The Spanish Love Deception: A Novel PDF AZW3 EPUB MOBI TXT Download

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A TikTok sensation, this rom-com about a young woman who agrees to fake date a colleague and bring him to her sister’s wedding has “everything you could want in a romance” (Helen Hoang, New York Times bestselling author).Catalina Martín desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially since her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiralled out of control. Now everyone she knows—including her ex and his fiancée—will be there and eager to meet him. She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic and aid in her deception. New York to Spain is no short flight and her raucous family won’t be easy to fool. Enter Aaron Blackford—her tall, handsome, condescending colleague—who surprisingly offers to step in. She’d rather refuse; never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling, and insufferable man. But Catalina is desperate, and as the wedding draws nearer, Aaron looks like her best option. And she begins to realize he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.

Elena Armas
February 8, 2022
448 pages

File Size: 72 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese

“Everything you could want in a romance is right here.” —Helen Hoang, New York Times bestselling author of The Love Principle“Armas’s debut sizzles with chemistry…The slow-burning romance heats up the pages as Armas’s witty, intelligent protagonists reveal their innermost secrets and overcome their past misunderstandings. The Spanish setting and the zany antics of Lina’s family only add to the fun. Rom-com fans will be riveted.” —Publishers Weekly”Perfect pacing, incredible characters, and the swoon-worthy chemistry.” —Business Insider”If you’re looking for a slow burn that you’ll totally be obsessed with long after you turn to the last page, this is the book for you.”—Cosmopolitan About the Author Elena Armas is a Spanish writer, a self-confessed hopeless romantic, and proud book hoarder. After years of devouring HEAs and talking—okay fine, yelling—nonstop about them, she has finally taken the leap and decided to create some of her own. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Chapter One CHAPTER ONE “I’ll be your date to the wedding.” Words I had never—not even in my wildest dreams, and trust me, I had a vivid imagination—conceived of hearing from that deep and rich tone reached my ears. Looking down at my coffee, I squinted my eyes, trying to search for any signs of noxious substances floating around. That would at least explain what was happening. But nope. Nothing. Just what was left of my Americano. “I’ll do it if you need someone that badly,” the deep voice came again. Eyes growing wide, I lifted my head. I opened my mouth and then snapped it closed again. “Rosie…” I trailed off, the word leaving me in a whisper. “Is he really there? Can you see him? Or did someone spike my coffee without me noticing?” Rosie—my best friend and colleague in InTech, the New York City–based engineering consulting company where we had met and worked—slowly nodded her head. I watched her dark curls bounce with the motion, an expression of disbelief marring her otherwise soft features. She lowered her voice. “Nope. He’s right there.” Her head peeked around me very quickly. “Hi. Good morning!” she said brightly before her attention returned to my face. “Right behind you.” Lips parted, I stared at my friend for a long moment. We were standing at the far end of the hallway of the eleventh floor of the InTech headquarters. Both our offices were relatively close together, so the moment I had entered the building, located in the heart of Manhattan, in the vicinity of Central Park, I had gone straight to hers. My plan had been to grab Rosie and plop down on the upholstered wooden armchairs that served as a waiting area for visiting clients, which were usually unoccupied this early in the morning. But we never made it. I somehow dropped the bomb before we ever sat down. That was how much my predicament needed Rosie’s immediate attention. And then… then he had materialized out of nowhere. “Should I repeat that a third time?” His question sent a new wave of disbelief rushing through my body, freezing the blood in my veins. He wouldn’t. Not because he couldn’t, but because what he was saying did not make any freaking sense. Not in our world. One where we— “All right, fine,” he sighed. “You can take me.” He paused, sending more of that ice-cold wariness through me. “To your sister’s wedding.” My spine locked up. My shoulders stiffened. I even felt the satin blouse I had tucked into my camel slacks