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No Strings Attached

(Chic Manila #3)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  556 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Carla is a whiz at her job: she’s efficient, reliable, and a total genius when it comes to putting something together at the last minute. The snag is she’s single and turning the big three-oh in a few months. Her girl best friend (yes, she’s married just like the other girls in Carla’s barkada) keeps trying to set her up with stable banker-types, while her guy best friend ...more
Paperback, 146 pages
Published 2010 by Summit Books
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  556 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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K.D. Absolutely
Dec 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: My brother
Shelves: chick-lit
Carla is turning 30, still single and unattached. One afternoon during their company's strategic teambuilding, she meets a son of her boss's boss: the 24-y/o Dante. They fall in love with each other. However, Carla thinks that, because of their age difference, the relationship will not go anywhere so they set some rules that can be summarized into: no strings attached.

The novel is definitely chick lit: easy read, shallow characters, thin plot. However, I guess that this is how chick lit should b
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
I don’t give five stars lightly, the book must be able to make my heart race (swoon), make me emotional (cry, tear up), make me delirious (laughed out loud). No Strings Attached managed to deliver every single bit.

There’s a strange story behind this book. This is actually my first Mina V. Esguerra’s read, but I never managed to finish it before. I didn’t like it the first time! This is a complete 180 degree turn of events.

In hindsight, No Strings Attached seems like a simple book with a simple
Nov 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Original post at One More Page

I attended my godsister's wedding yesterday, the second wedding I attended this year. I came out of my brother's wedding last October relatively unscathed with questions about my own wedding, but this time around, I wasn't so safe. For one thing, I was called for the bouquet toss even if I was trying to make myself scarce at that point (my godsister called me out). Then as we were saying goodbye to the newly weds and my godsister's parents, they were all saying to m
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: filipiniana
{ Disclaimer: I'm rather biased, especially after meeting Dorothea (Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life), Becky Sharp (Vanity Fair) and Jane Eyre. Hah, apparently I don't know the "modern woman". Yes, I suppose I don't read much chick lit, so I can't properly judge this. }

This book is interesting, as it's not as gushy or romantic as opposed to other chick reads out there. It revolves more on the story, as opposed to the sparkling personalities and the sex (although the sex mentioned here is
Jul 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: chic-lit lovers
Had I read this first before Mina Esguerra's "That kind of Guy" could I have judged the character of Anton/Tonio easier? Or maybe tried not to undermine his psyche a bit longer. But he was all that I thought about when I read this book, he was a supporting character to the lead but his story in this book cleared a lot of cobwebs for me. I think I saw a pattern on how Mina writes her characters and her story. But before my emotions gets the better of me, I should clear it that this is about Carla ...more
Jay Tria
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love that this was about the age gap but not just that. It was about all the other things that age (aging?) and growing up and adulting encompass. I love that Dante and Carla aren't afraid to want things, and to say that they want things, and to tell people repeatedly that 'hey, I know what I want.' I love that they are two people who prefer honesty over drama. And I love that sometimes even when you're trying your best to be honest, a few lies slither through the cracks. And you just have to ...more
Nov 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Originally posted here.

It's funny because the main character in this one reminded me somewhat of the main character in Amazing Grace. I think it's because they're both in their late twenties and they're both being pestered by friends to settle down and get married. That's a pretty accurate portrayal, actually. I'm in my mid-twenties and three of my friends got married this year. I'd like to think that the Philippines is more liberal nowadays but most people still believe that a girl should b
I do enjoy a well-characterized romance novel once in a while, and Mina V. Esguerra's No Strings Attached is a quick, one-day diversion that offers a lot in terms of intelligent characterization within the short novella form. However, the main quibble I had with the story itself lies in the fact that it is too short.

