Review: Spanish Lessons (Study Abroad #1) by Jessica Peterson

Spanish LessonsTitle: Spanish Lessons
Author: Jessica Peterson
Series: Study Abroad #1
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Blurb:
Vivian Bingley has big plans for her semester abroad in Spain…

Along with her BFF, Maddie, Vivian hopes to indulge her inner Art History nerd by visiting the best museums in the world. She also wants to tackle more practical concerns—like a less than stellar GPA in her major, Economics—with the help of a Spanish tutor.

But falling for her studly Spanish tutor definitely isn’t one of them.

Madrileño Rafa Montoya is the stuff study abroad dreams are made of: super studly and super smart. He also happens to be super into Vivian. With his wicked dancing skills and his passion for the arts, he tempts her to throw caution to the wind and live out her wildest dreams.

Only problem? Maddie wants Rafa, too, and Vivian promised herself she’d never settle for second best again…not after a hookup-gone-awry last semester left her heartbroken. Is it best for Vivian to protect her heart at all costs? Or is letting Rafa in worth the risk?

This book is a New Adult contemporary romance, suitable for mature audiences.

My Review:
Actual rating 3.5 stars.

Vivian is at a bit of a crossroads in her life. Her grades are dropping, she’s still a bit heartbroken over her cheating ex, and she isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life. She takes the opportunity to study in Spain for six months and finally finds her true path and her true love.

I adored the writing in this book, and it’s clear that Jessica is a talented writer. I love the setting with all the Spanish culture and sayings. It was definitely refreshingly different in that regard.

And Rafa, wow, what a guy. I loved his Justin Timberlake moves. Lol. Rafa was super hot and super patient, because, honestly, Vivian was such hard work at times. But I’ll come to her in a minute. I wasn’t sure at first if I really understood the attraction between the pair of them, but as the story progressed, their chemistry burned holes in my Kindle. Love how the romance and sex scenes were written. And I liked how he never entertained any notion of Maddie. He was always obviously into Vivian.

The biggest issue I had with this book was Vivian. She really grated on my nerves, and it was only toward the end of the story that I actually started to warm to her. All the sobbing at the start really annoyed me. She is twenty, not twelve, and she made a decision to study abroad, and she was going with her BFF, so there was no need to cry into her pillow. Straight off the bat, she came across as weak. Then all the toing and froing with Rafa annoyed me too. So many issues could have been avoided if she had just been honest with herself and with him and Maddie. I also thought her stance on relationships was strange for someone so young. She was a total contradiction at times – too mature in that regard, and very immature in other situations.

Maddie was a bit of an oddball to me, and I’m not sure I bought into their so-called friendship. Then again, she was dealing with some troubling personal issues, and who knows how that would mess with your head.

It all turns out well in the end, and I do love a HEA.

Overall, this was a decent read, but I would have enjoyed it more if the MC had had more strength of character. The writing, the setting, and the sizzling hot señor were the standouts, for me.

Thanks to the author for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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