keeping her secret

Five Days of Romance: Day 1 – Romance Book Recommendations

Hi fellow readers, and welcome to Five Days of Romance. For five days, including today, I’ll be posting romantic bookish posts in celebration of Valentine’s Day, and this lovely time of romance. I’ll be posting the following posts,

  • Romance Book Recommendations (today, see below)
  • Romantic Book Postcards (Feb 12, 2017)
  • Book Girlfriends (Feb 13, 2017)
  • Recipe for the Perfect Date (Feb 14, 2017)
  • Anticipated Romance Reads (Feb 15, 2017)

Stay tuned the following week, because you don’t want to miss these posts and get that romance on. There is something for everyone!


This first day of Five Days of Romance I have some romance book recommendations for you all. I specifically have 14 books that I’ve read and loved. These books are a mix of Young Adult, New Adult and Adult books, and they all have diverse characters in one way or another.

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These 14 Romance novels are ones that I really love. They all vary a lot in style, age of protagonist and story, but they have all mesmerized me in one way or another. I really recommend them, and they’re perfect in time for Valentine’s Day. A good romance novel is just what you need when love is in the air.

  1. The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen. New Adult, sports, disabled protagonist.
  2. Rumor Has It by Farrah F. Polestico. Young Adult, theater, Filipino main characters.
  3. We Awaken by Calista Lynne. Young Adult, Fantasy, asexual protagonist.
  4. Keeping Her Secret by Sarah Nicolas. Young Adult, camp, bisexual Indian protagonist.
  5. Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour. Young Adult, Hollywood, gay biracial protagonist.
  6. The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis. New Adult, pansexual protagonist.
  7. The Unforgettables by G.L. Tomas. Young Adult, Haitian-American protagonist.
  8. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkes. Young Adult, forbidden love, Mexican love interest.
  9. Complementary and Acute by Ella Lyons. Young Adult, boarding school, gay protagonist.
  10. Roller Girl by Vanessa North. Adult, sports, trans lesbian protagonist.
  11. More Than Fashion by Elizabeth Briggs. New Adult, reality TV, Korean-American protagonist.
  12. Interim Goddess of Love by Mina V. Esguerra. Young Adult, Fantasy, Filipino main characters.
  13. Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan. Young Adult, gay Persian protagonist.
  14. Prep and Prejudice by Miren B. Flores. Adult, Filipino main characters.

Have you read any of these books, are you excited to read any of them? Do you want to get that romance on with a cozy book?

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Welcome To The Ballet World (+Book Recs)

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Welcome to the ballet world, filled with beautiful dancers, pink shoes, and lots and lots of secrets. Being a ballerina can be both the most wonderful and most rewarding thing, but it’s a vicious world and comes with a lot of darkness as well. If this is something that interests you, let me present to you my first book recommendations for ballet themed books.

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When a ballet is being performed, the beauty, the coordination, the steps, yes everything is planned and trained for perfection. Months, even years, go into perfecting a move for a performance, and sometimes you only see that move for a few minutes or seconds. If you want to see behind the scenes of the ballet world, the hard work, the scary parts, but also the amazing parts, read one of the following books,

Another thing you have to know about ballet is that it’s a lot more complex than what first meets the eye, my friend. Ballet is an old art form, with lots of different styles and types. Afterall, it exists all over the world, and has existed for hundreds of years.

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Of course, with something so old, and something so very set in its ways, one might think that it’s a world only for straight people, but that is not the case. The ballet might be old, but the people who take part in the art form are no longer conforming to all of the old norms, nor are they hiding who they are. The ballet has a long way to go, but as the books in this post will show you, there is, and there can be, a place for everyone.

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These books have so many unique and lovely individuals that all struggle with love, with themselves and sometimes even their connection to ballet. Sometimes when we get to know the people behind the lights, and the ballet shoes, we realize they are just like anyone else with goals, dreams and fears. No matter one’s sexuality, if you have passion and want to dance, then that is what you should do. Down below are books with LGBT+ main characters that are also ballerinas,

Now that I have taken you behind the scenes of the ballet world, are you ready for the show? Sit down and relax as the lights go off, the curtains open, and the greatest show of your life begins…

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Books That Shouldn’t Have to Stand Alone

Standalone books are great for when you want to read something quick, and don’t want to commit to anything more than that. However, sometimes we stumble upon a book, a book we love, and it just happens to be a standalone. You just happen to read a book so good that you just wish that there was more. You crave it like you crave water, but there is not a sequel out there. Nor will it probably ever be. That is often the case with contemporary YA books. The moment is sad, because you, you just feel that these characters and their lives, they deserve to be told in vigorous detail. You personally deserve to know more. I think we have all felt it, one time or the other.

