by Maria Criselda Santos

I was not at all prepared for the heartbreak, the yearning and the heat levels that Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology threw my way. From the onset, I knew this was going to be a huge treat. I have read most of the authors, which made it easy for me to set my expectations. Yes, it was high, and yes, it has been met.

While the anthology contains tropes that we may be familiar with—friends-to-lovers, one-night stands, summer flings, each story brings something new. What’s more is that it’s also part travel journal, featuring noteworthy destinations across the country, such as Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte, Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, and Moalboal in Cebu. Every story portrays the beauty of Philippine summers, with images of pristine beaches and cool waters and celebrations of local traditions.

Aside from the heat levels and picturesque descriptions, the anthology features a strong set of characters. There are graphic designers, choir masters, an uber-cool matchmaking grandma, and a kissing monster (!?). Reading and following their stories was fun and inspiring, and made me believe in romance again. Not only that, it also made me reflect about what wanted in romance: meaningful courtship for the long haul, with mutual (sexual) responsibility.

For those who want to enjoy paradise in crisp pages, Summer Feels is your go-to. It’s exciting and hot, and always with the assurance of a happy ending, or at least a happy for now. ☁

Summer Feels is available on the Bookbed Store (print) and on Amazon (ebook).
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