The Spanish Love Deception

Elena Armas

Catalina Martín has been burned before. Burned so badly that she fled Spain. Her first love, Daniel has ruined men for her. But when her sister is getting married, to Daniel’s brother of course, in Spain, she needs a date to show everyone she’s not still hurting from her heartbreak from ten years ago. That’s where Aaron Blackford comes in. Arrogant, cold, all-business Aaron that Catalina has blacklisted after their first encounter two years ago, when Aaron started at their tech company in New York. He offers to be her date to the wedding, which of course throws Ctalina for a loop and leaves her curious about his intentions. She says no, obviously, but is still cautious and confused about his insistence on helping her, since he doesn’t care for her all that much either. 

After some persuading, and an awkward car ride, Catalina agrees to Aaron’s proposal. But there’s a catch; he needs her to be his fake date to an event the following evening. And not just a normal event, a black tie auction. Annoyed by Aaron’s lack of communication, Catalina struggles and accidentally invites him over before the event. And sparks begin to form. Very small, unnoticeable ones, but they’re there. At the auction, Catalina learns she’s going to be betting for a date with a bachelor. Bachelor in question: Aaron. And the sparks continue to form, a little more noticeable. 

But their truce is short lived after a comment is made at the auction and then even shorter lived after Aaron’s promotion to Catalina’s boss. Having had a bad experience with dating someone is a position over her, Catalina breaks off their deal for Spain. But Aaron is not accepting that and the two go to Spain. 

Things start to blur when they touch down and have to act madly in love with each other. It almost seems real. Except Catalina has to keep reminding herself that it’s not and never will be. But maybe she’s not crazy and Aaron is really throwing her some signals. Things heat up when they’re forced to share a bed (yes I know) and cuddle up together. On the wedding day, things explode…

This book was worth all the hype it got. It deserves more than what it got. Catalina was such a strong main character that held her own and wasn’t afraid to throw down if need be. She was loving and so supportive. And brave. I could never leave my entire family and move to a new country to start over completely. She worked so hard to get to one of the lead positions at her tech company, in an industry that’s predominantly male, and has dealt with racial and sexist remarks. The amount of respect I have for her is astronomical. 

Aaron. Sweet baby Aaron. My love. So sexy, so perfect. What every woman wants. He has his own issues and weaknesses that we don’t get to see at first and when we do learn about them, it’s mind blowing to think about what he’s accomplished with his baggage. And, spoiler alert, he loves Catalina so much it pains me how obvious it was. Yes this was a contemporary romance so there had to be a happily ever after, but still. Come on Catalina, open your eyes. 

This was filled with so many exceptionally good moments. First one: opening line. “I’ll be your date for the wedding.” Come on! So good! Pulled me in instantly. Without any background knowledge, we were thrown into this trope. Then we were hit with the enemies-to-lovers. Bang bang. Fake dating and enemies-to-lovers. Two of the most tension filled storylines ever. Then it just got better and better. Not only were we given two (TWO) fake dating scenarios, but we got the one bed, hurt/ comfort (multiple times. And not toxic hurt/ comfort, so bonus points), forced proximity and office romance. I cannot believe how lucky I was to get all of that in one book. 

And some movie worthy moments as well. The soccer game. *swoon* The hospital hallway scene. *still crying*

The steam in this book was hot. Even though I had to wait about 300 pages for one stinking kiss, it was so worth it. That kiss was immaculate, show stopping. What happened after the kiss was… Oh lord. 

I cannot put into words how much I loved this. And I loved the culture behind it too. Catalina would speak in Spanish and so would other characters, including white boy Aaron. When he spoke Spanish, I died. I loved learning about Spanish traditions and how families work and flow. There was so much love in this book, coming from everyone. I just need everyone and their mothers to read this and love it as much as I do. 10/10. A perfect book.