Cover Image: Lies and Weddings

Lies and Weddings

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Pages: 432 / Genre: Romcom

Rufus Gresham has always known that he would someday be the Earl of Greshambury, something he absolutely dreads. He’d rather live a simple life in Hawaii as an artist. But his mother, a former Hong Kong supermodel, who came from nothing and faced racism growing up Chinese in England, is hellbent on marrying off all her children to the wealthy elite. And when tragedy strikes and Rufus is pressured to marry for money as soon as possible, he’s torn between doing what’s right for his family and his legacy, or go after the only girl he’s ever loved.

Bridgerton is back and all the rage right now, and whether you’re all about it or, if you’re like me, and just not into it, this book will give you all that aristocratic drama and decadence but in modern times with an Asian twist. Those snooty British mothers have nothing on Chinese tiger moms!

Like all of his books, I loved this new one by Kevin Kwan. This new cast of characters has some over-the-top crazies but also ones with huge hearts that you just fall in love with.

Thank you, @NetGalley, @DoubleDayBooks, and KevinKwanBooks for my gifted copy. I loved it!

Was this review helpful?

Lies and Weddings was on my most anticipated new romance books of 2024 list AND my most anticipated books for summer 2024 on She Reads Romance Books because I thought the set up and setting of this book was magnificent. This was my first Kevin Kwan romance and I was eager to dive in but I am putting it down after getting 30% through it. By this point I should be invested in the main characters and have an idea of where the love story is going but unfortunately I don't feel either. The only character that I feel like I've come to know is the mother and she's awful. Meant to be I understand but I don't care about either main character. Rufus has been mostly absent and there is no connection between him and Eden at all at this point. To me the whole point of the story is the sister's wedding. I would probably continue on if I didn't find the writing very hard to follow. While I think the setting is unique and a huge part of the story, the description is just too much at times and drowns out the storyline. Plus all the "extra" bits of info are distracting and not entertaining.

I realize this may just want makes Kevin Kwan's writing tick but I realize it's not for me. I appreciate the opportunity to see if it was.

Was this review helpful?

Once again, Kevin Kwan comes up with a hilarious story about the ridiculously filthy rich. Featuring, of course, judgy Chinese moms, beautiful people and champagne problems. Throw a few over-the-top weddings in there, and you have quite the story.
The Gresham family is old money. However, the Earldom is insolvent and they are in danger of losing both home and legacy. Plans are made for Rufus, Viscount St. Ives, to marry money to solve this problem. But Rufus is in love with the girl next door, Dr. Eden Tong. Hijinks ensue. Get ready for another beach-worthy, fun read that only Kevin Kwan can bring.

* Thanks to NetGalley and Doubleday for this e-arc.*

Was this review helpful?

I feel like if you are a fan of Crazy Rich Asians, you are going to enjoy this one as well. It has the same trope of wealthy people behaving badly but in an entertaining way. Recommend this one if you are a fan of Kevin Kwan.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for advanced copy, and I give my review freely

Was this review helpful?

The Greshams of Greshambury live a life of excess dictated by their conniving matriarch, a former Hong Kong supermodel and frontrunner for worst mother in a romance. It looks like things are on an upswing when the eldest daughter is set to marry a prince in the family's brand-new Hawaiian resort, except a volcano erupts right on the land where the resort is. This is the straw that breaks the figurative camel's back because the house of cards that is their finances falls apart and the family must face a future of absolute penury or marry off the son to the highest bidder. Never mind that he's been in love with a family friend since he was a kid because the hateful mom thinks her completely unacceptable due to her not being an insanely rich aristocrat and Chinese.

It's a globetrotting story full of incredible events and unbelievable characters that somehow manages to be full of emotion. My one complaint is that the awful mother's actions get forgiven and even slightly rewarded in the end. I love the happy endings for those that deserve them, but the mom just getting to keep on living her extravagant life when she obviously didn't learn anything from the ordeals she put her family through really irks me.

That nitpick aside, I loved this book even when it was making me angry to think of the ridiculous excess and waste of money. It's fun and twisty in the way great gossip is, while also being, ultimately, sweetly romantic.

