Read These 5 Swoony Romances by Asian and Pacific Islander Authors Now
May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It’s also time to start thinking about vacation and poolside reading. Celebrate API authors and their diverse characters in these heartwarming and romantic books that will make you laugh, cry, and swoon.
Swoony romances by API authors
The Do Over by Suzanne Park
Lily Lee is a bestselling author on a short deadline to deliver her new career guide How to Land the Perfect Job, and she’s been interviewing at all the top companies around town. But when she’s offered a coveted position at her dream company, the employer’s background check reveals she never actually finished her college degree. Unbelievably, her worst nightmare has come true.
She returns to her alma mater to relive her senior year of college, after walking across the stage at graduation a decade earlier. Just as she starts getting used to the idea of being a student again, things get even more weird and chaotic when she discovers her computer science TA is her old college boyfriend, Jake Cho. As Lily and Jake reconnect, she sees that her late-blooming ex has done well for himself: the handsome, charming grad student appears to have his life together, while Lily’s on the brink of losing her reputation and her book deal. Things aren’t so simple the second time around.
Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee
Lizzy “Overachiever” Chung, Esq. doesn’t know the meaning of “can’t.” That is, she doesn’t until she passes out from a panic attack during her first trial. Her law firm gives her paid time off to “relax,” but she has no clue how. Jack Park, her childhood friend, wants her to rediscover the iridescent joy she had pre-law school and college and convinces her to stay with him in Weldon. He’s been planning to move away from his parents’ loving but overprotective gaze and, more specifically, away from Weldon and his family’s brewery, but that can wait a few more weeks until his friend finds her footing again.
But when an unexpected attraction flares between them while Lizzy tries to resuscitate a failing bookstore on Weldon, the two must choose between past dreams or their forever together. Sometimes the path to the rest of your life has been in front of you all along.
The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo
Lila Santos is ready for her last winter break of high school. The snow in her small town of Holly, New York, is plentiful, the mood is as cozy as a fuzzy Christmas sweater, and she’s earning extra cash working at the local inn—AKA the setting of the greatest film of all time, Holiday by the Lake—while moonlighting as an anonymous book blogger.
But her perfect holiday plans crash to a halt when her boss’s frustratingly cute nephew, Teddy Rivera, becomes her coworker. Lila is type A; Teddy is type “Anything but Lila’s Way,” and the two of them can’t stop butting heads over tangled icicle lights and messy gift shop merch. But when they accidentally switch phones one afternoon, they realize they’ve both been hiding things from each other. Will their secrets—and an unexpected snowstorm—bring these rivals together?
The Shaadi Set-Up by Lillie Vale
High school sweethearts Rita Chitniss and Milan Rao were the golden couple until the day he broke her heart. Now, six years later, Rita has turned her passion for furniture restoration into a career and has an almost-perfect boyfriend, Neil. The last thing she needs is for Milan to re-enter her life, but that’s exactly what happens when her mother, an unfailing believer in second chances, sets them up. Milan is just as charming, cocky, and confident as he was back in school. Only this time, he actually needs her business expertise, not her heart, to flip a hard-to-sell house for his realty agency.
While Rita begrudgingly agrees to help, she’s not taking any risks. To prove she’s definitely over him, she signs herself and Neil up on MyShaadi.com, a Desi matchmaking site famous for its success stories and trustworthy enough to convince everyone that she and Neil are the new and improved couple. Instead, she’s shocked when MyShaadi’s perfect match for her isn’t Neil…it’s Milan. Ignoring the website and her mother is one thing, but ignoring Milan proves much more difficult, especially when she promises to help him renovate the beach house of her dreams. And as the two of them dive deeper into work—and their pasts—Rita begins to wonder if maybe her match wasn’t so wrong after all.
Heart & Seoul by Jen Frederick
As a Korean adoptee, Hara Wilson doesn’t need anyone telling her she looks different from her white parents. She knows. Every time Hara looks in the mirror, she’s reminded that she doesn’t look like anyone else in her family – not her loving mother, Ellen; not her jerk of a father, Pat; and certainly not like Pat’s new wife and new “real” son.
At the age of twenty-five, she thought she had come to terms with it all, but when her father suddenly dies, an offhand comment at his funeral triggers an identity crisis that has her running off to Seoul in search of her roots. What Hara finds there has all the makings of a classic K-drama: a tall, mysterious stranger who greets her at the airport, spontaneous adventures across the city, and a mess of familial ties, along with a red string of destiny that winds its way around her, heart and soul. Hara goes to Korea looking for answers, but what she gets instead is a forbidden love that will either welcome Hara home or destroy her chance of finding one.
Celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by enjoying API authors and the characters in their books.
If you’re looking for other book suggestions, explore our online resource, NoveList Plus. Or sign up for Recommends, our personalized reading suggestions via email service. Or ask Library staff for suggestions during your next visit.