Book Review: The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

I’ll be honest, I’m usually more of a thriller/mystery reader than a romance reader. But I heard great things about The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas, so I decided to give it a try. And I’m so glad I did! This book was such a fun, engaging read that kept me turning the pages.

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

TitleThe Spanish Love Deception
AuthorElena Armas
GenreFiction, Romance
Publication DateFebruary 23, 2021
Length448 pages

Where to Purchase

The Premise: Enemies to Lovers

The main character, Catalina, needs to attend her sister’s wedding in Spain. The problem? Her family thinks she’s still with her ex-boyfriend and Catalina told a little white lie that they’re still together to avoid judgment from her traditional Spanish family. So Catalina hires a stranger, Aaron, to pretend to be her boyfriend for the week of wedding festivities.

As you can guess, Catalina and Aaron do not get along at first. But over the course of the week, as they’re forced to pretend to be in love, they start to develop real feelings for each other. And that’s where the fun begins!

What I Loved About This Book

The Fake Dating Trope

I’m a sucker for a good “fake dating” storyline, and this book delivers! Watching Catalina and Aaron pretend to be in love, while actually falling for each other, made for such an enjoyable read. The candle-lit dinners, the married couple’s massage, the stolen kisses – it’s all designed to look authentic for the sake of their ruse, but it quickly becomes more.

The Slow-Burn Romance

While some romance novels rush through the relationship timeline, I liked that Armas takes her time developing the connection between Catalina and Aaron. Since they start out as adversaries, it’s believable that their affection grows slowly, until neither can deny their attraction. The gradual pace makes their romance feel organic rather than rushed.

The Spanish Setting

As someone who has never been to Spain, I loved getting immersed in the sights, sounds, and culture of a Spanish wedding. Armas does a great job bringing the setting to life, from the passionate Spanish music to the dance lessons to the extravagant ceremony steeped in tradition. It was a totally new world for me to explore.

The Witty Banter

Catalina and Aaron are both clever, sarcastic characters, which translates to laugh-out-loud funny dialogue. Their barbed exchanges had me chuckling throughout the book. Yet their banter also reveals the chemistry simmering beneath the surface.

The Messy Complications

Of course, fake dating never goes smoothly, and Catalina and Aaron encounter plenty of messy complications. From blackmail to suspicious relatives to a rebound ex-boyfriend, there are many obstacles standing in the way of their happy ending. The misunderstandings and miscommunications heighten the tension and keep things interesting.

Relatable Heroine

I found Catalina very relatable, from her close relationship with her sister to her worries about judgment from her family. She’s an everyday woman just trying to get through a wedding. Watching her grow in confidence thanks to Aaron’s influence was very satisfying.

Steamy Scenes

Let’s just say things get steamy between the faux couple, especially as their faux affection turns real. Elena Armas can write some swoon-worthy scenes that had me fanning myself. If you like your romance novels to have spice, this book delivers.

Satisfying Ending

I don’t want to spoil anything, but the ending was exactly what I hoped for. I closed the book feeling like Catalina and Aaron got the perfect happily-ever-after. I admit I got a bit emotional reading the final chapter!

Anything I Didn’t Like?

My only small critique would be that a few scenes rely on some suspension of disbelief. For example, would a stranger really agree to fake date someone for a week he just met? But because the story is so addictive, I was happy to go along with the premise.

The Verdict: A Charming Romantic Escape

For anyone looking for an utterly charming romantic escape, I can’t recommend The Spanish Love Deception enough. It has everything I love in a romance: enemies to lovers, fake dating, slow burn tension, steamy scenes, and characters you root for. I had such a blast reading this book that I stayed up way too late turning pages. Elena Armas has crafted a truly enjoyable read that put a smile on my face the entire time. I’ll definitely be looking up her other books! So if you’re a romance fan looking for your next great read, grab a glass of sangria and escape to the Spanish countryside with this book.


  • Paula Davis

    Paula Davis is a dedicated and seasoned content writer for Dreaming and Reading, where she brings her extensive knowledge and passion for literature to a wide audience of fellow book enthusiasts. With the heart of a true bookworm, Paula has immersed herself in the literary world, devouring approximately 50 books annually for the last 15 years. This impressive reading habit has not only provided her with immense joy but has also significantly honed her expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in the realm of book reviews. Her insightful and well-crafted reviews reflect her deep understanding and appreciation of various genres, offering valuable guidance to readers in search of their next great read. With a finger always on the pulse of the latest literary releases, Paula Davis is a trusted voice and a go-to source for book recommendations and reviews.

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