Circling Back to You: A Novel (Paperback)
Julie Tieu, an exciting new and diverse voice in contemporary romance, returns with a hilarious and sexy new novel about colleagues who decide to take their relationship outside the office.
Cadence Lim has transformed from behind-the-scenes number cruncher to an integral part of the sales team at Prism Realty. But despite moving up the corporate ladder, her complicated relationship with her estranged elderly father weighs heavily and she can’t seem to shake the desire for a new beginning.
At least Cadence can always lean on her favorite co-worker and co-conspirator, Matt Escanilla. A top broker with an unsuccessful love life, the forever single Matt is constantly being nagged by his loving Filipino family to settle down.
Their relationship takes a turn when a business trip lands them both in their hometown and Matt enlists Cadence as a pretend girlfriend for a family gathering. The new after-hours setting forces the two friends to see each other in a new light, and their previously buried feelings rise quickly to the surface. When competing promotions threaten to separate Cadence and Matt, these office besties must work together to round up their ambitions and families to pursue their overdue romance.
Julie Tieu is a Chinese American writer, born and raised in Southern California. When she is not writing or working as a college counselor, she is reading, on the hunt for delicious eats, or dreaming about her next travel adventure. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her high school crush husband and two energetic daughters.
“For the rom-com fans, you can never go wrong with a Julie Tieu book.” — Buzzfeed
"Endearing, unabashedly tropey...Cadence and Matt’s very different, but equally loving, family backgrounds only enhance their romance. This breezy outing is sure to please."
— Publishers Weekly
"A workplace romance whose likable, well-developed Asian American protagonists have layered, realistic backstories. The dialogue is witty and insightful, with plenty of entertaining banter. Topics of grief, family relationships, and workplace harassment bring depth to the fast-paced, well-written storyline." — Library Journal
"Circling Back to You is the perfect friends to lovers workplace romance. Tieu has created two relatable and complex characters who completely stole my heart. Cadence and Matt's relationship is so realistic, I felt like I was watching two of my best friends fall in love! Tieu delivers a lovely and sweet romance I can't wait to read again and again." — Falon Ballard, author of Lease on Love
“Julie Tieu’s debut is a sweet and sparkly love story about figuring out what you really want out of life and having the courage to go for it. Many readers will relate to Jasmine and her post-college struggles as she attempts to find love and a new job outside of her family’s donut shop. I loved her family and the way they supported each other, even when they didn’t always understand each other. This realistic, donut-filled romance is such a treat.” — Kerry Winfrey, author of Waiting For Tom Hanks
"The Donut Trap is a fun romance as delicious as a perfectly glazed donut, but beneath the sweet romance, it's also a richly developed story about the diaspora experience and the overwhelming sense of aimlessness that so often comes after graduating college. It's an important coming-of-age story about walking the fine line between forging your own path and not disappointing the parents who have given up everything for you. Expect to cry and laugh, all while craving donuts!" — Jesse Q. Sutanto, Author of Dial A for Aunties
"Donut miss this tasty treat! Julie Tieu is going on my auto-buy list. Her writing is as fresh and warm as a newly baked glazed. You need this book now."
— Meg Cabot, author of the Little Bridge Island and Princess Diaries series
"A sweet, heartfelt romance about following your own path and following your heart. This relatable story is perfect for anyone who's ever felt uncertainty of who they are and where they belong." — Suzanne Park, Author of Loathe at First Sight and So We Meet Again
“This book gave me extreme heart eyes. The Donut Trap explores the post-college doldrums in a real and refreshing way, with a cast of charming characters, a sharp sense of humor, and a romance sweeter than frosting. A delectable debut!” — Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of The Ex Talk
“A sweet treat of a debut. Jasmine grapples with the messiness of her own family’s dilemmas as she balances their wishes against her desires. Can she find love on her own terms and do what it takes to save the day? Donut miss this book!" — Roselle Lim, author of Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop
"While Jasmine and Alex’s swift romance is adorable, Jasmine's post-college struggles and feelings of uncertainty carry Tieu's thoughtful debut. The Donut Trap isn't just a tale where a boy meets a girl, and they fall in love. It’s a family story in which Tieu perfectly builds tension between Jasmine and her parents as she tries to find her own path." — Booklist
"A sweet romance coupled with a bittersweet examination of what we leave unsaid as adult children, Circling Back to You will delight fans of Tieu’s first book and gain her more enthusiastic readers as her talent continues to grow. Tieu’s sophomore novel establishes her as one of the bright new voices in contemporary romance." — Elizabeth Everett, author of A Lady's Formula for Love
"Tieu’s writing really shines is in her explorations of complicated family dynamics—particularly for the American-born children of Chinese refugee parents—and overwhelming post-college ennui. The dialogue between Jasmine and her parents is often funny and sharp, and Tieu tackles their fraught relationships with understanding and warmth. Though Jasmine is desperate to leave Sunshine Donuts, readers will no doubt feel the opposite." — Kirkus
“While the sweet romance between Jasmine and Alex is at the core of The Donut Trap, Jas's very real family issues give it heart. Jas's failure to meet her parents' expectations, her struggles to communicate with them, and the way it impacts not just their relationship but every aspect of her life: these are all major plot points, not just details thrown in for authenticity's sake. The Donut Trap explores these issues from a place of empathy, and it comes together to create a quick rom-com read with satisfying depth.” — Popsugar
"A charming workplace romance, Tieu's talent lies in imbuing simple, everyday moments with romantic magic. Relatable, down-to-earth, with a strong family side plot and grumpy-sunshine vibes, Circling Back to You is feels like the perfect escape from the work-from-home doldrums". — Alison Cochrun, Author of The Charm Offensive