The Ultimate Pi Day Party (Jackie Lau)

The Ultimate Pi Day Party is the first of the Baldwin Village novels by Jackie Lau.
Finished on: 3.3.2022

Plot:
Josh Yu is the CEO of a rather successful tech company. He has a pretty good life overall, although it is lacking in the romantic department. There is only one person he seemingly can’t impress: his own father, a retired math teacher who hasn’t spoken with him in 17 years. But Josh has an idea to finally get him to pay attention: he will throw a Pi day party. No, he will throw the Ultimate Pi Day Party and show his father everything he has achieved. That this plan includes working with Sarah Winters, owner of Happy as Pie and looking for her break into catering, is another bonus. The question is whether they will ignore the sizzling chemistry between them.

The Ultimate Pi Day Party is a sweet, quick read with two very likeable protagonists. In short, it is a very fun read that hits just the romance spot I was looking for.

The book cover showing a shirtless East Asian guy in front of a Toronto skyline.

The UItimate Pi Day Party is set in a wonderfully diverse part of the world, Baldwin Village (it appears that Lau drew some inspiration from Toronto as she knows it to make a fictionalized version of it). Representation obviously matters a lot to Lau, and so we get a lot of PoC, and a couple of queer people as well.

Most notably, Josh Chu really does a lot to counteract the stereotypical portrayal of Asian men – from his abs to his warmth – without rejecting Asian culture. His family is grounded in their Chinese background, with its positive and negative aspects. But he isn’t just a counter-example, he is also a fully fleshed out character, and his chemistry with Sarah really is very nice.

Sarah was cute, though she didn’t feel quite as well-rounded as Josh to me. Her issues with focusing on her business felt a little exaggerated and their resolution also a little unsatisfying. In addition, her fumbly distractedness caused by Josh also felt a little much. But that may very well be my own aromantic nature speaking.

What is definitely my aromantic nature speaking is my usual issue with the speed with which they proceed from meeting to telling each other that they love each other and wanting to spend the rest of their lives with each other. But that is a frequent problem of mine with romance stuff and that’s more my own issue than anybody else’s.

But other than that, I really enjoyed this novel. It’s fun and sweet and a little steamy and emotional. It made me smile, that’s for sure.

Summarizing: very nice.

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