• The Marriage Game

  • By: Sara Desai
  • Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
  • Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (206 ratings)

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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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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.

8 people found this helpful

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all the funny banter and sexy feels you could want

After reading an early release of The Dating Plan, I decided to read Sara's first novel The Marriage Game. First, I must say you need to read both of these romantic comedies if you haven't already. They have all the funny banter and sexy feels you could want in a romantic comedy.

The Marriage Game meets Netflix series Indian Matchmaking. I must admit, I most definitely binge watched Indian Matchmaking when it was released last year in July. Little did I know Sara wrote a book about an aspiring entrepreneur whose father starts matching her for an Indian husband after moving back home to San Francisco.

I absolutely loved the show by the way, and The Marriage Game had me laughing the whole way through. Hooked from the very beginning, I couldn't stop listening to the novel. A must read romantic comedy for this year.

3 people found this helpful

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Cute

I enjoyed this book, although It could have been a few chapters shorter. The narration by Soneela Nankani was very good. I always like a strong female main character and this story did not disappoint.

1 person found this helpful

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Good story, way too long.

Liked the story but it was way, way too long. The narrator was outstanding. Will read more books by the author.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun listen

I enjoyed the story, rich with cultural references. Howe, I was thankful when the sexy scenes ended as I grew quite tired of hearing how this tall, hard-bodied, gorgeous, intelligent, wealthy man was so sexually enthralled with his plus-sized amore and couldn’t keep his hands/thoughts off her.

Good read for overweight/plus-sized women.

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Good start but couldn't finish

I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn’t get into this story. The characters were likable, yet I could not connect to Layla Patel and Sam Mehta. I could relate to the family relationships and enjoyed that part of it, but the story didn’t flow in a way that grabbed me. The audible portion was good and was why I got as far as I did (50%).

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fun Desi Rom com

fun Desi rom com
fun Desi rom com
fun Desi rom com
fun Desi Rom com
try it

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the guy has some problems

The main guy in this story is borderline controlling and just a little bit old school but the writer works her ass off to make you like him and she does.

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Well that was fun!

Great narration with accents. This is bound to be a rom com soon!! Great summer read!

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Sara Desai is now a new favourite author!

Wow - amazing, awesome, absolutely incredible! I loved everything about this book. And to top it all off, Sara is a Canadian author (and we're supporting AAPI, and Canadian at the same time!).

The storyline was brilliant! I've always thought the Indian culture was so beautiful (growing up, there were a lot of Indian (India, not Native - I should definitely confirm that fact) students in my schools and living in my neighbourhood, so I was always exposed to it), but the idea of arranged marriages has always been intriguing to me. Maybe that's why I loved this one so much? I think the idea became a little more appealing to me when I got to the "on the shelf" age (in Jane Austen days that was I believe 25? At 40 now, I'm well past that time and my parents joked with me at 30 that they'd go find me a husband, in the vein of an arranged marriage like we have here!)... but truly I think I'm more happy just living how I am, after experiencing the terrible choices there are out there, and especially after reading this book and all of the awful ones that Layla went through in the "Game"!

I love the idea that her father had picked out 10 eligible suitors from an Indian matchmaking/arranged marriage website, and she decided to continue on with his plan to meet them to see if there was any potential that she could actually stand to marry one of them, and that the new tenant moving into their office space agreed to help out and be her chaperone and made this game out of it.

Such a great story, fantastic idea, and so extremely well executed! When it came to the conflict and angst part of the story, I was listening on my commute and I think I had a harder time than normal, but couldn't turn it off (audiobook of course) because I was driving! It was a harder angst than normal, and I think it made me more sad than usual (I don't normally have all that many emotions when reading) - and I'm not sure why, but it kind of tore me up that she had to go through the heartbreak that she did, but it made the HEA at the end so much more worthwhile!

Loved it - absolutely loved it!! Six stars!

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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