Illusionary Blog Tour Review

Hi all!

Long time without writing here. Even though I am technically still in hiatus (from all social media and this blog). I had the absolute pleasure of receiving Illusionary before it was released, and I was asked if I wanted to be a part of the Blog Tour. Of course, I couldn’t say no. Illusionary is the sequel to Incendiary (which I reviewed here), and as you can tell I loved it so much, it’s been one of my most anticipated books of 2021 and May of 2021.

There’s so much I want to talk about this book, but as always I will try to keep it spoiler free as much as I can. I should mention though if you haven’t read Incendiary then a lot of things I will discuss from Book 2 will be spoilers.

So make sure you read that one or don’t mind the spoilers.


by Zoraida Cordova

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Release Date: 11th May, 2021
Publisher: Hodderscape

Reeling from betrayal at the hands of the Whispers, Renata Convida is a girl on the run. With few options and fewer allies, she’s reluctantly joined forces with none other than Prince Castian, her most infuriating and intriguing enemy. They’re united by lofty goals: find the fabled Knife of Memory, kill the ruthless King Fernando, and bring peace to the nation. Together, Ren and Castian have a chance to save everything, if only they can set aside their complex and intense feelings for each other.

With the king’s forces on their heels at every turn, their quest across Puerto Leones and beyond leaves little room for mistakes. But the greatest danger is within Ren. The Gray, her fortress of stolen memories, has begun to crumble, threatening her grip on reality. She’ll have to control her magics–and her mind–to unlock her power and protect the Moria people once and for all.

For years, she was wielded as weapon. Now it’s her time to fight back.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*young adult historical fantasy/duology with a sprinkle of romance and a lot of action packed adventure
*pirates, villains, spies, magical system, magical quest (to save world), HEA, chosen one
*MC, Renata Convida is a fierce, bit jaded anti-hero with probably the worst power you can get
*slow burn, (childhood friends to) enemies to lovers, expect a lot of urst, uses the tropes, one bed!! fake marriage!!
*LI is the ‘you didn’t expect you would actually like him’ kind of jaded, moody,
*deals with political intrigue, uncovering secrets about yourself (and your magics), trauma, revenge, authoritarian regimes, xenophobia, wars, betrayal

cw for violence, sexual moments

Illusionary continues the story from THAT cliffhanger on Incendiary, Renata Convida and Castian are both on a quest to find the Knife of Memory that would restore peace to the nation and save everything. But along the way they won’t have to only try to escape from King Fernando’s guards, spies and untrustworthy people, they have to deal with their own complex, intense feelings for each other. Feelings that for Ren especially she would rather ignore. Not only that but since everything that happened with Justice Mendez, her powers, The Gray, her mind prison where are the stolen memories are stored, has seemingly disappeared. Now Ren has to fight to understand what is reality and what is not. To win this battle, survive and protect the Moria people she will have to find ways to control her magic and maybe finally unlock her power.

In the great iconic words of Luisa “Zoraida can have my soul in a jar, I have no use for it now”.

This book was in many ways a lot more intense than Incendiary, but in so many ways it was perfect, it was all about Ren and Castian’s character development and well their developing and deepening relationship. I should say even though the book does have romance, the romance at no point feels like it is overpowering the story. It is a fantastical quest with sprinkles of romance, that if you’re like me and love enemies who suddenly discover they are connected (because of whatever reasons), have to work together and also are secretly trying to deny how attracted (love love loveee) they are to each other,, then you’re going to love this book. I won’t talk too much about Ren and Castian together even though i’m literally stopping myself from gushing. I will say I loved the delicious tension between them, i loved their banter, i loved when they started to open up and discover how similar they were, and how much they needed each other. Also the moment where it all comes together I almost wanted to shout out loud and like fist bump, but it was almost 2am, so I stopped myself.

One main theme of this book was trauma, particularly, how Ren accepted, found ways to deal with her trauma and basically where she finds herself and her truth. I especially loved how her trauma was portrayed as a journey, and not just well magical solution and here you go bye years of trauma. Even at the end of the book, you could feel Ren was still trying to find ways to be okay with herself. Also, how her self-loathing, self-hate was showed in the book was so impactful, I swear I could feel it deep in my gut.

I also loved how Castian throughout this quest was at many points a source of support and comfort for Ren, now if you’ve just started reading the book or just read the first book you’ll be reading this making a face that you don’t believe me, but you’ll see. And when you get there it’s the best thing ever. Their relationship was

I should mention when I say this book was more intense, while it wasn’t action, action at many times since the book was more introspective, quieter, a bit more personal, it did feel more intense because we were dealing with Ren and her own personal demons. That said, there were many moments of action thrills. At times, this book felt like it was slowly slowly building each of the characters and their journey to reach an explosive end. I’m trying not to spoil too much, but I will say the ending followed kind of the same structure of the book where it felt explosive, but in an emotional way. Like you finally let out that breath you were holding (I had to use the cliche phrase, dont mind me).

I haven’t said much about the side characters which honestly had so much personality that they didn’t at all feel like filler characters, Leo who we previously knew from Book 1 joins Castian and Ren again. He was the perfect contrast to the broody main couple (:]). Lady Nuria who was already such an intriguing character, also from Book 1), and the cast of pirates and Whispers. I should mention Dez probably but honestly there were times I really disliked him, but by the end you’ll probably love him (or at least understand him).

There’s so much about this book that was perfect. I think I’m not exagerating when I say this book just has it all, and it does everything so well. It is the perfect conclusion to any series, and is now considered one of my comfort reads. I kinda feel like re-reading the whole series to capture those moments in my excitement I missed.

In summary, Illusionary, the Hollow Crown series is a perfect fantastical thrilling read that does not disappoint from Book 1 to the ending of Book 2.

Zoraida Córdova is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels and short stories, including the Brooklyn Brujas series, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate, and The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina. In addition to writing novels, she serves on the Board of We Need Diverse Books, and is the co-editor of the bestselling anthology Vampires Never Get Old, as well as the cohost of the writing podcast, Deadline City. She writes romance novels as Zoey Castile. Zoraida was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and calls New York City home. When she’s not working, she’s roaming the world in search of magical stories.


