An Expat’s Guide To Falling In Love by Cristina Hodgson
Publication Date: October 28th 2019
Three weeks before her wedding day, Alexandra decides to walk away from the perfect life, the one that involves 1.9 children and a dog in a 3-bedroomed semi with a 50-ft long garden. Why she decides to take her broken heart to sultry Spain is a mystery… or perhaps destiny.
Maggie, an expat of over thirty years with an outgoing personality and more secrets than the Interpol’s most wanted, introduces Alex, via her famed expat magazine CostaNations, to the ins and outs of living in Spain—but more importantly, to the quirks of dating Spanish men.
Before she finishes reading that chapter, sultry Carlos Rivera walks into Alex’ life (or rather swindles her out of a potent sweet wine whilst she’s having breakfast on her first morning), and from there, the cat-and-mouse game begins.
But is it the Spanish men Alex has to watch out for or is someone close to her hiding a much darker secret?
Add in a fiery Flamenco dancer whom Alex befriends, a pharmacist who has a cocktail of (legal) drugs ready for every expat’s trifles, and two cheeky young children, and you get a peculiar mix of people rooting for Alex, who innocently finds herself in the midst of a clandestine operation.
Will she unravel the mystery before her heart falls for the beauty of the arid lands called Málaga? Or will the man with the mysterious past entrap her first?
*** Note: I received e-copy this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author. ***
Other Books I read by the same author-
- A Little of Chantelle Rose
- Valentina (Chantelle Rose Series #2)
- Isabella ( Chantelle Rose Series #3 )
- My Perfect Brother-in-Law
An Expat’s Guide To Falling in Love was entertaining Romcom with a suspense and many turns. It revolved around Alexandra- an expat in Spain- and her new life in this colorful but sweltering country. It was about finding home, freedom, and love in new country, friendship, trust, honor and kindness. And culture and tradition of Spain.
Writing was great like all Cristina’s previous books. What I like more here was the tone of the story and style. The setting was mesmerizing and characters were interesting. Book was written in multiple perspective– from Alex, Carlos and Meggie.
It started with Alexandra (Alex) arriving Spain with broken engagement and heart, looking for new life, freedom and peace. Last thing she wanted was falling in love. But on her first only she met friendly and lively expat from London like her, Meggie, who was living in Spain for 30 years. She introduced Alex to CostaNation- her famous expat magazine filled with articles on Spanish culture and dating Spanish men. Before Alex could know more about Spanish men she met a gorgeous and sexy Carlos Rivera who not only enticed her in his beautiful look and words, he also swindled her out of not only sweet wine but dinner!
Within few days, Alex was offered two job, one of writing articles in Meggie’s magazine and other as a nanny of two 7 year old kids. Even after being deceived by Carlos she found herself attracted to him. Here comes ‘but’. Two person she met on first day held a deeper secret. Meggie was Interpol’s most wanted and was running drug trafficking business. Carlos had dark past and no one knew what he hides. Now it looks too bad for Alex, but she met quirky interesting characters as well who were actually nice- a helpful pharmacist, two bratty kids, and dancer friend.
Why Meggie would give Alex job? What’ her plan? Why she kept hinting at Carlos past. Why she wanted to know his secret and what all of that has to do with Alex? It fun to uncover this mystery.
It was different from previous book I read by author. What I loved most was- articles in the story, fun facts about Spain, Spanish culture and tradition and mostly about typical Spaniard men. It was all told with wry humor that gave story light and refreshing tone. I got to know so much about this country and people inhibiting this beautiful land through this book.
Alex was most likable character here. Her decision to flew to Spain was rash but I could understand why she wanted change of scenery after realising about her suffocating relationship. Her feeling and emotions felt real. After few uncomfortable weeks in Malaga and some unpleasant experience, she grew to love this colorful country, people and her job as nanny. She was not as daft as Meggie pictured her. She couldn’t have known what Meggie was up to. She figured things out eventually once she started digging into Carlos’ past.
Carlos was good too. He was not just sexy and gorgeous. He was smart, kind, and honorable man. There was more to know about this character. His past was sad, I felt bad for what happened to him 3 years back. It tainted his heart and made him cold. I could see why he couldn’t trust anyone easily. But I still felt he should have shared it with Alex. Alex’s insecurity and doubt was genuine.
Their relationship was rocky. First swindle, Meggie’s set up and plot, and then secrets made their ship slow to sail. I loved their dates and conversations. It was lovely to see their relationship develop.
Meggie was one cunning character. I knew her magazine was to cover her drug business within 30% of the book. But I didn’t know why she involved Alex. Her narration told more about her family, her arrival in Spain years ago, her business and her motive. She was clever old lady. She kept me amazed every time she revealed her plan bits by bits. She surprised even at the end.
Suspense was good, kept me turning pages. I could figure out most of the things but what hooked me to story was Meggie’s cunning mind and her plans. I wanted to know what was going to happen to her in the end.
Climax was great. Events from climax to end were exciting. I loved Alex’s growing friendship with all secondary characters. End was good.
Why 4 Stars-
I loved the style and story but was not wow like other books I read by author. I found myself distracted and losing grip on story at few points. Maybe because of that I found it little slow.
Overall it was entertaining and interesting romantic suspense with lots of fun facts and quirky characters.
What do you think about the book and review?
Have you read this book already or any book by the same author?
Have you read a book set in Spain? If so, which is your favorite?
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