stretch with the sudden motion. I can take him. To my sister’s wedding. As my… date? I blinked, his words echoing inside my head. Then, something unhitched inside of me. The absurdity of whatever this was—whatever perverse joke this man I knew not to trust was trying to pull off—made a snort bubble its way up my throat and reach my lips, leaving me quickly and loudly. As if it had been in a rush to get out. A grunt came from behind me. “What’s so funny?” His voice dropped, turning colder. “I’m completely serious.” I bit back another burst of laughter. I didn’t believe that. Not for a second. “The chances of him,” I told Rosie, “being actually serious are the same chances I have of having Chris Evans pop out of nowhere and confess his undying love for me.” I made a show of looking right and left. “Nonexistent. So, Rosie, you were saying something about… Mr. Frenkel, right?” There was no Mr. Frenkel. “Lina,” Rosie said with that fake, toothy smile I knew she wore when she didn’t want to be rude. “He looks like he’s serious,” she spoke through her freaky smile. Her gaze inspected the man standing behind me. “Yep. I think he might be serious.” “Nope. He can’t be.” I shook my head, still refusing to turn around and acknowledge that there was a possibility my friend was right. There couldn’t be. There was no way Aaron Blackford, colleague and well-established affliction of mine, would even attempt to offer something like that. No. Way. An impatient sigh came from behind me. “This is getting repetitive, Catalina.” A long pause. Then, another noisy exhalation left his lips, this one much longer. But I did not turn around. I held my ground. “Ignoring me won’t make me disappear. You know that.” I did. “But that doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying,” I muttered under my breath. Rosie leveled me with a look. Then, she peeked around me again, keeping that toothy grin in place. “Sorry about that, Aaron. We are not ignoring you.” Her grin strained. “We are… debating something.” “We are ignoring him though. You don’t need to spare his feelings. He doesn’t have any.” “Thanks, Rosie,” Aaron told my friend, some of the usual coldness leaving his voice. Not that he’d be nice to anybody. Nice wasn’t something Aaron did. I didn’t even think he was able to pull off friendly. But he had always been less… grim when it came to Rosie. A curtesy he had never extended to me. “Do you think you can tell Catalina to turn around? I’d appreciate talking to her face and not to the back of her head.” His tone dropped back to minus zero degrees. “That is, of course, if this is not one of her jokes that I never seem to understand, much less find funny.” Heat rushed up my body, reaching my face. “Sure,” Rosie complied. “I think… I think I can do that.” Her gaze bounced from that point behind me to my face, her eyebrows raised. “Lina, so, erm, Aaron would like you to turn around, if this is not one of those jokes that—” “Thanks, Rosie. I got that,” I gritted out between my teeth. Feeling my cheeks burn, I refused to face him. That would mean letting him win whatever game he was playing. Plus, he had just called me unfunny. Him. “If you could, tell Aaron that I don’t think one can laugh at, or much less understand, jokes when one lacks a sense of humor, please. That would be great. Thanks.” Rosie scratched the side of her head, looking pleadingly at me. Don’t make me do this, she seemed to ask me with her eyes. I widened mine at her, ignoring her plea and begging her to go along. She released a breath and then looked around me one more time. “Aaron,” she said, her fake grin getting bigger, “Lina thinks that—” “I heard her, Rosie. Thank you.” I was so attuned to him—to this—that I noticed the slight change in his tone that signaled the switch to the voice he only used with me. The one that was just as dry and cold but that would now come with an extra layer of disdain and distance. The one that would soon lead to a scowl. I didn’t even need to turn and take a look at him to know that. It was somehow always there when it came to me and to this… thing between us. “I’m pretty sure my words are reaching Catalina down there just fine, but if you could tell her that I have work to do and I cannot entertain this much longer, I would appreciate it.” Down there? Stupidly large man. My size was average. Average for a Spaniard, sure. But average nonetheless. I was five foot three—almost four, thank you very much. Rosie’s green eyes were back on me. “So, Aaron has work, and he would appreciate—” “If—” I stopped myself when I heard the word sounding high-pitched and squeaky. I cleared my throat and tried again. “If he is so busy, then please tell him to