Kindle Edition, 249 pages
Published March 30th 2017 by Sue Brown’s Stories
Series: Angel Enterprises #2
Blurb: Callum Ross has a tough decision to make. After years of working for the covert ops agency in the UK and owning his own security firm in the US, he’s forced to choose between the business he loves, and the new relationship with his partner, Josh Cooper.
A bottle of whiskey and Josh almost being killed helps Cal make the decision, and he moves to the UK with plans to set up his own security consultancy. Then the head of the covert ops agency where Josh now works asks Cal for help. Agency operatives and their families are being injured or killed, including Cal’s friends.
Cal is asked to investigate with Josh’s assistance.
As the number of victims increase, they’re aware either of them could be the next target for the killer.
Warning: This is not a stand=alone book and this review may contain some spoilers.
In the second installment of Angel Enterprises, there’s someone who infiltrated the agency and started killing those related to it. Cal, Josh and the gang would have to move smart and fast in order to capture the culprit . We also see Josh and Cal work around their relationship interweaving with their respective careers.
Cal is very much present in this story which i’m very happy about because it was mostly Josh that we’ve got to know in the first book. The downside is, I kind of missed the Josh I fell in love with in Morning My Angel. Don’t get me wrong tho, it’s still a wonderful read but somehow, It felt like it focuses more on the mystery and the romance aspect became a side story.
I thought the mystery of the killer and the “mole” within the agency was cleverly narrated (hidden) until the last chapter but I wished there was less casualty because there were some very interesting characters right there.
At some point, I didn’t know whose POV it was that I was reading but it didn’t matter much because it simply revolves around the main focus of the story which is the murder of those related within the agency.
This is still a pretty solid follow up to Sue Brown’s Morning My Angel. The cliffie at the end was real good. I’m really excited to read more from this series! I just hope that the next installment would include more of Josh and Cal’s interaction than their interaction with the side characters.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
About The Author Sue Brown is owned by her dogs and two teenagers. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop.
Sue discovered M/M romance at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favourite television series. The series is long gone but the kissing was tender and Sue had a lightbulb moment.
Since then she has written many stories hoping to recreate that tender moment she saw on screen. Sue has high hopes that one day she will provide a lightbulb moment for someone else.
It’s that time of the year again when the uber-talented Filipino designers showcased their finest in creating intricate and incredible national costumes for the country’s prime national pageant – the Binibining Pilipinas! Without further ado, let me present to you my top 5 national costumes for this year’s edition!
My 5th from Binibini 10 Jehza Mae Huelar
4th from Binibini 18 Nelda Ibe
3rd from Binibini 1 Dane Felisse Marasigan
My 2nd favorite from Binibini 22 Chanel Olive Thomas
and my Best National Costume this year goes to…
Charmaine’s impeccable costume was designed by Pablo Mendez who took his inspiration from “La Naval de Manila” crossover with “Reyna Emperatriz” and the result is truly heavenly! This is art at its finest!
I was out of the loop last week because I had to travel south for a little vacay and I’m totally unable to watch said episode. Anyway, I gathered some thoughts from friends and their consensus was that Jan and Adela totally killed this shoot whilst Janelle (she was one of my favorites during the first episode) was apparently a ‘drama queen’* who needs to get the boot pronto and she actually did. Ouch!
Here are the results of the first photoshoot of the season!
Jan claiming that first “First Call Out” of the season! You go girl!
I really like this shot of Adela! A very deserving high call out!
Wow! The short girls are giving the taller girls a run for their money! Sarah is killing it!
This is honestly my favorite shot in the bunch! I still don’t remember Blaise or anything about her but I thought she totally nailed this shoot!
This is a very strong shot from Janny! Loved it and keep the THIRST! LOL
I don’t know what exactly happened but this wasn’t a really flattering shot from Ann. Expectation vs Reality?
I thought Angela’s shot was far better than Kim’s if I’m being honest.
Wow. I just loved Aivie’s shot. I loved the overall composition of this photo!
Shekie, girlfriend you really need to step it up next time!
Let’s be honest, is this really Janelle’s best shot??? Cmon guys! It’s horrendous! Aarrrggghhh! bye girl!
