“I am the drummer” — It usually works for Nino, beat master of rock band Trainman and newcomer DJ, but the usual hook fell flat on gorgeous, sleepy-eyed, water treatment plant engineer Santana. Still there’s attraction even Santana can’t deny, and despite her warning that she’s not exactly in the market for a relationship, they agree to take it one sporty date, one bacon haunt, one hot night together at a time.
Nino thinks it’s going quite well. So what does it matter that his ex is back in the country? Or that he’s weighed down with guilt he hasn’t been able to shake off for too long? With his brand new attempt at happy-finally-after, none of that matters. Right?
Falling in love is nothing short of a natural disaster.
Just ask Phylle, climate scientist on board a research cruise off to unexplored waters. She’s finally on the brink of a personal epiphany—while battling her scientific demons—and she’s determined not to be distracted from her cause.
Dakila knows that what he has is less of a full-time job and more of a calling. As an award-winning journalist, he has stood in the path of typhoons and faced danger head-on in war zones, but nothing could have ever prepared him for the storm that is Phylle.
Phylle and Dakila both understand that saving the Earth means no time for relationships, but every dive and surface interval leads them closer and closer to a different kind of discovery. One neither of them could have ever trained for. Maybe it’s about time they ask themselves: What’s a sustainable future without someone to share it with?
Will the one who got away be strong enough to stay?
With a job that she loves, an adorable senior dog, and a baby she fought hard to conceive on the way, life is going well for thirty-one-year old school teacher Kalila Rayos. That is, until her ex-boyfriend and first love, filmmaker Datu Alvez asks if they could try again.
Saying yes shouldn’t be too difficult. After all, she’s still also in love with him and Datu’s efforts to be there for her make her feel she truly has it all. But on top of her worries as a soon-to-be mom, a crisis that hits her school forces her to shift her priorities away from her own desires.
Let me come home to you.
When Son meets Alice again after she disappeared from his life four years ago, he can’t wait to impress her. He is the oft half-naked bassist of indie rock band Trainman after all. But adolescent pain lingers, and headstrong actress Alice isn’t about to let Son off the hook for breaking her heart. Can he prove to her, to himself, and to people who matter, that he is capable of being someone she (and everyone else) can count on?
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.
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.
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?
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)
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.