feel free to spare me. He can go back to his office and resume whatever workaholic activities he had shockingly paused to stick his nose in something that does not concern him.” I watched my friend’s mouth open, but the man behind me spoke before a sound could come out of her lips: “So, you heard what I said. My offer. Good.” A pause. In which I cursed under my breath. “Then, what’s your answer?” Rosie’s face filled with shock one more time. My gaze remained on her, and I could picture how the dark brown in my eyes was turning to red with my growing exasperation. My answer? What the hell was he even trying to accomplish? Was this a new, inventive way of playing with my head? My sanity? “I have no idea what he’s talking about. I heard nothing,” I lied. “You can tell him that too.” Rosie tucked a curl behind her ear, her eyes jumping very briefly to Aaron and then returning to me. “I think he’s referring to the moment he offered to be your date to your sister’s wedding,” she explained in a soft voice. “You know, right after you told me that things had changed and that you now needed to find someone—or anyone, I think you said—to go to Spain with you and attend that wedding because, otherwise, you’d die a slow, painful death and—” “I think I got it,” I rushed out, feeling my face burn again from the realization that Aaron had heard all of that. “Thanks, Rosie. You can stop with the recap.” Or I’d be dying that slow, painful death right about now. “I think you used the word desperate,” Aaron chipped in. My ears burned too at that, probably flashing about five shades of radioactive red. “I did not,” I breathed out. “I did not use that word.” “You… sort of did, sweetie,” my best friend—no, former best friend as of right now—confirmed. Eyes narrowed, I mouthed, What the hell, traitor? But both of them were right. “Fine. So, I said that. Doesn’t mean I’m that desperate.” “That’s what truly helpless people would say. But whatever makes you sleep better at night, Catalina.” Cursing under my breath for the umpteenth time that morning, I closed my eyes briefly. “This is none of your business, Blackford, but I’m not helpless, okay? And I sleep at night just fine. No, actually, I’ve never slept better.” What was one more lie to the pile I was hoisting around, huh? Contrary to what I had just denied, I was truly, helplessly desperate to find someone to be my date to that wedding. But that didn’t mean I’d— “Sure.” Ironically, out of all the damn words Aaron Blackford had said to the back of my head that morning, that one word was what made me break my stance of pretending I remained unaffected. That sure, sounding all condescending and bored and dismissive and just so Aaron. Sure. My blood bubbled. It was so impulsive, such a knee-jerk reaction to that four-letter word—which, uttered by anybody else, would have meant nothing—that I didn’t even realize my body was turning until it was too late. Because of his unearthly height, I was welcomed by a broad chest covered in a pressed white button-down that made me itch to fist the fabric and wrinkle it with my hands, because who pranced through life so sleek and spotless all the damn time? Aaron Blackford—that was who. My gaze trailed up powerful shoulders and a strong neck, reaching the straight line of his jaw. His lips formed a flat line, just like I had known they would. My eyes traveled further up then, reaching his blue ones—blue that reminded me of the depths of the ocean, where everything was cold and deadly—and finding them on me. One of his brows rose. “Sure?” I hissed. “Yes.” That head, topped with raven hair, gave one single nod, his gaze not leaving mine. “I don’t want to waste more time arguing about something you are too stubborn to admit, so yes. Sure.” This infuriating blue-eyed man who probably spent more time ironing his clothes than interacting with other human beings was not going to make me lose my temper this early in the morning. Fighting to keep my body under control, I inhaled a long, deep breath. I tucked a lock of chestnut hair behind my ear. “If this is such a waste of time, I genuinely don’t know what you’re still doing here. Please don’t stay on my or Rosie’s account.” A noncommittal noise left Miss Traitor’s mouth. “I wouldn’t,” Aaron admitted in a level tone. “But you still haven’t answered my question.” “That wasn’t a question,” I said, the words tasting sour on my tongue. “Whatever you said was not a question. But that’s not important because I don’t need you, thank you very much.” “Sure,” he repeated, turning my exasperation one notch up. “Although I think you do.” “You think wrong.” That brow rose higher. “And yet it sounded like you really do need me.” “Then, you