“The game is rigged in a casino, just as it is in love. Love is a gamble, and the house always wins.”
Lucie Yi has tried love – it didn’t work. She’s decided that finding Mr. Right is a myth, and that finding Mr. Right-enough-to-have-children-with is the next best option. So when she meets easy-going Collin Read on a platonic co-parenting website, it finally feels like she has found her version of happily ever after.
But things take a turn for the worse when they move back home to Singapore where her very traditional family and remorseful ex-fiancé await.
With pressure mounting on all sides and her perfect plan unravelling, Lucie has to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice for a chance at happiness – and maybe, just maybe, love.
Lauren Ho’s debut novel, Last Tang Standing, was one of my favourite books in 2020 and I was excited to read her next. She returns with yet another story packed with humour and utter chaos which, as I’ve come to realise, is what I love about her books.
When Lucie’s friend recommends she sign up on a co-parenting website, Lucie is not sure this can work. After a few misses, she meets Collin who ticks off all the right boxes. As the relationship is meant to be platonic, they don’t have to live through the stress of dating. Instead, it is more about the social and legal arrangements of how they intend to co-parent.
Lucie Yi’s story is insanely funny and includes some self-deprecating humour as well. Even so, it carries a depth of emotion in her yearning to become a mother. A significant aspect of the story revolves around how the law sees single woman in the US vs. Singapore and how it impacts Lucie’s options for IVF or her legal rights.
When she finally does conceive and Lucie and Collin move to Singapore, as was the agreement, they realise explaining the arrangement to her family back home is another challenge. More so when they are particularly keen she get back with her ex-fiancé who cheated on her.
Lauren Ho’s protagonist is a smart, strong, sassy, women. Lucie knows the Ex is bad news but she gets easily swayed by his attention. And when the line between platonic and romantic begins to blur, she can’t stop herself from getting caught in a love triangle.
This is not a straight-out romance novel but a romance crossover with women’s fiction. It recognises a woman’s desire for motherhood without the need to tag society’s labels to every relationship. At the same time, it does not take anything away from the joy of experiencing love. It simply shows that the two can co-exist: side-by-side or together – whichever is suitable to the people involved.
An absolute page-turner that is witty, refreshing, and might even help you navigate your tricky thirties.
Book 24 of 2022.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2.
Available on Amazon*.
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