Release date: August 3, 2021
Publisher: Harper Audio
Genre: Contemporary Romance
When up-and-coming investment banker Jess Kim is passed over for a promotion, laid off in a virtual meeting, and then overhears why (“she’s already being overpaid anyway for a woman” and “Asians are worker bees, not someone who can drum up new deals”) she delivers an “eff you guys” speech and storms out of the building. Not sure what’s next, she moves back home to Tennessee with her domineering Korean mom, who tries to set her up with her pastor’s son Daniel Choi, an M&A lawyer by day and a successful video game streamer by night. Turns out he’s swoony and smart, not the awkward preacher’s kid she remembers. With his help, Jess launches a Korean cooking YouTube channel focused on easy meal prep for busy professionals.
All is going well until her mom walks on the show mid-live recording and argues about cooking technique. While she hates being berated by her mother in front of the world, it actually works in their favor—they go viral!
Soon her cooking channel becomes an actual media company and brand. When a client is suddenly interested in buying Jess out, she finds herself sitting across the table from the very investment firm she quit not so long ago. But there’s just one other problem: Daniel, the guy whose been helping her andthat she’s been falling for, is the firm’s new general counsel.
Ok if you like romances with a side of food and culture this one is a must, it was SO good! I was totally charmed by both love interests Jess and Daniel, but also by Jess’ parents and basically all of the secondary characters as well. While I would definitely still classify this as a romance it had plenty of elements of women’s fiction as well as Jess is on a journey of her own totally independent of her developing relationship with Daniel, but I think that aspect is actually what made this one so enjoyable for me. Her character growth was great and I was rooting for her the whole time as she began to realize what she wanted for her life, it was empowering and really fun to see. I spoke of the food before but you guys, the descriptions were mouth watering and I’ve had a serious craving for Korean food ever since I started this one. I always love learning more about different cultures and I thought the author did a fantastic job at incorporating an authentic Korean experience into this sweet and sexy tale. Clearly I loved this one and definitely recommend it!
I have to give a nod to the narrator, Jackie Chung. You know how sometimes when you’re reading a physical book you can hear a voice in your head of what you think the character should sound like? Jackie’s voice was exactly that for me, she was the perfect Jess and I found her narration to be incredibly heartfelt and believable.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.