new adult

Everything You Need To Know About Reading Contemporary Poetry (with 40+ Recommendations)

Hi, galaxy travelers and book readers! Today is all about poetry, contemporary poetry to be exact. Have you been wanting to read poetry, especially contemporary poetry, but have no idea where to start or what books to read? Look no further, I’m here to help. Let’s start with the definition of poetry if you’re a newcomer to the subject.

Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language — such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre — to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning (Wikipedia).

First of all, here are some quick facts that are good to remember about poetry. The thing about poetry is that it’s an art form you can consume in any way you like. There are poetry collections about love, about nature, self-growth and so much more. There are long poems, short poems, poems written in the form of a sonnet, haiku or in free verse. The possibilities when it comes to poetry are endless. What I personally love about poetry is the fact that I find them easy to read and that the really great ones have both inspired me and made me take a deeper look at myself and my life to relate to what is being said on the page. That’s why I prefer contemporary poetry over older poetry because it feels that much easier to relate to. Because of this, I have a couple of contemporary poetry collection recommendations for you all.

To make it easier to navigate the recommendations I’ve marked the books written by LGBTQIA+ authors with () and authors of color with (). I have marked my personal favorites with () and the free ones are marked with (ツ).

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The first six poetry collections I have to recommend you are,

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ARC Review of Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw

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bearlyalady1.jpgBearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw

Publication Date: July 18, 2017

Genres: Romance and Paranormal

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: Zelda McCartney (almost) has it all: a badass superhero name, an awesome vampire roommate, and her dream job at a glossy fashion magazine (plus the clothes to prove it).

The only issue in Zelda’s almost-perfect life? The uncontrollable need to transform into a werebear once a month. Just when Zelda thinks things are finally turning around and she lands a hot date with Jake, her high school crush and alpha werewolf of Kensington, life gets complicated. Zelda receives an unusual work assignment from her fashionable boss: play bodyguard for devilishly charming fae nobleman Benedict (incidentally, her boss’s nephew) for two weeks.

Will Zelda be able to resist his charms long enough to get together with Jake? And will she want to? Because true love might have been waiting around the corner the whole time in the form of Janine, Zelda’s long-time crush and colleague. What’s a werebear to do?

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Thank you, Book Smugglers Publishing, for my eARC of Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw and the chance to read and review the book early. 

I love Bearly a Lady and the main character Zelda McCartney. This book is funny, cute and sexy. It is impossible not to enjoy the characters and their banter, chemistry, and tension. I love the world Cassandra Khaw has created, with shapeshifters, vampires, and fae etc., and I want to see more of it. Seriously, give me more of both the main ship and the world. Not to forget, the book is also really feminist and calls out bullshit like no other. We deserve to see more of that, especially in romance.

“I breathe in. Calm. I am above all of this. I am a werebear. I am a goddess. I am a woman, large and in charge, a captain who is in control of her ship. This is nothing. I am above this.”

Zelda is a fat, bisexual werebear, a woman of color, and the most amazing book character ever. She works at Vogue and is a fashionista, which is honestly just the coolest. However, what makes her so amazing is the fact that she embraces herself and her body. Zelda’s confidence is incredible. To see a woman owning her body, her looks, her fashion sense and being “I’m a goddess” is so great because we need to tell women that that’s how you’re supposed to feel about yourself. You loving yourself is the most beautiful thing and I love it when we get to see female characters doing just that despite their insecurities, insecurities we all have. There is also, of course, Zelda’s love interest(s). Truly, there is only one that counts (squeals over them and their cuteness) but throughout the novella, we get to see Zelda with a couple of potential matches which makes the endgame that much sweeter. This is an f/f romance and I selfishly want more.

The ending, though sweet and happy, was way too short for my taste and that’s partly why I want a sequel. However, I also feel like a sequel is wanted because there are a lot of unanswered questions for me. At first, I wasn’t sure whether Janine was human or some supernatural being, and the whole mechanics of how humans interact with the supernatural beings and who is allowed to know and not know about their existence was really something I wanted to know more about.

