Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes, #2)
From the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors comes another , clever, deeply layered, and heartwarming romantic comedy that follows in the Jane Austen tradition—this time, with a twist on Persuasion.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.

Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes, #2) Details

TitleRecipe for Persuasion (The Rajes, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 26th, 2020
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN-139780062839077
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Fiction, Retellings, Contemporary Romance

Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes, #2) Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Nope, this is not sweet romcom that I’ve dreamed of and it is not also great example for retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.I actually have to admit that when I click the request button, I didn’t think it was retelling of one of the famous classics. I looked at the beautiful cover and read the blurb made me think it’s entertaining second chance romance with humorous enemies- ex lovers story with a sweet and romantic touch of Indian cultural motifs. But as soon as I got the book into my hands, Nope, this is not sweet romcom that I’ve dreamed of and it is not also great example for retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.I actually have to admit that when I click the request button, I didn’t think it was retelling of one of the famous classics. I looked at the beautiful cover and read the blurb made me think it’s entertaining second chance romance with humorous enemies- ex lovers story with a sweet and romantic touch of Indian cultural motifs. But as soon as I got the book into my hands, I found the story way too much tragic. There are suicide, child neglect, alcoholism. But one thing I know: Ashna is definitely not Persuasion’s Anne! The things they’re in common: First letters of their names, rejecting the man they could have HEA, risk of poverty ( she can lose her restaurant that she keeps it open for the memory of his deceased father) and their ages. And of course Persuasion is the wrongest choice to be retold in cooking reality show drama concept centered on a young chef suffering from anxiety and ex soccer star suffering from leg injury. The staccato way of story telling was too wordy, arduous, slow and made me lose my interest. I didn’t have problem about characters but their tragic stories overshadowed their love stories at most parts and Ashna’s too selfish mother reminded me of soap opera villanelles.Overall: I may sense the author has real talent by her word choices and the way of building stories but she gave so much details and descriptions that slow down the pace. And the tragic events she developed for own characters were too depressing and heavy. So I go with solid 3 stars for this book because I felt like being deceived after reading enjoyable blurb and vivid cover of the book. I expected something enlightening my dark mood. We’re locked down in our house! You may imagine my husband and me give each other our kill at the first sight glares. He just called steak with my name when he cut it into tiny pieces as if he’s planning the perfect mur... I mean cooking perfect stew. So all I need a perfect reading escape for getting through these stressful days! But unfortunately this is not my cup of Irish whiskey (happy St. Patrick’s Day quarantine Eve by the way! )Special thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers/ William Morrow Paperbacks for sharing this interesting ARC in exchange my honest review. I wish I could like it more.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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  • Renaissance Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Ashna Raje is struggling. Her restaurant could use some major renovations, and she can barely fill thirty of the dining room’s one hundred tables on a good night. She never seems to see eye-to-eye with her very successful mother, who lives in India and rarely makes time to visit Ashna in the San Francisco Bay Area. And now, Ashna’s cousin and best friend want her to star on a celebrity cooking show, where she’ll be paired off with a famous partner and have the chance to win enough money to turn Ashna Raje is struggling. Her restaurant could use some major renovations, and she can barely fill thirty of the dining room’s one hundred tables on a good night. She never seems to see eye-to-eye with her very successful mother, who lives in India and rarely makes time to visit Ashna in the San Francisco Bay Area. And now, Ashna’s cousin and best friend want her to star on a celebrity cooking show, where she’ll be paired off with a famous partner and have the chance to win enough money to turn her restaurant around. The restaurant is all that remains of her father, so determined to hold onto it, Ashna reluctantly agrees.Frederico “Rico” Silva is also struggling. A recent knee injury led him to an early retirement as a world-renown FIFA player. At his teammate’s bachelor party, Rico begins reminiscing about all the women he’s ever dated and finds himself fixated on the one girl with whom he never found closure. A quick internet search reveals she’s to be a contestant on the Food Network’s upcoming celebrity cooking show, and before he allows himself time to reconsider, Rico picks up his phone and asks his agent to book him the gig.Despite this lighthearted premise, Recipe for Persuasion is not the romantic comedy its description makes it out to be. While it contains some upbeat moments, including Ashna and Rico’s TV cook-offs or Ashna’s close relationships with her cousins, the book explores several heavier topics that better categorize it as a drama. Ashna and Rico’s romance is one of rekindled love that forces them to reexamine their past relationship as they fall for each other again; however, in doing so, they must revisit the severe traumas they respectively faced as children that impacted their breakup.The book also heavily focuses on Ashna’s strained relationship with her mother, Shobi, and includes many chapters from Shobi’s point of view, past and present. This element serves well to tie-in the series’ overarching theme of the Raje family’s intricate relationships and offers a revealing look at the older generation who came before Ashna (and Trisha, for those who read the first book in this series).Fans of Trisha’s story will not be shocked to hear that Ashna’s tale also contains somber topics, nor will they be surprised to know that Sonali Dev‘s beautiful and poignant writing will take you on an emotional roller coaster. It was lovely seeing how Ashna and Rico found home in one another after being lost for so long. Although the Raje family drama overshadowed their romance, Ashna’s heart-wrenching, vulnerable examination of herself and her relationship with Shobi and even with her father is where this book truly shines.Lastly, I’m looking forward to Dev’s retelling of Sense and Sensibility, as I don’t think the appearance of sisters China and India Dashwood in this book was simply a coincidence.Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Sophia
    January 1, 1970
    Jane Austen’s Persuasion gets a modern face lift Desi-style in this standalone sequel as Indian American chef, Ashna Raje, and Brazilian footballer, Rico Silva, encounter each other once again as acrimonious cooking partners on a reality TV show. I love that the Sonali Dev has cooked up the Raje series of modern retellings of Austen’s classical works including this second entry, Recipe for Persuasion, giving members of the Raje family their chances at romance. Ashna’s family are convinced a real Jane Austen’s Persuasion gets a modern face lift Desi-style in this standalone sequel as Indian American chef, Ashna Raje, and Brazilian footballer, Rico Silva, encounter each other once again as acrimonious cooking partners on a reality TV show. I love that the Sonali Dev has cooked up the Raje series of modern retellings of Austen’s classical works including this second entry, Recipe for Persuasion, giving members of the Raje family their chances at romance. Ashna’s family are convinced a reality cooking show is just the jumpstart her dying restaurant needs and she is willing to do anything to preserve this last bit of her father who opened the restaurant.As a pro footballer at the top of his game, Rico thought he had moved on from Ashna’s rejection. That is until he is injured badly and yet another relationship didn’t work out. He decides he has to do something about not being over his teenage love so signs onto the show to be Ashna’s partner. He vents his long smoldering anger, but also understands as an adult what his teenage self couldn’t when he learns the true state of Ashna’s affairs. Understanding her leads to understanding of the past.Ashna had a difficult childhood. Her father, a prince, was forced out of India for some trouble he got into and lost the lifestyle he was accustomed to making him a bitter, angry man. Her parents were stuck in a loveless marriage where abuse and alcoholism were rife and Ashna was physically abandoned by her mother while the father’s issues were just as unhealthy for her so that, even after his death, she works to please a father who was never going to be pleased. It was his dream to go to Paris and become a superb chef. Ash pursued it for him Now she can’t even create her own dishes without bringing on an anxiety attack. She can only keep his restaurant just as he had it and cook only his dishes which is why the restaurant is