must be experiencing serious hearing issues because, yet again, you heard wrong. I don’t need you, Aaron Blackford.” I swallowed, willing some of the dryness away. “I could write it down for you if you want. Send you an email, too, if that’d help at all.” He seemed to think about it for a second, looking uninterested. But I knew better than to believe he’d let it go so easily. Which he proved as soon as he opened his mouth again. “Didn’t you say the wedding is in a month and you don’t have a date?” My lips pressed in a tight line. “Maybe. I can’t recall exactly.” I had said that. Word for word. “Didn’t Rosie suggest that if you perhaps sat in the back and tried not to draw any attention to yourself, nobody would notice you were attending on your own?” My friend’s head popped into my field of vision. “I did. I also suggested to wear a dull color and not the stunning red dress that—” “Rosie,” I interrupted her. “Not really helping here.” Aaron’s eyes didn’t waver when he resumed his walk down memory lane. “Didn’t you follow that by reminding Rosie that you were the motherfreaking—your word—maid of honor and therefore everybody and their mother—your words again—would notice you anyway?” “She did,” I heard Miss Traitor confirm. My head whirled in her direction. “What?” She shrugged, signing her death sentence. “You did, honey.” I needed new friends. ASAP. “She did,” Aaron corroborated, drawing my gaze and attention back to him. “And did you not say that your ex-boyfriend is the best man and thinking of standing in the vicinity of him, alone and lame and pathetically single—those were your words again—made you want to tear off your own skin?” I had. I had said that. But I hadn’t thought Aaron was listening; otherwise, I would have never admitted it out loud. But he had been right there, apparently. He knew now. He had heard me openly admit that and had just thrown it at my face. And as much as I told myself I didn’t care—that I shouldn’t care—the pang of hurt was there all the same. It made me feel all the more alone, lame, and pathetic. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I averted my eyes, letting them rest somewhere close to his Adam’s apple. I didn’t want to see whatever was in his face. Mockery. Pity. I didn’t care. I could spare the knowledge of one more person thinking of me that way. His throat was the one that worked then. I knew because it was the only part of him I allowed myself to look at. “You are desperate.” I exhaled, the air leaving my lips forcefully. One nod—that was all I gave him. And I didn’t even understand why I had done it. This wasn’t me. I usually fought back until I was the one who drew blood first. Because that was what we did. We didn’t spare each other’s feelings. This wasn’t new. “Then, take me. I will be your date to the wedding, Catalina.” My gaze drew up very slowly, a strange mix of wariness and embarrassment washing over me. Him witnessing all this was bad enough, but him somehow trying to use it to his advantage? To get the better of me? Unless he wasn’t. Unless perhaps there was an explanation, a reason, as to why he was doing this. Offering himself to be my date. Studying his face, I pondered all these options and possible motivations, not coming to any kind of reasonable conclusion. Not finding any possible answer that would help me understand why or what he was trying to accomplish. Only the truth. The reality. We weren’t friends. We barely tolerated each other, Aaron Blackford and I. We were spiteful to each other, pointed out each other’s mistakes, criticized how differently we worked, thought, and lived. We condemned our differences. At some point in the past, I would have thrown darts at a poster of his face. And I was pretty sure he would have done the same because I wasn’t the only one driving along Hate Boulevard. It was a two-way road. Not only that, but he was the one who had caused our fallout in the first place. I hadn’t started this feud between us. So, why? Why was he pretending to offer me help, and why would I humor him by even considering it? “I might be desperate to find a date, but I’m not that desperate,” I repeated. “Just like I said.” His sigh was tired. Impatient. Infuriating. “I’ll let you think about it. You know you have no other options.” “Nothing to think about.” I cut my hand through the air between us. Then, I smiled my version of Rosie’s fake, toothy grin. “I’d take a chimpanzee dressed in a tuxedo before taking you.” His eyebrows rose, amusement barely entering his eyes. “Now, come on; we both know you wouldn’t. While there are chimpanzees that would rise up to the occasion, it will be your ex standing there. Your family. You said you