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Accidentally Engaged

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Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall--with hopes that Reena will marry him. But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-j Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall--with hopes that Reena will marry him. But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-jour that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren’t enough, the man appears to love eating her bread creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? And when Reena’s career takes a nosedive, Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams. As cooking at home together brings them closer, things turn physical, but Reena isn’t worried. She knows Nadim is keeping secrets, but it’s fine— secrets are always on the menu where her family is concerned. And her heart is protected… she’s not marrying the man. But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved.


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Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall--with hopes that Reena will marry him. But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-j Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall--with hopes that Reena will marry him. But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-jour that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren’t enough, the man appears to love eating her bread creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? And when Reena’s career takes a nosedive, Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams. As cooking at home together brings them closer, things turn physical, but Reena isn’t worried. She knows Nadim is keeping secrets, but it’s fine— secrets are always on the menu where her family is concerned. And her heart is protected… she’s not marrying the man. But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved.

30 review for Accidentally Engaged

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Yessss!! I can honestly announce: we have another winner! This is entertaining, laugh out loud, sweet, emotional! There is desi wedding, Indian family traditions, noisy parents, vivid characters, lots of yummy foods, a yummy hero with sexy British accent and natural, strong, easily likable heroine! There are also so many secrets, gossips, dramas but the way they’re coming out is also smart, absurd, enjoyable! Angsty parts don’t tear your guts, thankfully they were well balanced. And conclusion i Yessss!! I can honestly announce: we have another winner! This is entertaining, laugh out loud, sweet, emotional! There is desi wedding, Indian family traditions, noisy parents, vivid characters, lots of yummy foods, a yummy hero with sexy British accent and natural, strong, easily likable heroine! There are also so many secrets, gossips, dramas but the way they’re coming out is also smart, absurd, enjoyable! Angsty parts don’t tear your guts, thankfully they were well balanced. And conclusion is sweet like dhokla ( I was curious about that Indian desert since I watched Three Idiots) Reena Manji , 31 , hates her job, is amazing cook, once upon a time a successful food blogger after being sabotaged by her own little sister. She is so pissed off the nonstop intrusions and prying of her family. She wants to be independent, making decisions freely without expecting their approval. But when her hottie new neighbor Nadim with sexy British accent appears at the hallway with his gorgeous posture and flirty manners, she hardly resist his charm till she learns he is the guy works with his father and he is also the arranged husband they expect her to marry! Hell no! Even though he is hot as hell, he is sweet, he is great listener and he has great hands to massage her scalp and he is also talented to give fantastic foot massage! Again hell no! But when they were both drunk, he was so entertaining to join her to shoot a cooking video together which goes viral and they become finalists of a cooking show Reena wants to attend! Now she has second thoughts because that competition is for couples! She knows she can win it! If she asks nicely to Nadim to pretend like her fiancée throughout the competition she can win the scholarship of the baking school she can hardly pay with her regular pay checks ! Guess what? Nadim says “yes” and they are perfect pretending couple in front of the cameras so nobody needs to know their secret! But when Reena has the noisiest family on the planet , she may realize nothing can stay secret in the family including Nadim’s grandiose secret which can change their blossoming intense relationship. Overall: I’m rounding up 4.5 stars to 5 I laughed so much till my cheeks hurt like hell but it’s truly worth it stars! I love Manji family and their scandalous secrets and I loved the chemistry, romance between Reena and Nadim. And I’m a true lover of great food! So this book was like heaven to me! So much thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing/ Forever for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    There is currently a goodreads giveaway for this book right now. This is a Fake dating Romance/Chick-Lit. This is a cute and funny book. This book is about the two main characters family setting them up to be engaged, but they become friends over cooking foods from where they come from. I really love this book. The two main characters are magnetic and they fit together so well. Their is so many cute and funny moments in this book. This book had me totally pulled into it, and I did not want to put There is currently a goodreads giveaway for this book right now. This is a Fake dating Romance/Chick-Lit. This is a cute and funny book. This book is about the two main characters family setting them up to be engaged, but they become friends over cooking foods from where they come from. I really love this book. The two main characters are magnetic and they fit together so well. Their is so many cute and funny moments in this book. This book had me totally pulled into it, and I did not want to put this book down. This book is beautifully written and entertaining. If you need a cute and funny fake dating romance with great characters then this is the book for you. This book is I am very lucky to win a Soft Cover Copy of this book from a goodreads giveaway, and this review is my own honest opinion about the book like all my reviews are. (*)

