Title: Love, In English
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 20, 2014
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.
Claudia shrugged and pulled down at her yellow tee. “Not my problem. Eduardo is nice but Ricardo is really nice.”
“How did it happen?” I asked, kinda wanting the sordid details.
She was coy. “The way it usually happens.”
“Did you make the first move?”
Another shrug. “Why not?”
I swear, a shrug and a “why not?” were the Spaniards’ go-to answer for everything.
“Well, then I guess it seems safe—and a little boring now—to tell you that I have a crush on someone.”
Her brows quirked up. “Other than Mateo?”
“You are sleeping with Mateo, no?”
“No!” I exclaimed, appalled. “Why does everyone keep thinking that?”
“Because you are always together,” she said simply. She took a sip of wine. “The attraction is very obvious. So, I figured you must be sleeping together.”
“Yes, but you are not.”
I shook my head adamantly. “It’s wrong. I don’t want to be the other woman. I’ve seen my dad go for the other woman, and I can’t put Mateo’s daughter through that,” I said. “Or his wife,” I quickly added.
“That doesn’t mean that you can’t have feelings for anyone else.”
“Yes, it does mean that.”
“Maybe you are meant to be together.”
“We’re not! There isn’t even a together. We’re just friends. I haven’t done anything about it, and so far my feelings are totally one-sided.”
Claudia got up off the couch and brought a pack of cigarettes out of her front jean pocket. “If you think it is on the one side, you have not seen the way he looks at you.”
She walked over to her small patio table and pulled out a chair. I got up and stormed after her, my nerves dancing excitedly.
“What do you mean, the way he looks at me?” I asked, lowering my voice in case there were people around listening. I felt like bouncing off the walls.
She slid the ashtray toward her as I sat down. “You do not see it. But I do. I think everyone does. He looks at you like…like you’re his favorite food.”
She lit her cigarette. “Yes. You’re like his favorite food in the whole world. He wants to have you, eat you, devour you. He thinks about you all the time, craves you. But he cannot have you for one reason or another. Perhaps you upset his stomach. Maybe he is on a diet, yes? All he wants is a taste, but he cannot even have that. That is how he looks at you.”
I sat there, stunned, as some of her smoke blew in my face. That’s how Mateo looked at me? Like he wanted to eat me? I was pretty sure that’s how I looked at him. Just last night I was contemplating nibbling on his earlobes.
“And yes,” she said, leaning closer to me, a small smile on her lips, “that is also how you look at him.” Great, a mind reader. “But you are more subtle about it. You try not to let everyone know. But, we know.”
“There is nothing to know,” I reminded her, poking the table with my finger for emphasis. “We are not sleeping together. He is married. I have a crush. That is it. The end of the story.”
“A crush?” she questioned. “Vera, I think you’re in love with him.”
No fucking way. Not love. That did not happen with me, not ever and not now.
“You can’t fall in love in a week,” I told her heatedly.
“You can fall in love in a second,” she said with a snap of her fingers. “The heart has no regard for time.”
With that sobering thought, Claudia told me about her ex-boyfriend and how they fell in love at first sight then took the conversation back to Ricardo and their exploits. I envied her so badly right then and there. She could fawn over Ricardo, kiss him, fuck him, and no one would ever bat an eye. It was okay for them to be together. It wasn’t forbidden.
I gulped the rest of the wine and left her apartment, heading back to reception to meet Cristina for my next one-on-one, my mind and heart and hormones all over the place. Lo and behold, Mateo was walking up the path toward me.
He was on the phone, smiling.
His shirt was off and slung over his shoulder, exposing his bare chest, abs, and arms.
For a moment, I was sure that time had stopped. Or maybe ever single nerve, cell, vein, bone, muscle in my body just slowed as I took him all in.
From his thick-veined forearms to his sculpted shoulders and broad chest peppered with neatly-trimmed chest hair, to his six-pack abs, he had, by far, the best body I’d ever seen on a man. He kept himself in fine-ass shape, looking more like a young athlete than anything else. He and David Beckham had more in common than I thought, although David’s skin tone wasn’t as mesmerizing. Mateo’s color was amazing, just beautiful, this dark, golden bronze that covered him everywhere. I wanted so badly to just touch him, to lick the sheen of sweat off his skin. I bet he tasted like victory.
And to think this was the man that Claudia said wanted to taste me.
I really, really wanted to believe her.
Meanwhile, I was just standing there like I was melting into a puddle of myself. I clamped my mouth shut as he walked past and I heard him say into the phone, “No, mi tesorito, it was easy, I didn’t injure myself.” He was beaming, talking about the game, to his wife. To his tesorito. And he called their relationship complicated? This was complicated.
He winked at me in acknowledgement, his smile becoming broader. I tried to smile back but it wouldn’t come. I just stared at him, feeling stupid, foolish, and strangely rejected. In a perfect world I may have been his favorite food, but it still wasn’t what he got served every day. I turned around and walked down the hill, my heart feeling like a pincushion.
