What do you do when you are in a sort of reading slump and nothing looks interesting – I decided to pick up the latest romance by my favorite author, because Nisha Sharma totally delighted me in My So-Called Bollywood Life and I expected nothing less from this book. And I’m so glad it lived up to all the promise and hopefully, my slump is a thing of history.
I’m one of those readers who loves books with tropes, especially in romances because sometimes, the predictability can be comforting and just what I need. I also agree with the various discussions in the community that even though many readers are bored with tropey romances, it’s a fact that POC readers have not had much opportunity to enjoy these tropes with characters who look like them. And that’s why this book felt extra special to me. Nisha uses the common plot lines we see in lots of adult/erotic romances – billionaire alpha male hero, independent ambitious heroine, hostile business takeover and some good old corporate espionage – while rooting the story in desi culture, and that’s why it felt so relatable even though I’ve never met such rich people in my life 😉😉. While this book has a definite case of instalove, I found it convincing enough and the intensity of the interactions between the MCs was quite interesting. The author also managed to strike a great balance between the love story, the family dynamics of both the MCs and the subplot revolving around the business. All the references to delicious Indian food made me very hungry 😋, the discussions about nosy families were hilarious and I absolutely loved the little Punjabi words in conversations.
Hem is an interesting character – he loves his family, takes his duty as the eldest son seriously but also wants to chart his own path in life and career. I liked his loyalty and drive and self assured nature. My only pet peeve is that he is too alpha and possessive for my taste. I absolutely adored Mina. She is spunky, confident, ambitious and knows exactly what she wants in life – though she might not always be sure how to get there. I liked their romantic dynamic – sometimes sweet and vulnerable, others highly intense – but I never doubted their feelings despite everything happening fairly quickly. I really loved Hem’s brothers Ajay and Zail. The trio make for some great scenes and I especially enjoyed their dynamic at the workplace. Their mom is the typical Indian mother – a strong woman, the rock behind her husband’s success, who loves feeding everyone and just wants her sons to get married. Their father and the genius behind the business can be slightly hardheaded and proud, but I came to like him towards the end. I completely fell in love with this family and can’t wait to get to know more about them all.
This book was exactly what I needed for my current mood and I’m so thankful to Nisha for writing such wonderful books with Indian American characters. This is a fun, entertaining and exciting romance novel with very strong characters, rooted in our culture while also having a very interesting business takeover subplot. It also ends on a slightly mysterious note and I can only hope that the next book is going to be about Ajay and Mina’s bff Raj, with a whole lot of shenanigans.
PS: Thank you to Avon Impulse and Edelweiss for providing me with this advance copy. All opinions expressed here are unbiased and solely mine.