Call Out Order
The press presentation of the 2017 Binibining Pilipinas candidates happened last March 22 at the Novotel Manila in Araneta Center, Cubao and it was an eye-opening event, separating the goddesses of this year’s batch from mere mortals! hah!
With that being said, let me present to you my Second Hot Picks, taking into consideration the events that transpired after the official announcement of the candidates for this year’s edition. up to this point.
Let’s start first with the six girls on my radar whom I think are waiting for their right time to peak. They’re still not there in the upper tier but they’re basically on the hunt to spoil it for the/my top six!
In no particular order.
And my Top 6 in particular order
#7 Jezha Huelar’s second runner-up finish last year helped her gain confidence and the training she went through along with the 2016 queens was the result of her fierce return into the compeition. I was never a fan before but she’s slowly growing on me. Those legs are to die for! Not sure how many brownie points she had acquired from Madame Stella over the course of her runner-up reign but for now, I am willing to bet that she’d get one of the crowns – the ‘Globe’ one presumably.
#19 Rachel Peters is tall, smart and has a banging body – she needs to work on not looking older and dull. She almost has it all but she’s so lacking that glow! Rachel, you can do it! She’s my Intercontinental titlist at this point.
#15 Maria Angelica DeLeon. My faith for this girl is slowly fading as the days goes by. I knew enough that she’s a big-boned woman and I loved that she’s embracing it! Her face is deliciously divine and she’s got good enough articulation so it’s really up to her to level-up her game plan! She’s my bet for Grand International for now.
#13 Sirene Sutton. Beauty-wise, Sirene is one of the most facially beautiful ladies in the bunch aside from the fact that she’s also one of the tallest candidates. I thought she still need to work on her personality because she looks a bit bland in comparison to Elima and Rodriguez’ explosive stage presence. She needs that little oomph to come out sooner! For now, I am pegging her for Miss Supranational.
#31 Katarina Rodriguez is still my #2 at this stage of the competition. Nobody can argue that Katarina is THE face of the competition. Her boxy body may not be everyone’s cup of tea but her face alone compensates for what she lacks in that area. Janine Tugonon, Ariella Arida and Shamcey Supsup have boxy bodies but they still managed to shine on stage and Katarina could do so with that face. She’d be a great follow-up to reigning Miss International Kylie Verzosa and it’s not far-fetched for her to win the Miss Universe Philippines as well if Charmaine Elimamanaged to falter ‘again’ in the final Q&A.
#32 Charmaine Elima without question is the ring leader of this batch. At this stage, the target is still solidly planted on her back. In other words, she’s the biggest threat for everyone aiming for the Miss Universe Philippines crown. She’s luminous during the press presentation with such impeccable styling that could rival any pageant queen. This is one of those moments when you have no choice but to say, “Uwian na bes, may nanalo.” Elima’s still THE ONE to beat.
Director: Petersen Vargas
Cast: Khalil Ramos, Ethan Salvador, and Jameson Blake, Peewee Ohara, Jomari Angeles, Joel Saracho, Mean Espinosa, Ana Capri
I hate to be the party pooper here since everyone seems to be loving this dark coming-of-age film about a nerd who befriended two Filipino-American brothers who made such an impact in his young life but if I’m being quite honest, this film just didn’t work for me for so many reasons save for the amazing performances of its lead actors – James Blakeson, Ethan Salvador and Kahlil Ramos.
In case you didn’t know (like moi), 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten was part of last year’s Cinema One Originals Film Festival garnering the Best Picture honor as well as Best Supporting Actor for Blake Jameson and Best Cinematography for Carlos Mauricio.
I just want to say first that the cinematography award was very well-deserved because Mauricio was able to encapsulate the contrasting beauty of the lahar-ridden Pampanga, the fascinating dreams of Felix (Ramos) and the youthful vibrancy of the actors playing the main characters. Even before I watched it on the big screen, I was already all over it towards its beautiful cinematography when I Initially viewed its trailer on Facebook.
