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.
I picked this one up based on the cover and was not disappointed! Bread baker Reena cooks up magic in her apartment. Her new neighbor? English accent, flirty, asks her out. Only problem is he is the “facilitated match” arranged by their parents. Reena is trying her hardest to get out from under the overbearing influence of her parents, and Nadim works for her father. When they share a drink at the local pub and bake together, it seems sparks fly naturally. Their families hold secrets aplenty and pasts that prove to interfere.
Read this in one day. I loved the way the two banter and push and pull together even though they have vowed to not get married. Nadim is good for Reena, they calm one another and help each other through their employment stressors. The sourdough starters are a fun side element. The book also addresses the dangers of trying to live up to an image and realistically navigated depression and mental health issues. Supe fun read!
Content and trigger warnings: discussion of eating disorders, mental illness, open marriage, “F” word, drinking. Adult.