[Wattys 2022 Romance Winner]
Archenemies Ria Madrigal and Isabela Rivera pretend to be in love to bring an end to the notorious Madrigal-Rivera feud. Love, politics, and revenge: will Ria and Isabela keep up the charade at all costs, or will they end up breaking their own families apart?
[Romeo and Juliet x Filipino Telenovela, but yassified 💅] [80,000-90,000 words] [Literary Fiction]
The Madrigals and Riveras have long since declared each other as mortal enemies and are devoted to making each other's lives miserable. The Madrigals: rich, extravagant and larger than life. The Riveras: driven, power-hungry politicians. Every day in San Pablo is a day full of intense highway showdowns and tilapia-slap-fights, with career-ending roasts and sabotage to boot. In a desperate attempt to get some peace, Ria Madrigal and Isabela Rivera come up with the most fool-proof plan to bring their families together: confess their undying love for each other.
Not everything is as easy as it seems, however. Real feelings get involved, old and new lovers come; greed and the desire for power ruin everything that is good within themselves.
Along with the threat of a terminal illness, shrewd businessmen and a political usurping which might just break San Pablo apart, the members of the two rival families must find a way to co-exist and come to terms that they are now a part of each other's lives, or risk setting off a series of events that will ruin all of them.
This Shakespearean tragedy-esque novel is placed in the heart of rural Philippines and is an ode to culture; it is a story told through interconnecting lives of its colorful characters─a unique insight and commentary about the country's current socioeconomic and political setting. Mishaps, victories, heartbreaks and hilarities. This is your modern, gayer, Romeo and Juliet, with a distinct Filipino twist.
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