Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Review - - Love, Lies and Cherry Pie

Love, Lies and Cherry Pie
by Jackie Lau
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: May 7, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

Mark Chan this. Mark Chan that.

Writer and barista Emily Hung is tired of hearing about the great Mark Chan, the son of her parents’ friends. You’d think he single-handedly stopped climate change and ended child poverty from the way her mother raves about him. But in reality, he’s just a boring, sweater-vest-wearing engineer, and when they’re forced together at Emily’s sister’s wedding, it’s obvious he thinks he’s too good for her.

But now that Emily is her family’s last single daughter, her mother is fixated on getting her married and she has her sights on Mark. There’s only one solution, 
clearly: convince Mark to be in a fake relationship with her long enough to put an end to her mom’s meddling. He reluctantly agrees.

Unfortunately, lying isn’t enough. Family friends keep popping up at their supposed dates—including a bubble tea shop and cake-decorating class—so they’ll have to spend more time together to make their relationship look real. With each fake date, though, Emily realizes that Mark’s not quite what she assumed and maybe that argyle sweater isn’t so ugly after all…

PJ's Thoughts:

I hadn't read Jackie Lau before this book so I really didn't know what to expect. What I discovered was a charming rom-com with strong Asian-Canadian roots, complex family dynamics, a cute fake (to real) romance, and a delightful Toronto setting. I need more books set there. It's a city I grew up visiting but haven't been to in much too long. 

There's a lot to like about this book. First of all, there's Emily's family. Lau does a great job of creating this loving, but very complicated, family of four sisters and their parents. The tensions are visceral but the strong bond is as well. The young nieces are hilarious and so well drawn. The babysitting scene between the nieces and Mark is one of my favorite scenes in the book and when I knew this man was a keeper. Parental relationships are also well developed, especially the one between Emily and her mom. I love how this relationship evolves over the course of the story. There's a discussion between them near the end of the book that I wasn't expecting but that brought me to tears. For good reasons. 

Friendships are also an important part of Emily's life. The relationships with her two girlfriends are lively, supportive, funny, and real. I enjoyed the humor and heart that they brought to the story. 

The first half of the book is almost entirely from Emily's point of view so I was surprised - but pleased - when it suddenly shifted to Mark's. It was fun to get inside his thoughts and see things from his perspective. The second half picked up the pace and I became more invested in their relationship, largely due to that dual perspective. 

If you're looking for a fun, slow-burn, rom-com with emotional depth, strong Asian-Canadian rep, drool-worthy food, matchmaking mamas, and a hard-won happy ending, give Love, Lies, and Cherry Pie a try. 


  1. Thanks for the review and the introduction to a new to me author. She does sound like someone with a sense of humor and that is what I love. And of course we all need a HEA in our lives. Thanks.

  2. Great review thank you. Sounds good

  3. Thanks so much for the review and recommendation. This sounds like a delightful book. I will have to look for it.