  3. 4 out of 5

    human [on hiatus]

    AKSJDLASJDSK I'M CRYING I'M SCREAMING THANK YOU NETGALLEY GODS I PROMISE I'LL WRITE THOSE REVIEWS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ i see desi wedding, i smash that mf want-to-read button AKSJDLASJDSK I'M CRYING I'M SCREAMING THANK YOU NETGALLEY GODS I PROMISE I'LL WRITE THOSE REVIEWS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ i see desi wedding, i smash that mf want-to-read button

  4. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    4.5 stars, rounded up. Accidentally Engaged , Farah Heron's new book, is a fun, sexy, sweet rom-com about trying to make your own way despite what your parents want. (Like that's easy?) Reena’s parents want what’s best for her, and in their eyes, finding a man for her to marry is best. Sure, it’s not worked any of the previous times they've tried this, but it looks like this candidate, Nadim, definitely has his pluses—he’s handsome, he has a great body and a sexy British accent, and he loves fo 4.5 stars, rounded up. Accidentally Engaged , Farah Heron's new book, is a fun, sexy, sweet rom-com about trying to make your own way despite what your parents want. (Like that's easy?) Reena’s parents want what’s best for her, and in their eyes, finding a man for her to marry is best. Sure, it’s not worked any of the previous times they've tried this, but it looks like this candidate, Nadim, definitely has his pluses—he’s handsome, he has a great body and a sexy British accent, and he loves food as much as she does. (Of course, his negatives include the fact that he works for her father and lives in her apartment building.) But she flat-out refuses to be with anyone her parents set her up with, no matter how good he may look. When Reena learns about a television cooking competition open only to couples, she starts to think things through. An avid baker always looking to perfect her bread recipes, winning this competition might give her that chance. So what would be wrong with asking Nadim to pretend to be engaged to her for the sake of the program, as long as they keep it a secret? (It turns out that's not the only secret she's keeping, and Nadim has secrets of his own as well!) Ah, dear fellow rom-com readers, what happens when secrets are kept in a story? And what happens with fake engagements? Yes, you know, but Accidentally Engaged is a delicious, sexy, romantic one, full of family dysfunction and yummy-sounding food! I couldn't resist even though I knew where things would go. I loved this book. Don’t read it on an empty stomach, especially if like me, carbs are your spirit animal, and/or if you love Indian food. And maybe it was just me, but for some reason the title of this book had me singing the Counting Crows’ Accidentally in Love . (Sorry not sorry if that gets stuck in your head, too!) Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. Check out my list of the best books of the last decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    Accidentally Engaged is a cute romantic comedy about a Muslim woman that fakes an engagement to enter a cooking contest for couples. Accidentally Engaged is cute, funny, and entertaining. Reena is passionate about baking bread and is always cooking. Reena’s parents want her to marry a nice Muslim boy and are always trying to set her up. Their newest option for her is Nadim. Reena and Nadim are both different than their parents realize. They both are passionate about food which causes them to quic Accidentally Engaged is a cute romantic comedy about a Muslim woman that fakes an engagement to enter a cooking contest for couples. Accidentally Engaged is cute, funny, and entertaining. Reena is passionate about baking bread and is always cooking. Reena’s parents want her to marry a nice Muslim boy and are always trying to set her up. Their newest option for her is Nadim. Reena and Nadim are both different than their parents realize. They both are passionate about food which causes them to quickly bond. They are very cute together and have great chemistry while filming the cooking show. Reena has no interest in marrying Nadim. There are family dynamics throughout Accidentally Engaged. Reena has a strained relationship with her sister that her sister is trying to fix. Their family is not honest with each other which lead to some entertaining revelations. Reena is a strong, independent woman that doesn’t live by her parents standards. She moved out of their house without being married and continues to defy their expectations. She isn’t satisfied with her career in finance and has to decide if she’d rather do something else. Nadim is always looking out for Reena and is very caring. There are many funny moments throughout the book. I learned some about the Muslim culture. Reena and Nadim are constantly cooking and talking about food so Accidentally Engaged makes the reader hungry. I recommend Accidentally Engaged for fans of cute romantic comedies and own voices romances. Thank you Forever and NetGalley for Accidentally Engaged. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Be forewarned Do not, and I repeat do not read this unless you have snacks and food next to you or you will be sorry. This book had me craving for freshly baked sourdough bread and Indian food. Be prepared to laugh, swoon, and whet your appetite. This is a fun one! I loved the chemistry between 31 yo Reena Manji and her new neighbor Nadim who was not only gorgeous but also speaks with a sexy British accent. It was almost love at first sight until Reena finds out that her father is setting her up w Be forewarned Do not, and I repeat do not read this unless you have snacks and food next to you or you will be sorry. This book had me craving for freshly baked sourdough bread and Indian food. Be prepared to laugh, swoon, and whet your appetite. This is a fun one! I loved the chemistry between 31 yo Reena Manji and her new neighbor Nadim who was not only gorgeous but also speaks with a sexy British accent. It was almost love at first sight until Reena finds out that her father is setting her up with Nadim for an arranged marriage. Reena’s career was spiraling down and recently losing her job, she takes interest in joining a couple’s cooking show where the grand prize could send Reena to cullinary school. In a funny turn of events with some alcohol involved, Reena and Nadim end up making and sending a video of them cooking to the show and gets accepted. This leads them to a dilemma that in order to remain in the show, they must pretend to be a couple. I loved this sweet story, and getting to know each member of Reena’s large family. there were plenty of funny moments and opportunity to learn a lot about the Muslim culture. I give it all the stars for a fabulous read full of romance, sizzling hot chemistry, amazing characters, and lots of delicious food! This was so entertaining, with great dialogue and the pacing really kept me turning those pages. I really enjoyed this read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    mish ♡

