Published by Forever on March 2, 2021
Also by this author: Kamila Knows Best, How to Win a Break-Up, Jana Goes Wild
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About Accidentally Engaged
Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron focuses on Reena, a middle child, with a very (overly) involved Muslim family. She works at a finance job that she doesn’t love. Which makes it all the more insulting when she’s laid-off. Her real passion is cooking but her younger sister managed to sabotage Reena’s successful food blog and cookbook deal.
Her family wants to meddle in her career, her behavior (they’d be appalled if they knew she drank), and her love life. They’ve arranged a marriage for her which she’s definitely, DEFINITELY not doing.
She comes home to discover she has a new neighbor – he’s a brown Captain America with a gorgeous British accent and tons of charm. MeOW! Until she finds out that Nadim is the Good Muslim man she’s supposed to marry to help her family’s business. Hell, no! But, he’s so dreamy…
After maybe one drink too many, Reena and Nadim shoot a cooking video and enter a contest. The prize just happens to be a scholarship to the very culinary school that Reena was thinking of emptying her savings to attend. The catch? It’s a contest about family cooks so Reena and Nadim need to be faux engaged.
But she still tells her parents that she’s not marrying Nadim. Even though she likes him. A LOT.
My thoughts about Accidentally Engaged
This book soothed my 2020 battered soul; it was such a treat to read. So much to love about it!
Reena is so relatable as a thirty-something woman trying to figure out her career, dealing with the stress of being laid off. Again. Not wanting her parents’ help. Not really wanting to stay in finance but not sure about following her dream of culinary school. Wanting a relationship but not because her parents arrange it. Trying to figure out her relationship with her sister. Feeling like a failure compared to what looks like her older brother’s perfect life.
Accidentally Engaged didn’t just deal with career woes and a pushy family. Farah Heron also addressed mental illness, stress, and depression.
The writing is so engaging with so much sparkling banter. Reena’s friends are warm, supportive, and funny as hell. Shout out for the LGBTQ+ rep.
And the connection between Reena and Nadim is H-O-T! Super-steamy scenes ensue.
I loved learning about East Indian/African food and traditions. And OMG. Reena’s bread baking had me absolutely salivating. I wanted one of those sourdough starter babies!
The past few years I’ve been making more of an effort to read more diversely. When choosing books, does the author and/or main character’s religion, ethnicity, or sexuality play a part?
If you’re looking for another romance featuring contemporary Muslim characters, try First Comes Like by Alisha Rai. Read my full review.
The Marriage Game by Sara Desai also has a MC of South East Asian ethnicity with an extended family who’s overly involved in her romantic life. Read my full review.
Food, eccentric family antics, and a sweet, steamy romance – the perfect read.
Thank you NetGalley and Forever for the ARC.