I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Self Published on April 21, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Source: the author
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.
This is a hard review to write, not because I don’t have anything to say about the book. In fact, I think, I have too much to say about it. No, it’s hard to write because I want to do the book justice. I want to present an intelligent review, not come in guns blazing shooting fangirlisms. Because make no doubt about it, I am a Karina Halle fangirl. I have loved everything I have read by her. Even the things that weren’t my cup of tea, still rank higher than most books I have read.
There seems to be some trepidation from readers, and it’s minimal, about the cheating in this book. It’s a fair concern. But Karina approaches the relationship, or rather has her characters approach their relationship with intelligence, passion, respect and love. I know to some there is nothing more disrespectful than cheating on a spouse. So maybe this isn’t the book for you. But it’s a beautiful terrible thing that happens. And the characters make mistakes. A fuck ton of them, but who doesn’t? These characters fucking agonize about their choices. It kills them. It’s not something taken lightly at all.
“I have always felt guilty. Every day, all the time.” I ripped myself out of her grasp. “And my heart should have known better.”
You, as the reader if you are invested in the story, feel this. There are moments of real pain, real panic, and real fucking torture in these pages. But there is sweetness, passion, happiness, hope, and love.
Romance fans, readers who love feeling, living, and loving through characters, be prepared to have your heart trip up, be beat up, die and come back to life. Be prepared to swoon over Mateo, to cheer for Vera, the villain. To seethe, to rage, and even maybe cry. (I was like a stoic statue. I held that shit in. I’m sure I looked stupid with my “I’m not going to cry face” on all day long).
“There was only me.
And I knew I was strong. I was resilient. And I wasn’t as bad as people had told me.
I was Vera Miles.
And I might be the villain of my own story.
But I was the hero too.”
I truly believe that a reader brings their own lives into the books they read, and puts their baggage onto characters. A self aware reader will be able to separate the two, or even learn about themselves. Sometimes a book can heal you, sometimes it can break you. I haven’t thought about my relationship with my daughter’s father in a few years, but reading these words some of those feelings resurfaced. It was hard, but at the end of the day I was rewarded with a great story. THAT WAS NOT MINE.
Reading this book I was impressed, as I always am, with Karina’s words, with her writing. This book felt like she poured her blood and soul into the pages. Her writing in these pages is passionate. It made me feel the power of the story.
New Adult romance is still a very young grouping in the book world. It’s still defining itself, and finding its way in the world. This is a great, stellar, and shining example of what New Adult should be. New Adult is not college aged erotica. It’s about coming of age, discovering yourself, and becoming an adult. Those precious years of our early twenties where we learn about love, loss, and yes sex. They are part of growing up, even though you are already an ‘adult’. Karina shows us what New Adult can be. It’s a mature book, but not because there is massive amounts of orgasms on every page, but because the subject is mature itself. Yes, there is sex in the book, and it is fucking intense, but it’s not soaking every page.
“In Spain, we both fuck and make love at the same time,” he grunted. “You need to look at me, Vera. You need to stay connected with me, stay with me….
… I returned the intimacy he was giving me, looking deeper and deeper until I thought I saw the universe, our universe, being created…”
I do ask that you give this book a chance. I won’t claim that you won’t be disappointed, because the last time I did that in a Karina Halle review, another lovely reader let me know in no uncertain terms that she was disappointed in the book. I will say that I was not disappointed in this book. I love this book. Every single page of it.
**I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.