By Heather A.
4 out of 5 stars ★★★★☆
On leave from college, Jane Morrow has a new job, helping out in her uncle’s fortune cookie factory, and a new roommate—her precocious 11-year-old cousin. Though surrounded by her loving family and their close-knit Chinatown community, Jane feels like a colossal failure. Writing fortunes is a kind of poetry, but Jane is penning words of wisdom for strangers while wondering if she will ever have the guts to move on with her life.
When Jane meets medical student Sutton St. James at her local noodle shop, sparks fly. Sutton stands at a career crossroads: surgical residency or stem cell research overseas? The first is what her father, former Surgeon General and “America’s doctor,” has planned for her, but the latter might help find a cure for her mother’s debilitating MS. Neither would make either of them comfortable with their daughter’s sexuality. Sutton’s only certainty is that she has no time for a relationship—yet neither she nor Jane can deny the chemistry between them.
Jane opens a whole new view of family to Sutton, a powerful counter to Sutton’s cold, sterile upbringing. Sutton inspires Jane to be more ambitious and to dream again—and challenges her to have faith in herself. But can Sutton and Jane overcome a scandalous secret that threatens to keep them apart?
An ARC from NetGalley was provided from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This was the most adorable interracial lesbian romance I’ve ever read (and the first!). I knew I was going to like it when I read the first chapter and Jane was pining over some girl in a window of a nearby restaurant. Haven’t we all been there in some capacity?
Jane and Sutton were so sweet together. In many ways, this was just like any of the other romances I’ve read, where there’s a period of hesitation, followed by passion, then a disagreement, and finally reconciliation. I especially loved the “getting to know you” part of the romance where they would lightly touch each other and go goo-goo with feelings (which Sutton was resistant to at first). They both had their own interests and passions, and seemed to be total opposites, but I think that was the theme of the novel–how Jane and Sutton were able to balance each other out, like yin and yang. Everything between Jane and Sutton was such a contrast: where they lived, their families, professions, but they were still connected to each other and were able to be together despite those differences. Jane really struck a chord with her relatability for me, I understood how she felt about working what was available and doing your passion on the side (writing fortune cookies is so awesome). She was never ashamed of it. The only instance where she felt shame was her living situation, but Sutton didn’t care, and I found that so comforting. Especially dating in the city, it’s hard to live on your own or have circumstances in your control. Sutton went with the flow and Jane stood her ground.
There wasn’t any point in the novel that I felt the romance was not sincere, even during the sex scenes, everything was tasteful and well written. They were sexy! (Wouldn’t be a good romance without them, honestly.) And even though they began their troubles a month after they met, I could still believe that what they had created was love and not some fling.
The book was cleverly set during the year of the Monkey, like the year 2016, which was Jane’s year. I think that made me enjoy the book more. There were also fantastic descriptions of food and the city itself that made me appreciate what we have in NY. Though I was upset that the author mentioned Pomme Frites (RIP), teasing me because it doesn’t exist anymore (*sad face*). This novel was everything I wanted in a romance and more!