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The first book Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel is probably one of my favorite books ever. I would love it if we got to know more of Leila and Lisa’s story perhaps from a sequel with Lisa’s POV. I would honestly love to get to know more about her, she’s one of my favorite characters ever, and I’m dying to know how Leila and Lisa deal with high school, college and just life. We deserve to see more of our love nuggets.

The Host is a book I think most people know about it. It made me bawl several times, and I have a soft spot for Melanie, Jared, Wanda and Ian. After that ending, damn that open ending, we deserve to know more about these characters and this world. I know Stephenie told the world she’s making this book into a series, but so far we have gotten nothing. Please, give us, give us more.

Another book I really would have loved to get a sequel to is Dreaming of Antigone. Andria uncovers so much about her dead twin sister, her family and what she thought she knew about her life. In this cocktail there’s also Alex, who have dealt with his fair share of hurt as well. The ending to this one is great, but I would have loved to see the next step in their lives after everything that happens.

Dirty London is a short book about London Noble, about how tough high school and life can be. The amazing part about this book is that there is a strong sense of family and sisterhood, and the ship is just the best. The only thing I would change is that we get more. This book is only about 170 pages, and ends on a very happy note but I would have loved to see more of the Noble family and the love story.

A fifth standalone book that I would have loved to get a sequel to is Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here. Scarlett is Jewish, a fanfiction writer and throughout the book we get to know her and see her grow so much. Her personality is so lovely and amazing, and most of all unique, we deserve to see more of it. I want to see Scarlett fall in love, apply for college and I want to read more of her fanfiction.

Keeping Her Secret is another book I crave a sequel for. It’s about Riya and Courtney. This book takes place during a summer camp, and they meet again after several years. I love the ending, but as the greedy person I am, I want to know more about their lives after summer camp. I mean am I the only one who just wants more? Just give me endless books of my OTP and them doing day-to-day things.

What standalone books do you think deserve sequels or spinoffs? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned?

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Top Ten Tuesday #4 Top Ten All Time Favorite Diverse Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to read more about their blog feature and join the fun, you can do it here.

This week the theme for Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of X Genre. Even though this theme is almost like torture, picking favorites is really hard, this list just had to be made. However, I’m putting a twist on it. Instead of picking my all time favorite books in a specific genre I’m choosing my top ten favorite diverse books. These books have amazed me and mesmerized me. I want everyone to know of these books so they can read them too.

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What books did you pick this week for Top Ten Tuesday? What genre did you pick? Or did you put a twist on the theme like I did?

Welcome To Olivia Chanel’s Book Café

Welcome back my fellow readers, pedestrians and foodies!

For those of you who don’t remember, a while back my book restaurant Olivia Chanel’s Book Restaurant opened, where depending on what you were in the mood to eat got a few book recommendations. Since the restaurant went so well, the company has decided to expand and Olivia Chanel’s Book Café was born.

The first week of September has just passed, fall is slowly but steady approaching, and with that comes colder weather and warm sweaters. Otherwise also called sweater weather. With this comes the need to sit down somewhere warm, such as a café, and grab a piece of cake and something to drink. Is it a cup of coffee you’re looking for or perhaps a calming tea, we have a lot you can choose from. If you’re feeling a little bit hungry, take a sandwich or a salad but if it’s something sweet and yummy you want then look no further. We serve donuts, pastries and even cakes.

We at Olivia Chanel’s Book Café have everything you could dream of, take a sit and look at our menu before you order. Is a bite of romance or maybe a sip of thriller something you want? Pick and choose from the menu below.

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First of we have our Espresso Drinks. These hot coffee drinks promises to give you a thrilling read with a bit of mystery to go. When ordering an Espresso Drink you get a book that is going to warm you up and take you on an exciting journey, with a little danger on the side. The Espresso Drink you have to choose from are,

If a cup of Tea is more of your style then don’t worry, these calming yet magical teas will give a read you will not soon forget. Take a sip of a story based on mythology, and travel to a place away from ours. The Teas you have to choose from are,

Do you want something cold and fruity to drink then our Smoothies is the right pick for you. Once you drink of these fruity mixed drinks you’ll experience the juicy times of college, and the romance that goes with it. If a college romance between new adults is what you’re craving, then the smoothies you have to choose from are,

