I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Released: September 21 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Trouble with Hating You #2
Published by Forever
“This book will literally make you smile.”~ Under the Covers
Preeti Patel is the chief resident on the verge of securing her dream job at her dream practice. At first glance, Preeti seems to have it all figured out. But that’s not exactly the case—all at once Preeti finds herself managing the expectations of her traditional community and her parents, ensuring she gets offered a job, and trying to find a place to live. The anxiety is crippling and amplified by the fact that her new, temporary apartment comes with a roommate —her ex-boyfriend, Daniel. Daniel is the perfect guy—great looks, charming, caring, can cook, and has a very good job. However, Daniel’s family has plans for his future that don’t involve Preeti. Daniel and Preeti must figure out how to co-exist in their apartment despite their past and their families’ demands.
This book was so great. It’s my first Sajni Patel book, but it definitely will not be my last. What I loved most about this book was Preeti’s character, for so many reasons. Her struggle with anxiety is one—I appreciated how Patel represented Preeti’s anxiety to demonstrate how it can feel normal or manageable one moment, then all-consuming the next. Patel posited Daniel and Preeti’s family against all others to show how Preeti’s touch aversion can be minimally triggering if the touch is from someone she trusts, versus extremely triggering if it comes from someone else. Preeti is quick to correct those who downplay her anxiety, and Daniel was very respectful of it. Overall, I thought this representation of Preeti’s anxiety was realistic, refreshing, and portrayed very well.
I also appreciated how Patel included a lot of references to Indian culture. Preeti is from a traditional family, and it was really interesting reading about the social expectations that are to be followed. I like the way Patel posited Daniel’s family—superficially, Daniel’s family seems to be the opposite of Preeti’s. But the expectations put on Daniel are similar and the reasons his family has those expectations are motivated by the same ideals as the expectations in Preeti’s family. Overall, Patel represented two high achieving millennials who are conflicted by their parent’s expectations and their own passions in a way that was creative, interesting, and unique.
Speaking of unique, given that this book relies heavily on the forced-proximity trope I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it. But Patel did not disappoint. I thought it would potentially be too overdone or corny, but because Patel uses this in the context of Preeti’s culture and the family dynamics as play, I didn’t feel put off by the trope at all—I found it worked well in this story.
This book will literally make you smile. From Preeti’s hilarious and supportive girl gang, to how adorable and attentive Daniel is to Preeti, to how her parents display their unconditional love for Preeti, there are so many reasons to smile at this book. I like my books to be realistic, and I felt Patel struck a good balance between the harshness of reality (i.e., stress, anxiety) and the feel-good romcom moments.
I would recommend this book to anyone! The steam is on the lower end the spectrum (fairly closed door, which I liked) but definitely still there, so I’d feel comfortable making a recommendation to steam lovers and steam avoiders alike. There’s nothing not to like about this book, so for me it was an easy 5 stars.
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