    well uhhh this combined with a new semester of school may have just put me in a slump for the entire january. how fun :) and now i hAVE to write a review about it too :( ________________________________ waiiittt cause i just got my first arc OMFGOMGOMG well uhhh this combined with a new semester of school may have just put me in a slump for the entire january. how fun :) and now i hAVE to write a review about it too :( ________________________________ waiiittt cause i just got my first arc OMFGOMGOMG

  8. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    ⚠️ HAVE BREAD HANDY! Loved this book! Such a feel good story packed with humor, friendship, family, and calories! I seriously defy you to read this and not crave bread! Reena does not like her job, isn’t thrilled with her love life, and most of all is tired of her meddling family. Her parents have really outdone themselves this time they have moved her latest potential husband into the apartment right across the hall from her. There is no way Reena is going to date this man much less marry him. ⚠️ HAVE BREAD HANDY! Loved this book! Such a feel good story packed with humor, friendship, family, and calories! I seriously defy you to read this and not crave bread! Reena does not like her job, isn’t thrilled with her love life, and most of all is tired of her meddling family. Her parents have really outdone themselves this time they have moved her latest potential husband into the apartment right across the hall from her. There is no way Reena is going to date this man much less marry him. Even if he looks like an Indian Captain America, has a sexy British accent, and shares her love for everything food. Then one drunken night Reena and Nadim accidentally enter a cooking contest meant for couples. And so it begins! Reena and Nadim pretending to be a happy loving couple on television and trying to resist one another in real life. This book was such a treat! Reena and Nadim were both great characters with such lovely personalities. The Romance was sweet and steamy both in and out of the kitchen. They both had some pretty complicated family dynamics and expectations and I liked getting a peek into the Muslim culture. The secondary characters were spectacular, colorful and caring. A fantastic book that I cannot recommend highly enough. This book in emojis 🍞 📹 🍞 🐐 🍞 🦶🏽 🍞 🥚 *** Big thank you to Forever for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dani

