Aarya Marsden's Reviews > Kiss and Cry

Kiss and Cry by Mina V. Esguerra
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I’m a huge fan of Mina V. Esguerra’s Chic Manila series. I haven’t read all of her work, mostly because I’m hoarding them for in-case-of-emergency-and-I-need-a-good-book-now situations. I was super excited to get an ARC for KISS AND CRY because the protagonists are winter athletes in the Philippines.

Calinda Valerio is a former ice skater in the Philippines and a gold-medalist in the All-Asia Games, Winter SEA, and Skate PH. After retirement, she’s been choreographing routines for other skaters and is the creative director of the Six 32 Central’s ice rink (the same ice rink that Ram uses for training since the national hockey team and figure skating share a 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 first generation immigrant to the U.S. - even though he moved to the U.S. when he was a kid, he still came back to Manila annually and played hockey, eventually rising up to the national team. He currently spends most of his time in the U.S. working as a teacher and comes back to the Philippines intermittently to play for the team.

Cal and Ram have a history. Ten years ago, they started hanging out and semi-dating because they ran into each other at the rink all the time… until Cal’s strict parents created a no-dating rule because they didn’t want her to get distracted from her skating career.

Ten years ago, they met at the rink, hung out, got to know each other. She was twenty and he was twenty-two, and they shared mango shakes and spent practice time together and talked about The Mighty Ducks and other random things. It was all good and slow and steady, could have been the start of something… but then life happened and Ram earned the distinction of being the first.

The First Guy Calinda Valerio Was Not Allowed to Date.


They parted in amicable terms and went on to be successful in their respective careers. But they’re both missing closure from the incident - they’re basically each other’s “the one that got away.” Ten years later, Cal is retired and Ram is on his way out of the hockey team. They’re both chosen for Parchment magazine’s 30 Most Accomplished In Their 30s, and meet up for the first time in a decade during their joint interview. Sparks fly during their reunion. Seriously, I was fanning myself at how much tension there was during the interview. Almost immediately afterwards, Cal proposes a temporary and exclusive relationship. Temporary because Ram is flying back to the U.S. in a couple weeks (and never returning to Manila as he’s retiring). She wants to recapture their relationship, even if it’s for a little while, to get some closure on a relationship that never happened ten years ago. Ram, who clearly feels the tug of attraction even now, agrees and their relationship begins at the start of the novel. They actually make a list of all the things they want to do in their relationship - some sexual (no, I won’t give it away, but it’s terrific) and some more innocent (like going to Cal’s Sunday dinner with her family or kissing outside in a public park). I was melting at how cute and romantic this all was.

He had seven items. She had eight. Two of his things were blatantly sexual but she said she was fine reading it. She didn’t even blink. But she was giving him a hard time on number two, “Watch my last game and cheer.”

There were so many things I loved about this book. Since I tend to ramble on, I’ll try to do this in a semi-organized fashion. There are mild spoilers ahead, so I'm putting the rest of the (very lengthy!) review under spoiler tags.

(view spoiler)
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Reading Progress

February 4, 2019 – Started Reading
February 5, 2019 – Finished Reading
February 7, 2019 – Shelved
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: fiction-genre-romance
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: owned-in-arc-ebook
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: owned-in-kindle
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: r-subgenre-contemporary-romance
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: rating-5
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: tag-author-of-color
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: tag-romance-class
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: year-2019

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Adele Buck Fantastic review. I'm almost done and though I'm American and only ever briefly lived in another country, I have that same melancholic feeling about going to my hometown sometimes. The stuff that's changed-that changed years ago-but I haven't been there, so it's new to me...


message 2: by Aarya (last edited Feb 07, 2019 02:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aarya Marsden I legit panicked when I went back to Chennai last year and found a Pizza Hut next to my grandma's house. I was ready to protest against globalism and evil corporations! Still, the pizza was pretty delicious when I had a craving for non-Indian food. :P


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