ARC Review: Summer Feels + Playlist Bonus! + Giveaway

  • SUMMER FEELS: A #RomanceClass Anthology
  • Publication: April 30, 2017
  • Source: Kindle Edition  | DRC
  • Rating: ♥♥♥♥*

Summer loving happens so fast, as you’ll find with Summer Feels, an anthology of 23 stories of love under the summer sun by #romanceclass authors. Savor the candied thrill of firsts—first loves, first kisses, first solo vacations—and the bittersweet triumph of second chances. Tour the Philippines as the stories take you to mountain retreats and island paradises. Let the magic of the hot sun, clear blue skies, and lots of love take you on a roller coaster ride of feels. With stories ranging from sweet to sexy, there’s sure to be something for any fan of romance.

Featuring stories by:

Elea Andrea Almazora • Erleen Alvarez • Ella Banta • Rachelle Belaro • H. Bentham • Halina Cabrera • Charlie Dio • Mina V. Esguerra • Elizabeth Galit • Georgette S. Gonzales • Ami Granada • Irene Jurado • Catherine Lo • Arlene Manocot • Bianca Mori • Eris Peñaluna • Farrah F. Polestico • Kit Salazar • Miel Salva • Fay Sebastian • Kate Sebastian • Yeyet Soriano • Marian Tee

review

I received an advance digital reader’s copy but this does not affect or influence my review.

I enjoyed this book so much! Reading one story after another was like a roller coaster ride. I’ve read a few books that are a combination of short stories from amazing authors and this one is not far from it. I feel so proud of these authors tho. The stories were also perfectly arranged, from the first story that feels like cute and conservative to the next stories that are getting more mature and sexy but still romantic. I like how this book emphasizes the different places you could spend your summer with in the country, it feels like I’m discovering more places to go visit. There were also stories that however short they were, it really touched me to the bones even if I couldn’t really relate to the story but the author just spoke to me and poof! All in all, I rated this book with 4 out of 5 stars, individual ratings are listed down below. I would totally recommend this book especially during summer, if you read this on different occasion you would surely crave for the beach and the heat.

“All About That Bass” by Fay Sebastian

Rating: 3 Stars

Erika Torres is determined to join her university’s a cappella guild to pursue her passion and to discover what fate has in store for her broken heart.

All the times she’s crossed paths with the guild’s bass leader Liam Lorenzo have made her think about the possibility of falling in love again. But with the scars of the past and the guild captain making it difficult for her to spend time with Liam, Erika must decide if the blind jump off the cliff of love is a risk her heart can take.

 “Alter Christus” by Catherine Lo

Rating: 5 Stars

When you fall deeply and helplessly in love with a seminarian, it becomes the happiest and saddest moment of your life.

Nobody knows this better than I do. For years, it’s always been Peter at the center of my heart, and we might have had a happily-ever-after if his higher calling weren’t there, stubbornly squeezing itself between us.

Now, in the summer of our last year in college, as feelings are shared involving an overly symbolic piece of rock, will Peter finally decide to choose me, or will I lose him forever to a life in robes and vestments?

“Fall for Me” by Miel Salva

Rating: 4 Stars

Sixteen-year-old Yasmin San Carlos grew up basking in the admiration and respect of everyone around her. Except for Karlos Iñigo Vicente, who seems to be unaffected by her pleasing personality. Finding this an aberration to the natural order of her world and a telltale sign of failing her mother, Yas is determined to befriend Igo in hopes of making him fall for her.

But the plan is easier said than done.

“The Game of Twenty Questions” by Elizabeth Galit

Rating: 5 Stars

Charlemagne Villegas hasn’t gotten over her breakup with Dave. But it has been three years since the breakup happened. Everybody (maybe except for her) has moved on. And so there’s nothing wrong in going to the beach with Dave and their old friends, right?

But what if Charlie discovers otherwise? What if like her, someone else hasn’t gotten over what happened three years ago? Would it be another heartache? Or a second once-in-a-lifetime chance?

“The Summer You Said Hello” by Ami Granada

Rating: 3 Stars

Edward and Camille have been childhood friends since forever. Edward secretly loves her. They lost touch after graduation. By chance, they meet again, but Edward seems aloof. Seeing him again, Camille is sure of one thing—she is in love with him.

