Spotlight Review: SEOULMATES by Jen Frederick

Seoul, Book 2

From the publisher:

A Korean-American adoptee fights to be with the one she loves while coming to terms with her new identity in this enthralling romantic drama and sequel to Heart and Seoul by USA Today bestselling author Jen Frederick.

When Hara Wilson lands in Seoul to find her birth mother, she doesn’t plan on falling in love with the first man she lays eyes on, but Choi Yujun is irresistible. If his broad shoulders and dimples weren’t enough, Choi Yujun is the most genuine, decent, gorgeous guy to exist. Too bad he’s also her stepbrother.

Fate brought her to the Choi doorstep but the gift of family comes with burdens. A job in her mother’s company has perks of endless company dinners and super resentful coworkers. A new country means learning a new language which twenty-five year old Hara is finding to be a Herculean task. A forbidden love means having to choose between her birth family or Choi Yujun.

All Hara wanted was to find a place to belong in this world—but in order to have it all, she’ll have to risk it all.

One of Amazon’s Best Romances of January 2022!

This is the follow up to Heart and Seoul, which ended on a cliff hanger so I was all in. These books were marketed as romance, but the first one did not have the “happily ever after” requirement that most romance readers look for. This time, there is a HEA.

So while this has the happy ending, the book is again a more immersive dive into family and Korean culture than romance. Hara and Yujun met and fell in love in the first book, so we don’t get the meet-cute here. Instead, we get a lot of Korean family values and why these two cannot be together. Yujun seems more invested while Hara is more torn about everything. But that makes sense; as a character, Yujun is strong and self assured while Hara questions everything in her life.

Hara is now working for her birth mother in the company Yujun helps run. Needless to say, her boss and co-workers in the marketing department are not thrilled to have nepotism thrust in their faces. She is living with her birth mother in an enormous house in Seoul, and her mother showers her with gifts, mostly designer wear, which makes Hara uncomfortable. She misses her mom and wishes she had a better relationship with her birth mother, who is a bit standoffish. She hates her job, is bored most of the time, and doesn’t get to spend nearly enough time with Yujun as his mother keeps him away as much as possible.

The more we learn about customs in Korea, the more impossible it seems for Hara and Yujun to stay together or have any kind of future. But a happy ending is eked out. This is again more women’s fiction or multicultural fiction than romance, but it is an enjoyable read if you adjust your expectations accordingly.

1/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

SEOULMATES by Jen Frederick. Berkley (January 25, 2022). ISBN: 978-0593100165. 304p.







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