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Kiss and Cry

(Six 32 Central #2)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  42 reviews
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, t
Kindle Edition, 171 pages
Published March 1st 2019 by Bright Girl Books
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  103 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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K.J. Charles
A hugely readable Manila-set romance that feels intensely realistic. Ram and Cal are both successful sportspeople, but not megastars: they've reached 31, their sporting careers are done with, and now they both have entire new lives to build and a lot of regrets to face up to. Like the fact that Cal stayed in the Philippines when perhaps a richer country could have given her the training that might have taken her to a higher level, that Ram basically has no fallback career because he kept quittin ...more
Olivia Waite of The Seattle Review of Books referenced this review in her column! Ah! Weird but very cool:


Calinda Valerio is a former ice skater in the Philippines. After retirement, she’s been choreographing routines for other skaters and is the creative director of the Six 32 Central’s ice rink. Ramirez Diaz-Tan is a forward for the Philippine national hockey team and is on his way to retirement. He’s a Filipino-American and a 1st gen immigrant to th
Adele Buck
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A quick, sexy read that doesn’t skimp on deep emotion and family drama. There’s a lot to love about this book (and I can say I concur with everything Aarya Marsden says in her very lengthy review), but I want to focus on how much I loved the heroine, Cal. Cal is both dispassionate and entirely passionate. Independent as a cat and logical as an equation. The kind of heroine I wanted to have as part of my friend group. Ram is a wonderful character too and I don’t want to sell him short. But CAL. W ...more
Moras Dela Paz
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Listened to the audiobook! I love how the accents change but I wish the breath intakes were edited out. Made me feel like someone was breathing on my neck, I had to listen in 1.8x speed so it wouldn't be noticeable. ...more
Kris Mauna
I’m a complete sucker for a good sports read with a sweet romance attached to it. I don’t watch much hockey or know much about the sport, but for some reason I’m constantly drawn to stories that include hockey players. So when I first heard Kiss and Cry featured one, I was ready to dive into this story! Being set in the Philippines was the cherry on top.

“Calinda kissed Ramirez like she was taking something she deserved. He kissed her like he was taking something he needed.”

It was easy for me
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2019
Kiss and Cry by Mina V. Esguerra is a diverse and own voices contemporary romance set in the Philippines. Cal is a retired figure skater, now working behind-the-scenes in the local figure skating scene. While Ram is a hockey player planning to retire from the local team. They knew each other ten years ago and could have had something if Cal's parents hadn't forbidden them to date. They're basically each other's "the one who got away." Now they have one last chance to reconnect before Ram permane ...more
Jennifer Hallock
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

More romance as you want romance to be: skilled heroine, handsome hero who adores her, and sexy consent. And both are exceptional athletes: Calinda (Cal) a championship figure skater and Ramirez (Ram) the leading scorer for the Philippine national hockey team. Both were chosen for a "30 Most Accomplished in their Thirties" feature for a society magazine. So, they are effin' competent, and thank you very much for asking.

Many other reviews will cover key reasons why this book stands out:
4.5 stars, rounding down

Mina never disappoints and this instantly became one of my favorites of hers. Ram and Cal are each other’s “one who got away” because Cal wasn’t allowed to date when she was a teen and because Ram is an expat who lives most of the year in the US. What is meant to be a short-term relationship where they make “lists” for each other and try new things turns into more, of course. I loved the exploration of Ram’s Fil-Am identity; Mina always writes with a certain amount of...
Paige Nicole
2.5 stars rounded up.

Meh. I just couldn’t get into this one. It felt like the characters were floating from scene to scene. Like they only existed in the moments I was reading — there was no depth or grounding or complexity to the characters or the world. I also didn’t feel the connection or chemistry between our main characters at all.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Sometimes a thing wasn't mean for you but damn you wanted it anyway, didn't mean you'd stop trying. Never mind if you had to knock on more doors and need to work so much harder. Sometimes even years at it wouldn't be enough and the next thing to do was help make it easier for those coming in after you." /mic drop

Read my full review on Bookbed. Check out my ~BoJo art:


... and the BTS video!

Here are all the books I read in 2019! :)
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved the same things about this as I loved about What Kind of Day; the author packs so many big questions and issues into a slim novel. It works so well because the big ideas are expressed in such down to earth terms; careers and family relations and decisions of which country to live in are huge but on the page they're little everyday moments and subtle shifts in feeling.

I also appreciate seeing a couple of grown, mature characters who have learned how to communicate openly and don't get sw
Verity W
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not for me in the end. I wanted more skating and more romance and this didn’t really deliver on either the way that I was hoping. I found the heroine quite self-absorbed and didn’t get what the hero saw in her

Nb I started this months ago, got distracted and then came back and started it again and read in one sitting on a plane trip.
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A really cute take on a figure skater and hockey player romance. I liked the second-chance romance aspect of this, the little moments when they think what might have been in their careers and their relationship but also revel in their relationship now. Low conflict, mostly internal and a sweet HEA.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Second chance romance, retired figure skater heroine, retiring hockey player. Low conflict, atmospheric (Manila and its food and customs/culture), immigrant/ex-pat life, tonnes of consent.

