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Back to the Good Fortune Diner

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Everville, New York — it's the town where Tiffany Cheung grew up, and the last place she wants to be. But after losing her job in Manhattan, that's exactly where she finds herself. Worse, she's working at her family's Chinese diner and feeling like the outsider she once was. The only bright side is that Chris Jamieson, the boy she used to tutor, is still around. Her high s ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 2nd 2013 by Harlequin (first published December 1st 2012)
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Resisting Her Rival by Sonya WeissBack to the Good Fortune Diner by Vicki EssexConfessing to the Cowboy by Carla CassidyJust a Family Man by Carolyn SeabaughBack to Mr & Mrs by Shirley Jump
Late Night: Diners in Series Romance
2nd out of 39 books — 3 voters
Nowhere But Home by Liza PalmerThe Rosie Project by Graeme SimsionCaptive Prince by C.S. PacatA SEAL's Surrender by Tawny WeberHeart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
45th out of 64 books — 45 voters

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Community Reviews

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Rebekah Weatherspoon
Back to the Good Fortune Diner was a lovely book. I don't read many Harlequin romances and I tip-toe around interracial romances because I don't enjoy being slapped in the face by racial stereotypes during my free time. This story has both a great interracial couple and realistic cultural elements that highlight their differences.

Tiffany Cheung travels a path I think a lot of 20/30 something year olds can relate to these days. She's armed with a degree, but not working in her desired position.
I liked a lot about this book. The characterization in particular was excellent. Everyone had a personality, insecurities and quirks that were their own. Both the hero and the heroine had difficult relationships with their respective families and, as is typical of Superromance's issue-driven books, trying to live up to their parents' expectations while living their own lives their way drives much of the conflict in the book. It's a conflict that I found easy to relate to, and I really enjoyed se ...more
After being evicted and fired, Tiffany is back home in tiny Everville. She's mortified to be working at her family's diner again, and desperate to pay off her debt and get back to her dream life in publishing. To that end, she takes a side job tutoring the son of the man she tutored in high school. The man she still has a crush on, of course. Chris is determined that his son not be stuck on the farm like he was, and to get away he will need a college education, so when he finds out Tiffany is ba ...more
Lily (Lily Pond Reads)
I got this book from Harlequin through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Solid 3.5 Stars!

I have to admit, I cannot recall the last time or if I ever read an interracial romance, so naturally my curiosity had me picking this book up.

Tiffany Cheung grew up in a small town called Everville, New York. It was also a place she couldn't wait to get away from. After losing her job in Manhattan, she is forced to move back to her home town and her parents house. On top of it, she finds herself wor
Tiffany Cheung has had a string of bad luck: she has no job, no apartment, and no car. She balks at moving back home and working at her parents diner – which is Good Fortune in name only, in her opinion. Not only does her family have a certain high standard that they expect her to live up to, but she has set some pretty high ones for herself as well. She doesn’t get a thrill from working in a diner like her brother, Daniel, saying to him at one point: “I hate that after all the work I put in, th ...more
At First Sight: After losing her apartment and job in New York City, Tiffany Cheung was left with no other option but to return home to Everville, where she's stuck living with her parents, having to work (at least some of the time) at the family's diner The Good Fortune, and with a mountain of debt.

Tiff never wanted to come back to Everville, where she always stood out for being Chinese - even if she wasn't really teased, she certainly was largely ignored by her classmates - and where there is
I think I'm dnf-ing this one, and yet I'll probably try this author again. Because there were things I did like about this book, in particular the author's willing-ness to write outside the genre lines by including stuff like an interracial romance in which race is actually an issue, organic farming, thrift stores and surly teenagers. But I had a hard time accessing the heroine and her "issues." I guess I needed more nuance and real, messy vulnerability. Also, is it just me or do previously non- ...more
I love that the cover hasn't been white washed and that Tiffany is having such a painfully familiar universal experience to start off with, but my enjoyment ground to a halt near the end (80%): (view spoiler) ...more
Heard about this book on a DBSA podcast, an interview with author Marjorie M. Liu, who said she had really enjoyed it not only because it had an Asian-American heroine, but because of how it treated that heroine. The Cheung family dynamic feels familiar but does not stoop to stereotype, and its effects, its depth and complexity reflect in every member of the family. The book also examines racism, through the romance between Tiffany, who is Asian, and Chris, who is not. My favourite part of this ...more
3.5 stars, rounded up.