Camille calls him at the radio station where he works as a DJ. She pretends to be someone else by using another name. However, Edward knows her voice, clear as a silver morning.

 “At the Bermuda Triangle” by Elea Andrea Almazora

 Rating: 4 Stars

There’s no way Messi Potenciano’s letting her problems ruin the wedding of her two closest friends. She’ll just get through the beach side ceremony and not get entangled in anything dumb.

Steve Caballero has no intention of staying for his clients’ wedding. He just wants to deliver the clothes he designed and get off the island resort.

Their sudden and staggering attraction and surprising connection are not part of the plan. But what else would you expect at a resort called the Bermuda Triangle?

 “Beachin’ Summer” by Arlene Manocot

 Rating: 3 Stars

Childhood friends Summer and Jesse head to the beach after a traumatic incident leaves Jesse in need of a little rest and relaxation. He’s looking forward to catching up on his reading, and while she isn’t as avid a reader, she can’t help but be drawn in by his enthusiasm. When he shares his love of indie-published romance with her, she can’t help but wonder if he might be inspired to turn fictional love into something real.

“Buddy System” by Yeyet Soriano

Rating: 5 Stars

Smarting from a recent breakup, Kit Estaquio decides to let loose during her company’s overnight summer outing. She enlists the help of her officemate and best friend, Carlo Manlapat, and they agree to set up a buddy system where Carlo will make sure Kit won’t do anything she would regret.

But when office babe Tanya de Leon sets her sights on Carlo and office player Javier Perez makes it known he has his eye on Kit, the lines between being friends and buddies blur until Kit and Carlo realize they may not be the best buddies for each other.

“Busy out of the Friendzone” by Charlie Dio

Rating: 4 Stars

A summer beach wedding in a tropical paradise, a white button-up shirt with neon pink hibiscus prints, a handful of meddling relatives, and two friends at the crossroads of their relationship dynamics—what could possibly go wrong between Aidan and Gillian? Turns out, everything! Then again, there’s also a kiss, a hickey, and a man on a mission, so maybe things could turn right after all.

“Flying with You” by Rachelle Belaro

Rating: 4 Stars

All that Arci ever wanted was to visit Lake Sebu with her friends. When they backed out at the last minute, she was forced to continue her trip alone. Then she met Blue Shirt Guy, and she kept bumping into him. He became her impromptu travel buddy . . . and maybe a summer fling.

Will the way he holds her hand tight be enough to turn this something into a real relationship? Or is it just a fleeting summer encounter?

“Guide for a Day” by H. Bentham

Rating: 3 Stars

Delivery boy Jun meets vacationer Ricky at his hometown’s only hotel. It was an instant attraction for Jun, and when the city boy offers to hire him as a tour guide for a day, the provincial lad agrees. They go around town together, discovering more than just the town’s history, but each other’s as well.

“Ready to Run” by Kit Salazar

Rating: 5 Stars

Chris Hastings was pretty happy with his life. He had a nice beachside apartment, good friends, and a job he enjoyed. He didn’t think he wanted anything more, until Lauren Ditas came into his life. She was outgoing, athletic, beautiful, and everything he thought he couldn’t have. Chris opened himself up to her, but then he realized that she wasn’t doing the same with him. Could they make things work if there were secrets between them?

“Secondhand Wanderlust” by Erleen Alvarez

Rating: 5 Stars

Twenty-four-year-old April De Guzman has never traveled alone and for good reason. Until she finds her sister’s travel diary and impulsively books a two-day tour package to Calaguas Island. She doesn’t know how she will survive the boat ride, much less live in a tent. But charming tour guide slash photographer Leo proves a welcome distraction from her overthinking mind.

With a bag full of summer essentials and her sister’s diary in hand, April will go on a journey to find that missing piece inside her and discover that traveling alone isn’t as lonely as it sounds.

“The Search for the Kissing Monster” by Ella Banta

Rating: 2 Stars

Vincent and his friends are excited for their summer vacation this year, especially because one of his friends will be getting married. Congratulations and drinking are in order. Only, Vincent can’t drink. Weird things happen when he drinks. Then his friends mention something about him and a kissing monster. Who—or what—is it? What does it have to do with Vincent?

