28 November, 2014

#BookReview :: Claiming Carlos by Rachelle Ayala

Book #2 of Sanchez Sisters Series
Choco Sanchez is stuck in a rut. She's never hit a softball and has been friends forever with Carlos Lopez, the head cook at her family's Filipino restaurant. When flashy restaurant consultant Johnny Dee hits her with a pitch, she falls head over heels and gets a makeover.
Carlos Lopez is not about to lose one for the home team. Johnny launches a full scale change on the menu, and Carlos sends him straight into the dumpster. Claiming Choco's heart proves more difficult. But never underestimate a man who can cook hot, spicy, and steamy, and we ain't talking just food.

Buy Links:
Amazon.com I Amazon.in I Barnes & Noble

After reading Taming Romeo, Evie Sanchez’s story, I was left craving for more. And Rachelle Ayala returns with Choco’s story in Claiming Carlos.

We have already met the Sanchez family in Taming Romeo. For those who have not yet had a chance to pick it up – the Sanchez family owns a Filipino Restaurant. Choco has huge responsibilities as there are high expectations from her. She is in college with hopes of achieving a management degree someday. She helps out in the family restaurant as the chief hostess and assistant manager. She is also expected to set the right examples for her younger siblings. Choco, lost in this daily grind, feels unsatisfied with her life even though she cannot really pinpoint the source of her discontent. Enter Johnny, a consultant hired to help with the expansion of the restaurant business.  He sweeps off her feet and before she knows, she has had a complete makeover. Carlos has always been in the background of Choco’s life as her friend and as the head chef of the restaurant. When Johnny tries another makeover on the menu, Carlos had enough and he sets about throwing Johnny out of their lives and claim Choco for himself.

The food in the first instalment had left me feeling hungry and so this time I made sure to have lots of snacks on the stand by while I read this book. I wasn’t disappointed. Claiming Carlos also gives its reader a fill of Filipino culture. The family dynamics work differently there and we see a lot of familial influence in the story too. While I had a love-hate relationship with a couple of characters, I really felt connected to Choco and liked her. If Evie and Romeo were a sizzling couple, Choco and Carlos surely set off all fire alarms around them. I actually like the fact that Choco and Carlos were such good friends for so long, that when they finally took things to the next level, it only seemed natural. 

Rachelle Ayala has her own style of narrating a story and it never fails to suck you in the world of whatever story she tells and this book wasn’t an exception.

[Kissing a Friend]

Oh, no. Not happening again. No way. We’re friends, best buds, and he’s supposed to court Julia, that’s what his mother wants him to do. I can’t. I want to. No, this is crazy.
My mouth touches his soft lips and I close my eyes, the better to pretend it’s not happening. Mmmm … He tilts my head gently to angle in closer as his other hand caresses the small of my back.
He doesn’t smush my mouth against his, but gently tugs my lower lip. I settle into his kiss. It’s lazy, easy-going, not demanding, friendly. Only, his fingers curling into my hair isn’t mild, no, and neither are the tiny moans he makes at the back of his throat, or the spear rising hard against my belly. Yikes! What am I doing?
We’re lying on a sandy trail in a nature preserve near dusk. Coyotes could be lurking in the sage bushes, and mountain lions prowling the dry riverbeds. Oh, but his lips taste spicy, and oh, so enticing. A slow burn roils between my legs. He’s so freaking sexy for being a chef. But I didn’t sign up to be his kissing partner. I mean, I could use the practice. I seriously suck at kissing. Oops, my teeth just bumped his. That’s what I get for biting my lips when I should be sucking, or smacking, or nibbling, or whatever it is professional kissers do.

Teaser Pics:

About the Author
Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling Asian American author of dramatic romantic suspense and humorous, sexy contemporary romances. Her heroines are feisty and her heroes hot. She writes emotionally challenging stories but believes in the power of love and hope.

Rachelle is the founder of an online writing group, Romance in a Month, an active member of the California Writer's Club, Fremont Chapter, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has won awards in multicultural and historical romance

Connect with the Author:
Website I Blog I Facebook Twitter I Goodreads

Tour Schedule

1st Prize - $20 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize - Choice of Rachelle Ayala's eBooks

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Debdatta, for your insightful review on Claiming Carlos. I'm glad you prepared with all the good food on the side. :)