need to make an impression, and I will accomplish exactly that.” He tilted his head. “I’m your best option.” I snorted, clapping my hands once. Smug blue-eyed pain in my ass. “You are my best nothing, Blackford. And I have plenty of other options,” I countered, shrugging a shoulder. “I’ll find someone on Tinder. Maybe put out an ad in the New York Times. I can find someone.” “In only a few weeks? Highly unlikely.” “Rosie has friends. I’ll take one of them.” That had been my plan all along. It was the reason why I had grabbed Rosie so early in the day. Rookie mistake on my part, I realized. I should have waited to get off work and gotten Rosie to a safe, Aaron-free place to talk. But after yesterday’s call with Mamá… yeah. Things had changed. My situation had definitely changed. I needed someone, and I couldn’t stress enough that anyone would do. Anyone who wasn’t Aaron, of course. Rosie had been born and raised in the city. There had to be someone she knew. “Right, Rosie? One of your friends must be available.” Her head popped in again. “Maybe Marty? He loves weddings.” I shot a quick glance at her. “Wasn’t Marty the one who got drunk at your cousin’s wedding, stole the mic from the band, and sang ‘My Heart Will Go On’ until your brother had to drag him off the stage?” “That would be him.” She winced. “Yeah, no.” I couldn’t have that at my sister’s wedding. She’d rip his heart out of his chest and serve it as dessert. “What about Ryan?” “Happily engaged.” A sigh left my lips. “Not surprised. Ryan is a total catch.” “I know. That’s why I tried so many times to get you two together, but you—” I cleared my throat loudly, interrupting her. “We aren’t discussing why I’m single.” I quickly glanced back at Aaron. His eyes were on me, narrowed. “How about… Terry?” “Moved to Chicago.” “Dammit.” I shook my head, closing my eyes for an instant. This was useless. “Then, I’ll hire an actor. Pay him to act as my date.” “That’s probably expensive,” Aaron said flatly. “And actors aren’t exactly lying around, waiting for single people to hire and parade them as their plus-ones.” I pinned him with an exasperated look. “I’ll get a professional escort.” His lips pressed in that tight, almost-hermetic way they did when he was extremely irritated. “You’d take a male prostitute to your sister’s wedding before taking me?” “I said, an escort, Blackford. Por Dios,” I muttered, watching his eyebrows bunch and turn into the scowl. “I’m not looking for that kind of service. I just need a companion. That’s all they do. They escort you to events.” “That’s not what they do, Catalina.” His voice was deep and icy. Covering me in his frosty judgment. “Haven’t you watched any romantic comedies ever?” I watched the scowl deepen. “Not even The Wedding Date?” No answer, just more of that arctic staring. “Do you even watch movies? Or do you just… work?” There was a possibility that he didn’t even own a television. His expression didn’t change. God, I don’t have time for this. For him. “You know what? Not important. I don’t care.” I threw my hands up and then clasped them together. “Thank you for… this. Whatever it was. Great input. But I don’t need you.” “I think you do.” I blinked at him. “I think you are annoying.” “Catalina,” he started, making my irritation grow with the way he uttered my name. “You are delusional if you think you can find someone in such a short amount of time.” Once more, Aaron Blackford wasn’t wrong. I probably was a little delusional. And he didn’t even know about the lie. My lie. Not that he’d ever do. But that didn’t change the facts. I needed someone, anyone, but not him, not Aaron, to fly to Spain with me for Isabel’s wedding. Because (A) I was the bride’s sister and maid of honor. (B) My ex, Daniel, was the groom’s brother and best man. And as of yesterday, I had learned that he was happily engaged. Something that my family had been hiding from me. (C) If you didn’t count the few and pretty unsuccessful dates I had gone on, I had been technically single for roughly six years. Ever since I had left Spain and moved to the States, which had happened shortly after my one and only relationship exploded in my face. Something that every single attendee—because there were no secrets in families like mine and much less in small towns like the one I had come from—knew about and pitied me for. And (D) there was my lie. The lie. The one I had sort of fed my mother and consequently the whole Martín clan because privacy and boundaries did not exist when it came to us. Hell, by now, my lie was probably on the Announcements page of the local newspaper. Catalina Martín, finally, not single. Her family is happy to announce that she will bring her