cover image Never Meant to Stay

Never Meant to Stay

Trisha Das. Amazon Crossing, $16.99 trade paper (284p) ISBN 978-1-66251-020-5

Das (Kama’s Last Sutra) brings readers into the thick of familial chaos in this charming introduction to the Khannas, a Punjabi family in South Delhi. Wedding photographer Samara Mansingh, stuck in India until she has the money to move back to New York, gladly accepts an invitation to stay with the Khannas, friends of her family, for a few months. She’s instantly attracted to the broodingly serious but jaw-droppingly gorgeous eldest son, Sharav, who starts lusting after her in turn after walking in on her wearing only a towel (she mistook his room for the guest room). As Samara prepares for her future, she can’t help meddling in the Khanna family’s problems, helping Sharav’s sister, Diya, stave off an unwanted arranged marriage and his musician brother, Dhruv, rediscover his singing voice, and coaxing their widowed mother from her grief. Das does a fine job pulling readers into her characters’ heartache while exploring the struggle of balancing family obligations with the desire for independence. This quick-paced and refreshing tale will have readers rooting for Samara and Sharav’s love story—and for the entire Khanna clan. (Dec.)