Secondly, (see, I wasn’t aware of the said Film Festival so boohoo! on me) Jameson Blake winning an award for his role is not that surprising. After watching the film in Trinoma last Saturday (March 18, 2017) I was asked by my seatmate in the cinema how I find the film, I told him outright that the guy who played the role of Maximillian was simply enigmatic! He’s very effective and the eye-candy thing was just a bonus! They’re all good in their roles but Blake just stole the thunder from Ramos and Salvador on this one.
Now, let me make it clear that I do not hate the film. I just don’t like the development of the story. I wasn’t expecting it to be cheesy and all that stuff but I thought the dark twist revealed midway was rather an unsavory surprise. Twists tend to do that but that subplot just made me cringed because it felt forced for me. I thought I knew what the writer / director was trying to convey but incorporating said plot was rather over the top in my opinion.
We’re already all over Felix’s (Khalil Ramos) sexual identity crisis and the angst of the Snyder brothers and I thought the story could lead into a more subdued yet impactful resolution – instead we’ve got the subdued yet very strange conclusion.
But hey, who am I to judge like an expert? After all, I’m just a movie-goer hahaha! Kidding aside, I think it’s a case of “it’s me, not you” thing so I think people are still going to enjoy watching this one but as for me – I’m okay with watching it once for now.
And the long wait is finally over! So I guess the petition page that I made a couple of years back is totally moot now because tonight, we’ve witnessed the premiere of the second cycle (version?) of the Philippines’ Next Top Model with the tagline – High Street. So is it safe to say that they’re looking for someone that is both high fashion but easily marketable? Who doesn’t tho? lol. Anyway, it’s a glorious premiere! I am so amazed by the sophistication of the whole process. It wasn’t draggy tho the excitement was rather lacking but it’s a really good premiere nonetheless.
It started with host ‘The Amazing Race Asia winner and former Miss Philippines’ Maggie Wilson doing a voiceover of the audition held nationwide then fast-tracked to the 24 ladies who will be facing the other judges hoping to make it through the next round – that panel of judges along with Maggie includes Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP) current president, the cutie Raphael or Rapha Kiefer, stylist and magazine editor Rain Dagala and model mentor and reigning Miss International, Kylie Verzosa.
Maggie, Kylie, Rain and Rapha ctto: @raphakiefer
So, what can I say about the judges? I honestly don’t have an idea who Rapha and Rain are but I loved the dynamics of this panel. They seemed to be getting along so well and I could already see Rain making okray the girls sooner or later and I cannot wait for their (Rain and Rapha!) fangs to come out! Haha! Rapha is a real charmer on TV while it’s a bit difficult to really distinguish who’s actually (should really be) hosting during the judging of the 24 ladies. I mean, Maggie and Kylie are both beautiful but they’re almost interchangeable! But hey, it’s a great panel and I cannot wait for the first judging of the photoshoot next episode!
And now, can we just have a minute for a prayer circle because the gods of fashion seems to be on this show’s side when they picked the 24 ladies to participate in this year’s edition! I’m honestly stunned by the quality of the girls who joined! I mean, majority of them are just beyond! It is very noticeable tho that more than half of the contestants are actually mixed-race so if you’re anal about that aspect – I don’t give a shit.
Based on this episode, I already have my final three but naturally – we have to see in at least the first two to three episode who will actually be impressing the judges (and the ones who will be getting good edits) as the weeks go by…
Let’s meet the final 12! (in order of announcement)
Ann is 20 from Bohol. I loved Ann! Her hair is one of her assets but she needs to step it up because the competition is real fierce. I’m fairly sure she’s already dreading the upcoming make-over. ( She’s also my number 1 amongst the top 3!!!)
Janny from Makati used to be bisexual who is now a lesbian or something like that. She’s actually very intereting! I didn’t expect her to make the cut but she’s got something (a story? the hair?) that is very endearing. Let’s see how far she’d make it. Oh, she also got a cute little son! ❤
Ina’s another strong contender. She’s one of the three dark-skinned girls who made the cut and again, the hair! Gosh! She looks amazing with that hair but I’ve a feeling that they’re gonna change it drastically. We can’t have two Ann’s in the show after all. I think she also said something about hailing from the Bahamas (need to verify this)
Adela is only 19 and was originally from the United Kingdom and has been living in the Philippines for about a year now. She looks really sweet and she’s also very articulate. Not sold on her yet – I’m seeing her getting the boot in the next few episodes.
