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Holidays with the Wongs #2

A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas

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Greg Wong hates when things don’t go according to plan, so he definitely doesn’t appreciate it when his mother insists he drive Tasha Edwards back to Mosquito Bay for the Christmas holidays. He likes peace and quiet when he’s in the car, and that’s the opposite of what he’ll get with Tasha, his high school sweetheart. The first woman he ever loved.

Not that he has feelings for her now. Of course not. Though while he’s trying not to smile at her laughter and terrible singing, he can’t help noticing how beautiful she is.

And then his plans veer further off course when a snowstorm forces them to spend the night in an unheated motel room with only one bed…

95 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 12, 2019

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About the author

Jackie Lau

33 books557 followers
Jackie Lau decided she wanted to be a writer when she was in grade two, sometime between writing “The Heart That Got Lost” and “The Land of Shapes.” She later studied engineering and worked as a geophysicist before turning to writing romance novels.

Jackie lives in Toronto with her husband, and despite living in Canada her whole life, she hates winter. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, hiking, eating too much gelato, and reading on the balcony when it’s raining.

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5 stars
120 (17%)
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325 (46%)
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214 (30%)
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30 (4%)
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4 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 134 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
664 reviews
March 22, 2021
I wanted to read this during the Christmas Holidays, but never got around to it. I finally did and really enjoyed it. I love the Wong family - they are hilarious. I only wish there was more of the Grandparents in these... they are the best characters! This has all the stuff I love - a road trip, snowed in, and forced proximity.
Profile Image for Jess.
2,990 reviews5 followers
June 7, 2020
Normally I struggle a bit with super fast romances, but in this particular case the reunion worked for me? It may be more that I liked all the supporting details of the characters so much (model trains! CBC radio! stripping to avoid powder sugar!) but I came away genuinely thinking they had a chance on their reunion, and that's all you ask from a HFN romance!

Read for The Ripped Bodice Bingo 2020 square: There Was Only One Bed

Profile Image for Grace.
1,215 reviews33 followers
June 13, 2020
This was fun! I liked Greg and Tasha, both individually and together. My only complaint was that this was too short tbh.

Read for Ripped Bodice Bingo 2020: There Was Only One Bed.
Profile Image for aarya.
1,310 reviews
November 20, 2019
This was sweet. The snowed in only-one-bed trope with the sexually adventurous elderly couple next door was cute. But the entire novella took place in a day (a day and a half? It was short) and I wish we had more time with the couple so I could buy the HFN and I-love-you's.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Maria Rose.
2,486 reviews247 followers
March 30, 2020
Having read and loved Jackie Lau’s A Match Made for Thanksgiving, the first in her Holidays with the Wongs series, there was no doubt I’d be reading the next in the series. With a title like ‘A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas‘ it promised to be full of trope-y goodness. In fact, all that’s missing from the title is the reference to the fact that the road trip happens in a blizzard (oh no! Will they be trapped and have to share one bed?); add that and you’d cover all the bases of another delightful, fun and lighthearted seasonal story.

Gregory Wong and his high school girlfriend Tasha Edwards never had a falling out when they broke up. No, it was just a normal, oftentimes series of events – different plans for the future that required different universities, different cities, and the eventual understanding for Greg that he’d be holding Tasha back if he didn’t let her go. Several years later they’ve run into each other a few times at mutual friends’ places with their families, both being in the small town of Mosquito Bay, but had never spent any significant time together. And that’s a good thing, because the memories of all the good times together are better off buried in the past.

Now, Greg’s plans for a peaceful drive home listening to his favorite radio station have been upended by a request from his mother. Tasha, who now – like him – lives in Toronto, has a broken down car and needs a lift back home for Christmas. And Greg’s mom has volunteered him for the job. With no hard feelings between them, Greg figures he and Tasha can manage a few hours together, no matter how awkward it might be. But when they encounter a snowstorm on the way that forces them to stay overnight at a motel, with limited space and a single bed room, things take a decidedly heated turn. Will it make for a nice memory or spur them to consider something more?

