{ Bundle Review } #JustWritePH’s #ForLove

Love is never easy, but the journey to that happily ever after is what makes it worth it. Witness the struggles of these characters as they work their way through both new romances and second chances at love in this four-story bundle. Features I Still… by Beth G., Sigh No More by Carla de Guzman, Velvet Valentine by Giselle Bacalla, and One Sweet November Day by Amae Dechavez.

Did you know that the #ForLove bundle is available on Buqo for only P45/$0.99? CLICK HERE to buy the bundle.

Or, you know . . . you can also win this bundle by joining their ongoing giveaway! Click onTHIS LINK to enter.

Click the Read More link below for introductions to all four stories in the #ForLove bundle, followed by a quick review of Sigh No More and One Sweet November Day. Excerpts will be up in a separate post.

Sigh No More
Carla de Guzman

Beatrice and Claudia never thought they would see Benedick and Hiro ever again, not that they wanted to. But when the business opportunity of a lifetime hinges on Ben and Hiro’s work, they find themselves head over heels and crashing into the boys again. But why did they ever have to be apart in the first place? Can Hiro win Claudia’s heart back? Can Beatrice and Benedick ever stop fighting? This book is a modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

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1Ah~ there is nothing more frustrating and satisfying than reading (and writing, may I add!) about two stupid people in love refusing to admit it to themselves and each other. This is exactly how Sigh No More‘s main story arc went, and let me tell you: I had a stupid grin on my face every time something cute happened between and among the characters. There’s Bea and Claudia, young entrepreneurs with a bright and promising career in front of them. They are the proprietors of Noble Crowne, a stationery shop that had recently gained popularity in their little neighborhood in Virginia. Popular enough to get noticed by the media, and with enough expertise to land a very important client (Liberty London, OMG!) presentation, too, if only they’d give Don Franco–womanizer extraordinaire, I’d imagine–some business.

Of course the Noble Crowne ladies said yes, but were quickly slapped in the face by three-year old struggles of forgetting. Don Franco apparently had two men in his employ Bea and Claudia never wanted in their lives again, and that’s where the fun really starts.

First of all, if you’re going to read this with a wandering mind like I have (I have work and exhaustion as an excuse, yes, I am weak!), I must warn you. This may get a little confusing. There are shifts in POV and flashbacks here and there, which may not be as jarring if your brains are 100% functional at the time you’re reading, but honestly, I had to go back and forth a few times to get things right. Of course, that could only be me.

Second, I love the descriptions in this story! I really felt like I was in another place, walking into the quaint and pretty Noble Crowne shop, looking at their flowery designs . . . it all felt very real to me. So much that the day after I finished reading, I found myself walking into stationery/novelty shops just to y’know, kind of live the feeling. Had to imagine most of the stuff though, but whatever.

Third, as I was reading the story, I thought that Bea and Ben are two infuriating people I wanted to keep imprisoned in a small cell together until their break. I know, I know, my measures are extreme, but pardon me for wanting them so much to be together I’d have to resort to illegal means. I mean, even Claudia and Hiro did questionable stuff to “get the job done,” so to speak. Friends. What would you do without them, right?

Overall rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
Plus points for: Making me want to take a walking tour of Alexandria, Virginia because of the lovely descriptions in this story. I also kind of want me some flowery stationery, even if I’m not exactly a cute and dainty type of person.
Because of this story, I wish I could: Punch Don’s face. No, seriously.

I also wanted to give Ben a hug lots of times. But before that I’m going to smack him around for being a fool. And then I’ll hug him. 😛

One Sweet November Day
Amae Dechavez

Nagtagpong muli si Ethan at Maylie. Sinong magaakala na pagkatapos nilang magkakilala at maging matalik na magkaibigan noong bakasyon sa Pila, Laguna ay magkikita silang muli? Sa saglit na pagkakalayo nilang dalawa ay lalong nilang napagtanto na mahal na nga nila ang isa’t isa. Kaya sa muli nilang pagkikita sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, Los Baños ay hindi na pinalagpas pa ni Ethan ang pagkakataon niya. Sinabi niya kay Maylie ang mga katagang “Mahal kita.” “Mahal din kita” ang naging tugon ng dalaga. Girlfriend na Ethan si Maylie—first girlfriend. Ngunit magtatagal ba ang pag-iibigan nila?

