Adult Fiction book review

Give Love a Chai by Nanxi Wen

Librarian Laura’s Review of Give Love a Chai

Give Love a Chai is the second book in the Common Threads romance series published by Smartypants Romance. It can be read and enjoyed as s standalone, but it is set in Chicago in the Seduction in the City world created by the great Penny Reid.

Ten years ago, Ting “Tia” Wang married the love of her life, or so she thought at the time. Despite being madly in love with her best friend, Andrew Parker at the age of 18, unfortunate circumstances occurred and she left Andrew and her home in Colorado without looking back. Tia has found Mr. Perfect and can hardly believe she is engaged to be married. Her parents are overjoyed that she will be joining such a prominent and wealthy family. But, is she really feeling swept off of her feet and cherished, or is she merely settling for a comfortable future. The only problem is…a slight technicality in her “divorce” with Andrew from 10 years ago. Much to her surprise, a call from her lawyer confirms that she is still very much married (in name) to Andrew Parker. In the midst of her engagement and wedding preparation, now Tia must face bravely face her past and ask Andrew for a divorce.

Andrew must be losing it. Is his Ting Ting really standing on his doorstep in Chicago? Though he would be willing to pick up where they left off in a heartbeat, Ting is on a mission. She is not interested in anything but getting his signature on divorce papers for a divorce he thought was finalized 10 years ago. Ting has grown into an even more beautiful woman, if that is even possible, and Andrew can’t help but hope that there may still be a chance for them. There is the problem of living in different cities, the fact that Ting still believes he cheated on her 10 years ago, and her Mr. Perfect fiance…but Andrew never backs down from a challenge. Especially not when the prize is winning back his one and only love, despite what anyone else wants for their lives. All Andrew wants and has ever wanted is Ting, exactly as she is, perfect in his mind. Can he get past the walls she has put up enough to remind her just how much he loves her to this day?

This is a lovely childhood best friends to lovers, second chance romance, but it also deals with some tough topics of miscarriage and the loss of a child. Wen’s writing and characters are vivid and real, allowing the reader to really empathize with them in their grief and in their love for one another. The romance is swoony and steamy at times. Once you start this one, you won’t be able to put it down. It’s fabulous!

Thank you to Smartypants Romance for providing me with an advanced review copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book

Give Love a Chai, an all-new charming second-chance romance from Nanxi Wen, is now available in Kindle Unlimited!

Tia Wang’s Wedding Planning To-Do List:

  1. Find the perfect dress
  2. Win her future mother-in-law’s approval
  3. Divorce her not-so-ex husband, Andrew Parker

When she fell in love and married her childhood best friend on a whim in Vegas, Tia innocently thought love conquered all. Turns out, that was a crushing lie. Her world shattered as she and Andrew were torn apart by secrets and mistakes.

Ten years later, Tia has left the pain behind and carved out a new life with Mr. Perfect. The only thing standing between her and happily ever after? A divorce from Andrew.

It should have been easy for Andrew to sign his name on the dotted line. Independent, prickly, and always in control, Andrew has done everything to escape his past. But seeing Tia on his doorstep after all these years? He can’t help wondering what might have been. Andrew has never forgotten Tia and vows to fight for their relationship this time around. If he has to hold those divorce papers hostage to get his second chance, he will.

Feelings resurface, stronger and more complex than ever. But Tia and Andrew have more than Mr. Perfect between them. Can they overcome past mistakes to forge a future together, or will new threats ruin their second chance at forever?

‘Give Love a Chai’ is a full-length contemporary romance, and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Common Threads series, Seduction in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
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Audiobook: Coming later this year!

Excerpt
I didn’t care what Andrew Parker thought.
Not anymore.
Still, I put on some lip balm before I could think too much about why and opened the door. Andrew sat by the little island in his kitchen, hands gripping a beer.
Huh.
I had never seen him drink alcohol before. Unlike pretty much everyone that I knew, he had been very intentional about not engaging in underage drinking. It made me sad to think about all of the changes that I missed, moments that I had expected to be part of if he hadn’t pushed me away.
Now, I was getting angry. I held on to that anger. Anger was easy. Anger had carried me through the first few months after he had betrayed me, especially when I was railing against the world in those awful days in the hospital.
Oblivious to my anger, he looked up. “You still smell like those fruity Lip Smackers you used to love, Ting.” His gray eyes roamed over me. A single dimple flashed at me, as his lips tugged to one side.
I couldn’t believe he still remembered my fondness for Lip Smackers. I had been using them since I first immigrated to the United States from China and discovered them in the aisle of some supermarket. I was the only person over the age of ten that still used them, but I was loyal to what I liked. Unlike Mr. Cool in front of me. “I don’t go by Ting anymore. It’s Tia now.”
“When did you decide that?” Andrew asked, unfurling himself to standing. His six feet two inches of muscles towered over me. The large kitchen suddenly felt small. Andrew the man had a presence that overwhelmed me in a way that Andrew the boy had never.
“Almost ten years ago when I needed a fresh start. I wanted a name that helped me to fit in,” I said, daring him to say anything.
His only response was the tightening of his shoulders. I couldn’t tell if he was reacting to my dig about a fresh start, or to me changing my name after years of him encouraging me to keep my given name. When we first met twenty years ago, we had bonded over not fitting in. As much as he told me “screw them” when our classmates made fun of my foreign-sounding name, my faint accent, or squinted their eyes while saying “konnichiwa” despite my protests that I was from China, I had cared too much. My name was the part of me that was the easiest to change.
“Okay, Tia,” he started, letting my name roll over his tongue, as if testing how it felt. “Why are you here?”
I looked into his face, so achingly familiar that I could have drawn his features from memory. I let myself feel the full weight of sadness, bitterness, and regret wash over me. Andrew Parker was my past, an anchor that I hadn’t even realized was holding me back. I needed to move forward now.
In a voice that sounded stronger than I felt, I said, “I want a divorce.”

About Nanxi Wen

Nanxi Wen thought she was going to write the greatest historical novel. Turns out, her characters decided that they want to be in the 21st century with modern plumbing, online shopping, and reality TV shows. Her first book comes out in February 2021 – Give Love a Chai.
She lives in New England with her husband and two clingy monkeys (aka toddlers). When she is not despairing over word count, she enjoys reading, snacking, drinking coffee, sitting by the fireplace, hanging out with friends (far apart and with masks) and daydreaming.
Find Nanxi Wen online
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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NanxiWrites/
Facebook Reader Group: http://bit.ly/3nb3Kxp
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nanxiwenauthor/
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Website: https://nanxiwen.com/

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