failing. Others see the problem, yet she refuses to heed them because honoring her father is all she has left. Into this situation steps the boy become man from her past and she hasn’t gotten over him. When I chose this book, I was enchanted at the thought of the Persuasion story being set in a modern Indian-style setting. I loved the lavish descriptions, the traditions, cultural background, and, oh my stars, the food. I was so hungry reading this one that I had to whip up some hummus. The connection of family was strong including Ashna’s cousin Trisha who had her story in the first book.I thought the author did a good job making Austen’s classic plot the bones of this story and filling it in with modern characters and modern concerns. I glanced at the blurb and noticed it describes Recipe For Persuasion as a Romcom. Personally, I think that gives the wrong impression. This had some humorous moments, but it was not a light story. It read closer to women’s fiction for me because so much had to be addressed before even the romance could grow. Speaking of the romance, I was underwhelmed. I liked the characters, especially Rico, as individuals and cheered for them to find peace and their happy. However, I wasn’t feeling their adult reunion romance. I couldn’t see what maintained it over the years to that strength since, in this version, they were teens who fell in love and this is way longer a gap in years. In addition, I wasn’t feeling it between them as adults. Ash was a hot mess and she was content to stay that way. She was wilting and so down on herself. I struggled with her parts of the narration and even preferred her mother Shobi’s narrative sections about her miserable past and inability to connect with her own child as a result. So, Ash, as a woman to capture the confident and handsome adult Rico’s interest? Um, no. And, that brings me to Rico’s prickly anger. Just after they broke up, sure, be angry, but it makes no sense to me that he still feels it so strongly and places so much blame this many years later. Turns out like the original character, his anger was masking something else. I liked the process of his eyes being opened and grasping this new chance. Rico did end up being rather romantic when he got over it. Spoiler alert. Sorry Captain Wentworth fans, no romantic “You pierce my soul.” letter to Ashna, though he did find a different way to be swoony.In summary, I liked, but did not love this book. To be fair, my personal mood and my struggle to read this style book is also a factor. I found the heroine and her romance only mildly engaging, but on the other hand, there was a richness to the setting and background that drew me in, a hero who caught my interest, and the author’s writing style was solid. Again, I would recommend this more to fiction than straight romance fans and those who enjoy modern retellings.I rec'd this book via Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sally Kilpatrick
    January 1, 1970
    Wow.You should all be very, very jealous of me right now because I got to read an early version of this book, and you're going to want it. Of course, now I have the unenviable task of putting down my thoughts before I forget them while not spoiling the book in any sort of way. I will say that many Kleenexs were lost in the reading of this book. If you would like to have your innards turned inside out and then put back to rights thus leaving you with a happy but weary glow, then this is the book Wow.You should all be very, very jealous of me right now because I got to read an early version of this book, and you're going to want it. Of course, now I have the unenviable task of putting down my thoughts before I forget them while not spoiling the book in any sort of way. I will say that many Kleenexs were lost in the reading of this book. If you would like to have your innards turned inside out and then put back to rights thus leaving you with a happy but weary glow, then this is the book for you. If you like soccer players with man buns, this is the book for you. If you have a chai addiction, love cooking shows, soccer, or stories about family--specifically mothers and daughters, then this is the book for you.As you can tell from the title, this book takes inspiration from Austen's Persuasion just as the one before played on Pride and Prejudice. Sonali captures both the wit and the inner turmoil of characters in a way that lends itself perfectly to an Austen retelling.
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  • Sahitya
    January 1, 1970
    CW: talk of past alcoholism, suicide and rape; ptsd and panic attacks I have a thing for desi Jane Austen retellings, so as soon as I saw the announcement for this book, I knew I was going to read it. Second chance romance on the other hand is not my favorite trope, but because I knew how Persuasion turns, I thought I would love this one too. It didn’t end up working that way though. The bare bones of the story is quite close to the original, but I was actually excited for the reality cooking sh CW: talk of past alcoholism, suicide and rape; ptsd and panic attacks I have a thing for desi Jane Austen retellings, so as soon as I saw the announcement for this book, I knew I was going to read it. Second chance romance on the other hand is not my favorite trope, but because I knew how Persuasion turns, I thought I would love this one too. It didn’t end up working that way though. The bare bones of the story is quite close to the original, but I was actually excited for the reality cooking show plotline which turned out to be just ok. The author’s writing is pretty descriptive in places which also didn’t really work for me. I liked the characters of Ashna and Rico individually and there was chemistry between them when they meet again, but we only are ever told and I never got to see why they were so deeply in love with each other even after more than a decade. Ashna’s mother Shobi is the other POV we get and my feelings for her kept oscillating between like and hate. I really wanted to like and root for the characters, but their pasts are so full of tragedy that it just depressed me. To be honest, I only kept waiting for them to get their act together and finally be happy because I couldn’t bear how much they were wallowing in their misery. On the whole, maybe I read this book at the wrong time or I just had wrong expectations, because despite being objectively well written, I didn’t enjoy it much. If you are in the mood for a contemporary romcom which will make you swoon or smile, this is definitely not it. It’s more tragic and sad for the most part, and I just wasn’t ready for it. But maybe it’ll work for for you if you go in with the right expectations.
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  • eyes.2c
    January 1, 1970
    Chef reality show gets very REAL!A very loose nod to Austen's Persuasion. Ashna Raje is trying to hang onto her beloved father's once successful Indian restaurant at all costs. The restaurant is in crisis, millions of dollars were embezzled. Now she is doing all she can to lower overheads and rebuild the restaurant, her father's dream. And that's the crux, Ashna needs to discover her own dream.Her cousin persuades as her to take part in a reality tv cooking show. Grand prize of $100,000 Little d Chef reality show gets very REAL!A very loose nod to Austen's Persuasion. Ashna Raje is trying to hang onto her beloved father's once successful Indian restaurant at all costs. The restaurant is in crisis, millions of dollars were embezzled. Now she is doing all she can to lower overheads and rebuild the restaurant, her father's dream. And that's the crux, Ashna needs to discover her own dream.Her cousin persuades as her to take part in a reality tv cooking show. Grand prize of $100,000 Little did Ashna know that the former love of her life would be her partner. Soccer star Rico Silva has used his influence to ensure this. Being thrown together, in the spotlight and off, forces Rico and Ashna to re-evaluate themselves, their reactions and other aspects of their lives.Devastating secrets are forced into the open. For Ashna that includes reassessing her relationship with both her mother and her father. Ashna's father was an Indian Prince sent by his family to the United States to build a new life for himself and his family. Her mother had deserted the Prince and Ashna many years before, returning to India to advocate for girls sporting rights that developed into female empowerment in other areas of life. To say Ashna and her mother's relationship is fraught is a massive understatement.Although Ashna's mother's story raises interesting issues about relationships between generations. Including the idea that current generations accept the status quo of women's rights as they are now without appreciating previous generation's historical situations and the cost to them. Those forgotten battles are the legacy that current generations move forward from.On the surface this story is a very readable modern love story, but underneath, with its richly woven background, darkness hovers, resentments simmer, and redemption possibilities hide around the corner, if one is brave enough.I loved the title. Talking, being open, and forgiving are necessary ingredients for persuasion to happen in this situation.Rethinking this novel, I came to appreciate even more it's depth. I decided this is actually a five star read and not the four star I was originally going with.There are comic moments, but Recipe for Persuasion is far from a romantic comedy. A HarperCollins ARC via NetGalley
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  • Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!
