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Enemies-to-Lovers Fake-Date Slow-Burn: The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

An amazing debut novel from one of our own! It's enemies-to-lovers meet fake-dating office romance with ONE BED!

by Elena Armas
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: February 23rd 2021 by Self-Published
Source: Author
Rating: ★★★★★
A wedding. A trip to Spain. The most infuriating man. And three days of pretending. Or in other words, a plan that will never work.

Catalina Martín, finally, not single. Her family is happy to announce that she will bring her American boyfriend to her sister’s wedding. Everyone is invited to come and witness the most magical event of the year.

That would certainly be tomorrow’s headline in the local newspaper of the small Spanish town I came from. Or the epitaph on my tombstone, seeing the turn my life had taken in the span of a phone call.

Four weeks wasn’t a lot of time to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic–from NYC and all the way to Spain–for a wedding. Let alone, someone eager to play along my charade. But that didn’t mean I was desperate enough to bring the 6’4 blue eyed pain in my ass standing before me.

Aaron Blackford. The man whose main occupation was making my blood boil had just offered himself to be my date. Right after inserting his nose in my business, calling me delusional, and calling himself my best option. See? Outrageous. Aggravating. Blood boiling. And much to my total despair, also right. Which left me with a surly and extra large dilemma in my hands. Was it worth the suffering to bring my colleague and bane of my existence as my fake boyfriend to my sister’s wedding? Or was I better off coming clean and facing the consequences of my panic induced lie?

Like my abuela would say, que dios nos pille confesados.

What a perfect debut! Elena threw it completely out of the ballpark with this one! The humor, the perfect enemies -to-lovers and fake-relationship tropes, the fantastic and down-to-earth characters, the Spanish culture... Everything is perfection!

I swore right then and there that one day, I'd find a ladder high enough, climb it, and chuck something really hard at his infuriating face.

My favorite trope will forever be enemies-to-lovers. I'll be honest, I had lost hope in this trope when it came to Rom-Coms. Lately, rom-coms seem to be deemed as "enemies-to-lovers", but by the fourth chapter, they're buddies. Like, what? No! Give me the real trope, please! And guess what? Elena managed to bring back what enemies-to-lovers really is and she nailed it from the very start!

"Consider who? Oh, Lucifer's favorite son? I don't see how I should consider him for anything."

Catalina desperately needs a fake-date for her sister's wedding. Problem is, she has no idea where she can find one, because she is so not accepting Aaron Blackford's help, her coworker and nemesis. But you guys know how these things go. She ends up accepting (very reluctantly) and thus begins the adventure!

Hours left to board the flight to wedding-doom: twenty-four.
Level of anxiety: reaching emergency status.
Contingency plan: triple-chocolate brownie. A truckload of it.

Lina really cannot stand Aaron. Those two are always at each other's necks, banting back and forth, and I was here for it all! When they finally arrive in Spain, they realize they have to share ONE BED! Heck, yeah! I was giddy with a Cheshire cat smile on my face just waiting for all of the deliciousness.

"Always fighting me. Resisting me. It's like you want me to beg. Is that something you'd enjoy? Me begging? Is that what this is? You like bringing me to my knees?"

Normally, slow-burns can be hit or miss for me. By my rating, you guys can infer that this was a win! While it was slow, these characters spend so much together in order to "fool" Lina's family. One of the things I just loved about Aaron was how his eyes would always gravitate towards Lina, and if they were next to each other, he'd somehow, some way, always be touching her. With that, you can already feel the tension they have for each other! Everything starts building up to a wonderful and sexy explosion. *fans face* Aaron needs to come with a warning label because that man will melt even the coldest and emotionless of hearts! He's a grump with a cinnamon roll heart, which is truly the perfect combination!

This romance is everything. You get the laugh-out-loud banter, a slow-burn chemistry with sexual tension that is just on the verge of exploding, and when it does explode, it is hot, beautiful, sensual and intimate!

"I'll give you the world," he said against my mouth. "The moon. The fucking stars. Anything you ask, it's yours. I'm yours."

The author did such a great job at portraying the characters, but also in showing how amazing her writing is. I was blown away by her talent in world-building and describing just the barest of scenes. I don't know how she did it with her words, but she also managed to show intimacy between the characters even when they couldn't stand each other. From the start, you could feel the barest of disguising touches, whether they were literal or metaphorical

The Spanish Love Deception is a fave of 2021, with its hilarious banter, enemies who fake-date, yet start a delicious slow-burn intimate romance that peeks at its grandest explosion, with a hero who's words and actions will have you begging on your knees for him, a heroine who's humor will have you laughing out loud, and a family that you'll wish were your own. 

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