Romanceclass, a community of Filipino authors and readers of romance books in English, released the anthology “Start Here: Short Stories of First Encounters” last January 27. The HEA-guaranteed anthology is a mix of sweet and sexy, drama and levity. Whatever you’re into, whether you’ve had a smattering of first encounters or venturing out for one, you’re sure to find a story here you could sink your teeth into.
Here’s the lowdown on the sapphic, lady-lovin’ romance in the collection:
Another First by Yeyet Soriano
Jess finally gets to have a long-delayed romantic get-away to Bohol with her hot but busy boyfriend Matteo. Beautiful resort, check! Romantic ambience, check!
But wait . . . Lily Rose, the resort’s resident singer and self-proclaimed mermaid, is distracting the hell out of everyone.
Come Full Circle by Bobbi Moran
You know you’re in love when you put somebody else’s happiness before yours. But waiting for fifteen years for someone to realize you are THE ONE may be taking this to the extreme.
Delubyo by Barbie Barbieto
Pebbles has a strict four-month rule when it comes to relationships. But she’s about to find out what happens when you meet a woman who defies all your ideas of how long the space between endings and beginnings should be.
Lemon Drop Friday by Brigitte Bautista
Tala has been secretly in love with her best friend Liv for years. Living right across the hallway, she has seen through Liv’s revolving door of Friday one-night stands. The rule: they always say goodbye in the morning. But, what happens when a rainy Friday night leads Tala to Liv’s apartment in what looks like another one-night stand?
Gorgeous by Motzie Dapul (This story has a swoon-worthy nonbinary LI!)
New love in New York with a twist!
Two home-grown Filipinos fall in love after a chance meeting on a train to Little Manila in Queens, NY. They learn, over time spent enjoying the colorful culture of New York City’s streets, that they are, by all accounts, perfect for each other—before some unexpected baggage and a surprising history threatens to tear them apart.
Some things just don’t heal with time alone, but sometimes it’s only when it hurts that you know it’s worth trying for.
These five entries are joined by some cute, sweet and steamy m/m stories:
In the Moonlight by Agay Llanera
Seventeen-year-old Caleb has been burned by a previous relationship. While on vacation, he meets Ezra of the sculpted calves and disarming smile, who surprises him with a moonlight kiss. Caleb retreats–and regrets his decision. Thanks to the internet, he knows where to find his summer crush, but the more pressing question is, will Caleb have the courage to bare his heart again?
Shipping Included by Danice Sison
Two cute guys sneak into a K-pop concert. Neither one could be called a fan of the music, but by the end of the night, they might just find themselves with a new favorite song and a few romantic possibilities.
The Other Story by H. Bentham
A bored twenty-something goes to a sex club he frequently visits to while away the night and find that love sometimes comes at unexpected places.
Blooms and Hues by Ella Banta
Experience love in color and flowers.
Luck From the Skies by Katt Briones
Asher Lee knew from the beginning that he was going to win the teen model search, but didn’t expect to share the title with his biggest competitor, Chan Valiente. Previously threatened by his former adversary’s talent and looks, Asher kept his walls up, only to find them crumbling down with Chan’s charms.
Would Asher be brave enough to take the leap and actually find his chance at love? Or will he and Chan remain to be a fan-made bromance?
Have you read Start Here? Add, rate and review on Goodreads.