    January 1, 1970
    This Jane Austen inspired contemporary romance novel was a decent, uniquely written diverse-filled read that left me pleasantly surprised on how much I didn't completely hate it. Sure Ashna estranged mother Shobj annoyed me like no other but the rekindle romance between Ansha and Rico made up for it. Overall, it was not a bad read and would definitely keep this author on my radar for future releases. This Jane Austen inspired contemporary romance novel was a decent, uniquely written diverse-filled read that left me pleasantly surprised on how much I didn't completely hate it. Sure Ashna estranged mother Shobj annoyed me like no other but the rekindle romance between Ansha and Rico made up for it. Overall, it was not a bad read and would definitely keep this author on my radar for future releases.
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  • Obsidian
    January 1, 1970
    Please not that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. Trigger warnings: Rape I loved the first book in this series so much. Sonali Dev did a great job with retelling Pride and Prejudice and with her next re-telling I went, oh no. No. No. This book was too all over the place. Reading the description you think you would be focused on the heroine (Ashna Raje) and the hero (Rico Silva) but nope, we also get into Ashna's mother's life prior to her marrying Ashna's fa Please not that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. Trigger warnings: Rape I loved the first book in this series so much. Sonali Dev did a great job with retelling Pride and Prejudice and with her next re-telling I went, oh no. No. No. This book was too all over the place. Reading the description you think you would be focused on the heroine (Ashna Raje) and the hero (Rico Silva) but nope, we also get into Ashna's mother's life prior to her marrying Ashna's father. I ended up being more fascinated about her life than what went on with Ashna. No one was developed very well due to the flopping back and forth. And honestly, I didn't like the final resolution with Ashna. I still don't think she's passionate about being a chef. I wish that she had acknowledged that and did something else. FYI, the book does quote Persuasion, but even my favorite line ever in the history of literature was enough to save this book. "Recipe for Persuasion" follows Ashna Raje. Ashna is running her late father's business, "Curried Dreams." Too bad the business is about to fail. Unable to cook anything besides her father's recipes, Ashna is not able to do much in the kitchen. When her sous chef quits she doesn't know what she will do. When her cousins nag her to do a celebrity cooking show, she thinks she may have figured out how to save her father's restaurant. Rico Silvia is recovering from a career ending sports injury. He is celebrating his best friend's upcoming wedding. During that, he starts to realize that his latest relationship ended because he didn't let himself fall in love. And he realizes he didn't because of his first love who turned him away. When Rico hears about Ashna being in a celebrity cooking show, he makes sure that he appears on the show as her partner. The third character in this book is Ashna's mother, Shobi. Shobi was married to the former prince (Bram Raje). We slowly find out how awful the marriage was and how Shobi's life turned out the way it did. She wants to get closer to Ashna, but doesn't know how. I have to say that Ashna bored me and got on my nerves. She blindly ignores everything she knows about her father and then somehow gets a realization about things. Girl you should have been woke up. We find out that she used to love sports (just like her mother) until she didn't and why. I wish that Dev had did a bit something different with her in regards to the ending.Rico was a head scratcher. I honestly didn't get why he was into Ashna at all. I think that's the biggest problem I had. Dev writes them as teenagers, but there's nothing there. I saw zero chemistry between them as teens to make them be this decades long love story that just had to get together. I was also perplexed about some of Rico's past, but Dev doesn't delve into it enough. Heck she barely delves into Ashna's all the way through. We just hear things piecemail.Shobi's backstory was more developed, which pushed me to thinking that this book should have been her story more than Ashna's. It would have set up nicely with a Persuasion type setting. Heck maybe even set it up to be retelling of Mansfield Park. Parts of the book would have worked for that maybe. I don't know. I was just frustrated and saddened when we get the full storyline here. We get prior characters showing up in this one which was nice, but I found myself caring more about them than Ashna.The writing was solid, the story was not. The flow was awful. Juggling through characters, different time periods and then the present day was too much. The ending tied things up in a much too tidy bow to be believed.
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  • Julie (Jewlsbookblog)
    January 1, 1970
    Ashna’s story really should have been two books! One about Ashna’s mother Shobi-and her hellacious relationship with Ashna’s dad- and another about Ashna and Rico. For me, the story fell short. The content was simply...too much to process. At this point, I can tell you more about Ashna’s family drama more than I can about her and Rico, much less their second chance together, because the family drama consumed all the space. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the book was advertised differentl Ashna’s story really should have been two books! One about Ashna’s mother Shobi-and her hellacious relationship with Ashna’s dad- and another about Ashna and Rico. For me, the story fell short. The content was simply...too much to process. At this point, I can tell you more about Ashna’s family drama more than I can about her and Rico, much less their second chance together, because the family drama consumed all the space. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the book was advertised differently. Total misconception on my part, so please don’t let this deter you from giving this book a try! Sonali Dev has a beautiful writing style and she tells a really good tale that makes you think. This one just wasn’t my cup of tea. I received an advance reader copy from Avon books. This is my honest review.
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  • Janelle
    January 1, 1970
    As much as I love Pride & Prejudice, the book just doesn't update well. (I'm posting a review soon of a spectacular P&P fail.) So many of the elements of the story don't work out of context. Seduction of underage girls, the importance of one sibling's marriage on the family's fortunes, how many families one dines with, fine eyes... stuff just hits different now.Persuasion, however, is, in many ways, a much easier tale to update. A young woman too sensitive to her family's censure, a young man wh As much as I love Pride & Prejudice, the book just doesn't update well. (I'm posting a review soon of a spectacular P&P fail.) So many of the elements of the story don't work out of context. Seduction of underage girls, the importance of one sibling's marriage on the family's fortunes, how many families one dines with, fine eyes... stuff just hits different now.Persuasion, however, is, in many ways, a much easier tale to update. A young woman too sensitive to her family's censure, a young man whose wounded pride demands satisfaction, and a second chance to regain what they'd once lost. The challenge with Persuasion is to reproduce one of the great, if unsung, romantic heroes. If your Wentworth doesn't make a reader swoon, what even is the point?All this to say, Sonali Dev gets this one right. I was half in love with both Ashna and Rico by the end of the first quarter. Ashna Raje, cousin to Trisha Raje, is struggling to save her late father's once glorious restaurant. The shy Ashna is running out of options, so when her friend is looking for a chef to fill in on a pro-am reality cooking show, Ashna goes for it. Frederico Silva has suffered an IT band injury that has put an end to his outstanding football (soccer, you heathens) career. Casting about for something to do with the rest of his life, he decides it's time to get closure from the girl who broke his teenage heart. What better way to do that than to use his fame to force his way onto the reality show?Like Anne Eliot before her, Ashna's childhood was anything but happy. Her father was an irresponsible alcoholic prince kicked out of his country for breaking the law too many times. Her ambitious mother chafed at her loveless marriage and abandoned the family when Ashna was young. Throughout the book, Ashna is trying to find a way to heal from these traumas. Rico's return is one more wound on the pile. Dev tells the story from multiple perspectives, and across the years. We see Ashna as a child, witnessing her parents dysfunctional relationship. Shoban as a young woman forced to marry a spoiled prince, then as an older woman trying to reconcile with the daughter she left behind. Rico gets the short shrift: he still hurts from Ashna's youthful rejection, but the story is less concerned with his past than his present. If I had a complaint, and I truly don't, it would only be that Rico doesn't write his Wentworth note. However, I don't blame Dev one bit for not wanting to compete with that. This might be my absolute favorite Austen retelling. It makes me want to re-read both the original and this version. I'm definitely recommending pre-ordering this to read as soon as it comes out. I was given a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in order to facilitate this review.
