Alisha Rai

First Comes Like (Modern Love #3)

First Comes Like (Modern Love #3)

By:

Alisha Rai

Blurb:

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?

Review:

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.

3/5

Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love #2)

Girl Gone Viral

Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love #2)

By: Alisha Rai

Blurb:

OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate???

I don’t see any wedding rings [eyes emoji]

Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!!

One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for…

He’s got a [peach emoji] to die for.

With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…

Review:

I enjoyed most of this book, but the ending left me a bit disappointed. The plot was something new and made me think about the people behind viral moments and how it affects them. I found that part of the book very fascinating.

I also enjoyed the characters. Katrina had panic attacks and was scared a lot. While Jas had PTSD that he didn’t want to treat. They had both been in love with each other for a while but hadn’t talked about it. Lack of communication is a big romance trope. It usually mildly annoys me, but because of their issues, it made sense and was probably the healthier route for them.

There was a ton of buildup in the book. It wasn’t romantic suspense, but it had some aspects to it. Which is possibly why the ending disappointed me? All that buildup and the payoff was lacking. The couple never really had a big sit down and discussed their future; it was sort of rushed at the end and spread out a bit. Also, you didn’t get to see the “villains” get their due. I realize Katrina was a very positive forgiving person, but she actually paid her father’s blackmail. Yes, she got him on tape admitting to doing stuff, but come on! That was it?? She made a statement about the people who took advantage of her with the viral moment, but you didn’t see anything about them afterward either.

I was disappointed. Unlike with Get a Life, Chloe Brown I don’t feel like I’m missing out on revenge, though, maybe I am. I want the bad people to get told off. Something! Maybe it’s a me problem…

3.5/5

2020 Review So Far

First off, I’ve been reading a lot in 2020. It’s been an absolute shit year, for everyone, everywhere, and one of my major comforts was reading. My Goodreads Reading Challenge Goal was 60 books. I’m currently sitting at 79. I’m not going to go back and review everything I’ve read, but I’m going to list my favorite of the year so far, and I’m going to try to review all the books from here on out.

 

2020 Favorite Books So Far (in no particular order)

Castles Ever After

  • Castles Ever After series by Tessa Dare. I like this series and absolutely love books one and three. They made me laugh. The characters were great, and I really enjoyed the story. The final book was a crossover with her Spindle Cove series and didn’t have much to do with a castle, but it was still good. (I wasn’t much of a fan of the rest of the Spindle Cove books, which was a bit of a bummer). I’m enjoying going back and reading Tessa Dare’s back catalog.

Turner Courtney Milan

  • Turner series by Courtney Milan. For a time, there was a box set available of the entire series, and I was able to snatch it up for a fantastic price. I’m a huge Courtney Milan fan, and I was super happy to be able to get this entire series. I wasn’t as much of a fan of the second book, but the others in the series were very entertaining.

Girl Meets Duke

  • Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare. This series is ongoing, but there are currently three books out. A seamstress, a governess, and a wallflower all find love. They do it on their terms too, which I enjoy. They’re all at least a tiny bit odd and are able to find men who accept them. It’s lovely.

Bromance Book Club

  • Bromance Book Club series by Lyssa Kay Adams. I absolutely love the idea of this series. A group of high power men get together to figure out how to make their women happy. The first book is about a baseball player whose marriage is on the rocks, so a friend reaches out and invites him to join the book club. It’s all men and they read romance novels to help them figure out what women want since they can’t seem to figure it out. I love it. The second book is out, and I enjoyed it as well. I am looking forward to the rest of this series.

Love Her or Lose Her

  • Love her of Lose Her by Tessa Bailey. I wasn’t as big a fan of the first book in the series. I found the heroine a bit odd and un-relatable, but I thought the second was excellent. It’s once again about a married couple on the rocks (I had no idea I would enjoy this trope) and how they fall back in love.

The Right Swipe

  • The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai. There’s a woman in tech dealing with all the misogyny in that sector. A pro football player that stands up against the NFL for their disregard for the health and safety of their players. I loved it.

 

I have a long list of books to read. I’m also hoping to finally tackle my ever growing stack of non-fiction books, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself. I’m reading a lot of romance books because I find comfort in them. That’s what my reading has been all year, comfort. I’ve re-read most of Ilona Andrews catalog because of that.

I need something with a happily ever after, where the world isn’t always dark, and people aren’t always dying. If you have any recommendations I’m open to them.

Good luck to everyone surviving the rest of the year.