Why I read it: I picked this on up from NetGalley.

What it's about: (from Goodreads) Everville, New York — it's the town where Tiffany Cheung grew up, and the last place she wants to be. But after losing her job in Manhattan, that's exactly where she finds herself. Worse, she's working at her family's Chinese diner and feeling like the outsider she once was. The only bright side is that Chris Jamieson, the boy she used to tutor, is still around. Her high school crush is hot
Andrea Guy
I love when Harlequin's change it up. I was instantly drawn to this book with the non-Caucasian heroine. It was something different from the usual fare.

I wish I could say that Tiffany was a fantastic heroine, because she wasn't. What she was, was a character with a lot of growing up to do. That's why I found I couldn't just love Tiffany. She had that 20 something's view of the world. I must follow a career path, I must get out of my home town, I must live in a big city etc.

I think most small tow
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
Tiffany Cheung is back in Everville, New York after avoiding it for almost her entire adult existence. But after she was laid off from the publishing house where she was an assistant and evicted, she had no other place to go but home. Back to her parents who constantly pit her and her brother Daniel against each other, and can't have a conversation without a horrible fight ensuing. Daniel is still stuck working in the diner, with no obvious advancement or use for his business degree, and Tiffany ...more
Terrific! If I ever decided to write a Harlequin romance novel I would definitely want Vicki Essex to be my proofreader / editor / mentor. IMHO, she's an honest-to-goodness excellent writer.

The only problem with Back to the Good Fortune Diner was the hurried ending with a speech and a hug and a kiss. I have problems wrapping my head around the speeches that Tiffany and her brother Daniel made when they found their true loves respectively.

I must have some sort of attention problem because all I
Hsiau Wei
This book tell the story of Tiffany who have to returned home after she lost her job and got thrown out of her flat after a default in her rent. The story started when Tiffany woke up after an accident on the way home. Tiffany have big dreams and coming home to her root is something that she thought she will never do yet here she is, back to her parent’s home. She is determined to find a new job that would take her away from home again but first, she need money to sustain. But to work at her par ...more
There were so many things about this book that I liked. I loved reading Tiffany's point of view where Chris was concerned. The differences between how she was feeling inside and how that projected to the world (she was freaking out, desperately trying not to jump his bones--he sees an ice queen who isn't at all interested in him that way) was amusing. Chris's struggles with his teen-aged son, and Tiffany's ultimate ability to connect with the teen were well written. I liked Tiffany's issues with ...more
Rachel Brand

PROS: Non-Caucasian heroine; loved the small-town setting; realistically handles issues of race and fitting in; Tiffany’s flaws make for interesting character growth; great secondary characters; good message

CONS: Took a while to become interested in Daniel’s sub-plot; William’s change of character seems sudden; Simon’s conflict wasn’t completely resolved

Tiffany Cheung hightailed it out
Karen Wapinski
This was a Sizzling Book Club read for me. Overall I liked it but I found it lacking.
Tiffany was an alright heroine; you never really fall in love with her. She's prickly and has a tendency to judge people really harshly. While I could appreciate her sense of being lost (losing her job, moving back home, losing her independence...) she never clicked as a real person to me. Or, she did, but one of those flat people no one really gets close to.
Daniel, her brother, was much more likable. he's alway
This is my first book by this author. I really enjoyed the way the characters were drawn and how they each dealt with life problems such as job loss, disability, and school. It really showcased that each of us in our own way is just trying to make sense of this crazy world we live in. Tiffany graduated at the head of her class and went on to NYU with dreams of becoming an editor at a major publishing house. That's all she wants out of life. Or is it? She never expects to lose her publishing job ...more
Bettye Griffin
I enjoyed this book very much. Its structure reminded me of the old Arabesque romances I used to read years ago, where you feel the tension and attraction building. The character development was a standout here; I really felt as if I knew these people and was a fly on the wall watching the action unfold. I also enjoyed a change of pace regarding the unusual (in romance novels) relationship between the heroine's parents, found it refreshing. The subplot was entertaining as well. I did feel that t ...more
Romances that cross cultural barriers are rare, and Back to the Good Fortune Diner does an exceptional job of showing the hybridity of second/third generation immigrants and the prejudices that are still alive and flourishing in pockets of American culture on both sides of cultural divisions. Tiffany is not always a likeable character, but she is interesting and realistic. The relationship between her and Chris develops in a realistic fashion as well. The secondary plot of Daniel, Tiffany’s brot ...more
I loved reading about both the Cheung and Jamieson family interactions as well as about the everyday problems that weighed on Tiffany, and on Chris. I liked reading about how the characters were trying to discover themselves at different ages and stages in their lives. And I loved the kittens. My heart melted and I wanted to find a kitten for myself right away. For cuddles.

