Review By Veronica

Love, Lies, and Cherry Pies is a fabulous fake-dating rom-com.

Favourite Quote:

“It’s you.” I barely restrain myself from pointing my finger in his face. I’m definitely not looking on the bright side anymore.

“Who were you expecting?” Mark asks, unruffled by my accusatory tone.

“My mother. I was supposed to meet her for brunch. A least, that’s what she told me. I should have known she had something up her sleeve. Did you know you were meeting me here?”


“And you still came?”

He shrugs. “ I was told you wanted to see me again.”

My eyes widen. “You believed that nonsense? After our not-so-spectacular encounters at my sister’s wedding?”

“Your mother was very…” He hesitates.

“Persuasive?” I suggest as I reluctantly sit down across from him.

“I was going to say ‘scary,’ actually.”

Goodreads Synopsis: 

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…

This is my first Jackie Lau book, but it won’t be my last. This is a fun and very easy book to read. Firstly, I loved the fact that this book is set in Toronto. It always brings me so much joy when Canada and Canadian authors get to show off how amazing they are to the world. I loved exploring Toronto with Emily and Mark and thinking to myself that I’ve been to the places they were visiting. It’s not something Canadian bookworms get to do too often. This book is for you if you love it when a rom-com is fun, witty, and bursting with quirky meddling family members. 

Emily’s family is larger than life, and her mother has the biggest personality of them all. She is overly invested in all her kids’ lives, but for the majority of this book, her attention is solely focused on Emily and the fact that she is still single. I loved all of Emily’s interactions with her mother. Her mother is such a character that you cannot help but feel befuddled after most interactions Emily has with her mom. But what I love most about Emily’s mom is that even though she meddles, and her methods of helping are a bit out there, her heart is always in the right place, which makes her super endearing to me. 

Emily and Mark are wonderful romance MCs. I always devour the interactions between two characters that have such different personalities. It makes for some delightfully awkward situations and misunderstandings. There is also all that prickly banter that exists between the characters. Emily thinks Mark is a snob and that he looks down on her lifestyle. Another strike against him is that her mom thinks he is the perfect match for her. Mark is a bit of a mystery for the book’s first part because we only get to see Mark’s POV about halfway through the book. We are given hints that maybe Emily is making assumptions about Mark and what he thinks about Emily. First, I loved how Jackie structured this book. For the story’s first half, we only get Emily’s POV, and then when things start to heat up between Emily and Mark, we are finally introduced to Mark’s POV. I’ve never read a rom-com structure like this, but I have to say I really liked it. 

Emily’s character growth is around matters of the heart. Not just romantic matters but also family matters. There is a bit of tension between Emily and her family because she has decided to leave her job and become a writer. Emily believes that her family doesn’t take her writing job seriously and that her parents are disappointed in her. I like being a part of Emily’s journey. Her family aren’t bad people; there is just a slight lack of communication that exists within her family. 

The romance in this book was oh-so-nice. If you love fake dating, one-bed, and opposites attract tropes, then you will enjoy the love story between Emily and Mark. Fake dating is not one of my favourite tropes, but when it’s done right, I usually find I don’t mind it so much, and in this case, it was done right. I think it was the fact that these two had to go to such extremes to fool their parents into believing that they were actually dating. It injected this humorous element into the whole fake-dating trope that just sucked me in. Mark definitely fell first, and it was pretty clear that he wanted to date Emily for real well before Emily admitted she had feelings for Mark. I like these two together. Mark is a kind and quiet soul who values Emily and thinks her career as an author is amazing. Also, don’t be fooled by Mark’s quiet personality; when it comes to those more spicy moments, this man knows how to take care and talk dirty. 

Love, Lies, and Cherry Pies is a satisfying rom-com that will have you laughing and swooning the whole time you read it. 

Thank you, Simon and Schuster Canada, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.