Book Reviews: Incense and Sensibility , The seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo & Rules of Engagement

Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev

Goodreads blurb: Yash Raje, California’s first serious Indian gubernatorial candidate, has always known exactly what he wants—and how to use his privileged background to get it. He attributes his success to a simple mantra: control your feelings and you can control the world.
But when a hate-fueled incident at a rally critically injures his friend, Yash’s easy life suddenly feels like a lie, his control an illusion. When he tries to get back on the campaign trail, he blacks out with panic.
Desperate to keep Yash’s condition from leaking to the media, his family turns to the one person they trust—his sister’s best friend, India Dashwood, California’s foremost stress management coach. Raised by a family of yoga teachers, India has helped San Francisco’s high strung overachievers for a decade without so much as altering her breath. But this man—with his boundless ambition, simmering intensity, and absolute faith in his political beliefs—is like no other. Yash has spent a lifetime repressing everything to succeed.

Including their one magical night ten years ago—a too brief, too bright passion that if rekindled threatens the life he’s crafted for himself. Exposing the secrets might be the only way to save him but it’s also guaranteed to destroy the dream he’s willingly shouldered for his family and community . . . until now. 

My take: 4.5 out of 5. I was very much looking forward to this book as I am a big fan of Pride Prejudice and other Flavors and Recipe for Persuasion and wanted to follow in the Raje’s story. This one did not disappoint at all. It is not my favorite of the three as the cooking aspect of the other is amazing, but it was a fabulous read. I devoured it in a day and fell back into their world very happily. I also like how Yash is developed much more that he has in the other books, we get t eoxplore the real him which is great. Also love that all of our other Raje favorites makes plenty of appearances. A great option summer read.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Goodreads blurb: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways. 

My take: 4.5 out of 5 After I read Malibu Rising, I realized I needed to start reading Taylor Jenkins Reid other books. I was definitely not disappointed in this one. I loved Evelyn and her story. The characters are flawed but so well developed they seem so real. Loved all the descriptions and the trip down memory lane in Glamorous Hollywood. It also makes you question everything you do know about it. and absolutely charming read that i would totally recommend, and also very excited that a Freeform series is being produced of it.

Rules of Engagement by Anisha Bhatia

Goodreads blurb: Goodreads blurb: Balli Kaur Jaswal’s EROTIC STORIES FOR PUNJABI WIDOWS meets Kevin Kwan’s CRAZY RICH ASIANS in this hilarious comedy of manners set in Mumbai where modernity jostles with tradition. Zoya Sahni has a great education, a fulfilling job and a loving family (for the most part). But she is not the perfect Indian girl. She’s overweight, spunky and dark-skinned in a world that prizes the slim, obedient and fair. At 26 she is hurtling toward her expiration date in Mumbai’s arranged marriage super-mart, but when her aunties’ matchmaking radars hones in on the Holy Grail of suitors—just as Zoya gets a dream job offer in New York City—the girl who once accepted her path as almost option-less must now make a choice of a lifetime. Big-hearted with piercing social commentary, The Rules of Arrangement tells a powerful, irresistibly charming and oh-so relatable tale of a progressive life that won’t be hemmed in by outdated rules. But not without a few cultural casualties, and of course, an accidental love story along the way ( This in an ARC audiobook review, thanks to a gift from the publisher. It comes out July 22nd, 2021)

my take: 2 out of 5. Lets be clear, advertising this as Crazy Rich Asians meets Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows is definitely not accurate. As you see in the links I really loved these books, and i think the only thing they really have in common is that they deal with weddings in Asia. However as funny as those books are, this book is more offensive and annoying. You don’t get the colorful descriptions and characters that you have in Crazy Rich Asians, nor the depth of emotional development in Erotic Stories. There is no humor just really obnoxious traditional family and Zoya who really needs to get a clue and takes 6 hours of an audiobook to get it together, things that were fairly obvious. Having read so many wonderful stories set in India, especially this year, this one just feels stereotypical and contrived. If it wasn’t for the fact that the ending redeems itself this would have been so bad. Also what is with all the fatphobia in the book? Having just finished the absolutely delightful The Fastest Way to Fall which is total body empowerment, the way this books speaks about women’s bodies is so wrong and kind of sad that its written by a woman.

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