Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons
Published: September 7, 2021
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In this witty and heartfelt rom-com debut for fans of Jasmine Guillory, Emily Henry, and Tessa Bailey, an Indian-American woman signs herself and her boyfriend up for a matchmaking site to prove they’re a perfect match, only to be paired with her ex instead.
High school sweethearts Rita Chitniss and Milan Rao were the golden couple, until the day he broke her heart. Now, six years later, Rita has turned her passion for furniture restoration into a career and has an almost-perfect boyfriend, Neil. The last thing she needs is for Milan to re-enter her life, but that’s exactly what happens when her mother, an unfailing believer in second chances, sets them up. Milan is just as charming, cocky, and confident as he was back in school. Only this time, he actually needs her business expertise, not her heart, to flip a hard-to-sell house for his realty agency.
While Rita begrudgingly agrees to help, she’s not taking any risks. To prove she’s definitely over him, she signs herself and Neil up on MyShaadi.com, a Desi matchmaking site famous for its success stories and trustworthy enough to convince everyone that she and Neil are the new and improved couple. Instead, she’s shocked when MyShaadi’s perfect match for her isn’t Neil…it’s Milan. Ignoring the website and her mother is one thing, but ignoring Milan proves much more difficult, especially when she promises to help him renovate the beach house of her dreams. And as the two of them dive deeper into work—and their pasts—Rita begins to wonder if maybe her match wasn’t so wrong after all….
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I have said it before and I will say it again, I’m not a huge fan of book descriptions that start with…”for fans of”. I am almost always disappointed because I start comparing it to work by the authors or titles mentioned. So when I saw the description for The Shaadi Set-Up and it said the dreaded phrase, I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially since it mentioned Emily Henry (who wrote a book I love so much it is making itself into my yearly reread cycle). But I picked it up and read it anyway and what I found was a wonderfully sweet story about second chance love and misunderstandings.
The Shaadi Set-Up is about Rita, a girl that turned her love of furniture restoration into a career, and Milan, her ex who is now a real estate agent. Once upon a time Rita thought her and Milan’s relationship was for the long hall. And then Milan broke her heart. Now 7 years has past and Rita has moved on. That is until her mother forces her and Milan face to face again and proposes they work together to sell a house Milan has had trouble selling. Now working with the man that crushed her Rita is more determined than ever to prove her current boyfriend, the ones her parents don’t know about, is the perfect match for her. All she needs is MyShaadi.com to prove Neil is her perfect match. The plan is fool proof until Neil is not her perfect match, Milan is. And as she spends more and more time with her ex she can’t help but wonder if the website is right.
I’m not always a huge fan of second chance romances. Typically they are fine but I always keep thinking how the couple broke up for a reason and it isn’t instantly fixed. But with The Shaadi Set-Up I never had that thought it my head. Rita and Milan were meant for each other and they just needed to figure that out. They were the kind of couple that needed time to grow apart and then find their way back to one another even with a little nudge. I loved seeing their relationship change and grow into the place they once were in but better. That was my favorite part of the book, that and Rita’s job. Her job was AMAZING!
In the end I didn’t see the comparison with authors like Emily Henry, but The Shaadi Set-Up was really good without the comparison. Sure I thought parts of the story were a little rushed, but even with that I still immensely enjoyed this second chance at love. Definitely add it to your TBR.