As far as I am concerned, there are only 2 categories of holiday reading–romance novels and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The end of the year is often hectic and it’s nice to take a moment and remember that love is real and ghosts sometimes yell at stingy rich guys.
The thing about romance novels is that they’re predictable in all the best of ways. When The Wind Chimes by Mary Ting is no exception. A poor, talented and somewhat insecure artist goes to visit her family in Hawaii for Christmas, where she’s magnetically drawn to a fantastically rich, impossibly perfect, aloof single dad. I bet you can guess exactly how the story goes just from that very brief description(and if you can’t, where have you been, friend?) There’s a little Christmas magic, some good family scenes, and a lot of awkward attraction that blossoms into unrealistically quick love–and I’m here for all of that. It’s exactly the kind of cheerful, light entertainment I crave for the holidays. ⠀
While reading this book, it occurred to me that this is the first romance novel with an Asian-American biracial heroine written by an Asian-American author that I’ve ever read. As a genre, romance has its fair share of fetish and stereotype issues, but Kate, the star of this book, loves her family, gets her man and lives her life without ONCE talking about the shape of her eyes or her immigrant parents. It’s refreshing to see, to be honest. ⠀⠀
One more thing–apparently it’s good to add the steam level in romance novel reviews. There is no steam whatsoever in this book. It’s remarkably chaste and relies more on emotions than . Having to rely on emotional chemistry rather than lust is challenging in a romance, and I do think the main guy could have had a smidge more personality and initiative to help things along–my only real criticism. ⠀⠀
4 stars and a serving of figgy pudding to Mary Ting’s When The Wind Chimes.
(Many thanks to Hidden Gems Books for sending an eARC in exchange for a fair review of this book. This blog has affiliate relationships, and clicks/purchases may result in a commission being earned.)