Blog Tour | Only a Kiss, Ines Bautista-Yao (Guest Post)

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Title: Only A Kiss
Author: Ines Bautista-Yao
Publisher: Chamber Shell Publishing
Date of Publication: November 29, 2014
Genre: contemporary romance
When she was nine-years-old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted.
Besides, it didn’t really mean anything. It was only a kiss after all.
But then things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. And other girls and boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down.
Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking how the simplest things can mean so much.
Purchase linksAmazon | (The book is on sale for ONLY $0.99 until February 14!)

Katie couldn’t get over what she had just witnessed. The kiss Kuya Ben gave her cousin wasn’t like the ones she’d seen in movies or on TV. It was quick and it was through a car window, but it was the most powerful one she had ever seen. It was as if he wanted to gift all the emotions coursing through him to his future bride, and the only way he knew how was through a kiss.



I found this book such a fun, breezy read! I love the chemistry between Katie and Chris, and I love the author’s easy, conversational writing style, which makes you feel like you’re actually friends with the characters rather than just reading about their story.

The idea of best friends turned lovers is very popular in fiction, so for this blog tour, I invited author Ines Bautista-Yao to tell us about her favourite best friend couples in fiction.


My Top 5 Best Friends-Turned-Lovers
Ines Bautista-Yao

When I was a kid, a friend told me to watch Some Kind of Wonderful. She told me it was an awesome movie and that the guy falls in love with his best friend. Back then, this was something totally new to me. All I knew were fairytales, Disney cartoons, and maybe Archie’s love triangle with Betty and Veronica. But after I watched that movie, I had all sorts of feels. It was, I felt, one of the most romantic scenarios ever!

I never really wanted to write about best friends falling in love because I felt, after watching several other movies and TV shows following Some Kind of Wonderful, that it was a tired trope. But then again, the reason why anything becomes cliché is because people can’t get enough of it! And I, too, am one of those people. Even if I told myself I wouldn’t write a story about best friends falling in love, how couldn’t I when I too love the idea so much?

Here are my top five best friends-turned-lovers on the big and small screen. Naturally, Some Kind of Wonderful tops the list.

  1. Watts and Keith in Some Kind of Wonderful-She’s his tomboy best friend who is secretly in love with him. He’s an artist who is in love with the most popular girl in school. He asks for her help to win Ms. Popularity over, but in the end, realizes (with a little help from Ms. Popularity) that the perfect girl has been under his nose all this time.

That scene with such feels: When Watts tells Keith that they have to practice kissing because Ms. Popularity will expect him to know what to do.

  1. Harry and Sally in When Harry Met Sally– They encounter each other several times after college and each time, realize that they can’t stand each other. But when they’re both finally living in New York, they bump into each other at a bookstore and end up hanging out. Then they make a pact to be just friends. Harry says he’s never had a female friend before because he eventually falls for her. And of course, in the end, he falls for Sally and she falls right back.

That scene with such feels: After a huge fight while Sally rants and tells Harry he’s horrible, he looks at her, asks her if she’s done, gives her a big hug, and says, “I’m sorry.” And everything is okay again.

  1. Jenna and Matt in 13 Going on 30– He’s her best friend at 13 and when she wakes up one morning and is suddenly 30, she seeks him out only to find that they’d grown apart. But in her head, they’re still both 13 and he’s still her best friend. He helps her deal with the strangeness of her situation and in the end, when everything goes back to normal, they get married and live in a replica of the dollhouse he had given her on her 13thbirthday.

That scene with such feels: When they kiss on the swings.

  1. Rosalee and Pete in Win A Date with Tad Hamilton– It’s clear from the start that even if Rosalee only sees Pete as her friend, he is madly in love with her. But he makes it seem as if he’s just being overprotective. When she does win a date with celebrity Tad Hamilton and Tad seems to like her back, Pete decides it’s time to make sure things don’t get out of hand. Of course, in the end, Rosalee realizes that she too loves the boy who has loved her all along.

That scene with such feels: When Pete stops Tad in the bathroom and enumerates the different things he loves about Rosalee.

  1. Mindy and Danny in The Mindy Project– Mindy and Danny are doctors together on this show and they’re always bickering. But they’re friends too. He takes care of her even if he’s always making fun of her and vice versa. Now this is insane because I’m not up to date on the show but I know they’re already together (I haven’t gotten to that part yet! Having a 15-month-old and dabbling at being an author who needs to promote her books takes up so much time!). So I don’t know how it happens, but I’ve been following the show and I love this pair because not only are they perfect for each other, they’re hilarious.

That scene with such feels: (I’m pretty sure there are better ones after this one, but this is how far I’ve gotten in the show, so bear with me) When Mindy pretends to be Danny’s girlfriend and he has to hug her in front of the girl who is stalking him. The way his face changes when he looks at her is priceless.

There are so many others: Emma and Knightly from Emma, Kim and Ron fromKim Possible, Gary and Miranda from Miranda (if you haven’t seen the BBC comedy Miranda, you are missing out on loads of laughs and feels!), Ross and Rachel from Friends… so many. What’s awesome is that though the overall situation is the same, each person, each character has their own story, and this is what makes watching them fall in love some kind of wonderful. 😉


About Ines Bautista-Yao

Ines Bautista-YaoInes Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy SummerWhat’s in your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, “Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher.  She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head:

She posts on Instagram and tweets @inesbyao and her author page is

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Want to win your own copy of Only a Kiss? The author is giving away lots of goodies!

For Philippine residents:

One (1) winner will get a signed paperback of ONLY A KISS, a gift card from FILA, and a back issue of CAST comic book
Two (2) winners will each get a signed paperback of ONLY A KISS, light up laces, and back issue of CAST comic book

For US/Canada/international:

FIve (5) winners will each get an ebook of ONLY A KISS

Enter the contest on Rafflecopter here!


Thanks to the author and blog tour host Oops I Read a Book Again for inviting me to participate in this tour! Other stops are in the tour post here.

Review | Russian Tattoo, Elena Gorokhova

21412301Elena Gorokhova follows up her memoir A Mountain of Crumbs with the story of her early life in America. From not knowing how to eat a hamburger to being overwhelmed by the wide range of choices at the grocery, her experience may strike a chord with readers who have moved to new countries themselves.

It certainly struck a chord with me — I fortunately never felt as confused by my new home as Gorokhova did, but I do remember having to learn things that my friends took as general knowledge. How to ride a bus and request a stop, for example. Or what a double double was (coffee with two creams and two sugars, for non-Canadian readers). Most of all, I remembered my mother, so confident and fluent in English back home, uncertain about how good her English sounded in her new country. Gorokhova’s story brought these memories to the fore, especially when she wanted a job teaching English as she did in Russia, only American English was different from the one she grew up with.

Russian Tattoo goes beyond Gorokhova’s adapting to America — even after she finds her footing, she has to learn how to deal with her new family and the arrival of her mother, whom she left Russia to escape. At one point, her husband tells her she needs to stop wishing for a new hand of cards and just work with the one she’s been dealt. Gorokhova’s response, that getting dealt a new hand altogether was her reason for leaving Russia in the first place, strikes a chord. Indeed, with all the changes you bring into your life, there are things you just can’t escape. Gorokhova herself realizes this later on when, raising her own daughter, she finds herself turning into the mother she tried so hard to escape.

The writing snags a bit in the episode with her brother-in-law fairly late in the book. While heartfelt and beautifully written, the brother-in-law is introduced such a short time before a significant revelation that I had to flip back a few pages to make sure I hadn’t missed this character earlier on. I understand that this mirrors Gorokhova’s experience — she too barely knew her brother-in-law at that point — but for a reader, it took away some of the impact. Overall, a beautifully written, moving glimpse into a family — three generations of women dealing with different cultural values and backgrounds and with each other.


Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review | Prince Lestat, Anne Rice

21412673The Vampire Chronicles have always been my favourite among Anne Rice’s books, so I was thrilled when she announced a return to it with Prince Lestat. To be honest, it’s been awhile since I’ve read a Vampire Chronicles book, and while I vaguely remember reading Queen of the Damned (referenced a lot in this book), I remember nothing of the story. So parts of this book did confuse me, but overall, there was just enough backstory provided that I could figure it out.

In Prince Lestat, Rice not only re-introduces us to the Brat Prince, she also takes us deep into the very mythology of her vampires. As such, the book feels much larger than the story of its titular character. The story travels through time and among various points of view, and we learn a lot about how vampires came to be and how fragile their existence as a species really is.

The story is about the vampire world in crisis — a mysterious Voice speaks to select vampires, commanding them to burn seemingly random groups of vampires around the world. It’s vampire genocide, and no one seems to know why it’s happening or how to stop it. The Voice also contacts Lestat, though appears more interested in conversing with him than in commanding him. Lestat himself is his usual dashing, seductive self, though with a lot more pathos now than usual. I love the scenes with Louie and Armand, mostly because I remember them from Interview with a Vampire, and it was sweet to see how much Lestat still cares for Louie.

There are a lot of characters and their flashbacks, and it’s impossible to keep track of all of them, or remember how or if I’d ever known them from a previous book. As a result, I didn’t really care about any individual character, except for Lestat, Louie and Armand. I did become fascinated by the mythology, and by the eventual explanation of what and who the Voice is. I’m not sure how much I liked the resolution, but it did feel right.

I remember reading Interview with a Vampire years ago, and being absolutely spellbound by the language and the story. Anne Rice, at her best, is a master of literary seduction. Prince Lestat falls somewhat short of that mark, but it’s a fascinating story nonetheless.


Thank you to Random House Canada for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.