Mindy and Javier are not friends, okay.
Despite their mothers’ matchmaking, they’ve managed to stay out of each other’s way. Until Mindy goes to Paris for a week, and her mother insists she meet up with Javier. He’s in Paris to study, really looking forward to see you, she says. Watch over each other.
No thanks. Javier is taciturn and boring, Mindy is dramatic and has a tendency to yell at things when her eight siblings are brought up. It’s not a great combination.
But things start to look a little different under the Paris lights, and what felt like hate feels a lot closer to love.
There’s a first time for everything. Gatecrashing a KPop concert with an oppa in a business suit. Taking shelter from the storm with the girl you’ve been meaning to shake off. That kiss that blurs the line between friendship and something more. A one-night stand (or, is it?) with your best friend from across the hallway.
Dive into these 10 stories of first encounters – unapologetically queer, happy endings required, with a smattering of that signature #romanceclass kilig. Whether you’re recalling your own firsts or out there looking for one, there’s a story in here for you.
So, go on.
Turn the page.
Expanded Edition: Plus three short stories!
When she was nine-years-old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted.
Besides, it didn’t really mean anything. After all, it was only a kiss.
But things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. Then other girls and other boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down.
Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking about how the simplest things mean so much.
Plus Just A Little Bit of Love:
Three short stories about three young girls: Anita, Ina, and Carla. Each one finding their lives disrupted by a boy. Maybe it’s because he wanders into the coffee shop where she works after school every Tuesday. Maybe it’s because he won’t leave her alone even if she has made it clear that she is crushing on his football teammate. Or maybe it’s because she’s spent one unforgettable afternoon with him—despite being oh-so-forgetful. Three small doses of love that serve up a whole lot of feels.
All Cris Villareal had ever dreamed of was becoming a doctor. But after the death of a patient under her care and the subsequent humiliation she suffers under a senior resident in her hospital, she begins to lose faith in herself. And no one else could understand her and her despair.
So one Halloween night, up on the rooftop of her apartment building, she decides to end it all.
She is stopped from jumping by Emilio, the ghost of a young man who haunts her building, who also committed suicide there many years ago. Eventually, Cris finds herself opening up to him, in a way she had never before, with anyone living or dead.
There is only one problem.
Emilio isn’t really a ghost.
He is actually a living young man named Nathan Morales, and Cris was just one of the unwitting victims in a prank he had once played on the tenants of her apartment. But being Emilio was the only way he could think of to stop her that night, and the only way now he could get her to open up to him. As Emilio, he was someone she could trust enough to help her, in a way Nathan himself never could.
As their relationship becomes deeper and their feelings grow stronger each day, can he finally help her find a reason to keep living?
But how long can he keep lying to her?
Yes, Universe, Kimmy Domingo knows that you hate her. But she’s a nice person, she really is — as long as you ignore the stories of people she’s bullied, manipulated, and annoyed in the past. She totally gets that you’ve gotten back at her by having her fiance’ dump her a week before their wedding. Soon after, she quit her job, hopped on a plane, and just hid from everyone who knew her.
A year later and she’s back in Manila to be maid of honor at a wedding she can’t miss. She’s home because she’s ready to start over, but she also knows that some people at that wedding were responsible for the mess her life turned out to be. The first step to recovery? Cutting off the ones who caused her troubles to begin with: her best friend and her first love.
Daphne Cardenas is the best wedding planner around, and everyone knows it. That’s why her friend Greg hired her as an emergency replacement one month before his wedding—because he fears his fiancée Helen is falling for the guy they first hired for the job.
Aaron Trinidad is new to the wedding industry but years of conference planning and loads of charm make him good at it. Really good at it. Planning the wedding of his friend Helen should be easy, and it is. To be unceremoniously fired isn’t good for his new career, but the chance to learn from the best might be the silver lining.
Aaron and Daphne have chemistry, but there’s history with Helen that at least one other person considers a threat. Who’s the planner who can fix this impending disaster?
(Part of the Chic Manila series, but can be read as a standalone.)
Why my life sucks
by Geri Lazaro
1. My dad left when I was a kid.
2. My mom is in love (insert eye roll).
3. With a guy who is like 10 years younger than her!
4. My friends think he’s hot. (Gross)
5. I love ballet but our dance studio has a leak and we have to dance in this smelly studio that doubles as an aikido dojo.
6. There’s this Dojo guy who thinks the studio belongs to him.
7. Friends think Dojo guy is cute. (Ew.) (Okay, objectively maybe but still, ew.)
8. I’m failing algebra.
9. Need to quit either basketball or ballet. Or both.
10. Dojo guy keeps showing up! (Fine, he does aikido in the same building but whatever.)
11. Dojo guy is asking me to dance with him. And maybe he is as cute as my friends say.
12. I don’t know what to do anymore!
At 31, Kris’s dating life is starting to resemble a reality show. So when she strikes up a conversation with a nerdy but gorgeous stranger on the train, getting serious is the last thing on her mind. Been there, done that, and she has the emotional baggage to prove it.
