she has written before, no paranormal and no suspense, it's not an "action" book like the Artist Trilogy. It's all about the journey the main character makes and about love. This book does contain cheating but it's like nothing I've ever read. Usually the main character is the one being cheated on, or perhaps is the cheater, but in this book we see what it's like to be "the other woman".

Canadian Vera Miles has never felt she belonged anywhere and so wants to get away, experience something new and so she signs up for teaching conversational English to Spanish business men and women in Spain during her summer break. A piece of advice is given to her before she arrives at the resort - don't fall in love, and she doesn't intend to, that's not her style....

Until she meets Mateo Casalles that is. Totally gorgeous, confident and unfortunately married Mateo. Although Vera is attracted to him, she would never want to be involved in cheating - she's seen the results of that.

As Vera settles in she starts to understand what the advice meant as she sees other people on the program hooking up together. She builds friendships and starts to feel like she belongs. One of the close friendships she forms is with Mateo, she looks forward to her teaching sessions with him (well who wouldn't!!) and spends time with him during their free time. Although nothing physical has happened between them, people start assuming they are sleeping together because of their close friendship. This leads Vera to question whether what they are doing is really as innocent as she once thought.

"Sometimes I thought I was a terrible person"

Vera does struggle with her feelings towards Mateo and sometimes questions whether their friendship and actions are morally wrong. I think that is why this book has so much power. Everyone usually sees "the other woman" as just as much to blame, and they do need to take some responsibility, but it does makes you stop and think how she sometimes may feel and what she might be going through.

It isn't all about Mateo and Vera, it's also about Vera finding herself, finding friends and finding a place to belong. It's about a journey Vera is on, but all journeys must come to an end.

"There will be nights when you will feel alone and lost" he murmured in 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."

So what happens after the program is over and everyone has to go back to their lives? When reality hits? When you realise there is a world outside the program? I loved that this book is spilt into three parts, which include part 1 which is in Spain and part 2 which follows Vera in the aftermath of the program.

"Don't you ever think that sometimes love isn't enough? That it can't over come everything?"

This book is definitely an emotional roller coaster ride. It has many ups and downs and there will be many of you that cry. Did I cry? Yes, but for me it's because I felt that Karina did such an amazing job at making you feel what the characters are going through, it did open old wounds.

The characters are well written and anyone who has been cheated on, been a cheater, been "the other woman", or has fallen in love or lost in love, will find a connection to one or more of the characters in this book and let's face it, that pretty much covers all of us!!

I will warn you, you will definitely fall in love with Mateo. You will love Vera. You may get frustrated at some of the decisions they make, you will feel pain and you will feel love, but those are the best books aren't they? If your looking for a story about perfect love this isn't it. But if you're looking for a book that has real life love, that often doesn't come at the right time, this book is for you. It's a definite must read in my opinion, but take your time, savour each word, each feeling.

"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

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