The story is about Carla, a smart, professional woman who meets an attractive man named Dante during an office party. Sparks fly immediately despite their age difference (isn't it st
Feb 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Carla is the perfect executive assistant. Although she hasn’t had the ambition to move up the corporate latter, she knows how to do her job well and is happy with her consistent performance. She is single though and turning thirty in a few months, as her barkada (group of friends) like to remind her. According to them, she should want more out of life. Of course, all of said friends except one are married, and Tonio is happy playing the field. Mary, Girl Best Friend, is hoping Carla will fall fo ...more
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Maria by: twstrfries
I highly recommend No Strings Attached.

Nearly everyday and twice on Saturdays.

Finally. A Mina V. Esguerra read that fitted me like a glove. *happiness*

I enjoyed No Strings Attached mainly because of relatability. Carla and I were almost the same age, and we have the same birthday! But that was just a plus :D I got The Marriage Club and the pressure she experienced from her married friends to settle down. I can relate but I am on the other side of the fence: I belonged to that Marriage Club.
I think this was maybe my favorite, because I really liked the look at what it's like to be friends with people who are at different life stages than you. Are you actually friends anymore or is it just habit? It was good. ...more
Silvana [The Book Voyagers]
I'm so happy I finally got to read this book! I need to continue on rading Chic Manila series because I've only read this one and Better at Weddings Than You, and tbh I still like Weddings more. Maybe it's because this one is older and Mina's writing has changed throughout this time, but I really found it different. Especially with the slight slutshaming and some other stuff ~

Note: Mina has talked about how she regrets using this trope and girl vs girl one too here

Though it doesn't take away the
Dannica Zulestin
Since reading That Kind of Guy last February, I've wanted to give Mina V. Esguerra another try. And! A lot of her books are up on KU, which I currently have. So I downloaded this one today and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a fast read (well, it's a novella) and I love how it's just as much about Carla's mid-to-early-life crisis as it is about the romance. Carla's just sick of being told to date some responsible banker and get married bc she's almost thirty! She just wants a casual relationship, da ...more
Mar 08, 2011 rated it liked it

My head was still reeling from the effects of 1984 so by way of "cleansing the palate", I decided to pick up an easy, fun and light read. A quick glance at the books lined up in my office cubicle yielded positive results: my gaze fell upon my signed copy of No Strings Attached by Filipina author (and fellow mommy!) Mina V. Esguerra, which copy was given by a fellow Goodreads member, Tina, in July last year. So, remembering that I made a (new year's reading) resolution to read more lo
Janus the Erudite Artist
Nothing like a quick, sweet, light-read tale to give me the sense of relaxation on a rainy day!

I will be honest that I personally could not relate with the characters in this book, but it wasn’t an issue with regards to understanding Carla’s life. I was skeptical about her reaction towards turning thirty and yet not on the verge of settling down. It seemed a bit too fictitious to me. Although it was defined that she may’ve been just a late bloomer, yet again I find it kind of hard to picture. O
Actual rating: 3.5/5

There’s so much to love about this story. How about Carla, the hyper-competent personal assistant who could give Pepper Potts a run for her money? Or Dante, the starry-eyed millennial who’s determined to influence the youth and change the world moonlighting as a fuckboy with a heart of gold? The domestic tint to what should be a simple fuck-buddy relationship? Carla’s determination to go through life at her own pace, rather than following her friends’ leads? All of this combi
Kat at Book Thingo
I killed a fairy and realised I was barracking for the wrong guy and I could go back to reading the story anymore. :( Objectively, though, the story is very well written and squarely chicklit in that it explores issues around being a 30-year old single woman surrounded by married friends, and maybe living a different life than you though he wanted in your early 20s. I enjoyed the chicklit part of the story. But the romance always comes first with me as a reader, and I just didn't feel the chemis ...more
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
As said on the synopsis, Carla's turning big three oh soon... but does it mean she can't find love? Or shall I say, true happiness? Nowadays, Age doesn't really matter. Some couple have 10 years age gap. Weird Right? But it doesn't really matter. Her two best friends Tonio and Mary were there, to support her. Mary to find her a potential husband and Tonio to give her fling advices. But one extraordinary day has turned her world in a different view. She met Dante del Rosario. A guy five years you ...more
Isabel Camus
Jan 29, 2011 rated it liked it
I think I am so used to cliched stories that this did not go at all the way I expected it to go. I couldn't read the characters well and just from reading the blurb, I thought this relationship would go down quite differently. Although I think the main character took her bunso complex a little too far. Got kinda annoying. I guess it is sort of how I imagined real life relationships to go. Easy read, quite short. ...more
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: filipiniana
Ha! I really love this book. It's so fun to read and I love Dante :) ...more
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Every girl would want to be in Carla's shoes. Not the cheesy romance but definitely something amusing that will keep you believing in LOVE and that Age doesn't matter.really. ...more
Maria Ella
Actually. This is my third Mina Esguerra's book and I actually found it awesome.
Review to follow. :)
I read this years ago but picked this up again because of one recent experience (also because whenever I need my quick fix of romance, this author is a go-to), and well, it's fun looking at how much real life and fiction just come together and echo each other. I loved that Carla is feisty and how Dante is mature, and felt the same way about how their relationship grew and how they handled their differences. Bonus: Anton/Tonio, my favorite Chic Manila guy, is here, and I adore how ~helpful he is ...more
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 because I really really really liked this book!

