Series: Holidays with the Wongs #3
Published by Jackie Lau Books on January 7, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
After his family’s matchmaking extravaganza at Thanksgiving, high school teacher Zach Wong is terrified of what his parents might do for Chinese New Year. Surely they’ll try to set him up yet again, especially now that his older brothers are in relationships. Zach, however, has no interest in dating, not since his fiancée left him.
The solution? Find a fake girlfriend to avoid his parents’ matchmaking.
Jo MacGregor, the town dentist, is the obvious choice. They both live in Mosquito Bay and have been friends for years, ever since they bonded over broken engagements. A few kisses and dates around town, and everyone will believe they’re in a relationship. No problem.
Except their fake relationship is starting to feel more and more real…
This series has been so much fun to read. It’s more than just the story with the main couples. The entire extended Wong family is fantastic. They’re so well done, so well written, and there isn’t a dud in the bunch.
Here we have the third son, Zach. At the Thanksgiving that kicked off this series, Zach’s parents decided to set up all four of their children with dates for dinner as a surprise. It did not go as they had hoped. Not a single one of the dates worked out, but each of their older two sons have since managed to pair up happily, which bought Zach a little breathing room.
However, Zach doesn’t necessarily trust that his parents will leave him alone, though, so he decides to pre-emptively invite his good friend Jo to Chinese New Year dinner. His plan is to spend a couple of weeks before the holiday pretending they’re dating, so that no one will be too surprised when she shows up, and his family will leave him alone for a while. Then they’ll casually break up, realizing they’re better off as friends, and everything will go back to normal.
So what we end up with is a combo friends-to-lovers and fake-relationship trope that is low angst and low drama. For the most part, Zach and Jo just sort of bumble along. Jo is well aware of her crush on Zach, she has been for quite a while. She recognizes that he’s not interested in a relationship, so she’s never acted on her feelings. Especially since she has what appears to be the worst best friend in the world, who is constantly trying to harsh her Zach-buzz and tell her how unrealistic she’s being by having those feelings. Honestly, Tiffany is the absolute worst. I did not like her at all.
Zach is convinced that he’s not ready for a relationship, so he can’t admit his feelings for Jo are growing and changing. He can’t admit it to Jo, his brothers, or even himself. He just ignores it, hoping that once they fake break up, his feelings will go back into the comfortable friend place they’ve been lounging in for years. This is one of the strengths of Jackie Lau’s writing. There’s
It goes predictably. Zach and Jo have to go on several dates in order to convince his family and the entire town that they’re a couple, and Zach eventually can’t ignore his feelings. And, really, while he’s trying to deny his feelings, and Jo is trying to ignore hers, clearly the best thing to do is sleep together. I mean, why not, right? Everyone already thinks they’re dating, and seeing Jo leaving Zach’s house early in the morning will just sell their story that much more, so it’s a perfect plan. How could this possibly go wrong?
As usual, this was a quick, fun read from Jackie Lau. The Wongs are constantly all up in each other’s business, to hilarious effect. There’s Pictionary that Jo accidentally makes R-rated, meddling grandparents, brothers that try their best, and as always in a Jackie Lau book, food. So much food. I was so hungry reading this book. The descriptions of the food in Lau’s books is always The Wong family events are centered around their table, and I love it. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, which is, unfortunately, the last in the series, centered around Amber, the only Wong sister. Her situation is introduced here, and it’s a second-chance romance, which…. bring it on.