Circling Back to You
Grade : C+

Loves strikes a brokerage firm in the charming Circling Back to You, which features a quick paced romance and some relatable, enjoyable characters.  But the slightly-imperfect style here kept this from a higher grade.

LA native Matt Escanilla is Cadence Lim’s favorite co-worker at Prism, a brokerage firm in San Francisco. They have cubicles directly next to one another, which means crushes and a percolating friendship, but no fraternization.  While Cadence has worked her way up from accounting to the sales team, Matt is Prism’s most valuable broker.  Neither of them have very lively love lives, and Matt’s family desperately yearns for him to marry.  Matt is planning on getting a promotion, saving money, and leaving San Francisco, while Cadence wants a different job but would do anything to get out of the city due to an ongoing conflict with her father that keeps them estranged.

A business trip changes everything when the Cadence and Matt end up in Los Angeles together.  Matt is striving to impress so he can get that raise, so making a good impression is of optimal importance. And to get his family off his back about getting married, Matt asks Cadence to pretend to be his fiancée. While Matt supports Cadence through the difficult work of mending things with her father, Matt’s grandma pushes them together romantically.  That prompts Matt and Cadence to recognize their simmering feelings, but when they return from the trip romantically entangled, it turns up they’re both in line for the same promotion, which they both want for entirely different reasons.  Who will win?  Can their relationship survive?  Will Cadence mend her relationship with her dad?”

Circling Back to You is a very pleasant romance with decent tension, though there’s a spark missing from its brew.  I can’t tell if it’s a lack of original thought or a writing style that lacks punch, but though the storyline is fun and I really like most of the characters, the book fails to completely come alive for me.

It's hard not to love Matt’s family, including his matchmaker lola, who is a spark of light and wit that keeps the book from falling into the low-Cs.  Matt is a great cinnamon roll and I loved him so much.

Cadence is a bit more reserved, but is still sympathetic. The problem is that the central conflict involving her dad is based on behavior from her childhood.  She talks about it to Matt, she speaks about it to her brother but there really isn’t enough of Cadence’s dad being a jerk on page to justify her constant loathing of him when he’s mainly portrayed as a reformed man in the present.

The relationship between Cadence and Matt is sweet, but moves in a herky-jerky manner; at first the author seems to be going the slow-burn route, but the couple quickly falls into a sexual relationship once they’re together, and then the strain of competition gets between them wrecks things.  It’s still a fine relationship, but not a particularly exciting one.

Circling Back To You isn’t the best romance of the year, but it’s also not the worst.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local independent retailer

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Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes
Grade : C+

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : July 18, 2022

Publication Date: 07/2022

Review Tags: AoC PoC coworkers

Recent Comments …

  1. This sounds great. I’ve been reading a lot of historical mysteries lately and loving them, though less Victorian and more…

Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
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