This is a short and sweet novella, with great sexy bits and a couple who fit together well. They are opposites in temperament – Greg is organized, disciplined and quiet and Tasha is spontaneous and exuberant, and those traits haven’t changed since high school. But for Tasha, Greg’s thoughtful and deliberate side was always one of her favorite things about him and makes for many of her best memories. For Greg, Tasha’s wide smile and outgoing personality were what attracted him to her and that hasn’t changed. They are both older and wiser, but at their cores, the same people they originally fell in love with. It takes them a little bit to get over that initial awkwardness when they start driving in the car together but then they are able to reminisce about the past and catch up on where their lives are now.

Getting stuck in a one bed motel room without heat while waiting out a blizzard gives them the excuse to be physically close to each other and one thing leads to another. Sex was never a problem for them, seeing as they first were intimate while teenagers and the love/lust hormones were in full swing. They’ve had other relationships and one night stands in the interim, but it’s never been like those first heady days of sexual experiences. But Tasha is wary; she attempted a reunion with one ex and it didn’t work out, so she has no intentions of trying that again. Still, she can’t say she wouldn’t be tempted, if Greg would give her any indication of being interested.

There are no mysteries in this novella, no sudden revelations or black moments. The setup is clear, the end easy to see. Because the story takes place over two days it’s quick to reach a happy every after, perhaps a little too quick, which is what stopped me from awarding it DIK status. I can see how Greg and Tasha would start dating again, but the author jumps right to the ‘I love yous’ which is too quick given they’ve been apart for so long. But they both feel that the time spent apart has shown them what they were missing and don’t want to waste any more time.

Like the first story in the series, Greg’s family is ever present. I think it’s hilarious that Greg’s mom and Ah-Ma have been reading romance novels and figuring out ways to match-make for the kids. Greg knows his mom is trying to get him to reconsider a relationship with Tasha when she asks him to drive her home for Christmas (though she denies it) and of course, for the romance reader the second chance storyline is a favorite trope. The fact that the author is so blunt about the tropes she is using is what makes it fun. Any reader looking for something low-angst to read over the holidays should definitely consider adding this series to their shelf.

This review also appears at All About Romance: https://allaboutromance.com/book-revi...

A copy of this story was provided by the author for review.
Profile Image for lisa.
2,082 reviews302 followers
December 24, 2019

He's so adorable. Definitely my favourite Wong brother (I haven't finished Zack's book yet but I still think Greg is my most fav).

Also I've never read a second chance romance that wasn't filled with angst???? so this is a weird but enjoyable change anyhow. Like both MCs had an amicable breakup because they went to different schools and the 10 years later they were on a road trip home together for Christmas and dun dun dun-

Weird for me as I love my angst in second chance romances, but I love this book anyway.
Profile Image for Rachel.
329 reviews193 followers
September 28, 2021
a cute fun steamy romance while I'm in a slump. Not too much character or plot development but a super easy book to read. Maybe a good introduction into smut as there was a little but not too much.
Profile Image for Ms. Woc Reader.
533 reviews707 followers
October 23, 2021
This was an okay read. Very on the nose and clunky throughout. I prefer when a book shows me vs telling me. Plus much of this novella relied on flashbacks and internal dialogue. The sex in the snow fort was hot but I can't say I truly bought this second chance reunion. I mean it was all over the course of one day! And they didn't really get to know each other as adults after 15 years. More it just relied on them being in essence the same people they were as teens. It's a novella so I don't expect it to be super in depth but like give me something to be invested.

This was my first Jackie Lau book
Profile Image for Liz.
955 reviews7 followers
May 29, 2020
Like the first in the series, this was a bit too quick to really work for me. It did help that the characters had been in a relationship in the past, but I didn't particularly get chemistry from them and Tasha's turnaround gave me whiplash since she spent the entire book talking about how she never ever got back together with exes after one burnt her in the past.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,328 reviews276 followers
May 16, 2021
A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas was a delightful read with a romance that includes some of my favorite tropes.

Greg Wong prefers when everything goes according to plan but his trip home for Christmas is doing anything but. When his mother insists he drive his high school sweetheart Tasha Edwards back home for Christmas, Greg's solitary car ride is out the window. But that doesn't mean he's falling for her again. After a snowstorm stops their journey in its' tracks, the pair are forced to spend the night in a motel room that only has one bed available.

