Published by indie author on September 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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Rain De Castro has been in love with her best friend, Mark Velasco, for almost the entire time she has known him, but she’s clearly in the friend zone because he’s happily in a relationship. Or so she thought, until the news of his break-up reaches her. Now that Mark’s single again, she decides that it’s time to get out of the zone. But when her cousin Lissa comes into the picture and sets her eyes on Mark, Rain feels troubled when he gets a little too friendly with her. Rain is determined to fight for what she feels this time, but is it worth the effort if it's a losing battle from the start? Will she back off to give way for her best friend's happiness, even if it means losing him to someone else again?
Happy, happy book birthday to Ana Tejano’s Fall Like Rain, which was one of the first books I read from #romanceclass, but far from the last. Now, you might remember that I reviewed Ana’s Keep the Faith a while back. But I actually reviewed Fall Like Rain way before Will Read for Feels even started. In fact, I reviewed it twice. I left a short bit of feedback on Goodreads when I first read it, which read,
A seriously sweet read that had me going “aww” a few times! The characters really grew on me, and the pacing was great and frustrating (in a good way because each obstacle that got in Rain and Mark’s way made me go “arggh!” but also made me more convinced that they really, really needed that happy ending).
And then I decided to explain myself a bit more and posted it on my now-defunct lifestyle blog, called Like • Love • Blog.
Recently the author chatted me up to let me know that she’s revamping all the books in the universe shared by her characters for a more unified feel. And on the covers? Why, our favorite #romanceclass live readers, of course!
So the photo above actually shows the updated cover! And in case you’re wondering what I had to say about this book all this time back, here’s the content of that first review, dated a couple of years ago!
The Aww-someness of Ana Tejano’s Fall Like Rain
(Originally published on Like • Love • Blog as part of a promotional event by Pinoy Book Tours.)
I’ve been a long-time reader of romance, as may be obvious from the books I’ve recommended thus far, but it’s only in the past couple of years that I’ve really started reading romance written by Filipino authors. But after reading books by authors like Mina V. Esguerra, Marian Tee, Ines Bautista Yao, Kate Evangelista, and more, I find myself looking for it. Then I joined Mina V. Esguerra’s #RomanceClass, and I really enjoyed the work put out by my classmates, to the point that I started desperately wishing for sequels and/or companion novels.
Ana Tejano’s debut novel Fall Like Rain, a sweet-as-sugar friends-to-lovers romance, is among the books that did this for me. She’s another #RomanceClass classmate and a fellow participant in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). But that’s not why I liked her book. Keep reading to learn more.
First off, let’s get the summary down. Here’s the official one provided by the author:
Rain De Castro has been in love with her best friend, Mark Velasco, for almost the entire time she has known him, but she’s clearly in the friend zone because he’s happily in a relationship. Or so she thought, until the news of his break-up reaches her. Now that Mark’s single again, she decides that it’s time to get out of the zone. But when her cousin Lissa comes into the picture and sets her eyes on Mark, Rain feels troubled when he gets a little too friendly with her. Rain is determined to fight for what she feels this time, but is it worth the effort if it’s a losing battle from the start? Will she back off to give way for her best friend’s happiness, even if it means losing him to someone else again?
This was a book I bought and started for friendship, but kept on reading and finished in the span of two gym sessions (one of which included almost falling off the elliptical machine because I got the awws from a particular scene) because it was a fun read.
Rain was admittedly a character I needed to warm up to. At first she struck me as a kind of Jennifer Aniston-type character—nice, maybe too nice, but a little on the self-absorbed side. Which is fine if you like Jennifer Aniston (I don’t). But right away I was intrigued by the rift between Rain and Mark, the guy she still called her best friend even though they hadn’t really hung out in ages. And I found myself rooting for him because I disliked Rain’s office mate, Francis, within a paragraph or two of his introduction. Which I have to admit is a pretty neat trick, considering that, as a reader, I hadn’t even met Mark at that point. And then I did meet Mark, and after that first scene, I found myself thinking, “Well, there you go. That’s why she’s obviously hung up on him.”
And then something started to happen. Because I liked Mark so much, it made me take a second look at Rain. And I started liking her more and more. Maybe she was too nice for me to want her to be one of my book besties, but I realized that my preference for foul-mouthed witches-with-a-B can get tired sometime, and Rain was the type of person it would be fun to do coffee with sometime. To put it in a metaphor that fit the book, I, a lover of storms, learned to appreciate the subtlety of spring showers, thanks to Rain de Castro. Even her cluelessness when it came to Mark’s obvious feelings for her was cute.
What I really loved about the book, though, was how much I hated Francis. This is a bit hard to defend without serious spoilers, but when you have a character you really want to just punch in the face, it makes you cheer for the other characters even harder. And maybe the verbal punches delivered by Rain’s friend Meah is part of the reason why, after finishing Fall Like Rain, I immediately tweeted the author with the rabid hope that this character would get her own book because she just had to have one. In fact, here’s proof:
— Liana Smith Bautista (@liasbautista) October 1, 2014
But moving on from that point, Ana Tejano constructed a story where the main characters characters get better and more perfect for each other with every chapter, so that every obstacle in their path makes a reader impatient for their happy ending, and yet also more convinced that they deserve that happy ending. So when they finally do get together in the end—and they do, because this is a romance novel, after all—your heart just breathes a huge sigh of relief because all is right with the world again.
It might not be as steamy as I would like, but that’s a personal preference and, I notice, it’s also a common factor with other #RomanceClass novels. And the important thing to remember is that when it comes to the swoons and sighs, this book definitely wins on feels.
Will Read for Feels Update
Now, the review above is a couple years old, and some things have changed since then. For one, at the time, I was frustrated by the lack of steam in romance novels by Filipinos at the time. Now that a good many authors have delivered on the hot stuff, I no longer seem to go looking for it where none was intended. And I recently found myself revisiting stories by authors like Ana, who have stuck to the sweet side of romance reads.
I’ve also enjoyed revisiting the characters in Fall Like Rain through Ana’s other books. And I’ve been promised a long-awaited Meah book soon, which I am so one-clicking the moment it’s available on Amazon!
Meanwhile, I thought I’d update this review with my feel factor ratings:
Feel Factor Rating