ARC Review: The Marriage Game

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

Publisher: Berkley
Expected Publication: June 9th, 2020
Pages: 304
Date Read: April 18th, 2020
Rating: 4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This ARC of The Marriage Game was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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.

This was such a cute romantic comedy! It had so many great aspects that I really love to see in a romance novel. It had humor, culture, quirky characters, a little bit of a hate-to-love romance, and a whole lot of family.

I don’t know if I’m the only person that enjoys seeing family relationships in my romances, but it’s one of my favorite things to read. I have a really close relationship with my family, so I think I feel more connected to the story when I see the main characters interacting with their families. I feel like a lot of romances focus solely on the main character and their love interest, and the rest of the world is put on the back burner. But that is just not realistic. In real life we have families and jobs and social lives. I enjoy seeing all that in a romance novel. This one definitely hit the mark on realism.

A huge part of this book is the family and the culture. The main characters are desi. Which means they are of Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi origins. They have huge families that are always around and in each others business. But they are also fiercely protective and supportive of each other. This culture still does arranged marriages today, but it works a bit differently. They put a marriage resume online and match their sons and daughters up with potential suitors who they then meet and see if there is a good match between them. I found it very interesting to read about and I loved learning about their culture and all the different foods and drinks they enjoyed.

Aside from the complex families we also get some very complex, but adorable, characters. Layla has been through so many boyfriends that never worked out she is willing to try an arranged marriage to possibly find someone to create a life with, even if she doesn’t love them. But when she meets Sam who has seen what arranged marriages can do to a family things start to change for both of them. They are accidentally forced to share an office space and initially hate each other. But after spending a bit of time together they decide to strike a deal. If Sam will be her chaperone on some blind dates set by her father, she will let him have the office. As you can guess, things get crazy from then on. These characters go through a lot of self discovery, and really learn to help each other along the way. They have to deal with things from their past that aren’t easy, as well as their growing feelings for each other. I really enjoyed the characters and the romance in this book.

Another thing I enjoyed was the banter and the humor. This is a romantic comedy all the way. The characters back and forth banter is hilarious. I caught myself laughing many times and rereading scenes just to enjoy it all again. The characters are witty and sarcastic and I really enjoyed reading their story.

The one single thing I didn’t absolutely love about this book was the main conflict. I felt like it was a bit forced and the resolution wasn’t my favorite. I would have liked to see it happen a bit differently, but the ending was still very cute and I enjoyed it immensely.

I would highly recommend this book to any fans of romantic comedies, or just cute romances in general. If you enjoy witty characters, self discovery, and huge families, then this books is for you!

Would you read this book? Thanks for checking out this review! Happy Reading 🖤


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