★★★★★ 5 Brightly Shining stars!
"You are my star. You are my Estrella."
I should start of by saying that I am a huge fan of Karina Halle's work. She never disappoints. Still, I was a bit nervous about starting this book. Mainly because of the angst and emotions I thought it would evoke and the slightly taboo subject matter. Of course I should have known better; there was no need to worry because once again Karina delivers an absolute winner. This time it's not a horror or action-based story but a pure contemporary romance novel with a forbidden love element, but it was no less gripping or captivating than any of her previous work.
Love, in English is a wonderfully crafted, thought provoking, exhilarating read with endearingly flawed characters, a strong plot and a refreshing setting. It's a story about true love and what people are willing to sacrifice in order to hold on to it.
"What is love? In English."
"Love, in English, is love. What is it in Spanish?"
"My name is Vera Miles.
And in the story of my life, I am the villain."
Vera Miles is a 23 year old Canadian astrology student. With her pierced, tattooed up body and her playful, adventurous personality she often manages to capture the attention of the wrong kind of crowds. They think she's a beauty with no brains, but there's so much more to her than what meets the eye. When she decides to take on a job teaching adult Spaniards English, all she wanted was to take on an adventure, see new places and meet new people. Little did she know that one month spent in Spain, would turn out to be such a life-changing experience.
"Sometimes you are stuck being the person you are and not the person you were. Or could be."
Mateo Cassales is a 38 year old Spanish ex-soccer player, businessman and father to a 5 year old girl. He's also married, but not happily. He's charming, charismatic and breathtakingly handsome but his married status makes him strictly off limits. Still, he and Vera immediately hit it off on the bus ride to the resort where the language course takes place and as the days pass, the two of them get to know each other on a much deeper level.
When she tells him about astrology and her passion for stars, a new world opens up for him in which he wants to start over and create his own new universe. Preferably with Vera as the center of it. He's drawn to her and her unique view of life. He's never met anyone like her and he's enraptured by her beauty, both inside and out.
"You keep saying we are impossible," he said. "But you don't have enough faith. You have faith in the stars, but not in us."
Vera and Mateo's story is one with many bumps along the road. Their connection hits fast but their love grows slowly and delicately. When you chose love you would think it's not possible to make a bad decision, but what happens when that love has the power to disrupt families and break other people's hearts? This book deals with those issues in a very realistic way and it manages to make all the characters involved come out in a better way. Whether that means there's a HEA for the two main characters I will let you find out for yourself. Some readers might be put off with the age difference or the fact that the male lead is a married man, but in my experience, those elements never bothered me and they did not make the story any less enjoyable or the characters any less likeable.
While reading this book, I was right along with Vera and Mateo on the roller coaster ride of emotions they went on and once it was over, I did not want to let them go. They are not perfect characters. They make mistakes but what made them so easy to like is that they both owned up those mistakes and tried to make them right. Overall, this story is one that will definitely stay with me and that from now on resides on my all time favorites list. I would highly recommend giving it a try! ♥
"I was Vera Miles.
And I might have been the villain of my own story.But I was the hero, too.I was going to be okay."
Always and infinity.
**ARC kindly provided by author Karina Halle in exchange for an honest review**
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