Review: A Match Made in Lipa


Title: A Match Made in Lipa 
Author: Carla de Guzman
Genre/Themes: Contemporary romance
Release Date: 8 March 2022

Author's links: Website / Twitter / Instagram

My rating: 4 Stars


What’s written in the stars isn’t always the whole story…

Chocolate maker and shop owner Kira Luz isn’t looking for love, but if fate leads her that way, so be it. When she randomly runs into her childhood crush, Santi, on vacation, it feels like the stars are trying to tell her something. Memories of their time growing up in Lipa—not to mention the steamy kiss they share when they reconnect—get her heart pounding. But she has to go back to Lipa while he’s headed for Manila, and long distance is kind of an issue.

Until he moves back home…and distance becomes the least of their problems.

Estranged hotel heir Anton "Santi" Santillan is left adrift when his grandfather abruptly cuts him out of the family business. But he finds his footing again running a small niche hotel back in Lipa. The downside of living in his old hometown: it’s no Manila, that’s for sure. The upside: seeing Kira again. Kira, who loves food as much as he does. Kira, who loves kissing as much as he does.

Kira, whose family owns the property—including her shop—his grandfather wants him to buy out from underneath them.

Mixing love and chocolate and family just might get messy. And sometimes messy is exactly what fate had in mind.


I am a long-time fan of the #romanceclass books and Carla de Guzman is one the authors whose work I consistently enjoy. This is the second book in the series, Sweet on You, was a true delight and this one, while standing on its own, brings on the same sense of joy and content for me.

This is a lovely childhood friends to lovers romance, a bit of grumpy / sunshine dynamic thrown in.

I loved both MCs, Kira with her explosiveness, matchmaking and obsession with astrology and Santi, all closed off and efficient problem-solver hiding so much hurt. I really, really liked his arc. Dealing with a difficult family, coming to accept that they can never love him and he has to sever ties with them. We knew it in his heart and Kira's family with all their messiness and meddling but at the same time with their unconditional love and support, helped him realise that a different life is possible for him.

Still, it was not easy decision to make, we see his hurt, sense of loss, the tentative attempts to maintain some relationship with his brother at least. Here I have to say something about the villains and how much I appreciate they felt real and not caricatures. Their motivations are clear, their actions make sense in their world. The author does not make excuses for them, Santi does not cave to their blackmail in any way or form=.

The romance was brilliant, some dark moments, but no unnecessary thrid-act break up. Instead they talked things through. Kira's love for Santi was a thing of beauty - tender and nurturing. And it made her heart full to be able to give that to him.

A central element in the story was also the sense of community (a connect element with book 1), building a sustainable business, supporting the local economy. It was all there, not in any preachy way but just natural, it all made sense.

So much care and kindness! And joy and delicious food. Making food and feeding other people is truly the love language in the story.

CW: parental neglect, family abuse/extortion

Add to Goodreads / Buy on Amazon

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images