May is Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, so we’re doing a couple of mini-lists featuring some of our favorite Asian (American) authors. Last week, we highlighted some books which focused on race and identity. This week, we’ve compiled a list of tropey (in the best way) romances…which just happen to be written by Asian and Asian-American authors.
The book opens with Ethan crashing a wedding to convince his ex to run away with him instead of marrying that guy. Except he crashes the wrong wedding—and the bride, a complete stranger, still takes him up on his offer. Shenanigans ensue, as Ethan and Divya travel around the US, staying ahead of Divya’s family and checking things off her bucket list. This book is the best kind of bonkers: a ridiculous premise, and characters who respond to their outrageous situation in completely understandable ways.
There’s plenty of big feelings happening in this book, but the whole premise of it is based on the 2018 #planebae wholly imaginary, live-Tweeted airplane “romance” between two people who didn’t know each other. Throw in a little bodyguard pining for his employer, the employer pining for her bodyguard, and a little forced proximity in the country, and you’ve got a trope-tastic, swoon-worthy romance.
Looking back at my tags for this one, I wonder a little bit what trope isn’t a thing here? Summer is hot for teacher (Fox), and he has been since he was a teenager. Now they’re working together(!) and they’ve got a kissing wager going(!!!). This is definitely a book that is super fun (and super hot), but probably mostly if you just let your imagination go while you read it.
Fei Long is in a bind. He has to present his sister as a diplomatic bride, but she’s run away. The solution? Train a tea girl to pass as a noble lady! No one will know! This reimagining of My Fair Lady includes some of the best pining I’ve ever read. Fei Long and Yan Ling are obviously meant to be together, but must honor their commitments. Up until the very end, I wasn’t sure how they were going to make their love story work.
It’s a lot of drama, this book, but if you’re looking for an uptown girl kind of trope in which the uptown girl gets fired from her prestigious job as a chef because she can’t resist having kitchen sex with the neighborhood bad boy after he’s hired as a dishwasher at her restaurant, look no further. And then the rest of the book happens.
I’ve recommended Dev’s Raje series a LOT on this blog, but have you read her debut? Mili was a child bride; even though her husband never came to claim her, her status as a married woman gave her more freedom than the average young woman from her village. The problem? Her husband doesn’t realize that the marriage was legal and binding, so he sends his brother, Samir, to America to obtain a divorce. And of course, Samir is not exactly honest about his identity or intentions. TLDR: arranged marriage–dishonest beginnings mash-up FTW!!!!