Monday, January 18, 2021

Book Review: Recipe For Persuasion by Sonali Dev

Title: Recipe For Persuasion
Author: Sonali Dev
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 464
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Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen? 

Rico Silva, that’s what.  

Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster. 

FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn't too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he's definitely over her. 

But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce…and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico.  Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion…? 

In Recipe for Persuasion, Sonali Dev once again takes readers on an unforgettable adventure in this fresh, fun, and enchanting romantic comedy.

I just finished Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev and I LOVED it! Part of Dev’s Raje series from her twist on Jane Austen novels, this book takes us through Ashna Raje’s life. I don’t like to have spoilers in my reviews so I won’t add any. However, I will say that the description of this book on Goodreads is misleading. This was not the lighthearted, romantic comedy I was expecting. This book explored some very hard and serious themes and that made me like it all the better.

Personally, I hated Ashna. She was childish, impulsive, and had A LOT of issues. She also lacked basic communication skills. I found myself wanting to rip my hair out sometimes because of her behavior. And yet, this was still a five star read for me. The story of Ashna’s mother, Shobi, was the star of this book for me. Shobi was a strong, powerful, and amazing woman and her story was impactful. Being an American woman, it can be hard to sometimes remember that women in other countries have it much harder than the women in my country ever will. I’ve found myself going down the rabbit hole on Google doing research on India and how women are treated there and if it hadn’t been for this book, I may not have ever researched it. In both Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors and Recipe for Persuasion, Dev intertwined important current events into her story, such as American healthcare issues and American immigration. Combined with Shobi’s entertaining and strong feminist backstory, I couldn’t put Recipe for Persuasion down.

I’ve never read Persuasion by Jane Austen so I can’t compare Dev’s twist to the original story. In July 2021, Incense and Sensibility, based off of Sense and Sensibility, will be released and it’s about Yash Raje and his run for governor in California. I just received Incense and Sensibility through NetGalley. If Yash’s story goes the way I think it will, I can’t wait to read it and write my review for it!