Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Love, in English, Karina Halle

You can't help who you fall in love with...

Oh Karina Halle, how I do love thee. In English, in Spanish, in any language.

Diverting from her normal genre of paranormal ghost hunters, the Jacobs, devious drug dealers, and con artists, Halle delivers a love story to end all love stories. Seriously people. It's just awesome. Remember how I said in a previous post that when I read, I feel? Damn you Karina Halle for all the emotion in this book! Damn you to the stars and back!! Not really, I love you to the ends of the universe!

Here's the story, minus spoilers. Well, as many as possible.

Vera Miles, a 23-year old astronomy student with tattoos of constellations, wild strawberry-blonde curls, and a spitfire attitude to match, travels to Spain to teach conversational English to Spanish businessmen/women. She doesn't know what she's looking for, only that it's an adventure and something better than what she has at home in Vancouver. She figures the month-long experience can enlighten her.

"Sometimes you are stuck being the person you are, and not the person you were. Or could be" - Mateo. 

While in Spain, she meets Mateo, a former football (Soccer, since it's Euro) star who is brushing up on his English to help his restaurant business. Mateo is gorgeous. And he's married. And he has a daughter.

Vera and Mateo are paired with each other for conversational sessions. The two develop a friendship that grows deeper. The friendly banter turns to flirtation. The flirtation turns into feelings.  A question a day provides soulful insight into each character. While everyone around them can see what is happening between them, they deny it. Or at least Vera does.

"The thing was, I didn't do love. I didn't have time to put up with complicated relationships or put my heart and soul out there for someone to step on. Love was scarier than deep space." - Vera

Cynical. But with good reason. She's seen first hand how love can crush a person. A family. How it changes people. She's not having any part in that!

Despite conversations with her friend Claudia, she doesn't believe that she can love someone she's only known a week. Ah Claudia. We all need a friend like her - hopeful, insightful, funny.

"You can fall in love in a second...the heart has no regard for time" - Claudia.

By the end of their time, they both realize two things. One, neither one is quite happy with their current life. Two, yes, they do love each other and need each other to really live.

"I cannot imagine going back to the life I had before because that was no life at all. That was just existing. That was just chasing down the next day so I could feel it pass under me. You made me stop chasing the days. You made me hold onto them." - Mateo

Of course, any good story doesn't end there. They must part ways, Vera returning to Vancouver. Mateo staying in Spain.

"There will be nights where you will feel alone and lost. Where I feel alone and lost. When that happens, I want us to both remember this, right now. Bring our thoughts back to this room, this moment. Where we aren't lonely. Where we are both found"
"I hope it will be enough "
"It will never be enough. "
Then, each makes a decision that will change their lives forever. No, I'm not telling you what it is -- read the book!

Bottom line, the book has just enough build up that you're not bored waiting for something to happen. Just enough angst that you're not left feeling like you want to hurl the Kindle at the wall. Just enough romance that it's not over the top sappy. It's progressive. It covers a span of time. It's emotional. It's real.

Go. Read. Now. I know I say this about many books, but really, just do it. I won't steer you off a cliff. This is a stand-alone, so no cliffhangers, no waiting for the next installment. When you finish, you've taken the same journey and reached the same ending as the characters. Just as it should be.

So, I'm about to use my PhD voice for a moment (you've been warned):
When teaching freshman in a learning community, I would ask them to identify "strong lines" as they were reading and write about how them. Free-form writing, journal entries about what those "strong lines" invoked. I found myself highlighting so many strong lines in this book! I have to share a few of the more powerful ones for me. Yes, they're all about Love. Amor. Liebe. Amore: <3

"Love causes war and death, breaks souls and breaks lives. It runs people into the ground, makes then behave like moronic, immoral beasts, before it dances off leaving only distraction in its wake -hearts blown open for the whole world to see" - Vera

"Love puts the blame on the poor souls who succumb to it. Love the ultimate villainess. She makes examples of all of us. And yet, we come back for more. We keep playing the role she gives us. For one more chance to feel alive."  - Vera

" Love is like a thief, it robs you of all thought and logic and all you have left is a heart that you can only pray is strong enough to survive the rest." -- Mateo 

"For as long as man has been around, he has felt governed by the stars. But I do not believe this to be true. ...The stars are not unreachable. They are not untouchable. And they do not control us. I just took the concepts of stars and make them my own. I just created my own universe. Design your own universe, make your own stars, write your own stories, and create your own destiny."
-- Mateo

Want more? Of course you do!!  Visit Karina Halle at  http://authorkarinahalle.com/ 
Twitter: @MetalBlonde 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karina-Halle/140649372629593
Get the book @ Amazon
Also check out her Experiment in Terror, Artist's Trilogy, and the Devil's Metal / Devil's Reprise books. You won't be disappointed! 

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