Merrill excels at incorporating a large cast of diverse, realistically written characters into the overall plot. Cecilia’s character has a hearing disability, while one of her students is on the Autism spectrum. Felip’s handsome looks are “made a little more human” thanks to a crooked front tooth. Amusing dialogue between Cecilia and her students, who prove both raucous and thoughtful, plus innuendo-laced banter between her and Felip make up for minor typos and editing oversights.
The use of Spanish and Catalán in dialogue as well as an enticing tour of popular destinations in Spain is charming while adding a sense of authenticity to the story. (Some students are both surprised and relieved to discover that Barcelona’s most famous bull-fighting arena is now a shopping mall, complete with a Sephora.) Although this winning couple’s attraction is evident from the beginning, Merrill weaves an appealing and comic contemporary romance with just enough angst and suspense to keep readers guessing about the relationship until the end.
Takeaway: Fans of contemporary romances will be drawn in by this holiday in Spain’s diverse characters and comic pleasures.
Great for fans of: Emily Henry’s People We Meet on Vacation, Tessa Bailey’s It Happened One Summer.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A