I adore this author and that mean I could NOT WAIT to dive into Chao’s latest novel. The premise sounded intriguing and I love the cover. Sounds like the trifecta for a book I would love… and it was! I really enjoyed this and could not get enough of it. One thing I found fascinating was that this practice actually takes place. That blew my mind! As a white female, I do not have an insight into Chinese culture or family dynamics so it was an eye opener. That made me feel bad for the MC, Chloe. She wanted to escape her over-bearing parents and hoped renting a boyfriend for a family visit help with that. What happened as a result of this choice arrangement was nothing short of charming, hilarious, and romantic.
Chao’s writing style is just one thing that will always keep me coming back to her. She writes with snark, wit, and depth. Her characters are deeply flawed yet relatable, the settings are well developed, and the topics feel real. There is not any cringy-worthy instalove. Normally her stories are slow burns and I’m always here for a slow burn love story.
I will not stop gushing about how much fun this story was. There were parts that were tough to get through, mainly the conversations between Chloe and her mother because there was such a cultural difference. By that I mean Chloe was not raised in what could be construed as misogynistic behavior. Her mother wanted to arrange a marriage, did not believe she would be anything without being married, and that she should want nothing more than to be married and have babies. That was not Chloe at all. Plus, there were times Chloe’s mother ‘fat shamed’ her and it made me want to smack her. Those topics just made the story feel more believable.
Please pick this one up if you have not already. This was such a great story and my only complaint is that I have to wait so long for her next story.