Love, in English
What an incredibly exciting, butterfly-inducing, turbulent love story! This is the epitome of emotional roller coasters, and I could barely put it down. Every single moment of this ride was thrilling, intoxicatingly scary, desperately addicting and breathtaking, right from that first steep hill.
That slow and steady climb (aka “slow burn”), the anticipation, the delicious nervousness fluttering in your stomach, as the wistful yearning to satisfy your hearts newfound desire builds. You tell yourself it won’t be that bad. You’ve got a handle on this. Even though you know better. You’re fooling yourself and the fact that your heart is skipping beats solidifies that knowledge. Deep down, you’re anticipating that heartstopping plunge. Craving it, even. And simultaneously wondering why you are doing this to yourself. Knowing that you are about to go over and it just might be the death of you.
But still, you stared at it longingly, you contemplated it, you stood in line for hours (in this case… days) flirting with it. Getting used to it. Liking it… and then maybe even loving it. Or the idea of it. That pulsing adrenaline rush enticing you to live dangerously (’cause you know this one should be… unquestioningly off limits). But it welcomed you, gently at first. With it’s bright colors, and cheerful and charming disposition. And everyone around it seemed to love it. And then before you realized what was happening, you “got in”. Cradled in it’s cushy, innocuous embrace. Locked in, nice and tight. And there is no stopping now.
And I never wanted it to end.
Maryse’s Book Blog: 6:52am and I’m reading. And crying… Lucky i still have half of the book to go, but OMG if I’m already crying I’m in for it.
Amy: Stealing your word here…*squeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!* I have been waiting for this one for a while and have been *devouring* it since last night! I won’t be sleeping too much tonight either.
Maryse’s Book Blog: My stomach is in constant clench mode!
Amy: Arrrgh! Maryse, I *know* that I can’t be alone in my (literal) eye-covering and, ahem, “meeping” moments, right?!? I’m so glad the skewing of my moral compass doesn’t extend beyond my reading. *snicker*
Donna: I’m also crying and half way through ……so so romantic! I want a Mateo xx
Amy: I’m at 66% of Love in English. *sniff* *sob* *hiccup* That sums it up right now.
Jean: you guys have me completely intrigued with Love In English.
Rebecca: Eeeek!!! I’m at 39%, nearly up to you guys! Excited and a little scared, of what’s coming up, by the sounds of it!!
Robyn: I loved it!!!
Trisha: I had to close the book at the almost half way mark late last night, I was so in love with it, I was afraid if I did not stop then, I would be up all night. I want to read it fast as bad as I want to savor it.
Yvette: 80% Maryse!!! Eeeek
Summer: I am at 13% what am I in for? Yikes. I love it so far totally hooked!
Ali: I feel for you Maryse, I hardly ever cry at books but this one got me too!
Rebecca: OMG!! Just finished part 1!! So emotional, I am wrecked!! Putting this down now, it’s 12.20am, start part 2 tomorrow.
Yvette: Done!! Heart wrenching, stomach twisting, leg bouncing yup all in the last 20%!! Really liked this one!! Loved Mateo!! Can’t wait to read your thoughts!!!!
Hang: I cried too Maryse! Trust me, it’ll be worth it
Karla: I finished last night and I absolutely loved love, in English one of my faves this year and omg having such a book hangover!
Sara: 76% and WOW… I am so in love with this book. Karina Halle is a word wielding genius!
Amy: LIE was everything I hoped it would be. I went from feeling all la-la-la I’m in love to my heart hurting to being giddy to #%*@ and then back to my heart hurting and trying not to cry (didn’t work ). … *This* is why I read!
Yoyo: At 55% and I am wrecked. I found myself holding my breath towards the end of part one. I don’t want to stop reading but I must get some sleep so I can function at work.
Robyn: Oh sh!t! I just started!
LOL Robyn!! Everyone that is just starting this… brace yourselves.
But before I get into what it’s about, I’m going to say this book might not be for everybody. But so far from the feedback I’ve received, even those that usually shy away from this kind of “love story”… have been loving it like crazy. Because this author is THAT good and you get everything. Every detail, every emotion (good and bad) and it all makes sense, and plays out exactly as reality would have it (even in it’s chaos). And you’ll find yourself connecting… no. Latching on to, and becoming one with, these characters.
I’m starting to think that most villains aren’t evil – they are just misunderstood.
Or victims of that most manipulative force: love.
So what’s it about?
Vera is considered the “black sheep” of her family. But in reality, she’s quirky-normal and down to earth. Once a slightly troubled teen, now twenty-something, tattooed, a bit daring, and a bit “unconventional”, she takes a six week trip to Spain to teach “conversational english” in a specialized program at a resort for Spanish business professionals. <— First, OMG I want to do that!!!!! LOL!
