Release Date: Feb 5, 2019
Heat Level: Sensual
Publisher: Penguin Group
More women’s fiction than romance, but a decent read nonetheless.
This is my first book my Lalli and probably not my last. It’s an eye opener on familial expectations, being rebellious, and in general failing apart before one can pick the pieces up.
That’s exactly what happens to the heroine, Raina Anand. She’s business successful, going through the motions, but marriage is the ultimate win in her family’s eyes. Namely, one endearing grandmother who is certain our heroine needs a significant other in her life. Enter blind dates, and setups with men who are supposed to be perfect, at least they fit her grandmother’s expectations. There’s an ex from her past, and a whole litany of family issues. If I thought my childhood was a bit discombobulated, Raina can have the prize. Regardless, all this mess is exactly what makes a good story as Raina has to dig herself out of the hole she’s put herself in.
What I really enjoyed, the cast of side characters. Grandma is a hoot and a fabulous mix of loving, supportive, and liable to make you cringe at the little embarrassments she throws out thinking they are encouragement or worse, compliments. Raina has a fabulous group of friends, some she’s known longer and others who are help broaden her spectrum. There’s also the handsome, Ash. The equally intoxicating Dev, and a handful of swipe lefts or rights.
What downed it for me, Raina. I wanted to love her and at times I did, but there were a few choices she made that had me wanting to throw the book across the room. She had multiple lessons to learn in the story including some basic ones (lying is bad and in this particular situation worse), but each mess she found herself in came from her actions. The conflict is driven mainly by the heroine herself instead, since her reactions to conflict are the exact opposite of what she should do. There were multiple times I did not see how the author would get Raina out of the hole she dug for herself. Thankfully, the solution worked.
Now, as for the romantic piece, I wanted her to find the guy. I got invested in the HEA and that made the book better. Side note: Romance purists may object to Raina’s HEA journey, I refuse to say more because spoilers. Overall, this is a women’s fic with some romantic elements. There’s plenty of heart, a lotta growing up, and some problematic plot elements.