Christmastime is one of my favorite settings for romance novels and that continued to be the case here. The road trip back to the pair's hometown was a ton of fun, Tasha singing Christmas music while Greg was a big grump. After the two get stuck in the snowstorm and had to get a motel room, the sexual tension skyrocketed. Add in the fact there was only one bed and this scene was right up my alley. When the two sleep with each other again, the scene is steamy and fantastically done. I love second chance romances when done well and it definitely was here. The reasons for Greg and Tasha breaking up were ones that made sense and neither of them did anything bad to the other. I liked the scene where the two decided to get back together and thought Greg's grand gesture was very sweet.

The Wong family continues to be a complete delight. Their constant referencing of romance tropes and their obvious meddling were wonderful. I really enjoy super involved families in my romances and this series has that in spades. Their plans to set up a reunion between Greg and Tasha were great and I loved how much Greg's family was rooting for them.

Overall A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas was a fantastic read and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a cute holiday romance. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, A Fake Girlfriend for Chinese New Year, soon.

**I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.**
Profile Image for Ami.
5,865 reviews496 followers
December 15, 2020
3.5 stars

Well, this short timespan, with "forced proximity/one-bed" trope worked for me because

1) Greg and Tasha knew each other previously -- they were high school sweethearts, and it was clear that despite the 15-years-separation, they were still had that chemistry


2) There wasn't BAD blood behind the break-up. They were young, each with different goals and destination of university. They both wanted the other person to succeed. So it wasn't a decision made by anger or resentment.

I also liked Tasha's 'policy' of no regrets... while it wasn't easy to do, I tend to apply that to myself as well. So I can relate. ALTHOUGH, in Tasha's case, I definitely wanted her to try the "second chance" romance, simply because well, it's my favorite trope 😝

What I missed in this book was... THE WHOLE SCENE OF THE WONGS HELPING GREG WITH THE SNOW FORTS!!! WHY?!?!? That would make FANTASTIC scenes!!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jrooknroll.
99 reviews6 followers
December 1, 2020
This one was cute, fluffy and sweet. Generally I'm a bit wary of second chance romances, but this one hit the right notes and I truly enjoyed both Greg and Tasha. In my book, forced proximity and one bed never gets old and Lau handled that beautifully, with a nice build up. The grand gesture at the end was sweet and satisfying. Overall, if you are looking for a fluffy, feel-good holiday romance with great characters, this is a good one.
Profile Image for Becca.
299 reviews29 followers
December 5, 2021
He’d always belong to her.

Yes! Give me an Asian hero!! I loved this sweet short novel. Greg is a grunting grump who hates Christmas music. While Tasha is the sunshine Christmas spirit in a human body. I loved this second-chance romance. It had my favorite trope, ONE BED. The "need to cuddle with you because it is cold which leads to sex" is everything!!
Profile Image for Shannon (That's So Poe).
1,022 reviews108 followers
October 11, 2021
If you need a cute holiday romance, this is exactly what you're looking for! I love the way this story embraces all the tropes (stranded in a hotel together during a snowstorm, only one bed, etc.), and the way it shows a really caring second chance romance for a pair of career-oriented childhood sweethearts who are mature enough this second time around for each other. The hero was especially endearing with his super old-guy hobbies and incredible consideration. I think this might need to become a yearly reread for me when I'm feeling like a holiday romance since it just hit the spot so perfectly. For sure pick this one up!
Profile Image for Emmalita.
563 reviews38 followers
November 5, 2019
Getting on Jackie Lau’s advance reader copy list has been a delight. I received this novella from the author in exchange for an honest review. I enjoy Lau’s books. I like the way she often balances romance tropes, indulgent food descriptions and weightier issues her characters face. In past books she has had characters deal with mental health, abortion, and finding connection with their Chinese roots in a white dominated culture. A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas is lighter than previous books, mainly dealing with contemplating the road not taken.

