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Man vs. Durian

(Baldwin Village #3)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  170 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Durian is my nemesis. We have a long, painful history. In my opinion, the spiky fruit smells like natural gas and rotten onions with eau de vomit. Bleh.

So when Valerie Chow spills her durian ice cream all over me, I shouldn’t fall in love.

But despite her fondness for durian, Valerie is beautiful and delightfully prickly and stares at me when I take off my soiled shirt. And
Kindle Edition, 197 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Jackie Lau Books
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  170 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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K.J. Charles
This was a very soul-soothing read. A wounded, nerve-jangled heroine meets a laid-back-to-a-fault hero, with so much delicious food description I put on two pounds just reading it. Jackie Lau is a go-to author: you're guaranteed real, diverse romance that deals with the kind of issues normal people face and has a lot of fun on the way to the HEA. ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asian-character, arc
Despite durian's well-deserved reputation for stink, Man vs. Durian may be Jackie Lau's sweetest romance ever. Peter, with his gentle romantic campaign to win over prickly Valerie despite her love for the disgusting fruit, is definitely one of her sweetest heroes. He simply worships Valerie the way she is, even with all her hangups. Valerie's slow realization, despite her mistrust of men, that Peter makes her feel amazing after a kiss in an alley says it all:
I’m a failed software developer who
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, arc, contemporary
Jackie Lau's next book, Man vs. Durian, is so important. It is a lovely romance between a prickly heroine and the soft, handsome cinnamon roll who utterly falls for her after she dumps durian ice cream on him.

Peter hates durian, but he falls in love with Valerie who could be compared to the fruit itself.
Plus, the sensitive and important discussion of Valerie's need to use lube and a vibrator to achieve orgasm is wonderful to see depicted, especially how Peter listens, learns, and doesn't just ex
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jackie Lau has sufficiently conditioned me to expect some stupid misunderstanding that breaks the couple up that the heroine and I spent similar amounts of time in dread, wondering what was actually wrong. It was disconcerting.

Anyway, if you're interested in checking Jackie Lau out, I'd really suggest starting with this Baldwin Village series, because they've all been very, very good. The hero of this one is particularly dreamy.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. This is a very light read and it was perfect to sit down with on a weekend and just enjoy.

Valerie is feeling the pressure from her family, after her only big relationship ended the year before and she finds herself scooping her ice cream instead of working in the field she wanted to be in. In order to get them off her back, she informs them that she's dating a pediatrician named Peter. Of course, there is no Peter.

Except the very next day, she accidentally crashes into a man
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
As Malin pointed out, I have reviewed a lot of Jackie Lau this year. I discovered her this year. I am a binger by nature. She has a nicely priced back catalog. She has sent me a couple of ARCs. I really like her books. I did receive Man vs. Durian as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Peter So hates the smell of durian, a Malaysian fruit known for it’s hard, prickly shell, pungent smell and creamy taste. Valerie Chow loves the taste of durian. When they meet, they run into each other and Va
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Cute. Probably my favorite of the novels in this series, as it handles the nth hour breakup a bit differently. Peter's super sweet and thoughtful, which is great, though I did get a bit tired of the constant durian. Cheesy at times, but a sweet, quick read. ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the Baldwin Village books and was pumped when I heard that Jackie Lau was releasing one featuring Valerie and a man who hates durian. This features the fake dating trope with two Asian-Canadian leads and a very sweet hero that understands our heroine’s needs and doesn’t judge her for them. I really enjoyed this book. Lau has an amazing voice and makes it easy to connect with the characters and see their side.

While this may be the third book in the Baldwin Village series, it can be read as
Kristi (foxtail_too)
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, arc
I received an e-ARC of this book a couple of weeks ago, and waited for an open weekend afternoon so I could really indulge. I really enjoyed it as much as I expect to. Some of the things that made it special were the slow pace of the romance and the most excellent hero, the food (of course), and revisiting some of the other Baldwin Village characters. As usual, the food descriptions made me wish I lived in a more cosmopolitan area so that I could try some of these amazing dishes. And I definitel ...more
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Despite the fluffiness, this romance took on so many important issues. Here's a short list of what it addresses...
-workplace sexual harassment
-emotional abuse
-women getting shamed for having different sexual needs than what we're told is normal (normal is not normal!)
-family pressure
-job shaming

I'm not sure how Lau managed to hit all of those points and simultaneously write about so many different durian desserts, but she straight up did it. Also, the hero is awesome beyond words, and I
This was so cute and had two of my favorite tropes, cinnamon roll hero and the sunshiny one is in love with the grumpy one. Even better, in this case it's the hero who is sunshiny and the heroine who is a bit prickly. Peter was a swoony cinnamon roll, just head over heels for Chloe as soon as he meets her, even though she accidentally runs into him and spills her durian ice cream cone all over his chest and he HATES durian. He's so into her that when she asks him to be her fake boyfriend and pre ...more
I received an e-ARC of this book from the author for an honest review.

This book is one of my favorites of the year. It’s the third in a series that I haven’t read, and I loved the side characters. I will definitely be reading the first two books.

