Review: The The More The Merrier: A Clean and Wholesome Winter Romance (Seasons of Love Book 1) by Liwen Y. Ho
Fed up with a string of bad blind dates, health blogger Alyssa Wu wants to drown her sorrows in ice cream. But there’s one more evening she must endure—a fake date with her best friend Barry Chang. They must convince her family they're in love, an act which may (or may not) be easy to pull off, thanks to the magic of some mistletoe.
Amazon link here
~ My Review ~
Short and sweet. I don't know about you, but I've been in a reading funk lately. I'll pick up a book, get halfway through it and put it down. Last year, most of my books in my TBR were "DNR" (did not finish). This year, knowing what to expect and making sure we take care of our mental and emotional health by leaving our house and our bubble safely, I went back to my first love: romance novels.
Now, I had promised to read a parenting book and review it, so I did that first....while looking through my kindle for the books that I didn't have the heart and mental capacity to read over last year.
Liwen Y. Ho has written so many sweet and clean romance books and I knew I wouldn't be disappointed when I chose this book, "The More the Merrier," as my springboard, if you will, into a deeper dive of reading again. I wanted to be able to fall in love with books and I knew romance - with its' likeable and flawed characters, their 'meet cute' and 'happily ever after's would give me the comfort I so desired.
This was such a short and quick read. We meet Alyssa and her "dilemma." Classic fake boyfriend/next door neighbors/friends turned lovers. I'm pretty sure I smiled through the entire exchange between Barry, the next door neighbor who cleans up nice, and Alyssa, our by-the-book, serious heroine who needed a little fun and merry in her life. Bonus: this reminded me of a Hallmark movie and one where Asians were the lead and knowing that certain professions (doctors, engineers, lawyers) are accepted in an Asian community and some are not. For a blogger and writer like Alyssa, I completely related to her, right down to the ice cream choices and stress eating sweets.
SIDENOTE: Thank you to Liwen for getting me excited about writing my Filipino romcom and knowing how much (or how little) to share my roots and culture. And then as I struggle to describe my characters, I had to reread Alyssa and Barry. Liwen didn't do specific descriptions for them. She wrote Korean American and I pictured my Korean American friend. I knew the "looks" that Alyssa worried about getting from family and friends, having gone to so many Filipino or Asian parties where you have to introduce your person and hope to God that they pass the "they're good enough" test. I remember the struggle and having to justify my own career choices.
This was both refreshing to read but also made me realize that there aren't very many Asian romance books that I've come across or read. Or maybe I'm not trying hard enough to look. At any rate, I've got another book from Liwen that I can't wait to dive into!
About the Author
Liwen Y. Ho is an award-winning writer with a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary. She loves makeovers of all kinds, especially those of the heart and mind. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, David, and their two children. Sign up for Liwen's newsletter for news about her upcoming releases, book giveaways and more at: eepurl.com/bt2nEL
And feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She would love to hear from you!
Book Club Pick:
I use Goodread's rating scale
1 star – didn’t like it
2 stars – it was OK
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was so amazing, it's on my reread pile!