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March 11, 2024

Say You'll Be Mine by Naina Kumar ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

In this utterly charming debut romance, a teacher with big dreams joins forces with a no-nonsense engineer to survive an ex's wedding and escape matchmaking pressure from their Indian families. Their plan? Faking an engagement, of course.

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book cover of women's fiction novel Say You'll Be Mine by Naina Kumar
January 2024; Dell; 978-0593723883
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); women's fiction

Say You'll Be Mine
 was an interesting romance that wasn't really a romance...or was it.  It was based on families from India and I learned a lot about Indian food and customs.  Both of the main characters were straddling the fence between being Indian and following their customs or being American which was made more difficult by two sets of parents who believed in things like arranged marriages and a strong work ethic.

Meghna's parents wanted her to be an engineer - something that her mother continued to bring up every chance she got.  Meghna wanted to be a teacher and eventually a playwright - professions that her parents didn't think highly of.  When she finds out that her writing partner and best friend from college is engaged to be married, she is devastated.  Seth never realized what a crush Meghna had on him but he continued to keep in touch with her over the years because she always had good suggestions about the songs he was writing.  She decides that it's time to get on with her life and allows her parents to set up a meeting with a potential suitor - something that can lead to an arranged meeting.  She's very unimpressed with Karthik who tells her that he has no intention of ever getting married but was letting his mom set up matchmaking meetings to make her happy.  After they meet the first time, he calls her and asks her to go along with a fake engagement between the two of them. This will make his mother quit matchmaking and for her, she'll have a plus one for Seth's wedding.  The more time they spend together, the more they begin to rely on each other.  Is there a chance that the fake engagement will become real or will their initial impressions keep them apart?

I really enjoyed this romance.  Both Meghna and Karthik knew what they wanted out of life.  She wanted Seth and a happily ever after and  Karthik wanted to remain single after living through the kind of marriage that his parents had. Every time it seemed that they may be falling in love, a disagreement or a remark pushed them away from each other again.  I loved the way their relationship evolved from strangers to lovers with lots of growth for both of them along the way.

This is a debut novel by Naina Kumar and based on this novel I look forward to her future books.

Buy Say You'll Be Mine at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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