Book Spotlight: Claiming Carlos by Rachelle Ayala

 

 

Title: Claiming Carlos
Series: Sanchez Sisters #2
Author: Rachelle Ayala
 Release Date: October 22, 2014

 

Synopsis

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. When Johnny launches a full scale change on the menu, Carlos sends him straight into the dumpster. Claiming Choco’s heart proves more difficult, especially when her secrets threaten to doom their love. But never underestimate a man who can cook hot, spicy, and steamy, and we ain’t talking just food. 

Steamy love scenes and language. Suitable for readers 18+.
Links to Buy
AMAZON US / UK
Excerpt

I stick to par on that hole. Ha, ha. These miniature golf courses have many trick holes. There’s one where the ball has to go over a bridge, and of course there are all the curbs to bounce off. But the worst are the mounds. Carlos sucks at those.

Livy, meantime, maxes out at six shots each hole. “My club’s crooked. Can we trade?”

“I don’t see anything wrong,” I say.

Carlos takes her club and balances it. “Ah, you see here? It’s curved and off balanced. Here Livy, have my club.”

Oh no he doesn’t. Then he’ll have an excuse why he lost. Besides, the clubs were handed out by height.

“Livy, take mine. His is too long for you.”

“Whatever.” She grabs it.

After she’s out of earshot, Carlos whispers, “My club’s definitely too long for you.”

“You wish.” I tally the scores, my cheeks burning. “You’re still five strokes behind.”

He bends toward me and waggles his eyebrows. “I’ll make up those strokes tonight. Where would you like them?”

“You nasty boy.” I wait until he lines up for his putt before pretending to trip and bump into him. “You’re not even up to par. Tsk, tsk, tsk. You sure you can keep up with me?”

“I know how you like me driving into your hole.” He winks and swats the ball. It rolls into the hole, and he does a golfer’s fist pump. “As for keeping up with you? I can go all night.”

“I don’t know about that. You’re going into the water trap.” I line up the ball near the windmill.

“If it gushes like you, I’ll gladly take the plunge.” He bumps my hip and my ball hops and skips into the running water.

“Why you!” I gingerly climb over the fence and duck under the bridge.

“Ha, you’re all wet.” He helps me climb back. “Just the way I like it.”

“Shhh … Livy,” I hiss, but fortunately she’s staring at her smartphone.

The next one is a right angle shot. If I can hit that diagonal perfect, it’s a straight shot into the hole. I line up my shoulders, square my hips, and wait for Carlos to jeer. I fake up, about to swing.

“Wait, wait.” He claps his hands right beside my ear. “Your ball still wet? You better compensate for the drag.”

“I think your club’s all wet.” I quickly take a swing and whack the ball hard. It flies straight at the diagonal, then rolls down the green toward the hole. The carpet is uneven, dang. I didn’t account for it, but it goes closer and plop. It lands in the hole.

“Whoo!” I raise my club in the air and jump up and down. “A hole in one. Ha, ha, you’ll never catch me now. Loser cooks.”

He puts his finger down his throat, gagging. “The way you cook, I better lose.”

“You guys are silly.” Livy yawns, bored with our antics.

“Let’s see how silly you are when you fall in love,” Carlos says. He gives her a noogie and she screams, “Ewww. Love is yucky.”

I screw up the next two holes. Did Carlos say he was silly because he’s in love? The thought it could be me is so delicious, I quiver, the same way I do when a dessert is super sweet and cold.


Also Available
Links to Buy
AMAZON US / UK
Author Bio
Rachelle Ayala is an 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.
Subscribe to her mailing list for upcoming books and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/lR5kv and find her
books at online retailers Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple iBookstore, and more.
Fiction: Michal’s Window, Broken
Build, Hidden Under Her Heart, Chance for Love Boxed Set, Knowing Vera, Taming
Romeo, Whole Latte Love, Played by Love, Playing the Rookie, A Father for
Christmas, Claiming Carlos

Want to Contact Rachelle?

Author Links

 

Giveaway
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Thank you! (And an exclusive – never before seen – excerpt of #EntertainingAngels)

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Here’s an excerpt from Entertaining Angels. Just in case you still want to know more about the book before committing to buy or read it.

wings

Ashley Woods and her crew, including Zach, Leena, Raven and Katelyn, were standing in the middle of the hallway, talking and laughing about something. Probably me. I put my head down and maneuvered around them, accidentally bumping into Ashley in the process.

“Sorry,” I mumbled and hurried on.

“Watch it, cow,” she said, and everyone in her group laughed. Raven, Leena, and Katelyn bit back their laugher–at least for the time being. I ignored them and blinked back the tears that now stung my eyes.

