Valentine Countdown Blitz - 12 Days of Clean Romance Day 6!

Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, Only A Kiss, When Sparks Fly, All That Glitters, and Someday With You. She has also written several short stories. Among them are “Plain Vanilla,” “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival, “Things I’ll Never Say,” part of the Summit Books anthology Coming of Age, and “Before the Sun Rises,” part of the Ateneo University Press anthology Friend Zones. 

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 who lives in the Philippines with her husband and two little girls. Her books are available digitally on Amazon and

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Twenty-four-year-old photographer's apprentice Regina has always felt like the plain, dull orange next to the shiny red apple that is her best friend Lana. But then she meets Ben—the first guy to ever break Lana's heart, and the first guy to ever make Regina feel that he only has eyes for her. 

As Regina finds herself falling hard for Ben, she also finds herself breaking all the rules of best-friendship. Will she give up the love of her life for Lana, or will she finally realize that she deserves her share of the spotlight, too?


“Regina,” he began, his expression turning serious. “When fate hands you a gift like this, you don’t pass it up. I was waiting, hoping you’d call. Then when I finally realized you weren’t going to and that maybe it was a sign telling me I wasn’t going to see you again, I walk in here today and see you sitting there…” Lightness returned to his face. “Looking incredibly bored. I just had to find a way to entertain you.”

Regina laughed, relieved at his change in tone. She wasn’t ready to deal with that yet. He was making her feel all sorts of things. Too many things. “Are you going to sing and dance for me then?” She crossed her arms to show she was waiting.

To her amazement, Ben jumped up, took a deep breath, and opened his mouth. She grabbed his hand and tugged him back down into his seat. “Paulo is going to throw us out!” she hissed. “No, he’s going to fire me first, then throw us out!”

“He can’t throw me out.” Ben looked wounded. “I’m a celebrity.”

“That’s getting old, Ben.”

He laughed. Warm, rich, full laughter, rolling over her and finding its way into her heart. Lodging itself there, making her feel full, giddy. This was dangerous. But it was so good too. Kind of like macadamia nut chocolate ice cream, breakfast in bed served by woodland creatures, or a guy you’d just met who made you feel as if you’d known him all your life.  

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