The Shaadi Set-Up

Lillie Vale. Putnam, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-593-32871-2
YA author Vale (Small Town Hearts) makes a splash with her laugh-out-loud adult debut. Furniture restorer Rita Chitniss is dating Neil Deiwan, but they’re keeping their relationship a secret due to the bad blood between their families. When Neil, who finds it hard to say no to his pushy, matchmaking mother, insists they come clean, Rita devises a plan. She signs them both up for, a Desi matchmaking website famous for seeing couples down the aisle. When she and Neil are matched by the site’s foolproof algorithm, she reasons, their parents will have no choice but to accept them as a couple. Except the site doesn’t match Rita with Neil; it matches her with realtor Milan Rao, the man who broke her heart six years ago. Maternal meddling further pushes these exes back together when Rita’s mother offers Rita’s services as an interior designer on a property Milan is having trouble flipping. Rita agrees to the project, but only to prove to Milan how over him she is. This plan also backfires, as one house turns to two and their relationship evolves from business to pleasure. Vale evenly balances heart and heat, while imbuing her rom-com with cultural specificity and delicately exploring familial obligation and heartbreak. Hilarious and heartfelt, this second chance romance proves it’s never too late to start again. Agent: Jessica Waterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 04/22/2021
Release date: 09/07/2021
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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