Delighted thanks to NetGalley and Doubleday for the most excellent read!

Was this review helpful?

4 -⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lies and Weddings follows the lives of Greshambury family (and various others) as they struggle with financial ruin and upheaval thanks to some lavish and somewhat questionable spending. In order to save his family's estate, Rufus Leung Gresham, future Duke of Greshambury finds himself faced with his mother pressing him to marry a french hotel heiress while his aunt pushes him towards a tattooed venture capital genius. Yet he cannot help but think about the girl next door who has been with him since the beginning. Throw in a volcanic wedding, a alcoholic bad boy, and secrets around the globe and you know you are in for quite the adventure!

If you enjoyed Kevin's previous books like Crazy Rich Asians you will find yourself in for a treat.

Rufus and Eden are the two characters that stole the show for me. Their normalcy despite the utter chaos of their families made them endearing to me. I appreciated Rufus' adorable pining and his honestly. Even with his mother and aunt pushing him to pursue women for their fortunes he doesn't let it change him and his honestly actually helps endear him. Meanwhile Eden is a doctor who maintain such composure even when faced with being the scape goat to some rather irritating characters. She had such empathy but when she stood her ground I cheered for her.

There are also a lot more additional voices in the novel from Arabella (Rufus' mother) with her irritating power focused mindset to Thomas (Eden's father and a good friend of Rufus' father), and Luis (the rich bad boy and alcoholic). I felt they helped emphasized the eccentrics of these wealthy families and complimented the focus of Rufus and Eden.

The story itself is a soap opera with family secrets, lost fortune, unfaithful partners, and more. I found the pacing was up and down for me but when it hit it's stride I was smiling and engrossed with unravelling the next bit of drama. I felt the balance of rational characters and outrageous is what really gave this story depth. I also felt the realism behind some of the character's consequences to add meaning. I definitely had a blast diving into this book! That said, it had a lot of similar algorithmic structure to his previous books.

Overall, Lies and Weddings offers another humourous perusal into the lives of rich and famous filled with banter, plots, secrets, and fun. I will definitely keep an eye out for his next book!

Thank you Doubleday Books for this arc!

Was this review helpful?

Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians, does it again with another whirlwind family driven drama of who’s who and weddings spanning the globe. Will the girl next door prevail in this status rules all world? Many thanks to NetGalley and Doubleday for this ARC for an unbiased review.

Was this review helpful?

Another fun, over the top read from Kevin Kwan with the wonderfully snarky footnotes! His books are always so much fun and provide the escape perfect for a summer day (or really anytime).

Was this review helpful?

Sex and Scandals sizzle in Kevin Kwan’s “Lies and Weddings”

