Trigger Warning : Suicide, Mental Health Stigmatization
Trigger Warning : Suicide, Mental Health Stigmatization
A Standalone Novel | Available Now
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One of Oprah Magazine’s Most Anticipated Romances of 2020
A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy.
After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door…
As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he’s forced to share his space with the owner’s beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life.
As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.
“You’re sitting at my desk.” She put the pot on the reception desk and folded her arms.
Sam shuffled his papers, spreading them across the polished wood surface for no reason other than to keep his gaze off her distractingly perfect breasts. “I didn’t see your name on it.”
“Just look at your lease. You’ll see it written across the top, or can’t you read big words like Patel?”
“I don’t recall seeing any identification,” he countered. “For all I know, you could have just walked in off the street. You’re certainly not dressed like you’re running a business.”
Eyes blazing, she glared. “What’s wrong with how I’m dressed?”
“An apron and a pink tracksuit with Juicy written across the ass are hardly serious business attire and they certainly don’t scream swipe right on desi Tinder.”
Sam didn’t know if there was such a thing as Tinder for people of South Asian descent living abroad, but if it did exist, he and Layla would definitely not have been a match.
Layla gave a growl of frustration. “You may be surprised to hear that I don’t live my life seeking male approval. I’m just getting over a breakup so I’m a little bit fragile. Last night, I went out with Daisy and drank too much, smoked something I thought was a cigarette, danced on a speaker, and fell onto some loser named Jimbo, whose girlfriend just happened to be an MMA fighter and didn’t like to see me sprawled on top of her man. We had a minor physical altercation and I was kicked out of the bar. Then I got dumped on the street by my Uber driver because I threw up in his cab. So today, I just couldn’t manage office wear. It’s called self-care, and we all need it sometimes. Danny certainly didn’t mind.” Danny certainly didn’t mind.”
“Who’s Danny?” The question came out before he could stop it.
“Someone who appreciates all I’ve got going here…” She ran a hand in and out of her generous curves. “… and isn’t hung up on trivial things like clothes.” She tugged off the apron and folded it on the crock-pot.
“I’m not hung up on clothes either,” Sam teased. “When I’m with a woman I prefer her to have no clothes at all.”
“You’re disgusting.” Layla grabbed her crock-pot and donuts and marched into the small kitchen at the back of the office.
Sam heard cupboards bang. Cutlery clatter. Angry mutters and a huff. A few minutes later Layla marched back out with a bowl of dal in one hand and two donuts circling her finger like rings.
Only when she sat down and proceeded to eat one of the donuts off her finger did he realize he hadn’t done any work since she walked in.
“Donuts and dal are not two foods that naturally go together,” he pointed out.
Layla took a giant bite and licked her lips. “Do you not have work to do? Or are you just going to sit there and look pretty?”
Sara Desai has been a lawyer, radio DJ, marathon runner, historian, bouncer and librarian. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, kids and an assortment of forest creatures who think they are pets. Sara writes sexy romantic comedy and contemporary romance with a multicultural twist. When not laughing at her own jokes, Sara can be found eating nachos. Visit Sara at http://www.saradesai.com.
The first in an fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.
For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.
But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.
When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?
The Sun Mela is many things: a call for peace, a cause for celebration, and, above all, a deadly competition. For Kunal and Esha, finally working together as rebel spies, it provides the perfect guise to infiltrate King Vardaan’s vicious court.
Kunal will return to his role as dedicated Senap soldier, at the Sun Mela to provide extra security for the palace during the peace summit for the divided nations of Jansa and Dharka. Meanwhile, Esha will use her new role as adviser to Prince Harun to keep a pulse on shifting political parties and seek out allies for their rebel cause. A radical plan is underfoot to rescue Jansa’s long-lost Princess Reha—the key to the stolen throne.
But amid the Mela games and glittering festivities, much more dangerous forces lie in wait. With the rebel Blades’ entry into Vardaan’s court, a match has been lit, and long-held secrets will force Kunal and Esha to reconsider their loyalties—to their country and to each other. Getting into the palace was the easy task; coming out together will be a battle for their lives.
It has been almost an entire year since my last Music Monday post, and let me tell you, THIS IS THE WORST. I feel very disappointed in myself, as I should. This was supposed to be one of those little features that would keep bringing me back to the blog even when I was busy with real life things, but that has not been the case, sadly. I wish I’d done better. But I have not. Here’s to hoping it’s better from here on out!
#MusicMonday is one of those things that made me try out new music myself because I wanted to give out better recs every week, and while I haven’t made a post about it in 11 months, I have explored new artists and I’m really excited about sharing them with you. This week, we have something interesting and lovely, absolutely soulful that I can’t wait to share!
A broken bond. A dying land. A cat-and-mouse game that can only end in bloodshed.