When you’re looking for a bite to eat then perhaps one of our famous Sandwiches is the right pick for you. A bite from one of these sandwiches will take you into the future, one that’s dark and absolutely dystopian. If you’re hungry then let a young adult guide you into a dystopian future by choosing one of the following sandwiches,

If you’re looking from something lighter to eat then our Salads is just the pick. Choosing one of our salads will take you on a journey where ballet is the main attraction. Beautiful movements, light feet and competition unlike any you have seen before all in one plate of delicious greens. If a salad is what you want then here are your choices,

You can sink your teeth into one of our Donuts and taste something unlike anything else, just like the vampires taste the blood of their prey in the following books. A yummy and juicy donut will allow you to read a book with vampires of different varieties, just choose from below,

On the other hand if you rather want Pastries then we have a variety to choose from. When ordering pastries you are promised a story featuring characters in reality tv-shows. A lot more goes on behind the scenes than what you’d expect and if this is something you want then your choices are,

Lastly we have our Cakes and you know how much we love those. If you pick one the cakes then you will get a book that features amazing bisexual representation, where the authors has nailed it like a piece of cake. If this with a touch of young adult contemporary romance is something for you then pick one of the following,

What will you be ordering from Olivia Chanel’s Book Café? Did you like the menu? Let me know in the comments below!

The Hayley Kiyoko Book Tag

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Hi readers, and maybe a few music lovers as well!

Are you seeing what I’m seeing? I created a new book tag! This time it’s all about my favorite artist and singer Hayley Kiyoko. I’m not someone who usually loves all of an artist’s songs but Hayley is the exception, she’s amazing and a real blessing to us all. I’m currently listening to her newest single Gravel To Tempo, which was what made me want to create this tag. The idea is that you should choose a book or a character for the singles that Hayley Kiyoko has released. I’m tagging all of you and I really hope you’ll join me on this fun. Creating this Hayley Kiyoko Book Tag was just the best and I can’t wait to share my answers with you all.

More specifically I’m tagging,

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For Hayley Kiyoko’s song A Belle To Remember you’re supposed to pick a character you’ll always remember. For me that’s Daisy Calloway from the Addicted series by Krista and Becca Ritchie, her bright personality and kind soul is so inspiring. Daisy has never been heard, her voice always forgotten, but throughout the series you see her fighting to find her voice again. I love Daisy because she’s kind and makes everyone else smile even if she’s having a very hard time herself. Listen to A Belle To Remember here.

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For the song Rich Youth you’re supposed to choose a character that keeps on fighting despite the obstacles they’ve faced. For me that has to be Sophie Winters from Far From You by Tess Sharpe. She has been through a car accident, her own drug addiction that followed and the murder of her best friend Mina all while fighting for people to believe her about it. Despite all of this Sophie has always kept on going and never stopped fighting. Listen to Rich Youth here.

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For This Side of Paradise you’re supposed to pick a character with bad luck. I’m picking Jessica Bullock from Anything But Love by Abigail Strom. With her reinvention in high school she lost her best friend and later on in life got engaged to her closeted gay friend. However, as Jessica’s luck would have it, she’s left at the altar. When her old best friend comes back and agrees to go to the Bahamas with her, sparks fly and feelings develop but Jessica is yet again met with bad luck due to terrible timing. Though Jessica gets her happy ending, her luck worked against her. Listen to This Side of Paradise here.

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Hayley Kiyoko’s perhaps most famous song Girls Like Girls is just amazing and here the choice is simple, pick a book with a f/f ship. For me the choice is Riya and Courtney from Keeping Her Secret by Sarah Nicolas, a book that really surprised me by how amazing it is. Riya and Courtney used to be best friends before a secret kiss and Riya moved to another town. Later on they meet each other again at summer camp and old feelings return. It’s complicated, a little bit messy but oh so amazing. Listen to Girls Like Girls here.

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For Cliffs Edge you’re supposed to pick a ship that has had a lot of ups and downs. For me that has to be Kami and Jared from The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan. Their relationship went from hot to cold all through the series, there was heartbreak, loss and somewhat of a love triangle too. Kami and Jared went through a lot, both together and with other people, but somehow in the end all the angst, plot twists and cliffhangers were worth it. If two people are meant to be, they’ll endure endless ups and downs until they both find the place they where need to be. That’s what happened with Kami and Jared. Listen to Cliffs Edge here.