I had so much fun reading this book, and I can’t thank Kate Keehan and everyone at Hodderscape for sending me the final copy of the book before it was released. Thank you to Zoraida also for making sure I would receive it.

That said, I am not yet sure if I’ll be back to review regularly, I have been in a bit of a reading slump lately, and even though this book was amazing in getting ready of it, I am still trying to slowly dip my toes into getting back to regularly reading and reviewing.

So I can’t make any promises this blog will come back from hiatus now or anytime soon, but thank you to those still reading and writing comments. I appreciate all of you!

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow Review

Hi all,
I hope you’re all having a, as much as it can be, good week. I’ve been checking twitter every so often for updates on the election, I’m sure I’m not the only one, but reading has been such a good distraction for me.
I had the pleasure to take part of the following book’s Blog Tour which had some of my favourite things combined.

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

by Laura Taylor Namey

Genre: YA Fiction
Release Date: Nov. 10th, 2020
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.

Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.

A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.


For more information about the Blog Tour and the schedule click the image

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book
*MC is Cuban-American girl, LI is a white English boy, slowburn romance
*Cuban representation! cuban food, culture, families, traditions
*so much food! perfect for foodie! and latinx/cuban foodies especially
*England setting, but a village in the South East
* explores themes of overcoming grief, accepting change, forgiveness, lots of explaration of family dynamics especially tight-knit family, friendship dynamics,
*light and fluffy read, some sad moments but overall light-hearted with a splash of romance

cw: death of a family member, dementia, grief, loss

Lila Reyes just went through what she calles the Trifecta, her grandmother died suddenly, her best friend without telling her decided not to move in with her and leave the country and her boyfriend of three years decided he needed to ‘find himself’. Things are not going her way and most of all Lila is not dealing well with the grief. Her family scared for her decide the best thing for her to do is some time off and what more is perfect than spending the summer in a quaint nice small village in South East, England with her aunts. But Lila isn’t very happy about this plan or her family making all these decisions over her.
When the book starts Lila is stubborn, she’s stuck in her ways and sees very little nice about England, but as time goes on, as she opens up not only to her aunt and her life in Winchester, but to Orion, his friendship, his group of friends and little by little we can see how she starts overcoming loss.
Orion is an interesting character because we meet him, he seems put together with his nice little tea shop. But he also has been dealing with grief in his own ways.
It was nice to read these two characters meeting, kind of a reluctant to friends dynamic at first, and from there a sweet slow friends to romance happens.
I especially loved the food and culture infusion within the book, the recipes were mouth-watering, some of them made me miss home.

I do have to admit it took me a while to get into the book especially because Orion seemed to good to be true all throughout the book, and I guess the slow pace plus the formatting errors of the E-ARC had me at times pushing myself to finish it.
But this book did remind me of all the things I love about England, it’s not an amazing place sometimes, but some other times, the people I’ve met here, like Lila, made this a place I’m so fond of.

The moments were she grieved over her grandmother were also bits I could relate to, I’m still grieving my grandmother and reading Lila going through that was probably one of my favourite aspects of the book, that overcoming her grief.
I have to comment on the last bit of the book, since it has such a romcom ending, but honestly as it was very light-hearted throughout, it also made sense for the book to end as it did.

Overall, if you’re looking for a light-hearted read of journey to overcoming loss, moving on and accepting change in a village in England with some tint of romance, a sprinkle of family and new (and old) friendships and a big big splash of food, this is the perfect book for you.

Laura Taylor Namey is a Cuban-American Californian who can be found haunting her favorite coffee shops, drooling over leather jackets, and wishing she was in London or Paris. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two superstar children.
This former teacher writes young adult novels about quirky teens learning to navigate life and love. Her debut, The Library of Lost Things, published 10/08/19 from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins. Her #ownvoices sophomore project, A CUBAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO TEA AND TOMORROW is coming November 10, 2020 from Atheneum Simon and Schuster, with a third title to follow fall 2021.


You Had Me At Hola Review

Hi all!
As mentioned before I planned on doing another recommendation lists, but I thought why not take the time to gush about this amazing rom-com I had the chance to read on LHM.
I will continue doing Latinx recommendations lists even when LHM is over.
For now, let me gush about this lovely book.

You Had Me At Hola

by Alexis Daria

Genre: Adult Romance Contemporary
Release Date:
Publisher: Avon Romance

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers.
After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez. 

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy
After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had. 

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.
With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*mc is puerto rican-american, LI is puerto rican
*includes tropes like misunderstandings, pining, coworkers to lovers, broody hero, celebrity romance
*cast is majorly latinx with a lot of diversity, latinx identity with all the messiness of family dynamics
*discusses anxiety, mental health, representation in hollywood, telenovelas, paparazzi, famous life, consent, stalkers
* funny romcom that’ll remind you jane the virgin and ugly betty

cw: anxiety, mental health, past instances of stalking

You Had Me At Hola tells the story of Jasmine Lin Rodriguez who finds her face splashed across tabloids thanks to her boyfriend deciding to have a very messy public breakup without telling her beforehand they were over. But thanks okay because Jasmine will star in a new bilingual romcom tv show. And leading ladies are badass queens making jefa moves who don’t involve her new cast mate telenovela hunk Ashton Suarez.
Ashton was just killed off in his last telenovela, he’s worried his career is dead too. But this new American show he’s been casted in could give him the chance to break into the radar of Hollywood casting agents. This of course doesn’t involve having a disastrous first meeting with his costar or that sexual tension between them.
With his career on the line and her wanting to not be in the media spotlight, their moments together rehearsing and kissing and that romance brewing between them might prove challenging, especially as Ashton is trying not to expose his most guarded secret.

There’s so much about this book that I loved, Jasmine was a wonderful main character, she was determined, straightfoward, genuine and funny, I loved her strength of character, I loved her family even with all the craziness but that’s what family is about sometimes. I loved Ashton, his fears, his anxieties, how hard he tried to protect himself and his family.

