Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes #2) audiobook
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Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes #2) audiobook free
I would like to start this review by saying that this was my second attempt to pick this book up. My main motivation to finish this time was this was supposed to be a buddy read.
Now, with that said, I didnt hate this book, but I also didnt love it. It felt like this book suffered from the second book curse. I wasnt rooting for the main character to win. Yikes. I may not have always dug Trisha from book 1 but I R least wanted her to figure out the surgery. I was rooting for her. Ashna, was a totally different story. Now, I think Dev did drops Easter eggs throughout the book to help you gain insight on Ashnas motivation but you dont find out the why until literally chapter 29. Im sorry fam, but thats entirely too long to make me wait and get invested. Also am I supposed to believe that Ashna and Rico Sauvey I mean Silva had that much of a connection that it lasted over almost two decades. Nope Im not buying it, especially when they both thought they were left. Uhm, no. Yeah Im sorry Im not in the camp where finding love or finally saying I love you fixes everything; therapy, self awareness, coping skills, and community is more on par especially when theres this type of plot point. Love aint it. Btw I was more invested in mom and her boo than this tepid couple. This book was supposed to be a slow burn but read like a flicker of a romance. This book was a family drama with a smidgeon of romantic elements and Im being generous. So in summary this book was too long, the romance was meh, and it wrapped in like one chapter. You cant go from hating your mom for your 30 chapters and then move to besties after one paragraph even when you peel back the layers. There was not enough time to develop e.g. nurture that relationship because of all the other things goin on. The flashbacks and Ashnas negative self talk could have been trimmed down may by 10 chapters. I’m rounding up to 3 but it feels more like a 2.5
Trigger warnings for marital rape, physical and verbal abuse, suicide (on page), ptsd, anxiety, alcoholism, child abandonment, gas lighting, divorce, and manipulation.
Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes #2) audiobook streamming online
I haven’t read any Jane Austen, so any parallels between this modern retelling and Austen’s original Persuasion are lost to me.
I have read all of Sonali Dev’s novels, and I think this current book is her best yet. Characters introduced in Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors are in the current book, without overwhelming the story of chef Ashna and rerired soccer star Rico. This layered story is anti-patriarchal, without being anti-male. There is so much going on, but is not confusing at all. I don’t know if I could have forgiven Ashna’s mother for abandoning Ashna for most of her life, but Ashna’s forgiveness of her mother feels genuine. Simply a remarkable story.
Audiobook Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes #2) by Sonali Dev
Well, now, there’s a lot to chew on in this novel–feelings of abandonment, women’s powerlessness in many societies, marital rape, alcoholism, suicide. Yet, while reading, I felt less like chewing on it than just spitting it out. Although I do feel empathy and compassion for those with emotional traumas and share indignation over women’s lack of empowerment, the characters here were so unappealing to me and the plot so annoying that I was just happy to have finally finished the read. (I will also mention that I got this on a bargain day and do not believe it is worth the regular price.)
Supposedly, this is a retelling of Jane Austen’s PERSUASION. Well, only vaguely. It’s mostly just a second-chance romance and an exasperating one at that. I’ve been reading so many of these romances that develop in high school and end badly, while the two young lovers continue to fixate on this attachment for a decade or more. Really, do people do this? IMO, high-schoolers are young enough to get over that first love obsession and move on with their lives and their love life. That’s called becoming more emotionally mature.
But no, these two have seemingly bonded for life, but since each thinks they were dumped or betrayed by the other, the love has become resentment that they can’t get over. Now in their 30s, they find themselves together again, participating in a reality cooking show. (She’s a chef, he’s a retired sports celebrity.)
But this romance takes a back seat to all the other emotional hangups the heroine has. Resentment at a mother who she feels deserted her at a young age. Unresolved issues with an alcoholic father. Her being the one to discover the body of her father after he committed suicide. And plenty of guilt, resentment, and feelings of emotional insecurity. This heroine is a mess.
I could not feel true compassion for her, however, because she was too passive, even passive aggressive, and too lacking in any initiative or desire to discuss or resolve her emotional problems. She was the most exasperating and unlikable heroine of a contemporary romance that I’ve read in some time.
And then there’s the heroine’s mother. She’s a story unto herself and that backstory took up a lot of pages of the book. Forced into a marriage she didn’t want in India, in love with another man, torn between finding empowerment or living a miserable life with an abusive, alcoholic husband so that she could be with her daughter.
Well, all’s well that ends well and all this misery gets resolved by the end, but I did not find this to be an enjoyable journey. The romance was unsatisfactory and the emotional traumas patly resolved in weeks after so many years of people doing absolutely nothing to improve things, instead letting everything fester.
BTW, lest you think I didn’t like anything here, I’ll say there was one thing: the hero. He was pleasant and caring and patient. I only wish he could have found a better love interest.
Audio Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes #2) narrated by Soneela Nankani
Ashna Raje (a character introduced in Devs previous book) is staring ruin in the face. She is desperate to find a way to save her deceased fathers restaurant while simultaneously proving to her estranged mother that shes not a screw up. Facing panic attacks from changing anything about the restaurant, the menu, decor and staff have become tired and old. When shes offered the chance to go on a reality TV cooking show, she recognizes that it might be the only way to save her familys legacy. Upon securing the elite spot, she realizes shes paired with elite soccer star Rico Silva, recently retired after a defeats ring knee injury-and he just so happens to be her first love. Will Asha find a way to preserve her fathers dream-and find both love and herself in the process? Oh my good gracious, she does it again! If this book isnt on your Top 10 romance novel list, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE? I love how this book delves into mental health issues (alcoholism, suicide and panic attacks) without making it the entire premise of the story. I loved how the book focused on second chance love but also second chance relationships with family members. I absolutely adored this book.
Free audio Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes #2) – in the audio player below
As persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen book, this always going to be the book i love but Sonali Dev has made it impossible to not care about each character of this book. Loved Shobi’s story and Ashna’s and Rico’s.
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