Beauty expert and influencer Jia Ahmed has her eye on the prize: conquering the internet today, the entire makeup industry tomorrow, and finally, finally proving herself to her big opinionated family. She has little time for love, and even less time for the men in her private messages—until the day a certain international superstar slides into her DMs, and she falls hard and fast.
There’s just one wrinkle: he has no idea who she is.
The son of a powerful Bollywood family, soap opera star Dev Dixit is used to drama, but a strange woman who accuses him of wooing her online, well, that’s a new one. As much as he’d like to focus on his Hollywood fresh start, he can’t get Jia out of his head. Especially once he starts to suspect who might have used his famous name to catfish her…
When paparazzi blast their private business into the public eye, Dev is happy to engage in some friendly fake dating to calm the gossips and to dazzle her family. But as the whole world swoons over their relationship, Jia can’t help but wonder: Can an online romance-turned-offline-fauxmance ever become love in real life?
First Comes Life is the third book in the Modern Love series, and the books have remained consistent. I wouldn’t say I love the series, but I do like it. The problem I have is with the endings. They don’t fulfill the need I have with these kinds of books, though, First Comes Like did better than Girl Gone Viral. I wasn’t missing out on revenge; I missed out on what comes after the happy ending.
Jia is an influencer, a career that a lot of people get flack for. Some of them rightfully so, but I feel the career as a whole is panned because it’s a female-led industry. Women make up most influencers, and they’re often made fun of for being vapid and manipulative, among other things. Jia is older at twenty-nine, and her popularity is starting to decline.
Meanwhile, Dev is trying to make the move from Bollywood to Hollywood. He’s suffered two losses in his life when family members he has complicated relationships died. He’s now raising his niece and doing everything he can to be a good parent. He’s sweet if not kind of boring.
The catfishing only plays the part of getting the couple together and starting the fake dating relationship. It’s clear from the beginning, though, that it’s not really fake. They’re both attracted to each other, but lack of clear communication and understanding has things taking a little longer. Jia often acts younger than she is, in my opinion. She’s never had a romantic relationship, so I guess I should give her a pass, but it was sometimes hard to remember that she was almost thirty.
Their relationship developed quickly, quicker than most books, but it never progressed to anything physical until the end. They didn’t even kiss, which was a bit too chaste for me, but understandable considering Jia’s religious beliefs and Dev’s general conservativeness.
There were parts of First Comes Like that I enjoyed and parts I didn’t. It was a solid three-star book. If there’s another installment in the series, I’ll read it, but I’ll stick with getting it from the library.