American boyfriend to the wedding. Everyone is invited to come and witness the most magical event of the decade. Because that was what I had done. Right after the news of Daniel’s engagement had slipped past my mother’s lips and reached my ears through the speaker of my phone, I had said that I’d be bringing someone too. No, not just someone. I’d said—lied, deceived, falsely announced—that I’d be bringing my boyfriend. Who technically did not exist. Yet. Okay, fine, or ever. Because Aaron was right. Finding a date in such a short amount of time was perhaps a little optimistic. Believing I’d find someone to pretend to be my made-up boyfriend was probably delusional. But accepting that Aaron was my only choice and taking him up on his offer? That was straight-up insanity. “I see it’s finally seeping in.” Aaron’s words brought me back to the present, and I found his blue eyes aimed at me. “I’ll let you come to terms with it on your own. Just let me know when you do.” My lips pursed. And when I felt my cheeks burn again—because how lame was I for him, Aaron Blackford, who had never even liked me a tiny little bit, to pity me enough to offer himself to be my date?—I crossed my arms over my chest and averted my eyes from those two icy and ruthless orbs. “Oh, and, Catalina?” “Yeah?” The word left my lips weakly. Ugh, pathetic. “Try not to be late to our ten o’clock meeting. It’s not cute anymore.” My gaze shot to him, a huff stuck in my throat. Jerk. I swore right then and there that one day, I’d find a ladder high enough, climb it, and chuck something really hard at his infuriating face. One year and eight months. That was how long I had endured him. I had been counting, biding my time. Then, with nothing more than a nod, he turned around, and I watched him walk away. Dismissed until further notice. “Okay, that was…” Rosie’s voice trailed off, not ending the statement. “Maddening? Insulting? Bizarre?” I offered, bringing my hands to my face. “Unexpected,” she countered. “And interesting.” Looking at her between my fingers, I watched the corners of her lips tug up. “Your friendship has been revoked, Rosalyn Graham.” She chuckled. “You know you don’t mean that.” I didn’t; she’d never get rid of me. “So…” Rosie linked her arm with mine and ushered me down the hallway. “What are you going to do?” A shaky breath left my mouth, taking all my energy with it. “I… I don’t have the slightest idea.” But I knew something for sure: I was not taking Aaron Blackford up on his offer. He wasn’t my only option, and he surely wasn’t my best one either. Hell, he wasn’t my anything. Especially not my date to my sister’s wedding. Read more <div id="

  • (2.5 stars) I’m rounding this up to 3 stars only because this is the author’s debut and, although derivative and trope-ridden, doesn’t have many vocabulary and grammar mistakes, which is one of my personal bugaboos. But as far as characters and plot, it’s very been there, done that. And, let’s face it, much too long for the amount of actual plot.It’ s an office hate-to-love/fake boyfriend rom-com. I think I’ve read enough of those to last me for a while. One of the better ones with a similar plot was Sally Thorne’s THE HATING GAME from a few years back and Armas’ story feels very copycat-ish without being as good. The only reason I decided to download this one was the Spanish connection, but that, unfortunately, turned out to be almost a nothing burger.Speaking of Spanish, somebody someday is going to have to figure out how to transpose to paper the flavor of speaking in another language to books and dialogue written in English without everybody sounding like that Cuban-American family in the old sit com QUE PASA, U.S.A (Am I the only one who remembers it?) or Dora the Explorer. You know, throwing in words or phrases in Spanish in a conversation just to make it feel “authentic.” So far I haven’t read a single book that doesn’t annoy me with the way this is done, Armas’ included. Inserting a SI instead of “yes” or some such does not turn it into Spanish. (Okay, I will admit that every once in a while Armas did a better job than other writers I’ve read, because of using complete sentences in Spanish but still…)But that’s not all that annoyed me about the book. There are also the characters. Catalina’s family is classic central casting Hispanic/Spanish and no one stands out as being anything but representative of a non-American culture. Yet nothing that happened in Spain was anything that couldn’t have happened at a family reunion/wedding anywhere, other than the food and drink involved being slightly different and the people perhaps more exuberant than some of our more stuffy “americanos.” (I’m married