Friday, July 29, 2016

[Book Review] Crushingly Close

Crushingly Close
Stella Torres
July 19, 2016
Contemporary Romance, Chick-Lit

What's a woman to do when she's fiercely independent, and love comes knocking without warning? I think this pretty much sums up our main character, Agnes Escueta's, predicament in this brand new offering from Filipino #romanceclass author Stella Torres.

I think every woman goes through that moment where she has to choose between her hard-won independence, and the stirrings of her heart, thinking that choosing one is equal to losing the other.

What I like about this story is that it is character-driven. There are no super villains plotting the demise of our main character. There are no uber rich, snotty and all-powerful antagonists, who can ruin someone's life by waving their money and influence. I think this is where the the beauty of this story lies. It is relateable, and it is a slice of life. It can be anyone's story.

Agnes, the protagonist, is smart, successful and driven. She's also hard-working and family-oriented, and most of the time, logic dictates her actions rather than her heart. I love that Agnes has her priorities straight. Filipino family values were clearly showcased in the story through Agnes' constant worry for her sick father. I also love her voice, because she sounds stable and thoughtful. She sounds like someone who has had her character tested, but still remains standing.

As for the love interest, I was picturing Atom Araullo as Daniel Ferrer the whole time I was reading the story. He was my LI peg right from the very start. (hihi) I think it really takes some serious balls to go after the affections of a fiercely independent woman. Major thumbs up for Daniel for stepping up!

The way Daniel sees through Agnes' walls, and the way Agnes calls out Daniel's BS speaks volumes about how they see each other. I loved the gradual development of their connection to each other. It was like a push-and-pull between two people who are clearly into each other, but things kept getting in the way, and priorities had to be sorted. It would have been easier to let things die down, but I really liked that they made things work.

All in all, I really enjoyed this story. It has no grand and unrealistic gestures, but its beauty lies in its simplicity. And hey, giving in to the stirrings of your heart does not necessarily mean relinquishing independence. The two are not mutually exclusive, and author Stella Torres shows just that in this story. 

LINKSAmazon // Goodreads

At twenty-four years old, Agnes Escueta has risen from the ranks to become a producer for Sports Tonight. No one can touch her, it seems—not even crush-worthy anchorman Daniel Ferrer, who she gets to work with every single day. When a road trip to Indonesia throws Agnes and Daniel together, they find themselves working in close quarters. It doesn’t take long before Agnes finds herself being charmed by Daniel, and her defenses start to melt with his touch. With deadlines looming and a big game coming, Agnes must figure out how to let Daniel into her life without risking her professional reputation—and without breaking her own heart.

Stella Torres is the author of Save the Cake and the short story “Be Creative” from Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy (Vol. 1)). She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and worked briefly in public relations, but has chosen to pursue her post-graduate studies in the field of education. She loves dark chocolate, hates flyaways, and is constantly in search of comfortable shoes.

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