Ellie Brooks has spent the past two years of her life building barriers around herself that are guaranteed to keep people out and her demons in. She doesn’t want to get close to anyone for fear of being hurt again. When she meets Latin superstar Victor Garza, she is shocked at how quickly he is able to penetrate her armor. She doesn’t want to let him in but can’t deny the chemistry they have. He has the potential to heal her wounds and open her heart but she isn’t sure she can let him. Will love be enough to keep them together or will Ellie’s past prove to be too much for the pair to overcome?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
*ARC Given to Blog for Honest Review*
3.5 “Milk Chocolate” Kisses
Life is hard…love is hard…and the true test comes from conquering situations that we encounter and growing from them. Learning from them, rather than allowing it to control us. Translation of Love is a great example of exactly that. We’re only human, building up walls to protect yourself from pain is a normal reaction, but watching and experiencing the walls coming down and someone opening up to a bright new possibility is a magical thing.
Elizabeth ‘Elle’ Brooks has been hurt. Deeply. Irrevocably. She has blocked herself out for the past two years – changed everything about herself and only kept around the closest people to her, her family (dad, brother, niece) and best friend, Jordan. Aside from spending time with them, the only other thing she does is work a job she detests. Until one fateful night in a bookstore…now isn’t that how every book nerd girl’s fantasy starts out…
“I’ve had my share of lovers and relationships but the concept of love is foreign to me. I had thought I’d been in love once but it turned out to be a bad imitation. A relationship which left me so torn and tattered that it took me years to come back from the emotional damage that it caused. Hell, if I’m being honest with myself, I’m still kind of an emotional misfit. Some scars never really heal and because of my newfound need for self-preservation, I’ve constructed a coat of armor so strong that it will never be penetrated. It’s a price I am willing to pay to make sure that I never get hurt again.”
Victor Garza international Latin pop star – everybody knows him, except Elle who is blissfully clueless as to who this gorgeous man really is. She tries to keep her guard up but her brain and her mouth don’t seem to agree, which leads to some quite hilarious inner thoughts. He’s tall, dark and handsome – then you add the exotic aspect (he’s Puerto Rican)
‘As I open the door, I glance out and see a man walking into the otherwise quiet hallway, causing me to stop short. He is quite possibly one of the most handsome men I’ve ever seen in my life. He is tall, at least 6’1” with relatively short but thick dark brown hair and milk chocolate-colored eyes that are shaped like almonds. His nose is perfectly sloped, and the sight of his full lips makes me pause for a moment. He has a square jaw that lets you know he’s all man and a body that can make anyone’s heart flutter. I can tell by the fit of his button down shirt and his jeans that he’s built. It’s obvious that he works out and keeps in shape but he’s not too bulky. Simply put, if there was such a thing as perfect, he’d be it. His eyes meet mine and his lips curl up in a tentative smile. I lose all power to move or breathe. I’m pretty sure I look like an idiot but I have no control over my body at the moment.’
It was the little things about Victor that I loved. I loved that he called her Ellie, no one else did except for Alex (Victor’s older brother/assistant) but I think that was because…that was what Victor called her. I loved that he pulled her hair (playfully…we’re not talking about like a 1st grader, it was cute!) and always tucked her hair out of her face. He was loving…sweet…generous…and above all never gave up on Elle.
And boy did she try and push him away. Multiple times – when the situation got a little rocky, she was a gone pecan. Once again, her past screwed her up. It was a defense mechanism ingrained in her for the past two years – avoid what hurts you and you won’t get hurt. She runs…a few times, and up until the last time she ran, I was okay with it. The last time…I was ready to strangle her. Things didn’t add up and rather than stop/think/talk, she left/evaded/avoided. It was a shitty thing to walk in on – don’t get me wrong, but there is no way things added up, and to me that did not justify her actions. Not after everything that had happened leading up to that moment.
“I’ll always want you, that’ not gonna change. I can be hot headed and I lose my temper sometimes. I’ll say things I don’t mean and I’ll throw your suitcase across a room but it doesn’t change how much I love you!”
I loved Victors persistence though. Like the man deserves a medal or something and thank goodness he was because that epilogue was worth. It. All. Loved the epilogue…sweet, beautiful, complete…love HEA endings like that. Was a little sickeningly sweet….maybe…but I don’t care, those kind of ending feed my book worm soul. There were a couple of points throughout reading it that I was a little confused with the tenses. It was sporadic, so not enough where I couldn’t figure out what was going on, just made me pause a little. The basic flow of the story was really enjoyable, it was all told from Elle’s POV and I liked that we get all her inner thoughts throughout the book.
“Are you hearing me? I need you to understand this. The picture is becoming clearer now of what he did to you, why you were so gun shy in the beginning. I get it but when you love someone, Babe, you love everything.” I feel the tears burning the back of my eyes. “Nothing that you say to me, nothing that he did to you will ever make me love you any less. I want all of you, the beauty, the silliness, the kindness and I’ll even take the sadness, and the pain. I’ll take it all because it’s a part of you.” He tightens his grip and kisses my forehead. “Do you understand me?”
I do know there is a next book up in the series – since Ellie and Victor are tied up in a nice neat ribbon, I’m left scratching my head for who’s turn it is next….Jordan (oh please oh please oh please!!! She’s as equally as damaged as poor Elle was)…Alex (which I think might be tied to Jordan…if my spidey senses are accurate)…or even better…Gavin! Ellie’s older brother has much to tell and there is a juicy story to be told.
Alice Montalvo-Tribue lives with her husband and daughter in New Jersey. She has a bachelors degree in communications and is currently working on her masters degree. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, and when the weather permits lounging out on a beach.