Lunar Love


By Lauren Kung Jessen

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$13.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 10, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

This sweet, enemies-to-lovers debut rom-com filled with Chinese astrology will undoubtedly prove to be a perfect match with readers of Helen Hoang, Jasmine Guillory, and Sarah Adams.

Always a matchmaker, never a match…
Olivia Huang Christenson is excited-slash-terrified to be taking over her grandmother’s matchmaking business. But when she learns that a new dating app has made her Pó Po’s traditional Chinese zodiac approach all about “animal attraction,” her emotions skew more toward furious-slash-outraged. Especially when L.A.’s most-eligible bachelor Bennett O’Brien is behind the app that could destroy her family’s legacy . . .

            Liv knows better than to fall for any guy, let alone an infuriatingly handsome one who believes that traditions are meant to be broken. As the two businesses go head to head, Bennett and Liv make a deal: they’ll find a match for each other—and whoever falls in love loses. But Liv is dealing with someone who’s already adept at stealing business ideas . . . so what’s stopping him from stealing her heart too?


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Chapter 1

In my almost eight years of matchmaking, there’s one thing I know to be true: love is like the moon.

Case in point: love moves in phases. New love is a barely there whisper in the night sky, a slow burn into brightness. The relationship matures in the first quarter, advancing into full illumination—two compatible people becoming whole. The immediate passion wanes but doesn’t disappear. Instead, the initial flash evolves into a steady glow. Like the moon, love is dependable. You don’t have to see the moon or love to know they’re there.

Both the moon and love are romantic and enchanting, can be moody and mysterious, possess dark sides, and have gravitational pulls on us that we just can’t control, no matter how hard we try. The moon was formed when a large object collided into Earth, a happenstance so cataclysmically devastating that produced something so beautiful. When two people collide, there’s the possibility that love will be created. There’s also the potential for us and everything we’ve ever known to be thrown out of orbit.

As a matchmaker at Lunar Love, my family’s Chinese zodiac matchmaking business, it’s my duty to keep clients and their relationships rotating on their axes and revolving in orbit. I make thoughtful and personalized matches based on people’s compatible animal sign traits. My years of hard work have paid off because I’ll officially be in charge of Lunar Love in just a few hours. By the end of today, its legacy will be my responsibility.

I’ve dedicated myself to my craft, so one day, I can be half as good as Pó Po, who has grown Lunar Love through the decades. Expectations to make matches is one thing, but when you’re the granddaughter of Lunar Love’s famously successful matriarch, whose match rate for Chinese zodiac matchmaking is near-perfect, expectations reach truly celestial heights.

I park in my usual spot in the public parking garage a couple of blocks from Lunar Love and weave through early-bird tourists on the hunt for breakfast in Los Angeles’s Chinatown. In the eight-minute walk from my car to Lucky Monkey Bakery, I watch vendors roll their boxes of vegetables and fruits on hand trucks and bump against early morning shoppers eager to beat the crowds. Burnt orange lanterns are strung between colorful pagoda-style shops, dotting the light blue, cloud-speckled sky. Vivid murals recount Chinese legends, the colorful mosaics popping against the dulled brick.

An incoming call from my mom glows on my phone screen. Before I can say hello, a voice at the other end frantically speaks. “Where are you? Never mind. I need you to make a quick stop!”

“I’m grabbing a late breakfast at Lucky Monkey,” I say, quickening my pace.

“Oh, perfect! I need you to pick up extra buns.” The stress in Mom’s voice practically makes my cellphone vibrate.

“Don’t you think the cake I made will be enough? Plus all the pastries Dad made?” I ask, sidestepping a man carrying a tub of fish. “Lucky Monkey’s been open for a couple of hours already so I don’t know how much will be left.”

“Pó Po wants cocktail buns for her birthday breakfast. Just choose an assortment of items, but don’t forget cocktail buns. Apparently, she’s having a coconut craving.”

I nod to myself. “Got it.”

“And a few Bo Lo Baos for me. One second.” At a lower volume away from the phone, I hear Mom bark out more orders, to my father most likely. “Have you decided on the balloons for Nina’s Cookie Day?” Mom asks, a question directed at me this time.

“Of course. I’m finalizing the details on that today,” I say, making a mental note. “Okay, I’m here. See you soon.”

