For me, this is the kind of debut that starts out strong then loses steam along the way. It’s a true romance, complete with an enemies to lovers style relationship and some lighthearted friction. It’s got closed door intimate scenes and just a touch of sexiness, yet still feels like a modern love story. I really enjoyed getting to know both characters, and the story will completely immerse the reader into Indian culture. Where this falters for me is the heavy, heavy focus on that Indian culture. Rishi is searching for the perfect, parent-approved bride for the vast majority of the story, and it gets extremely detailed. There’s a point where enough was enough and the details became boring, but I also loved the uniqueness. There’s a fine line between the two.
The story follows Rishi, a man returning to his home of India after working in the States for years. Rishi has largely separated from his traditional upbringing, but after seeing how his brother’s marriage to a non-parent-approved woman tore the family apart, he’s decided to go back to his roots in a lot of ways. He’s looking for the perfect traditional Indian wife, and using a search engine he developed to do so. The problem? His new co-worker, a red-headed American who stole his job, invaded his life, and seems to hold all of his interest.
I had every intention of rating this higher, because I actually did like a lot of the story. But it just dragged SO MUCH in the middle. The focus becomes very much about India, their food and culture, before slowly transitioning back into the romance. During the middle, Rishi also just bugged me like crazy with his determination to please his parents. That took some of the sparkle out of this love story, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy a lot of it. Ultimately, this is a very promising debut. It’s got the laidback, kinda sweet vibe that you’d expect from the cover, it remains clean for the most part, and it was pretty charming. Travel lovers will appreciate all of the detail, and modern romance lovers will fall for the characters.
In Brooke Burroughs’s endearing debut novel set in vibrant India, enemies turned allies encounter obstacles in an unexpected multicultural romance only to discover that in the end, love is love.
Emma has always lived her life according to a plan. But after turning down her boyfriend’s proposal, everything starts to crumble. In an effort to save the one thing she cares about—her job—she must recruit her colleague, Rishi, to be on her development team…only she may or may not have received the position he was promised. (She did.)
Rishi cannot believe that he got passed over for promotion. To make matters worse, not only does his job require him to return home to Bangalore with his nemesis, Emma, but his parents now expect him to choose a bride and get married. So, when Emma makes him an offer—join her team, and she’ll write an algorithm to find him the perfect bride—he reluctantly accepts.
Neither of them expect her marriage code to work so well—or to fall for one another—which leads Emma and Rishi to wonder if leaving fate up to formulas is really an equation for lasting love.
About the Author:
Brooke Burroughs has worked in the IT industry for over ten years and lived in India—where she met her husband—for three. Burroughs has experience navigating the feeling of being an outsider in a traditional, orthodox family. Luckily, she and her in-laws get along well now, but maybe it’s because she agreed to a small South Indian wedding (with almost a thousand people in attendance) and already happened to be a vegetarian with an Indian food–takeout obsession.
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