Kevin Kwan, the bestselling author “Crazy Rich Asians,” is the King of dishing dirt about rich and famous Asians with flair and pizazz. His latest novel, “Lies and Weddings,” (Doubleday) continues the tradition with a witty, biting tale of the power and pitfalls of the globetrotting super-rich. “Lies and Weddings” is also a story about the stark contrasts between the wealthy and the poor, and how two strong Asian women navigate lives burdened by their economic circumstances. And how an ancient crime unknowingly impacts their present circumstances.
Dr. Eden Tong, literally, lives on the poor side of the British estate. She and her oncologist father reside in a cottage at Greshambury Hall, a manor owned by her father’s best friend, the Earle of Gresham and his wife, Countess Arabella. Raised alongside the three manor-borne children, Eden has never been their equal in society. She has dedicated her young life to serving her community as a doctor for the National Health Service, and has never aspired to the trappings of wealth displayed by the Gresham family.
Countess Arabella Leung Gresham is the wicked “stepmother” to Eden’s Cinderella. The Countess has taken great pleasure to insure Eden understood her lesser place in society. Having struggled to ascend from the streets of Hong Kong to marry an English Lord, Arabella desires the same success for her two daughters and son of marriageable ages. And those plans do not include her son Rufus marrying Eden.
The death of Eden’s mother from breast cancer when Eden was five still haunts her dreams. She feels an absence in her life, and she cannot identify why she feels adrift. Only her job and her father keep her tethered to the world. Until recently, she considered Arabella as an auntie. However, with Rufus being crowned as one of the world’s most eligible bachelors, Arabella’s attitude toward her has changed. In fact, Eden has not even been invited to the wedding of the Gresham’s oldest daughter, Augustina.
The wedding of Augustina to Prince Maximillian at the family’s lush Hawaiian resort initiates a season of opulent, over-the-top wedding festivities. Without consideration of the cost, Arabella goes to extremes to make this nuptial the wedding of the social season. However, it also sets in motion a series of unexpected events — Eden’s last-minute attendance, a lava flow, a pregnancy test, bespoke couture, and pre-wedding Vogue Magazine photo shoots—which open a floodgate of revelations and past secrets. When Rufus declares his love to Eden, Arabella’s claws appear. She bans Eden from Greshambury Hall, the Gresham family, and threatens Eden’s job. Poor Eden finds herself entangled in Arabella’s web of lies, gossip, and scandals.
The exotic locations of Manila, pastoral England, Paris, Venice, Beverly Hills, and the Big Island of Hawaii frame this tour de force of the lives of millionaires who consider private jets, designer clothing, yachts, and life in the fast lane as commonplace. To assist the readers in understanding Kwan’s vast references to designers, restaurants, Asian cultural events, and British etiquette, he annotates his chapters. After all, how many readers know that Harry Collins MVO was appointed as the personal jeweler of Queen Elizabeth II in 2005?
Overshadowing the present wedding season, a twenty-year-old murder mystery casts a long, dark shadow over the characters, including the colorful secondary cast of a mysterious billionaire, his spendthrift son, a rich American-Iranian playboy, and an interfering Auntie. This tragedy threatens several family dynasties and raises questions of inheritance and social standing for many of the book’s characters.
Despite their affluence, the Chinese characters seem burdened by a melancholy undertone of racism, a continuation of the historical prejudice they experienced under British rule. Arabella’s unrelenting desire to develop a five-star international hotel chain, her marriage to the Earle, her penchant for ostentatious couture, and her socializing only with the upper class exemplify her insecurities about her Chinese heritage. She appears to be on a lifelong mission to overcome and compensate for her self-loathing about her heritage. Unfortunately for Eden, she becomes the target of Arabella’s pursuit of revenge.
In contrast, Eden respects her heritage. With spunk and confidence, she surmounts the obstacles created by others while remaining true to her love of her father and the memory of her mother. Readers will root for the selfless Eden to overcome Arabella’s unfounded cruelty and hope she finds happiness with Rufus and the occupation she dearly loves.
In typical Kwan style, the characters in “Lies and Weddings” inhabit a world of excess. Readers will wonder whether the novel is a satire of the super-rich or a peek inside their shallow existence. Either way, it’s catty good fun.

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely LOVED Crazy Rich Asians, and have still never stopped thinking about how vivid Kwan’s descriptions were and the lavish, mind-boggling, deliciously rich world he created in my mind. This book definitely had some laugh out loud moments (I love delusional rich people behaving badly as a trope), but the story just didn’t grab me the same way CRA did. Unfortunately I didn’t quite finish this one.

Was this review helpful?

I had a blast reading this. I’ve been in the mood for escapist reads lately and this one was absolutely that! The volcanic eruption that started the domino effect set the tone for this perfectly. The drama and the money spent was larger than life. I lost count of the amount of private jet trips around the world starting with Hawaii, to LA to Marrakech to Venice. I was invested in the multiple plots this one had from the mystery to the romance. I would have liked a bit more depth to the main romance in this one and more character depth . But while I didn't relate to any of the rich people behaving badly with rich people problems, I enjoyed the chaos of it all.

I enjoyed the audiobook of this one. With A LOT of people and perspectives involved, I was a bit surprised by the single narrator. Jing Lusi managed to do a lot of emotive and different voices for the crazy cast in the story. Especially with some extra dramatic characters things got loud! If you like your audiobooks more on the calmer side, this one might be a bit much. But if you like drama to come through your ears, this one is really fun!

