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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Pillai

i read the marriage game by sara desai


I really didn’t have the highest of expectations for this book, going into it, considering the average rating on Goodreads was 3.5 stars (which is pretty low), but it is not everyday that you get to read about a brown hero AND heroine, especially in romance, so I knew that I was going to pick this book up regardless. And honestly? I still don’t really know how I feel about it.


The Marriage Game follows Sam and Layla––Sam is the CEO of a corporate downsizing company, and in need of a new office, which he finds rights above a cozy Indian restaurant, that Layla’s father is the owner of. Unfortunately for him, he very quickly realizes that he has to share the office with Layla, which is how the story starts off.


For the most part, I was really enjoying this book. I thought that the first 50% of the book was actually really great! I really liked the buildup of tension and angst, and the cultural aspects of the book. The first hookup happens almost exactly 50% into the book, which I appreciated––I hate when the two characters hook up too early into the book. But after that, things started to fall apart.


The second half of the book just had a whole lot of meaningless conflicts––I think there were like three conflicts that I just didn’t really care to read about. Furthermore, Sam started to really get on my nerves. The whole alpha-male, I-have-to-protect-and-save-everyone thing is something I can usually deal with, but after a while it started to get really irritating. I get that this aspect was a part of his character growth, but it was just really frustrating to read about.


I think that maybe this book was a victim of trying to do too much at once? I really think that this book could have been four or five stars, had it not been for those meaningless conflicts towards the end, since the first half of the book was just amazing.


I really did enjoy Sara Desai’s writing, so I probably will pick up the second book in this series, but I was really disappointed with how this one turned out.


Rating ➳ 3/5 stars

(tw: domestic abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, alcoholism, car accident)

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