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ARC Book Review: Lunar Love by Lauren Kung Jessen

Today’s book review comes from a debut author and has quickly become one of my favorite books of 2023. LUNAR LOVE by Lauren Kung Jessen is a heartwarming, beautiful story about two rival business owners and one seriously strong – yet incompatible – attraction between them. I snagged a copy of this book via NetGalley but it sat on my bookshelf (or rather, my Kindle) for longer than I care to admit. When it finally hit Book of the Month, there was no question what my pick for January was going to be. Now, let’s take a look at why I loved this book so much (and why our book club will be reading it this spring!).

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    ARc disclaimer: i received an e-arc (advance reader copy) of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest review. This in no way influenced by review and all thoughts expressed within are entirely my own.

The banter is witty and fun!

Lunar Love book review Lauren Kung Jessen
Have you read LUNAR LOVE yet?

I think what I enjoyed most about LUNAR LOVE was the witty and sometimes sexually-charged banter between Olivia and Bennett. Even in the middle of being rivals, you can see their attraction to each other through their banter. It’s almost like watching their relationship grow, despite them.

Bennett is witty and fun right from the start. I could easily tell that he was less rigid in his belief in the Zodiac. He used it more to guide what he was doing, but not to the extent that Olivia did. He seemed more open to new possibilities and it was easy to tell that his attraction was strong in the beginning.

Because of Olivia’s more serious involvement with matchmaking and the Zodiac, her witty one-liners would catch me off guard when they first popped out. I didn’t see it coming and then all of the sudden, she had me cracking up. I enjoyed the first person POV with Olivia because it gave an insight into where she was coming from.

I am a SUCKER for a good matchmaking story!

There’s something so romantic about matchmakers and when the matchmaker is the one who falls in love, it’s even better! I fell in love with these types of stories early on in my romance binge – through stories by Lindzee Armstrong and others. LUNAR LOVE shows Olivia trying to match Bennett with his true love so that she can essentially save her business. But along the way, it’s obvious that she’s developing feelings for him and maybe regrets her efforts to help him find love … at least, love with anyone but her.

“I don’t know yet how Harper feels about trivia or you being a piñata filled with useless, but interesting, fun facts.”

Olivia, LUNAR LOVE

I adored Pó Po

Olivia’s Chinese maternal grandmother was on of my favorite characters in LUNAR LOVE. She’s the one responsible for starting the company, she’s the strong matriarch of the family, and she is incredibly stubborn! I adored her and what a spitfire she was. Olivia has this idea in her head that if anything happens to Lunar Love, she’s going to disappoint Pó Po but it doesn’t take long to realize her grandmother just wants her to be happy. In many ways, Pó Po reminded me of my own Nana and I think that’s why I connected with her.

Lunar Love Instagram Lauren Kung Jessen
Have you read LUNAR LOVE yet?

A Clean Romance

If you’ve been around my Bookstagram, most of you know I prefer some heat with my romance. LUNAR LOVE is a sweet and clean romance that still gives its reader all the feels. Even without the steam, I wanted to see Olivia and Bennett reach their happily ever after. While there is no sex in this book, it’s obvious that the attraction between Olivia and Bennett is intense, thanks to the first-person perspective.

“In my almost eight years of matchmaking, there’s one thing I know to be true: love is like the moon.”

first line, LUNAR LOVE

A Solid First Line

Thanks to my Book Club co-host, I’ve been paying more attention to first lines, seeing how authors hook my attention. Right from the start, LUNAR LOVE tells you that this is going to be a love story. I also like the glimpse into how much the company (and Olivia’s life) revolves around the moon and compatibility. I’ve always been a sucker for a good matchmaking story and this one is truly original.

Want more LUNAR LOVE? Check out @PurposelyUnperfect’s review!

A Summary of LUNAR LOVE

Lunar Love by Lauren Kung Jessen

Lunar Love by Lauren Kung Jessen
Also by the author: Red String Theory
Publisher: Forever
Pub Date: January 10, 2023
Format: Kindle eARC
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Romance
Tropes: clean romance, rivals-to-lovers, opposites attract, contemporary
Pages: 336
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

LUNAR LOVE by Lauren Kung Jessen is the perfect addition to any romantic’s shelf. If you crave a cultural addition to your romance, this is it!

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Book Quote Lunar Love Lauren K Jessen
Lunar Love Book Review Lauren Kung Jessen

Hey book friends! Are you looking for a book that fits the prompt “book rec from a friend”?

I am happy to recommend LUNAR LOVE by Lauren Kung Jessen for the reading prompt “book rec from a friend” in our 2024 Booknerd Backlist Reading Challenge!

Haven’t signed up for the 2024 reading challenge yet? No worries! Just click the button below to visit the sign-up post (and snag your challenge FREEBIES – and the password to our Resource Library). Happy reading, xo!

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5 Comments

  1. It’s fun when you can see the romance blossoming before the characters even do. 🙂 Thanks for the introduction to Lunar Love.

  2. Your insights into the witty banter between Olivia and Bennett, the endearing character of Pó Po, and the overall charm of the story have me itching to dive into this book. I appreciate your honest and thoughtful review, and I can’t wait to add this sweet and clean romance to my reading list. Keep up the great work on your book reviews!

  3. I enjoyed reading this thoughtful review of Lunar Love. You did a great job summarizing the key elements of the story and providing their perspective without giving away any major spoilers.

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