As established in A Match Made for Thanksgiving, the matriarchs of the Wong clan, Ah Ma (grandmother) and Mrs. Wong (who is white) have decided the Wong siblings need help finding love. For Canadian Thanksgiving, they set up each of the Wong siblings with a blind date according to various romance tropes from Ah Ma’s books. Greg was set up with Lily, who had already had a one night stand with his younger brother, Nick. In a misguided attempt at a second chance romance, the matriarchs had set Greg’s sister up with her ex. He didn’t make it to the dinner table before being evicted. Not one to rest on her laurels, Mrs Wong then asks Greg to drive his high school sweetheart from Toronto for Christmas. She is not subtle about hoping the old flames will reignite.

Tasha and Greg dated in high school and eventually broke up in college. It was amicable, but they haven’t stayed in touch and Tasha has a no second chance rule for romance. A late start, a snow storm and a closed highway mean a 3 hour drive becomes an overnight stay in an unheated hotel room with only one bed.

It’s a lovely romance with two people who start to think that maybe they are ready to try again. Greg is quiet and a bit stuffy, but he brings some stern CBC radio daddy energy to the bedroom. Tasha is a little more of a cipher. She doesn’t like to look back, but she starts to remember all the ways Greg showed that he paid attention to her as a person.

A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas is not my favorite Jackie Lau book, but it’s still lovely and worth a read.
Profile Image for Becky.
3,060 reviews124 followers
November 10, 2019
Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 11/10/19.

If anything could make doubters believe in second chance romances, it's this book!

Greg and Tasha dated in high school and for the beginning of university, but both decided that the time wasn't right and they needed to concentrate on things other than a long-distance romance. Fast forward fifteen years, throw in two matchmaking mothers, a grandma who can (maybe) do magic, a road trip, a snowstorm, and JUST ONE BED and no heat (of course!) and you can probably guess where this is going to end up.

But don't let that stop you from reading this anyway, because OMG the journey from no-mom-I-don't-want-to-give-her-a-ride-SIGH-okay to HEA is so much fun. And steamy. And snow and Timbits filled.

Counting the days until Chinese New Year, and Zach's story!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Profile Image for b.andherbooks.
2,127 reviews981 followers
November 14, 2019
Greg and Tasha were high school and early college sweethearts until they mutually broke up because they were young and the long distance thing just wasn't working out. Flash to fifteen years later, and they are both single and sharing a car ride home for Christmas, until some bad weather and a cold room at shabby hotel bring them together again.

A perfectly sweet "one-bed" holiday novella (with some great steam), I wanted more tension between the two love interests. They are both so very nice and had no baggage between the two of them despite not having spoken for fifteen years that I couldn't believe these two hadn't hooked back up eons ago.

That said, there is a lot to like here and this is a nice low-angst holiday romance, plus sexy snow forts!

I reviewed from a free copy from the author.
Profile Image for Rachel-RN.
2,121 reviews26 followers
December 27, 2019
This was just what I needed. Tasha and Greg started dating when they were 16 and dated for 3 years before breaking up. They were both in college- different schools and that needed to be the focus. They each both wanted to experience life. Fast forward 15 years and they are both single at 34.
I liked Greg from book 1 and wanted to read his story. This was short, but worked since you get enough information from their past relationship (Valentine's, candy bar, snow fort, necklace). The "Herbie and Ethel" moment was hilarious. Then there was the Wong family; Ah Ma and Mrs Wong (I don't think we ever learn what her name is) and their matchmaking.
I like the 'forced proximity" trope since it forces conversation (and the revelations it usually shows).
Pre-ordered Zack's story (Chinese New Year).
Profile Image for Christi (christireadsalot).
1,901 reviews578 followers
December 4, 2021
Greg’s mother insists he drive Tasha, his ex and highschool sweetheart, back to their small town of Mosquito Bay from Toronto for Christmas. Forced close proximity in the car leads to feelings showing back up, and then a snowstorm forces them off the road and to spend the night in an unheated motel room with only one bed….

“All Greg wanted for Christmas was a little peace and quiet and some roast beef.”

Instead his plans get all messed up when first his mom insists he drive Tasha home with him, then Tasha shows up late to leave for their roadtrip, she talks the whole drive, and even changes his traffic report station over to her Christmas music playlist.

