Alta: A High Society Romance Anthology

You’re invited to the most awaited party of the century!

Climb up the dizzying altitude of Manila’s high society where the air is never thin enough, the view is always spectacular, if a bit vertigo-inducing, and the summit is crowded with well-heeled elite jostling for the top socialite spot. Scandals, sexy shenanigans, and sizzling romance happen as the filthy rich Aritz family don their diamonds, designer gowns, and bespoke suits and gather to celebrate their matriarch’s ninetieth birthday!

Longing For by Carla de Guzman

Everyone knows that Allie Medina is in love with Logan Aritz Hilario. With his sexy hair and Aritz nose, it’s a miracle she’s managed to keep her feelings a secret from him every time they cross paths. But her boss, Doña Carmen has had enough of secrets and hatched the perfect plan to throw Allie and Logan together on an all-expenses paid trip to romantic Vienna.

Together in a foreign land and far away from Logan’s family’s influence and wealth, could this be Allie’s chance to finally be on equal footing with the man she’s always thought of as out of her league? And will Logan finally see her for what she’s truly worth?

Safe Places by Bianca Mori

Heiress-slash-performance artist Natalia Artiz turns up in Manila after a disastrous Italian sojourn, heart too wrung out to even want to leave the house. That is, until a surprising meeting with her college classmate and old friend, Nicky Aventado.

He’s asking for a favor she can’t refuse. But his connections to her family’s past isn’t the only reason why she agrees to sneak him into her grandmother’s birthday party. There’s just something about those lips she can’t resist…

Here Comes the One by Suzette de Borja

Intensely private Joaquin Aritz abhors attention. Especially the kind where the Aritz Corporation heir gets a special mention in a video gone viral featuring vlogger and D-list celebrity Kelly Monago. She’s young, brazen, and turns heads wherever she goes, including Joaquin’s.

He thinks giving in to their simmering desire is a bad idea. Kelly is on a mission to convince him they should explore the attraction-and each other-before coming to a conclusion.

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Raya and Grayson’s Guide to Saving the World

“If I don’t break your heart, the world is going to end.”

When Grayson posts about his girlfriend breaking up with him with that line in an anonymous “Breakup Confessions” thread, Raya recognizes the references and knows that it’s him.

Raya has been dealing with a deeply personal loss, with only her comic books to give her quiet comfort. But thanks to her forum-lurking, she now knows that the guy she’s been crushing on for years is single again. What’s that called, when she might actually have a chance with him but senior high school just ended and they’re heading off on separate paths forever and ever? It’s called a long shot. Right. Only heroes take a risk with those odds and still win.

But when Grayson walks into the hobby shop she works for and asks Raya for a comic book recommendation, Raya realizes that superheroes can come in all shapes and sizes. And as they bond over the summer on all things caped and geeky, Raya discovers that maybe—just maybe—she deserves a chance at a super-powered love story of her own.

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Stay With Me

Moving to Seoul for a job at an entertainment company has made a self-reliant woman out of Filipina. But when she gets injured in an accident and her boyfriend, Gabriel, proposes she move in with him until she’s back in shape, Fi reluctantly gives up her independence in favor of some TLC.

What happens when being under one roof ignites the desire she has been firmly keeping underneath the surface? Will she up and leave, or decide to stay?

This is a Backstage Pass B-Side.

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Stealing Luna

Cora Justa Dumagat has had enough. Daughter of a Cincamarre Councilman and of the Justa Galleries, she is tired of watching the corrupt, fat cats of the council override the monarchy and risk the people’s lives in exchange for a payday. Despite advice from her Princess, Cora has decided to take matters into her own hands and hit the Joaquins where it hurts—to steal their precious Juan Luna painting right from under their noses in Barcelona.

The job shouldn’t be too difficult, if only Luis Ang, her ex-boyfriend was hired to be her bodyguard. Luis knows that Cora is up to something, and will stop at nothing to make sure she’s safe, even at the cost of Cora’s plans.

As Luis and Cora become more and more deeply entangled into each other, the more dangerous the situation becomes. Will Cora have her revenge? Or will stealing Luna be the the thing that spells her death?

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No Two Ways

AJ Felipe makes the most of being the head information security engineer for a local law firm with the help of her loyal team of nerds. Their job isn’t really the most fun, but things take a turn when one of her junior security engineers decides to nominate her for a makeover show.

Enter Jackie Niño, the one-night stand AJ didn’t expect to meet again—who also happens to be the makeup artist who’s going to get her all dolled up on national television.

More complications arise after the episode is aired and another ghost from her past comes back to haunt her: Axel Herrera, the ex-boyfriend who still thinks she left him because she’s a lesbian.

Spoiler alert: She isn’t.

Being bisexual is hard enough. How will AJ navigate new feelings while finding closure for old heartaches?

(Disclaimer: F/F Romance, On-page F/F and M/F only)

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You, Me, U.S.

Best friends Jo and Liza are as opposite as night and day. Sex worker Jo swears by the worry-free, one-day-at-a-time dance through life. Salesclerk Liza has big plans for her family’s future, and there is nothing bigger than a one-way trip to the U.S. But an almost-kiss, a sex dare, and news of Liza’s engagement to her American boyfriend unveil feelings Jo and Liza never thought they had. Deciding between staying together and drifting apart puts Liza’s best-laid plans and Jo’s laidback life in jeopardy.

When love clashes with lifelong ambitions and family expectations, someone has to give in.

Question is: who?

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Kiss and Cry

Calinda met Ramirez when she was 20 and he was 22. She was the rising star of women’s skating, and he was the superstar forward of men’s hockey. Her parents and coach were against their relationship, and because Calinda wanted to prove that no hot guy would ever distract her from her dream, she chose skating over him–and also avoided him all together.

