The Spanish Love Deception

Elena Armas. Atria, $17.99 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-1-66800-252-0

Armas’s debut sizzles with chemistry as two colleagues discover real attraction in their pretend romance. Engineer Catalina “Lina” Martín’s ex, Daniel, is set to be the best man at her sister Isabel’s wedding to his brother, Gonzalo, in their native Spain. Desperate to convince her family that she’s over their difficult breakup, Lina invents a fictitious boyfriend to be her plus-one. When Aaron Blackford, a coworker at her New York firm, overhears her talking about this dilemma, he offers to play the role. Lina’s confused, given their contentious working relationship, but with no other options, she accepts his proposal and agrees to return the favor by posing as his girlfriend at an upcoming charity event. The attraction between Lina and Aaron intensifies as they spend time together in New York and in Spain, and soon the affection they’ve been faking becomes all too real. The slow-burning romance heats up the pages as Armas’s witty, intelligent protagonists reveal their innermost secrets and overcome their past misunderstandings. The Spanish setting and the zany antics of Lina’s family only add to the fun. Rom-com fans will be riveted. Agent: Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Feb.)