However, I did not buy the romance. I didn’t see any chemistry between Tiffany and Chris, and when the compulsory I love yo
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

The writing quality was well above what I usually expect from Harlequin (I tend to avoid HQNs as a rule, but I may have to start reading the super-romances if they're all like this one!)

I enjoyed it a lot. I could empathize a lot with Tiffany - a smart, shy girl back in her hometown trying to find direction in her life, trying to figure out how to live with her family again, trying to navigate this mess of a thing called adulthood. The romance w
I don’t get to read about Asian American heroines in contemporary romance so when I heard about this book on the DBSA podcast, I knew I had to pick it up...mostly due to the fact that I am Asian myself. I understood the feelings that Tiffany had about being Asian in a predominantly Caucasian town. Growing up, she had her share of jokes, teasing, stereotypes and racist remarks. This caused her to resent her family and culture and I get it. By the end she grows and embraces who she is and I can ap ...more
Really enjoyed the read- it reminded me a lot of the Asian family flavor I get in Camy Tang books. Gee, they're both Asian and write multicultural books, go figure! This was the first book I read by Vicki, and I'll definitely be picking up more. I loved the cultural flavor in it (and it made me crave Chinese food, even though it is now suspect in terms of homemade vs. frozen thanks to the book). I also really enjoyed the emotional depth. There were definitely places where I did not like Tiffany, ...more
Back to the Good Fortune Diner by Vicky Essex is a sweet romance story about taking a chance and embracing change.

Tiffany Cheung has always wanted to be perfect at everything. Once she sets her mind and course she won’t change it. But after loosing her job in New York she finds herself going back to her parents house while she finds a new job. But admitting that she failed is not something she is comfortable with, and going back to Everville is not easy, for her family is the only Chinese family
Emiko Salim
I can relate to the characters in this book. The story is smooth, most of the characters are great, and as a bonus I was able to practice my rusty Cantonese.

However, I found it quite unbelievable for Tiff and Chris to fall in love that deeply with that amount of time they've spent with each other in the present. William's transformation from an insensitive older man to an understanding one - I only buy it because of that near death experience thingy. I was hoping that I get to see Tiff's parent
Suleikha Snyder
A sweet love story wrapped in the almost painfully familiar framework of family expectation — universal no matter how or where you grew up —Back to the Good Fortune Diner is yet another bright step forward for Harlequin's diversification of its category titles. Readers will empathize with Tiffany and Chris' struggles to balance their commitments and their dreams and become enveloped by the strong, vivid supporting cast. You might also crave authentic Cantonese cooking or some not-so authentic ch ...more
Electric Landlady
I was predisposed to like this book, not just because Vicki Essex is a fellow Torontonian and occasional Twitter buddy but also OMG CHINESE-AMERICAN ROMANCE HEROINE HOW OFTEN DO YOU SEE THAT? Not often.

I really liked the heroine, Tiff - she's smart and focused and not terrific with people and not always happy, and seeing her grow up and come to terms with her past and her family was very satisfying. Good stuff.
Disclosure: This ebook was provided to me free of charge through NetGalley for the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments, and ratings are my own.

Really interesting tale that had my attention the whole time. The pace was wonderful and the characters engaging. Beautiful storytelling that kept me on the edge of my seat!
Janeen K
Enjoyed this author looking forward to reading more of her books. Good insight on the Chinese-American culture, compares to most 1st or 2nd generation to America. The children are pulled between the two worlds. Actually shows what parents will sacrifice for their children. Even Chris gave up his college to go home and raise his son.
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Vicki Essex (pseudonym) is a romance writer in Toronto, Canada. She’d never read what she used to call a “real” romance book until she started working at Harlequin Enterprises, the world’s largest publisher of women’s fiction, as a proofreader.

After reading her first few romance novels, she thought, “If they can do it, so can I!” After all, she believed, like so many people still do, that romance
More about Vicki Essex...
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