“Anything Can Happen” by Marian Tee

Rating: 2 Stars

Charlotte “Charlie” Perez is what people think as the “serious” type. Or at least that’s how her family has been describing Charlie her entire life, and so it must be true. But everything she knows or thought was true about herself is challenged one fine day in Boracay when she meets the gorgeous, mysterious Alexio . . .

“Four Basic Principles” by Bianca Mori

Rating: 5 Stars

Everybody makes mistakes in college, but one night’s carelessness turned former friends, Cass and Gelo, into strangers. Seven years later, they are thrown together in scenic Moalboal, Cebu. The trip has them wondering: are people doomed to repeat the same mistakes, or can time thaw the ice between two former friends?

“Love after Summer” by Irene Jurado

Rating: 5 Stars

Seine Vargas met a dashing groomsman one summer day in Boracay. She was appointed as a substitute photographer for a wedding photoshoot by her best friend.

There’s a sizzling connection between her and the groomsman, but can this summer fling turn into an all-year romance knowing they just spent only a day with each other in an island?

“Lucky in Paradise” by Farrah F. Polestico

Rating: 5 Stars

After getting out of a failed relationship, Lucy books a weeklong stay at Villa del Carmel, a little corner of paradise where she can bask in the summer sun and forget about all her problems. Dean, the resident chef, catches her eye, but she doesn’t want anything serious. And Dean seems to want the same thing. So they take it one day at a time, reveling in the now.

But what if her heart starts asking for more than what Dean can give? Will it get what it wants, or is she in for another heartbreak?

“The Swimming Instructor” by Eris Peñaluna

Rating: 4 Stars

Bound together by a scheming little girl, Jandro and Ariel try to come to terms with their mutual attraction for each other through lots of gauging and attack tactics, mostly from Ariel, much to Jandro’s chagrin.

In which Jandro learns to swim and Ariel learns how to take a plunge again.

“Wedding Night Stand” by Mina V. Esguerra

Rating: 4 Stars

Andrea Crisostomo is no longer your Ms. Right Now, thank you very much. She’s had enough of guys who like her “free spirit” but then break up with her before things get serious.

Damon Esquibel enjoys the slow and steady chase, and it looks like his two-year pursuit of Geraldine is about to pay off. He’s at his friend Anton’s destination wedding only because of her. But then he meets the sister of the bride, who doesn’t seem to want to be there, and it’s enough to question his plans for the evening—and the rest of the weekend.

“An Overdue Adventure” by Kate Sebastian

Rating: 5 Stars

Hilary Santos is pretty much the poster girl for a sedentary lifestyle, but this week, she’s out to fulfill her father’s last wish—that she go on a no-holds-barred adventure. Travel guide and family friend Roman Villaflor is determined to make sure she doesn’t chicken out on the adrenaline rush Cebu has to offer. But Hilary soon finds that the thrill of jumping off cliffs and swimming with sharks can’t compare to the one she feels in his arms. Dare she take the biggest leap of all?

“Buttered Sunset” by Halina Cabrera

Rating: 2 Stars

Marisol thinks it might be too late for love. Her life has been the resort she runs together with her sister at Moalboal, Cebu. However, when Joe Bassett walks up to the reception desk to flirt with her while looking for lunch, she changes her mind. Maybe it’s time for her to work up an appetite for change. But does she have the courage to just say yes?

“Then Derrick Was Back” by Georgette S. Gonzales

Rating: 2 Stars

Nadia and Derrick had the kind of relationship that was both hot and promising. But then Derrick had to leave and inasmuch as they worked hard to keep things normal between them, distance and uncertainty got in the way and she called it quits. Over a couple of years later, Derrick surprised her by coming back on the scene. Is Nadia prepared to pick up where they left off? Or will she remain indifferent considering the pain he made her go through when they were apart?

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AMAZON | GOODREADS | PRINT COPY (PHILIPPINES)


About #romanceclass

#romanceclass is a community of authors who attended various writing workshops organized by Mina V. Esguerra, readers of books by those authors, and readers of English-language romance books by Filipino authors. Visit romanceclassbooks.com to see the full catalog of books!

