Thursday, December 27, 2012

Out of Fortune's Favor

Expected Publication: January 2nd, 2013
Back to the Good Fortune Diner
By: Vicki Essex
ISBN-13:  9780373718283

Everville, New York — it's the town where Tiffany Cheung grew up, and the last place she wants to be. But after losing her job in Manhattan, that's exactly where she finds herself. Worse, she's working at her family's Chinese diner and feeling like the outsider she once was. The only bright side is that Chris Jamieson, the boy she used to tutor, is still around. Her high school crush is hotter than ever, and he needs her help… again. Tutoring Chris's son is the perfect temporary job. Except, Chris finally seems interested in her — and is hinting about a less temporary arrangement. Talk about bad timing! Because Tiffany's not staying and nothing will stop her from getting back to her real life. But maybe what's real is about to change….


     Tiffany Cheung is back in Everville, New York after avoiding it for almost her entire adult existence.  But after she was laid off from the publishing house where she was an assistant and evicted, she had no other place to go but home.  Back to her parents who constantly pit her and her brother Daniel against each other, and can't have a conversation without a horrible fight ensuing.  Daniel is still stuck working in the diner, with no obvious advancement or use for his business degree, and Tiffany is determined not to end up like him.  So while she's busy looking for another publishing job in the city, she takes a side job tutoring her former high school crush's teenage son in English.  Over the years Chris Jamieson had only gotten hotter and more interesting, so when he starts showing an interest in Tiffany sparks fly.  But with the prejudices of a small town and issues from the past, plus their diverging career paths can Tiffany and Chris make things work?  Or will they only be a summer fling?  This started out very promising.  I liked Tiffany, even if she was a bit of a bitch to practically everyone and bordering on completely socially defunct.  She was still relatable and had a wry sense of humor that I liked.  Chris had a pretty hard life since high school, and I felt like he had matured quite a lot.  Simon was a teenager, and mostly a brat but the family problems and how he fit into them had me rooting for him even when he was a douchebag to Tiffany and his Dad.  All the issues with Tiff's family were mostly mis-communication and culture clash between her, her brother and their parents/grandmother who had immigrated from China and been raised in a more traditional environment.  I liked the slow build of the relationship, it was definitely realistic in that aspect.  My least favorite part was the trite, played out ending.  I felt like Tiff gave up everything that she had ever wanted because she was suddenly in 'lurve' which trumps a career and outside life.   It went against the message of the rest of the book.  Daniel's ending was far better to me.  Overall, a cute romance but pretty much exactly what you'd expect from Harlequin.  The treatment of inter-racial relationships was pretty awesome though.

VERDICT:  3/5  Stars

*received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is January 2nd, 2013.*

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