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  • Lu
    January 1, 1970
    An Indian chef and a Brazilian soccer player are the main characters in this lovely retelling of Persuasion.As a hard fan of Jane Austen and originally from Brazil, I was immediately hooked by the premise of Recipe for Persuasion. Two high school sweethearts (an Indian chef, and a Brazilian soccer player), separated by family opposition, meet again twelve years later as participants in a culinary reality show.What at first seemed to be a romantic comedy soon turned out much denser and more compl An Indian chef and a Brazilian soccer player are the main characters in this lovely retelling of Persuasion.As a hard fan of Jane Austen and originally from Brazil, I was immediately hooked by the premise of Recipe for Persuasion. Two high school sweethearts (an Indian chef, and a Brazilian soccer player), separated by family opposition, meet again twelve years later as participants in a culinary reality show.What at first seemed to be a romantic comedy soon turned out much denser and more complex. The intricacies of Indian culture, especially the role of women and their fight for equal rights, is a big part of the story.It is not exactly a light read. Ashna (the heroine) suffers from a traumatic childhood. Fruit of a loveless marriage, she was deeply influenced by her parent's neglect. Alcoholism, verbal abuse, marital rape, child emotional abandonment, and a touch of politics distance the book from the realm of rom-coms. It was not the escapist reading I was expecting. It was a solid story with very interesting and layered characters.Ashna is vulnerable and full of doubts, a person haunted by duty and guilt. Frederico, the hero, like his counterpart in Persuasion, is a confident man, but most of all, a very respectful individual. His love for Ash was palpable and beautiful.Overall, a very engrossing and diverse telling of Persuasion.Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lubnaa (Romance Library)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ALC from Harper Audio in exchange for an honest review.Note: content warnings in spoiler tag at the end of review.Persuasion is hands down my favourite Jane Austen book. It is the original second chance romance. It is the gold standard for second chance romance. It has the best love letter (and love declaration) of all time. The ULTIMATE pining and yearning. My deep love for Persuasion is partly why I’ve never actually read a Persuasion retelling before this one. Recipe for Persuas I received an ALC from Harper Audio in exchange for an honest review.Note: content warnings in spoiler tag at the end of review.Persuasion is hands down my favourite Jane Austen book. It is the original second chance romance. It is the gold standard for second chance romance. It has the best love letter (and love declaration) of all time. The ULTIMATE pining and yearning. My deep love for Persuasion is partly why I’ve never actually read a Persuasion retelling before this one. Recipe for Persuasion has the honour of being my very first Persuasion retelling. If I had to sum up Persuasion in one sentence: In Recipe for Persuasion, we have Chef Ashna Raje whose father’s legacy, a restaurant named Curried Dreams, is in shambles. Ashna is offered the opportunity to compete in a reality cooking show on the Food Network where chefs are paired with celebrities. She decides to participate because 1) it is good publicity for Curried Dreams and 2) the winning prize is a substantial amount of money that she can use to restore the restaurant. To Ashna’s surprise (and dismay), she gets paired up with her first love, Frederico Silva, who is now a world-renowned football player. Second chance romance is probably one of the hardest tropes to write. And I bet that writing a second chance romance à la Persuasion is 10 times harder. How do you write a modern Anne Elliot without making her seem like a wimp? The Regency time period is different and Anne is definitely a product of her time, given the social and economic restrictions placed on women back then. Today, women have a lot more options and are more financially independent. I think Sonali Dev did a good job translating Persuasion to a contemporary context set in the world of football and cuisine. The bare-bones of Persuasion are definitely present in this retelling. But what Sonali Devi nailed perfectly in this retelling is the incredible PINING. Phew. The yearning made Ashna and Rico’s chemistry that much more potent. Basically, I loved everything about Rico and Ashna – their characterization as modern Anne and Frederick is really well-done. I think their contemporary Persuasion romance does justice to the original Persuasion, while also remaining true to the modern context and the story that Sonali Dev wanted to tell.Why the 3 star rating? Well, this book isn’t just about Ashna and Rico. Ashna’s mom also gets her own story through flashbacks and in present time as well. I can understand why the author chose to tell Ashna’s mom’s story in detail, but I’m just not a fan of this choice. First of all, I really disliked the flashback technique the author used – it was confusing and disorienting. Second of all, while Ashna’s mom has gone through some terrible things, I couldn’t for the life of me bring myself to care about her. The story of Ashna’s mom and the toxic family drama came across as a B-rated Bollywood movie, which is not what I was looking for in this book. The mother-daughter relationship is definitely well-written, but Ashna’s toxic family drama took over the story to the extent that it started feeling overwhelming. About the audiobook: I mostly listened to this book on audio, but sometimes I switched to my eARC from Edelweiss. The audiobook narrator is good, but her Hindi is so damn whitewashed. I cringed every time she said something in Hindi and I had to reference back to my eARC to read the Hindi parts myself. So…to conclude: YAY for everything with Ashna and Rico. NAY for Ashna’s toxic family drama taking over the story beyond what is reasonable (according to my subjective taste, of course). Content warning: (view spoiler)[suicide, marital rape, alcoholism, PTSD, panic attacks. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewers note: Trigger warnings – Rape, Alcholoism, Suicide Recipe for Persuasion is billed as a desi retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, I’ll have to take the publisher and author’s word on that because I haven’t read the original and I wasn’t impressed with the retelling. Billed as a rom-com, there was nothing funny about this story and it wasn’t particularly romantic. The hero and heroine had a forbidden teenage romance in high school for about 1 year; she is Indian, his is Brazilian and Reviewers note: Trigger warnings – Rape, Alcholoism, Suicide Recipe for Persuasion is billed as a desi retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, I’ll have to take the publisher and author’s word on that because I haven’t read the original and I wasn’t impressed with the retelling. Billed as a rom-com, there was nothing funny about this story and it wasn’t particularly romantic. The hero and heroine had a forbidden teenage romance in high school for about 1 year; she is Indian, his is Brazilian and they both remember their parting in very different and vivid ways and apparently over a decade later they still have strong feelings of hate for one another which has affected their romantic lives up until now (hello, can we say therapy needed).Ashna’s early life was lived in India until her father was a prince but banished to California for various reasons where he became a famed chef of a high touted and popular restaurant. Her mother was absent, preferring to devote her life to a foundation that supported equal rights for girl’s education and right to play sports. Ashna’s memories are of her parents fighting with her mother visited and a father who struggled with alcoholism and depression which she believed stemmed from her mother’s refusal to live full time with them. While her parent’s relationship played a huge part in shaping Ashna into the woman she is today, it bogged down this book and failed to allow the romance between Ashna and Rico to bloom.Rico’s parents were killed when he was young and he gave up football (soccer) because it’s what his father did for a living, but after moving to California to live with an aunt, meeting Ashna, getting his heart broken he went to England and picked it up again becoming a star player until an injury forced his retirement at age 30. I gleamed from the story that Rico had abandonment issues, he was high intelligent and knew how to work the media, and he harbored a grudge against Ashna and her father that made him sign up for a reality cooking show so he could be partnered with her and make her miserable.Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the heat between Ashan and Rico, if anything it felt more like a sibling type relationship than a romantic one. I enjoyed watching them discover each other as adults and seeing how their teenage relationship came about but so much of this story was weighed down by Asha’s strained relationship with her mother and the relationship between her mother and late father.For me this book was just a big fail all the way around, I found it to be bloated with too much information in some ways yet lacking in others. The romance floundered and I found it difficult to like a single character in the story.Review copy provided for a voluntary review.