The overall cast of this story was so latinx, so so latinx, the cast and crew of their tv show is all latinx, apart from maybe one, if I remember correctly, Jasmine’s family in NY was all puerto rican of course, and Ashton’s family who was in Puerto Rico too. This book is infused with latinx references from telenovelas to those romcom tv shows that come from telenovelas. But more than that, it had some very interesting themes of latinx identity and representation in Hollywood. Two themes I am very very passionate about.
So you can see how this book is already touching on things I’m fond of.

But have I mentioned their chemistry? because one interesting aspect of this book was the two stories that ran at the same time, Jasmine and Ashton’s romance at the same time that we read the tv show they’re both starring in and the second-chance romance from their characters. I looked forward to reading both their outside of the cameras romance as well as the telenovela’s plot. I think for me one of the highlights was this and the behind-the-scenes bits of their acting, their rehearsals especially were parts of the novel that I most enjoyed. This is mainly to do with their chemistry and more than that, I love reading about characters who don’t have a great first meet but then have to learn how to deal with each other.

This was a very sweet slightly angsty at times, romcom story with a few hijinks, miscommunication, a broody hero who has a lot of fears and doesn’t know how to deal with them so he acts all mysterious and detached, and a heroine determined to stop making mistakes but also finds herself too attracted by her co-star when rehearsing together. This joined up with their cute moments together, the cast of Carmen, their families and the overall plot of their tv show proves a perfect mix of everything you need in a romance book.

Overall, You Had Me At Hola was the perfect combination of pining, cute sweet moments between the couple, telenovela/latinx shows references, a cast of great secondary characters and sexy tension filled moments.

Alexis Daria is a native New Yorker and award-winning author writing stories about successful Latinx characters and their (occasionally messy) familias. Her debut TAKE THE LEAD won the 2018 RITA® Award for “Best First Book” and was one of the “Best Romance Novels of 2017” in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly. Her super powers include spotting celebrities in NYC, winning Broadway ticket lotteries, and live-tweeting.


Tomorrow is the last day of LHM, so expect two (yes two!) posts tomorrow, one closing and another talking about upcoming latinx books to check out 🙂

See you tomorrow

A Taste of Sage Review

Hi all,

Late post today. Last week was a bit hectic as I have started working (teaching) again, this involves commuting, wearing a face visor or a mask 24/7 and then commuting back home. I’m a bit rusty on that kind of routine so things piled up.
Good thing about commuting though, getting to read (audiobooks most of the time) books 🙂 so I’ve been doing great in terms of TBR! But we’ll talk about that later!
Today I bring you the review of one of my most anticipated books of this year.

A Taste of Sage

by Yaffa S. Santos

Genre: Adult Romance
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Release Date: May 19th, 2020

Lumi Santana is a chef with a gift: she can perceive a person’s emotions by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she puts her heart and savings into opening her own fusion restaurant in Upper Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines she is inspired by.
When her eclectic venture fails, she is forced to take a position as sous chef at a staid, traditional French restaurant owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile. After he goes out of his way to bake a tart to prove her wrong in a dispute, she is so irritated by his smug attitude that she vows to herself never to taste his cooking.
But after she succumbs to the temptation and takes a bite one day and is overcome with shocking emotion, she finds herself beginning to crave his cooking and struggling to stay on task with her plan to save up and move on as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Julien’s obsessed secretary watches with gnashed teeth as they grow closer and becomes determined to get Lumi out of her way permanently.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book
*mc is dominican-american, LI is french-canadian
*feel good rom-com about two chefs, food and love in the kitchen
*perfect for foodies! recipes included within the book
*MC has a form of synesthesia wherein emotions are attached to food
*some tropes include dislike to like, coworkers to lovers, HEA, smitten hero, miscommunication
*Dominican representation, food, culture

cw: serious injury, depictions of being shocked, scars, sex scenes

A Taste of Sage tells the story of Lumi Santana who senses people’s emotions through cooking, she’s been told never to eat someone elses cooking as they could hurt her. All her savings were put into her Dominican/Other cuisine fusion restaurant on Upper Manhattan. But when it starts struggling, she’s forced to quit the restaurant of her dreams and become a sous chef at the traditional French restaurant owned by the arrogant Julien Dax. She’s determined to save up and move on as soon as possible, but when she tries his food and spends more time with him outside of the kitchen, she starts to rethink her opinion of him.

I have to admit this was a very quick read, the book isn’t too long but also the pace of the book helps to make this a quick and fun read. One of the things I most loved about this book was the Dominican representation, not only through food but little mentions here and there that felt real. Lumi, with all her issues and insecurities was a great heroine, one that was flawed but also determined to make it through.
There were some very dramatic issues that happened in the book and even Lumi had some dramatic reactions to a lot of things – no spoilers here – which at times took me out of the story or felt too fantastical.
I loved the magical way food was presented here, Lumi’s connection to food and how she could feel emotions, this was one of my favourite aspects of the book as well as all the recipes included.
Julien was hard to like, it took me a while to get to know him, as when he’s first introduced you immediately think of him as the typical arrogant French rich boy. But it’s nice to see how what we know of him changes as the book goes on.
The pacing of the book was, sometimes, too fast and sometimes not fast enough, and by this I basically mean that I wish there were more moments of their relationship growth. I didn’t get to see enough of their chemistry to fully get 200% (as I usually do) invested in their relationship. But even then, I like seeing the main characters be happy and together by the end of the book.

Overall, this was a good, quick read with amazing food included. I would say don’t read this if you’re hungry.

Yaffa S. Santos was born and raised in New Jersey. A solo trip to Dominican Republic in her teenage years changed her relationship to her Dominican heritage and sparked a passion for cooking and its singular ability to bring people together. Yaffa is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied writing and visual art. She is a member of RWA. She has lived in New York, Philadelphia, Santo Domingo, and now lives in Florida with her family.


Never Look Back Review

Hi all!
I was supposed to post this review yesterday but the day flew past me.
Today we’re back to celebrating Latinx Heritage Month with a review!

I received the ARC for Never Look Back a while back thanks to Bloomsbury and Erica Loberg. Unfortunately, it fell down the category of those books I wanted to read but pandemic/grief/real life got in the way. Here are my thoughts on this Latinx fantasy Retelling!

