If you have not read the Coffee Date series, this is your chance to get the complete story in one book. Randall ‘The Rocket’ Reese and Danielle Erlinger’s relationship was unconventional in the way it started. They met for a coffee date, made a connection emotionally, and their unusual situation began to form from that point. Dani was a life coach and an acquaintance of his sister Freya. Freya was his fierce protector and confidant. Freya’s honest attempts to offer comfort for her brother on the day of his wife’s death brought forth a new life experience and a measure of pain for Rocket. Rocket, dealt with the ill-fated day in grief knowing he had also to manage a young son during the chaos. Little Rocket was part of the reason for his discontent with his situation as a single father. Rand felt guilty for the way things turned out between him and his wife. After a period of malaise, he’d chosen to do something with his celebrity as a once high-profile athlete at the top of his career. But first, he needed to do as his sister asked by going on a coffee date with a friend. While on the date, he realized Dani attended the same high school and had a few conversations with him here and there. Back in their school days, Dani considered a Big Girl, and not Rand’s usual leggy, skinny, cheerleader type. She did not expect much to come from their coffee date. The liaison turned into something passionate for both. The next part of the novella they became friends and had an even deeper connection.

Rand was always hesitant to allow women to meet his son, so it was a treat the way his new relationship unfolded. Little Rocket had some profound matters with his emotional well-being, and I adored the way the author framed his sometimes attitude. The writing gave me a vision of his actions when he struggled with comprehension regarding his sad feelings. I was fervently allied with the way Rand wanted to handle his son’s care needs. Sometimes I thought Freya was doing too much, and I wanted her to back away a few feet. I realize it’s difficult to let go when she’d been the caretaker for her little brother since he was a kid. I get it. But also, Rand needed to glow in his light or dim in his darkness. Freya’s overwhelming love for her brother and Little Rocket confounded at times. Freya’s husband was the ancillary character to draw my attention to the story. I liked his calmness and frankness. And then again, romantic stories have sweet characters along with serpents and sleazy ones to breathe life into the dramatic side of the story. The shoes of deception were filled by a few insignificant women and ex-lovers when they slithered from beneath the piles of drama and festered for a few pages. I was not afraid. I sensed and believed Dani and Rand’s connection was for real, and it would not be derailed because of lies. In the end, love prevailed, and the saga ended with this reader/reviewer doing a happy dance. A la Carte was the perfect addition. 5 Stars!

Review – À la Carte: The Complete ‘Coffee Date’ Novellas, by Nia Forrester

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