Book Review: It’s Not Just Semantics by Mayumi Cruz

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Title: It’s Not Just Semantics: A Banterful Romance (La Natividad Island Series, #1)

Author: Mayumi Cruz

Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Release Date: October 1, 2018


Rome Alvez is a disgraced champion race car driver, a notorious playboy, and he’s her stoical Boss.
Alex Hernandez is his efficient but smart-mouth and willful Personal Assistant tasked to repackage his image and bring him back to glory.

He’s sarcastic.
She’s cynical.

He’s a player.
She’s a man-hater.

From the first moment they met, it’s a battle of wit, wills, and principles. Their views and values on relationships are poles apart. They don’t hold them back from each other, expressing them in colorful language every chance they get.

But in reality, both are cowards in disguise, scared and scarred, ruined by people close to them.
So what do they do when they find themselves drawn to each other despite their differences? They run around in circles and chalk up that “something” between them to just plain desire. After all, desire, attraction, lust, chemistry—those are the same banana, aren’t they? It doesn’t matter how they word it.

It’s just semantics. Or is it?

What if that “something” between them masks a deeper feeling which they can’t refuse or deny?

What if fate brought them together to heal each other’s emotional wounds and give them the courage to take a risk on love?


This is the second book that I’ve read from Mayumi Cruz. See my review for Chroma Hearts here. I like the enemies to lovers trope that’s why I was really looking forward to reading this as the title literally has “A Banterful Romance” in it. This is is a story about a girl named Alex, who actually describes herself as a man-hater, and a boy named Rome, who’s a ladies’ man/player.

I actually loved the story of how they met because it was not your typical meet-cute set up. It actually got me hooked from the 1st chapter.

It was really easy to love Alex from the start. She’s totally relatable, and you would understand her values and ideals when it comes to love. Rome on the other hand, was a total jerk. It was hard for me to ship Alex with Rome, since I still see Rome as a total jerk, even though it has already been revealed towards the middle of the story why he acts that way.

It’s a good thing that he redeemed himself, and I already found him more likable at the end of the story. I really enjoyed reading this and would recommend it to those who love the enemies to lovers trope. Thanks to the author for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Favorite Quotes:

“Because sometimes, there are some things beyond our control, even when we gave our very best.”

“I’m not saying that trusting and hoping will be enough. You have to work together, Alex. Together, you and him. Work on the present, the here and now, despite the odds. Say the words that needed to be said, do the things that had to be done. But only if you’re both completely, totally sure. You both have to be all in.”

“Once, I told you, ‘never settle unless it’s forever.’ I was wrong, Alex. Not about never settling. No, never about that. We must never settle for less than what we’re worth.” Tears generously fell down Marjorie’s cheeks. “I was wrong about the forever part. Because it takes two to forever, Alex. You can’t have forever without taking risks, making choices, and working on them–together–for a lifetime. You only have a lifetime to write your own story. Make every second last.”

Soundtrack: Give Into Me by Devin Dygert

Rating: Purple-FullPurple-FullPurple-FullPurple-HalfNo-Star

Buy Links: Goodreads || Amazon || From the Author (Philippines only)
What’s your favorite Romance Trope? Let me know in the comments!

16197027About the Author:

Website || Twitter || Facebook || Instagram

Mayumi Cruz is an indie author of fusion fiction, writing stories that cross genre lines. Some of her writings have appeared in Philippines Graphic, Lit Up Medium, and AdHoc Fiction. Her short story, Black Love, won in Bookbed’s Fictory Contest in 2017. She has self-published seven books, as well as co-authored three anthologies. She lives in the Philippines with her husband and three sons.

16 thoughts on “Book Review: It’s Not Just Semantics by Mayumi Cruz

  1. Thanks for sharing, I like the honesty in your review. I’m going on vacation in a couple of weeks and need some new books. Do you have any suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

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