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Learn what happens in the book. This The Spanish Love Deception summary tells you everything you need to know about this New York Times Elena Armas book set at a wedding, including the age rating. You’ll see exactly why it’s a TikTok sensation. Start your literary journey below.

The Spanish love deception by Elena armas in front of a table of books.

Quick Details (& Age Rating)

  • Genre: contemporary romance novel
  • Tropes: workplace romance, fake dating, enemies to lovers
  • Trigger Warnings: disordered eating, terminal illness, graphic sex
  • Spice Level: 3 out of 5

The Spanish Love Deception centers around Catalina Martín, who, to avoid attending her sister’s Spanish wedding alone, pretends she has a boyfriend. Aaron Blackford, her aggravating but handsome colleague, surprisingly offers to fill this role, thus beginning a faux romance that eventually blossoms. Their story is filled with witty banter, sparkling chemistry, and the undoing of prior misconceptions, all set against the dazzling backdrop of Spain.

It’s the ultimate slow-burn romance.  The first part of the book is a bit slow-moving, but the romance picks up in the second half. It would be best for contemporary romance readers who are fans of Emily Henry books, Colleen Hoover book, or Emily Giffin books.

Age Rating

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas is recommended for readers ages 18 and over. Towards the end, it contains dirty talk and very graphic sex scenes.  It also contains adult content and themes, including disordered eating and terminal illness.

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The Spanish Love Deception Summary

Catalina Martín (Lina) is a woman in her late twenties who works at an engineering firm in New York City. Lina’s sister Isabel is soon to be wed in Spain, and the best man is Lina’s ex, Daniel, who is newly engaged.  

Not wanting to attend the wedding alone, Lina told her family a little white lie: that she has an American boyfriend who will be accompanying her to the wedding.  

The only issue?  Lina doesn’t have a boyfriend at all, and she is now scrambling to find someone to bring to her sister’s wedding.

Enter Lina’s coworker Aaron Blackford: the most infuriating man to ever walk through the doors of Lina’s workplace.  Despite being tall and commanding every room he enters, he is also brooding, never smiles, seems to regularly appear out of nowhere, and made an offhand comment to Lina when he first started the job.  

To Lina’s shock, however, Aaron volunteers to be her date for Isabel’s wedding. Lina dismisses him, but the truth is that she is concerned that she needs both a date for the wedding and a fake boyfriend.  After all, her overbearing mother expresses doubts and, when her mother asks for her new beau’s name, Lina panics and utters “Aaron.”

Meanwhile, Lina’s workplace announces that Aaron will soon be filling the top position at the firm, which makes Lina more apprehensive than ever. However, she finally agrees to bring Aaron to the wedding.

When Lina asks Aaron what she can do for him in return, he asks her to accompany him to an upcoming date auction for charity where he is being auctioned off.  His instructions for Lina are simple: outbid everyone when it is his turn to be auctioned off, and he will give her the money to pay for it.  

Lina does exactly that and the two dance together at the event, stirring up romantic feelings in Lina that she immediately suppresses.   

After giving Aaron a crash course on her raucous family and all their quirks, the two head across the pond for Isabel’s and Gonzalo’s wedding, and Lina is a ball of nerves about pulling off her fake boyfriend charade.

It doesn’t help that her ex, Daniel, will be bringing his new fiancé to the wedding.  Daniel was Lina’s college professor and so, their breakup was messy.

In Spain, Aaron knows exactly what to say and how to say it, and he even throws in a few practiced Spanish phrases now and again.  

Lina finds herself slowly calming down and feeling far more comfortable in Aaron’s presence than ever before.  She starts to see Aaron in a new light, but she also finds herself in a difficult position because everything Aaron is doing is just pretend.

Ending Explained

Warning: There are spoilers of the ending in this section.

Lina and Aaron steal away from the wedding and find themselves experiencing their first very heated kiss.

After the wedding, as Aaron removes Lina’s heels and massages her feet, she realizes he always seems to keep her safe and comfortable.  

Then, the two finish what they began earlier in the evening.  Their connection is undeniable, and Aaron makes it clear that his feelings and actions have always been real.  Although Lina’s trust issues continue to surface, she begins to let her guard down.

Once back in New York, Lina and Aaron have to address the elephant in the room: the fact that they are coworkers and that Aaron is about to be promoted to Lina’s boss.  

Aaron has no fears, but Lina is getting caught up in her head.  After an uncomfortable encounter with a coworker, she tells Aaron she doesn’t think they will ever work as a couple.  Aaron, heartbroken, disappears from the office for a few days.   

It’s then revealed to Lina that Aaron has flown to his hometown to see his terminally ill father, so she flies to Seattle to find him.  There, she finally gives all of herself to Aaron, promising to trust him.

In the Epilogue, we learn that the couple keeps the utmost professionalism at work and are navigating both their professional and personal lives flawlessly. They are gearing up for the entire Martín clan to visit them, along with Aaron’s father, who doesn’t have much time left but is making the trip with his full-time caregiver.  

Lina and Aaron are content and happy in their relationship and have committed to one another, no matter what the future holds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the story of The Spanish Love Deception?

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas is an enemies-to-lovers, “fake dating” romance novel about a woman named Catalina whose sister is getting married in Spain. The best man will be Catalina’s ex, so she brings her boss to the wedding as her fake date.

Is The Spanish Love Deception steamy?

Yes. The Spanish Love Deception has a few very steamy scenes toward the end of the novel.

What is the trigger warning in The Spanish Love Deception?

Trigger warnings for The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas include disordered eating, terminal illness, and graphic sex.

Can a 13 year old read The Spanish Love Deception?

No. The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas is recommended for audiences ages 18 and over due to graphic sex scenes and adult content and themes, including disordered eating and terminal illness.

What age range is The Spanish Love Deception?

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas is recommended for audiences ages 18 and over due to graphic sex scenes and adult content and themes, including disordered eating and terminal illness.

What is the spice rating for The Spanish Love Deception?

The spice rating for The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas is 3 out of 5. Toward the end, it contains dirty talk and a few graphic sex scenes.

Does The Spanish Love Deception have a happy ending?

Yes. At the end of The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas, Lina and Aaron are navigating their work and love lives together and preparing for their family members to visit them.


This The Spanish Love Deception summary detailed a steamy adult romance novel with enemies-to-lovers, fake dating, and workplace romance tropes. It is best for readers aged 18 and over.

If you already read and loved it, then check out the romance books like those of Helen Hoang, as well as The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I also very highly recommend The Unhoneymooners series by Christina Lauren, for a fun book with lots of overlapping tropes.

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