Full review 

This is a nice, easy going, low conflict romance with some angst and lots of realistic talk about sports behind its glamourous facade. I loved that we a different aspect of professional sports, one where it’s like a day job – some fame and popularity on local level, but none of the huge wealth and c
Xan West
Content Warnings (view spoiler)

I really enjoy Esguerra’s romances, her writing style, the way she approaches tropes and twists them just enough that they feel specific and unique but still really hit that sweet spot, give me as a reader what I’m looking for from my favorite tropes. This was no exception. I loved this romance, it’s one of my faves I’ve r
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
A short love story about rekindling with an old flame with an ending that doesn't leave the couple look back to the past and onwards to their future.

As a couple, they didn't have much conflict between them and actually talk things through. They really do have a healthy and great communication and that is very refreshing to see.

The plot of this story really sounds interesting and would make you want to read it but unfortunately I couldn't click with it.
Katt Briones
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This review was originally posted on my review blog Deanna Reads Books
This was a total random find that I found in the book blogger tag on Twitter, where the author was promoting pre-ordering the ebooks version. She marketed it using The Cutting Edge, so I was sold. Also it was about hockey, and a book about hockey in a country that is a non-traditional market for the sport, so I was super interested in this one!

I haven't read a lot of books set in The Philippines, other than Crazy Rich Asians,
Thank you to Mina V. Esguerra for providing me a digital review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Aside from being a fan of friends-to-lovers trope, I’m also a sucker for the-one-that-got-away love stories. I just love being told a good story about lovers who went their separate ways only to find themselves back in each others’ arms again after a few years. So when I read the synopsis of this book I know that I HAVE to
H. Bentham
"Baby, you got lucky cause you're rocking with the best⁣
And I'm greedy . . .⁣
You know that I'm greedy for love."⁣
That's NOT a quote from the book, but a line from an Ariana Grande song that resonated with me while I was reading 😅, and I felt like Cal could def be skating to this to Ram bec look, She is the actual BEST (!!!) and in the context of their relationship running out of time (he's set to leave again and for good this time; this is not a spoiler), she's allowed to be greedy for love. 😏
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-f-romance, poc-mc
First of all: look at that cover. It's so good and pretty.

This is a cute story set in Manila in the Philippines about two winter athletes meeting again after 10 years. Ramirez is a Philippine-American soon-to-be retired hockey player that travels from the United States once a year to play in Manila. He moved to the US at a young age and discovered his love of hockey once he caused enough trouble to be sent back to the Philippines for a brief stay. Calinda is a retired ice skater that now choreog
Paola Aliedo
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Honestly, it's been a while since I read a book from Miss Mina. She is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors and I felt a bit guilty writing this review but I would like to share my thoughts about Calinda and Ramirez (I love their names).

I'm a big fan of sports and reading a story focusing on hockey and ice skating which is not the most popular kind of sports in the country is refreshing.

I somehow see myself with Cal with the expectations and pressures from the family and people surro
Apr 29, 2020 added it
Shelves: own-ebook
In which Cal the retired figure skater and Ram the hockey player (both in their early 30s), who secretly carried a torch for one another all those years, give it a go with the understanding that it's a temporary thing, for just the duration of Ram's few-week stay in Manila. This is the second (standalone) book in the Six 32 Central series, and the one I really had my eye on ('cause it features a figure skater), but as it turned out I liked the first book, What Kind of Day, much more. I had a har ...more
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
"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 will treasure the reminder of paying it forward and the challenge of redefining where home is and what it means." Continue reading our review here.

Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely adored and loved this book. Oh my goodness! Mina has outdone herself this time. I physically felt Calinda and Ramirez's history. From the moment they met at the rink in their 20s to their palpable chemistry when they meet again after ten years. Their chemistry and relationship felt so realistic. I also loved that they both knew what they wanted from each other, respected their bpundaries and it was so refreshing to
Agay Llanera
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read all of Esguerra's work and I feel I've grown up with her writing style and stories. I love how she drives home important points for us Filipino women, such as how we always have choices and that what we want for ourselves matters. Kiss and Cry is special because it mentions tidbits of American culture I loved while growing up (The Cutting Edge, The Mighty Ducks). But now these movies are even more significant because they're mentioned in a local backdrop, and how they give us both moti ...more
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn't expect this to be a quick read but wow... I'm done! I will always love books from Mina because of their food references and this one's no different. Be warned, do not read this on an empty stomach. Story-wise, I love how Ram and Cal were given a second chance at love... to finally be together minus the restrictions that kept them apart back then.

And way to go for tapping into my inner "The Might Ducks" fangirl heart... I'm that one person who wishes they made Banks and Julie canon. Hah
Freya Marske
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful and surprisingly realistic story; not in a bad way at all, but it took me some time to adjust my expectations, which had been calibrated for the heightened emotional reality of most romance novels. The characters feel like real people with real families, real problems, and the kind of teasing affection and mutual respect that real relationships can be built on. Plus: ICE SPORTS, MY FAVOURITE.
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is set in Manila and was a fascinating look at the city and winter sports in a country that has no winter. Both Cal and Ram are in their 30's and their careers have/or in the process of transitioning from competitive skating to something more long-term. I liked that Ram's grand gesture to Cal involved spreadsheets and schedules. There was no magic fix to the issues keeping them apart - it was going to take time, money, and hard work. ...more
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Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor's degree in Communication and a master's degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to "I

Other books in the series

Six 32 Central (3 books)
  • What Kind of Day (Six 32 Central, #1)
  • So Forward (Six 32 Central, #3)

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