Chase said, “Shut it, Barbie. At least she has a figure. You look like a really skinny man. No boobs. No butt. Sexy.”

She narrowed her eyes and glared at Chase. He shouldn’t have stood up for me. Now he would be a victim of her attacks as well.

“At least I don’t knock people over in the hallways when I walk by,” she said, placing her hands on her hips and smiling smugly at me. “I can practically feel the earth move when she passes by.”

“You wh– .”

“Chase,” I cut him off before he said something that we would all regret. This was so unlike him. He’d never called anyone names before. He was too good a person. “Don’t worry about it.”

He looked at me like I’d slapped him. “I’m gonna worry about it, Mads. She hasn’t got the right to talk about you like that. None of them do.”

Zach, the new guy, stepped up and said, “He’s right. No one should talk to you like that. Ever. You’re absolutely beautiful. Any girl would be lucky to have the body that you do.”

I gawked at him. I’m sure my mouth was hanging open, but had this tall, handsome guy actually just called me beautiful? Did he mean it, or was this part of their joke? Was this Ashley’s doing?

“I told you,” Chase whispered, walking closer to me and wrapping his arm around my waist protectively. A little louder, he said, “Come on, Mads. Let’s go. These people aren’t worth our time.”

I let him pull me away. Zach continued to watch me as we walked away. What was going on here? Why was he even talking to me? Heck, why was he calling me beautiful? Their laughter chased after me, pushing the thoughts of what Zach had said down. It was all a joke.

“Are you okay?” Chase asked as we stood beside his truck. When had we gotten here? He pulled me into a tight hug, and I rested my head on his chest, letting his rhythmic breathing calm me.

“I’m fine.”

“Will you quit lying to me? I know you aren’t.”

“Then why did you even ask?” I looked up into his worried gaze.

“Because I was hoping that you would finally open up to me. I guess that ain’t happening.” His voice told me he was hurt by my actions, and he let me go. I, immediately, missed the feel of his arms around me, protecting and calming me.

Chase opened the door for me, and I slid in, setting my bag at my feet. He entered the truck soon after and pulled out of the parking lot, driving away from the torture I had just endured.

“Chase, you know how I feel,” I said, finally, hoping to fix what had just happened between us. I didn’t like the thought of hurting him. “And I don’t like being called a cow.”

“No one does,” he said.

Tears rolled down my cheeks, and he reached out and took hold of my hand. “Her opinion doesn’t matter though,” he said.

“But it does. People listen to her, and if she starts making fun of me, everyone else will too. I am a fat cow.”

“Madison Leanne Andrews, you are not a fat cow. Just because you don’t look like a stick doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful. Don’t judge yourself by their standards. They’re obviously wrong.”

I shook my head. “You don’t understand Chase. You don’t know what it feels like to be judged because you aren’t thin.”

“You’re right. I don’t, but I understand what it’s like to be a guy, and I know what they like. These guys, if they’re honest, like girls like you. Curvy. But because they’re being judged too, they date the girls who aren’t, those who are magazine standards. But secretly, they’re wishing they were dating someone like you.”

Someone like me? A size twenty-two with wide hips, a muffin top, and flabby arms?

“You’re just trying to make me feel better.” I clasped the straps of my backpack tightly in my hand.

“I’m telling you the truth. Andy and I have talked about it. We like curvy women.”

I shook my head. If this was true, in order to get a boyfriend, I’d have to find someone who didn’t care what others thought of them. That was going to be difficult. Everyone cared what others thought, even if they said they didn’t. No one wanted to be hated or looked at in disgust. I could attest to that.

“Why aren’t you saying anything?” he asked, probably unable to take the silence much longer.

“There’s nothing to say.” My voice was hoarse, and I cleared my throat.

“You don’t believe me, do you?” Chase looked at me briefly, but in that one glance I saw how much he wished I did believe him.

“I want to,” I said, being honest, “but it’s too hard.”

“I’ll keep working on you. I won’t let you doubt yourself.”

“Good luck.” I rolled my eyes. I wasn’t so sure he could do that.

“Don’t need it. I have every confidence that I’ll be able to. Plus, I have God on my side.”

I shook my head. “If you say so.” God probably couldn’t even change my mind about this.

I didn’t see how he’d be able to change my mind, but I’d let him have that belief. Eventually, he’d see the truth. I couldn’t change who I was, even if I lost weight.

 

For more information on Entertaining Angels, you can check out these buy links:

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/EntertainingAngelsAm

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/EntertainingAngelsAMUK

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/EntertainingAngelsBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/EntertainingAngelsKobo