BONUS! Secondhand Wanderlust Book Plasylist

I am so happy to share to you the list of songs that author, Erleen Alavarez herself listened to and compiled by.  These are the songs that inspired Secondhand Wanderlust and which best represents April and Leo’s story.

  1. Perfect Stranger by Jonas Blue ft. J. Cooper

 

“Maybe we’ll stay together, maybe we’ll walk away

Maybe we’ll realize we’re only human

Maybe we don’t need no reason why.”

This song is actually the whole inspiration for Secondhand Wanderlust. You see, I’m a sucker for love stories that happened within 24 hours (like Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan and Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith). So when I heard this song, I immediately got the story about two people who just met a day before but doesn’t want to let each other go. I still didn’t know who, why and how they met at that time, but I knew there was something special in that moment. That’s where April and Leo’s story started. The upbeat tempo also gives me a summer-y vibe, so it was perfect.

 

  1. Boys Like You – Who is Fancy ft. Meghan Trainor, Ariana Grande

“I need to cool down ’cause I know we’re just friends

But one look from you baby then I’m falling back in”

This is my feel-good summer jam. I liked listening to this whenever I was writing April and Leo especially the scene where (spoiler alert!) Leo took off his shirt.  *wink, wink*

  1. See You Again (Piano Demo version) – Charlie Puth

“’Cause I don’t really know how to tell ya without feeling much worse

I know you’re in a better place but it’s always gonna hurt.”

This version, without Wiz Khalifa’s rap, is the most heartbreaking song I’ve ever heard. I feel like crying every time I hear it. I imagined this was what April was feeling when she was at the top of the hill in Calaguas Island.

  1. Set Sail – Frances

 

“I don’t know if we’ll get lost at sea or we’ll end up where we’re supposed to be.

Are you brave enough to swim against the tide?”

I just recently found this singer and I’m obsessed with her. This was one of my favorite from her first album aside from Let It Out, and I can picture April listening to this song while she was in the boat sailing away from the island.

  1. Rather Be – Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne

“We’re a thousand miles from comfort, we have traveled land and sea

But as long as you are with me, there’s no place I’d rather be.”

The lyrics of this song summarizes the whole love story of April and Leo and  I just love singing along to this.

 

I would love to send my appreciation to Erleen Alavarez for sharing this with me! Thank you so much. By the way, these songs are actually my favorites, they’re all part of my own personal playlist before. xo

GIVEAWAY

The part that most of you – so am I! – are waiting for.

Prizes:

  • International: Amazon gift card worth $25
  • Philippines Only: Print books from some of the authors:
    • My Dutch Billionaire by Marian Tee
    • Kate, Finally by Yeyet Soriano
    • Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers by Kate Sebastian

Click here for the Giveaway link: Rafflecopter 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Elea Andrea Almazora

Elea Andrea Almazora typically writes poetry and speculative fiction and has a weakness for funny romance stories. She currently works as a contributor to Playboy magazine’s Advisor column.
To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Erleen Alvarez

When she’s not running errands or making monthly reports, Erleen Alvarez escapes the real world by reading books and writing stories about love of all kinds. She lives in a small town in Camarines Norte, where she’s trying to complete at least one publishable novel.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Ella Banta

Ella Banta is a purple-loving, egg pie-eating 30-something woman. Writing has always been a dream for her since she was little. And writing for a #romanceclass book is a dream come true. After this, she plans to write more and hopefully meet more awesome egg pie-eating peeps.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Rachelle Belaro

Rachelle is a published author of Pop Fiction, an imprint of Summit Books. She chooses watching Kdramas over writing stories, which makes it difficult for her to finish a chapter. If daydreaming were a profession, she could have made a great career in it.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

H. Bentham

Bentham was born and raised in the Philippines, but now resides 1,487 miles away from home. He battles homesickness with his various hobbies and (mostly) by procrastinating on the internet. When he’s done being bored, he writes stories and, when he’s feeling particularly profound, poems. He adores turtles and bettas, enjoying the slow, quiet companionship they provide.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please
Follow him on Twitter @bentchbites

Halina Cabrera

Halina Cabrera writes steamy romance, among other things, while she’s on break. She’s a breakfast person (that’s not the same as being a morning person). And she loves serif fonts. She’ll keep writing until she keels over.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Charlie Dio