“Long story short, cross-species romances are rare and occasionally fatal. Antelope and crocodile? Nope. Wolf and dog? Horrible, horrible idea.”

I would recommend Bearly a Lady to everyone who loves romance and the paranormal. I love the fact that we get to see shapeshifters and vampires in an “everyday” environment and not in some sort of bubble where the rest of the world doesn’t seem to exist. If you’re craving a book that is sweet and hilarious and also nails the perfect blend of all things supernatural and fashion, look no further, Bearly a Lady is just for you.

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Friendship, Fiction, and Coming Out by Marie Landry {A Pride Month Guest Post}

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I started selectively coming out about eleven years ago. I pretty much always knew I wasn’t ‘straight’, but I didn’t know what to call myself, largely because I grew up in a time when calling someone ‘gay’ was considered the funniest/best insult by a lot of people, and I didn’t really know any labels beyond gay and lesbian. For a long time, I figured it would be a part of me I kept mostly to myself, but when I started dating a girl, I knew I needed the people closest to me to know about this side of my life and this important person I loved.

The first person I came out to was my friend Meghan. I don’t remember how I told her. I can’t remember the exact words. I honestly don’t even remember if I did it in person or on MSN Messenger (showing my age here, haha). What I do remember is one of the next times I saw her, she gave me a book: Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall. Meghan was always lending me books – books that often ended up being favourites, like The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. When she gave me Bottle Rocket Hearts, a book about 18-year-old Eve, a French-Canadian lesbian, I was grateful, but I don’t think I got her true intentions. I was excited because the book is set in Canada and there are so few books set in my beloved homeland.

It wasn’t until a few years ago, as I found the LGBTQ+ community on Twitter and heard about people’s experiences with coming out that the significance of Meghan’s gift really hit me. It wasn’t just that she was giving me a book she thought I would like. It was her way of saying ‘I love you, I support you, I’m here for you’. I cried when I realized, and I still get teary at times when I think about it. She was the perfect first person to come out to; I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, or a better friend.

Meghan’s thoughtful gift got me thinking about what book I would give a friend who came out to me, or was newly out. I’ve read a lot of LGBTQ+ books, but there are a specific few that come to mind.

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Review of Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

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Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

Publication Date: June 10, 2017

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, and Adult

Rating: sliceofcake5

Synopsis: Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.

The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.

Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect. What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.

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Disclaimer: I’m not Filipino but I’ve consulted with a friend, who is a Filipino-American book blogger, about the issues I had with this book. 

I really wanted to love Dear Aaron, I really did. The plot and premise of the book check off a lot of boxes for me when it comes to things I want to find in romance novels. Slowburn romance, online friendships, and just general cuteness. The couple did make me mushy and that is why I’m all the more disappointed that Dear Aaron is really disrespectful and problematic. I really won’t recommend this book to anyone based on the comments made in this book, which will be discussed in more detail later.

To summarize the book is essentially about Ruby Santos and Aaron Hall who start emailing and texting while Aaron is deployed in Iraq. They get to know each other and become very close. It is a pen pals-to-friends-to-lovers story with a strong element of the legitimacy of online friendships.

The main character, Ruby Santos, is Filipino which we find out about 9 % into the novel when Aaron and Ruby are emailing each other. What is written is the following,

“The only reason my parents moved here (Texas) was because of my mom’s family. My dad hated living here. He says the humidity reminded him too much of the Philippines when he was a kid.”

The fact that Ruby is Filipino is only ever mentioned in one other scene, which is where things get really disrespectful. At this point in the novel Ruby and Aaron have met up, are on vacation together and are out having dinner together with a couple of Aaron’s friends. They are ordering food and Aaron’s friend orders frog legs. This spurred a discussion about food, in which Ruby started telling the friends about Filipino cuisine that her dad eats.

