First Comes Like by Alisha Rai

GoodReads Summary:
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 Like (Modern Love, #3)Review:
I was so excited to receive this eARC from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review. I loved the first two books in this series and was beyond excited to read Jia’s book. I’m happy to say that I loved this one just as much.
Jia is a beauty influencer. She is feeling like her content is stale and she wants something new. Her dream is to have her own make up line, so that is what she’s working toward. I thought it was really interesting to read about someone that was an influencer. I loved it. I loved how it was shown how hard Jia works, and how much work it really is. But despite all the work she does, her family still doesn’t get it and Jia feels the need to prove herself. I love Jia. I can’t speak to the Muslim representation but I love that this book exists for others to see themselves in. So, Jia has been talking online to Dev Dixit for a while. She manages to get invited to a part that he’s going to be at, so they can finally meet. Except, he has no clue who Jia is.
Dev was a great love interest. He is the guardian of his niece since his brother died and he is trying to cultivate an acting career in America. Dev is just all around a nice guy that is trying to do the right thing for the people in his life. I loved how sweet and thoughtful he was. So, when he learns of what has happened with Jia, he wants to meet with her and make amends. It also helps that he can’t stop thinking about her. (The fact that he watched all of her YouTube videos makes my heart melt.)
I loved their romance. The fake dating trope is such an excellent one. I also thought the book overall did a great job talking about religion and grief, class differences and family differences. I think there were so many good things about this book, but the slow burn, emotional development of Jia and Dev’s relationship was absolutely the best part. While I love a steamy romance, I really loved seeing these two fall in love without any of the usual physical intimacies. They don’t even kiss until after they’re married.
Overall, I cannot get enough of Rai’s books. She made me fall in love with both Jia and Dev (and also all of their family members) while they were falling in love with one another. I adored all the family dynamics, with Jia’s big family and Dev’s grandmother, uncle, and niece. I would love to see the next romance in this series to be one of Jia’s sisters. I think the romance was wonderful and at the same time, it did a great job talking about tough topics like grief. I absolutely recommend this book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai

GoodReads Summary:
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.
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…
Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love, #2)Review:
I am now a huge fan of Alisha Rai. I loved the first book in this series. And I totally loved this one too. I was dying to know more about Katrina at the end of the last book, so I was so happy to be able to immediately order this book.
We’re following Katrina as she goes viral (her worst nightmare). She’s a very private person so when a stranger takes her picture and puts it on the internet, she escapes to her bodyguard’s family farm. I really loved getting to know more about Katrina and meeting Jas.
I think my favorite part about this book was the mental health representation. Katrina deals with panic attacks. I thought this was a really thoughtful representation. It was great to see a character that deals with an issue like this that so many people in the world deal with. I also liked Jas and what he represented. I would have liked to get more of his story in the after, but I still really appreciated the representation of PTSD with him. I also loved seeing him work toward being a better communicator, specifically to his family, but also just overall.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I will definitely be picking up some of Alisha Rai’s backlist books. I cannot wait for the next book in this series. I love these characters so much.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

GoodReads Summary:
Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:
– Nude pics are by invitation only
– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice
– Protect your heart
Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.
Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…
The Right Swipe (Modern Love, #1)Review:
I absolutely adored The Right Swipe. I’ve seen a few mixed reviews and that’s why I didn’t pick this book up all of the times it tempted me at Target. But I wanted some romance books and I keep seeing people talk about the second book in this series. So, I finally bought this book. I’m so glad that I did. This book was so good. The writing was wonderful. The characters were great. The story covered important topics, but it was also fun and weirdly informative about what being single is for this married lady.
Rhi is a woman that carved her own place in the world. I really liked her because she’s a woman in the business world and she’s learned from her past not to take shit from anyone. I liked that in the beginning she didn’t let herself open up to anyone outside her inner circle, but as the story goes along, she learns more about herself and her flaws and starts to open up again. I loved the aspect of her past and how she came to create her own company after leaving an important position with another company. I didn’t love the subject matter, but rather how it was handled. I really enjoyed the outcome of her history.
This part of her causes conflict with Samson. I thought their relationship was such a good one. They have a history. One where Samson unintentionally ghosted Rhi. I really liked how Rhi got past this despite her strong opinions about never giving second chances to anyone that ghosts her. They really push one another out of their comfort zones and I love books that do this. All the best parts of my own relationship are that my husband pushes me to try new things that I might not do without his encouragement.
Overall, this book was so freaking good and I’ve already ordered Alisha Rai’s next book in this series. I liked that it talked about important topics like men using nude pictures against someone they used to be in a relationship with, ghosting, fuckboys, the relationship between football and health issues later in life. I thought these topics were covered well and thoughtfully. I just loved this book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.