Saturday, May 13, 2023

Isn't It Romantic?

Lunar Love
 by Lauren Kung Jessen
Published by Forever on January 10, 2023
Age/Genres: Contemporary, Romance

This sweet, enemies-to-lovers debut rom-com filled with Chinese astrology will undoubtedly prove to be a perfect match with readers of Helen Hoang, Jasmine Guillory, and Helena Hunting.

Always a matchmaker, never a match...

Olivia Huang Christenson is excited-slash-terrified to be taking over her grandmother’s matchmaking business. But when she learns that a new dating app has made her Pó Po’s traditional Chinese zodiac approach all about “animal attraction,” her emotions skew more toward furious-slash-outraged. Especially when L.A.’s most-eligible bachelor Bennett O’Brien is behind the app that could destroy her family’s legacy . . .

Liv knows better than to fall for any guy, let alone an infuriatingly handsome one who believes that traditions are meant to be broken. As the two businesses go head to head, Bennett and Liv make a deal: they’ll find a match for each other—and whoever falls in love loses. But Liv is dealing with someone who’s already adept at stealing business ideas . . . so what’s stopping him from stealing her heart too?

Olivia had something to prove, and she was determined to get the family business back on track. Her plans may have been stymied by an up and coming dating app. In a challenge to declare the superior matchmaker, Olivia and her competitor, Bennett, set out to find the perfect match for each other. May the best matchmaker win.

This was so sweet! Olivia had been burned in the love department and had closed herself and her heart off to others. Though she loved being a matchmaker, she did not trust her skills for finding her own match. I adored the way she slowly surrendered her heart to Bennett. He was unexpected, incompatible, and perfectly adorable. There was this one scene where he was so flipping cute that a smile got stuck on my face for hours.

Authors seem to understand that the way to my heart is through vivid descriptions of incredible food. Olivia liked to cook (and eat), and many of the fun and fantastic dates featured in this story were built around meals. There were also a myriad of family celebrations and events where food was featured heavily. I worked up quite an appetite as I read, laughed, and smiled my way through it all.

The dates, the family focus, the food — I had such a great time with these two, and I look forward to reading more from Jessen.

The Rom-Com Agenda
 by Jayne Denker
Published by St. Martins Griffin on January 10, 2023
Age/Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Vibrantly funny, endearingly sweet, and a love letter to all things rom com, Jayne Denker's The Rom Com Agenda is a story of two people finding love right when they least expect it.

You know how the story's supposed to go...but love makes its own plans.

STEP 1: Find yourself
Leah Keegan is used to being alone, especially after taking care of her sick foster mother for the past year. But now there’s nothing keeping her in the sweet town of Willow Cove. It’s time to move on. Again.

STEP 2: Win back the one who got away
Eli Masterson thought he and Victoria were meant to be together until she decided to jet off to Rome for a year. Eli is determined to win her back. But how?

STEP 3: Become a romantic hero
Changing Eli’s physical appearance is easy, but to turn Eli into the sophisticated-yet-vulnerable ideal man, his girl pals force him to watch classic rom-coms. And take notes.

STEP 4: Fall in love?
Inadvertently drawn into the makeover scheme, Leah ends up being Eli’s guide through the wild world of meet-cutes and grand gestures. Even though she believes Eli doesn’t need to change a thing about himself. Even though she just might be falling for Eli . . . and Eli falling for her.

Eli’s heart was broken, but he was determined to win back the one-who-got-away. Though they didn’t necessarily agree with his goals, his friends were committed to helping him become a rom-com hero. As such, his training included a deep dive into all the best rom-coms which I adored, but it also brought Leah into his world.

This book was a lot of fun. I know it was a romance, but it was the friendship/found family that took center stage in my heart. Eli had such a wonderful group of supportive people in his life, and I won’t pretend that their meddling didn’t delight me. It absolutely did. I loved all the shenanigans as well as the honest and tender moments they shared. What made this group even more special to me was the way they embraced Leah and brought her into the fold. I reveled in Leah’s personal journey, in her becoming part of what she always longed for, a family.

I know people had issues with the way Eli pined for his ex during the story, but I didn’t see it that way. It’s true that there was pining, but the more time he spent with Leah, the more he began to question his intentions towards his ex. It was clear that something was growing between them, and they shared some sweet and swoony moments along the way.

Overall: An amusing and lighthearted story with lots of classic rom-com moments that was filled with laughter and love.


Do you have a favorite classic rom-com film?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. I do adore books with amazing friendship and a found family vibe!!!

    1. Same. They are the best, and I appreciate authors who take the time to assemble such great supporting characters

  2. These both sound like such absolute delights to read!