The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
So, a lot of people I know have already read and reviewed this book, and their opinions are decidedly mixed. Is The Spanish Love Deception similar to The Hating Game? Yes, in some ways, but there are only so many romance trope permutations that one can have before some things start reminding you of what came before. Did this book need to be nearly 500 pages long? No, it absolutely did not. There are a lot of places where cuts could have been made without much of an impact on the story.
But having said all that, I still mostly enjoyed this book. It has the enemies-to-lovers thing going on, but if you’ve ever picked up a romance novel in your life, you know this enemies thing is completely one-sided, and that the other side has been completely smitten since day one. It also has the fake dating trope, which is a favorite of mine, and this one is done fairly well. It also partly takes place in Spain, and I love pretty much any book set in Western Europe, so YES PLEASE GIVE ME ALL THE SPAIN. One thing to note, however, is that there is (of course) a lot of Spanish being spoken in this book, and not all of it is translated for the reader. Having minored in Spanish in college this was not much of an issue for me, but someone unfamiliar with the language might have some trouble. Also, this is a very slow burn book, and when it does start to burn it burns a little too quickly to be realistic. In addition, I kinda didn’t like our heroine all that much. Lina is kind of a clueless ninny for most of the book, and I much prefer my FMCs to be strong, intelligent women. On the other hand, Aaron was delightful.
So yes, I am a bit conflicted on this book. I surface-level enjoyed it, but I’m sure a re-read would further emphasize the less enjoyable qualities of it, so I will stick with a single reading and give it a middle-of-the-road three stars.
Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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