Whole Latte Love , the latest from Rachelle Ayala is a sizzling story of love lost and love found . It’s also a story which ponders over the problem of homelessness in big cities of America , peers into the big corporate world of investment banking to reveal the grey shades and makes you crave for a cup of coffee ( I gulped down four cups while reading it at night ) . Ayala’s previous publication Taming Romeo was a big hit and a pleasure read for me so naturally the expectation was high for this one and the author has shown her mastery to weave an enthralling story again this time .
The plot opens as we find Dylan Jewell , an exceptionally handsome and sexy barista , is giving a show with his skill of coffee making to a gaggle of girls at The Brewed Force . Carina Chen , a summer intern at Mogul Bank is looking for an apartment and is introduced to Dylan by their mutual friend Sheila . Dylan is in dire need of money as he wants to live on his own terms independent from the prowess of his big-shot industrialist father and eventually Carina becomes his room-mate , in words of Dylan ” BRF , Best Roomies Forever “ . Desire sparks from both the sides with a sizzling white hot chemistry at the first sight but Carina knows to hold her hormones . To Carina , career comes first and so she suppresses her emotions and even averts eye contact every time she meets Dylan ( for we all know love is best nurtured and reflected in the eyes ) . And Dylan is not at all willing to become a marionette in Carina’s delicate hands.
But Dylan is determined to make Carina fall in love and to come up with the confession . So , he composes song for her ( yes , he is a guitarist in his band ” The Licked Blues ” ) , makes her wonderful breakfast and exotic coffee every morning with a latte heart decorated on it. There are several twists in the story and the first one comes as a blow when we find Rebecca Morley , Dylan’s first love who dumped him for fame and power , to be Carina’s super boss at Mogul Bank who accidentally finds out the fact that Carina is sharing room with Dylan . Things begin to happen in quick succession and Carina finds herself entrapped in the subtle nuances of the corporate world.
The two main characters , Dylan and Carina are well portrayed . Carina’s character is typical of a twenty-one year old careerist girl who is in a dilemma to choose between love and career as she is still to know that the two can be well balanced . An Asian girl , pampered and adored by her family, almost alone in the big city of Berkeley , California , weighed down by huge work pressure is prone to make mistakes , both in professional and personal lives . So , though her character sometimes looks meddling and despicable she deserves forgiveness on account of her naïveté and innocence .
Dylan , the hot , sexy guitarist and barista is a dream lover for every girl . He is considerate , kind and has a big heart . He is always ready to help the poor and homeless in a constructive way and is honest , whether in an one-night-stand relationship or a stronger emotional one. He is so adorable that I think any girl could fall for him . He understands what responsibility means and that’s why he doesn’t hesitate to follow Carina and Sheila when they ventured out one night in search of some ” fun ” . Dylan is a character worth remembering though he is too good to be real.
Among other characters I would like to mention that of Gordie , the gateman who likes to live in his own world of phantasmagoria , imagining himself to be the Prince of Scotland . Rebecca , a pure opportunist who is born tough to fit in the wild , merciless world of business is also worth mentioning . The not-so-conspicuous characters have all got ample spaces in the narration.
The author has a style of her own to narrate even complicated events in a simple yet engrossing manner. She has followed this style even while delineating the erotic scenes between Carina and Dylan . The sub-plots run in synchronization with the main and all the events are found to be inter-linked at the end .
In spite of all these there are still some minor loop holes in the narration , the first being it remains unclear till the end that why Ava Jewell , Dylan’s mother made Rebecca the trustee for her organization , why Rob Swindle didn’t utter anything even after getting the hint about the merger and acquisition scam , how Carina managed to get all the details so easily even after failing to meet Rebecca’s demands and so on .
Moreover , the story carries some of the shades of her previous novel Taming Romeo ….the same rich ,handsome yet honest guy who goes gaga over the heroine , who is not so rich and is prone to break the lover’s precious heart . I hope the author would come out of this formula in her next work. You’ve a great pen Rachelle and we so we expect more from you. Waiting to read her next work.
It’s an overall good read in the genre of contemporary romance.
* Not recommended for young readers as it contains explicit sexual descriptions .
From my side it’s 3.75 /5
Rachelle Ayala is the author of dramatic fiction crossing genres and boundaries featuring strong but flawed characters. She writes emotionally challenging stories and is not afraid of controversial topics. However, she is an optimist and laces her stories with romance and hope. Rachelle is an active member of online critique group, Critique Circle, 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 three children and has taught violin and made mountain dulcimers.
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