A Whole Lot Of Love

Grade : B+
Reviewed by Ellen Micheletti
Grade : B+
Book type : Series Romance
Sensuality : Warm
Review Date : March 20, 2000
Published On : 2000/03

Last year I went on a major Justine Davis glom which is still continuing, and I have yet to find one of her books that I did not enjoy. I’ve liked some more than others, but her writing style and my reading preferences seem to be in sync. A Whole Lot of Love is her latest and it is an emotional, character driven story with a heroine who is not at all average.

Layla Laraway has the sexiest voice in the universe. When men hear it, they get all kinds of images in their minds until they actually see her. Layla is tall and blonde with beautiful green eyes and a lovely face, but her dress size is not in the single digits. Not that she’s obese by any stretch of the imagination. Layla is healthy and in excellent physical condition, but she has curves. In a time when the ultra-thin woman is idealized, Layla is sneered at.

Layla works as a fundraiser for a charity that supports research for a cure for Alzheimers, a disease that killed her beloved father. One of the fundraisers she stages features auctions of dates with prominent single men and women in the area. She convinces Ethan Winslow, the CEO of a company that is researching a cure for Alzheimers to participate – Ethan is charmed by the witty and sexy voice on the phone and agrees.

At the auction, Ethan is surprised to see Layla, but he is not shocked or repulsed. When the smarmy auctioneer tries to auction off Layla at the end of the event, to her deep embarrassment, Ethan comes to her rescue and buys her for a date.

To their mutual surprise, Ethan and Layla have a marvelous time. He loves being with her – her charm, her wit, and her beauty captivate him. But Layla is still reserved. Her past experiences with men have been of the “You would be so pretty if….” type and she can’t believe that Ethan – who is so handsome he turns heads wherever he goes could want her.

The secondary characters in A Whole Lot Of Love all have integral parts in the story and serve to shed light on Ethan and Layla’s characters. There are Ethan’s sisters whom he raised when their parents were killed when he was only 17. Layla’s best friend Stephanie who is beautiful and as good and kind as she is beautiful and Ethan’s friend Bill, whose shallow and insensitive comments serve to show Ethan what a woman like Layla has to put up with. The most poignant secondary character is Pete, Ethan’s friend, mentor and second father who is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. The scene where Ethan and Layla visit him brought so many tears to my eyes, I feared I would damage the book.

The love scenes in A Whole Lot of Love are something special. Justine Davis is one author who is totally successful at conveying to the reader the passionate love and deep emotion her characters are feeling. Ethan and Layla’s relationship is all the more satisfying because they like each other so much.

Kudos to Silhouette for the cover of this book. If they had used a thin woman on the cover it would have been a terrible mistake, but the woman on the cover looks exactly like the description of Layla in the book, right down to her dress and jewelry.

A Whole Lot Of Love reinforces my belief that Justine Davis is one of the best writers in the category field. I will continue my glom of her books and I hope I can get them all by the end of the year. If you have not read her, try this book. After you finish it, I’ll wager you will go on a glom too.

Ellen Micheletti

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