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Dare To Love

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Restoration architect Giada Manahan’s heart has begun to resemble the adobe walls she loves. At least that’s what her friends say. But Gia knows better---she’s just being cautious. After all, as a single mom, her kids are her first priority.

But one drunken night, her friends push her into a trippy crystal healing ritual. Gia thinks it’s a joke . . . until a few days later,
Published October 18th 2016 by C. P. Santi
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  65 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Sue (Hollywood News Source)
Dare to Love follows the story of a single mother of two. She’s an architect who falls in love with an anthropologist “bad boy."

I’m still pondering about this book. It’s simply one of the most feminist and radical love story I’ve ever read. Regardless if that’s the author’s intent or not, the depth and uniqueness of Dare to Love is not to be missed. You should pick it up, particularly, if you’re looking for a sweet romance.

It’s a story of an architect, who's also a single mother, that falls in l
Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm
C.P. Santi had me at the half-naked man on the bed. Seriously. And boy, he's got tattoo, too? Dayum!

Dare To Love is my fourth C.P. Santi novel and everytime I read her book, I always have this satisfied smirk on my face, that tells "hot damn, that was awesome!" *woot, woot*

I love a lot of things in this story. There were the priests (yes, priests!) who were like big brothers to the main character, Gia, who happened to have a priest for a twin brother. Interesting, right? It's been years since I
Inah (Fueled By Chapters)
What I liked: I loved the overall dynamic of the book—from the setting down to the characters themselves. Most of the story is set in San Pablo, Laguna with some casual drops of Los Banos, which are places I’m familiar with, so I was able to easily imagine the scenes playing in my mind. I also appreciated the fact that this book is sex-positive, because it’s not everyday I get to read a book from a local author that promotes such!

What could have been done differently: I could do with more scenes
H. Bentham
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’ve only started reading this yesterday, but I*JUST*COULDN’T*PUT*IT*DOWN!

Okay, before I jumble my thoughts with how awesome this was, I’ll highlight the three best things I loved about it: The Romance, Family and Architecture

This is not my first C.P. Santi book so I already knew what I was in for. Still, whenever Alex calls Gia “Angel”, a part of me is internally squealing. And their first meeting is not to be forgotten. Alex’s ‘nakedness’ and Gia’s unexpected badassery left me smiling foolishl
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Counting this book as my January 2018 TBR Challenge book. The theme is "shorter reads," and this book is 174 pages, so I'd consider that shorter than average romances I read. It was temporarily free on Amazon when I bought it, but even at $2.99 it's worth buying. I simply adored this book.

So much of this warmed my heart on a personal level. The heroine, Gia, is a conservator/restorer who consults on local churches. There is so much lovely detail about her work peppered throughout the book--from
Justine from Novels and Panda
“Loneliness isn’t something you ponder when you’re focused on surviving tantrums and deadlines. It’s easy to get lost in the tedium of everyday life. But when you take a moment and think about it, that’s when it hits you—that there’s something missing.”

Aww, Dare to Love is my second C.P. Santi book and it has not failed me. It was the cutest and funniest thing I have read this afternoon.

It is about a restoration architect and a single mother Gia. Afraid of falling in love again she and her despe
This book is one of our Recommended Reads! Read our post here.

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C. Erani Kole
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shoutouts
*gifted an ARC via author and voluntarily reviewed this adorable piece*

4.5 rating.

This was so CUTE! I really adored the writing style and how sweet it all was. I don't always read pure romances, but when I do, it's perfect ones like this. Gia's a sort of firecracker who comes from a religious family (honestly, her own twin's a priest) and because of life, she has a set of twins of her own, both who are just as mischievous as she and Nic probably were. We enter her life with a night spent with he
Jay Tria
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Alex and Gia's romance stands out to me because of many things. You have an MC in her 30s (which is I've learned to expect in Santi's romances, and that's a yay), with two beautiful children that she had out of wedlock. You have an LI who looks like trouble but spends each page proving to you that trouble is the last thing he is. There are priests, and lots of them, because here priests are not just people up on pulpits, but are actually family. You will be taken on a tour of Philippine province ...more
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it

This was the cutest little romance story that completely warmed my heart while I sped read it. I love reading stories about adults falling in love not only with a person, but with their family as well. And that's exactly what Alex does when he meets Gia. He falls for her family and life that he wants to be apart of, and their relationship was so healthy and cute that I couldn't get enough of them. The only reason why I held back from giving it a 5/5 stars was the pace of
You know what's always missing from NA books? HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS!!! This book has just that! It literally shows you a healthy couple getting into each other and then overcoming their obstacles together rather than the cliched break up as the climax of the story.

I really enjoyed this story, all the dynamics between the different characters were so much fun to read about. I think my favorite scene was when Gia goes to church and says "Father, I have sinned." and it's her brother on the other s
Ngoc Diep
What a cute, fluffy book to start off 2017. Thank you Sue for gifting this book to me. <3
Jennifer Hallock
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Competent heroes and heroines are my jam, and so are big, interconnected families—so this book was a true pleasure. Hero Alex is maybe one of the most attractive romantic leads I've read in a long time because he had it all: tatted arms and great abs that say alpha male on the outside, but a former-geek-turned-academic sensitive guy on the inside. The sex of this book happens off the page, and that was a disappointment for me (though I respect the author's preference for doing it that way, and s ...more
Brain Tabs
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted in Brain Tabs

How do I love this? Let me count the ways:

1. This is my second C. P. Santi read and she's fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Like on Maybe This Time, I was delighted by her poetic way of describing things. It was amazing how she painted in the readers' minds the picturesque places Gia and Alex visited during the course of the story.

