Originally titled Vino el Amor, Mexican telenovela Along Came Love – now airing weekdays on tlnovelas (DStv channel 133) – is a remake of Chilean telenovela La chúcara (Rebel In Love). The story centres on star-crossed lovers: The young, bubbly Luciana (Irina Baeva) and dour, widowed vineyard owner David (Gabriel Soto). David is an unsuspecting soul, trapped between his wicked mother-in-law, Lilian (Azela Robinson), his double-crossing best friend, Juan (Christian de la Campa), and his lustful, obsessive sister-in-law, Graciela (Kimberly Dos Ramos). It’s a knot of treachery that’s been tightening around David for years, so Luciana has her work cut out for her.
Early in the series when Lilian’s daughter, Lisa (Laura Carmine), who’s married to David, uncovers her mother and Juan’s financial misdeeds and threatens to expose them, her sister, Graciela, who’s obsessed with David, kills Lisa.
Following the sudden death of his pregnant wife, David is too grief-stricken to run his farm or take care of his children, Fernanda (Sofia Castro) and Bobby (Emilio Beltrán Ulrich). Guess what his most trusted advisor and mother-in-law, Lilian, does? She puts on a bogus smile, takes advantage of him and continues to embezzle his money. Lilian and Juan have been plotting together for years to take over David’s vineyard. And no wonder, there’s nothing not to love about the Robles vineyard in Napa Valley, California: The scenic view, the mountains and clean air. It’s straight out of a page in a travel magazine.
Years back, though (as we see in the early episodes), Lilian makes a huge mistake when she has little Luciana and her farm labourer father, Marcos (Alejandro Ávila), deported to Mexico in revenge for a slight that had nothing to do with them, out of snobbery and prejudice. Her actions cruelly split the family, with wife and mother Marta (Cynthia Klitbo) staying on in the US alone.
Now Marcos is dead, and Luciana is back in the US under her mother’s wing, all grown up and bringing light into David’s life, making those in-laws gnash their teeth. It seems to be great news for her ex-childhood friend, Miguel (Raúl Coronado), who takes one look at the beauty and falls head over heels. He has no idea that bitter old grouch David could be any kind of competition.
Alas, Luciana sets about heroically saving sad-eyed David from the mess that he’s in and healing his broken heart. Some women can’t resist a fixer-upper, and David is like that rundown mansion with gorgeous architecture. So much potential, if he could just appreciate Luciana more and trust Graciela less.
Real life passion
One of the major selling points of this swooningly romantic telenovela is the white-hot chemistry between David and Luciana. In real life, it carried on offscreen, too, as performers Gabriel Soto and Irina Baeva became a couple after meeting for the first time in these roles in 2016. Gabriel and Irina even quarantined together in their beach house in Acapulco, and they announced their engagement in February 2021.