ROMANCE

Recipe for Persuasion

Morrow. (Rajes, Bk. 2). May 2020. 448p. ISBN 9780062839077. pap. $15.99. contemporary ROMANCE
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In the follow-up to Dev’s smash hit Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors, timid Ashna Raje of the royal Raje clan struggles to keep her father’s renowned Indian restaurant, Curried Dreams, alive. The chance to save her business comes when she’s offered a spot as a chef on the reality show Cooking with the Stars. The catch? Her celebrity partner is none other than Rico Silva, ex-soccer star and boy whose heart she broke as a teenager. A viral moment at the start of the show throws fans into a frenzy, cheering for a relationship between the former lovers. Added to the mix is Ashna’s volatile relationship with her mother, Shoban, an award-winning humanitarian who shows up on Ashna’s doorstep unexpectedly. As the story unfolds in the present, flashbacks from the perspectives of teenage Ashna, Rico, and even Shoban reveal secrets that add dimension to their characters.
VERDICT Clever allusions to Persuasion aside (even Jane Austen fans will be challenged to spot them all), this is a sumptuously multilayered story about the ways love gets tangled in family life and romantic relationships. Highly recommended.

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