May is AAPI Heritage Month here in the United States and Asian Heritage Month in Canada, so I thought it would be a good time to rec some books by Asian authors. I had a tough time narrowing down the list, and also found a ton of books on my TBR when I was combing through my shelves and Kindle that I absolutely need to read now (I need way more time to read, obviously).
The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma (m/f contemporary romance): In this first book of the Singh Family series, the oldest Singh brother puts his own dreams on hold to come home and try to save the family's company. There, he meets Mina, a smart, confident lawyer sent to work with the company in assessing the potential buyout. Sparks, of course, fly between them. There's also lots of corporate espionage and family drama. I need to get back to this series!
Hold Me by Courtney Milan (cis m/trans f contemporary romance): Courtney Milan has written a ton of fantastic historical romance, and I couldn't decide which to pick, so I went in a different direction! Maria runs an apocalypse-centered blog and is very careful about preserving her online anonymity. She's been interacting with a commenter from her blog in emails and chats for over a year but neither of them knows the other's identity. When she meets Jay, a driven genius, they immediately do not at all hit it off. And they also don't know they've been talking for months. It sets up a fun enemies to lovers romance. There is a lot of casual diversity and intersectionality in this book, which is great. It's the second book in the series, but stands alone well.
Uptown series by Ruby Lang (m/f contemporary romances): This is a series of quick, fun romances set in New York City and dealing with property and neighborhoods intersecting with the characters in different way. Each stands alone well. The first books gives us an impromptu fake boyfriend as Fay (dealing with the end of a marriage) is harassed while on a house tour. Oliver (dealing with family pressure after losing his job) steps in, and the two continue the charade (and continue touring gorgeous houses together)...until, of course, the fake relationship becomes a lot less fake. I really enjoyed the house descriptions too!
Ash by Malinda Lo (YA fantasy with f/f romance): When Ash's father dies, she's left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother, a set-up very much like the original Cinderella tale that this book reimagines. Ash escapes into the stories of fairies her mother told her and dreams of fairies of stealing her away—and thinks her dreams might come true when she meets a fairy. But it's really when she meets the King's Huntress that her life begins to change and she begins to see a life past her grief. There's a lovely f/f romance and a suitably creepy fairy who has laid a claim on Ash that she must escape.
Holidays with the Wongs series by Jackie Lau (m/f contemporary romance): The Holidays with the Wongs is a series of novellas set around different holidays and centering different Wong siblings. In the first novella, the meddling parents and grandparents set up all four siblings with blind dates for Thanksgiving to disastrous results. Each novella is lots of fun—sexy romances, fun tropes, meddling lovable family. Read them any time or save them for their individual holidays.
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo (historical fantasy): The Chosen and the Beautiful is a retelling of The Great Gatsby and it's loyal to the original, only with the addition of mysterious, intriguing magic and a change of narrator to Jordan Baker, a queer, Asian American immigrant adopted and raised in high society by a rich white family. There's still a contemplation of wealth and status and the American dream, but through Jordan's eyes and with exploration of her identity as a Vietnamese American woman in that world. The reimagining is fascinating, and the writing is lush and beautiful.
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas (historical mystery): Sherry Thomas has a bunch of historical romances I could have highlighted here, but her Lady Sherlock series is so good that I had to mention it. This is the first book in the gender-flipped Sherlock Holmes series, and it is extremely enjoyable. Interesting heroine, complex. characters, engaging writing, and lots of set up for the series to come.
Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee (YA fantasy with f/f romance): This first book in the Sidekick Squad introduces us to a world where superheroes are common and where Jess, who comes from a family of them, has no powers of her own. She manages to get a paid internship, which has the perk of letting her work with her secret crush Abby, but then finds out she's actually working for the worst supervillain in town. She keeps the job—to spite her superhero parents—and then finds out that there's an even more dangerous plot afoot. This is such a fun series starter with an interesting world, lovable protagonist, wonderful friends, and a sweet crush.
Do you have any recs for me (though I shouldn't ask with my massive TBR!)?