Valerie had a bad year. Her boyfriend cheated on her and she had to quit her job due to sexual harassment. She’s working at her best friend’s Ice Cream shop where she meets Peter. Peter is a landscaper who hates durian. Valerie spills durian ice cream al
Viper Spaulding
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a sweet, if somewhat prickly, love story

What a wonderful opposites-attract romance! Peter is laid-back, outgoing, amiable almost to a fault. Valerie is guarded, a bit closed off, and wary of men in general. She invents a fake boyfriend when her mother won't leave her alone, then when she meets Peter (and turns down his request for a date) she realizes he's close enough to the details of her lie that he could pose as the fake and hopefully satisfy her mother's incessant meddling.

The story dr
The Pink Heart Society
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-pink-hearts
Rated: 5 Pink Hearts Reviewed by: Ali

Fake relationship alert!

Yes, Jackie Lau's latest is a fake relationship and those of you have read her books before, know this is a trope she has mastered. Big time. And Man vs Durian is no different.

But this book is about more than just the deliciousness of Peter pretending to be Valerie's boyfriend whilst putting up with her love for durian, it's much much more. Lau takes on orgasms in a big way - there's no magic penis here. Valerie struggles to orgasm and
This might be my favorite in the Baldwin Village series so far. While it does deal with some serious themes with Valerie’s background—she left her previous job after her boss sexually harassed her and was kind of blackballed when trying to find a new position—the romance itself was lower angst. Valerie finds it hard to trust, but Peter is absolutely the sweetest man. He’s just really kind and GOOD and Valerie finds that almost “too good to be true.” I love a fake relationship trope but their rel ...more
Man vs. Durian was a another lovely read by Jackie Lau. Once again, I loved setting and the food, but I also really enjoyed the time spent with both Valerie and Peter's families. I found Valerie to be incredibly sympathetic, and I really liked Peter, though, like Valerie, I found him too good to be true. Which is, I think, a problem many people have with "good people." Deepthi's comment about Peter as a good "starter boyfriend" and measuring stick was really on point for how sometimes people don ...more
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ahhhh I loved it so much! Happy book sigh when I finished but also sad that it was the last in the trilogy. Reading about someone pretending to be a doctor was extra entertaining for me personally, but that's just the cherry on top. I glommed the whole trilogy in a row but I think this would be fine as a stand-alone, as it's the style where each book is a different couple. ...more
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A lovely end to the series

Another sweet, engaging installation in the Baldwin Village series. It's not only the charming characters and the brilliant meet cute, but the relatable humanity Lau brings to each story that makes this such a delightful read. I absolutely stayed up until dawn finishing this. Worth it for the tired morning to follow!
Paige Nicole
3.5 stars rounded down.

Not quite as good as the other two — it got repetitive with the heroine’s insecurities, and the constant reminder of the scent of durian was a bit of a turn off. Overall, a cute, fun, fast read. Definitely recommend this series, and this author, if you’re looking for a hit of something sweet.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying I tried to delay the ending of this book for some many different reason. I love the main characters of the book they are lovable and well developed. The story of a fake boyfriend turned real was very enjoyable. The book is totally worth the read don’t pass it up.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, 2020, own-voices
Peter might be my favorite Jackie Lau MC, which is saying something, bc they're all pretty great. He's thoughtful and sweet and just the right amount of persistent. He shouldn't be a cinnamon-roll unicorn, he should be the standard. More Peters, please! ...more
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
These are fun romances that take place in Toronto (yay!) and feature much more complex characters in terms of their ambitions, mental health, and family lives than any other romances I’ve read. Hooray for Jackie Lau and thank you for writing this series!
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Just not as fluffy as the previous books in the series. She’s a little too dark and he’s a little too manic pixie dream boy. The food is awesome but it’s diminished somewhat by how much Valerie hates her job at the ice cream shop that we grew to love in the last book.

Romanceopoly: Coffee Shop - food or drink on the cover or in the title
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
strongest book in the series
Fernanda Bomtempo-Marzo
4.5 Stars
L ✨
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I feel like Jackie Lau will never disappoint me. I loved this one a lot .

- The parents. Peter's mom is a painter, she likes to paint vagina or anything related to sex. His dad has an instagram account for his dog

- fake dating that turns into dating for real. This happened quickly and I liked it because after that they were still taking everything slow and respected each other a lot. The sex scenes weren't awkward to read because again they had so much respect for what the other needed. COMMUNI
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a sweet story! And they eat amazing food; it will make your mouth water.
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Totally sweet, completely delightful. And wow, I thought the conflict, such as it was, was so realistic and so well done.
Mar 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a book about a man that does not like Durian.
Until he meets a gal who wants him to be her fake boyfriend and she loves durian.
Dude has some choices.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sad this is the final book of the series. I've really loved it. But what a way to go out! Peter is absolutely dreamy and so laid back. He knows who he is and what he needs to be happy, which is such a refreshing change from most heroes. Valerie is not your typical heroine - she's introverted and needs her vibrator to orgasm. Peter works with both of these issues on her terms, which is so rare in romance. It's fantastic.

I also really appreciate the frank look at the effects of sexual harassment
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Jackie Lau decided she wanted to be a writer when she was in grade two, sometime between writing “The Heart That Got Lost” and “The Land of Shapes.” She later studied engineering and worked as a geophysicist before turning to writing romance novels.

Jackie lives in Toronto with her husband, and despite living in Canada her whole life, she hates winter. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, hi

Other books in the series

Baldwin Village (3 books)
  • The Ultimate Pi Day Party (Baldwin Village, #1)
  • Ice Cream Lover (Baldwin Village, #2)

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