2. Gia was passionate about her work and was a strong and loving mother to her twins. She was jaded by her hurtful past and was
Bianca Mori
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet and subtly subversive romance between a thirtysomething single mom to twins and an anthropologist, with the best meet cute ever. Coming home to a hot shirtless guy on your bed? Hoooo mama. I geeked out quite a bit on this because it reminded me a lot of my HUM 170 subject in college. Art, Man and Society always featured a field trip of some sort to the Philippines' wealth of heritage churches, and I remember visiting San Agustin and Manila Cathedral, the Taal Basilica, and severa ...more
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Fast-paced and witty—couldn't put it down and finished it in more or less an hour. Enjoyed the surrounding themes of single motherhood, architecture, overseas study and the church, and loved how open and positive the romance between Alex and Gia is... and ALL THE FOOD DESCRIPTIONS, GOSH, SUPER YUM. This is my second book by this author, and I def won't be stopping here!

Favorite lines:

“Nope. You owe me, Angel.”
“I do?”
“A kiss. And this time I get to choose when.”

"But just because I was out wi
Carla Guzman
A sweet, fluffy read!

I really enjoyed reading this book! Reading about how restoration architects work was so fascinating, and I love that Gia's not your typical MC--she's been through things, and her life isn't exactly the same as everyone else's. It made me appreciate her journey more.

Alex was utterly, utterly perfect. Rawr. So much so that when he reveals a little negative quality of his in the middle of the book, it only made me love him more.

There are a lot of priests in this book, and I
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Quite different from the [many] other #romanceclass novels I have read. Gia is both older and more mature. I enjoyed that she was a grown up, with adult issues and concerns. Alex is sexy and caring and kind. I love how excellently 'beta' he is without losing any of his appeal. Religion plays a huge part in this book, but it felt organic and didn't feel 'preachy'. On the other hand the romantic liaison is a little slow, and the angst almost non-existent. There could, perhaps, have been a
sil ♡ the book voyagers
I enjoyed Dare to Love fully. It's such an adorable story about an single mom architect and an anthropologist with tattoos that gets to stay at her place for a few weeks. Thanks Sue for recommending this one and knew that I would love it. And I did. I'm feeling so happy and full right now. Thank you all of you amazing authors that write romance books, because they are the best thing that have ever happened to me and they make my day better.

Sweet story. I love that the heroine is in her 30s (older than the usual romantic heroine). I love that the hero is an anthropologist and that his research is about religion in the Philippines. I love that the heroine's family are all priests and that her job is basically to restore churches. She initially thinks the hero is a super hot priest, which I thought was cute. I don't often see priests in romantic fiction, so this made the story seem uniquely Filipino to me. ...more
Kris Mauna
”My uncle had always maintained that people already knew the answer to their problems — they just needed help rediscovering the answer.”

Another great story by C. P. Santi — I absolutely adore her writing! Her characters are flawed and relatable but still have the right characteristics to keep readers rooting for their HEA! <3
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A cute, short romance featuring a self-confident single mom, funny priests, and a lovely Philippines setting. I love that both MCs are educated and passionate about their work but still balance that with family and love. I guess you really can have it all.
Jun 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-books

the serotonin rush i had when alex started narrating in the epilogue !!!
Nicole Andrea
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Winter  Aragon
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*I received an ARC for an honest review. *

"Then let's be scared together, Angel. Then maybe somehow we'll find the courage to make this work."

This is the first novel that I read from Caryn and my heart is truly happy right now.

I was supposed to read this story last weekend, but I wasn't able to start it until earlier this morning.

First, I love the writing style and the conversations of every character, it was cute and colorful. I'm not familiar with architecture and rebuilding heritage places
Agay Llanera
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is obviously a product of the author's passions--restoration architecture, romantic settings, and the inner workings of love between two adults. I loved how the characters were already in their 30s, and that the main character was a single mom. It's a brave move especially since the most of the story takes place in a provincial town where tongues tend to wag. What's more the MC's family is part of the clergy. But the author handled all these issues with a breeziness that doesn't veer t ...more
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance-class
An Architect x Anthropologist? Yes, please! Dare to Love tells us that you can't really judge a book by it's cover. Just because someone has a tattoo doesn't mean you can't trust that person or that he's bad news. I love how Gia found the courage to face her fears and trust Alex with all her heart. Andy, June, and her twins, Ana and Chesco's antics never fail to make me smile and laugh. ...more
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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C. P. Santi is a Filipina writer based in Tokyo, Japan. She is a wife to an engineer / indie songwriter and is a full-time mom to two energetic boys. She loves cooking, baking, eating chocolate, watching J-doramas, singing at karaoke, and running around the house playing tickle tag. She also loves dreaming up stories about the people she meets.

In another life, she is also an architect and academic

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