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Claiming Carlos (Contemporary Romance) (Sanchez Sisters Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Choco has always been the responisble older sister, well apart from once, but now her life seems to be stuck in a rut. She runs the show at her parent's restaurant without getting any credit, and her relationship with her best friend, Carlos, seems to be in jeopardy. But when a new business consultant, Johnny Dee, comes into town, he starts to try and win Choco, even though all she can think about while he does so is how he isn't Carlos. All Carlos needs is a hint from Choco that she's interested, he knows she is but until she says something he can't do anything about it, though his tactics leave something to be desired....
I've read books from Ayala before and thourghly enjoyed them, so I had no doubt that I'd enjoy Claiming Carlos as well. I thought that the split point of view (Choco's from a first person and Carlos' from a third person) worked really well, though there were a few moments where I really started to wonder about the motives of both of them because of it. Knowing the reasoning behind both of their actions just made me want to bang their heads together, but also made it so they were equally reliable, and equally flawed.
As with the previous book, Taming Romeo, there was a lot of Fillipino culture in Claiming Carlos, from the names that they called family members, to the food that they were eating. I liked it because it is a change to have ethnic characters and have those characters part of their own culture. It also introduced me to certain dishes and customs that I hadn't heard of before, which is always a good thing!Read more ›
Amazing book, love the networking of the characters and use of the English language. I enjoyed reading this book with so much excitement and was captivated from start to finish. I felt the issues (mental health) were dealt with impeccably, I have read other books that without meaning to they portray the character as crazy rather than dealing with the issue. This is the first book I've read of Rachelle Ayala, and I'm wondering how I've not come across or read any other of her books! I will definitely be following this series & more.
It's definitely a 5* must read for me!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Choco and Carlos have sizzling chemistry, but are often clueless and rash with assumptions. It was really easy to become invested in both of their lives. I have never seen more complete characters in a romance than what we see in this book. They are multi-dimensional and the cultural information laced throughout the story makes their world real and vibrant when reading. I knew very little of the food and family practices mentioned in the book, but the picture is painted so well that I never felt lost or confused.
One thing I am consistently impressed with when reading anything by Rachelle Ayala is that her "villainous" sort of characters are not truly ever given villain status. Nothing is black and white. There is conflict and angst, of course. There are serious issues raised, but there's an overtone of forgiveness, understanding, and moving forward for the sake of the future. This is really rare. Usually when someone is written as having been cruel, they are placed there in a very strict sense. Claiming Carlos is a perfect example of how to keep literary characters as real and constantly changing as people truly are in life.
I felt so many different emotions in the course of reading this one (also felt the need to pee because I was too into the book to get up). It is a MUST READ if you enjoy romance.
A few head's ups:
There is appropriate representation of a mental illness in a supporting character! So happy to see this. Not as a "oh no, that person is crazy and bad" like many other authors have accidentally done. Instead, it is a difficulty, but that character is still supported and not given judgement when things are a bit off.
There is mention of nonconsent. No actual scene, but if you are like me you might find it helpful to know ahead of time. So, somewhat of a trigger warning.
This book is adult. There are super hot bedroom scenes. If this is not your cup of tea, don't read. If it is, enjoy!
I received a copy in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.
This peppy and racy romance story proved to be a great read. Choco is devoted to her responsibilities in life - her family's Filipino restaurant and her education. She hopes to have and run her own restaurant some day. She is caught in the frustrating loop of monotony that comes with daily life. Carlos is the head chef in the family restaurant and has been her loyal and best friend. Johnny Dee is a consultant who has been assigned the task of handling the expansion of her family's restaurant. He showers attention on Choco - exactly what Choco had been craving for. Choco lets herself get enchanted with Johnny's attention and before she realises it, she transforms herself into someone she doesn't recognise - leaving her hollow and crushed inside. She covers up her numbness inside and tries to go with the flow, but Carlos is having none of it. He hates to see what his friend has turned into, and he has had enough of being just her friend. He gets into the battle scene to claim the true Choco and her heart back. Does he succeed, is what the book takes us through.
I thoroughly loved the characterisation of the protagonists. Choco's helplessness and confusion, conjoined with Carlo's initial bewilderment and eventual determination have all been churned out well and served nice and warm by Ayala. The plot is pacy and keep's the reader's attention throughout. Being completely new to Filipino food and culture, I was pleasantly surprised when the book smoothly enlightened me on a lot of points about both. What is remarkable about the book is that neither the characters, nor their words are shallow at any point - the author doesn't make light of any situation in the book and brushes it off with cliche sentences. Instead she has carefully carved out the emotional dynamics in the different scenes throughout and the dialogues, thoughts and language are all used in sync with this.
I would definitely recommend this to lovers of romance and drama.
My rating for this book: 4 stars
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.
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