Posts Tagged: Adult

Friday, July 19, 2019

So Much Food and Softness: Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune by Roselle Lim

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So Much Food and Softness: Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune by Roselle Lim
Natalie Tan's Book of Fortune
Roselle Lim
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Publication date: June 11th, 2019
by Berkley

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At the news of her mother's death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn't spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco's Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She's even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother's restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant's fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother's cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around--she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.
-A copy was provided by Berkley for review-

Here is the thing about Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune, it is sweet with a dash of magic and an incredible amount of food porn. For those reasons, I was immediately drawn in and enjoyed the book. But, the writing is not quite there so even though the story itself is wonderful, the way it is written and told isn’t? 

First things first, this book is not a romance for those romance readers eyeing this book. It is a story about love but not necessarily romantic love. 

Natalie Tan comes home for the first time in years after her mother passes away. They parted on bad terms and Natalie never got to bridge the gap that emerged between the two. A letter her ma-ma left behind for her imparts her blessings to reopen her laolao’s restaurant and finally reclaim their family legacy. Opening a restaurant is never easy but factor in a dying neighborhood, desperately counting on her restaurant to bring in more business into the area and Natalie has her hands incredibly full. 

When a well-meaning neighbor prophecizes that the restaurant’s success is rooted in Natalie’s ability to help three neighbors through her food, she gets to work and reconnects with a neighborhood she didn’t realize she loved. 

One of the things that stuck out to me was that there while there was a plot there wasn’t really much conflict? Which is to say that there was conflict but it wasn’t really creating tension within the book. Yes Natalie’s recipe’s aren’t working which is cause for concern but there are a lot of other plot points resolved without truly exploring them. At the beginning of the book, I got the sense Natalie definitely resented her ma-ma a little but by the end of the book that is brushed under the rug and their relationship is presented as perfect could be. At another point, Natalie fights with a friend and it is quickly resolved. 

There were other issues with the writing too but at the end of the day, they didn’t truly take away from my enjoyment of the book. Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune is a very soft book and sometimes you need a soft book to breeze through. 

This story of a grief-stricken girl rediscovering her love for her neighborhood, pursuing her dreams, and trying to heal people through food will appeal to many and leave all feeling incredibly hungry. I highly recommend Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune to anyone who appreciates good food porn and anyone looking for a soft book full of magic. 

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

Thoughtful and Adorable: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Thoughtful and Adorable: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Posted by on 06/12/2019 • 0 Comments

I am still recovering from this book as I write this review so excuse the rambling but oh my god??? Why did this book want to HURT ME LIKE THAT??? I am genuinely feeling a little nauseous lol.

The nausea has nothing to do with how the book was, just about certain events I won’t dive into. Rest assured, if you do read this book and have some serious feelings afterwards, please talk to me so we can all cry together. A HAPPY CRYING CIRCLE.

If you are not a fan of any kind of angst, you should probably skip this book because there is a lot of it. Sometimes it felt unavoidable, other times it was frustrating but honestly it wasn’t actually an issue for me. I…

Relevant, Funny and Swoony: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Relevant, Funny and Swoony: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Posted by on 04/30/2019 • 1 Comment

Idk how its possible but each book in this series has been as good as or better than the previous one and I am just truly in awe of Cole’s talent. I’ve been reading romance for a while now and I truly feel that Cole is changing the landscape of romance literature. Not only is A Prince on Paper unbelievably swoony and adorable, it also takes on really big and relevant things. It isn’t afraid to dissect racism and call out colonialism, we see fake news and propaganda make an appearance and we also see our MC deal with emotional and mental abuse from a parent.

When Nya’s father is arrested and sent to prison for attempting to poison Naledi, she can finally start living her life. She runs…

24 Romance Novels I Am Anticipating in 2019

24 Romance Novels I Am Anticipating in 2019

Posted by on 04/24/2019 • 3 Comments

2019 might truly be the year of romance novels because there are SO MANY GOOD ones coming out, I can barely keep track. I thought I’d share some of my most anticipated romance books of the year because they all deserve love.

1. A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Okay, so this might be cheating because I just started A Prince on Paper last night BUT ITS SO GOOD AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

2. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang 

After falling in love with The Kiss Quotient last year, it is hardly a surprise I am anticipating Hoang’s sophomore novel.

3. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Is it possible to already love a book before you’ve read it??? IDK BUT I LOVE Red,…

The Beginning of An Exciting Family Saga: The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

The Beginning of An Exciting Family Saga: The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

Posted by on 03/26/2019 • 0 Comments

I absolutely adored My So-Called Bollywood Life when I read it last year so when I found out that Nisha Sharma was writing another book, specifically an adult romance, I was all aboard. When I found out the series would follow a wealthy Sikh Punjabi-American family, I WAS EVEN MORE EXCITED (which I didn’t know was possible but whatever.)

The Takeover Effect is a quick read. The pages just sort of fly by. That said, it did take me more than half the book to actually be invested in the characters and the plot. I don’t know if I can even point out a specific reason why this was but I didn’t really click with the book until shit hit the fan.

And when shit hit the fan, IT HIT…

Another Worthy Addition to the Series: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Another Worthy Addition to the Series: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by on 02/26/2019 • 0 Comments

I have been reading Kelley Armstrong’s books for over half a decade now so it’s safe to say I am a fan. From her YA to her adult, she never fails to deliver a series of characters I find myself immediately invested in and plots I am eager to watch unfold. Watcher in the Woods is the fourth book in a series and usually, by the fourth book of a series, my interest starts to wane but a fourth book in the hands of Kelley Armstrong??? Watcher in the Woods proves that it can be a very powerful thing.

If you haven’t read this series and are a fan of well-written mystery novels that don’t involve annoying dude detectives, you should probably get on it. If you’re already a…

Chef Heroes & Road Trips: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday

Chef Heroes & Road Trips: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday

Posted by on 01/18/2019 • 1 Comment

Trigger Warning for eating disorders, drug abuse in the past

I had not read a single book by Jenny Holiday in the past (including the two other books that precede Three Little Words) but when I saw Nick shouting about it, I AM INTRIGUED. Chef heroes own my soul. Nick, who has known me long enough to know I am super picky with contemporary romances, said I would at the very least like Three Little Words SO of course I had to read it because CHEF HEROES.  So, I went in expecting to like it since Nick said I would but I ended up completely engrossed in the lives of these characters and finding a new author to binge. Three Little Words takes you on quite the journey – quite literally because…

Cute but Needs Work: How the Cowboy Was Won by Lori Wilde

Cute but Needs Work: How the Cowboy Was Won by Lori Wilde

Posted by on 03/16/2018 • 0 Comments

When one of my mutuals pointed out How the Cowboy Was Won was an Emma retelling, I was all aboard. I adore Jane Austen novels and I especially adore retellings of them. I don’t think I’ve seen many literary Emma retellings so it’s amusing that this year, there are two on my TBR!

So. Anyway. I have a complicated relationship with this book. There are parts of it I really liked but there were a bunch of things that rubbed me the wrong way and I haven’t seen many reviews talking about some of the things that bothered me which makes me more inclined to be critical. I want issues to be talked about. SO. ANYWAY. I am going to start with the good stuff first and break this review down…