As I approach Lucky Monkey Bakery, my stomach grumbles in excitement. The bakery hasn’t changed much in over five decades, with its unassuming façade featuring a single identifying sign written in Chinese characters. Behind its doors is a wonderland of sweet and savory baked goods with a variety of fillings and cakes and tarts that look too pretty to eat.

A wave of unexpected heat greets me when I step into the shop, the ringing of bells above the door the soundtrack to my entrance. Near the entryway, the yellow walls are lined with framed photos and articles from magazines featuring the bakery. A Polaroid photo of me, my sister, and my old best friend from twenty years ago catches my eye. Our noses and cheeks are covered in flour, our smiles almost bigger than our faces. I inhale the scent of butter, egg, and sugar and continue on with my mission.

The owners, Mae and Dale Zhang, a husband and wife who started their bakery around the time Pó Po first set up shop here, pack as much as they can into the small space. They became fast friends with Pó Po, and I’ve known them my entire life, so while they’re not technically blood related, they’re as close to family as they can get. To me, they’re just Mae Yí-Pó and Dale Yí-Gong and are practically my third set of grandparents.

Mae Yí-Pó and Dale Yí-Gong have established a reputation for making colorful cakes and offering the widest variety of Asian baked goods. Once they sell out of something, it’s gone for the day, so regulars know to show up early to get first pick.

“Olivia!” a voice shouts over the bustle of hungry visitors. “Nǐ hǎo! It’s nice to see you!”

I wave to Mae Yí-Pó as she carefully slides a freshly frosted cake into the display case.

“Nǐ hǎo!” I call out as I make my way to her. “How are you doing today?”

“I can’t get the damn oven to turn off. So other than being drenched in sweat, great!” Mae Yí-Pó says, sweeping her bangs over to the left.

Last summer, she chopped all her silver hair off into a pixie cut, which has accentuated her cheekbones and complemented her petite but strong frame. Mae Yí-Pó twists another fruit-topped cake on a pedestal so that her piped whipped cream designs are prominently displayed.

“I hear Monday’s a big day for you,” she says.

I nod. “I’m really excited.”

“It feels like yesterday that you and Nina were tiny little things coming in here and eating all of our steamed buns.” Her eyes flick over to the wall of photos. “How’s your friend Colette doing?”

I hesitate before answering. “I’m not sure,” I admit, tensing up. “I’ve been busy.”

“Well, of course you are! You’re in charge of the family business now,” Mae Yí-Pó says. In the air in front of her, she draws an arch with her hands. “Olivia Huang Christenson, Chief Executive of Love. That’s got a nice ring to it.”

“That’s not bad. I may need to have new business cards printed up,” I say, playing along.

“It’s about time you were in charge. Though I remember June starting Lunar Love like it was yesterday. Do I look as old as I feel?” Mae Yí-Pó wipes her hands on the towel hanging from her apron. She’s the one who taught me how to bake when I was younger. When Pó Po and Auntie Lydia, my mom’s sister who took over Lunar Love after Pó Po retired, were busy with clients, I’d sneak over here to help mix icing and watch dough rise.

“Not even a little,” I say. “Are you still coming to Pó Po’s birthday party today?”

“I wouldn’t miss it. Dale won’t be there, unfortunately, since he’ll be covering for me.”

“Sounds like he’s finally feeling better?”

“Much better. The doctor says it was just stress. I’m sure you know the pressure to sell has been increasing all over town, and with new restaurants coming in, it’s hard to compete with shiny things.” Mae Yí-Pó swipes crumbs off the counter into her hands as she talks. “Very dangerous to his heart. Have you been approached by the vultures yet?”

“Who?” I ask, confused.

“Real estate agents,” she clarifies.

“Oh. Not that I know of,” I say, thinking back on recent non-client visitors.

“They act all sneaky and try to befriend you, but at the first sign of weakness, they swoop in and try to buy your land out from under you.” Mae Yí-Pó claps her hands together, startling me. “It happened to our friends at the bookstore next to you.”

“We need to hold strong so we don’t lose the essence of what makes Chinatown special,” I say.

Mae Yí-Pó pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose. “Exactly! Good girl. Anyways, go, go! We know you’re going to do great things with Lunar Love. We’re so proud.”

“Thanks, Mae Yí-Pó.” I smile at her, grateful for the support. “See you at the party!”