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  • mindful.librarian ☀️
    January 1, 1970
    (free review copy) I LOVED this one! The romance, the mother-daughter relationship story arc, the FOOD, the cooking show - all of it. I actually liked it better than the first in the series and can't wait to read more about the Raje family!
  • Caitlin Reads
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge Jane Austen fan and was so excited to receive this arc from Edelweiss+. Ashna is the head chef and owner of Curried Dreams, the failing business left to her by her deceased father. She will do anything to save it, including going on a reality cooking show where she will be matched with a celebrity. Low and behold, she gets matched with Rico, her high school ex boyfriend. I really enjoyed the relationship between Rico and Ashna. Both characters were really likable and fun to read abou I am a huge Jane Austen fan and was so excited to receive this arc from Edelweiss+. Ashna is the head chef and owner of Curried Dreams, the failing business left to her by her deceased father. She will do anything to save it, including going on a reality cooking show where she will be matched with a celebrity. Low and behold, she gets matched with Rico, her high school ex boyfriend. I really enjoyed the relationship between Rico and Ashna. Both characters were really likable and fun to read about. What I didn’t love about this novel is there was too much family drama that it seemed to overshadow everything else for me. However, Sonali Dev is a talented writer and I would love to read more from her in the future.
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  • Eunice Moral
    January 1, 1970
    A flavorful tale of second chance romance, missed connections, forgiveness and family secrets. This modern-day Persuasion retelling wasn't the romcom I was promised, but it was something diverse and deeper, something I wouldn't be able to come across often. That alone, merited another star from me. I have to admit before anything else that I haven't read Persuasion, I hope it did not affect the reading experience. I just took the book for what it is, of course with the knowledge I gathered ab A flavorful tale of second chance romance, missed connections, forgiveness and family secrets. This modern-day Persuasion retelling wasn't the romcom I was promised, but it was something diverse and deeper, something I wouldn't be able to come across often. That alone, merited another star from me. I have to admit before anything else that I haven't read Persuasion, I hope it did not affect the reading experience. I just took the book for what it is, of course with the knowledge I gathered about Persuasion, so I could at least give my honest thoughts on it. I was keen on giving it three stars, but the last few chapters wrapped everything up in a neat little bow. I have to admit the story dragged on for a good 65% of the book, not only until few chapters left that everything made sense and started to shape up. It was like a dance of two steps forward three steps back, and sometimes I just want Ashna and Rico to just kiss already. But more on the serious side,Recipe for Persuasion showcased the culture of patriarchal masculinity, how women are supposed to bring themselves to a certain standard, on their dependence to men and how they are perceived to be as the weaker sex. It portrayed the glut of male entitlement and how women are always the one to be at the receiving end of it. What I love about Recipe for Persuasion is the backstory of Shobi (Ashna's mother) which gave so much meaning to what Ashna had become. It was sending a clear message on women breaking the chains of toxic masculinity and forging their own path even at a costly price. At first, I hated Shobi, I couldn't grasp where she was coming from, but when everything unfolded albeit a little too slow for my own liking, it was able to put things into perspective. I feel like it's more Shobi's story than that of Ashna. I found Ashna's character to be a little frustrating and weak, Rico on the other hand is just too precious, there's just not one bad thing about him. The book's conflict comes from a good chunk of misunderstanding between Ashna and Rico, Ashna and her mother, and Ashna and her father. It's as if the whole story revolved around this unresolved family secrets that has been taking everyone hostage, afraid to reveal what they truly feel, resulting into ripples of irreparable damage.TW: marital rape, suicide
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  • Ms. Woc Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Partially through the book despite it's misgivings I felt like this would be a 3 star. By the halfway mark when it was becoming a chore to get through I realized it would be a 2.This is not a rom com like the blurb suggested and I was never able to get into the romance. The characters just didn't have much chemistry and overall were not very likable.Rico was especially unlikable. I don't know why he was still holding on to this high school relationship at age 30 but it was made even worse by how Partially through the book despite it's misgivings I felt like this would be a 3 star. By the halfway mark when it was becoming a chore to get through I realized it would be a 2.This is not a rom com like the blurb suggested and I was never able to get into the romance. The characters just didn't have much chemistry and overall were not very likable.Rico was especially unlikable. I don't know why he was still holding on to this high school relationship at age 30 but it was made even worse by how much of an ass he acted towards Ashna. He forced his way back into her life via this competition as some sort of score to settle with her. His constant iciness towards her never felt warranted even after we received bits of their past relationship via flashback.Ashna and her mother both need to work out their past trauma in therapy. It was quite jarring going from the lightness of the Food Network set to he alcoholism and abuse that plagued their pasts.I received an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.More in depth review on my bloghttps://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....
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  • Andreajanel
    January 1, 1970
    A huge thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. The story of Rico and Ash was a slice of perfection in an imperfect, chaotic world. Persuasion by Jane Austen is my favorite book of all time. And I am an obsessive bibliophile who devours books like others inhale chocolate or cupcakes. So I had high hopes and high expectations. I was not disappointed. One of the reasons I love Persuasion so much is its unflinching portrayal A huge thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. The story of Rico and Ash was a slice of perfection in an imperfect, chaotic world. Persuasion by Jane Austen is my favorite book of all time. And I am an obsessive bibliophile who devours books like others inhale chocolate or cupcakes. So I had high hopes and high expectations. I was not disappointed. One of the reasons I love Persuasion so much is its unflinching portrayal of familial obligation and manipulation. The force of those same undercurrents is masterfully portrayed in this new adaptation. The weight of these unspoken expectations is what separated Rico and Ash as teenagers, and the trajectory of their adult lives has been shaped by them. Ash has done everything in her power to ensure her father's legacy is a golden one. The restaurant that has consumed all of her sweat and tears for over a decade is drowning, and Ash is grasping at straws in the hope of finding a miracle. When her two best friends concoct a plan and offer her a spot on a reality tv cooking show, she immediately dismisses the idea as ludicrous.It's been over a decade since he saw her. He's resisted the urge to google her, and be confronted with all of the shiny, happy pictures of choices she made that did not include him. What Rico finds when he finally does google her is an announcement that Ash will be one of the contestants on a reality tv cooking show that pairs chefs with celebrities. And he calls his agent. They have a decade of regret between them. They have animosity and tension sharp enough to sever limbs. But they also still have an aching awareness of the exact space in a room occupied by each other. And like his namesake, Rico is half agony and half hope. For them to have a second chance, Ash will have to confront the demons that are crippling her. For them to stand a chance this time, all of her secrets and misperceptions must be laid bare. This was a glorious interpretation of my favorite novel, and unforgettable in true Austenesque form.
