Title: Promdi Heart (Hometown Love Stories)
Authors: Georgette S. Gonzales, Agay Llanera, Chris Mariano, C. P. Santi, Jay E. Tria and Ines Bautista-Yao
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 Sur and meet the hot man you used to bully when he was a shy, chubby boy.
Visit Pundaquit, Zambales and find love in a bronzed fisherman whose eyes hold depths you’ll want to explore.
I want to thank the authors of this anthology for sending me an e-ARC of Promdi Heart. I really appreciate it.
I usually don’t really like anthologies, especially romance one’s. I need time to get to know the characters before I feel invested in their story, and before I can really root for their romance. However, I actually ended up liking Promdi Heart!
Every story had something I liked. The first story had a very cute love interest with dimples, the second story was written in letter form and took place over the course of a few years, so you could really see the character growth. The third story had one of my favorite tropes (brother’s best friend), and the fourth one took place during All Saint’s Day, which I loved learning about. The fifth story had a very kind hearted and cute love interest, and the sixth story had my favorite setting of all of these stories.
However, there were also a few things I didn’t enjoy that much. Words like ‘crazy’ and ‘lunatic’ are used in ableist ways, and one story includes a bully falling in love with the person she bullied. This story felt very icky, because the love interest tells her ‘we were just kids, you were just teasing’ which feels very dismissive of people who were bullied as a kid and who have really been scarred by it.
The thing I loved most about this stories is the overall exploration of culture, and the differences between all of the different hometowns. I loved reading about the food (which did make me incredibly hungry, so that was a bit of a downside, haha), the things that are celebrated and, often times, the family relationships. It’s something that’s very unique to this anthology, and definitely makes it stand out.
Overall, Promdi Heart is a very enjoyable and fun read, which is perfect for a hot summer’s day. But there are a few things, like the ableist language, that you might want to watch out for.