Fake Dates and Mooncakes | Sher Lee


Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee 

Out now from Halo Publishing International; 272 pages

About the Author: “Sher Lee writes rom-coms and fantasy novels for teens. She lives in Singapore and has an abiding love for local street food (including an incredible weakness for xiao long bao)” (Bio from author’s website). 

Find Sher Lee on the following platforms: 

“Clearly, the universal love language is food.” 

Fake Dates and Mooncakes follows teen chef Dylan, who aspires to win a mooncake-making contest in honor of his mom who passed the previous year. Taken in by his aunt, he lives alongside his cousins (and an adorable corgi named Clover) above the family’s restaurant, Wok Warriors. One day, a food delivery mishap leads him straight into an unexpected adventure with the devastatingly handsome and unbelievably rich Theo Somers—who just so happens to need a date for an upcoming wedding. If you’re a fan of the fake-dating trope, mooncake-themed puns, and heartfelt heart-to-hearts, this is definitely a read for you. 

The characters are really what makes this story such a charming read. Dylan as a protagonist is easy to root for as he is empathetic, sentimental, and dedicated to his family above all else. His cousin, Megan makes appearances throughout the book and truly lights up the page with her snarky jokes and expressive sense of fashion. At the wedding, we encounter a zany cast of characters with expensive taste and a tendency towards drama. The love interest Theo, however, felt the most lacking in intrigue. His romance with Dylan picks up remarkably fast; therefore, their arc lacked build-up for me. Additionally, Theo has a miraculous tendency to show up at the right place at just the right time on many instances throughout the story, and I found the serendipity of it all unconvincing. In regards to the plot, I felt my enjoyment of the story was thwarted by the predictability of what was to come next, and I found some of the romance arc’s obstacles to be more frustrating than engaging—especially in the second half of the book. While this book is chock-full of heartwarming quotes and amusing jokes, the dialogue felt clunky at times. Overall, this book is worth the read if you enjoy a light-hearted romance and a wild wedding weekend, but I personally found several glaring moments that took me out of the story. 

(Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change before final publication.)

PRR Writer, Brooke Gorman