I select a pair of tongs and a small cream-colored tray lined with parchment. I take count of what remains after the early morning rush through the illuminated plastic cases presenting the day’s fresh creations. My eyes fall over the seemingly endless options: sweet and savory buns, steamed and baked buns, egg tarts, mochi doughnuts, sesame balls, and Swiss rolls.

I squeeze past a woman loading up her tray with red bean buns and bend over to grab two ham and cheese buns with my tongs. They look identical, their browned tops glossy from baked egg wash. I open the case door directly above the ham and cheese buns to pick out Bo Lo Baos for Mom. She loves these sweet buns because they resemble pineapple skin with their scored yellow tops, even though there’s actually no pineapple in them. They’re Lucky Monkey’s bestselling item, so Mae Yí-Pó always makes sure to bake triple the amount compared to other treats.

Having already memorized the pastry placements, I take two steps to my right and secure the last baked pork bun. Then without hesitation, I open the plastic case door next to the now-empty tray of meat-filled mounds and reach in for the last cocktail bun for Pó Po. Before my tongs reach the puffy pastry, another pair of tongs swoops in before my eyes to grab the sesame-seed-sprinkled treat.

“Oops! Excuse me!” I look over at the offender who just swiped Pó Po’s breakfast. I expect to see the woman with the full tray of red bean buns, but instead a tall man stands beside me. I nod toward the cocktail bun on his tray. “I didn’t see you there, but I was actually here first. Would you mind?”

The man looks at me with a surprised expression. “Would I mind…moving? Sure!” He takes a couple of steps back from the wall of cases.

“Uh, no. The cocktail bun. It’s mine.”

The man looks down at his pile of food. “I had my tongs on it first. Therefore, I have first pick. It’s a law.”

“My tongs were on that bun before you ripped it out of my cold metal grip,” I casually explain. I eye up the cocktail bun, the sides still looking soft from recently being pulled apart. Across the surface of the bun, which is baked to golden perfection, are two white lines of sweet cream.

“That’s quite the dramatic retelling of what just happened. I’d love to hear your version of what happens when I keep the bun.” The man smiles, his cheeks pushing crinkled lines up around his delighted eyes.

I gesture with my tongs to signify my personal space. “I was clearly here before you.”

The man raises both eyebrows. “If you move too slowly, you miss out. What’s that saying? If you’re browsing for fun, you don’t get the bun.”

“I think it actually goes: When you cut me off, things are going to get rough,” I retort, slightly amused.

“Mmm, nope,” he says, “haven’t heard of that one.”

“You see, it’s my pó po’s birthday, and if I don’t get her that cocktail bun, well, I’ll be a disappointment to her. You wouldn’t want that for me, right?” I ask sweetly. I look into the light shading of his deep-set eyes, and for a moment, I’m at a loss for what color they are.

“How do you know that I’m not taking this bun to my pó po?” the man asks. His use of the Chinese term for maternal grandmother surprises me.

“You have a pó po who also happens to be obsessed with cocktail buns?” I ask suspiciously.

“Actually, my pó po prefers egg tarts. She’s got a thing for puff pastry and butter,” he replies, glancing over at the cases next to us. “But that’s beside the point.”

Before I can make my rebuttal, a young boy pushes past me to snatch the last Swiss roll out of the case. “Great, there goes the last one!” I shout, looking at the vacant platter and throwing my hand up to overemphasize my distress. Maybe this approach will work.

“I can tell you need this bun more than I do. If you really want it,” he says, “we can make a trade.”

“A trade?” My pulse begins to race. His eye color is on the tip of my tongue.

“Yes. A good old-fashioned barter,” he says, looking entertained. He studies me with his color-I-can’t-quite-place eyes, unnerving me. There’s a soulful depth to them that draws me in, making me forget why I’m staring at him in the first place.

The man clears his throat, and I refocus. “Sure. You can have my Bo Lo Bao, and I’ll take your cocktail bun,” I offer. I make a move for my prize, but the man gently clutches my wrist with his tongs, guiding my arm back to my tray.

“Whoa, hold on! No deal. There’s still a pile of those. I could grab five of them right now if I wanted to. Therefore, your trade is worthless,” he says.

On the tray, he has two slices of Swiss rolls (one rainbow and one vanilla), a Chinese hot dog bun, two curry beef puffs, and my cocktail bun.

