Promdi Heart (Hometown Love Stories) by Georgette Gonzales, Agay Llanera , Chris Mariano, C.P. Santi , Jay E. Tria, Ines Bautista-Yao
Publication Date: March 9th 2017
Source: ARC from the Authors
Take a quick tour of the Philippines with six hometown love stories.
Visit Jimenez, Misamis Occidental where a priest might just set you up with a man whose dimples are to die for.
Visit Silay, Negros Occidental and get on a horse alongside hunky, hazel-eyed Negrense royalty.
Visit Kalibo, Aklan and find yourself in the arms of a cute drummer boy who just happens to be your kuya’s BFF.
Visit Hagonoy, Bulacan and spend All Saint’s Day next to a distracting boy who promises to write you a song.
Visit Vigan, Ilocos Norte and meet the hot man you used to bully when he was a shy, scrawny boy.
Visit Pundaquit, Zambales and find love in a bronzed fisherman whose eyes hold depths you’ll want to explore.
I received an ARC of this book from the Authors. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.
These past two months, I’ve been trying to do rounds and read more authors from the #RomanceClass community. That’s why I was very excited when the Promdi Heart ARC blog tour was announced. Not only will I be able to read six lovely stories from six Philippine provinces, I will also be reading the works of six different Filipino authors. I would also like to mention how much I love, and how gorgeous the cover of this anthology is! ❤
Only The Beginning by C.P. Santi
First, I’m quite convinced that Jimenez and Misamis Occidental is a lovely place to visit. I would especially like to go to the church where the priest, Father Danny, caught Andi (the MC) and Martin (the LL) eating donuts, did you know he also caught Tony and Rina there, once upon a time. I honestly laughed out loud at that scene.
My heart was very happy when I found out that Andi is Tony’s niece, because I have such a huge crush on Tony (see my review for Maybe This Time to see the entirety of my feels on Tony and Rina).
I loved the fact that Andi has a such a strong personality in this story, she’s also a little bit bitter and sarcastic (hugot girl indeed), while Martin is pretty chill and joke-y. This made their text messages and banters so entertaining and funny. I think that was my favorite part of the story! I don’t know about you, but my smile was so full when Andi called Martin, Dimples. Heehee.
I also like that Martin kept bringing food that his mom makes to Andi. Actually, I like that they were exchanging foods to send to each other’s home. In addition, Andi talking to his dad’s grave in the cemetery was really endearing.
Letters Abouy A Boy by Ines Bautista-Yao
I am so in love with the letter-themed writing of the story. In addition, the 1990’s time period, and the location (Silay,Negros Occidental) with its haciendas and horses, made it feel like I was reading a teleserye. It was really so fun to read.
Tin-tin was consistently entertaining and relatable throughout the story. I found her voice, so full of innocence and hope, quite refreshing. Her unrequited crush, that developed into love, was familiar. Honestly, didn’t we all go through that phase at one point in our lives? 😂
I also really appreciated that upon Nicolas’ realization that the one he truly loved was right in front of her, he didn’t dilly-dally. He immediately showed his intentions to Tin-tin, to be honest, enough time was already lost. I was easily won over by Nicolas after that, I mean, come on, the singing, the touches and that letter! That letter was super sweet, I can’t even!
Drummer Boy by Chris Mariano
Visiting the Ati-atihan had always been a thing I wanted to do since I was in elementary and we’d been taught about Philippine festivals. So to be smack-dab in the middle of all the Ati-Atihan action was something I really appreciated because at least I was living it vicariously through the story.
Reina’s narration was really funny, another thing that was funny was how his brother, Dex, insisted to come on Reina and Ben’s first date because he was trying to be the protective brother. Okay, that was so cute for me because I’ve always wanted an older brother.
I liked the fact that Ben first appeared very shy, albeit very hot with his drummer’s biceps, but then became very, very smooth and sweet after. I literally swooned when he described what the date could have gone like, if Dex didn’t come. I squealed out loud when he said, they’d stroll by the sea and he’d have to “drive home very, very carefully because by then I might be a little drunk on you”.
This story is already super sweet and nice, but I think there are still issues that were unresolved, like Reina and Ben finally deciding on what job they want to focus on, or Ben’s problems with his dad. I would really appreciate it if a longer story about Reina and Ben would be released someday.
One Certain Day by Jay E. Tria
I really appreciate and seriously needed this story because it’s set during All Saints Day in Hagonoy. I was feeling sad because I’ve missed the last two All Saints’ Day with my family. During 2015, I was in New York finishing a short course (check out my recap for my time in NY here). And last year, I needed to finish experiments in the lab so I worked overtime all through the holidays. My family, like theirs, is also always complete during this time of year, and sadly this is the only time I get to bond with my cousins.
I started liking Alice immediately when she talked about dressing up as Sailor Moon for Halloween, and when she mentioned Meg Cabot. She’s also shy and I relate to that.
Jose Antonio Luis Castillo is a really long name, and I found it funny how he shortened it to just Son. I already liked Son in the Playlist series but I really, really, really loved Son in this short story. The main reason is because he reminded me of Joon Hyung from a K-drama, titled Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, he was really touchy and he’d say things like “Hello. Panganibans of Hagonoy!” really loudly. He’d also share jokes and profound things, and then he’d look really smug and proud of himself afterwards. My heart melted at the song he wrote Alice!
I loved how their friendship, and then their feelings grew for each other even though they only meet once a year. It didn’t feel forced, it felt really right. So to tell you the truth, I was heartbroken by how it ended. But, I think they need this time to grow into their future selves, I believe their future selves will be right for each other. And, also Jay assured me they will, I trust her, ha-ha!
Once Upon A Bully by Georgette Gonzales
Vigan! Even though I’ve never been to this place, I already know that I will love it. Ahhhhhhhhh, the art, the old houses, the history, the FOOD! It’s so perfect!
Another thing that’s perfect about this story? Miguel! I really love Miguel’s character because even though he was bullied by Bridgette throughout elementary, and his parents also died, he still maintained a great attitude and disposition. He never fought back to Bridgette because he was taught not to, and he never harbored ill-feelings towards her. I will surely not turn out that way if those things happened to me. On top of that, he was really sweet and a little bit shy when wooing Bridgette!
I’m happy that Bridgette regretted the things she has done in the past, and was really apologetic. I really liked that their first date practically toured us around Vigan. Also, the ending where they teased Bridgette’s best friend was just the best!
Back to the Stars by Agay Llanera
Am I the only one who dreams of having a house in a beachfront? The MC of this story, Leah, owns one in Pundaquit, Zambales, and I think she’s very lucky!
I am really all for the childhood friends to lovers trope. This one is so endearing because you’ll see that Leah and Wency’s friendship really runs deep. You could also see how much it affected the both of them when Leah left.
I really loved their talks at the hill, they talked about so many things that resonated with me, and I wanted to highlight so many lines! I also loved that Wency called Leah out for talking bad of Corrine. I think girls shouldn’t bring other girls down.
Overall, I liked the writing, the pacing, and the ending of this one. I do wish it’s a little bit longer. I would totally read a full-length novel on Bridgette and Wency.
PS. I think Wenceslas name is so cool, and Botbot is an adorable nickname.
The Philippines is a beautiful, wondrous, and diverse country, culturally and geographically. This book is a gentle reminder that there are so many places left to be explored in our lovely country. Despite this fact, your hometown will always hold the most special place in your heart… just like this book. ❤