Esha is a legend, but no one knows. It’s only in the shadows that she moonlights as the Viper, the rebels’ highly skilled assassin. She’s devoted her life to avenging what she lost in the royal coup, and now she’s been tasked with her most important mission to date: taking down the ruthless General Hotha.
Kunal has been a soldier since childhood, training morning and night to uphold the power of King Vardaan. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path—even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has been growing only more volatile.
Then Esha’s and Kunal’s paths cross—and an unimaginable chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they’re calling the shots, but they’re not the only players moving the pieces. As the bonds that hold their land in order break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both rebel and soldier must make unforgivable choices.
Drawing inspiration from ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology, the first book in Swati Teerdhala’s debut fantasy trilogy captivates with electric romance, stunning action, and the fierce bonds that hold people together—and drive them apart.
From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.
Will the princess save the beast?
For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?
His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…
As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.
Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.
Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of the battle that saw Dara slain at Prince Ali’s hand, Nahri must forge a new path for herself, without the protection of the guardian who stole her heart or the counsel of the prince she considered a friend. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her familyand one misstep will doom her tribe.
Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid, the unpredictable water spirits, have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.
And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.
Hi, Rin! Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview! I’m so glad to have you over. I hope you enjoy this little interview! 😀
Q1 : Tell us a little about Wicked As You Wish! I’m sure everyone is really excited to know more about the book!
A1 : Thank you! WICKED AS YOU WISH is a fairy-tale-as-alternative-history story about a Filipina teen descended from the famed Filipina heroine, Maria Makiling, whose best friend also happens to be the exiled prince-in-hiding of the famed kingdom of Avalon, which was frozen over by the Snow Queen over a decade ago. Now she, along with a band of merry teens, must help him take back Avalon after his kingdom’s most powerful weapon – a firebird – lands on their dorrstep.
Q2 : WAYW is finally out in the world. After 10 whole years. How does it feel to have a book that’s taken so long to reach the audience, finally reach them?
A2 : Relieved, I think. I never really thought, even after I published my first book, that this story was going to ever see the light of day. It had a weird concept, even more so by my standards, and decentered the US in a way where I didn’t want to have to apologize for it. I am very fortunate that my editors had my back for this one, and that my agent, Rebecca, was so supportive!
Q3 : If you could describe the book in one word, how would you describe it?
A3 : Eclectic.
Q4 : What has been your favourite part about this book? Is it the plot or the characters or the worldbuilding? What was the most fun to write?
A4 : Worldbuilding is usually my favorite part of writing a book, but it was the complete opposite for this one. I enjoyed envisioning the world I made in THE BONE WITCH, and even the deliberate sparseness in THE NEVER TILTING WORLD, but WICKED’s nearly made me cry. Too many fairy tales, too much time trying to fuse them into one coherent magical system despite all their contradictions. I think the dialogue is my favorite to write for this one, though! I took a lot of inspiration mostly from the banter I have with my closest friends, and tried to really keep them grounded as teenagers who just happen to be saving the world. I think someone in a review pointed out to me said that it gave them FOMO reading their adventures, and that they wanted to join them, and that was exactly what I was gunning for.
Q5 : What was the most difficult scene for you to write in the whole book? Why?
A5 : I think the ones where I try my best to humanize some of the story’s villains (I won’t say the names, because spoilers!) even though you know they’re doing the wrong thing. Sometimes people don’t have a choice but to be villains, and instead of blaming the system they blame the victims of the system. And in doing that you try to separate their actions from their experiences. As someone who grew up in a very poor country, and was apolitical to a lot of it as a teen because I was privileged enough to be cushioned from the worst of those injustices until it finally happened to me and to the people I love, I try to be actively mindful, though that’s always a constant learning process. It’s easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to the horrible things around without trying to analyze why that’s so. The main difficulty was trying to make it respectful, to not make them two dimensional. They can so easily be so many people that I’ve known.
Q6 : If you could take the place of any of the characters in the book, who would you like to be and why?
A6 : Ken likes to talk smack and claim otherwise, but Loki is easily the best fighter in the group. Plus, they’re real damn awesome at parkour!
That was Rin, y’all! I hope you enjoyed her interview! Don’t forget to check out Wicked As You Wish!
Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left desolate and encased in ice when the evil Snow Queen waged war on the powerful country. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.
Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is in hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them. Tala doesn’t mind—she has secrets of her own. Namely, that she’s a spellbreaker, someone who negates magic.
Then hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, and Avalon’s most powerful weapon, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.
She is represented by Rebecca Podos of the Helen Rees Agency. She is also fond of speaking in the third person, and may as well finish this short bio in this manner. While she does not always get to check her Goodreads page, she does answer questions posed to her here as promptly as she is able to. Find her at the following places instead:
Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…