Image by Elena Armas

“The Spanish Love Deception” is for readers looking for a passionate and tense enemies-to-lovers story

Emma Foster


Staff Writer


“The Spanish Love Deception” is a 2021 Goodreads Choice Award winner for Debut Novel by Elena Armas that became popular on BookTok last year. 

This prequel to “The American Roommate Experiment” follows Catalina Martín as she races to find a date to her sister’s wedding. A revelation that her ex will be there with his new girlfriend, leads to an error in judgment that engages her to tell a white lie to her family about her American boyfriend. The catch? There is no American boyfriend. Lina has only four weeks to find someone willing to cross the ocean with her to aid in her stories, and NYC to Spain is not an easy journey. On top of that, fooling her loud and intrusive family won’t be simple.  

In comes Aaron Blackford, her tall, condescending colleague (whom she hates, who surprisingly offers to step in and help Lina keep up her lie. She declines this offer at first, wanting nothing to do with this insufferable, egotistical man. But as the wedding nears, Lina is running out of options and reluctantly agrees to take Aaron with her. She begins to realize he may not be as terrible in the real world as he is in the office. 

The first line of the book is “I’ll be your date to the wedding” and we are thrown into the rivalry between Lina and Aaron. Right off the bat you can instantly catch the chemistry between the two, the enemies-to-lovers trope did not disappoint in this book and I very much enjoyed the slow burn of the story, as well as the characters and their development. 

Catalina is strong, funny, and trying so hard to protect her heart as much as she can, while Aaron is kind, composed and very much swoon-worthy. I love when male characters are protective, but shy about it. Aaron really knows how to build up the tension and show his love and care for Catalina, and throughout their time in Spain, we see his hard shell get broken down by her goofiness as their relationship blossoms. 

I heard about this book on TikTok and read it almost immediately, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Catalina was hilarious and I found myself actually laughing out loud as I read through. Her family dynamic was entertaining, and I loved how perfectly imperfect they were. Aaron is very reserved and has a wall up with everyone but Lina, making their romance feel all the more authentic when they move past the fake dating stage. 

As an avid romance reader, I recommend this book to everyone looking for a new love story. Lina and Aaron are polar opposites, yet they fit together so well. The story was a bit of a slow burn, but I enjoyed being able to see the character development and get a deeper look into their life and lies. I will say, the plot dragged a bit in a few places, but all in all, I recommend this to any reader looking for an entertaining and swoon-worthy read with lovable characters, built-up tensions, and a happy ending.