Never Look Back

by Lilliam Rivera

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Release Date: September 15th, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Eury comes to the Bronx as a girl haunted. Haunted by losing everything in Hurricane Maria–and by an evil spirit, Ato. She fully expects the tragedy that befell her and her family in Puerto Rico to catch up with her in New York. Yet, for a time, she can almost set this fear aside, because there’s this boy.

Pheus is a golden-voiced, bachata-singing charmer, ready to spend the summer on the beach with his friends, serenading his on-again, off-again flame. That changes when he meets Eury. All he wants is to put a smile on her face and fight off her demons. But some dangers are too powerful for even the strongest love, and as the world threatens to tear them apart, Eury and Pheus must fight for each other and their lives.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book:
*Latinx retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice
*Afro-latinx rep, Eury is Puerto Rican and Pheus is Dominican
*touches on issues of cultural identity, mental illness and overcoming trauma and grief.
*touch of magical realism and fantastical elements
* set in three places, Puerto Rico, NYC and the Underworld
*the excitements of a first love

Slightly spoiler-y

cw: mental illness, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, mentions of Hurricane Irma and Maria, alcoholism, suicide, PTSD, sexual assault

Disclaimer: Because I read the ARC some of the comments here might not be as accurate to the final version, especially some of the stuff I disliked might have changed.

Never Look Back tells the story of Eury and Pheus, Eury goes to the Bronx feeling haunted, she didn’t just lose everything due to Hurricane Maria but she’s being hunted by an evil spirit, Ato. She knows the tragedy will follow her and her family to New York, but meeting Pheus, even if it’s for a little while seems to make everything better.
Pheus, a golden-voiced, bachata playing charmer who is ready to enjoy his summer with his friends on the beach, singing and playing his guitar. But when he meets Eury, everything changes for him. Now he’s ready to fight Eury’s demons to have her smiling. But will their love be enough to conquer all that threatens Eury?

I really really wanted to love this book, i have to admit it took me a while to get into it. My main point of I guess disconnect was the character of Pheus, it took me a while to like him. As a Dominican, I’m too used to Dominican characters written as the suave, charming, flirty ‘seductor’. The first glimpses of his personality honestly had me thinking of him just with those tropes. And while I do admit his character did develop and gained more depth throughout the story, it still wasn’t my jam. I guess I expected a bit more.
On the other hand, I felt Eury was so well fleshed out and developed, I loved her characterisation and her struggle with mental health while fighting this literal demon spirit. She was a perfect heroine and I loved reading her inner thoughts.

Knowing this is a retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice, I knew the love aspect would come very fast, but the insta-love, insta-Pheus changes for Eury was hard to believe. Could also be that this book was kinda divided into a part 1 where they get together and part 2 where’s its closer to the myth, that makes it difficult to see a big big development of their relationship as you’re waiting for the retelling of the myth to start. I did hope to see more of their relationship growing because their moments together when they talked were some of my favourites.
Now part 2 of this book was very close to perfect, I loved the inclusion of the taino goddess Guabancex, I loved the Inframundo and I loved how ultimately it came down to Eury saving herself.

I loved the various themes of this novel and especially the commentary on mental illness and depression. It was beautiful to read and it’s one that resonates so well, coming from a culture that still finds depression and trauma such a taboo to talk. Books like this where they challenge that are ones we need more of.

I do have to say I didn’t appreciate the use of the destruction of Hurricane Maria as a way for Eury to blame herself. Now this, maybe it’s not phrased as such in the final version but having to read how Ato told Eury how he would destroy PR because she rejected him, I didn’t like that. Hurricane Maria is/was a traumatic event that affected so many islands and PR particularly bad, reading this phrased like that hurt and made me pause. There were other little mistakes that I hope were fixed for the final version to do with Dominican references (e.g. Carnaval de Santiago in Santo Domingo, Santiago and Santo Domingo are two very different cities with already a big big historical rivalry, Carnaval de Santiago is in Santiago, Carnaval de Santo Domingo is in Santo Domingo).

Overall, i think maybe i had too high hopes for this book and while it was enjoyable, i didn’t fully get into it. I would still recommend it to everyone, just not for me.

Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of the young adult novels Dealing in Dreams, The Education of Margot Sanchez, the middle grade novel Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit, and Never Look Back (September 2020) by Bloomsbury. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Elle, to name a few. Lilliam lives in Los Angeles.

Next post will follow the LHM calendar with a recommendations list of (probably) some of my favourite Latinx Romcoms! 🙂 I’m excited!

See you soon!

Bromance Book Club Series review

This time it’s not one book review but two!

Hi all! I realised I hadn’t review Bromance Book Club and instead of making two separate posts I thought why not dust off that book series tag and finally make another series post. I am a big fan of this series, I hardly can’t wait for the third to come out!

The Bromance Book Club Series

by Lyssa Kay Adams

Genre: Adult Romance
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Publisher: Berkley

Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

The Bromance Book Club

Release Date: November 5th 2019

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

CW: graphic sex scenes, fatphobic comment, divorce, sexual insecurities

Gavin Scott, second baseman star of the Nashville Giants just found out her wife has been faking her orgasms with him. He’s humilliated and doesn’t react well which for Thea, who has been holding back so much, it’s the last straw. Thea loves Gavin but she just doesn’t see how this marriage can continue. The best thing would be for them to divorce.
Gavin distraught as he knows his fear and pride got in the way of his marriage, he turns to the most unexpected source of help. A secret romance book club made of Nashville’s top men, sports players and other “elite”. They’re convinced they can help him save his marriage, but only if he’s prepared to open up and realise what and where he went wrong. Gavin is determined to save his marriage but sometimes doing the same empty gestures will get him nowhere, it’s time for him to examine himself and his actions.

I admit I hardly ever read romance novels with couples who are already established, or in this case together but almost at the end of their relationship. I do love the excitement of two people getting to know each other, finding out if that connection or spark is enough, the first kiss, and so on. This book though completely blew my expectations.

