5/5
"MAYBE IS NOT ENOUGH. Funny, sad.... you get a true mix in this romance of two stubborn, hardheaded people who have to learn to love enough for a happily ever after!
4/5
"LOVE THE CHEMISTRY. Love the banter and chemistry between Alex and Rome. Alex is Rome’s feisty PA. She’s not looking for a relationship with the playboy. Rome is determined to convince her he’s a changed man. Engaging from beginning to end. Recommended read."
4/5
"COMPELLING, WRITTEN WELL. Good enemies to lovers romance story, it is compelling and written well. Strong characters with a lot of banter. It has been a pleasure to read this book."
4/5
"COZY ROMANCE. Alex and Rome's complicated attraction can only be sorted out by talking openly and honestly (eventually) on a private island!"
3.5/5
"GOT ME HOOKED FROM THE FIRST CHAPTER. I actually loved the story of how they met because it was not your typical meet-cute set up. It actually got me hooked from the 1st chapter. I really enjoyed reading this and would recommend it to those who love the enemies to lovers trope. "

Blurb

They lash at each other with engaging, witty banter. But however hard they try, words cannot mask what they really feel for each other. 
Rome Alvez is a disgraced champion race car driver, a notorious playboy, and he’s her stoical Boss.
Alex Hernandez is his efficient but smart-mouth and willful Personal Assistant tasked to repackage his image and bring him back to glory.
 
He’s sarcastic.
She’s cynical.
 
He’s a player.
She’s a man-hater.
 
From the first moment they met, it’s a battle of wit, wills, and principles. Their views and values on relationships are poles apart. They don’t hold them back from each other, expressing them in colorful language every chance they get.
 
But in reality, both are cowards in disguise, scared and scarred, ruined by people close to them. 
So what do they do when they find themselves drawn to each other despite their differences? They run around in circles and chalk up that “something” between them to just plain desire. After all, desire, attraction, lust, chemistry—those are the same banana, aren’t they? It doesn’t matter how they word it. 
 
It’s just semantics. Or is it?
 
What if that “something” between them masks a deeper feeling which they can’t refuse or deny? 
 
What if fate brought them together to heal each other’s emotional wounds and give them the courage to take a risk on love?  
IT’S NOT JUST SEMANTICS is Book 1 of La Natividad Island Series.
 
LA NATIVIDAD ISLAND Series includes the funny and emotional romances of Alex, Gaia, Marjorie and Joey in the exotic, island paradise set in the Philippines. All books are standalone stories. They can be read out of order but are best enjoyed chronologically.
 
Book 2: NEVER NOT YOU, is currently in process.

Excerpt

Excerpt from It’s Not Just Semantics by Mayumi Cruz. Copyright 2021 by Mayumi Cruz. All rights reserved. 

 

His mouth twitched as mischief made a comeback in his eyes. “Really? Can you tell what you sense about…”

She was thankful for the timely interruption of the waiter arriving with his order. She knew where his next question was going, and she didn’t want that. Not if she can help it.

But it seemed Rome sensed her uneasiness and infuriatingly took extreme efforts to intensify it. He took his own sweet time eating his brunch. From sipping his coffee, to slicing the tinapang bangus, to mixing it in with the fried rice and salted egg with diced tomatoes, before putting it into his mouth, chewing the food, then swallowing it down—Alex felt as though she was watching a silent, slow motion movie. And that was just the first course, because he ordered food enough to feed six persons! All the while, he was smiling at her, throwing glances at her from time to time, taunting her. She went back to her phone and fumed silently.

At last, after more than thirty minutes, as he was eating his second dessert, she couldn’t take it anymore. She growled at him, “Can’t you go a little faster?”

He gasped, looking scandalized. “Why, Alex, I didn’t know you like it fast.”

“What?” She gawked. “No, I didn’t mean that!”

“Mean what?” He asked innocently. “So you like it slow, then?”

“No! Not slow, either!”

“Okay,” he gave her a thumbs up, nodding seriously. “Got it. I’ll remember that. Not slow and not fast. Just the right…,” he bit his lip, “…speed.”

She spoke through clenched teeth, “Will you please get your mind out of the gutter?”

“Alex, what in the world are you talking about?” He opened his eyes wide. “I’m talking about eating…,” pausing meaningfully as he put a teaspoonful of strawberry cheesecake in his mouth and chewing it ever so slowly, “my food.”

Suddenly, both their phones rang. They answered at the same time. Gaia was calling Rome, and Gaia’s secretary was calling Alex to tell them the lawyers were already there, waiting for them.

Alex stood up abruptly. “I’ll wait for you outside while you take a quick shower and dress up. I’m taking my car again. I’ll just follow yours to the office.” He didn’t reply, just continued to munch to his heart’s content, his lips curled upwards in a ghost of a knowing smile.

Fuming, she marched out of the restaurant. She had to get out of there before she hurls her phone at him. Inside her car, she sat, reflecting on what happened. She thought they’d found a common ground. Didn’t they just have a bicker-free talk? It seemed for him, dropping sexual hints at her was getting to be an enjoyable activity, her incensed responses to him only serving to amuse him.

Startled, she realized that when they first met, it was Rome who was stoic and humorless, and she was the one cheerful and lighthearted. It seemed it’s the other way around now. Each time they met, he pushed her buttons, deliberately provoking her to react, turning her into a grumpy, sulky creature, so unlike her old jolly self.

Get a grip, Alex. You’re playing into his hands.

She didn’t like it at all. Not one bit.

It was time she regained lost ground.

It was time for her ‘other weapon.’

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