to a South American and lived for many years in S.A. surrounded by his family and friends and found that generally to be the case. People are people everywhere and life is life everywhere, as long as we’re not talking about a totalitarian country or a country at war.)But, wait. I’m not done complaining. Let’s forget about culture/country contrasts and comparisons. Let’s talk about the romantic relationship here. Jeez Louise, talk about Failures to Communicate and Horridly Stubborn Behavior that goes on for much too long. Apparently attracted to each other from the get-go, these co-workers protect themselves by sending out indifference and/or hate vibes. Lina, in particular, is unpleasant and rude to Aaron because of one little thing she overheard in the first couple of days he joined the company. And Aaron, who understands him? Not me. He hides his attraction with a cold professional attitude towards Lina. Seems to me that if you like somebody, let them know. Don’t act like a cold, indifferent jerk.And when Aaron finally does decide to try to show his feelings to Lina, she can’t believe it’s real. And a few times it’s hard to blame her because he could be a bit inconsistent. Open and warm sometimes. Closed off and cold at others. At least Lina was consistently a pain in the patootie. But, not to worry, eventually these two do open up to each other and romance lovers may get all melty about it, but I thought it took way too long and made me read way too many pages with way too much circular repetition in their interactions.
  • This book could have been enjoyable if someone had helped the author cut about 200 pages of it. Instead we need to go through each conversation at least three times.First, have conversation, then listen to Lina recap it 1-2 times in her head, then have conversation again. Possibly follow up with “he can’t possibly have said-“ then recap the conversation again.Painful. And the amount of time Lina spends blah blah blahing random tangents and Aaron spends silently staring into space after being asked direct questions… how do these two people function in the world?It had its flashes of charm and charisma, and if we could reduce the book by about a third, I would probably have quite liked it.
  • Updated review *spoilers*:This book was about 100 pages too long. I ended up skipping through a lot of pages, especially towards the end. The main blocker for the two of them getting together was the fact that she dated her professor and her peers started whispers that she was sleeping her way to the head of her class. It ruined her life and she left Spain and moved to America.So….idk. Like…okayyyy. But really, that seems quite dramatic. And overall, the main female character was epically dramatic. It was actually very charming in the beginning but got very boring and annoying to read toward the end.That said, the tension was AMAZING and I had a few teary eyed moments in the early parts of the book where I really thought that the author did a great job of making you want them to be together.Was it an original story? No. Did it offer anything new to the genre? Not really. The Spain connection was nice. Traveling to a new city was fun. But the references to Ella Maise’s Marriage for One really did this story no favors because it constantly made me think of that book, which is the best book in the marriage of convenience trope, in my opinion, and far FAR far far far superior to this book here.Last point – why was everyone else promoted ahead of the main female character? It kind of irked me that he became her boss and her bff also was promoted but she just stayed at the same level. Is she bad at her job? And the whole sexual harassment angle was actually nice to read about because it’s a thing women in the workplace have to deal with all the time, but I did NOT like the Heroes response to it in the opening chapter. Essentially putting the onus on her for having to deal with it.Overall assessment: am I glad I read this book? eh. would I recommend it? probably not. If you’re looking for a great marriage of convenience, go find Ella Maise.****So I will update this review as I finish but I just spent 20 minutes trying to figure out if this author meant to reference Ella maise marriage for one here or if this is some kind of wild coincidence or maybe this is actually EMs pen name or they belong in the same universe and there’s an imprint going on. I can’t answer most of these questions still but the author does mention an Ella in her acknowledgements and there’s an EM review quote on Amazon which probably means it’s with EMs consent so not so creepy.Overall though. Note to the author. Very distracting for me as a reader.
