Title: The Wedding Setup
Author: Sonali Dev
Release Date: January 11, 2022
Publisher: Amazon Original StoriesAbout the Book:
Ayesha Shetty lost her brother seven years ago, the same time she lost everything else important to her: her dreams, her fierce independence, and the man she loved. Not wanting to see her mother hurt anymore, she put her wild self away and became the dutiful daughter her mother needed and took on her brother’s role in the family business.
Now her best friend’s big, fat Indian wedding is a chance to get away from her endless duties at the restaurant and maybe even have some fun (if she remembers how). But a setup arranged by her mother, with a doctor no less, is the last thing she needs. The fact that he checks all her mother’s boxes just makes everything better…and worse.
Then Emmitt Hughes shows up. Her brother’s best friend. The love she once chose over family duties and her responsibilities. The one she asked to leave, and who did. The one who knows the real Ayesha. Torn between a love from the past that could cost her the only person she has left and her sense of obligation to her mother, will Ayesha find the strength to stop thinking about what everyone else wants and finally put herself first? Or is the old Ayesha truly gone for good?
My Review and Rating:
The Wedding Setup: A Short Story
by Sonali Dev
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ayesha Shetty has had a lot of tragedy in her life. The death of her brother snowballed into further loss. She gave up her dreams, her independence, and love to become the straightlaced daughter she felt her mother needed from her. Ayesha did a complete 180-degree shift in personality.
Bela, Ayesha’s bestie, is getting married. This event allows Ayesha to step away from her responsibilities for a minute, spend time with her friend, and finally have some fun. Ayesha’s heart drops when her mother informs her she’s using the wedding as a mechanism to set Ayesha up with a doctor. Then Ayesha’s lost love arrives.
The Wedding Setup is a beautiful romance. The novel is a wonderful story of love, loss, heartache, and renewal. I was drawn in by the descriptive prose, well-written characters, and engaging dialogue. This is a short story, but everything was fleshed out with a satisfying conclusion. This is my first time experiencing the writing by Sonali Dev and I’m hooked.
I was provided a copy of this book to read. All thoughts and
opinions are my own.
View all my reviews
Read an Excerpt from The Wedding Setup:https://saphsbooks.blogspot.com/2022/01/interview-with-author-solini-dev-author.html
Goose bumps rose across Ayesha’s skin, one sharp dot at a time.
That was it. Just that one word. Her name. In a voice that was its own ghost.
She squeezed her eyes shut. One tight squeeze. Tight enough to hurt, tight enough to almost dislodge the false eyelashes Andre had pressed into her lash line one by one with the precision of a surgeon. Then boom! she was in control again and back to Ayesha on Ice.
Eyes blank, face set, she turned toward the voice.
The impact of him was a body blow.
The entire universe stilled. Words weren’t a thing. Or sound. Breath? What was that?
Ayesha! Get a grip.
No grip. That’s how it had always been. She’d had no grip when it came to Emmitt Hughes. Not even a little bit. Not when she’d spied on him and Ajay playing Mario Kart and Minecraft and GTA for hours, for years. Not when she’d yearned and dreamed and spun stories with him at the center.
I’ve made my love for you, my god.
It was the cheesiest of lines from one of those Bollywood songs her parents had played on repeat at the restaurant. Amma had loved translating the over-the-top lyrics and explaining their nuances.
Back when Amma was full of stories and songs and laughter. Before Ajay.
Her brother’s unspoken name fell between them like a glass bauble and shattered.
“You remember Emmitt,” Edward had the gall to say.
Bela shot him a glare.
You didn’t tell me he would be here. Ayesha threw the silent accusation at her traitorous best friend, who gave her nothing more than another worried look.
No, Eddie. Remind me again who he is? The snarky words stuck in Ayesha’s throat. Old Ayesha would have said them. Old Ayesha said everything.
“Emmitt,” New Ayesha said, every feeling buried under her customer-is-king voice from the restaurant. “Nice to see you again.”
His Adam’s apple bobbed in the long column of his throat. How was he still so darned beautiful?
One swallow, and then he smiled back. Banking feelings where no one saw them had been his thing. Emmitt the Wall. That’s what Ajay had called him. Her brother had been best friends with him since Emmitt had moved to Naperville in fifth grade after his parents’ divorce. Years of friendship, and he’d still held Ajay at that slight distance he’d been so good at. Something she would always wish she hadn’t cured him of.
You broke me, Ayesha.You broke every defense I’ve ever had against the world.
She, Ayesha Shetty—too tall, too dark, too outspoken, too intense, too ambitious, too everything for everyone else had been just enough to break through Emmitt the Wall.
“It’s nice to see you too,” he said gently, sounding . . . she dug through her brain to come up with the right word. Grown-up? Contained?
Good. Because Ayesha was all those things now too. Not a grenade with its fuse pulled, ready to blow up the world.Meet the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories that explore universal issues. Her novels have been named best books of the year by Library Journal, NPR, the Washington Post, and Kirkus Reviews. She has won numerous accolades, including the American Library Association’s award for best romance, the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for best contemporary romance, and multiple RT Seals of Excellence; has been a RITA finalist; and has been listed for the Dublin Literary Award. Shelf Awareness calls her “not only one of the best but one of the bravest romance novelists working today.” She lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two visiting adult children, and the world’s most perfect dog.Purchase Link: