Spanish Surrender by Rachel SpanglerSpanish Surrender by Rachel Spangler is a delectable story that uses the essence of Spain to show just how wonderful surrendering can be, especially when love is a possibility.

Simone Price is not happy when her first vacation in years is interrupted by a call from her boss. Under direct orders, she is to go to southern Spain and do what others before her have failed to do: convince a small, Spanish publishing house to sell their business to her much larger American corporation. Simone has one week to come up with the pitch that will set the future of her entire career. Her only problem is that she doesn’t know the language, the culture, the history, or even the traditions of this country. So, she needs to hire a guide/translator/purveyor who can give her a crash course in everything Andalucían and win over the owners. It’s a fairly simple plan. But when she meets Loreto Molina, Simone can quickly see her dreams of a future in publishing going up in smoke.

Loreto loves being a tour guide in her adopted country. She gets to spout off accurate and not always pleasant history of Spain, and she gets to do so in a relaxing way. So when Simone hires her for the week, Loreto definitely sees dollar signs, along with the privileged mindset Simone has become used to as an American. The two women butt heads instantly, and as they set out on a scorching path through the region of Spain, it becomes apparent that both their expectations are going to be shattered.

The landscape of Spain will be the backdrop as Simone and Loreto discover all the country has to offer, especially power, purpose, temptation, and raw attraction. Emotions will run high in the hot sun as both women fight to hang on to their ideals. However, for them to win what they truly want, they’ll each have to surrender.

The Characters

What’s great about these two women is they are very much alike. They are passionate about their work and their views on the world. The only problem is their passions lie on opposite sides of the issue.

Simone Price exudes privilege and confidence as a woman born and raised in America. She has worked hard her entire adult life in a field that she has been passionate about since she was a child. She has never felt anything was just handed to her. When she’s sent to Spain to complete what is considered an impossible task by her company, all of her dreams are finally within reach if she can pull it off. What she doesn’t count on is having pessimistic guide showing her the way.

Loreto Molina embraces her life in Spain and all that it entails. She’s relaxed, takes full advantage of siesta, and also has no qualms about taking some of her clients to bed. But that’s just the surface she shows to everyone. Inside, Loreto loves Spain immensely and shows tremendous respect and adoration to the country that has embraced her better than her birthplace ever did. It’s what has allowed her to speak with such passion about the land and its history. It has also filled her heart with disdain for people who are considered privileged in her eyes and who don’t welcome all Spain has to offer. It’s what puts her off Simone from the very beginning.

Both women are in for a whirlwind tour of Spain that will not only help Simone land the biggest deal of her life. It will also help them gain perspective on who they are and where they really belong in this world.

The Writing Style

It’s not very often I describe a story as delectable, but it’s really the only proper term I can give after my experience. Spangler takes us on a personalized tour of Andalucían by giving us the best tour guide in her creation of Loreto. Through her, we are able to not only see the history but see her passion and love for this country. She gives information with such conviction it resonated long after I finished the chapter and had me itching to start the next one. I wanted to relish in the traditions and absorb the historical information to memory. And by the time I reached the end, like Simone, I was saturated in a culture so beautiful and inspiring that I couldn’t contemplate leaving it.

The Pros

While having political ideas in a story is nothing new, Spangler does it in a way that is subtle and relative to what is historical fact and Loreto’s personal experience because of her ethnicity. You don’t even realize Spangler is educating you until you reach that pivotal moment with Loreto and Simone. Spangler enlightened me in a way that felt organic, more approachable, and gave me more perspective on the world around me and how I treat others who are just as capable to deserve just as much as I do.

The Cons

This book will make you want to eat churros, go and find your local tapas bar (if you already don’t know where one is), and drink sangria at all hours of the day.

annas favourite booksThe Conclusion

This book is hot in every way you can imagine. From the passionate arguments to the passionate love making. You’ll be entranced as you follow Simone and Loreto on their journey to discover the truth about Spain and the truth about each other. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn as they do that sometimes you have to surrender to truly embrace life and love as it was meant to be enjoyed.

Excerpt from Spanish Surrender by Rachel Spangler

“We’re almost there.”

“Where is ‘there,’ exactly?”

Loreto smiled. “Plaza de la Merced.”

“Which is…what?”

“A plaza.”

“Right,” Simone said curtly, as asphalt gave way to gray tile beneath their feet…

“Why are we going to a plaza when I asked you for business conversation and you offered tapas?”

“We can do both near the plaza. I know a great tapas bar and –”

“Bar?” Simone came up short. “It’s not even five o’clock. If you think I’m going to spend next week day-drinking with you, we’ve had a vast misunderstanding.”

Loreto laughed, which was apparently the wrong response, as Simone folded her arms across her chest and tapped the toe of her fancy shoes against the tile.

“Tapas bars serve tapas,” Loreto explained, unable to keep a little tremor of laughter completely out of her voice. “They also serve alcohol, of course, but if, what did you call it, day-drinking?”

Simone nodded.

“I like that, but if day-drinking isn’t your thing, then we’ll add it to the first line of this contract we’re supposed to be hammering out.”

“I’d rather just go to a restaurant,” Simone sighed, “preferably a nice one, with air conditioning.”

“You’ve got trust issues, don’t you?”

Simone’s face flamed from pink to red. “Excuse me?”

“It’s okay. I do, too.” Loreto forged on as she started walking again. “It might be the only thing we have in common.”

“I don’t think –”

“Good, that’s a good plan. Don’t think.”

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