Apr 19, 2014

Review ~ Love, In English by Karina Halle

Love, In English by Karina Halle
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Source: Copy provided for honest review

~ Goodreads ~

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.

My Review:

I need to be upfront with something. I hate adultery in books.  I'm not opposed to cheating in books, but adultery is a trigger for me.  I don't usually gravitate towards them.  Why? Because I think marriage is a truly special thing and its importance has been tarnished over the years.  Too often people enter it lightly or don't respect the commitment of it.  It is something that aggravates me, but that is just my issue and in no way a judgment on anyone else.

That being said, I had some trepidation entering Love, In English.  I was afraid I would hate Mateo.  Not for being a married man who falls in love with another woman.  I don't blame anyone for matters of the heart.  But for acting on those feelings, that is what I feared would make me dislike him and never root for him as a love interest. Dislike him for not ending a marriage before starting a relationship with someone else.  Again, this is a personal trigger.

I could not be more happy to say, I did not hate Mateo.  I didn't even ever dislike him.  Not even a little.

Love, In English isn't a story that focuses on the affair.  It's a story that focuses on two lonely people who just happen to find their soulmate in an unlikely place and at an imperfect time.  Vera and Mateo don't mean to fall in love.  Vera very much fights her feelings, riddled with guilt from the start, when it is just a slight attraction.

This is very much a coming of age story for Vera.  She finds herself, where she truly belongs and some very hard life lessons. She also learns what it is to love and that love is never, ever an easy thing.

Mateo also finds himself. Realizing that the life he leads is anything but fulfilling. He's become complacent with it.  His marriage may not be horrible, his life may be comfortable, his career successful,  but those things don't equate to happiness.

Mateo and Vera's affair is not started up lightly, it isn't frivolous.  It is two somewhat empty hearts colliding with the only thing that can fill them up.   Because of the feelings they have for one another, Mateo really does try to do the right thing, if maybe a bit too late.  Falling out of love, however, is just as hard and messy as falling in love.  A lesson Mateo and Vera both very much learn in Love, In English.

I have to say that this is the most emotional and beautiful book Halle has written.  She's written great love stories before but there was nothing else to distract you here, no horror, no action. This is all emotions, real and gritty and hard.

Applause to Karina Halle for doing two things few have been able to. One, she made me overcome the adultery. Easily, in fact. I was rooting for Mateo and Vera pretty early on. How can you not hope two lost souls find themselves in each other?  Two, she made me cry. Three times, in fact.

I hope this is a genre she will pick up again in the future, it's a good one for her. I also hope that anyone who is like me, shies away from adultery or cheating, will give this book a shot. It may surprise you.


  1. I'm looking forward to this book even more now after your review. That has to be powerful writing for you to overcome the adultery aspect of the novel. I haven't read any books by Karina Halle yet, but my goal is to read every single one, lol. She seems to have a wide range of talent in her writing with respect to the different genres she's written in. I love emotional and beautiful books!

    The cover is gorgeous, and I really need a hard copy of this for my shelves so will probably buy the actual book instead of the eBook. :)

    Very thoughtful, terrific review, Ali! :D

    1. Than you Jennifer! I quite nearly passed on this one, so glad I gave it a shot. The paperback is gorgeous!