    *ARC kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* DNF-ed/skim-read after 55% This was a bust, unfortunately. The good: I can’t speak for the Tanzanian-Gujarati representation, but the foodie in me loved the baking and traditional food aspect. It made me search the dishes on Google and learn about the big population of Gujarati people residing in Tanzania, which I did not know. The bad: I am not unfamiliar with people who have different lifestyles, though I am a *ARC kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* DNF-ed/skim-read after 55% This was a bust, unfortunately. The good: I can’t speak for the Tanzanian-Gujarati representation, but the foodie in me loved the baking and traditional food aspect. It made me search the dishes on Google and learn about the big population of Gujarati people residing in Tanzania, which I did not know. The bad: I am not unfamiliar with people who have different lifestyles, though I am a practising Muslim. I have Muslim friends who do drink/gamble and do other things that Islam technically forbids, and everyone is entitled to do what they want so long as it’s through their own free will. BUT… I am NOT a fan and do not appreciate how the publishers slapped a ‘Muslim rep’ sticker on this and called it a day. When you clearly promote a book with Muslim rep, I go into it expecting a somewhat accurate Muslim/Islamic experience, but all the characters in here (except for the heroine’s parents) were drinking/mentioning alcohol every 2 pages, and it was just so shoved in your face that ‘Oh hey! They’re Muslims, but they drink! And have premarital sex! Oh and yeah, they drink, remember, don’t forget that!!’ At the end of the day, this might be a good POC book, but I can see the rep to be quite damaging to practicing Muslims, in my opinion. This review by Suraya is the probably the closest review accurate to my own thoughts.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Norma

    Fun, sweet, and entertaining! This was such a cute, uplifting story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Would definitely recommend and the audiobook was great!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    3 stars What happens when you become fake engaged to the person your parents are trying to marry you off to… but you decide to keep it from your parents? That’s what Reena is dealing with inAccidentally Engaged. When she learns her new neighbor, Nadim is who her parents want her to marry, she is not happy. She’s in her thirties and not looking to be set up. Nadim is attractive, charming, and friendly and they become fast friends, but that’s all. 
Until she needs a partner for a cooking contest sh 3 stars What happens when you become fake engaged to the person your parents are trying to marry you off to… but you decide to keep it from your parents? That’s what Reena is dealing with inAccidentally Engaged. When she learns her new neighbor, Nadim is who her parents want her to marry, she is not happy. She’s in her thirties and not looking to be set up. Nadim is attractive, charming, and friendly and they become fast friends, but that’s all. 
Until she needs a partner for a cooking contest she’s getting ready to join Baking is her passion and she could really use the prize, so Nadim joins in. He’s a great sport about it all and their chemistry is off the charts. You can tell there is more there, even if both aren’t willing to go there yet. There are a lot of secrets between them building up and I just knew when things came out, it would be a bit of a disaster. I think this book had so much potential, but certain things felt… underdeveloped. I don’t love when so many things are introduced, but then not fleshed out. Still, I enjoyed this authors writing style and there were a lot of things I loved in this. I think the idea of the book was fantastic, but the execution lacked a bit. Audio book source: Libby (library borrow) Story Rating: 3.5 stars Narrators: Soneela Nankani Narration Rating: 4 stars Genre: Contemporary Romance Length: 11 hours and 8 minutes

