4 / 5 stars
Read in May 2020
Book #1 in The Trouble With Hating You series
This book comes out next week and I hope you add it to your reading list as soon as possible! This was such a fun read and I couldn’t put it down!
Liya is an ambitious biochemical engineer in Houston whose recent promotion has her working around the clock to ensure her company stays afloat. Ostracized by her rumor-mongering and very conservative Indian community for being too “American”, Liya finds solace in her job and her close-knit group of girlfriends, each of whom faces expectations of her own. One evening, Liya’s parents’ invite her to a family dinner that turns out to be a meeting with a potential marriage suitor. Upon discovering this, Liya sneaks out the back door to literally run into the suitor himself before making an awkward exit.
Jay is a lawyer who was recently hired to advise Liya’s company. When their uncomfortable dinner meeting proves not to be their last encounter, he finds himself wanting to spend more time with her despite the tension between them. He doesn’t let the rumors in the community bother him, and their morning breakfasts and late dinners in Liya’s office gradually turn into something more. In getting to know one another, Liya and Jay must grapple with their past traumas before finally accepting the true feelings that blossomed along the way.
Heartwarming and thought-provoking, Sajni Patel’s debut novel features close friendships, moments that will make you laugh and others that will make you cry, and two very lovable and complicated protagonists. Liya and Jay work through their conflicts together, going from acquaintances to friends to lovers and transforming side-by-side into the people they’re meant to be. Most importantly, their story explores the idea that falling in love does not erase past traumas, but it can help you face and work through them towards a brighter future.
I found this book so refreshing, from the slow-burning romance to Liya’s and Jay’s gradually overcoming their past traumas together, with a lot of self-doubt and guilt in between. Neither expects the other to change for them, nor does their love magically make them forget their pasts; rather, it results in two satisfying characters arcs and a finale that made my heart soar. Yes, there were some cheesy moments in this book, and Liya’s and Jay’s repartee in the middle could get a bit repetitive at times, but overall I would highly recommend this book and I can’t wait to read Preeti’s story in book #2!
Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.