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review 2020-03-16 19:17
Recipe for Persuasion
Recipe for Persuasion - Sonali Dev

Please not that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. 


Trigger warnings: Rape 


I loved the first book in this series so much. Sonali Dev did a great job with retelling Pride and Prejudice and with her next re-telling I went, oh no. No. No. This book was too all over the place. Reading the description you think you would be focused on the heroine (Ashna Raje) and the hero (Rico Silva) but nope, we also get into Ashna's mother's life prior to her marrying Ashna's father. I ended up being more fascinated about her life than what went on with Ashna. No one was developed very well due to the flopping back and forth. And honestly, I didn't like the final resolution with Ashna. I still don't think she's passionate about being a chef. I wish that she had acknowledged that and did something else. FYI, the book does quote Persuasion, but even my favorite line ever in the history of literature was enough to save this book. 


"Recipe for Persuasion" follows Ashna Raje. Ashna is running her late father's business, "Curried Dreams." Too bad the business is about to fail. Unable to cook anything besides her father's recipes, Ashna is not able to do much in the kitchen. When her sous chef quits she doesn't know what she will do. When her cousins nag her to do a celebrity cooking show, she thinks she may have figured out how to save her father's restaurant. 


Rico Silvia is recovering from a career ending sports injury. He is celebrating his best friend's upcoming wedding. During that, he starts to realize that his latest relationship ended because he didn't let himself fall in love. And he realizes he didn't because of his first love who turned him away. When Rico hears about Ashna being in a celebrity cooking show, he makes sure that he appears on the show as her partner. 


The third character in this book is Ashna's mother, Shobi. Shobi was married to the former prince (Bram Raje). We slowly find out how awful the marriage was and how Shobi's life turned out the way it did. She wants to get closer to Ashna, but doesn't know how. 


I have to say that Ashna bored me and got on my nerves. She blindly ignores everything she knows about her father and then somehow gets a realization about things. Girl you should have been woke up. We find out that she used to love sports (just like her mother) until she didn't and why. I wish that Dev had did a bit something different with her in regards to the ending.

Rico was a head scratcher. I honestly didn't get why he was into Ashna at all. I think that's the biggest problem I had. Dev writes them as teenagers, but there's nothing there. I saw zero chemistry between them as teens to make them be this decades long love story that just had to get together. I was also perplexed about some of Rico's past, but Dev doesn't delve into it enough. Heck she barely delves into Ashna's all the way through. We just hear things piecemail.

Shobi's backstory was more developed, which pushed me to thinking that this book should have been her story more than Ashna's. It would have set up nicely with a Persuasion type setting. Heck maybe even set it up to be retelling of Mansfield Park. Parts of the book would have worked for that maybe. I don't know. I was just frustrated and saddened when we get the full storyline here. 


We get prior characters showing up in this one which was nice, but I found myself caring more about them than Ashna.


The writing was solid, the story was not. The flow was awful. Juggling through characters, different time periods and then the present day was too much. 

The ending tied things up in a much too tidy bow to be believed. 

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text 2020-03-16 17:25
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Recipe for Persuasion - Sonali Dev

Woof. I did not like this. I loved Persuasion and this was not good. I think the biggest issue that Dev had this following now only Rico and Ashna. But also Ashna's mother, her aunt, and then the books jumps back and forth to different timelines for all of the characters.

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review 2019-04-06 21:19
A Mr. Darcy with Heat...
Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors - Sonali Dev

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.


Wow. What a wonderful retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Only the Mr. Darcy character is gender swapped and instead of being an upperclass nobleman, we have a young surgeon whose family is descended from Indian royalty (Trisha Raje) I initially didn't like that Dev had focused on the Mark Darcy character first, but I get why she did it. Eventually we get our Elizabeth Bennett (DJ Caine) and he was fantastic. Dev follows the same plot though modernizes it for readers. And she even takes a look at black live matters, feminism and rape culture that I was not expecting in this one. I maybe choked up a bit a few times. No spoilers, but I can say that I am excited to see if Dev follows Trisha's brother (Yash) in the next one. I really really want it. Cause, I am all about revenge, I wanted to knock the block off the Wickman character we get in this one. I was pretty much dream casting this book from beginning to end. 


"Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors" follows 30 something year old neurosurgeon, Trisha Raje. Though Trisha's family is pretty freaking spectacular, her mother is an ex-Bollywood performer, her father is descended from Indian royalty and is a doctor. Her older brother was Attorney General in California and is now running for governor. However, Trisha feels pushed out of her family. An incident occurred when she was 17 that affected her brother and caused a scandal that was hushed up. Trisha though finally decides she's tired of being on the outside of her family and wants to help her brother get elected. However, an old enemy rears her head again and Trisha deals with that, a secret her sister wants her to keep from everyone, and her growing feelings for chef DJ Caine. 


Trisha is a snob. Sorry, she is. I actually didn't like her at first. But heck, I wasn't a huge fan of Mark Darcy either until later in Pride and Prejudice. Trisha without realizing it talks down to people and has a way of being rude to DJ and acting as if cooking isn't a real job and that it makes him lower class. These two end up having a terrible foot in the mouth meet cute, and then again when DJ has a special reason to keep interacting with Trisha. Trisha though has a lot of heart. She's just afraid to show it. When we hear about the incident that occurred that caused Trisha to be labeled the "black sheep" I felt sorry for everyone involved. And when she has a heart to heart with her mother, I maybe teared up a bit. This was a strong story-line I wasn't expecting and Dev did an excellent job with it. We also of course get the Mark Darcy I am attracted to you scene in this one and it goes just as poorly in this book as it did in P&P. It doesn't help that this is after Trisha almost gets DJ shot by a cop (it's a long story) and I loved that DJ had to slap her down about her privilege of being a rich woman whose family is known and he is seen as nothing but a black man when law enforcement is around. 


DJ Caine is an up and coming chef. He left England after he realized that his younger sister needed his help. Now he's catering and hoping for a big break. His sister is all he has and DJ is worried that he won't be able to do what is needed for her. We do get a Wickman in this one, but won't get into that too much. It was a surprise and I liked how DJ interacted with Wickman and Trisha. Dev did a good job with DJ's backstory (actually English, though his father side is descended from Indian's too and his mother was a Rwandan refugee). I loved how DJ learned how to cook Indian food and how he modernized it up a bit too. 

The other characters are very developed in this one too. Loved Trisha's sister Nisha and her brother Yash.  And wow, Yash's story-line. Once again, I hope the next book in this series follows him. I have some questions. 


Dev takes a very good look at the Desi culture in the United States and how Trisha's family remade itself. And I think it was great that she included in DJ's background and what he went through becoming a chef and how he still has to carry himself a certain way due to the fact that yes, she's seen as a black man who can be killed if he breathes hard a certain way. 


I do wish that Dev had included the recipes of the food that DJ was cooking though. Seriously everything sounded delicious and I love Indian food. Don't read this book while hungry. Have a snack nearby. 

The flow was a bit uneven at first, but stick with it. I promise it gets better.

The ending was a delight. I just wanted more. 


My dream casting: 




Image result for dev patel gif




Image result for Anushka Sharma gif



Image result for Aishwarya Rai gif


DJ Caine

Image result for Michael B. Jordan gif



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