Author: Elena Armas
Narrator: Scarlette Hayes
Audiobook Length: 14 hours 32 minutes
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 best-selling author).
Catalina Martín desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially since her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiraled 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.
The Spanish Love Deception was a novel that was recommended to me again and again and I am thrilled that I finally had the chance to read it. This story follows Spanish Catalina Martín, an engineer, who is returning to Spain for her sister’s wedding where her ex will be in attendance. After speaking to her family back home, it is decided that Lina will bring home her American boyfriend, who is not really her boyfriend. She enlists Aaron Blackford to stand in even though she is not a fan of his after an incident together at their office.
The pacing itself felt a little too drawn out for my taste. There is a lot of banter and setup for Aaron and Lina, but I did not need multiple pages to understand their feelings. For me, a lot of it could have been cut and still have the same impact. A lot of the initial setup to get the couple to Spain, I believe could have been reduced. While it was well-written in the material itself, it did not hold my interest enough to warrant me wanting it all to stay. For me, everything that happened in Spain was where the best part of the story took place. There are a lot of pages dedicated to Lina overanalyzing everything, which was very relatable as I am similar in many ways; however, I am still under the belief that there could have been less time dedicated to this and it would still have the same impact. While this pacing issue for the novel may have not worked entirely for me, it may work well for others.
This romance is an extreme slow-burn, so it can be frustrating when the reader becomes invested in the two characters making the next step in their relationship. With Aaron agreeing to go with Lina to the wedding, it seemed from the start that she was the one who disliked him, and it was not mutual. This was an interesting take on enemies to lovers where it is one side that doesn’t like the other, but they end up fake dating anyway. The two have sweet banter and I enjoyed their interactions. Their relationship does move at a faster pace once they reach Spain, but it is still a slower burn overall.
This novel was a very fun debut. It is a longer novel, but it did go by faster and I loved listening to it on audio. Lina and Aaron are both well-written characters that were enjoyable on their own. There was a lot of emphasis on their looks, especially Aaron’s blue eyes and height, which was not my favorite, but it did not fully affect my enjoyment of the story. For me, it could have been condensed a little, but this is just my preference. Overall, this was a sweet debut, and I can see why many people love it. While there are some elements that weren’t quite for me, I am greatly interested in checking out any novels the author releases in the future.