“I’ve had cow tongue a few times. That was good actually—” “Cow tongue?” that was Brittany. “Yeah. They sell it all over the place in Houston. I’ve had dinuguan—” “What’s that?” Max asked. I scrunched up my nose, remembering eating that way too clearly. “It’s a Filipino dish that my dad made me try. Its pig intestines, kidneys, lungs, heart, and the snout cooked in its blood—” At least four of them said a variation of “eww” that made me grin. “I know. My dad claimed it was dessert, like pudding. He loves it. I can’t eat pudding anymore because of that, no matter what color it is.” “I’m not going to be able to eat pudding anymore after that….” Mindy trailed off. “That’s not the worst,” I started to say before I shut my mouth.

That was one part of the scene, soon thereafter another Filipino dish is discussed.

“I’ve never tried it, but my dad has a bunch of times—” “What is it?” Max asked. “It’s called balut. I’ve watched him eat it and I didn’t gag, and I’m pretty proud of myself for it—” “What is it?” “Jesus, Max, give her a second,” Aaron chimed in, his big hands resting on the table. I squeezed my fingers between my thighs and just got it over with. “It’s a duck embryo in its shell.” Four sets of eyeballs blinked.

After that, the friends have awful reactions and it’s described as “Four different people made dry-heaving and gagging sounds.” It is also made clear that everyone thinks this is gross, including the main character Ruby who claims that she and her siblings have never tried it and claims nothing grosses her father out food wise. This was all very disrespectful. I cannot imagine being Filipino, thinking this book represents you and then having their cuisine treated like this. It was cheap and lazy both in the way the author shows that the main character is Filipino and how somehow this is how the main character connects with Aaron’s friends. It could have been done in literally any other way which would have been less problematic and hurtful. However, my problems don’t end there. Later on, during the same scene, when Ruby and one of Aaron’s friends are alone they continue the discussion in which the following was said,

“You can’t really tell you’re Filipino, except for the shape of your eyes.” She blinked. “That sounds really racist. I’m sorry. Mindy’s been rubbing off on me this week.” I snorted. “I get it. My mom has really red hair and she’s super pale. I got a weird mix of both of them. No one can ever tell what I am.”

This is racist and isn’t called out anywhere in the book, in fact as you can read the main character just brushes it off. In a lot of ways, it feels like the main character being Filipino is just added there as an extra bonus. The representation is lazy, superficial, disrespectful and potentially harmful. Moreover, other issues I had with Dear Aaron is the ableist language used. The words crazy and insane were used multiple times. I particularly did not like the following two sentences “You guys either like the crazy or need a new radar” and “Because she’s a crazy person.” There are more examples similar to these two (I searched and the word crazy is used 58 times).

All in all, I say be aware of all of these issues before thinking about buying this book. I had high hopes, especially since the author’s other books are very hyped up among friends and the general romance community. I’d say read reviews and check out her other books instead of this one. Dear Aaron left me disappointed and in need of a romance novel with a similar premise because damn this had so much potential. Someone out there, give us the diverse online friends to real life friends to lovers story we all deserve. I’ll drop all of my coins on it.

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Review of The Secrets I Keep by Alex Casso

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The Secrets I Keep by Alex Casso

Publication Date: May 23, 2017

Genres: Poetry and Abuse

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: The Secrets I Keep is a poetry collection about mental illness, as well as child abuse and the lingering effects it has. Through it, Alex Casso bares their soul and proves that, despite everything, they are a force to be reckoned with.

About the author: Alex Casso is a bi aroace-spec and nonbinary SFF author and poet. They spend most of their time playing videogames or listening to podcasts like The Adventure Zone and MBMBaM. They’re also a baby DM for an amazing D&D group and enjoy making their players suffer (in all of the best ways).

You can find them on Twitter and Patreon!galaxyreview

Thank you so much, Alex Casso, for my copy of The Secrets I Keep. I really appreciate you sending it to me!

The Secrets I Keep is a beautiful poetry collection with 24 poems about abuse and mental illness. This collection is a fast read with poems that will really capture your attention. It’s a collection that’s heart touching and empowering. The poetry collection tells a story about surviving abuse and the strength that exists within the survive. The style of the poems in The Secrets I Keep is one I love and my two favorite poems from the collection are the following.

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I recommend this collection if you want to read a poetry collection that is easy to read, deals with a serious topic that’s also very important. The Secrets I Keep is a raw collection that will grab you and hold you tight, take you through a journey and end on a note that is fresh and hopeful.

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What To Read Summer of 2017 {Diverse Books Releasing In June, July & August 2017}

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Hey there, bookish people! Can you feel the summer vibes in the air? I certainly can. June is unofficially the beginning of summer here in Sweden and you know what’s just the best part about that? All of the free time, lovely weather and the big stack of amazing books you can *finally* devour. To celebrate all of this I thought I would write a blog post with all of the diverse books releasing this summer, in other words, all of the books releasing in June, July and August. There are so many of them and a lot of them are very anticipated reads for me. Do you have a book you’re dying to read this summer?

I’ve tried putting all of the diverse books I could find in this post, however, if I missed one please let me know so I can add it. The plan is to continuously update this post with any releases I might have missed. This summer is long and filled with so many diverse book releases. I can’t wait to read them all. In this list diverse books includes books with marginalized characters and books by marginalized authors, some who may not have diverse characters in their books.

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The books releasing in June are listed below in the order of their release date. All of the Goodreads pages will be linked together with where you can buy/pre-order the book if that option exists.

  • June 1 – The Story of Lizzy and Darcy by Grace Watson. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 2 – Mature Content by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 5 – North to You by Tif Marcelo. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 6 – Everything All At Once by Katrina Leno. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 6 – Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger. GoodreadsAmazon links.
  • June 6 – Perfect Ten by L. Philips. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 6 – Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 8 – Grrrls on the Side by Carrie Pack. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 13 – Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 13 – Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 13 – Want by Cindy Pon. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 27 – Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 27 – If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak. Add it on Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 27 – The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Goodreads & Amazon links.

These are the diverse books set to be published in June. If I missed any, let me know so I can add them right away. If there is a title that doesn’t fit, let me know about that too.

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Now onto July. The books releasing in July are listed below in the order of their release date. All of the Goodreads pages will be linked together with where you can buy/pre-order the book if that option exists.

  • July 4 – The Tower of the Antilles by Achy Obejas. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 6 – After the Sunset by Lilah Suzanne. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 11 – Refuge by Dina Nayeri. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 11 – Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 11 – Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 18 – The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 20 – Brush Strokes by E.S. Karlquist. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Lucky in Love by Kasie West. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Solo by Kwame Alexander & Mary Rand Hess. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 26 – Walking on Knives by Maya Chhabra. Goodreads link.

These are the diverse books set to be published in July. If I missed any, let me know so I can add them right away. If there is a title that doesn’t fit, let me know about that too.

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Lastly, we have August. The books releasing in August are listed below in the order of their release date. All of the Goodreads pages will be linked together with where you can buy/pre-order the book if that option exists.

  • August 1 – New People by Danzy Senna. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 1 – Sour Heart: Stories by Jenny Zhang. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 3 – Absolutely, Almost, Perfect by Lissa Reed. Goodreads and Amazon links.
  • August 8 – Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 8 – The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 8 – The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 8 – The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 15 – Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 15 – Home Fire: A Novel by Kamila Shamsie. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 17 – Blended Notes by Lilah Suzanne. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 22 – The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember. Goodreads link.
  • August 22 – The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 29 – Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 29 – Starswept by Mary Fan. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 29 – You Don’t Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow. Goodreads & Amazon links.

These are the diverse books set to be published in August. If I missed any, let me know so I can add them right away. If there is a title that doesn’t fit, let me know about that too.

Disclaimer: I haven’t read all of these books so I cannot speak for the representation present in them. However, if you know that any of these books are problematic please let me know so I can delete them from this list.

Do you have a specific book release you’re excited about this summer? Do you know of one I missed?