“You clearly have an agenda,” I say, “so what is it you want? Ham and cheese? They look extra delicious this morning.”

The man vocalizes his thinking with a hmmm. “The cocktail bun for your pork bun,” he finally offers.

I hesitate and look down at what was going to be my breakfast, fully knowing it’s the last pork bun. “Your cocktail bun and Swiss roll for my pork bun,” I say firmly, throwing in a curveball. “That’s my final offer.”

He glances over at the empty Swiss roll case and pauses before finally agreeing. “I normally have a ninety-two percent success rate with negotiations. This is hands down the worst deal I’ve ever made, but I’m impressed by your bargaining skills, so you’ve got yourself a deal.”

“And I want the vanilla one,” I add, studying him. He has a kind face, his quick-to-smile demeanor disarming me. On his upper right cheek is a small coffee-colored beauty mark.

“What’s the difference? I’m pretty sure the rainbow Swiss roll tastes like vanilla, too,” he says, poking the dessert with the silver utensil. “How do you know this one’s better?”

“It’s not that it’s better. I just have a particular preference for the golden one,” I say flatly, holding my tray out toward him.

“Whatever you want.” A dimpled smile spreads across his face. I barely manage to pull my gaze away from the deepening, shadowed spots. I bet those dimples have broken hearts before.

He places the cocktail bun on my tray and hesitantly grabs his Swiss roll with his tongs, looking pained to be parting with it. “Goodbye, new friend. It was nice almost enjoying you.” The man places the slice of Swiss roll onto my tray and, in the same smooth movement, grabs the pork bun.

“Enjoy that,” I murmur. I can’t help but smile.

“Nice doing business with you,” he says, snapping his tongs playfully like lobster claws.

A snorted laugh sneaks out. The man gives a slight wave before heading to the register. I grab a few more baked goods before paying, lingering a while so the man can leave and so my heart can stop fluttering.

When I push the door open, I realize I didn’t wait long enough. The man from the bakery loiters on the sidewalk, staring at his cellphone. The damn bells above the door jingle, betraying me by giving up my location.

Bakery Guy looks up at me. “You back for another barter?” he asks with a pleased look.

I lift the heavy bag of food. “I do have more leverage now.”

We both turn in the same direction.

“I’m not following you, but I have to go the same way,” I say with an awkward laugh.

The man’s hair is a lighter shade of brown than it looked in the bakery’s yellow fluorescent lights. I sneak a look at his eyes once more. Hazel. His eyes are hazel. In the sunshine, I see that there’s a fleck of gold around the pupils. He stretches to adjust his posture, his shoulders broadening and expanding his evergreen-colored polo, which looks soft from years of wear. He comes off as someone who wants to remain low-key but still appear put together.

“No problem,” he says, sliding his sunglasses on.

I walk at his pace but stay about six feet to the right.

“What brings you out here this early?” Bakery Guy asks, filling the silence.

“Picking up breakfast. I meant it when I said I was bringing food for my pó po’s birthday. You almost denied a ninety-year-old woman her favorite bun.”

The man’s eyes widen. “Yikes. She’s lucky to have a clever granddaughter to win it back.”

I grin to myself. “What about you?”

“I just had to pick up something from my office downtown. I like to grab breakfast here sometimes. We’re looking for offices in the area since coworking spaces are expensive.”

“On a Saturday? Your boss must love you,” I say.

Bakery Guy looks over at me. “Work never really shuts off for us.”

I nod slowly. “Chinatown’s really changing. I can’t imagine your coworking space is more expensive than here.”

“At least here there’s room for negotiation,” he says with a smirk.

“I hope your future negotiations go better than today,” I say, thinking about Mae Yí-Pó’s warning of vultures.

My stomach grumbles louder for breakfast, and I dig around my tote bag for the vanilla Swiss roll and a fork. I pierce the roll, breaking off a bite with an even ratio of cake and filling. From the weight of the buns, my tote slips down my shoulder, sending my arm off balance. The vanilla roll wobbles precariously as my arm instinctively reacts to stabilize my bag.

Bakery Guy is quicker. He closes the distance between us and reaches out to grab my canvas bag. His hand brushes against my forearm, sending unanticipated tingles up the length of my neck. He slides the tote up smoothly, cautiously moving my hair back so it doesn’t tug under the handles.

