“This novel has all the funny banter and sexy feels you could want in a romantic comedy.”–NPR
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.
Desai's delightful debut is a playful take on enemies-to-lovers and arranged marriage tropes starring two headstrong Desi-American protagonists. Layla Patel returns home to San Francisco from New York City after losing her job, her boyfriend, and her self-respect. Her father, determined to fix her life, offers her the office space above his restaurant (which he neglects to tell Sam Mehta, the current tenant), and makes her a profile on an Indian dating site (which he neglects to tell Layla). Sam refuses to vacate the office space, but Layla sets up shop there anyway. The pair instantly clash, but when suitors from the dating website show up at the office hoping to woo Layla, Sam feels oddly protective. They strike a bet: if Layla finds a husband among the blind dates her father set up, she has to surrender the office to Sam, if she doesn't, then Sam must leave the office. As part of their deal, Sam will chaperone her dates to protect her from the judgement of her hypertraditional suitors. It's a blast to witness Sam and Layla exchange flirtatious barbs as their snarky chemistry blossoms into something real over the course of Layla's hilariously disastrous dates. Rom-com fans should take note of this fresh, fun offering.