Charlio Dio is a jack of all trades hailing from the Philippines. She loves reading, writing, watching anime, and taking long walks with her two dogs. An office employee by day and an internet ninja by night, she spends the majority of her waking hours talking to people in her head and putting their stories into written words.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Mina V. Esguerra

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance. She blogs about her writing and publishing adventures at minavesguerra.com.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Elizabeth Galit

Elizabeth Galit’s friends call her Beth. She is a book hoarder, romance writer, a chocolate sucker, a coffee addict and a hopeless romantic.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Georgette S. Gonzales

Georgette S. Gonzales is an author of romance in Filipino (as Edith Joaquin of My Special Valentine) and in English. She’s also written crime fiction novella Classified. Gette is a milrom junkie; she cooks but does not bake, loves to travel, and prides herself on being a singer, poet, and friend.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Ami Granada

Ami Granada writes romances, travel stories, and poetry. She has written one romance novel in English (Unspoken), romance novels in Tagalog, and short stories that have been published in local magazines and newspapers. The only time she feels really free is when she travels and when she writes.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Irene Jurado

Irene is a full-time mom in the morning and full-time employee by night. Once she puts everything in order, she becomes a romance reader, writes short stories, opens her bag full of watercolors, and drinks her milk tea.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Catherine Lo

Catherine Dellosa Lo is a freelance writer by day and a geek by night, with works published in SuperHeroStuff, Vibal’s POC, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and more. She hopes to soar the skies as a superhero someday, but for now, she believes in saving lives through fiction. For fun, her personal blog recounts rookie misadventures as a noob wife.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Arlene Manocot

Arlene Manocot writes in English and Filipino. Her words dwell in the realms of fantasy, suspense and romance. Aside from writing fiction, she also weaves poems from the endless thread of life. Daydreaming is an expensive hobby she’d like to preserve, and putting her thoughts into writing keeps her sane in this world of insanity.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Bianca Mori

Bianca Mori is the author of One Night at the Palace Hotel, Tame the Kitten, and the Takedown Trilogy. She is interested in exploring power in romance and enjoys reading about demimondaines, pin-up girls and Jazz Age personalities and hopes to reinterpret these in her stories. She lives with her family and a hyperactive pug.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Eris Peñaluna

The author is a graduate of the University of the Philippines. This is her first romance short story, though she plans to publish a novel in the near future. During her spare time, she practices yoga, runs and tries to learn as many languages as she can.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Farrah F. Polestico

Farrah F. Polestico wanted to be a lot of things in life—an engineer, a nurse, an astrophysicist. But it wasn’t until she was thirteen that she knew she was going to be a published writer. When she’s not up all night writing her next book, you can find her reading anything and everything, from Charles Dickens novels to old grocery receipts.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Kit Salazar

Kit has always known what she wanted in life, but only recently took courage to go after it. She’s back to doing things things that she loves, including writing and illustrating, while juggling a side job that helps fuel her creativity.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Miel Salva

Miel Salva is a Filipino HR consultant by day and a romance writer/reader by heart. She enjoys watching movies, documentaries and TV series and going out to eat with friends or with her fiancé. She reads and writes stories about love and its many different facets because she believes that even in this world filled with hate, love still prevails.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Fay Sebastian

Fay is a speech communication student who writes even on the busiest of days because writing prevents her from turning into a college zombie. Why she holds writing instruments in an odd way will always be a mystery to the world.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Kate Sebastian

Kate Sebastian has been crafting stories since she was tiny. She spent her childhood reimagining classic fairy tales and inventing new ones. She earns a good living writing articles and editing manuscripts, but decided to try her hand at writing romance (the steamy kind) since she reads so much of it.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Yeyet Soriano

Yeyet Soriano is an Asia Pacific IT manager by day, writer by night, and a wife and mother of three all throughout. Turning Points, In My Dreams, The Retreat, and Kate, Finally are her self-published novels. Romance is not her core genre, but all her stories, no matter how dark or twisted, have romantic elements embedded in them.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

Marian Tee

Marian Tee is the author of The Art of Catching a Greek Billionaire, which is part of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Billionaire Bad Boys of Romance.

To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please

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