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Book Journaling: ‘Kiss and Cry’ by Mina V. Esguerra

by KB Meniado

Remember when Agnes wrote about “8 Things to Put in Your Reading Journal” last year? Well, I kind of took the advice. This 2019, I’m making BoJo happen. For me, at least. I just finished my eighth book (slooow but honor thy pace), and I wanted to show (off). Check out what I did for Kiss and Cry by Mina V. Esguerra, an emotionally-digging and steamy sports romance from the Six 32 Central series coming out March 1. (Related: “Bookbed reviews: ‘What Kind of Day’ by Mina V. Esguerra [plus an interview!]”)


Calinda met Ramirez when she was 20 and he was 22. She was the rising star of women’s skating, and he was the superstar forward of men’s hockey. Her parents and coach were against their relationship, and because Calinda wanted to prove that no hot guy would ever distract her from her dream, she chose skating over him — and also avoided him all together. 

Ten years later, they meet again as gold medalists and prominent sports advocates, still single and undeniably attracted to each other. It’s still not a good time for them, because Ramirez is retiring from hockey and moving back to the United States. Calinda doesn’t do relationships, really, and proposes they use his final three weeks in Manila to explore what might have been, and do all the things they wish they’d done (there’s a list!). Then he can leave for good, and they can both move on with their lives without this one regret.

It’s BoJo-worthy, but is it also Bookshelf-worthy?

Yes. The book being about winter athletes in tropical Philippines should already pique interest but it’s also snappy, smart, and at times, really funny. The second-chance aspect is a thrill, especially with Cal and Ram being full of conviction, wisdom and ahem, long-held lust. Readers will also find Filipino quirks and norms easy to relate to (and a bisexual rep!), and will treasure the reminder of paying it forward and the challenge of redefining where home is and what it means. That said, immigration issues are tackled, just as breaking away from societal pressure and seeking freedom from parental expectations. Recommended For Keeps.


The reviewer received an ARC from the author in exchange for honest thoughts. Excerpts and quotes may not reflect final version. READ ALL BOOK JOURNALING POSTS HERE. READ OUR REVIEW POLICY AND SUBMISSION GUIDELINES HERE.

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