REVIEW: Manila Takes Manhattan by Carla de Guzman

Posted May 30th, 2024 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, Review / 6 comments

Manila Takes Manhattan by Carla de Guzman: Being in New York should be the start of achieving all of his dreams but for Filipino musician and producer Mon Mendoza all it takes is one day in the city of lights to make him feel like he doesn’t belong, the best thing that he can do now is settle in for a quite night in with a bowl of his favourite noodles. Well noodles and the company of his new neighbour actress Olivia Angeles. When it comes to the big screen Olivia is killing it, there is yet to be a role that she doesn’t nail, but when it comes to her personal life, well thats where the problems begin. Trying to balance her Hollywood persona and still keep her identity intact have been a bit of a challenge for Olivia, and right now all she really wants is to lose herself in a big bowl of pancit canton and maybe her outrageously hot new neighbour lips. What harm could a steamy one night stand between to homesick adult do?

Manila Takes Manhattan was a really nice read, this book had something very relatable and enduring about it that instantly attracted me. I loved following Mon and Olivia as they tried to figure out how to work their relationship and career. I really enjoyed getting to read this book from the perspective of two immigrants trying to make it big but still holding on to their own roots. Also I have to say I love the cover of this book and how it incorporated the natural beauty of Manila and the industrial nature of Manhattan.

Mon was such a sweet hero, he was a bit shy and awkward, but this only made me like his character all the more. I loved how cautious and caring he was in trying to navigate his feelings for Olivia. He was genuinely a nice guy and I enjoyed getting to see his character blossom as the book progressed. Now for Olivia, well as put together as she comes across, she to is still trying to find her feet. I loved how real it felt seeing her struggle with maintaining her connection to her roots and balancing her Hollywood lifestyle. Her fears of being type cast and pigeonholed were very real and understandable. I loved how real her character came across.

I really liked insta love between these two in the first part of the book, there was something really cute about their first meeting and I liked how it was a bit awkward. What I really liked about this couple was how they grew together, they found a kinship in each other and in doing so found a home. I truly enjoyed getting to see them build their one night stand into a beautiful friendship that blossomed into a romance.

The supporting characters in this book were great. I love Mon’s quirky family in Manila and all the tid bits that they added to making this a cute read. One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book was all the Filipino culture, we got to learn a lot about the food, music and culture. I for one really enjoyed this aspect of the book, we also get to see the difference in perspective of a Filipino transplant and that of Filipino born in the States.

All in all I really enjoyed reading Manila Takes Manhattan, this book is cute but also filled with a lot of heart. Definitely worth checking out.

Book Info:

Publication: March 26, 2024 | Afterglow Books by Harlequin |

How do you follow your heart when it’s in two places?

Filipino musician and producer Mon Mendoza has been in New York for less than a day. Just long enough to feel like he doesn’t belong despite landing a life-changing opportunity. All he can do is set a date night for just himself and some pancit canton. Which, as it turns out, is the only invitation his gorgeous Pinoy neighbor needs…

Actress Olivia Angeles can wear a character like a well-fitted dress. It’s her real self she’s having a hard time fitting into, craving a niche in Hollywood that doesn’t compromise her identity in the name of success. And right now, all she wants is comfort in the form of tasty noodles and her outrageously hot new neighbor. One night. Just enough to lose herself in his touch and the feel of his lips…

Only their sexy little tryst isn’t quite what they signed up for. Because for the next month, Mon and Olivia are working on the same movie. Together. Now they’re discovering they have a lot more in common than Pinoyness and sizzling chemistry. But how do you find yourself and your person when you’re caught between two different worlds?

From showing up to glowing up, these characters are on the path to leading their best lives and finding sizzling romance along the way.



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