At 24, Ringo knows what he wants—and when a train flirtation turns into a night he can’t forget, he knows he wants Kris. But it’s clear she has other plans, and they don’t include him. So when they find themselves on the same flight to Seoul, it’s Ringo’s chance to turn up the heat, and convince Kris to take a risk.
In a new city, with someone new — the right someone — what could change? Maybe nothing. But also, maybe everything.
It’s all fun and games until someone catches feelings.
If there’s something Pio Alvez is good at, it’s pretending to be someone he’s not. On stage and on-screen, the actor has mastered the art of becoming the characters he plays, and his new role should be no different. After all, how difficult would it be to pretend to be smitten with a beautiful, intelligent go-getter like Audrey Alonzo?
Perhaps it’s more difficult pretending not to be.
Zack and Jasmine never dated, but no one else knows that. That story started in college, because she was being a good friend, and he needed help with something. The friendship and affection that followed were very real, but the lie kept causing trouble.
Years later, after a falling out and real relationships with other people, the lie resurfaces to bother Jasmine one more time–when Zack’s exes ask her to stop him from marrying someone they think is totally wrong for him. She’s the only one who can help him, they say, because she’s his best friend. They also believe that Zack loved Jasmine the most–and maybe still does.
Cassie already knows that Joey Garcia makes no promises. He was the cautionary tale told in college. But when he says, “Come with me to Dumaguete for the summer,” on a whim, she says yes. It’s the summer Cassie is turning twenty-three, and she thinks she’s old enough to make mistakes and young enough to recover. Besides, Cassie has always worked hard to get what she wants. For once, it looks like this is going to be easy.
So when she shows up prepared for a wild getaway little does she realize that they’re actually heading for his hometown . . . for a wedding. Her summer fling is turning out to be all kinds of awkward, from sleeping arrangements to family introductions. But heck, if Joey can be cucumber cool about it then so can she.
When Anna ran away to the big city, she was happy. Sure, she brewed cheap coffee, scrubbed frat toilets, and stood in the middle of a basketball court with a plastic bird over her head just to get by, but she was happy. Then Michael shows up at her university on the last day of college and asks her to come home, and she’s drawn to him all over again.
Never mind that he’s eight years older than she is. Never mind that he’s smiling and perfect and the whole reason why she left home in the first place. Never mind that he accidentally almost got her killed in their town’s old bookshop when she was twelve.
All Anna knows is that Michael is the same man who revived her, the same man who broke her heart growing up, the same man she’s hungered for all her life.
Now, she’s coming home to face her silent mother, her passive sister, and a devastating truth about her father. She’s coming home to face her demons, and—after one forbidden night—ignite a fragile passion with the older boy who never loved her in return.
But Michael has his own demons too. And when 22-year-old Anna comes home to return to the life she left behind, she learns that there are just some things you can’t run away from, and that home will never be the same again.
There are only two reasons why Nina would come back home to Cincamarre–one, if Auntie Delia promises to stop butting into her business, two, if her father died and she was made to ascend the throne to be queen.
Unfortunately for her, it was the second thing that brought her home.
As a princess who’s sunk a yacht and been caught kissing popstars, it’s easy for her aunt, the regent, to think she’s ill prepared for the throne. But Nina doesn’t think that having to fake date Felipe, the handsome, squeaky clean Prince of Concordia was the best solution for that.
Nina’s ready to learn the ropes of her new role and make it hers, and reconnecting with Felipe only makes her want to be a better queen. But is the monarchy ready for a queen like Nina?
Thirty-two-year-old Mags Abarquez is a single mom to a preschooler with golden ringlets, and by God, she is going to be good. After a lifetime of only being interested in catching the next wave, she tries out for her company’s training faculty, determined to be serious and make it work this time. The only catch? Luke, her hot, younger training mentor. With a sexy nape, a penchant for paper-thin T-shirts and a disarming smile, he’s Mags’ personal brand of kryptonite. Can she stay the course when temptation loves to banter and is so good with her son?
A contemporary romance set in the Philippines about motherhood, workplace attraction and finding that sweet spot between passion and vocation, Chasing Waves will make you swoon and smile.
Yes, it’s true: “Good girl” Julie Crisostomo dated that guy Anton Santos for almost a year.
Julie is everyone’s loyal and concerned friend, but she has no experience being someone’s girlfriend. Then Anton, a “player” she never thought would be interested in her, swoops into her life and doesn’t seem to want to leave it.
Anton has dated a lot of women and is everyone’s “delicious distraction.” But he seems to have fallen hard for Julie—if only she believed him.