Ten years later, they meet again as gold medalists and prominent sports advocates, still single and undeniably attracted to each other. It’s still not a good time for them, because Ramirez is retiring from hockey and moving back to the United States. Calinda doesn’t do relationships, really, and proposes they use his final three weeks in Manila to explore what might have been, and do all the things they wish they’d done (there’s a list!). Then he can leave for good, and they can both move on with their lives without this one regret.

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Flipping the Script

Miri dela Merced’s film director grandfather and Pabs Paglinauan’s studio head grandmother had a huge falling out that ended Lolo Ikong’s career. At seventeen, Miri finds herself in the same summer film internship program as the down-to-earth film studio heir Pabs, whom she’s decided to automatically write off, just because of his lineage. As Miri gets a crash course in her expectations vs the reality of what’s it like to work on a real movie, her true feelings for Pabs become harder and harder to ignore. In between attending outdoor screenings of classic Pinoy movies and battling monster production assistants together, can flipping the script on a decades-old grudge be only a few sequences away?

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Play it by Ear

What does it really take to be a champion?

When East Genesis Project’s Jo Yihwan reluctantly pinch-hits for injured band mate Steven Bae in a reality TV-slash-talent competition, he decides he’s only in it to win. After all, he is representing his band, and the All-Kill Champion title had some handsome perks attached to it.

But he didn’t expect to meet a gutsy, driven teammate like Ha Yoojung, or feel drawn to her incandescent spirit week after week after week. He didn’t expect her to be carrying a devastating secret that could cost them the grand prize, either.

What starts as a competition becomes so much more. With careers, a long-held dream, and honor at stake, can Yihwan and Yoojung’s hearts survive?

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Mango Summer

Magic is in the air…

For the first time in a century, the fruit in San Antonio’s most famous mango farm all turned sour. Fiona, thirty-six and single, knows why. According to her family’s legend, the only way to keep the mangoes sweet is for the women who run the farm to be married and bear children. If Fiona doesn’t find anyone soon, the inheritance her family has been protecting for generations is in danger of rotting away.

Greg used to have a massive crush on his older sister’s best friend. When he drops by Fiona’s farm to get his sister some of San Antonio’s sweetest mangoes, his quick visit turns into an extended vacation. As the days go by, his feelings for Fiona begin to take root and grow. At twenty-eight, how can he convince Fiona that he’s more than her friend’s kid brother?

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Project Saving Noah

Noah might be the best oceanographer the Institute has seen in years, so he’s in no hurry to finish his Master’s degree…until a new arrival threatens his chance at a once-in-a-lifetime research grant. Suddenly, it’s sink or swim time.

Lise knows there’s a slot at the Institute’s newest project with her name on it. But she’s all math and very little science, and when it comes to the ocean, she’s completely out of her depth.

Lise and Noah are determined to win—even if it means working with each other to overcome their fears. But what begins as a shallow bargain lands them straight into the deep end when they realize they want the same thing—each other. Unable to ignore their physical chemistry, can they balance personal ambitions against an illogical attraction that threatens everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve?

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How She Likes It

CEO-in-training, heiress and cosmetics company marvel Isabel Alfonso needs to hire an assistant. She needs to hire someone who is smart and competent to arrange a trip to Shanghai for her to meet with potential business partners. She needs to learn how to let go of her cosmetics company, her baby, in order to take on the CEO role which she’s been groomed for her entire life. What she does not need to hire is a young single dad, last seen with her in bed as a one night stand.

Falling for Adam Sevilla is a complication that Isabel doesn’t need. And with so much on the line, she can’t afford to make any mistakes. Can she really leave everything behind, just to head the family business? Or will she hold on to what she has with zero guarantees?

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Heartstruck

Seventeen-year-old Alexa Zamora looks as if she’s always been the beautiful and graceful center of attention. If you knew her in grade school though, you’d remember a sad little girl, who had lost her parents, and spent most of her time on the martial art arnis—a rough sport, not something girls were supposed to like. If you knew her then, you might have ostracized her for it.

She learned from this mistake, and has done her best to hide all traces of her sport and skill in a new school, and now she’s New Hope Academy’s It Girl. But transfer student Theo Guevarra, who happens to be her old arnis buddy and first love, arrives and makes her question the life she’s been living. How long can she keep up appearances, before it all falls apart?

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What Kind of Day

It’s a bad day for Ben. After years of earnest work, he’s been fired from his job as a speechwriter for a Philippine senator. Name tarnished and bridges burned, he steps into what he thinks is a shuttle ride home, and accidentally joins a tour of his own city.

It was supposed to be a good day for Naya. Her passion is traveling, her hobby is discovering cool things to see and do, and taking people on tours of Metro Manila is her only job right now. An extra person at the last minute isn’t ideal, especially if the person is a former colleague and the subject of the day’s hottest political trash fire. But work is work, and she decides to let him stay in the tour.

She’s hoping she won’t regret it. He’s hoping his day turns around. What kind of day could it be? Maybe the best kind.

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Second Wave Summer

All roads lead back to beachside music festival Summer Crush for another weekend of high waves, rock & roll, and the promise of summer romance.

On any given day, Michael Brian doesn’t need to do much to hit the right notes with a girl, but there’s something about this day—and something about this girl—that’s got him out of tune. (A Taste of Summer, Six delos Reyes)

Indie filmmaker Datu puts on his dusty event videographer hat for Summer Crush. But memories of a love he let slip away resurface from every corner of this surf town. Now what he thought would be an easy job just isn’t so easy anymore. (Rushes, Tara Frejas)

Corporate-highflyer-on-vacation Ringo has a question to which cookie bar boss woman Kris has the answer, if only they’d stop getting in each other’s way. (Ask Me Nicely, Jay E. Tria)

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