Once again we have a romance where the illustrated cover does not match the main character. She’s described as soft, plump-ish. The woman in the window? Slim. Of course right?
Anyway, this book stars two Muslim characters. Reena Manji, a woman who loves baking bread and wants a scholarship to a prestigeous culinary arts school and for her family to take th ebiggest step back out of her life, and Nadim , the man who’s recently moved into th same apartment complex as her and they find out, during their first conversation, that he’s here on a work visa working with her father under one condition.
Notice how I said she wants her family to take a big step back? This is why. She wants them less involved, less trying to steer her life the way she wants. She wants independence from them even though she live sin a building that her father, a developer, owns so she pays less rent.
I’m not Muslim so I can’t comment too much on specific familiar issues but I cans say this” her parents don’t listen to her. They’re so overbearing she feels the need to hide that she’s lost her job from them because she doesn’t want to be forced to work with her father and he keeps pushing it.
Reena straight up tells Nadim she won’t marry him. They end up fake dating for a baking contest and then fall for each other.
Nadim has a thing for feet, no shame there.
There is a foot job in the book and that is distinctly not my thing so…not fun.
The spice level is really low so none of the sex was ever detailed but reading about a foot fetish wasn’t something I was down for.
I just didn’t really like it. I didn’t like their chemestry. He came to the country to marry and girl to rehab his image after some things happened with his previous fiancee and what does he do when he lands in Toronto?
He slept with a elementary school teacher and wound up with lice. When lice is a plot point, I’m sort of done. Plus, I didn’t like his personality. He slept with someone when he was there to get married. When he met Reena in the hallway, he started flirting with her without knowing who she was. And when it turned out they were supposed to be married she had the same thought I did. Although it didn’t last for her, it really bugged me.
Maybe the book just wasn’t for me., I don’t want to rip it. But I just couldn’t get into it. Especially because the lice thing felt contrived to force them to spend time together and that’s not sexy or fun.
Of course Reena has friends that have her back through everything, one of them is gay and that’s something I’ve noticed in a lot of romance lately.
Why does the main character always have one friend that’s always a gay guy? It’s never a lesbian or a bi or pan person. Or Ace and Aro. Always a gay guy.
And his love life is almost always in tatters when hers is also on the rocks.
It’s weird and feels a little gross now that I’m really thinking about it.
I didn’t really get to know the side characters in this book. They were a bit flat for me. Honestly all the characters were.
There are themes of independence, family dynamics and boundaries which are interesting if not explored with any real depth. I actually got bored reading this book about halfway through.
All in all. A weak book. 2 stars.