TITLE: Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Format: 384 pages (Paperback)
Narrated by: Elizabeth Hart, Jeremy York
Published: July 21st, 2020 by Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Blurb: Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall–with hopes that Reena will marry him.
But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-jour that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren’t enough, the man appears to love eating her bread creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? And when Reena’s career takes a nosedive, Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams.
As cooking at home together brings them closer, things turn physical, but Reena isn’t worried. She knows Nadim is keeping secrets, but it’s fine— secrets are always on the menu where her family is concerned. And her heart is protected… she’s not marrying the man. But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved.
This #ownvoices romance has two things I enjoy: A Fake Relationship trope and Food! As a Nigerian American, I have been through that song and dance so I quickly connected with this story. I chuckled often and nodded my way through this book silently saying to Reena “Girl, I feel you right now!”
Reena dad meant well meddling in her love life. I mean, what parent doesn’t want to make sure their daughter is married? It’s not uncommon in the Indian culture to play match maker so I knew they arranged to hook up Reena with Nadim.
This story has witty banter, a really relatable heroine and some relationships that needed TLC. There were a good number of secrets that needed to be illuminated so Reena, her sister, family and “fiancée” could live their best life. So I enjoyed the journey as all that drama unfolded. I did wish the author spent a bit more time evolving Reena and Nadim (the couple) and a little less detail on the cooking/food process. But I definitely saw the building of a friendship and later more. I am challenging myself make sourdough bread. I too can cook!
I want to commend the author for including the discussion on therapy. Mental health isn’t “sexy” but it’s real and felt authentic in this story. I can totally imagine this story as a tv show.
*I received an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.