Here you have two characters, Gavin and Thea who have gotten married, have their HEA but realise all the ways in which they were hurting each other. I loved the exploration of their insecurities (male insecurities with sex especially), their assumptions about each other, and how they just let their communication drop. I remember talking about this book with a friend (who will be married soon, sometimes soon I think?) and she kept saying how this book made her examine her needs within a relationship.

Honestly, I think that’s the beauty of this book, it’s very much a second chance romance, where we get the point of view of a man with his pride and ego, who has been hurt and has to unpack his own reactions and thoughts to be able to move past and convince his wife their relationship is worth it.
Gavin was an amazing hero, Thea was such a relatable heroine, I mean we haven’t all been there with her particular situation but the holding back and not sharing, or pretending everything is okay, is very relatable.

This book will forever be on my list of recommended books.

Undercover Bromance

Release Date: March 10th 2020

Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction. 

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.
Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.
Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

cw: sexual harrassment, allusions to rape, sexual assault, victim blaming, bribing, mentions of domestic violence, parental abuse, sexist commentary,

Liv Papandreas works as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Unfortunately the owner who also happens to be a celebrity chef is the worst person to work for. Thanks to Braden Mack, the flirty nightclub entrepreneur she finds herself in the chef owner’s shit list but worse, when she goes to find out her punishment she finds him harrassing a young hostess. Liv can’t let this slide she confronts him, gets fired and threatened.
But she still can’t let this go, she gets the help of Braden and his Bromance Book Club to figure out a way to expose this serial harrasser chef. She’s not expecting to find herself feeling things that aren’t just annoyance for Braden, and Braden will do her best to figure out a way to Liv’s heart.

I have to admit that compared to the previous book, I do have to admit I wasn’t as invested. The main argument or point of tension of this book wasn’t handled as I expected, Liv came out as very judgemental, and while I’m fine with characters having flaws or not being perfect, her reaction to some of the sexual harrassment had me cringing at times. This didn’t ruin the book for me or anything, as by the end you see her thinking shifting to more respectful. And I was still very much invested in the couples happiness but I think the previous had my standards so high, it would have been difficult for this one to follow.

Braden as a main character was interesting, more than I expected, he was charming, flirty but also had a depth to him. His emotional backstory, his caring and protectiveness had me easily liking him. He also confirmed my hunch that I love flirty characters who hide behind that to not show how soft they actually are. In comparison, Liv was headstrong, independent and determination, even when all that wasn’t channeled in the best way.

I loved that we got a glimpse of Thea and Gavin, because 2 books from now, I still need to know they’re happy and working out.

Overall, both stories are very distinct from each other and while Bromance Book Club has my heart, I still am looking forward to the next chapter of this series.

Coming up next is my long overdue list for Anticipated books for the rest of 2020 🙂

Take a Hint, Dani Brown Review

Hi all!
Back in April I reviewed the first book of this series Get a Life, Chloe Brown which not only left me wanting to reread everything Talia Hibbert has written but also made me excited over this series of charming, funny romcom novels.
While I did get to hold it in my hands from the day it came out, I hadn’t finished it until recently.
So here are my thoughts of Take a Hint, Dani Brown.

Take a Hint, Dani Brown

by Talia Hibbert

Genre: Adult Romance
Release Date: June 23rd, 2020
Publisher: Avon

Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.

When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?

Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs.

Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book:
*MC is a bisexual Black Literary PhD student
*LI is a Pakistani Muslim Brown former rugby player now security guard
* fake relationship, fake dating, friends to lovers, co-workers
* honest discussions of anxiety, panic attack, healthy/unhealthy relationships, family deaths
* sensitive discussions of mental illness, commitment issues, past relationships, toxic masculinity
*banter-y relationship, sweet, romance story HEA

CW: death of a close family, panic attacks, anxiety disorder, sex scenes

Take a Hint, Dani Brown follows the Brown sisters (Book 1, Chloe Brown and upcoming Book 3 Eve Brown) in this heart-warming, lovely romance series. Now if you’ve read Chloe Brown (which you should although they can kinda be read as solo stories) you’ll probably be expecting something similar. And they are somewhat in that they have the same humour and that perfect pacing that lets you get to know and love the main characters. That said, lets start with the characters.

This novel introduces us to Danika, a career-driven PhD student who has no time for love and relationships, she’s been there, it hasn’t worked out, she’s moved on. Now sex, having fun in bed with someone? this is exactly what she needs. So why not ask for a little help from the goddess for the perfect friend-with-benefits-and-nothing-more. The Universe of course decides to listen and does exactly what she asks, or does it?

And here we are introduced to her Love Interest extraordinaire, Zafir Ansari, moody brooding ex-rugby player now turned security guard after an accident lost him his dad and brother. Now Zaf, is a closet romantic, he reads romance books on his spare time, reminds Dani to eat and take care of herself. And after a little fire drill mishap at their uni have them trending #DrRugBae on social media, a fake relationship happens to keep Zaf and his rugby charity receving donations.
They’ll play along, and Dani will get Zaf to play with her too, in the going to bed and sleeping together kind of way. But Zaf is a closet romantic who reads romance books. As Dani continues getting to know Zaf and the more they spend time together, maybe there’s something more there. For Zaf, he’s been ready to commit since the fake relationship happened but he’s happy to respect Dani’s wishes for a no strings attached arrangement.

I guess you have to read the book to see what happens between them. I mean I’m sure you can tell what happens. But what I loved the most was getting to read both of them get to that point and of course getting to know both Dani and Zaf, their characters were so well fleshed out. There was so much of Dani I related to (overworked, stressful, can only focus on her career PhD student) but there’s so much about Zaf I loved also (loves romance novels, anxious always).

Zaf’s family issues were so sensitively handled and that content warning for panic attack was dealt in a way that it did not make me feel harmed or in danger at any time. His commitment to fight against toxic masculinity and mental illness stigma was a joy to read and honestly I have to admit I cried reading the novel but lately I seem to cry easily so might just be me.

I’m trying not to spoil here but I will mention how I loved how Dani’s commitment phobia or her wishes to not be in a relationship were handled, it wasn’t about invalidating her feelings but also acknowledging were they come from.