She’s pretty, but not “perfect”. Fun, smart and outgoing, but fairly insecure and shy, too. And it is that insecurity, those self-doubts juxtaposed with her confident sex-appeal that has her sleeping with random men, whenever she wants. Whenever she needs to. But she avoids connecting with any of ‘em.
That is until she reaches the resort in Spain and is encouraged to connect with… everybody. The resort has scheduled tons of fun, game-like, “get to know you” tutorials and get-togethers…
Red wine? At lunch? What kind of sorcery is this?
… and Vera begins to truly make friends with so many of the Spaniards and English tutors alike. True friendships that have that “test-of-time” feel (with a few not-so-friendly encounters) but that’s just life. Still, this group as a whole become tight knit and forge amazing bonds. I giggled like mad. I felt as if I were a part of their group. I even wanted to hug the awkward “noobs”.
“Lo siento,” he said, then clamped his hands over his mouth in shock over his contraband Spanish. Then dropped the card so it landed face up and just ruined the game for himself. What a noob.
I can’t even possibly do justice to how you’ll feel about (and how much you’ll LOVE) this group as a whole.
And there is NO WAY I’ll be able to do justice to the biggest, sweetest, seemingly soul-deep friendship that occurs between Vera and a gorgeous Spanish biz-professional named “Mateo”. Who is married. And has a young child.
“… this place does things to you. Believe me, you’ve already been caught up in it.”
Nope. I can’t even come close to doing it justice in this review. Their story just must be read, and experienced moment by moment, to be understood.
And therein lies the potential for oncoming angst, drama and pain. But also the potential for love.
And that, my friends, is the ride of this love story. Steep uphills, and exhilarating drops. Brace yourself. You’re going down, you’re scared out of your mind, but happier than you’ve ever been. Surprise loops that take your breath away. Oh sure, you knew there were coming, but you ignored them until they swallowed you whole. But there are also bumps, twists and turns that have you gasping. That jar you out of that smooth, safe feel. In this case, out of your own personal romantic nirvana.
And sure, while on a real roller coaster, you already know the outcome. Euphoric safety and most likely a thrilled, stunned grin (and maybe even a “Let’s do it again!!!”).
But this roller-coaster love story? It was fraught with exhilarating and agonizing realism. That initial connection,
I grinned at his humor, so similar to mine. It almost made me… giddy. God, giddy.
the friendship, the crush,
Butterflies tickled my chest and suddenly I was transported to kindergarten all over again. I knew I needed to get a grip but I honestly hadn’t had a genuine crush on anyone in a very long time.
… the hesitancy, the eventual inability to resist. <— Oh you knew that was coming. A foregone conclusion.
But so are the circumstances, reactions and the outcome. The comfort of support and the rampant disapproval. This author did not shy away from REAL. She addicted us with heady rush after heady rush. And then she left us in withdrawal. Over and over again.
And a love story from an author like Karina Halle? It’s laden in emotional *eeeeeep-factor*. She’s got that risky, unpredictable and even daring edge to her.
What if the relationships I made at Las Palabras were only meant to survive right there in that bubble? What if they don’t stand a chance outside of that world?
Would this end in an HEA? Or would this end in a life lesson? Would this end in utter disaster, destroyed hearts and the ultimate reading hangover? Or would it fulfill my heart, catering to my need for soul-deep love that can’t be denied withstanding anything thrown in it’s path… and the ultimate reading hangover?
The only thing I can tell you is that an “ultimate reading hangover” awaits you, no matter what. <— Another foregone conclusion. Tee hee. My lips are sealed for the rest.
But here’s a hint. This is me in the throes of my own reading hangover, just as I was finishing it (chatting about the book):
Maryse: perfectly explored. I swear. It felt like my own brain… my thoughts, my reactions… And I put it down to work and stuff but I never wanted to. I was never bored and didn’t skim a single thing. It’s hard to deny love no matter what form it comes in. I freaking devoured it and loved it! That’s exactly the kind of detail, and pacing and the kind of romance angst and *spoiler* I want to read about. Mateo is a dream! Absolutely perfect and wow… Just… He was so open and honest and so intense and soooooooooo sad and omg I loved him so hard.
The hangover? Oh yes, I’m still in it’s throes. And delighted to be! This is a shining example of exactly what I LOVE to read when it comes to love stories. And I just had to give it FIVE hands-in-the-air-screeching-my-heart-out stars!
P.S. Thank you to the author for sending me a print review copy. I actually purchased it on Amazon so I could read along with my buds, and so that I could highlight and make notes to my hearts content (and re-read my favorite parts). I love the ease of e-books. But I cherish that gorgeous print copy and will absolutely have it signed and displayed on my “favorites” shelf for all time.