Traditional American publishing may from upon short story collections — unless you’re Neil Gaiman, of course — but it’s always had a place in Philippine literature. Gilda Cordero-Fernando had The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker, while Nick Joaquin had Prose and Poems, Pop Stories for Groovy Kids, and Gotita de Dragon and Other Stories.
I definitely have no problems with it at all. As you all know, I’m even part of a collection of short stories entitled Kids These Days: Stories from the Luna East Arts Academy (which you can buy here and here!) so I didn’t think twice when I was asked to review C.P. Santi’s collection of romantic short stories entitled Maybe This Time: Stories of Love and Second Chances.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Kate Evangelista has been a longtime fixture on this blog. Over the years, I’ve interviewed her, reviewed her books, and even had lunch with her. She’s a nice lady, who you can’t help but feel happy for when she gets nice things.
And one of the nice things to happen to her recently was the launch for her newest book, No Love Allowed. Published by Swoon Reads – a Macmillan publishing imprint – No Love Allowed tells the story of Didi and Caleb and serves as a sort of prequel to No Holding Back, which I reviewed recently.
Here’s the book’s blurb!
Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!
Anyone who’s had even just a passing encounter with this blog knows that I haven’t had the best luck with books that feature a romance with a KPop star. There was the thrilling saga that was the Popped trilogy, and the one problem I had with Carla De Guzman’s Citieswas the fact that parts of the novel so perfectly captured the tropes of K-Drama that I had difficulty making my way through it.
Naturally, I went into Scandalized very, very apprehensive. The premise hews a little too closely to that of Popped Too, and boy did I not enjoy that. Will Scandalized frustrate and infuriate me in equal measure? Or will this finally be the work that breaks the KPop curse?