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  • Christi
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely and positively incredible. Sonali Dev has done it again with this incredible retelling of Persuasion. I will admit that Persuasion is one of the Austen novels that I know the least, despite it being the favorite of almost all of my fellow English degree receiving classmates. However, all the recognizable beats of the original can be found here including all the yearning and the pain and the sense of loss.Something I am really enjoying about this series is how each book allows us to di Absolutely and positively incredible. Sonali Dev has done it again with this incredible retelling of Persuasion. I will admit that Persuasion is one of the Austen novels that I know the least, despite it being the favorite of almost all of my fellow English degree receiving classmates. However, all the recognizable beats of the original can be found here including all the yearning and the pain and the sense of loss.Something I am really enjoying about this series is how each book allows us to dive just a little bit more into the Rajes and their connections with each other and their shared family mythology. The characters that we see again and again are deep and well rounded and interesting. The romance is central to these plots, of course, but even more so what is central is the love of the family for each other even in the midst of dysfunction.I cannot wait to see where Dev takes this series next.
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  • Addie Yoder
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors so when this came on my radar, I knew it was a must read. I am so glad I did! Ashna and Rico's story was so sweet. I really love how Sonali Dev pulls those threads from Austen's classics but absolutely makes the story her own. I enjoyed getting another look into this fantastic family. I really loved that instead of just being a romance, it was a family story as well. It made the story so much richer and added a lot more depth to how we got t I really enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors so when this came on my radar, I knew it was a must read. I am so glad I did! Ashna and Rico's story was so sweet. I really love how Sonali Dev pulls those threads from Austen's classics but absolutely makes the story her own. I enjoyed getting another look into this fantastic family. I really loved that instead of just being a romance, it was a family story as well. It made the story so much richer and added a lot more depth to how we got to know all of the characters, but especially Ashna. Thank you so much, Avon and Sonali Dev for this fun and warm read. It was a great way to feel family connections when we can't actually make in person connections of our own!
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  • Kristina Birch
    January 1, 1970
    A multicultural exploration of romance and family with a pinch of Austen = Perfection! Ashna and Rico found each other as teenagers at their most vulnerable and despite finding love they couldn’t weather what life threw at them. Twelve years later neither have found love again and both are once again at a vulnerable turning point when fate brings them back together. Ashna’s journey to self love and acceptance is so beautiful and Rico’s support of her, even when he thinks he just wants closure, i A multicultural exploration of romance and family with a pinch of Austen = Perfection! Ashna and Rico found each other as teenagers at their most vulnerable and despite finding love they couldn’t weather what life threw at them. Twelve years later neither have found love again and both are once again at a vulnerable turning point when fate brings them back together. Ashna’s journey to self love and acceptance is so beautiful and Rico’s support of her, even when he thinks he just wants closure, is just as moving. Their banter and knowledge of each other on a soul deep level create a romance worthy of its Austen inspiration. But for me, the exploration of Rico’s Brazilian and English roots and Ashn’a Indian heritage through food and love combined with Shobi’s journey are what make this book so amazing. I also really loved the flashbacks to Ashna and Shobi’s youth that showed how very similar mother and daughter actually are. I’m a devotee of this series and can’t wait for more of this family and their journeys. I received a complimentary review copy of this book but all opinions are my own.
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  • Patricia Rohrs (words we love by blog)
    January 1, 1970
    A sweet second chance romance that warms the heart and fills the soul! There was a cultural barrier but I feel the author did such an amazing job at opening her world to the reader! I felt in awe at the growth and strength of Ashna as I got to know who she was and where she came from! Rico and Ashna didn’t have a smooth journey but Rico never gave up and fought for the love he knew he deserved! He fought for himself and he fought for Ashna! A beautiful read that opened my eyes and heart to a new A sweet second chance romance that warms the heart and fills the soul! There was a cultural barrier but I feel the author did such an amazing job at opening her world to the reader! I felt in awe at the growth and strength of Ashna as I got to know who she was and where she came from! Rico and Ashna didn’t have a smooth journey but Rico never gave up and fought for the love he knew he deserved! He fought for himself and he fought for Ashna! A beautiful read that opened my eyes and heart to a new author!
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  • Lily Herman
    January 1, 1970
    I'm always a little apprehensive going into books that are modern adaptations of classic literature (particularly when it comes to Austen), but Sonali Dev did Austen's Persuasion some justice in Recipe for Persuasion.While I liked the novel overall, I think my big issue was that it felt at times, especially in the middle, like there were two different competing storylines being told in the same book. Recipe for Persuasion bills itself as a romantic comedy, but quite a bit of its contents definit I'm always a little apprehensive going into books that are modern adaptations of classic literature (particularly when it comes to Austen), but Sonali Dev did Austen's Persuasion some justice in Recipe for Persuasion.While I liked the novel overall, I think my big issue was that it felt at times, especially in the middle, like there were two different competing storylines being told in the same book. Recipe for Persuasion bills itself as a romantic comedy, but quite a bit of its contents definitely fall into hard family drama territory. And when there's so much other stuff getting sorted out in books like this, often the main love story is what suffers. It just felt like a little something was missing there, like we were told that Ashna and Rico had this incredible love but were never exactly shown it for most of the book.Obviously, this isn't to say that the more serious topics that the novel delves into aren't incredibly important, just that we could've used some connective tissue in the middle to bring everything together more seamlessly.Thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollins, and William Morrow for an advanced copy of this book.
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  • Jite
    January 1, 1970
    After reading Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors (PPaOF) last year, this was one of my most anticipated books for 2020. For some reason, I somehow imagined this was going to be Yash’s book with mysterious girlfriend. It is not. This is the story of Ashna (and Rico), that we didn’t even know we needed. It is a struggle for me to even begin to articulate the number of ways I love this, but I’m going to try!This book definitely stands alone although I think you get a richer experience of knowing an After reading Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors (PPaOF) last year, this was one of my most anticipated books for 2020. For some reason, I somehow imagined this was going to be Yash’s book with mysterious girlfriend. It is not. This is the story of Ashna (and Rico), that we didn’t even know we needed. It is a struggle for me to even begin to articulate the number of ways I love this, but I’m going to try!This book definitely stands alone although I think you get a richer experience of knowing and understanding the family connections of you read PPaOF first. The premise is that Ashna is running herself ragged trying to salvage her late father’s crumbling restaurant when she gets the opportinity to be on a DWTS-style cooking tv competition and potentially win the money to save the restaurant. However, her celebrity partner turns out to be a hotshot international footballer (soccer player) who also turns out to be her high school sweetheart she brutally dumped many years ago.That summary does ZERO justice to the sheer emotional complexity of this book. I typically detest flashbacks in books but here they were so apt and so necessary. This book explores complex family relationships, difficult relationships between mothers and daughters, forced marriage, women’s autonomy related to wifehood and motherhood, addiction, mental health, severe anxiety, marital rape- it is NOT a light and breezy read (even though it does have its humorous moments), and these themes and the associate emotions of trauma, anger, guilt, and fear are definitely treated deeply enough that they could be triggering if you’re sensitive. Genre-wise, I’d place this somewhere between romance, women’s fiction and contemporary fiction- whilst there is definitely a slow burn romantic aspect to this, there’s also a significant majority of the book that isn’t about that romantic relationship and is more about family and culture and food. Another element that I loved in this book similar to PPaOF, is the treatment of food in this book. Food in this book is bright and visceral and evocative of memories and nourishing to the soul or absolutely delicious to eyes in description even when it’s associated with pain or anxiety or hardship. This author did a faboulous job writing this delicious book with food descriptions that had me googling to taste with my eyes. Also, I loved the way this book explored feminism and feminine power and how it manifests in different ways and looks different through different characters from Shobi, to Mina, to Ashna herself. I’m a sports fan and a huge fan of football (of the soccer variety) and the English Premier League so it was nice to see that shout out in there- the football content was mostly accurate but certain comments about World Cups, I had questions. But if you’re not also football mad, it won’t signify and you probably won’t notice. I love that girls in sport and women playing sport was also a theme because it’s not that common in fiction like this. Like with the first book, I adored all the characters and even with Ashna’s mother, even though she was imperfect and I felt anger at her, I understood her because she was so perfectly human and real and tangible. If I had any tiny bit of criticism, it would be that after building the tension and conflict in this novel so meticulously, perhaps the resolutions were a little bit easy and not a complex as the set up. I also wish there had been a bit more of Rico’s football (soccer) story explored in this and that Rico’s story had been as deep and well-developed as Ashna’s. Nonetheless, this was nothing short of fabulous. 4.5-5 solid stars from me!At the end of December 2019, I called PPaOF my number 1 read for the year across all genres out of 220 books I read in 2019. It’s still early in 2020, but I think this book is even better that PPaOF. It’s THAT good. Highly highly recommend. I’m so in awe of this author. One of my top reads so far in 2020.I received an advanced copy of this book from William Morrow Books/Harper Collins via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and honestly, I’m SOOOOO BLOWN!!!