My cheeks warm. I’m at a loss for words. Something resembling “thanks” stumbles out of my mouth.

“Can’t risk losing that roll, too,” he says with a smile. “Mind me asking your name?”

I glance over my shoulder and look him up and down. “My friends call me Liv,” I say. “What do your friends call you?”

“You have nice friends. Mine call me asshole,” he says with a joking tone. Bakery Guy reaches into his plastic bag and pulls out his own vibrant Swiss roll slice. Slinging the handles of the bag onto his forearm, he uses his palm as a makeshift plate. “I’m going to open this. Can I count on you not to try to swipe this one, too? I’m really hungry.”

There’s nothing in this moment I want more than to also take that roll from him, just to prove a point. Obviously, I won’t. Plus, his boyish excitement for his Swiss roll is too endearing. I nod, and he starts unrolling the swirly slice into a flattened cake layer.

“What are you doing?” I ask, perplexed.

“What do you mean?” he asks.

I nod toward his hands. “That!”

“I’m eating my breakfast?” he says. The confusion on his face is priceless.

“This cake requires delicate rolling to achieve the perfect spiral,” I explain.

“Really?” Bakery Guy uses his fork and gently scrapes off the filling from the center of the now-flattened spiral.

“I did not just see you scoop the filling out,” I groan. The colors of the rainbow cake glow in the morning light, the sides bending up and looking sad to not be living their full spiral potential.

The man scrapes, eats, scrapes, eats. “Did you see that?” he asks playfully.

“The cake and filling are meant to be enjoyed together, so you have an equal ratio of creamy filling to chiffon cake. And their flavors are complementary to one another.”

“I like eating the sweetest part of the dessert first,” he explains, taking another bite of the sweet cream. “I know it’s a bit different, but I like different.”

My lips lift into a smile. “Just for fun, or…?”

“I like knowing that the first bites of my meal will be good. And this way, I know I’ll have room for it. Don’t judge me!” he says dramatically.

“When you do something like that, you’re begging to be judged,” I say with a laugh. “I’m just trying to understand what motivates a pastry thief to do such a thing.” I wiggle another well-balanced bite off my roll.

Bakery Guy lets out a full, genuine laugh. It’s a warm sound that unexpectedly and instantly puts me at ease. He shrugs and then takes another bite of filling. “I’ve never met anyone so passionate about baked goods,” he says before diving into the cake itself.

“I enjoy and respect the process of baking. And it de-stresses me. Well, normally. Swiss rolls are tricky. I’m still trying to figure out how to roll the cake without it cracking.”

“Once you get the hang of it, you can keep your hands off my rolls,” he says humorously, his cheeks turning rosy. “What else do you like to bake?”

We walk side by side, the crowd around us growing. A bicyclist barrels down the sidewalk in front of us, weaving through people jumping out of his way. Without thinking, I reach up and place my hand on Bakery Guy’s shoulder, guiding him out of the man’s unpredictable path. He feels warm and sturdy, his shoulders sculpted but not so much that I’d think he spends every off-hour at the gym. I should not know this. I immediately pull my hand back, crossing my arms tightly.

“You might’ve just saved my life,” he quips.

“All in a morning’s work,” I respond with a smile. I squeeze my hand that touched him into a fist. I remember his question and try to pick the conversation back up smoothly, as though I hadn’t just caressed his shoulder. “As for what I like to bake, um, anything with chocolate like cookies or brownies. Cinnamon rolls. Sourdough bread.”

The man nods. “Very nice. Did you know that sourdough is the oldest form of leavened bread? Food historians believe that the use of leavening was discovered by the Egyptians. Until there was commercial yeast, all leavened bread used naturally occurring yeasts.”

“I…why do you know that?” I look up at him, amused.

“I love learning about history. Mostly so I can whip out interesting facts and sound smart at parties.” He grins.

“I’m sure these random facts come in handy when you’re trying to impress the ladies,” I say, looking away and rolling my eyes at myself. The ladies? Did I just say that out loud?

“Rarely,” he says. “Only when there’s someone worth trying to impress.” He gives me a lingering look, and now I blush.

We curve around tourists taking photos and lines of workers waiting for their breakfast orders. Six minutes later, I realize I’ve completely bypassed my car.

I slow my steps. “I’m that way,” I say.

