The Plot (from Goodreads):
Cadence Lim has transformed from behind-the-scenes number cruncher to an integral part of the sales team at Prism Realty. But despite moving up the corporate ladder, her complicated relationship with her estranged elderly father weighs heavily and she can’t seem to shake the desire for a new beginning.
At least Cadence can always lean on her favorite co-worker and co-conspirator, Matt Escanilla. A top broker with an unsuccessful love life, the forever single Matt is constantly being nagged by his loving Filipino family to settle down.
Their relationship takes a turn when a business trip lands them both in their hometown and Matt enlists Cadence as a pretend girlfriend for a family gathering. The new after-hours setting forces the two friends to see each other in a new light, and their previously buried feelings rise quickly to the surface. When competing promotions threaten to separate Cadence and Matt, these office besties must work together to round up their ambitions and families to pursue their overdue romance.
This book had a lot of my favorite tropes: workplace/forbidden romance, secret pining, forced proximity, and fake dating. There was one adorable, loving family and one tense family situation, both storylines that I really enjoyed. Matt is Filipino-American and Cadence is Chinese-American, and I liked reading about each family’s traditions (and food).
There was a lot to appreciate, but overall it didn’t come together as memorably as I wanted it to. I didn’t connect to the romance as strongly as I’d like to, and a few days after reading it I didn’t feel like I remembered many of the finer points of the story.
A cute, fun contemporary romance that was a quick and easy read, but I liked The Donut Trap more!
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