A Spanish Love Deception – Book Review

By Elena Armas

A Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas is your typical enemies turn lovers romance novel. It was also very funny; therefore, I would categorize it as a rom-com as well.  The main characters, Catalina and Aaron, are both engineers who work at the same company in New York City.  They do not have a friendly relationship until Aaron offers Catalina his help with a work event and with her family.  Catalina is desperate for help and, despite her worries, decides to take Aaron up on his offer.  As they spend more time together, Catalina begins to see Aaron differently.

What I loved…

I don’t think I have ever loved a main character as much as I loved Catalina. She was intelligent, funny, intense and exciting. The way she interacts with other people and the way she starts babbling in awkward situations was hysterical. The thoughts that went through her head are even more entertaining than the things she ends up saying out loud.  Throughout the book, we see her begin to understand her true worth by accepting her shortcomings, acknowledging her successes and loving herself. 

We are introduced to even more hilarious characters when meeting Catalina’s family in Spain. Her family was loud, intense and funny. I could have read a whole book just on Catalina and her family. All the chapters involving the Spain trip I read in one sitting, it was just too funny, I couldn’t put the book down!

The love story between Catalina and Aaron was predictable, but I still really enjoyed it. They are pretty different, so reading about their interactions at work and their slow progression to falling for one another was amusing. However, I feel that they fell “in love” a bit too quickly, but it made for a good story.

I also liked how Armas included some real-world connections to this story. She wrote of the difficulties a successful female engineer would have in a predominantly male industry. Catalina’s career obstacles would have been different from Aaron’s or any of the other male engineers. The sexist comments she receives from one of the male co-workers show the difficulties that some women may face in their work environment. I think the inclusion of these subplots added some realness to this story that I thought was important.

Minor things I didn’t like…

The book was way too long. The beginning sections that showed the hatred Aaron and Catalina had for one another lasted forever.  I found myself skimming through some of these initial interactions.  I would have preferred the beginning section to be shorter and the parts where they’re in Spain to have been longer. There was so much build-up to their trip to Spain, and then I felt like the Spain trip came and went too quickly!

Final remarks…

In the end, despite its length, I could not put this book down. I enjoyed reading it, and I was sad when it ended.  I would highly recommend reading this book.

Where to find the Author…


Visiting Book Locations

I have read so many different books that are set in many different locations all over the world. I always wonder what these different places would look like in person. When I read historical fiction books, I think about how interesting it would be to go to the locations mentioned and see how they look today. Visiting these historical spots also gives you a deeper understanding of what occurred there. Below are some of the spots I have always wanted to visit from some of my favourite books.

A Long Petal of the Sea
Location- Catalonia, Spain
A Long Petal of the Sea is set in multiple locations, but the primary home of the books’ characters were in Catalonia, Spain. Although the book doesn’t spend too much time talking about the beautiful landscape, it does offer enough to entice someone to visit this Spanish province. What attracts me to this spot even more is its deep history. Between the authors’ description of Catalonia’s beauty and the historical events that take place there, I realize I would love to one day visit Catalonia, Spain.

Pictures are from: Catalonia-Spain.jpg (1920×1080) (matzav.com); park-guell-barcelona-spain-DEALSPAIN0117.jpg (1600×1000) (travelandleisure.com)

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Location- Kefalonia, Greece
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is set on the island of Kefalonia, Greece. It follows the villagers from World War II through to modern-day Greece. It gives vivid details to the island’s hilly mountains, the small towns within the island, and the beautiful views of the ocean. Although I haven’t read this book in a very long time, I still feel the urge to visit and follow in the footsteps of the characters.

Pictures are from: kefalonia-travel-guide.jpg (1800×1012) (goatsontheroad.com); Assos-Kefalonia.jpg (2715×1810) (greekboston.com)

My Life in France and The Nightingale
Location- French countryside
Both of these books feature more than one setting, but the French countryside stands out the most. The way Julia Child discusses her home in the French countryside would make anyone dream of visiting. In The Nightingale, you read about the experiences of a small French town outside of Paris during World War II. In both cases, I find myself hoping to one day be able to visit parts of the French countryside and think of these two books while I am there.

Pictures are from: 85 (970×647) (usnews.com)

Location: Village of Lia, Northern Greece
This book has encompassed village life in Greece. Learning about the small village community, how they build their homes, grew their gardens and lived their lives makes one dream of the simpler life. I would love to visit this small village one day to picture how Eleni and her family lived there, to see how isolated this community is and to visualize the inhabitants daily life. An argument could be made that a visit to any one of the thousands of little Greek villages will also serve the same purpose, but Lia has an added importance because of the book.

*Pictures are not of the Village of Lia as there were too few options, they are other mountain villages in Greece
*These pictures are not my own, they belong to: 0fd86d76a1ccde9f11ceba809674dca6.jpg (1000×658) (pinimg.com), aaa-Kallarytes-ancient-Greek-village.jpg (785×589) (monkeysandmountains.com), 38f012798c13c714ed97d7f6404e251a.jpg (720×484) (pinimg.com)

What are some places you would like to visit from the books you have read?