Jan, 24, Bulacan. I loved her sincerity. I think she’s got great potential but an early exit for her is not that far-fetched.
Kim is 21 years old from Bacolod and she’s done a lot of local modelling stint including different runway and fashion shows in her turf. His father is half-Dutch-half-black-American from Suriname and his mom’s a Filipina. She reminds me so much of Camile from the first cycle of the the original show! Girl is FFIIIEERRCCEEE!
Blaise, 20, Chicago. I honestly didn’t expect her to make the cut but I think she got some big brownie points from model mentor Kylie Verzosa because they share the same advocacy regarding mental health. She’s currently a cheerdancer and a college student at the Ateneo de Manila University.
Angela, 22, Bicol. I loved her interview with the judges but I thought she looks more than her actual age. The show should really do something about that hideous hair!
Shekie, 23, Cagayan de Oro. Shekie is totally on my radar as one of the potential winners! Her dad’s Nigerian and with a Filipina mom of course. I loved her cockiness! It’s rather endearing coming from her! She just need to tone it down at times but she’s good to go for the (finale??) haha! We’ll see.
Aivie, 21, Canada. She’s got a very interesting lineage. Her dad is half-Vietnamese-half-Chinese and she obviously looks more pinay because of her mom. I’m still on the fence about her inclusion but I liked her!
Sarah, 23, Pampanga. My homegirl! I loved her face! She’s definitely this season’s commercial goddess! It’s such a shame that she’s only 5’4″ but I think with that face – she could very well use it to go as far as top 5 and who knows – one nailed beauty shot and uwian na mga bes, may nanalo na! lol
and the final spot goes to…
Janelle, 27, San Diego, California. She’s one of my favorites. She’s obviously the oldest in the bunch and this would always haunt her during the competition. I just hope that she won’t get uber-angsty about it during confessionals. I thought her beauty is very marketable especially here in the Philippines and I cannot wait to see her make-over!
Okay – let me reveal the rest of my initial Top 3 then. Since I’ve already mentioned Ann being my ultimate winner this early, I’ve also have a feeling that Shekie will do really well. Rounding up my top 3 is the lovely Janelle! Gaaahhh! Her face is just perfection – just sayin’.
Special mention to Anna.
As for the their first photoshoot, it would be an underwater shoot where the girls will try their hardest and fiercest while submerged in a big aquarium! Yikes!
What about you guys? What can you say about the premiere? Who are your favorites?
So as early as now, I will be putting a poll on who do you think (on first impression) will most likely make it until the end?
Screengrab from the TV obviously but these images are still the exclusive rights of Pottle Productions, Inc. I’ll try to update this post with HQ pictures soon!
Director: Bill Condon Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nathan Mack, Adrian Schiller, Hattie Morahan, Gerard Horan, Zoe Rainey, Henry Garrett, Harriet Jones
Beauty and the Beast in 3D is as magnificent as its grandiose cast that includes Sir Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Luke Evans and its main stars Dan Stevens and Emma Watson among others.
I don’t think there’s even a doubt about Emma Watson’s star-power after the weekend success of the live-action remake of one of the most beloved Disney animations Beauty and the Beast where she played the iconic role of Belle – the provincial lass who felt too confined in her small-minded-small town who fell in love with a cursed prince.
The film just raked in $350M worlwide since its March 16 release despite controversies involving LeFou’s “gay” character (which is totally a non-issue to begin with so to you bigoted piece of shits – Disney doesn’t need your money – kbye!)
I’ve read a tweet last week that says, a new generation is going to forget Emma playing Hermionie because of Beauty and the Beast.
If I’m being quite honest,I think it’s going to be the exact opposite. Emma has been immortalized by the Harry Potter franchise as the dorky, know-it-all Hermionie and with Watson playing Belle and meeting every expecations, it solidifies her star-power that trandscends generation. So she’s gonna be remembered for sure playing the two equally iconic roles.
Kids and kids-alike will get a kick out of its fun, funny and endearing characters and songs that will remind them so much of their childhood. I was actually on the verge of tears when Mrs. Potts started singing the theme of the movie during Belle and the Beast’ romantic dance.
