by Jackie Lau
Series: Holidays with the Wongs #2
Also in this series: A Match Made for Thanksgiving, A Fake Girlfriend for Chinese New Year
Publisher: Jackie Lau Books
Publication Date: November 12, 2019
I received an advance review copy of this book from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Greg Wong hates when things don’t go according to plan, so he definitely doesn’t appreciate it when his mother insists he drive Tasha Edwards back to Mosquito Bay for the Christmas holidays. He likes peace and quiet when he’s in the car, and that’s the opposite of what he’ll get with Tasha, his high school sweetheart. The first woman he ever loved.
Not that he has feelings for her now. Of course not. Though while he’s trying not to smile at her laughter and terrible singing, he can’t help noticing how beautiful she is.
And then his plans veer further off course when a snowstorm forces them to spend the night in an unheated motel room with only one bed…
Yes, it’s another fun Jackie Lau book, once again full of all the tropey goodness (opposites attract, second chance, road trip, snowed in, just one bed) but this time, sadly, without the yummy food (see aforementioned road trip and snowed in).
Tasha and Greg were friends from a young age and started dating at sixteen, but then broke up after they went to university in different cities. But all that was 15 years ago, and since they’re both traveling from Toronto to their hometown of Mosquito Bay for Christmas, it’s natural that their parents will arrange for them to carpool. But how can two so opposite people come out of a road trip, snow storm and a family Christmas together?
“Tasha always looked forward, never back. She tried not to think too much about the past, and Greg was firmly in her past. The only time she’d broken her own rule and given an ex a second chance, it had failed spectacularly. She’d seen it fail many times for her friends, too.”
Greg is such a dorky engineer, and I mean that in the best possible way. He builds model trains, for goodness’ sakes! Tasha’s also an engineer, but she’s much more outgoing. Greg’s idea of a good road trip is leaving exactly on schedule and listening to CBC radio, while Tasha’s more laid back and looking forward to belting out some holiday hits. I loved how they had no hard feelings or angst between them about their breakup since it was mainly due to their geographic distance… something that’s not a problem anymore now that they’re both working in Toronto. While they both believed they had moved on from their first love, a night of reminiscing is perfect for reminding them of what’s been missing from each of their lives. But Tasha has a rule against second chances – for good reason – and it’s up to Greg (with a little help from the rest of the Wongs) to show her that rules are meant to be broken.
“I made the snowstorm happen!” Ah Ma said. “I have magic powers!”
Dad rolled his eyes. “Ma, surely if you had magic powers you would use some of them to improve your cooking.”
She sniffed. “They are very specific magic powers. For love.”
Like the previous book in this series, it’s refreshingly low angst. There’s still plenty of humor, courtesy of their clashing personalities and a particularly amorous older couple in the motel room next to theirs, and, of course, because of Ah Ma. One of my absolute favorite things about Jackie Lau’s books is how well she writes families – they’re messy, they’re annoying, but they’re above all loving. I love the Wongs so much – I love the idea that even though your family might drive you up the wall, they’ll always have your back, and this was especially true in this book.
Overall, this is a delightfully fun, tropetastic holiday read, and I’m very much looking forward to the next Wong book!