Review of “Singapore Fling” (Carpe Diem Chronicles #2) by Maida Malby

Malby, Maida. Singapore Fling. [United States]: EOT Publications, 2019.

Paperback | $14.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0999543238 | 261 pages | Contemporary Romance

5 stars

Having enjoyed book one in the Carpe Diem Chronicles, I made sure I snagged a copy of Singapore Fling recently, when an opportunity presented itself. And once it arrived in the mail, I dove in almost immediately, reveling in all the feels and feeling upset once I reached the final pages and I once again had to say goodbye to this world.

One of Malby’s strengths is, of course, her gift with recreating the atmosphere of the places she sets her books, from the locations to the food. I now am desperate to make a trip to Singapore for the food alone. Word of caution: Do not read on an empty stomach!

And while Maddie and Aidan were introduced in Boracay Vows, I didn’t know what to expect of either of them, except perhaps that Aidan is a bit more arrogant than Blake. But while some characters may call him “Alphahole Aidan,” giving me a bit of pause initially, given the way I attach the term to some more loathsome heroes, I can’t help but feel like the nickname is undeserved. He’s a bit more on the brooding side, but I could truly empathize with his dedication to his work, especially when his relationship with Maddie led to a possible conflict of interest and him having to make a tough choice.

And Maddie is also a wonderful character. I love how her relationships with people are explored, delving into the fact that she didn’t have a conventional family upbringing leading to her valuing the family and friends she does have and keeping them close. It forms a compelling contrast to Aidan’s more conventional family and further informs the conflict between them in a wonderful way.

Once again, Malby delivers a colorful, sumptuous read, and one that leaves me waiting with baited breath for the next. I enthusiastically recommend this to fans of sexy, fun multicultural contemporary romances.

Review of “Boracay Vows” (Carpe Diem Chronicles #1) by Maida Malby

Malby, Maida. Boracay Vows. San Antonio, TX(?): EOT Publications, 2017.

Paperback | $12.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0999543214 | 234 pages | Contemporary Romance

5 stars

I received this book as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

When an author is a friend, especially the longer I know them, I often worry about their book possibly disappointing me, as tastes can differ widely, as I have found from my experience as a member of a number of book groups. But my fears with Maida Malby’s debut were unfounded. In fact, her book is one of those rare debut novels that not only shows the promise of the writer, but will instantly suck you in.

She strikes a great balance between an authentic exploration of Filipino culture, including language and cuisine, as well as family values, with which she is obviously familiar, and presenting the characters as people you can relate to regardless of ethnic or religious background. I don’t have the same religious beliefs as Krista, but I could immediately relate to her desire to live a little, and we share the common trait of NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth) at an age when people in our age group have gone through at least a few relationships.

And while Blake could easily have annoyed me, being yet another rich playboy ruined for everyone else after being with a virgin, the way he was so patient with Krista as she figured out what she wanted out of their relationship, and the role his family plays in his life, which I expect plays a role in the series going forward, won me over.

I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a refreshingly different romance that focuses on an ethnic group and locale that doesn’t have much of a presence in the current market, which has only started to have conversations around diversity in mainstream publishing.