The lovely and well-detailed faithfulness of this adaptation from its original animation is what made the film even more special. The magic stayed with Condon’s fresh new take and fresh new songs from Alan Menken and TIm Rice that includes “How Does A Moment Last Forever,” heard at the beginning of the movie sung by Maurice (Kevin Kline), Belle’s father and during the credits belted by none other than, Celine Dion.
From the moment Watson appeared in the screen, I just knew that it’s gonna be as epic as its trailer. Beauty and the Beast did not disappoint one bit. It was pleasing to the eye, lovely to the ears and just a full-on heartwarming movie that will make you believe in the power of true love – Disney style!
I know it’s been a couple of weeks since the announcement of the official candidates of this year’s Binibining Pilipinas and so far, no one has been disqualified yet! *wink* Kidding aside, this is definitely a very strong batch with repeaters, crossovers and newbies battling for the six crowns at stake in this year’s edition!
Upon watching their web interviews, candid and official photos and other videos – I came up with my first hot picks of the season. They are definitely the frontrunners whom I’d like to call at this point the Power Six!
Six. Gabriela Patricia Ortega
She may not be the most facially beautiful girl in the competition but this girl definitely has that regal bearing fit for a queen! She’s an articulate speaker and has very good bone structure! I’m waiting for her to shine even more but so far, she’s doing a wonderful job edging out the competition!
Fifth. Sirene Sutton
This “independent” joiner from the Mercartor Models created a rather loud buzz during the final day of screening and you can see why in this picture. She’s statuesque, conventionally pretty (though she reminded me a bit of Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 Deborah Henry) and does seem to have the brains to back her looks so she’s probably the spoiler for the top frontrunner at this point.
Fourth. Rachel Peters
I loved Rachel during the Miss World Philippines 2014 until that final question and answer portion and I loved her aura even more now. I just hope that she’s going to take this more seriously now because she’s one of the Binibinis who has it all – beauty, personality and brains.
Third. Katarina Rodriguez
Asia’s Next Top Model runner-up turned beauty queen aspirant is an instant favorite the moment she decided to try out for the nationals and for good reasons. She’s vibrant, articulate and a face to die for. For now, she’s still giving me that “I’m a commercial model” vibe so she better step it up!
Second. Maria Angelica de Leon
Let’s face it – Mariel has one of the most beautiful faces in the competition and with an impressive pedigree to boot, she could very well topple my top pick for the Miss Universe Philippines at this stage of the competition. It’s going to be a tough job so she better be ready to shine ever brighter!
And the top goes to…
Numero Uno. The One to Beat.
After choking in the Q&A portion during the Golden Edition of this pageant, Maine took a break from the pageant scene to work as a flight attendant for the Philippines’ national carrier – the Philippine Airlines. Since then, it looks like her life experiences including her 2013 defeat made her an even stronger candidate making waves as she return this year with a bang! She is now handled by Aces & Queens transferring from its rival beauty camp – Kagandahang Flores. Do I think that it’s for the best? I think so. And it’s none of my business, anyway.
Charmaine looks and sound more confident now. She seems more articulate and she’s just glowing like a real queen! At this stage, there’s no denying that everything’s pointing to her succession of Maxine Medina’s title and if the stars will align this year in her favor, there’s a very big chance that she’d finally clinch that Miss Universe Philippines title!
After watching Ice Idanan’s Sakaling Di Makarating last weekend, I was on the fence about it being a rip-off of “That Thing Called Tadhana” or perhaps just ‘a way better storytelling’ ala-Before Sunrise trilogy which ‘Tadhana” obviously tried to emulate. What I didn’t consider is the message within the film. Sakaling Di Makarating in comparison to the profanity-laden “Tadhana” has a much deeper message and obviously is more aesthetically pleasing.
What initially enticed me to watch the film is that it features the diverse beauty of the Philippines. Its beautiful landscapes being one of the focal points of the story should be a fantastic watch for a traveler like myself yeah? Then I found out that Alessandra de Rossi will star in it and I was absolutely sold! I knew I have to see this on the big screen.
A series of mysterious hand-illustrated postcards take a young woman on a journey throughout the Philippines in search of its anonymous writer.