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The Six Most Beautiful Books I Own

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Hey, galaxy travelers! Today I have a bit of a different post for you all. I had an idea a while back that I really wanted to make gifs out of my favorite books and this week I finally did it. The gifs could definitely be better but I still like the way they look (because you know, they could have been worse). I really love the book covers of these six books and their interior looks as well. There is something very amazing about a book that pulls at your heartstrings due to its beauty. A lot of these books I haven’t read but that just means I have so many great reads ahead of me.

1. Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz

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Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz is a book high on my summer to be read list. Not only is this book really beautiful, it comes highly recommended, has a Filipino main character, is #ownvoices and is supposed to have amazing romance.

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WELCOME TO YOUR NEW GIRL GANG {ft. books, music, movies, and tv series}

Welcome book galaxy travelers! Today is all about those girl gangs, strong women who support each other and deal with their ups and downs together. The other day I was listening to one of my favorite songs ever called Girl Gang and got the brilliant idea for this blog posts. In this blog post, there will be awesome girl power music, books that feature amazing female friendships and movies and tv series that show you the most amazing girl gangs you have ever seen. I really hope you’ll enjoy all of my recommendations.

I want to thank my very close friends Diep and Sue for helping me with the book recommendations. I would like to think we are our very own Girl Gang (we have a name and everything, the only thing missing is the matching jackets, to be honest). I love you girls, thank you for everything. If you haven’t already, you really need to check these two out. Sue can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and on Hollywood News Source. Diep can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. Now onto the Girl Gang recommendations.

Music Recommendations

Let’s start this post with the playlist I made. It’s filled with powerful songs that make you just want to celebrate yourself and all the women in your life. Check it out below.

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You can listen to the playlist on Spotify here or YouTube here, and you should totally listen to it while reading the rest of this post. There is nothing like good music to set the mood. The playlist is filled with songs I’m sure you’ll all have heard before plus some new goodies I hope you’ll really enjoy. You can also listen to the playlist down below.

Book Recommendations

To go with the playlist I also have lots of books to recommend you, with lots of different kinds of female friendships and girl power in them. I love all of the books I’ve read out of these and can’t wait to read to the ones haven’t since they come highly recommended from dear friends. These books range from middle grade to adult in age category but amazing girl gangs and female friendships exist in them all.

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{#SUMMERFEELS BLOG TOUR} Review of Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology + Giveaway

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Welcome to the blog tour for Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology. Today I have my review for this amazing book and a giveaway where you can win a gift card and a few books. You definitely have to join in on the fun!

SUMMERFEELS-cover-ebookSummer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology

Publication Date: April 30, 2017

Genres: Romance, Contemporary and Anthologies

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: A lot of short stories, there is something for everyone to enjoy during the summer.

Purchase here: Amazon | Print Copy (the Philippines only)

Synopsis: 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

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!

Giveaway

For this giveaway, you have the chance to win a gift card, some swag and even a copy of the book. You don’t want to miss out on the chance.

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

Enter the giveaway here: a Rafflecopter giveaway, and good luck to you, I hope you win!

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Thank you to the authors and editor Kate Sebastian for my e-ARC of Summer Feels and the chance to read and review this book for the blog tour!

Summer Feels is a book that’s cute and hot, and that makes you want to go to the ocean to take a dip to cool down. I doubt any other anthology will soothe your cravings for a good summer read like this one. The anthology starts out slow with short stories that are cute and lovely, and that will make your heart flutter and then gets hotter and hotter with every story. Towards the end, you will definitely need a fan and/or a dive straight into the ocean. The best part about this anthology was that I got the chance to read short stories both from #romanceclass authors I have loved and admired since before and also new ones where I want to devour every book they have ever written.

I do believe there will be at least one short story (but probably, very likely, a lot more) for everyone. We see so many tropes that I love in this one that I know if you are a romance fan, you will want to devour Summer Feels like you devour an ice cream on a hot summer’s day. Only this anthology lasts way longer, and will probably make you warmer instead of colder. However, you will love it. While I gave this anthology 4 cake slices as a whole, I had a lot of favorites that I believe are worthy of 5 cake slices and I really want to really highlight them here. They made me fangirl, squeal, laugh and just feel as if I was in the middle of the best summer ever which is just what I love about these short stories.