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  • Joshie Nicole (readwithjoshie)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to HarperCollins for the e-book ARC of Recipe for Persuasion. Chef Ashna Raje is fighting to save her late father’s failing restaurant, Curried Dreams, when the opportunity to compete on Cooking With The Stars, a Food Network show, comes her way. When she accepts, her celebrity partner is revealed to be Rico Silva, a hunky former football (soccer!) player who has recently retired due to a career-ending knee injury. This, however is not Ashna’s first time meeting Rico, and we follow the Thank you to HarperCollins for the e-book ARC of Recipe for Persuasion. Chef Ashna Raje is fighting to save her late father’s failing restaurant, Curried Dreams, when the opportunity to compete on Cooking With The Stars, a Food Network show, comes her way. When she accepts, her celebrity partner is revealed to be Rico Silva, a hunky former football (soccer!) player who has recently retired due to a career-ending knee injury. This, however is not Ashna’s first time meeting Rico, and we follow the journey of how these two former lovers are thrust back together as a result of this cooking show. Woven into this, of course, is Ashna’s absentee mother Shobi, who has decided to come back into Ashna’s life at this inopportune moment, as well as Ashna’s extreme anxiety and panic at the idea of cooking anything other than her late father’s traditional Indian recipes. Can Ashna overcome her anxiety, win the cooking show, save her failing restaurant, and deal with her past relationships?I really enjoyed reading this book. It was light and sweet, with elements of depth and sadness that were a bit unexpected. There is some content including marital rape and suicide which may be troubling to some readers. The characters were endearing and fun to follow. Ashna and her mother, Shobi, are strong female characters and their personalities jump off of the page. The plot moved smoothly, with interesting twists and turns and jumps between perspectives to reveal the background information that deepens the character growth. Dev does this skillfully, and I thought this was the highlight of the book. The novel’s dialogue was often over the top and quite dramatic, rendering some of the exchanges between characters to be unbelievable and quite honestly, cheesy. The (spoiler alert!) romance scenes between Rico and Ashna were steamy, but also a bit awkward. I found myself rolling my eyes at phrases like “climbed him like a tree”. The ending was wrapped up neatly and tidily which suited this story, but that much perfect closure for the characters felt a bit forced. As for its merit as a retelling of Persuasion, I think it does a great job of putting a desi twist to Austen’s classic tale. (Rico’s full name is Frederico, who is obviously based on Frederick Wentworth). Dev uses a lot of the basic plot devices and relationships from Persuasion to craft her novel, but do not come into this one expecting a modern classic. It was fun and funny, at times delightful and other times awkward. Read it if you like romantic comedies!
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  • Shantala (Shanaya Tales)
    January 1, 1970
    It's no secret that I adore Jane Austen's Persuasion, and also really enjoy this author's writing. So when I read the blurb of this book on NetGalley, which marketed it as a Persuasion retelling, I immediately requested for it, and checked it out.But after reading this one, I was really disappointed. Not by the writing, that was solid, as always. I was mostly frustrated with the story line, or rather the story structure, which was a hot mess! And this is not to mention that I personally did not It's no secret that I adore Jane Austen's Persuasion, and also really enjoy this author's writing. So when I read the blurb of this book on NetGalley, which marketed it as a Persuasion retelling, I immediately requested for it, and checked it out.But after reading this one, I was really disappointed. Not by the writing, that was solid, as always. I was mostly frustrated with the story line, or rather the story structure, which was a hot mess! And this is not to mention that I personally did not think this story had enough of Austen's Persuasion to be marketed as a retelling or re-imagining of the classic. Though I've to say that the thing that bothered me the most was that this story did not focus on the lead pair Ashna & Rico as much as it should have. It kept going back and forth between their story (present and backstory), and Ashna's mom's backstory and her love story! Which was frankly too much. And totally unnecessary. It's like the author couldn't decide which love story to focus on, and gave us two, without doing complete justice to either. Which was super frustrating! Especially because this book / story had so much potential, what with the second chance romance trope, and the setting of a reality cooking show. It could have been so amazing!And instead, it kept going around in pointless circles, sharing too much unnecessary details, and summarizing the things that should have been focused on - things like the chemistry between the lead pair to begin with.Which is why I cannot bring myself to wholeheartedly recommend this one. Even though the author has a way with words, and a natural knack for story telling. Because in this unfortunate case, it was wasted.- Shantala @ Shanaya TalesBlog | Facebook | Bookish Tweeting | My Bookstagram | Bookish Pinning
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  • Sarah Perchikoff
    January 1, 1970
    Why is Recipe for Persuasion so great? Let me count the ways...Love from childhood comes backCooking reality showComplicated mother-daughter relationshipMultiple complex back storiesSEXUAL TENSIONRomanceCharacters back from Pride, Prejudice, and Other FlavorsDo I need to say more??Ashna may have looked like she had everything together in Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors, but that's anything but the case. She's still very much dealing with her father's death, cannot cook anything but her fathe Why is Recipe for Persuasion so great? Let me count the ways...Love from childhood comes backCooking reality showComplicated mother-daughter relationshipMultiple complex back storiesSEXUAL TENSIONRomanceCharacters back from Pride, Prejudice, and Other FlavorsDo I need to say more??Ashna may have looked like she had everything together in Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors, but that's anything but the case. She's still very much dealing with her father's death, cannot cook anything but her father's recipes and because of that, the restaurant she inherited is failing, and she has a VERY strained relationship with her motherwho left Ashna when she was young. Ashna...has a lot going on.But when Ashna's friend suggests she be on her new cooking reality show, at first, Asha is like HELL NO, but with the recognition she'd get from the show and in turn, for the restaurant, she realizes she can't pass it up.Little does Ashna know that her teenage love and former famous soccer star, Rico Silva, sees the news that she's going to be on the show and makes it his mission to be the celebrity teamed up with her. Why? He wants closure. He still thinks about her and he's had enough.Does being on a cooking show with your lost love bring you closure?HELLLLL NOOOOO!I loved both Ashna and Rico's storylines. Ashna's is complicated af. She has so much trauma to work through. Like even I was like...daaaaamn. And she goes through a lot of denial, but with a bit of a push and a whole lot of strength, she begins to face her demons and connect with people she never expected.Rico is dealing with an injury that has ended his soccer career and is trying to find a way to get closure from the one relationship that meant anything to him. He doesn't expect his world to turn upside down and his feelings for Ashna to be much more complex than he would've liked. I also really enjoyed seeing Ashna and Rico in the past when they first met, how their relationship evolved, and how it blew up. All the backstories (we also get to see Ashna's mother's backstory) are expertly done. They bring insight where normally we wouldn't have any and make the book un-put-down-able.Ashna and Rico's relationship in the present also couldn't be better. They bicker and fight and yet, you can see the spark that first brought them together.  