  12. 5 out of 5

    aarya

    2020 Winter Bingo (#SnowInLoveBingo❄️): Hot Beverage “You checked all my boxes. Even the secret boxes no one knew about. I could barely breathe that night when I found you sitting outside my door barefoot with a bag of bread. You were prickly and so independent, but I finally felt like I belonged somewhere. You feel like home.” This was such an emotional read and (not to get too cheesy!) felt like home in a lot of ways. I related so much to Reena's messiness and deep-rooted insecurities. I did 2020 Winter Bingo (#SnowInLoveBingo❄️): Hot Beverage “You checked all my boxes. Even the secret boxes no one knew about. I could barely breathe that night when I found you sitting outside my door barefoot with a bag of bread. You were prickly and so independent, but I finally felt like I belonged somewhere. You feel like home.” This was such an emotional read and (not to get too cheesy!) felt like home in a lot of ways. I related so much to Reena's messiness and deep-rooted insecurities. I did think Nadim needed to be developed as a character a bit more — we never see his pov, and I never rooted for him the way I did for Reena. Some things I really liked: - The drunken scene that doesn't lead to dubious consent! I super love this plot choice in modern contemporary romances, and it was adorable to see how their drunken shenanigans progressed the food competition plot. - Family secrets! Reena's family felt hypocritical... and also familiar. It was hilarious how all their secrets intersected and ended up not being a huge deal. I also liked that Reena's family was interfering and a source of stress, but not toxic to the point where I wanted to Reena to disown them. I feel like fictional families are usually either end of the spectrum (nightmarish or angels), and it was nice to see a flawed family that ultimately had each other's backs. I was relieved that Saira and Reena developed a a healthier dynamic as the book progressed (I was concerned that it would just be fighting and snide remarks the whole time). - Foot fetish! No, I will not elaborate. 👀 - A bleak moment that happens at 70%?!? Be still, my fluttering heart. The end conflict and resolution are paced really, really well (the book still managed to shock me at the end!). - So happy to visit Duncan and Amira from THE CHAI FACTOR again! Even when Reena was at her lowest, I was never *truly* worried for her because she has an amazing support system in her friends and family. FYI: there are no on-page explicit sex scenes. The characters do have sex, but the book chooses to skip over the scene itself. I think it fit the romance, but go in with those expectations! Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Trisha Tomy

    Blog Review: https://trishadoeseverythingbutstudy2... I received a free e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! Unfortunately only 46 pages of this book was available for reading but those 46 pages really impressed me! One of the first things I like about this is her Gujarati heritage....because I've lived in Gujarat for most of my life so I just really loved the small nods to the culture...a puri chhole here, a dhokla there.. Another thing I loved was the sourdough bread...my mother Blog Review: https://trishadoeseverythingbutstudy2... I received a free e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! Unfortunately only 46 pages of this book was available for reading but those 46 pages really impressed me! One of the first things I like about this is her Gujarati heritage....because I've lived in Gujarat for most of my life so I just really loved the small nods to the culture...a puri chhole here, a dhokla there.. Another thing I loved was the sourdough bread...my mother has picked up this skill and I've been with her all, or at least most of the way....so I was really really enjoying the sourdough jokes and all of that! I love the arranged marriage/fake marriage thing this seems to be building up to, because you just know, that's what going to happen and I, for one, can't wait to read the rest of this book! I really loved this preview and I will definitely be reading the rest of this book when it comes out! Or when it's available to request!