The following short stories were all favorites of mine. Fall for Me by Miel Salva made me fangirl and fall in love with the characters that I cannot wait to read more about in the future. Then there was The Game of Twenty Questions by Elizabeth Galit which was second chance romance with stargazing, a soft spot for me. Moreover, Guide for a Day by H. Bentham also really stole my heart away with this m/m romance where a tour guide and the journalist that was given the tour fall in love. Secondhand Wanderlust by Erleen Alvarez was amazing with its travel vibes, a backstory of sisterhood and a girl finding love while also stepping out of her comfort zone. Four Basic Principles by Bianca Mori was really unique and had second chance romance and beautiful ocean scenes. Wedding Night Stand by Mina V. Esguerra was a really hot short story that makes me want to read the full book where these characters are from, it was just the best. There is also An Overdue Adventure by Kate Sebastian which had a bit of a hate to love story with childhood frenemies together with a bittersweet backstory and beautiful nature scenes. Lastly, Butter Sunset by Halina Cabrera which was steamy and had lots of food references that made me crave seafood. These short stories were all beyond amazing, and I will definitely be checking out these author’s full books in the near future.

An issue I had with a couple of the stories was that a few slurs and harmful words were used. The words crazy, gypsy and queer were all used in inappropriate and harmful ways and were completely unnecessary for the stories. They could have easily been deleted.

All in all, this is a summer themed anthology you should definitely have on your radar. If you love reading romance and finding new authors at the same time, there is no better choice than this anthology. There are so many adorable and hot stories in Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology, you will most likely fall in love with a lot of couples in it. In Summer Feels you will see enemies turned into lovers, childhood friends, romances with second chances, men with beards, female soccer players and so much more.

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Maria Hollis’ Lillac Town Birthday Games – General Quiz {Win Books!}

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Hi everyone and welcome to this exciting post I have for you today. Tomorrow, May 15, it’s Maria Hollis’ (the author the Lillac Town series) birthday and to celebrate this, Maria decided to host a few games on a few blogs, including mine, where you have a chance of winning ebooks of her books and just have lots of fun. Over on The Book Voyagers‘ blog, you can find out which character you are through a character quiz, find their blog post here. On Lisa The Bookworm’s blog, there is a game of word search and you can find that one here.

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You can find Maria Hollis’ books on Goodreads and Amazon. Find The Melody of You and Me on Goodreads here and Amazon here. Find The Paths We Choose on Goodreads here and Amazon here.

On my blog here today I have a general Lillac Town quiz for you all, with six questions all about the Lillac Town series and its characters. Down below are the questions.

  1. What books and/or authors are mentioned in The Melody of You and Me? (at least 4) (tip: Josie reads Filipino authors and f/f books)
  2. What is the full name of the four main characters from TMOYAM and TPWC? (tip: blog tours)
  3. What is the first sentence of The Paths We Choose? (tip: author’s Tumblr)
  4. Who are the protagonists of book 3?
  5. What instrument does Chris play?
  6. What’s the name of the bookstore where the girls work?

The idea is for you to send at least five answers to these questions to Maria’s email. The first five people to send the correct answers will win an ebook of hers of their choice. Since not everyone has read all of the books, there are a few tips to help you for a couple of the questions. You can also find a lot of the answers on Maria’s Tumblr, and if you have a hard time finding the answers there, you can also talk to her on her Twitter and she can give you additional tips over there. You can also search for the books on my blog since I have both reviewed and have lots of other Lillac Town blog posts as well. When you think you have the answers, send them to Maria’s email at lillactown@gmail.com.

If you have any more questions, don’t be afraid to contact Maria Hollis through any of her platforms. I know she would be more than happy to help you out in any way she can. She’s the sweetest so don’t be shy.

Good luck everyone! I hope you’ll have lots and lots of fun with these games. Also, don’t forget to go wish Maria a happy birthday tomorrow!

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