By Thien-Kim Lam
With her debut novel, Thien-Kim Lam serves up a sexy second-chance romance about exes with unfinished business. When working together reignites their passion, will these former flames sizzle or get burned all over again?
Trixie Nguyen is determined to make her sex toy business a success, proving to her traditional Vietnamese parents that she can succeed in a nontraditional career. She’s made a fresh start in Washington DC, and her first pop-up event is going well—until she runs into the ex who dumped her. With a Post-it note.
The last person Andre Walker expected to see in his soul food restaurant was the woman he left behind in New Orleans. Their chemistry is still scorching, but he’s desperately trying to save his family restaurant from gentrifying developers. The solution? Partnering with his ex to turn Mama Hazel’s into a vibrator pop-up shop for hungry and horny clients.
Thanks to their steamy truce, both businesses start to sizzle and their red-hot desire soon reignites deeper feelings. But when Trixie receives an incredible career opportunity, will pride ruin their second chance at happiness?
There were so many things I loved about this book. I loved the relationship and support between Trixie and her female friends, and Andre’s sister Keisha too! The sex positivity and the focus of sex toys and women’s pleasure were especially important and well-written. The food descriptions, both Vietnamese and Southern, made me starving reading this book. Trixie as a character trying to find her way in the world, with parental expectations and her own desires was an intriguing and complex character. I think my biggest problem was that Andre wasn’t. His reasoning behind their initial breakup does make sense but already left me on edge when he was introduced. Perhaps it was the length of time they were together. Ghosting after a month or two might be forgivable but after a two-year relationship is really hard to come back from. Then I felt that he didn’t grovel enough and that Trixie forgave him too easily. His automatic judgment of Trixie’s sex toy pop-ups didn’t help even though their chemistry was steamy. And then, in the end of the book, he makes decision and gives Trixie an unfair choice instead of supporting her. I loved so much about this book but had a really hard time with the central relationship.
*Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.