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August 22, 2019

Man vs Durian by Jackie Lau ~ a Review

by MK French

Durian is a fruit with a rather noxious odor that people either adore or loathe. Peter So is one of those that loathe it, but Valerie Chow adores it. They meet when she spills durian ice cream on him, and the encounter leads to Peter agreeing to play fake boyfriend to her family. Perhaps it could even become more.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

August 2019; ebook (197 pages); romance
The blurb description of durian as "natural gas and rotten onions with eau de vomit" is hilarious and rather how I view the fruit personally. This gives you a wonderful idea of the tone for the novel and how it handles the fun fake boyfriend trope. Peter is a fun guy and goes along with Valerie's spur of the moment request partly because he was interested in her anyway, and partly because he's a genuine person who enjoys romance and relationships. Valerie is prickly based on her past serious boyfriend cheating on her, as well as a past accusation of sexual harassment against her boss that drove her out of her software development job. The incident is discussed later on in the novel, so we only know about the bad relationship at first.

Their families are just as much fun to read about as they are. While some of the stereotypes are touched on, in the sense that Valerie's mother wants all of Peter's background to brag to her friends and she loves the idea of a doctor in the family (and not just her Ph.D. son), there is a measure of individuality to the reasoning that we find out about.  Peter has his own laid back family that we only peripherally hear about, and he doesn't mind dealing with Valerie's. Her insecurities about herself and relationships are reasonable and dealt with in a sensitive manner. If anything, Peter absolutely is too perfect, and every guy should be more like him!

Buy Man vs Durian at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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  1. This sounds intriguing. I would have never given it a look due to the cover and title, but it sounds worth it.

    1. I know the title sounds goofy, but it's a really fun contemporary read. And I happen to share his distaste for durian, too. :)

  2. sounds like you found a book boyfriend. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental