Book Reviews

Review: Circling Back to You by Julie Tieu

Having really enjoyed The Donut Trap, I adored Circling Back to You. Tieu’s characters truly shine and this friends to lovers romance is a fun and precious story. I loved the work wife/husband to romance vibes! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


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.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Circling Back to You is a dual POV, friends to lovers, workplace romance, and fake dating! Yes that’s a lot of tropes and keywords, but I immediately wanted to put it on your radar if you were interested! Being dual POV is a fantastic choice because you can see Cadence’s crush developing, while also seeing the ways Matt starts to see her in a different light. Those moments of recognition are truly some of my favorite moments! Plus their chemistry and the ways in which they are sort of opposites on paper? So fun!

And throughout Circling Back to You, seeing them get to know each other as people is fabulous. The pacing is wonderful because it never feels rushed or like there aren’t enough moments of them together. We can see the ways they unfold around each other, start to open up about those real insecurities and doubts. While Cadence is my favorite – because we gotta love an organized heroine – I adored Matt’s commitment and flair. Plus we have the same favorite Fast and the Furious movie.

In Circling Back to You, we get to peek behind what we think we know about someone. Even if we spend hours next to them, there’s always more to know. Cadence and Matt face challenges. They have to re-think we we are used to, what we think we want, to make some big decisions. The pressure of dreams and the future of sacrifices for others, mixed with the expectations of family, our lives, and ourselves. Find Circling Back to You on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite work place romance novel?

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