Are you tired of heroines who all look like supermodels with tiny waists and perfect figures? Would you like to see a woman with realistic proportions find a really great guy? Well, Justine Davis has done just that in A Whole Lot of Love.
Layla Laraway has a sultry, sexy phone voice. The problem is that when people see her in person, all they notice is a full figured woman. Layla is accustomed to the startled looks she gets, but they still sting. She tried to remain in the background as much as possible.
Layla works for an Alzheimerís charity and organizes the annual fund raiser each year. The fund raiser is an auction of a special day or evening with a prominent single person. She convinces a reluctant Ethan Winslow, CEO of a company working toward a breakthrough technology for Alzheimerís patients, to become part of the auction.
Ethan is intrigued by Laylaís humor, wit, and that voice. He doesnít meet her until the night of the auction and, while his surprise is very short, Layla sees the expected reaction. She is not surprised because he is truly gorgeous. His recovery is very quick and he is very nice to her, so she does like him. He also rescues her from total embarrassment when the cruel MC of the auction tries to make a joke out of Layla by offering her for auction at the end of the evening. Ethan bids a high amount for a date with her. He understands a lot about how women feel because he had to parent his two younger sisters after the death of their parents when they were all fairly young. He canít stand to see a nice person like Layla humiliated.
Layla tries to tell Ethan that he doesnít have to go through with the date, but he insists and they end up having an enjoyable day of sailing. He is surprised at how much he enjoys spending time with her, talking and laughing. He also discovers her dedication to Alzheimerís patients. She took care of her father through the disease until his death. When she discovers that Ethanís mentor has the disease, but Ethan no longer visits him, she tries to get him to go again.
The author does a great job of portraying both of these people realistically. The shyness and disbelief Layla has that someone as gorgeous as Ethan could like her for more than a friend rings true. Ethan is shown working through some of his preconceived ideas of the type of woman who would attract him. When he decides he wants to be more than friends with Layla, he shows a lot of understanding of her hesitation and is patient, but persistent.
Laylaís beautiful best friend, Stephanie, Ethanís two sisters, and his insensitive best friend, Bill, are all involved in the story and are good secondary characters. Stephanie helps Layla see that beautiful people are not all shallow. The sisters truly love their brother and accept and encourage Layla. Billís negative reaction to Layla helps Ethan realize just how difficult a time she has had with some men.
Thanks, Justine Davis, for giving us two warm and wonderful people and the romance they share.
--B. Kathy Leitle