“The real world calls. Maybe I’ll see you around?” he asks tentatively.

I pull my sunglasses off to get one last good look at him. “Maybe…if you’re even able to afford office space here,” I say.

Bakery Guy takes a step closer to me and pushes his sunglasses above his head. “Then let’s hope prices aren’t too high,” he says with a smile.


  • "ABSOLUTELY adored it!!"—Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author
  • “Tradition meets modern progress, and it's a delicious combination!”
     —Abby Jimenez, New York Times bestselling author of Part of Your World
  • "A refreshing and unexpected take on matchmaking! This will be a perfect match for any reader looking for a heartwarming romance steeped in cultural traditions." 
     —Jesse Sutanto, national bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties
  • "Lauren Kung Jessen writes supremely satisfying slow-burn and rivals-to-lovers. LUNAR LOVE's characters feel real, with flaws and depth and so much to love and root for. Where Bennett's strong determination meets Olivia's own steely resolve, there's heat, friction, sparks--it's a lit match. An incompatible match in zodiac terms, at that, but it just might be what both of them need. With surprises that are, in turns, adorable, wickedly funny, and heart-twisting, I'll be thinking about Olivia, Bennett, Swiss rolls, and LUNAR LOVE for a long time."
     —Sarah Hogle, author of Just Like Magic
  • "A bright new voice in romance. Kung Jessen writes with such affection, you can't help but see the silver lining in everything. A heartwarming debut that upends everything you know about love."
     —Carolyn Huynh, author of The Fortunes of Jaded Women
  • "A lovingly crafted rival-to-lovers rom-com about navigating the space between traditional and modern dating! I loved the contrast between Liv’s commitment to honoring her family’s Chinese zodiac matchmaking legacy and Bennett’s drive to bring traditional methods to a modern dating app. But more than that, I loved watching Liv and Bennett’s sizzling chemistry grow from their bakery meet-cute to their perfectly compatible happily ever after. This book is a delight!"—Farah Heron, author of Kamila Knows Best
  • "Prepare to laugh, cry, swoon, and rush to the nearest Chinese bakery to get your fix of Swiss rolls with vanilla cream filling! With You’ve Got Mail vibes, witty banter, delicious tension, strong character development, and a yummy cinnamon roll book boyfriend, Lunar Love grabbed me from the first page and never let go." 
     —Meredith Schorr, author of As Seen on TV
  • "With an endearing cast of characters and a heartwarming plot, Lauren Kung Jessen's LUNAR LOVE is a delightful romantic escape. Tradition and technology collide in this scrumptious match made in rom-com heaven." 
     —Dylan Newton, author of All Fired Up
  • “Jessen’s debut rom-com hits all the beats of a tried-and-true rivals-to-lovers narrative.”
     —Publishers Weekly
  • "Lunar Love has everything I love in a book: smart characters, a love story with chemistry, the nostalgia of family traditions, and a plot that is both emotional and laugh-out-loud funny. Oh, and did I mention the food? Yes, please. This sweet opposites-attract story shines brighter than a supermoon on a warm summer night. It has all the feels and will make you believe in soulmates. It’s a match made in heaven for all rom-com fans." 
     —Elizabeth Thompson, USA Today bestselling author of Lost In Paris
  • "Is it better to find a soulmate using ancient traditions or is a modern, high-tech approach the more efficient way? In this charming and original debut, Lauren Kung Jessen tackles the question with a breezy, tender joy. Lunar Love is filled with wide-eyed optimism and singular characters whose search for love will delight even the most cynical of readers."
     —Lynda Cohen Loigman, USA Today bestselling author of The Matchmaker’s Gift
  • "Lunar Love has a lot to say about modern love while securing its place as a timeless classic. Lauren Kung Jessen is an author to watch and her debut romance is both smart and swoony and will earn a place on your keeper shelf.” 
     —Elizabeth Everett, author of the Secret Scientists of London series
  • "Fans of Jasmine Guillory and Sally Thorne will delight in Lunar Love, a deliciously romantic tale about the true and wildly unpredictable nature of attraction, compatibility, and love. Lauren Kung Jessen's debut is pure heartwarming joy, complete with matchmaking enemies who battle over tradition on one side and change on the other and who might have more in common than they think."
     —Amy Poeppel, author of The Sweet Spot
  • "A heartwarming debut about two matchmaking rivals who go to great lengths to carry on their families' legacies. Readers will be charmed by the undeniable chemistry that shines throughout their test of wills. Lunar Love is a sweet romcom that shows that in the battle of tradition and modernity, love plays by its own rules." 
     —Julie Tieu, author of The Donut Trap
  • "LUNAR LOVE is a touching tribute to Chinese-American culture and the power of family. Set against a vibrant Los Angeles backdrop, this romance is packed with plot twists, thought-provoking questions about love and astrology, and sentimental scenes that will stay with you long after you read the final page. Bennett O'Brien is the perfect book boyfriend!" 

