Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: The Marriage Game
Author: Sara Desai
Format: ARC Received in Exchange for an Honest Review from Netgalley
A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy.
After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door…
As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he’s forced to share his space with the owner’s beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life.
As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.
I smiled a lot while I read this book.
This novel is full of heartwarming family dynamics between quirky characters. I loved Layla’s relationship with her huge family, particularly all her aunties, her mother, and especially her father.
I did wonder, though, why she didn’t have a stronger reaction to what happened in the beginning of the book with her father. As someone who is very close to my parents (and someone who has dropped everything to sit with my parents in the hospital for days on several occasions), it almost seemed like it was an afterthought to her, which rubbed me the wrong way a bit. Especially considering how close she is with her family. I would have loved to see that big family rally around him and one another in support as my big family tends to do in similar situations.
Aside from that, I think this is such a fun/funny hate-to-love romance particularly for people who like to see the strong attraction between the love interests despite their frustrations with each other.
For me, I tend to prefer this trope when the couple is so busy loathing the other person, they barely notice their attraction and hardly realize how much passionate frustration and passionate lust have in common. This is why I can’t say that this book is my favorite of the trope, but I can say I expect it will be for many who like to see the chemistry between enemies much more blatantly on page.
If you’re looking for an OWN voices, match-making, enemies-to-lovers romance filled with banter and big families, with just enough drama and angst, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book.
Butterfly Rating: 2 Stars
Re-read Worthiness: Maybe
Bookshelf Placement: Maybe
I do love the cover of this!
Book Boyfriend Rating: 3 stars