Overall, Talia Hibbert has my heart in her hands and she keeps writing these lovely, mindblowing heart-warming, funny romances. I need Eve’s book asap.

Next review post will be about the book series Bromance Book Club, as I finished it a while back, I just noticed I hadn’t reviewed the first one yet.

See you soon!

Here to Stay Review

Thanks to the author I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of this book before the release on August 25th, and I couldn’t contain all my thoughts on it.

Here to Stay Review

by Adriana Herrera

Genre: Adult Romance
Release Date: August 25th, 2020
Publisher: Carina Press

Starting over is more about who you’re with than where you live…
Julia del Mar Ortiz is not having the best year.

She moved to Dallas with her boyfriend, who ended up ditching her and running back to New York after only a few weeks. Left with a massive—by NYC standards, anyway—apartment and a car lease in the scorching Texas heat, Julia is struggling…except that’s not completely true. Running the charitable foundation of one of the most iconic high fashion department stores in the world is serious #lifegoals.
It’s more than enough to make her want to stick it out down South.

The only monkey wrench in Julia’s plans is the blue-eyed, smart-mouthed consultant the store hired to take them public. Fellow New Yorker Rocco Quinn’s first order of business? Putting Julia’s job on the chopping block.

When Julia is tasked with making sure Rocco sees how valuable the programs she runs are, she’s caught between a rock and a very hard set of abs. Because Rocco Quinn is almost impossible to hate—and even harder to resist.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
* light-hearted, workplace romance with low drama and angst
* co-workers dislike to love, sexual tension galore! opposite sides of a business
* IR romance, Afro-latinx MC/White LI, so much dominican/boricua food references! sofrito!
* found family trope, tight-knit friend circle
*discusses family issues and dynamics, nosy, meddling families and grandmothers, running from toxic family situations, family responsibilities
* MC is a serious, no-nonsense trying to find her feet in a new job meets tattooed, gentle, broody LI who is trying to do his job to help his family.

cw for domestic abuse, immigrant deportation, (parental) emotional abuse, alcoholism

I always have to disclaimer Adriana’s book reviews because I am so biased towards her writing, she’s one of my favourite romance authors, and this book especially was so hard to put down.

Here to Stay tells the story of Julia del Mar Ortiz born and bred in New York, who after moving to Dallas for her boyfriend Matt, shortly finds herself dumped and left in a new city alone. At least she has a new job she likes! Working for the Sturm Foundation is perfect for Julia but now, she finds her job being threatened when the company decides to go public and a new consultant is brought in to assess every aspect of the Foundation’s work specially whether the charitable program should be cut.
Rocco Quinn, a fellow New Yorker, is that consultant who was brought in to make this transition as smooth as possible. For Rocco, this job could spell a promotion and more importantly, it would be the final step to help her sister move away from New York.

Julia was the perfect heroine, strong and independent and a little bit stubborn but sweet, the Dominican/Puerto Rican aspect of her character made her feel like a friend, or a cousin really. The boricua/dominican food mentions had me wanting to somehow find them at 2am (quipes are not an easy thing to find in the UK), all the baseball references (Canó ❤ Yankees <3), the funny family moments had me highlighting half of the book. Her family was also a delight to read, the lovingly meddling and nosyness, particularly the moments where Julia still wanted to ignore her chemistry with Rocco and the family kept playing matchmakers. Adriana is especially good at writing those funny, sometimes complex family dynamics that stem from a tight-knit family who supports each other even if there’s fights or misunderstandings.

The two main character’s initial interactions were not only funny but full of ‘oh shoot I can’t like this person’ which had me from the beginning rooting and grinning. How dare that job get in the way of love and lust? right?!
I do have to gush about Rocco and how he was not afraid to be vulnerable and put himself out there and the cat rescue moment sealed him for me. Rocco’s family situation was such a contrast to Julia’s and I loved that was handled, it was moving and heartbreaking and especially how easily Rocco was accepted into the family.

Apart from Julia and Rocco’s chemistry and how adorable they were together, the found family aspect of this book, the Gotham Exiles, were one of the cute, funny things. Particularly, Jose and Tariq as a gay side couple who got together throughout the course of this book.

Overall, if you’re interested in a co-workers hate to love with a dash of pining, an adorable/sometimes meddling family and friend group, sexy hot moments, a hero thats not afraid to be vulnerable, more pining, all the food mentions and baseball? then Here To Stay is the book for you 🙂

I hope this review convinced you to read this book.

Next post will be another long overdue review!

See you next time!

The Worst Best Man review

Continuing on with the trend of ‘books I should have reviewed but time somehow slipped away with me/I’m sure I was doing some during lockdown that took away my time to write this’.
I have to admit I’ve read more romance books during lockdown than probably ever, I’m sure I’m not the only one to admit that I’ve been having a hard time concentrating on anything, and romance novels are the ultimate escapist fantasy. You know there’s going to be a happy ending and even when problems or issues occur you know there’s going to be a resolution and a happy ever after ending. Basically they’re comforting, the best thing to read during such an uncertain time.

I could continue expanding on how I believe romance novels are the best coping mechanism to keep anxiety at bay, but let’s talk about The Worst Best Man.

The Worst Best Man

by Mia Sosa

Genre: Adult romance
Release Date: February 4th, 2020
Publisher: Amulet Books

A wedding planner left at the altar. Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s managed to make other people’s dreams come true as a top-tier wedding coordinator in DC. After impressing an influential guest, she’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.

Tired of living in his older brother’s shadow, marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning—absolutely off-limits—ex-fiancée. And she loathes him.

If they can survive the next few weeks and nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.

