Book Review: Fake Dates and Mooncakes

Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee ~ 272 pages ~ to be published on May 16, 2023 by Underlined (Random House Childrens)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Heartstopper meets Crazy Rich Asians in this heartfelt, joyful paperback original rom-com that follows an aspiring chef who discovers the recipe for love is more complicated than it seems when he starts fake-dating a handsome new customer.

Dylan Tang wants to win a Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition for teen chefs—in memory of his mom, and to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn.

Enter Theo Somers: charming, wealthy, with a smile that makes Dylan’s stomach do backflips. AKA a distraction. Their worlds are sun-and-moon apart, but Theo keeps showing up. He even convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons.

In Theo’s glittering world of pomp, privilege, and crazy rich drama, their romance is supposed to be just pretend . . . but Dylan finds himself falling for Theo. For real. Then Theo’s relatives reveal their true colors—but with the mooncake contest looming, Dylan can’t risk being sidetracked by rich-people problems.

Can Dylan save his family’s business and follow his heart—or will he fail to do both?

What I Thought:

*I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Random House Childrens for this ARC!*

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. 🥰

I am a big fan of romance, and I have been gobbling up any book that references Chinese culture (pun fully intended). Fake Dates and Mooncakes was a sweet and fun romance with just enough angst and family drama mixed in. 

I really loved Dylan’s family and how close they all were. It was so lovely to see how his aunt basically adopted him after his mom’s death. I loved Dylan and his cousin Megan’s brother/sister dynamic. And of course, I could never forget my best girl, Clover 🐶

Theo was a fun love interest. I liked how he pulled Dylan into his world with so much seeming nonchalance, while simultaneously quite obviously (to everyone but Dylan) pining for him. His relationship with his family was a sad foil to Dylan’s family dynamic. It was sweet to watch Dylan pull Theo into his world in return. 

I really did enjoy all of the Chinese history and traditions that were sprinkled throughout the story. It made my adoptive China mom heart sing. It was nice to learn more about my daughter’s birth culture. 

Overall, I actually found the romance to be a little lacking. I wanted more. I wanted to feel more for these two, but it just fell a bit flat for me. I enjoyed the story, but it didn’t floor me. 

My Rating:


I gave Fake Dates and Mooncakes 3.5 Stars!

Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below!

Sher Lee’s Website

Sher Lee’s Instagram

Fake Dates and Mooncakes on Goodreads

Pre-order Fake Dates and Mooncakes on Amazon

Are you a fan of the fake dating trope in romance? Do you enjoy learning about a new culture in your fiction? Let’s chat down in the comments!

Love and happy reading,


One thought on “Book Review: Fake Dates and Mooncakes

  1. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2023 – Whit Reads Lit

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