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Publisher's Summary

“This novel has all the funny banter and sexy feels you could want in a romantic comedy.” (NPR) 

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.

©2020 Sara Desai (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Marriage Game is the most delicious read! From the humor, to the heartwarming family bonds, to the off the charts chemistry, it's impossible for me to love this book anymore. I can't wait for more from Sara Desai!" (Alexa Martin, author of Intercepted)

"I fell hard for The Marriage Game from the moment I read Layla and Sam's dynamite meet-cute. It's a hilarious, heartfelt, and steamy enemies-to-lovers romance." (Sarah Smith, author of Faker)
 

"[An] enticing debut." (SheReads)

What listeners say about The Marriage Game

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Fun, easy listen

Bollywood rom-comedy at its finest! The story was fun and entertaining. I didn’t want it to end! I look forward to more from this author.

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Loved every minute

New author who I adore. What a fun romp! I’m starting the next in the series immediately. Excellent writing and narration.

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Cute - More of a rom-com than a romance

This book was cute overall - very reminiscent of a movie rom-com with dialogue and twists and turns that are a bit silly and a bit unrealistic at times - but make for a fun read.

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Terrible disappointment

I so wanted to enjoy this book as I've been watching lots of Bollywood romances during quarantine. The author got many elements right - the movie references, the food, the culture - but none of that saved the terrible, awful, eye rolling painful story. It reads like a first draft in desperate need of a strong willed editor. The title Marriage Game was a contrived rationale for the main characters to spend time together, but it got just ridiculously twisted as the novel limped along. The characters lurch around in a way that gives you emotional whiplash, and is all so extreme. The friend who is an ass has to be such an ass you can't justify the friendship. The emotional overeating can't just be an embarrassing moment of being sick, but she falls asleep on the floor next to the sick?? I was ok with the story for the first 7 hours, but the last 3 were just eye rolls and exhausted sighs desperate for it to be over. I wish I could just walk away without finishing because by the time we got to the end I'd lost all affection or respect for the characters.

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Layla learns to navigate family expectations

I have not read this author before but the title caught my eye. I am super glad that I tried it because this book really resonated with me. As a first-generation daughter of immigrants, I could really relate to Layla’s struggle to establish herself as her parents want her to marry. This is also my first time listening to Soneela Nankani and she did a great job narrating this story. It was so touching the lengths her dad went to in order to ensure Layla had a guy that was worthy of her. I don’t think my parents would be savvy enough to create an online dating profile and follow up with the responses. The hero, Sam, was really likeable. He was hard working, a bit cynical but he had a sense of humor. I like how he enjoyed pushing Layla’s buttons and how she gave it right back. Enemies to lovers is one of my favorite trope so the who push-and-pull thing with Sam added many chuckles for me. The actual husband hunt where Sam helped Layla weed through the profiles was really entertaining. I am glad it helped Sam do some soul searching as he had some baggage to reconcile especially with his sister. At the heart of this story was the connectivity of family. The author did a great job of drawing the reader into the culture make it feel familiar. I love that we got a glimpse into the family traditions, food, and views about careers. It was clear that Sam and Layla had that sexy chemistry even as he was trying to evict her out of the office space. The writing was engaging, the story was enjoyable and the character growth was the icing on the cake. I definitely will be keeping an eye out for Sara Desai’s other work because this was a great introduction to her story-telling. The relationship journey will keep you turning the page until you finish the book.

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  • Maria
  • 07-06-20

Perfect light entertainment

Although it was quite predictable I loved the easygoing storyline and the loveable characters. Funny and lighthearted, a great holiday listen