Jessen, Lauren Kung. Lunar Love. Forever, 2023. 336 pp. ISBN 978-1538710258 $15.99
Full of rich sensory detail, warm family relationships, and Chinese culture, Lunar Love focuses on a third generation traditional matchmaker who uses the Chinese zodiac for astrological compatibility. Just as Olivia is poised to take over the business, competitor Bennett launches a matchmaking app based on the Chinese zodiac–that matches incompatible signs! In the interest of scoping out the competition, she downloads ZodiaCupid and completes a profile that attracts Bennett’s attention, and they make a plan for a date at a baking school and clash over following the instructions as written. She begins a campaign to bring down ZodiaCupid as she’s falling for him. They make a bet they can use their own proven methods to find love for the other, but the chemistry between them seems like it’s going to be a barrier.
Food, especially baked goods, and flowers play a big role in the story. Olivia and Bennett’s first meeting is in a bakery, there’s the class they take together, and the horse shaped cake Olivia makes for her Po Po. The details flesh out the narrative and balance out Olivia’s sometimes immature and unhinged vendetta against ZodiaCupid. The ending is predictable but satisfying.
I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #LunarLove from #NetGalley.