When a straight California girl marries her lesbian Indian friend to help her get a green card, she didn't expect to fall in love.
Rachel is working as a glorified administrative assistant for a little-known production company and struggling to pay off her student loans. Pari is looking to make a job change that will threaten her temporary work visa. A marriage of convenience will let Pari stay in the U.S., and living in Pari's luxury condo will help Rachel pay down her student loans more quickly. Both women have demons: Rachel is recovering from a significant eating disorder while Pari is wrestling with her mother's theoretical and tentative acceptance of her sexuality. After Pari introduces her parents to Rachel via Skype, her mother informs her that she will fly in to help the two brides plan a traditional Hindu wedding—and while she's there, she'll be staying in Pari's guest room, where Rachel has been sleeping. Wedding traditions are carried out while Rachel and Pari get to know one another a little more, and Rachel finds herself drawn to Pari in ways she's unsure of how to process. Rachel is the narrator here, so the reader is a little more clued in about her negligent mom and low-key work stress than about what's going on with Pari's family dynamics or job situation. However, the romantic and sexual tension between the two is well-written and moves the story along nicely. The notable thing about this novel is its intentional inclusiveness. People of color and people with mental illnesses are not often represented in mainstream romance. That both are active parts of this story is a reason to celebrate.
A well-written novel, both sexy and romantic, with broad and inclusive representation.