cover image Incense and Sensibility

Incense and Sensibility

Sonali Dev. Morrow, $15.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-305180-5

Dev’s emotionally charged third Rajes romance (after Recipe for Persuasion) centers on Yash Raje, a California gubernatorial candidate whose meteoric rise is disrupted by an assassination attempt. Public sympathy pushes Yash to the top of the polls following the failed shooting, but trauma and anxiety attacks jeopardize his campaign. Enter India Dashwood, a yoga therapist and stress management coach—and the woman Yash let get away 10 years ago. With the election only months away, India’s coaching is Yash’s best hope at getting back on the campaign trail—and she’s also the only person who makes him feel anything at all. The story of trauma and recovery in the face of racist gun violence is timely, but that may also make it difficult for some readers to get through, despite the narrative’s deeply romantic heart. Dev’s cast runs the gamut from kindhearted to ruthless, though not all characters are equally believable: Dev excels at portraying the fond interconnectedness of the large Raje family, but is less successful in conjuring the Dashwoods’ dynamic, and the disparate tones between scenes featuring each family can be disorienting. Still, series fans will be happy to revisit the Rajes and be pleased by the sweet love story. [em]Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners (July) [/em]