  • I wanted to give this book and new author a chance and picked it up for a light, weekend read. Unfortunately, it is exhausting to read. The characters exchange too much of the same dialogue and I while I can appreciate a build-up in a scene, I couldn’t believe it would be in all scenes I’ve read – and I only managed to reach 13% of the book. Save yourself the trouble and skip this one.
  • Nossa… que decepção!! Que livro chato!!!Muito, muito, muito lento!!! Catalina é muito chata!!! Ela passa dos limites da teimosia.Tinha tudo pra ser bom. Mas ficou muito focado no quanto a cabeça da Lina consegue pensar em tantas coisas ao mesmo tempo.Acho que abusou do limite. Teve horas que o diálogo quebrava em várias páginas, exemplo: ele me perguntou tal coisa: “Lina…” e o livro enrola duas páginas com a ideias viajantes da cabeça da Lina para depois continuar: “Sim – respondi”.É loucura!! Isso aconteceu demais e deixou o slow burn um completo chato burn!!!Nossa… que tristeza de livros assim.
  • gebte comecei no sábado à tarde, fui dormir 2 horas da manhã, e hj (domingo) já terminei.meu sonho viver um romance desse, obrigada autora, por escrever algo que eu nem sabia que precisava ler.
  • This was a great debut romance novel. I am beyond excited to read the next book in the series. ⁠⁠I am a complete SUCKERRR for anything romcom, how can you not be? They are fun and highly enjoyable and TSLD is definitely now up there with some of my all-time favourites. ⁠⁠TSLD starts of with Lina desperately needing a date for her sister’s wedding back home in Spain, she has two problems; 1) she told her family she was bringing her boyfriend butttt she does not have one. 2) Her ex just happens to be the brother to the groom AND the best mate. This Ex is also a part of her reasoning for wanting to start fresh in America! ⁠⁠Enter: Aaron. ⁠⁠pain in her arse, stuck up, Aaron. Lina annoying work colleague. Yes, he is gorgeous but that doesn’t matter when he is constantly making your life hell. Aaron offers, insists in fact, to help Lina out, by posing as her date for the wedding… what could go wrong?! ⁠⁠This has some of my all-time favourite romance tropes and honestly, Elena NAILED the sexual tension between Lina and Aaron. OH MY GOD, It was killing me, I couldn’t wait to finish this book so I may have read it in less than a day hahaha BUT it was totally worth it! ⁠⁠GO BUY THIS BOOK for some much-needed escapism.
  • I’m super sad right now because I’ll never have an Aaron Blackford in my life! I loved this book soooo much, Aaron and Catalina are so cute ughhh I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. Their story is the sweetest and the hottest at the same time, and definitely one of my favorites. I had so much fun with them… I don’t know how to put on words how much I’m in love with AaronLina!!
  • I’m not really the right person to be reviewing this because romance isn’t really my thing, particularly smut. There isn’t a lot of explicit material in the book (only towards the end) but I have to admit I skimmed those chapters. Apart from that it was a fun, light read, but I felt it dragged rather a lot, particularly after they returned from Spain. There was just a lot of unnecessary… ‘stuff.’However, if you like books like ‘The Hating Game’, this he’s probably up your street. It has an attractive male main character and a fun multicultural, bilingual, slightly crazy main female character. Both have been hurt, and both hate each other. Why, oh why did Catalina agree that Aaron could be her fake date to her sisters wedding in Spain? As you can imagine it ends up being anything other than fake
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