“The Marriage Game” by Sara Desai
Review by Yvonne Selander, collection development librarian
Layla returns home after a disastrous relationship in New York City. She’s determined to start over. And as much as she dislikes the idea of an arranged marriage after finding out her father found 10 potential husbands for her on a matching site she figures she should meet these men. After all she’s not doing a good job finding boyfriends, why not let her family try?
Sam is moving into his new office above a famous Indian restaurant when he finds one of the desks already occupied. Layla, the daughter of the restaurateurs, was told by her father she could use the space to run her new business. Her father suffered a heart attack before he could tell his tenant that the deal was off. Sam needs the office space, the location is prime for a deal he’s working, so he proposed a deal. He’ll chaperone her dates, as per tradition, and if she finds the man of her dreams and gets married he gets the office space. If they are all duds, he’ll move out. But what if Layla and Sam are the perfect match? What then?
This book turned out to be much funnier and sexier than I expected! So much fun! Layla and Sam are both fully formed characters supported by an extremely quirky cast of friends, family and coworkers — and wait until you meet the bachelors! Most romance books ratchet up the tension with a misunderstanding, but this book has a scene that is such a mess you can’t wait to figure out how everything gets fixed in the end. Of course everything goes well at the end but getting there it’s a bit over the top — okay, EXTREMELY over the top — but you’ll be having so much fun by that point you won’t care.
Fair warning: Layla’s parents run a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in the book and they constantly talk about the yummiest sounding dishes so do not read this book on an empty stomach!