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For Gravel To Tempo, Hayley Kiyoko’s newest single, you’re supposed to choose a female character who finally embraces who she is. Someone who realizes she can be herself without the approval of others. This fits perfectly for Victoria Dinham from We Awaken by Calista Lynne. She has never really been interested in sex, or kissing, and never really understood why. However, with the help of Ashlinn she begins to understand her asexuality and who she really is. I love how hopeful and amazing this story is, and how Victoria really grows to accept herself. Listen to Gravel To Tempo here.

That was it for my Hayley Kiyoko Book Tag! Will you be doing the tag on your blog too? If you don’t have a book blog, what would you have answered? Comment and let me know!

All the headers are made by me and you’re more than welcome to use them for your own blog post. Feel free to grab them and use them however you like!

ARC Review of Keeping Her Secret by Sarah Nicolas

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keepinghersecretKeeping Her Secret by Sarah Nicolas

Publication Date: August 22, 2016.

Publisher: Entangled: Crush.

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, and Romance.

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Selling points: Extraordinary f/f romance, magical writing, and diverse characters.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: Two girls. One Kiss.

The last person Riya Johnson expected to run into at her new summer camp is Courtney Chastain—her childhood best friend and the girl who broke her heart after a secret, mind-blowing, life-altering kiss. She definitely didn’t expect to be sharing a bunk bed with her for four long weeks.

Courtney has what every girl wants—she’s beautiful, rich, and the object of every boy’s desire at Camp Pine Ridge. Too bad none of them make her feel an iota of what Riya’s kiss did all those years ago. But Courtney needs to uphold appearances at all costs—even if it means instigating an all-out prank war with Riya as her main target.

Neither girl can stop thinking about the other…but that doesn’t mean they can give up past hurts and take a chance on a future together.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains drinking, sexual situations, and a fairy-tale romance sure to make your heart melt.

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Thank you, Entangled: Crush, for my review copy of Keeping Her Secret. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Keeping Her Secret is a book that stays with you like a beautiful sunset is engraved in your mind for days or even weeks after you’ve seen it. This book is refreshing, beautiful and fills your heart with love and joy. Keeping Her Secret has now become one of my favorite books of all time, I already want to reread it and experience these emotions all over again. You can review a book where you analyze it point after point, however, the one thing that has always had the greatest impact on me is how a book makes me feel. Keeping Her Secret makes me feel a lot, in the best way possible.

“Courtney, I’m bi,” Riya explained.

But Courtney gave her a blank look, and her head twitched. “Bi?”

“Bisexual.”

Riya Johnson is a half Indian bisexual girl and I absolutely love her. She’s brave, sporty yet clumsy and honestly one of the most refreshing protagonists I have ever read about. Seeing such good on the page representation is valuable and precious, and something I wish we got more of. Sarah Nicolas does it so well. What I love about Keeping Her Secret is that it’s in a lot of ways about bravery, and in more ways than one. Riya, who has always had a supportive family, was never scared to come out and has always been true to who she is.

Courtney, on the other hand, is rich and has always been surrounded by people in the social elite, something that has made her conform into being the perfect it-girl. Beautiful and someone all the boys want. However, that’s not who she is on the inside, and that’s what is so beautiful to see. Courtney is brave but in a very different way than Riya. She is willing to go after her passion, ballet, even if her parents do not approve and she is slowly but surely coming to terms with her sexuality. She is finally starting to accept who she is and what she desires after struggling with it for so long.

“David was a beautiful distraction, but she appreciated his six-pack and dimples the same way she appreciated Monet paintings. She acknowledged they were pretty, but she didn’t experience an emotional response to them. Not like she did with Picasso paintings.”

Even though Riya and Courtney are the heart of this story, the side characters are just as amazing. We have Colt, Courtney’s twin brother, who is the most supportive guy in the entire book. He knows about the kiss that happened between Riya and Courtney all those years ago and, though Courtney insists she doesn’t like girls, Colt is very supportive. In fact, in many ways, he knows Courtney better than she knows herself. We also have Dee, who is funny, a total prankster and a really good friend to Riya. These supporting characters make the story more dynamic and captivating than it would have been if they hadn’t been there.

“God, she was so unworldly beautiful, like a river nymph bathing in the moonlight.”

Keeping Her Secret is a story that will stay with me for a very long time. This book had me crying, it touched my heart and gave me so much hope. It’s a book that’s beautiful, funny and absolutely mesmerizing. You will root for Riya and Courtney, you will scream for them in the hopes that they get their happy ending and in the end, you’ll feel alive. Keeping Her Secret is a sweet summer story that will set your soul on fire and make you feel brave and invincible afterward because that’s what these characters are. They are girls loving girls, brave and unstoppable, and no one can get in the way of what they want.

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