Thank you Doubleday for the ARC!

Was this review helpful?

Kwan knows how to write books that let you escape from reality. This time the book is set mostly in England and the United States but follows the lives of the ultra-wealthy...or those who appear to be ultra-wealthy. Lots of fun.

Was this review helpful?

Huge thank you to @netgalley and @doubleday for an advanced gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.
This has been one of my most anticipated books of the summer and it didn’t disappoint. Crazy Rich Asians will forever be one of my fave, fun reads. Kwan delivers another wildly, fun book detailing the lives of the rich and famous and what they will do to stay on top. This globetrotting romp travels all over the world all in the quest of money, marriage and perhaps love.
Pack this one for vacation or if you are not going anywhere you can read this and pretend you’re there, especially with the gorgeous description of the multiple locations. This one comes out on Tuesday!

Was this review helpful?

This is a story about a man struggling between obeying his family's expectations or following his own heart and the results are sometimes shocking, dramatic, and outright hilarious. All the different crazy characters, the setting of an ecoresort and an active volcano, the pacing and humor of the book, all of it had me flipping pages lost in the drama.
Thanks to Doubleday Books through Netgalley for the advance copy of this book. The opinions in this review are my own and given voluntarily.

Was this review helpful?

Loved it! This was just as entertaining as “Crazy Rich Asians,” and I was genuinely sad to have it come to an end. I love the descriptions of all the luxury, and the funny footnotes are great. Yes, it’s basically a soap opera-style story, but the characters are fun and the fairytale ending was satisfying. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Fantastic, easy read for summer. Takes you on a lavish luxurious holiday filled with terrible people and you don't have to leave your backyard.

Was this review helpful?

Read if you like:
🌏Asian Culture
💰Wealthy Characters
🧑‍🧑‍🧒‍🧒 Family Drama
#️⃣ Lots of Characters

What a FUN read! Full of drama that is definitely reminiscent of Crazy Rich Asians but updated for today’s social climate.

I enjoyed the storyline, following a man who wants what the heart wants and a mother who wants status instead. The heart opens with a doozy of a predicament and shocking start.

As we move though the story, the characters come to life and I found myself engrossed in the choices they were making and where this story was headed.

This was a great story to get lost in! Thank you so much to the publisher for my ARC in exchange for my review!

Was this review helpful?

Kevin Kwan’s *Lies and Weddings* is a dazzling, scandal-filled romp from the beaches of Hawaii to the skies of Marrakech. Rufus Leung Gresham, the future Earl of Greshambury, must save his family from financial ruin by seducing a wealthy woman at his sister's luxury wedding. Torn between duty and love, Rufus navigates a tangled web of secrets, lies, and unexpected twists.

Kwan’s witty, sophisticated storytelling makes this a must-read for fans of high society drama. With eccentric characters and luxurious settings, *Lies and Weddings* is a juicy, thrilling escape that will keep you hooked from start to finish!

😇Thank you @doubledaybooks and @netgallet for the gifted galley! Book releases on May 21, 2024

Was this review helpful?

I wanted to enjoy this book. I know that patrons are going to be excited to read it. I just had a hard time getting into this book. The story itself jumps around a lot. It jumps between characters and experiences, that make sense towards the end of the book, but don’t always make sense in the moment. I personally didn’t love any of the characters. Granted they are all rich and snooty, but normally I can find a character to rally behind. The writing was extremely clunky, and it was not helped by all the footnotes that honestly were not necessary. Overall, this book is okay. It is nothing that I will go out of my way to recommend, but if people love the author, I’ll let them know he has a new book and let them make their own opinion.
Thank you to Double Day Books and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book.

Was this review helpful?

This was a fun & humorous fictional read about the problems of those with too much money. As I was reading, I couldn’t help but think that this would make another great film, just like his previous novel Crazy Rich Asians. This book was a great escape from reality.

Was this review helpful?