I loved the dynamic between Carla and Dante! And between Carla and her friends, even if they got on her nerves. And Tonio! I wish I had read this before I read That Kind of Guy, I think it would have given me some context and I would have been able to know "Anton" more.

Dante! I loved Dante, I want a Dante for myself. I really like how mature he is. Not to flatter myself but I kinda identified with him (I'm panganay too). (view spoiler)
Laís Arjona
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I LOVED this book! It was my third Chic Manila book and I just love all of this.
I loved Dante, he's so tranquil and sweet, I loved how he didn't push Carla and how he cared about his family and friends. And I loved Carla too, how she said what was bothering her and how she discovers herself along the story.
I liked how the author approached the age gap between Carla and Dante, I liked that she didn't let this srew up their relationship, and I liked how she dealt with all the pression peopl
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

When Carla meets Dante she thinks she wants a fling. She's thirty, but she doesn't want the husband and 2.5 kids that her friends all have, and think she should have. Dante, he's only 24 but he's smart, mature and gorgeous. The story does a great job of examining how difficult it can be to find your own path, and how easy it is to judge each other--even our friends. Oh, and did I say that Dante is gorgeous. Although this is another of the Chic Manila stories, this one felt more complex
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-adult-etc
More like a 3,5?

This is the second book I read by Mina V. Esguerra (the first one was Better At Weddings Than You) and once again I loved her writing. Mina's style is great and pretty much impossible to drop. I read the first half of No Strings Attached in one sitting, and then caught myself returning to the book several times after that (including right before I went to bed because ONE CHAPTER MORE WOULDN'T HURT RIGHT??) until I picked it up again the next day to finish it.

That said, I liked Ca
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-kindle, read-2020
"Suddenly I couldn't believe how hung up I had been about a lot of things - relationships, sex, marriage, overachieving friends, my skin, my body, my hair. Seriously? I was an attractive young woman with no attachments, no debt, no career pressures, no excess baggage. My life kind of rocked. Everyone else can suck it." ...more
Kaeley Scruggs
I LOVED almost everything I've read from Esguerra. She's a great writer who creates incredibly relatable characters. I can't wait to read more from her. My full review will be up soon! ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr-kindle
more like 3.75 but it was cute and i really liked it
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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

Chic Manila (10 books)
  • My Imaginary Ex (Chic Manila, #1)
  • Fairy Tale Fail (Chic Manila, #2)
  • Love Your Frenemies (Chic Manila, #4)
  • That Kind of Guy (Chic Manila, #5)
  • Welcome to Envy Park (Chic Manila, #6)
  • Wedding Night Stand (Chic Manila, #6.5)
  • What You Wanted (Chic Manila, #7)
  • Iris After the Incident (Chic Manila, #8)
  • Better At Weddings Than You (Chic Manila, #9)

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