“Vera!” I heard him call out from behind. I stopped and nervously glanced over my shoulder. He was holding the phone’s receiver to his chest, grinning at me. “I need to ask you your question.”
“What?” I asked, hoping it was quick.
“Who is your favorite Spaniard here?”
And yet I couldn’t lie to him.
“You,” I said, more to myself than to him. Then I turned around and walked away as quickly as I could.
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About the Author
With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.
Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.
Krystle’s 5 Star Review
By now you all must be sick of hearing me rave about how much I love Karina Halle’s books… I’m sorry, really..well not really… I just can’t help it! I swear I’m not just one of those people that pick an author and rave about her no matter what…but this chick just keeps writing masterpieces. It blows my mind that every book she writes, I absolutely love.
I figured if you’re a freak of nature like she is (I mean that in the nicest way possible) and release books as often as she does that one of them will eventually suck and I won’t have to rave about it… I mean, right? How do her books keep getting better and better?
So yeah, anyways, as you may have guessed, I loved Karina Halle’s Love, in English. This was her first contemporary romance and I think she absolutely nailed it!!
My name is Vera Miles.
And in the story of my life, I am the villain.
How could I not be?
Tattoos and piercings.
I love food too much.
I love sex too much.
And I’ve had part in breaking up a marriage.
But I’m starting to think that most villains aren’t evil – they are just misunderstood.
My first thoughts going into this book were…HOLY SHIT! What a prologue!! I’m pretty sure it is my favorite prologue of all time. It sucked me in. I fell in love with Vera right away. She was real to me. I could tell she was definitely someone I was going to be able to relate to right off the bat. I felt for her, I wanted to hug her, I wanted to party with her and I defintely wanted to hear her story.
Sure, she was a villain…but in love, aren’t we all?
He nodded at my body. “Why so many tattoos? Is that a Canadian thing?”
I smiled and looked down at my chest, arms, and legs where my ink was on display. “It’s a fun person thing.”
As I kept reading I just loved Vera more and more. She is so real. She rolls her eyes at the stereotypes that are always cast upon her. She lives her life having everyone assume they know her because of her looks and she just laughs at it. Although she is aware she has flaws, she doesn’t let them define her but instead lives to the beat of her own drum. She owns her self and I love that. If the prologue didn’t have me convinced, the first few pages sealed the deal… Vera is a bad ass chick.
In the beginning of this story when we first meet Vera she is about to embark on a once in a life time opportunity. She is traveling to Spain to hang out at a gorgeous resort to help Spainiards learn conversational spanish.
For a month.
Ummm for real?
How cool is that and how could it get any better? It can’t, right?
Wrong. She meets Mateo on the bus ride.
And for some reason, I wanted to stare at him.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t some reason. He was handsome. Like, wow, that’s a handsome guy, and then you nudge your friend and get her to take a look as well. That kind of handsome.
I could tell Mateo was a heartbreaker in the first few moments of meeting him. He is gorgeous, intelligent and appears to be just plain sex-on-a-stick. He is a natural flirt, and women swoon simply at the sight of him. He is dangerous. But dangerous in a good way. I knew I was in trouble when Mateo’s lesson on the “right” way to drink wine was indescribably sexy… I found myself thinking, “If he can make sipping wine this sexy what else can that man do?”
The wonderful thing about Mateo is there is more to him than just his sexiness. He is mysterious, intriguing and seems like a hell of a lot of fun to be around. This is why I loved that Mateo and Vera had an instant connection.
I just couldn’t get enough of the dynamic between the two of them and felt so wrapped up in their story. What was great about this their relationship was that these two had an insta-connection but none of that non-believable insta-love stuff. Karina knows how to do the slow burn like no other. She makes her characters work for it. She builds the relationship until both the characters AND the readers are begging for some relief.
Is it weird that I was literally begging to get my way for these characters? Because that’s what was going on…I couldn’t imagine reading another page without the story taking a certain turn. The chemistry between these two was perfection and I just wanted happiness for them both.
Lusty Mateo. This was a new side of him.
The most dangerous side of all.
Because I was certain I’d been nothing but Lusty Vera from the moment I saw him.Never acting, always thinking, always feeling. I did not need the temptation from him to make what we had – which was just friendship – into something more.
And yet the carnal way he was looking at me, it seemed inevitable.
Without giving away too much let me just say that in my opinion, one of the best parts of Karina is that even tho she has a tendency of making her readers suffer when she finally delivers it is explosive. This story was no different…it was EXPLOSIVE. I don’t want to go into any more detail because I truly believe this story is an experience everyone should go into without knowing too much. Sure, you know right off the bat that there is some cheating so you get the jist of it – but really, you have no idea what you are actually in for. This book (500+ pages) is an experience. It’s a long, crazy ride that I freakin loved and I hope you all do too.
This book. This book is a story about love, about life and most importantly about the dirty truths that love can hold us in its grasps and give us no choice but to follow our hearts.