The film didn’t disappoint with its aesthetic value. It felt like you’re traveling with Cielo (de Rossi) here – discovering the beauty of this tropical country whilst accompanying Cielo on her search for M.
Cielo’s journey is a way for her to alleviate her pain and to find the answers to the many whys of her failed relationship. Cielo for all her strength is only human though. She’s in the process of grieving and trying to decipher what her next move would be. Her journey to finding the postcard sender, M, is her journey to finding herself again. Some of us call it soul searching but more than anything else, I’d like to think that it’s finding a reason to live again. The places she’s been to, I’d like to think, made her realize that there’s so much more to life.
The storyline, however, felt a bit disjointed for me. It’s like I’m watching a movie within a movie, rather it felt like watching two films altogether. The connection between the first and the latter part of the film was startlingly obvious but it felt forced. Good thing, the kid who played Sol (Teri Malvar) is an absolute joy to watch! When the spotlight was focused on her, ‘girl just kick some ass like no other.
I have to be honest though. I actually enjoyed the latter part of the film more. The beginning which I find a bit mechanical was too reminiscent of ‘That Thing Called Tadhana.’ The dialogue were a bit off and Paul’s character was unnecessary in my opinion. The short affair involving Manuel (JC Santos) was a rather welcome distraction from the bleak narrative of the first half of the film. The parallelism of their scenes in connection to M at the latter part was just too clever! I just loved how so apt it was. I’m not sure if it’s just me who thought of it but if you think about it, there’s a rather eerie similarity.
Overall, this film was able to deliver a solid ending. The story may or may not work with many but there’s a chance for it to have a sequel. I’d love for it to have a sequel! I want a storyline with more of Paul in it. Maybe, I’m just not giving him a chance. The story could be everybody’s story who struggle not only with their love life but simply every day and are looking for an escape. The film won’t fix your problems but it will inspire you to go out there. Have the courage to search for what you’re looking for and as corny as it may sound, you have to remember that you only live once…
Director: Ice Idanan Cast: Alessandra de Rossi, Teri Malvar, JC Santos, Pepe Herrera
So how do I even start with this one without spoiling it too much for you guys? I’ve been meaning to write a review after watching it last weekend but I’m still at that point where I’m trying to digest every scene, every moment of Mia and Sebastian together and everything that makes it one of the best films from last year.
Okay, so let’s start with the stars of the film.
Emma Stone here is flawless. There’s nothing I’d change about her in this film. It’s like watching a beauty pageant contestant on stage performing flawlessly for her audience to win the crown. Emma plays a ‘struggling’ actress here who knows that she’s destined to play A-lister roles for the camera and her struggles to make it into the city of stars is so transparent in her luminous depiction which I’m pretty sure will resonate with everyone of us dreaming – maybe not of the same thing – to be that something or someone.
Ryan Gosling meanwhile plays a passionate Jazz musician whose dream is to own a Jazz club in order to keep the musical genre alive. It all sounds very simple but in context it is a rather heartbreaking realization that indeed, jazz is dying and we need the likes of Sebastian in the real world to save it! Ryan played his role so
convincingly – playing the piano and dancing with vigor – that you’d fall in love with him all over again the way you fell for Noah in the Notebook. Ryan Gosling here without question cemented his status as a true ARTIST.
As for the story, it reminded me a bit of Satine and Christian’s love affair in Moulin Rouge what with both of them chasing their dreams and having to sacrifice love in the process.
There’s nothing extraordinarily new in it but there’s that surprising element of the storyline’s effectiveness. The storytelling will affect you. It will make you contemplate about your abandoned dreams and will make you weep at some point. I know I did and I cannot really explain why it affected me so much. Isn’t that crazy?
Perhaps, I was thinking of all the things we really have to let go in life in order for us to achieve something? I was asking myself tho, how worth is it to sacrifice one precious thing in exchange of similarly precious something? How do you weigh things out? I warned you that this may contain spoilers but there’s a lot of things to think about in this film – things that will make you stop, wander, and look back. Well, aside from the fantastic song and dance numbers, this film is just up there which will make you think that sometimes in life, we just have to keep dreaming. It’s free anyway!
Director: Damien Chazelle Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt