Monday, February 24, 2020

Sarah's Review: A Big Surprise for Valentine's Day

A Big Surprise for Valentine's Day by Jackie Lau
Publisher: Jackie Lau Books (February 4, 2020)
Series: Holidays with the Wongs, 4
Genre: Contemporary Romance (M/F)

Amber Wong has landed her dream job at the Stratford Festival, and life is looking good. Sure, she hasn’t had sex in so long that her condoms have expired, but she’ll just pick up some new ones, along with some discounted Christmas chocolate, at the grocery store.

And that’s where she runs into Dr. Sebastian Lam, the son of her parents’ close friends, whom she hasn’t seen in years. He’s moved back to Ontario, newly single, and… Oh my God. He’s really hot.

The attraction is mutual and no-strings-attached sex is the perfect arrangement for both of them, since Amber has sworn off dating after a string of terrible boyfriends.

But what if their families find out they’re spending time together and start interfering in their lives? That would be a disaster.

Even worse? If they develop feelings for each other, given a relationship is the last thing Amber wants right now…

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Sarah's Review:

We have watched all the Wong brothers pair off and settle down, now it is time for the youngest sister, Amber Wong, to have her book! Lau has created a wonderful universe, and I know releasing so many books so quickly can be hard on a writer, I hope this is not the last we see of this Canadian town!

Amber is in marketing for a regional theater. She is a self-proclaimed “queen of bad boyfriends, with the cross-stitch to prove it.” As a cross stitcher myself, seeing a character who stitches her emotions, even the inappropriate ones, endeared Amber to me! She doesn’t want a relationship, but a friends with benefits relationship would be nice. It’s been so long for Amber that her condoms have expired. As she contemplates leftover Christmas chocolate and condoms in the local pharmacy she literally bumps into Sebastian Lam. He’s a family friend who she hasn’t seen in a while. And with the box of Magnum condoms he holds in his hand, boy has he grown. While a meet-cute in the condom aisle may not be the start to a brilliant relationship, Amber is curious about Sebastian's need for those condoms. She’s open to the idea of a fling and Sebastian may be just the man.

Like her other heroes, Lau has lured me into her universe with my kind of boyfriend catnip. Sebastian is “kind and filthy and enthusiastic, in his own serious way.” He wants to take control with Amber, but is concerned with her feelings as they go along. We learn that Sebastian’s titled “Big Surprise” lives up to those Magnum condoms. He knows that he is big but keeps Amber’s pleasure centered. One of the things I like most about romance novels is that, when done right, like Lau does, women’s pleasure is centered, important, and necessary. Amber, talking to her friend Gloria, says, “when it didn’t fit, he wasn’t frustrated; he just gave me an orgasm before trying again.” While humans are complex and consent is imperative, sometimes it is as simple as give her another orgasm and try again.

The sex is great and Amber and Sebastian fall into an easy camaraderie. While keeping their relationship from their close family is hard, it’s nice having someone who understands where you are coming from. We see the Wong parents and grandparents trying to help, but often hindering, Amber’s life. We even meet the Lam’s who Sebastian has to reign in when they think Amber is not the right woman for him. Of course, they catch feelings and end up together, but the journey to get there is delightful in all the ways I expect from Lau.


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Source: eARC

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Thanks for the review, Sarah! I also really enjoyed this one. Let me tell you, I was more than a bit jealous of Amber a few times -- dessert and fingerbanging? GOALS.


Until Next Time,

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