Thursday, 8 May 2014

Review: Karina Halle's "Love, in English."

5 Hearts Review: Kirsty Lander

Amazon UK:


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

Review: Kirsty Lander

Someone please take me to Spain, now!

Where do I even begin? 

"I'm starting to think that most villains aren't evil - they are just misunderstood."

This book was just stunning. In every sense of the word. From the characters, to the story, to the setting.. oh my word the setting! I have only read a couple of books byKarina Halle, but one thing I have noticed, is her ability to describe and set a scene to perfection, and she did that in bucket loads with Love in English. I kid you not, I felt like I was really in Spain, with these characters, going through everything they were. I felt everything and was able to envision it all so easily. I think that is one of the main reasons I loved this book so much, it just all felt so real.

The story starts off with our heroine, Vera, about to embark on a journey that, unbeknown to her, would change her life in a million ways. She was entering a program, in Spain, where she would help Spaniards with their English conversation skills. All she had to do was speak to them, in English, for a month and she could go back home. What could possibly happen in a month?

"You can fall in love in a second. The heart has no regard for time."

Although the Spanish setting only lasted the first half of the book, it was absolutely my favourite thing in the world to read. I loved Vera's character, she was so strong and just the total opposite of so many other heroines out there. I hate a whiney, bitchy, needy girl, and Vera was the total opposite. It was a treat to be in her shoes, embarking on her journey with her. As I've said before, as I was reading, I felt like I was right there with them. I felt like I got to know her friends as if I was taking part in the program, I felt like I was there every time one of them had a little too much to drink and made a mistake. It was just brilliant.

And then I should mention Mateo.. his part in the story was, of course, one of the most important. Yes, he was married, and yes, I probably should have been put off by that, but what can I say? I wasn't. I usually hate cheating in a book as much as the next person, but circumstances surrounding Mateo's relationship and marriage, caused me to understand all the more. It was okay. 

I loved the relationship between Vera and Mateo, it just seemed special from the first page. And I don't mean a relationship in the boyfriend/girlfriend sense alone, I mean their whole relationship from start to finish. Friends to lovers. It was one of the most torturous relationship build ups I have read about in a long time. I was forever thinking will they? Or won't they? and at times I wasn't sure my poor heart could take the tension! I generally dislike insta-love books, so to know that this one took so long for anything to develop was just perfect. 

"Ugly? ... No. You are terribly beautiful, Vera. So beautiful that it hurts. 
You would outshine her like the star you are."

As much as I enjoyed the love story of the book, there was so much more to it than that. I loved Vera's journey and transformation. The girl at the end of the book was a million miles from the girl in the beginning. It wasn't an unbelievable transformation, as the reader, you are right there with her, going through all of her experiences, seeing them change her for the better. Not only did Vera find love on her journey, but she found herself. Her real self. In Spain, living her new life, Vera finally felt like she belonged, and it was so apparent through Karina's words.

I admit, I was truly sad to finish this book. It's so rare for me at the moment to love a book this much, and I've been truly lucky that my past two reads have been just that kind of book. Love in English isn't a book I will forget in a hurry, and I can see myself reading it again in the future and never being bored. It's only been a day since I finished and already I am missing the characters and the setting, and finding myself not wanting to move on to a new story. The book was fantastic. 

"You burn so brightly, I would like to burn with you."

I rated "Love in English" 5 Hearts

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