     —Hannah Orenstein, author of Meant to be Mine
  • “I dare you not to fall in love with Lauren Kung Jessen’s writing. Lunar Love is a sweeping romance that celebrates the deep-rooted family legacies that shape us and how these traditions evolve into our own. Brimming with crackling chemistry from page one, Olivia and Bennett prove that those who may appear the most incompatible on paper may just be our perfect match.“

     —Amy Lea, author of Set on You
  • "Can technology ever take the place of tradition? And can a couple that’s incompatible make love last? These are the questions Lauren Kung Jessen asks in LUNAR LOVE, a delightful, sparkling romance full of family bonds, a swoon-worthy hero, and plenty of delicious food. This super sweet read is perfect for rom-com fans!"

     —Kerry Winfrey, author of Just Another Love Song
  • "Love is written in the stars in this charming, cheery rom-com! You've Got Mail meets the Chinese Zodiac in Jessen's delightful ode to food, Los Angeles, family, and finding your perfect match. A delicious treat for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Helen Hoang."

    Georgia Clark, author of Island Time
  • “A sweet, buttery treat. An enemies-to-lovers romance with a warm and gooey cinnamon bun hero. It was an added bonus to learn so much about Chinese culture."
     —Jayci Lee, author of Booked on a Feeling
  • "Lunar Love has all the makings of a new romcom classic. Liv and Bennett’s chemistry-filled rivalry over technology vs. tradition serves as the perfect setting for a nuanced exploration of what it means to be truly compatible. Insightful, atmospheric, and breathtakingly romantic." 
     —Ava Wilder, author of How to Fake It In Hollywood
  • "Matchmaking meets the modern age in this delicious and delightful romantic comedy.”

     —Elizabeth Boyle, New York Times bestselling author of Six Impossible Things
  • "LUNAR LOVE is a touching tribute to Chinese-American culture and the power of family. Set against a vibrant Los Angeles backdrop, this romance is packed with plot twists, thought-provoking questions about love and astrology, and sentimental scenes that will stay with you long after you read the final page. Bennett O'Brien is the perfect book boyfriend!"—Hannah Orenstein, author of Meant to be Mine and Playing with Matches
  • "Can technology ever take the place of tradition? And can a couple that’s incompatible make love last? These are the questions Lauren Kung Jessen asks in LUNAR LOVE, a delightful, sparkling romance full of family bonds, a swoon-worthy hero, and plenty of delicious food. This super sweet read is perfect for rom-com fans!"—Kerry Winfrey, author of Just Another Love Song and Waiting for Tom Hanks
  • “Rich and tender in the best of ways, Lunar Love wraps an enemies-to-lovers story around a tale of family devotion and love.”
  • “Debut author Kung Jessen does an impeccable job helping two adversarial lovers find common ground in their Chinese American heritage and creating a slow-burn romance with lots of humor, family, and food.”—Library Journal
  • “A fun, flirty romance book with an emphasis on family, culture, and food!”—

On Sale
Jan 10, 2023
Page Count
384 pages

Lauren Kung Jessen

About the Author

Lauren Kung Jessen is a mixed-race Chinese American writer with a fondness for witty, flirtatious dialogue and making meals with too many steps but lots of flavor. She is fascinated by myths and superstitions and how ideas, beliefs, traditions, and stories evolve over time. From attending culinary school to working in the world of Big Tech to writing love stories, Lauren cares about creating experiences that make people feel something. When she’s not writing novels, she works as a content strategist and user experience writer. She also has a food and film blog, A Dash of Cinema, where she makes food inspired by movies and TV shows. She lives in Nashville with her husband (who she met thanks to fate—read: the algorithms of online dating), two cats, and dog.

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