I'm actually an introvert, so I could totally see things from Victor's point of view at the beginning. I would also find it annoying living next door to a loud, intrusive, if well-meaning kind of neighbor like Amy. But just as Amy won Victor over, she won me over as well. I'm not a big city kind of person, but the descriptions of fun places and the diversity of fun foods was fascinating. I cheered when Amy finally stood up for herself against her family. I also loved Sierra and the Cider Bar ladies, and look forward to reading more about them.
When small-town engineer Amy Sharpe inherits a house in Toronto, she decides it’s the perfect opportunity to start over and go back to school. Away from the family that takes her for granted, away from the ex who expected so much and gave little in return.
The new Amy enjoys wandering around the city and frequenting bubble tea shops, German beer halls, dim sum restaurants, and coffee bars serving Japanese pastries. She has a roommate with the same name as her favorite fictional character, and a group of friends who meet at a cider bar every couple of weeks.
The new Amy is also in lust with her brooding, tattooed next-door neighbor, Victor Choi, who is far from friendly but looks really hot cutting the grass without a shirt. Too bad the grass doesn’t grow faster.
As she starts telling him about her daily adventures—and as a little kissing in the garden becomes a regular activity—Amy begins to feel more than lust. But she fears she’s falling into her old patterns in relationships and refuses to let herself be underappreciated again.
Is Victor really more than a hot fling? And what’s he hiding behind that grumpy exterior?
I loved it. Amy was so cheerful and happy and she won him over with her joy and love of food. And seriously, Jackie Lau, this book needs a warning about possible drooling over food descriptions. Suddenly I'm starving.
There wasn't really much wrong with this book... There just wasn't really much right either. The characters were fun, and the city was a great setting. But if you took out all of the descriptions of food this book would be a pamphlet. The plot meandered along completely predictably without really developing any conflict or depth for a long time. When the obstacles finally hit, it was abrupt... and then it was over. There's potential here, to be sure, but really the good stuff should have been condensed into a novella and the rest cut out as just empty filler.
I just wanted less focus on food. It made me awful hungry and now I have to find out if these places actually exist in Toronto and make a trip!
I was absolutely delighted with this book. Amy has come to the big city with the chance to live her own life, apart from the family that takes her for granted. And her new neighbor is a bonus. Amy grabs life by the horns, exploring and eating food all across town that sounds amazing. (Have good snacks while you read this.)
While it's not 100% fluffy (family dynamics, working through grief), it was a definite mood lifter that resonated with me. The grumpy hero is initially angry at how cute Amy's dresses are. But he can't help it. Their dynamic was adorable.
If you want to read something that's pretty light and will make you feel hungry, this is the book for you.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A sparkly and quirky engineering graduate student moves into her inherited Victorian side by side and falls for the grump next door.
I really loved the details of the story, a STEM heroine who is both really into bridges but also into polka dots, unicorns, and ladybugs AND who is learning to assert her needs in relationships familial and romantic. A grumpy hero grieving for his brother who died a couple years prior. So many delicious food descriptions, basically a love letter to the Toronto foodie scene.
But, for all the grand details, I never sunk into the story or the characters. The excellent details didn't translate into emotional connection. I enjoyed reading about the heroine's family and friend interactions more than the romance.
I received a free copy from the author for review.
Completely charming sunshine and grumpy pairing. I loved how Amy found her confidence and reading grumpy Victor fall for her was a delight.
I liked this book although not quite as much as Lau's previous works. I love that it wasn't super angsty. It's the perfect fall read.