At twenty-four years old, Agnes Escueta has risen from the ranks to become a producer for Sports Tonight. No one can touch her, it seems—not even crush-worthy anchorman Daniel Ferrer, who she gets to work with every single day. When a road trip to Indonesia throws Agnes and Daniel together, they find themselves working in close quarters. It doesn’t take long before Agnes finds herself being charmed by Daniel, and her defenses start to melt with his touch. With deadlines looming and a big game coming, Agnes must figure out how to let Daniel into her life without risking her professional reputation—and without breaking her own heart.
It’s been a while since I’ve read something of Stella’s, and I was really excited for her when she gave me a sneak peek of her new cover last AprilFeelsDay. It felt like a step up from the sweet vibe of Save the Cake, her first book, and the plot also seemed something fast-paced and exciting, too.
Crushingly Close is about Agnes Escueta, a producer for a sports news show, and her hard work had given her a reputation of being a no-nonsense woman that no one could mess with. Until she gets sent with the rest of her team to cover a football event in Jakarta, and sexy anchorman Daniel Ferrer gets a little too close with her. Sparks fly as Daniel’s charms gets under her skin, but Agnes needs to focus on the job ahead of her. But how can she, when just one touch from Daniel breaks through the wall she had carefully built around her?
I used to want to be a journalist when I was a kid, thinking that it’s the only career a writer can take, until I realized that I was more of a features/fiction person than news. But journalism still fascinated me in some way, and I knew that it’s not one of the safest jobs in the world. While the characters in Stella’s book are not current events reporters, I felt the genuine rush of news producing within the pages of Crushingly Close. Some of my favorite scenes in the book were when Agnes and her team were together, trying to be one step ahead of the news and the team that they were covering. I got a little lost with the football stuff, I admit, because I’m not really a fan of the sport (or any sport, for that matter, haha), but their knowledge in it and sportscasting felt genuine that if you’re like me, you’d just sit and go along for the ride.
I really liked Daniel here – he seemed very sincere, despite giving off an arrogant vibe at first. Agnes took a while for me to warm up to, but I was fond of how she watched over her family. Families in fiction is something close to my heart as I liked writing about them, too, and the Escueta family here is one for the books. The romance had just the right balance of sweet and hot, and I love how there’s a lot of vulnerability to the love story, including the people around the Agnes and Daniel.
Crushingly Close is a solid follow up for Stella Torres, and if you’re looking for a good (and sizzling!) journalist romance, this is the book for you. 🙂
* I received an advance readers’ copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
About the Author:
Stella Torres is the author of Save the Cake and the short story “Be Creative” from Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy (Vol. 1)). She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and worked briefly in public relations, but has chosen to pursue her post-graduate studies in the field of education. She loves dark chocolate, hates flyaways, and is constantly in search of comfortable shoes.
Also by Stella: Save the Cake | Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy Vol 1