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2One Sweet November Day is a romance written in Filipino. Not a lot of authors do this nowadays, and properly, may I add. And when I say properly, I mean the proper use of the language. The story isn’t in Taglish–although I have nothing against reading text written in said manner as long as it’s done well–but it weaves English words well into the narrative, you are convinced the author knows both languages well.

All language technicalities aside (because that’s not what this is supposed to be), I have mixed feelings about this story. On the one hand, I love how the first several chapters seemed like a tour of a university I almost went to in college. Call me a geek, but I really love it when an author can show me a place like a friendly tour guide would without y’know, feeling like I’m being lectured. It makes me want to visit a place and think “Ah, this is where this character and this character were during that scene,” and this story really made me want to do that. Especially since UPLB is just, well, in my country. (As opposed to Virginia up there, where I need a VISA to visit, boohoo.)

On the other hand, I felt that the pace was too slow, in that I already had so many questions unanswered in my head a few pages in, and they remained unanswered when I finished. How are Maylie and Ethan going to fare in this relationship thing? Are there going to be more conflicts, more fallouts? Are we going to be given a glimpse of their meet cute (because my brain is screaming for it)?

Apparently, this was an introductory bit to a longer piece of work (the author tells us that at the end), but now I’m being my impatient self, wanting to get the entire thing so I can dive into it as soon as I can. Oh, the agony of waiting. >0<;;

Overall rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
Plus points for: Making me crave kwek-kwek in the wee hours of the morning. No, that’s a minus. Amae, you evil, evil girl, you. There’s no kwek-kwek around my place at 2AM!
Because of this story, I wish I could: Go to UPLB and eat kwek-kwek. And have someone serenade me with a guitar as bonus. 😛

I Still…
Beth G.

Jamee is head over heels with Denmark. And after several years of not seeing each other, they meet again, and Jamee cannot deny the fact that after all those years, she is still in love with him. As their renewed friendship seems to progress, all while their common college friends hold a reunion for all of them, Jamee discovers the truth behind her heartache with Denmark years ago. Will she still surrender on how she feels for Denmark and give herself a chance on love? Or will it be too late?

Connect with and follow this author via these channels: Facebook | Blog

Velvet Valentine
Giselle Bacalla

Elizabeth Mariana Hernandez Cruz, a freshmen in St. Agnes Integrated School has only one agenda; to live the life she always dreamed about in school. She grew up from a small town and studied in a small sectional school until now. As soon as stepping into high school, she vowed that things will finally change. As young, careless and naïve Elizabeth struggles her way through her freshmen year and that changed until the day she meets Isaac D. Rodriguez, a third year senior who always dropped by in her classroom. Little did she know that this boy would be the catalyst of change. After long years of house arrest, watch her adventure to discover life in a different light as she experience friendship, love and reality. “Excuse me, are you by any chance, Sakura?” “How did you know about me?” Velvet Valentine’s Elizabeth will bring you places and memories you thought you’ve long forgotten.

Connect with and follow this author via these channels: Facebook | Blog | Wattpad

The #JustWritePH workshop which ran from July 1 to August 8, 2015 challenged participants to write a story and prepare it for publication in a little under six weeks. The reward? Guaranteed distribution on Buqo, plus marketing opportunities like a bundle launch (held at Bo’s Coffee Megamall on August 22), a Facebook party, and a blog tour.

You may view all the available bundles by typing #JustWritePH on the Buqo shopfront’s search bar. A total of five bundles are now available for you to buy. We hope you keep on supporting Filipino authors by buying and promoting the #JustWritePH bundles! 🙂

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