But even the best laid plans can go awry, and soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again… 


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book
* MC is a wedding planner who finds herself dumped the night before her wedding
*LI is a marketing expert but more importantly! the ex-fiance, almost husband’s brother!
*coworkers dislike to love, funny on-upping moments, banter-y flirty moments
*fake relationship tropey moment
* Afro-Brasilian rep, Brasilian-American representation, brasilian food references, sweets and so much of the culture!
* great supporting family cast and friends

The Worst Best Man tells the story of Carolina Santos, a wedding planner extraordinaire who on the eve of her wedding gets the news by her fiance’s brother Max Hartley, not even her fiance himself, that he has decided not to go through with the wedding. And worst! that his brother was the one who convinced him. Understandably, she’s not angry only at Max but also her fiance for dumping her the night right before her wedding.
But she’s not willing to let that spoil her dreams, now when she’s offered an opportunity that could potentially spell success for her, she’s willing to do anything, even if it’s working with Max to advance her career?! Lina is not going to let a little thing like working with a guy she clearly dislikes, who already was present and the co-star of one of the worst moments in her life, in the way of her professional future.

This book took everything that I love about rom-coms; the tropey moments, the banter, the unresolved tensions between the two main characters, the adorable funny cute moments, the mishaps, the one-upping moments, the amazing chemistry and the dislike to love; and just made it so much better.
Lina, was not only instantly likeable but overall immensely relatable and by that I don’t mean that finding yourself in her shoes is something that I expect from anything but a rom-com. But it was so easy to relate to her reactions towards Max, her job and her family. This added to her inner-commentary, that as a fellow Latinx had me nodding and humming so many times. I unapologetically loved her family, it was so easy to feel the strong bond and the family dynamics in each little scene with them. Her mom and her cousin Natalia especially stood out to me.

One of the aspects of the book that cemented my love for the book were the references to Brasilian culture, the food and her family dynamics. I’m a big fan of stories that also bring in culture, food, mannerisms of other countries, particularly one such country that through family I have so much connection to. The references to capoeira, pao de queijo added a real genuine touch to the story that made it stand out for me.

In the case of Max, he wasn’t hard to like at all, his charm, patience and how honest he was with Carolina easily caught me. Although I do admit to being iffy about the premise of the book because at first I just couldn’t understand how they would make it work apart from a few nights here and there. But I loved that the book gave them time to grow both as characters and delved into their banter, the tension between them and added a little bit of pining to complete the formula. Their chemistry, flirty and sweet vibes quickly changed my mind to rooting for their happy ever after. And when they finally reached their steamy moments together, I felt like screaming finally! and thank you!

Can I take another moment to mention how much I love couples who communicate and don’t let their misunderstandings get in the way of their happiness? They were both mature enough from the beginning to set things straight and even when you could see how this would end up I liked that their conflict did not stem from lack of communication but from their own situation.

Overall, this book had it all a couple full of zany tropey moments, banter, sarcastic dialogue and an amazing supporting cast. That said, I am ready for Dean’s upcoming story and to reading his happy ever after.

Next review will be the soon to be released Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera (August 25th), thanks to the author I had the chance to read an ARC and I have sooo many good thoughts.

8 Adult Sports Romance Books with BIPoC Female Athletes (Pitch inspired)

Pitch is hands down one of my favourite TV series, it’s an amazing baseball show about Ginny Baker, who is accepted into a Major League team (San Diego Padres) as a pitcher, making her the first female (and Black) pitcher in the history of the sport. As she begins her career as a professional baseball player, she’ll have to go through the difficulties of being a pitcher in Major League team but also the pressure of being a ‘female groundbreaker’.
It’s a really good show if you’re interested in sports, baseball, or just a good story. If you haven’t watched it, go to Hulu right now and go watch it, then tweet to Hulu because we (and by this i mean me) need a second season.

As I recently rewatched Pitch, it gave me the inspiration for this list. I love sports romances books, for me it’s the best of both worlds, my love for sports with my love for feel-good or angsty romance stories where the heroine is not just sitting in the background cheering or supporting her athlete partner. This list is about those female heroines who are their own driven, headstrong, amazingly athletic main character.

Disclaimer: While I would love to follow Pitch’s influence and only focus on Baseball stories, there aren’t that many BIPoC authored or starring BIPoC. So this list will focus on female athletes in all the following sports: basketball, baseball, volleyball and football (soccer).

One Last Shot by
Alexandra Warren

“I’ve always trusted you with the ball in your hands. But can I do the same with my heart?”
As a professional basketball player, Selena “Sharpshooter” Samuels seemingly has everything going in her favor. Playing for her hometown, playoff-bound team, the Nashville Nymphs. Playing under a knowledgeable coach who she adores. Playing for a franchise that’s well respected and family-owned. But the potential dynasty she’s trying to build comes under threat when a new assistant coach is hired; an assistant coach who she may or may not have had a huge crush on growing up.
DeAndre “Dre” Leonard hasn’t had it easy. After being banned from the league as a player for violating the drug policy, his world came crashing down. But now he’s back and ready to rebuild his reputation, starting with a coaching opportunity with the sister team of his beloved Trojans that includes one of the best women’s players in the game; and arguably the finest woman he’s ever seen.
Selena and Dre both want the same thing; to have a successful season. But as they spend more time together chasing a championship, that shared goal slowly begins to change from a title… to each other.

I love stories where MCs meet their idols, especially one who disappointed them. Selena, basketball star meets Dre, former basketball star now assistant coach of her team, a bit of dislike to lust to love, some misunderstandings, a lot of flirting, a lot of basketball
*This is the second of the Nymphs and Trojans series by Nicole Falls and Alexandra Warren, I wholeheartedly recommend both, but this one in particular features a female athlete.

The Perfect Game
by Elley Arden

Arlington Aces’ backup catcher Ian Pratt lives every day to the fullest, focusing on having fun with the three Bs: babes, booze, and baseball. Life’s too short not to go out with a smile on his face.
For Pauly Byrne, being the only female starting pitcher in professional baseball means she’s determined, deliberate, and always staying one step ahead of the naysayers. Facing a difficult choice, she must decide whether to hang up her cleats to become the first woman to coach an NCAA baseball team or hold on to the unlikely dream of becoming the first to play in the Major League. Either way, she needs to win this season’s championship.
When Pauly’s usual catcher fails a drug test going into playoffs, Ian is thrust into the starting role, where their differences—and an unlikely attraction—threaten to derail their season. Their futures are on the line, but can these two total opposites find enough common ground to win the big game and a shot at happily ever after?

