cover image The Emma Project

The Emma Project

Sonali Dev. Avon, $15.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-305184-3

Passion arises between two old friends in Dev’s endearing fourth Rajes romance (after Incense and Sensibility), a fresh take on Jane Austen’s Emma. Knightlina “Naina” Kohli is furious to learn that a benefactor, who’s promised to endow the natal care clinics she’s hoping to open, has also pledged part of that sum to Vansh Raje, Naina’s longtime friend and the well-intentioned but meddling founder of a nonprofit, the Emma Project. The youngest of a close-knit and prominent Indian American family, Vansh has lived a privileged life, unlike Naina, who, along with her mother, suffered at the hands of her controlling, abusive father. Vansh didn’t set out to steal Naina’s funding, but when he learned that one of his former employees is now homeless, he was moved to take on homelessness as his next cause. He appeals to Naina to figure out a way they can both get the funds they need, leading to long days that soon turn into steamy nights. Naina doesn’t believe she’s capable of love and insists their affair be temporary, but Vansh struggles to keep things casual, forcing Naina to confront her past and reevaluate her self-worth. Sonali captures the true friendship between Naina and Vansh and addresses difficult subjects without dilution or pretension. Series fans won’t want to miss this. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners. (June)