Review: Totally Engaged by Mina V. Esguerra


Title: Totally Engaged (Six 32 Central #4)
Author: Mina V. Esguerra
Genre: Contemporary m/f romance, older MCs
Release Date: 14 May 2021

Author's links:

My rating: 4 Stars


Rose Alban, 41, has been happily living alone and single in Manila. When her entire family moved to the US she became responsible for their house and since then she's transformed it into her home, her sanctuary, and base for a new and more fulfilling career. She was even able to convert the garage into a studio apartment, that she's now renting out to her friend's brother Pascal Cortes, 39, former MBA professor who's now heading operations at an exciting education startup at a nearby business district.

That's not enough for her mother and well-meaning relatives, who want nothing more than to see her join them in the US by any means necessary. When they surprise her with a visit, Rose knows the only way they'll finally stop plotting to get her a green card is if they see her settled down—so of course she asks the hot prof next door to pretend to be her fiancé.


I love Mina V. Esguerra's writing and this series have been a hit for me in all aspects and this book was no different.

The story features two older MCs who slowly fall in love while they are faking an engagement. In the end they build a relationships that suits them both - no plans or marriage or desire for children.

The story also explores the unique immigration situation of the heroine, specific to the the Philippines, something that seriously affected her life and the choices she made. I loved the hopefulness, the way she made the best out of a difficult situation. We meet Rose when she is already settled in her life and happy with the things she has and we only get glimpses of her struggles before and I liked how confident and self-sufficient she was.

Things are very much the opposite for Pascal. He is 39 yo and at a crossroads in his life, just made a big career change and in the process of establishing himself anew both personally and professionally.

The romance was tender and sexy and full of kindness and care and mutual respect and support. Slowly their fake romance became real, they realise they have something good together that can work for them for now or for longer.

It's a high conflict story, there is some pressure from Rose's family but it is nothing major or dramatic, just normal, ordinary stuff of well-meaning parents who don't fully understand their kids.

We see the big juxtaposition of new modern romantic relations as opposed to the traditions and expectations of the older generations.

Like many of the author's other stories this one also explores the meaning of home, the sense of place and belonging, all this entangled with big, complicated families.

This is a warm hug of a book, tender and gentle, simply delightful.

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