The scenes when their filming the cooking competition are some of my absolute favorites. They work together perfectly even when they can't stand each other.AND THE FOOD! OMG all the food sounds amazing! Don't read while hungry!I also really liked Ashna's mother's story. She is a complicated woman who is not everything Ashna likes to paint her as. She has dealt with quite a bit of trauma of her own, but she did her best to make the most of it and make the right choices.TRIGGER WARNINGS: Suicide (not on page, but significant part of backstory), sexual assault/marital rape (not shown, but made obvious it occurs)Recipe for Persuasion (and I can't believe I'm saying this) might be better than the original Austen story. Sonali Dev took a classic and could not have updated it better. It's fun, romantic, tragic, sad, and deeply compelling . I'm giving it 5 out of 5 stars. If you love a Jane Austen retelling or are looking for a brilliant romance, you need to read this book!Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev comes out May 26, 2020Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow Paperbacks for the free eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Smut Report
    January 1, 1970
    Heat Factor: Fade to blackCharacter Chemistry: Swoon-worthyPlot: Ashna enters a cooking competition in a bid to save her floundering restaurant, only to discover that her competition partner is her high school boyfriend slash love of her life. Overall: If you can power through the angst, the payoff is so worth itWhen I read Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors, I was in such a glow over finding a Pride and Prejudice retelling that actually understood the source material that I kind of forgot th Heat Factor: Fade to blackCharacter Chemistry: Swoon-worthyPlot: Ashna enters a cooking competition in a bid to save her floundering restaurant, only to discover that her competition partner is her high school boyfriend slash love of her life. Overall: If you can power through the angst, the payoff is so worth itWhen I read Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors, I was in such a glow over finding a Pride and Prejudice retelling that actually understood the source material that I kind of forgot that Dev writes really angsty books. Like. Really angsty. In Recipe for Persuasion, Ashna carries the angst. She was honestly a challenging heroine for me. In P&P&OF, she came across as kind and helpful and calm, but here, we get a glimpse into Ashna’s inner life, and she is actually a quivering ball of angst and rage and anxiety and sadness. All of Dev’s characters have serious baggage, but Ashna’s baggage really defines her - it shapes all of her interactions and the armor she wears (all the time). So when we’re inside her head, she becomes reduced down to her baggage. Her chapters were therefore kind of a slog, especially in the beginning. Rico more than makes up for it - he’s an amazing hero. First, he’s a soccer superstar. With a man bun. He has a lot of angst and anger about the way his relationship with Ashna ended, back when they were in high school; in fact, he has some vague revenge / closure ideas in mind when he finagles his way into competing with Ashna on Cooking with the Stars. However, he quickly figures out that while the hurt is still there, it doesn’t matter if the connection between them is still real. Basically, he still has angst, but it doesn’t define his entire being. I will admit to crying at the end. I was so glad to see Ashna finally be happy and have some love and joy in her life. Also, some of the moments of them coming together are so beautiful. How can you not love a man who says “I don’t know how to be me without you”? (I’m crying again, even though pulling the line out of context from the whole book makes it seem kinda cheesy. It’s not cheesy, guys. It’s romantic.) A few incidental notes:Recipe for Persuasion is the second in the series that covers a big family full of drama. I would say it works fine as a stand-alone, but reading them both would definitely give you a larger picture of the characters. I found myself wanting to reread Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors not because I was confused, but because I wanted to check back on how secondary characters were portrayed, as Ashna and Trisha have really different perspectives on their family members. Dev also includes a detailed secondary plot about Ashna’s mother, with whom she has an extremely strained relationship, and whose story thematically mirrors Ashna’s own in some interesting ways. I think it worked, but other readers might find it distracting. It does mean that there’s less time for Rico to shine.This is a retelling of Austen’s Persuasion, which I am less familiar with, so I can’t comment on the specific beats of the story. From what I recall, Dev follows the general arc of the story pretty well. I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.This review is also available at The Smut Report. (Late May 2020)
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  • Belinda M
    January 1, 1970
    First, and foremost, this is NOT a rom-com. I’m not sure why it’s billed that way but it’s not. The story is too entrenched in tumultuous family drama and there are several sensitive topics that require a content warning. Second, Sonali Dev is an impeccable writer.Third, there were things in here that bothered me personally and I suspect some of them might bother a few readers. There’s just a lot of tragedy that the characters have to overcome and some might hit too close to home. I did have a d First, and foremost, this is NOT a rom-com. I’m not sure why it’s billed that way but it’s not. The story is too entrenched in tumultuous family drama and there are several sensitive topics that require a content warning. Second, Sonali Dev is an impeccable writer.Third, there were things in here that bothered me personally and I suspect some of them might bother a few readers. There’s just a lot of tragedy that the characters have to overcome and some might hit too close to home. I did have a difficult time with some of it.Would I recommend it to everyone? No. Is it a rom-com? Also no. Did I like it? Yes, and it’s complicated. ⚠️ CONTENT WARNING ⚠️ ...........alcoholism (Ashna’s father/memory), suicide (Ashna father’/memory), rape (Ashna’s mother Shobi’s/memory), panic attacks (Ashna), parents died in an accident (Rico’s/memory), forced marriage (Shobi), family dead in a plane crash (mentioned),
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  • Quinn
    January 1, 1970
    CW: suicide, rape, abusive relationship/manipulation, grief, alcoholismThank you Netgalley and the publisher for access to an arc in exchange for an honest review.This was a good book but it had extensive flashback experiences of an abusive relationship which is a major trigger of mine that I was not prepared for. It was difficult to power through.On a different note, I felt that it nodded to Persuasion very little, which bummed me out because it’s my favorite Austen book. Sonali Dev never disap CW: suicide, rape, abusive relationship/manipulation, grief, alcoholismThank you Netgalley and the publisher for access to an arc in exchange for an honest review.This was a good book but it had extensive flashback experiences of an abusive relationship which is a major trigger of mine that I was not prepared for. It was difficult to power through.On a different note, I felt that it nodded to Persuasion very little, which bummed me out because it’s my favorite Austen book. Sonali Dev never disappoints me so I recommend this one, but it is far heavier than I anticipated so I wanted to give friends/readers warnings I wasn’t given.
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