There’s no chance that Catalina Martin will admit to her family that she is still single. Having suffered from a painful breakup, all she sees in their faces is pity for her.
It’s time for her sister’s wedding, and Catalina may have accidentally let on that she is seeing someone (even though she isn’t!). So when her colleague (and nemesis) Aaron Blackford offers to accompany her back home to Spain, she can’t help but wonder what his ulterior motives may be.
Elena Armas’ contemporary romance novel is filled to the brim with some of the most common romance tropes you can think of!
Enemies to lovers? Check.
Fake dating? Check.
Forced proximity? Check.
Add to this two main characters who are at loggerheads with each other (well, for the most part, it’s just Catalina, but still!), and you’ve got yourself quite an eventful and hilarious read.
One of my favourite aspects of this book has to be that Catalina is of Spanish descent. I read a lot of books and watch a lot of television shows that have to do with Spanish culture. So every time Spanish phrases and sentences were thrown into the dialogue or monologue, I could understand it and liked that factor.
While the author hints at the emotional baggage that both the lead characters carry, it is only much later in the book that you find what really happened to make Catalina build a wall around herself and make Aaron quit playing football.
I don’t think this has anything to do with their characterization per se, but I quite enjoyed their banter and camaraderie far more than their relationship.
There are some plot angles that I wish had been written differently. For instance, Catalina having to put up this façade simply because of what others think. Secondly, portraying her as someone who genuinely loves eating different kinds of foods and then having her feel the need to diet (in an extreme manner) to be “ready for the wedding”. I just feel like all that sends the wrong message.
I liked reading scenes involving Catalina’s sister quite a lot. So maybe a book 2 that’s about her?
On the whole, The Spanish Love Deception is entertaining enough to read, but it’s nothing too refreshing in terms of contemporary romances.
Looking for feel-good romance novel recommendations? I highly recommend checking out The Unhoneymooners (this too has something to do with weddings, enemies-to-lovers and forced proximity) by Christina Lauren and Act Your Age Eve Brown (frenemies and a B&B) by Talia Hibbert.