I loved that both are engineers: Tasha is an aerospace engineer and does aerodynamic modeling for a company that specializes in wind tunnel testing for buildings and Greg also works in Toronto as an engineer. I loved how sweet Greg was and how he quietly took care of Tasha. Greg was the sweetest and brought the steam, I could have read about him & Tasha all day! I just adore this quartet of holiday romance novellas about the Wong family. The first book in the series, A Match Made for Thanksgiving, I read last month and it was such a delight. I had so much fun with this second chance romance and think it’s my fav in the series so far!
Profile Image for Jen (That's What I'm Talking About).
1,502 reviews260 followers
February 5, 2022
Greg and Tasha have known each other their whole lives, started dating in high school, and broke up sometime in college. Now it’s been 15 years, and they’ve only seen in each other in passing a few times. After his always-meddling mother insists Greg give Tasha a ride home from Toronto for the Christmas holidays, the pair is stranded in an unheated hotel room due to a blizzard.

Greg and Tasha broke up because they attended two different schools and drifted apart. Although neither pined for the other in all those years, as soon as they are forced to spend time together, old feelings resurface. While the author does have her characters reassure themselves that the connection isn’t just fond memories, I am not convinced. I didn’t feel like enough time was spent reconnecting and examining feelings. But there is only so much that can be done in the shorted novella format. The couple does have chemistry and enjoy the time spend together.

A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas is a cute second chance story. While I didn’t love as much as the other books I’ve read in the series, I still enjoyed it. I like that Greg and Tasha recognize that they still had strong feelings and loved who the other had become, not just who they once were.

My Rating: B
Profile Image for Nicole R.
986 reviews
December 9, 2020
The theme of my last few Christmas novellas has been: snowstorm that is worse than predicted, unexpected stop at roadside motel, only one room left, said room has only one bed, hijinks ensue.

I'm not mad about it.

Greg and Tasha find themselves in this scenario as Greg gives Tasha a ride from Toronto to their small hometown. He has barely seen her in the 15 years since their high school romance fizzled out once they went to college, but he can't help remembering how good they were together.

Moving on to my next novella...
Profile Image for sahra (sahrasbooks).
254 reviews40 followers
December 14, 2021
this is exactly what I expect from a Christmas read. something quick paced, wholesome, funny, and this book delivered.

i was already charmed by greg, in the first book and I’m definitely a fan of him. better than Nick. his grumpiness is endearing it make me want to ask santa to have my own version.

this novella is definitely for fans of christmas, second chance romance, soulmates, force proximity and grumpy/sunshine trope.

and don’t forget that it’s always the quieter who talk the dirtier.

overall: 4⭐️
spice: 2.5🌶
seggsual tension / angst: 3⚡️
Profile Image for Shannon.
4,564 reviews227 followers
December 4, 2021
I really love these Holidays with the Wongs novellas! This one features Greg and embraces the second chance at love, road trip, forced proximity, only one bed tropes. Full of heart and humor, big hearted families and some delicious open door steamy scenes. I can't get enough and highly recommend! Especially great are all the "Canadianisms" sprinkled throughout from Timbits to horrible 401 traffic.
Profile Image for Jennifer Brown.
454 reviews17 followers
September 28, 2020
Solid 3 stars, Would recommend

Super short, sweet read. It pretty much all takes place in a 24 hour. No angst. When I think second chance romance, usually the conflict that separated them originally is substantial, Greg and Tasha were young and smart and their split was logical. Even though it checks all my star boxes, it wasn't that fantastic to warrant 4 stars. A solid 3.
How I rate a story. (In order of importance)
Does it keep my attention? 🌟 yes, from start to finish
Is it plausible / logical? 🌟 yes
Grammatical errors or odd, repetitive language? 🌟 nothing stood out
Do I like the characters? 🌟 yes, although it didn't feel like you really get to know them
Overall, would recommend, definitely buying next in series. 🌟🌟🌟
Profile Image for Nicole Moon.
Author 3 books62 followers
December 12, 2020
4/5 stars

This was AMAZING. Cozy af second chance romance that has the only one bed trope??? Tasha and Greg have to drive home together for the holidays and have to spend a night at a motel because of a snow storm. AND THEY MAKE OUT IN A SNOW FORT. I love it here.
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