*Pauly, first female pitcher to play in the NCAA, knows what she wants, works hard, meets Ian, flirt, ladies-man catcher, she thinks he doesn’t take things seriously, he thinks she needs to relax, dislike to love, opposites attract, two stubborn people against eachother, cute flirty banter

Keeping Score
by Sara Rider

Professional soccer player Jaime Chen is used to hearing the word “no”—she’s just not used to listening to it. Despite her tiny frame, she’s won two Olympic medals and earned the title of Assistant Captain of the Seattle Falcons. And when Sport Fitness magazine decides it wants her for the cover of its annual Bodies of Sport issue, she finally has the chance to prove to the world that she truly is a top-class athlete. But when a lingering ankle injury forces the team’s physiotherapist to bench her, Jaime’s top-ranking dreams start to slip through her fingers.
In his career as a pro sports physiotherapist, Alex Martinez’s instincts have never steered him wrong. But he’s also never met someone as obstinate and frustrating as the snarky Jaime Chen. With their spot in the playoffs on the line, the Falcons’ owner gives him an ultimatum: get Jaime back in the game or kiss his job goodbye. When she skips yet another appointment with him, the only way he can wrangle a diagnosis from the medically-phobic midfielder is to stick to her like a shadow. But getting close to the woman who simultaneously irritates him and turns him on like no other is the last thing he wants to do.

*Jamie Chen, footie player meets slightly grumpy (with a cause) Alex Martinez, she’s stubborn, he’s grumpy, they have a lot of banter and flirty moments, he only wants to take care of her, she wants him to leave her alone (but not really) and just let her play.

Settle the Score/ Hustle Play
by Tara Frejas

Settle the Score
College senior Garnet Figueroa lives and breathes basketball. A reliable asset to her varsity team, she is equipped with the skills and smarts to get the De La Sierra Lady Hunters closer to this year’s championship title. But Garnet soon finds out that her good friend (and long-time crush), cheerdancer Charles Crisostomo, is being cheated on by his girl, and she lets her emotions get the best of her.
Will she be able to come up with a game plan to save herself from heartbreak before the buzzer signals Game Over?

Hustle Play
Running on pure adrenaline and working with game strategies is something a basketball player like Garnet Figueroa is trained for. On the court, she is unbeatable. Off the court… that’s a completely different story.
Because falling in love is trickier than a ball game, and Garnet finds herself fumbling over her feelings for Charles Crisostomo. The fact that her attention gets divided between him and rival school hard-court hottie Chris Barcelo doesn’t help. Or does it?

*Two novellas that feature Garnet, basketball player extraordinaire and cheerdancer Charles, bffs to lovers, some misunderstading, many cute moments, an unexpected kiss

Well Played
by Katrina Ramos Atienza

Patrice Reyes is starting her junior year at the University and she’s convinced it’s going to be the best semester ever. For starters, it looks like this is the year her team will win the regional football (soccer, for you Yanks) championships. Her subjects are looking good, and there’s even a chance she might finally get somewhere with her rock star crush. But a new classmate—arrogant, cold Math nerd ( ’nuff said)—is seriously throwing off her groove. Will she ever get rid of him and have the awesome semester she deserves? Or is there truth to never judging (Math) books by their cover?

*Pride and prejudice remix but with footie and math! what more do you need really! Patrice, witty, fun football player meets cold, slightly arrogant Math nerd Paul, they have to work together, dislike to like, misunderstandings, well you know filipino P&P.

The PreGame Ritual
by Alexandra Warren

Ava knows that she’s the best girls basketball player in the country at the collegiate level.
She knows that she’s going straight the pros once her senior season comes to an end.
And she knows that finding a man is the least likely thing to happen while she’s chasing that dream.

That’s until she meets Miles.
A freshman phenom who has no idea what college life is like but is in for a red-headed surprise with a mean crossover.
Their chemistry is a given, but will age be more than just a number?
Or will the PreGame Ritual be enough to even the score? 

*younger basketball player, Miles who is a total flirt freshman phenomenon meets and pursues older basketball player, Ava who is totally taken with him even though denies it, slight age gap, lots of sexy moments, lots of basketball, total power couple to root for 🙂

The Changeup
by Nicole Falls

For the entirety of her life Geffri Robinson has known that being a girl who plays baseball was a novelty. At some point, however, the novelty wore off and she stepped away from playing the sport until a chance exhibition places her at the center of attention once again. With the spotlight shining brightly upon her, Geffri finds herself with an amazing opportunity within her grasp that’s she’s eager to take.
But with all great success comes the trolls—enter Noah Fence, a sports blogger who’s a little too opinionated about how excellent Geffri really is and challenges her to a competition to prove his superiority. Between Noah’s challenge and the opportunity placed before her, Geffri’s calm summer escalates into a whirlwind season of dreams fulfilled.

*Geffri is a talented bit jaded pitcher who meets, Noah, a thinks he knows it all internet troll/sports blogger, sweet, sexy, flirty moments happen but also some proving him wrong 🙂

Once upon a Player
by Agay Llanera

Gorgeous college senior Val Fabian is a player in every sense of the word. She’s the star spiker of her university’s volleyball team, and she never runs out of dates. But it seems that this year, she has finally been bitten by the commitment bug. She sets her sights on an unexpected target–the unassuming yet ultra-cute Jake Clementia. Val is used to getting what she wants, and is sure she’ll snag him before graduation. But in the process of winning his heart, she is sideswiped by a surprise move that sends her tumbling from her pedestal.

*Volleyball and gorgeous star spiker, Val meets unexpected possible business food owner EJ, doesn’t fancy him at first but as times goes by? maybe? funny, cute banter-y moments with a sweet ending.

Kulti by Mariana Zapata
“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”
When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.
It didn’t take a week for 27-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon – why she’d ever had his posters on her wall or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies. Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man who hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been. 

Most of the books I have recommended here are easily found on Scribd, if you’re not registered you can use my link and get 60 days free while you decide if it’s for you or not.

Do you have any books you think I missed? I’m always on the look for recommendations! And as always be on the lookout for part 2 of this list featuring YA books 🙂