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!