Love, in English by Karina Halle
It’s no secret that I am a massive Karina Halle fan, and rightfully so. She has yet to disappoint me. No matter the genre, she pulls me in, wrapping me all up in her characters and their lives. When I first saw the cover for “Love, in English,” I was practically drooling. It’s so freaking pretty! All of my friends who had received ARCs flaunted them all over Facebook, making me totally jealous, and maybe curse them a bit, as I counted the days until its release. I am seldom this excited for a book. I generally add it to my TBR and wait for the day I have the time. Hardly ever do I buy and read on release day, especially a story in which I have no clue what to expect. I didn’t need a synopsis to sell me, though. Between the talent that I have come to appreciate from this author and that cover, I was all in.
Vera Miles is headed to Spain to help local professionals learn conversational English. What a gig, right? To visit a foreign land and get paid for it? She is ready for an amazing, relaxing summer. Of course, she didn’t prepare herself for everything.
“Love is like a thief, it robs you of all thought and logic, and all you have left is a heart that you can only pray is strong enough to survive the rest.”
Meeting Mateo Casalles throws a wrench in her plans, but the gorgeous Spaniard seems to captivate Vera at “Hola”(I know, I know. Couldn't resist). The two form a quick, easy bond, and there is no denying the heat and tension between them.
“He gazed at me intently like I was one of life’s greatest mysteries, as if I were utterly mesmerizing. I’d never seen anyone look at me that way and it glued me to my seat."
I won’t drone on about the details, I cannot begin to do them justice in this little review of mine and I wouldn’t dream of ruining this amazing journey for you. Very seldom does a story come along so emotional, so compelling, that I dread the end before I am even halfway through. The heartbreaking love story that Halle intricately weaves, combined with her descriptions of the gorgeous country in which it takes place, are enough to have you readying your passport one second and popping Xanax to quell your anxiety the next.
“I couldn’t really go on like this, every day a battle between my heart and mind, between right and wrong, between dreams and the reality.”
I am also not going to sugar coat it one bit—this story is not for everyone. It deals with a topic that most cannot get past in order to see the good aspects. This is fictionalization of what is in all actuality a very real occurrence, unfortunate as it may be, and that makes it hard for some to appreciate the conflicting beauty. That is understandable, as most everyone has been touched by this trust-shattering deviant from which it is extremely hard to recover.
“Love puts the blame on the poor souls who succumb to it. Love, that ultimate villainess. She makes examples of us.”
That being said, I was totally expecting perfection from Halle on this, which generally hinders my reading experience. Higher expectations can lead to a bigger letdown and all that. But this book not only hooked me, it had me bursting at the seams giddy in some spots. The palpable chemistry between Mateo and Vera, the vulnerability and openness you see from each of them, made for one fantastic tale of love and want, and yes, even heartbreak.
“For as long as man has been around, he has felt governed by the stars…” I find Mateo's revelation very fitting, and considering the way “Love, in English” governed me, I'd say it's worthy of its own universe of stars!