  14. 5 out of 5

    RateTheRomance

    It was hard for me to imagine loving a book that was based around a potentially arranged marriage, but ACCIDENTALLY ENGAGED is amazing. Reena is a 32 year old single woman whose parents are constantly trying to direct her life, her career, and her relationships. When Reena meets her new hot neighbor, Nadim, she is intrigued...until she realizes he is the man her father has planned for her to marry. Suddenly Nadim is the enemy that she can't stand, but needs help from to make her dreams a reality. It was hard for me to imagine loving a book that was based around a potentially arranged marriage, but ACCIDENTALLY ENGAGED is amazing. Reena is a 32 year old single woman whose parents are constantly trying to direct her life, her career, and her relationships. When Reena meets her new hot neighbor, Nadim, she is intrigued...until she realizes he is the man her father has planned for her to marry. Suddenly Nadim is the enemy that she can't stand, but needs help from to make her dreams a reality...as long as she can remind him daily that she will NOT be marrying him. Reena and Nadim are so absolutely swoony! I just adored each of them. Reena with her sometimes cranky attitude and Nadim's good-natured charm. Reena is a self-taught baker and the food descriptions in this book will have you drooling! I had to stop reading a few times in order to make and consume some sourdough toast with fresh butter. I loved that this book tackled really difficult family relationships. Farah Heron managed to incorporate cultural complexities within those family relationships with universal complexities that every reader has likely experienced. And those relationships improve as family secrets come out and as the members of Reena's family try and change the patterns they have fallen into. The author has managed to keep these changes authentic and true. I especially appreciated the story including Mental Illness and Therapy for more than one character. The steam is this book is hot even without going into descriptive detail of the sexual encounters. This book is a PG-13 read and still feels incredibly steamy. I loved this look into a culture different than my own, into family relationships, family secrets, beginning to heal, and learning to let go of the expectations that are forced onto us. All of this happens while a beautiful love story is unfolding that will have you swooning and cheering for a happily ever after. This is such a great book! RATING:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ STEAM LEVEL: Rated PG-13 TRIGGERS: Strained family relationships, pressure to marry, emotionally distant parent, child sent to boarding school, clinical depression FEELS-O-METER: 2/5 *Some drama, but still a light read* I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. BUY IT HERE: https://amzn.to/3kXLkkc (aff.) INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | YEAR OF SMUT CHALLENGE

  15. 4 out of 5

    nivedha

    reading the blurb like hECK YES "But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved." also isn't this quote from it the most relatable thing ever reading the blurb like hECK YES "But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved." also isn't this quote from it the most relatable thing ever

  16. 4 out of 5

    JenReadsRomance

    I really enjoyed this book. I liked the romance between Reena and Nadim a lot! I loved her as a character, I just thought she was so...real. I don't know how else to describe it, her fears and worries, her desire to please her family, her desire to have a different career than the one that seems "safe." One of the things that I think it does really well, superbly even, is explore how complicated family dynamics STAY COMPLICATED through adulthood. I think a lot of romances tend to discuss family o I really enjoyed this book. I liked the romance between Reena and Nadim a lot! I loved her as a character, I just thought she was so...real. I don't know how else to describe it, her fears and worries, her desire to please her family, her desire to have a different career than the one that seems "safe." One of the things that I think it does really well, superbly even, is explore how complicated family dynamics STAY COMPLICATED through adulthood. I think a lot of romances tend to discuss family of origin issues as part of the romance. I like this! It makes sense, because as people fall in love and think about bring a partner into the family, or the new family they are making as a couple, complicated questions about family bubble up. And I think the way Reena both learns more about her family and the way things work, the complex dynamic with her sister -- all of this moves forward, but it isn't *fixed.* and I thought it was just brilliant. I'll be honest. There was way too much cooking shit in this book for me. I just don't enjoy cooking at all, and all the details about sourdough starter or whatever! The only part about the sourdough starter that I liked was when Nadim was babysitting it and couldn't throw it away. That was telling me something about him, and I liked that, because my actual interest in the mechanics of bread making is less than zero. I know a lot of people like all that cooking shit, but I absolutely power skimmed over so much of the food and meal preparation. I understand Reena wanted to be a chef, and it's heroine only POV, but sometimes the food and cooking felt like more of a character than Nadim really did, and that to me is why the book is 4 stars instead of 5. Food can't be more of a main character than your hero, no matter how much I enjoyed the book. I wanted more about him, and less about bread-making. Perhaps others who don't have such antipathy for cooking won't feel the same way.

  17. 4 out of 5

    nick (the infinite limits of love)

    Farah Heron has only released two books and she is already one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. Farah's debut, The Chai Factor, is a work of art, and I was eager to pick up Accidentally Engaged. This book was just as joyful of an experience as The Chai Factor. You can tell that this story is a project that Farah Heron put all her heart into and I'm grateful that she decided to share it with readers. At the center of Accidentally Engaged is Reena, a South Asian woman who is a little di Farah Heron has only released two books and she is already one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. Farah's debut, The Chai Factor, is a work of art, and I was eager to pick up Accidentally Engaged. This book was just as joyful of an experience as The Chai Factor. You can tell that this story is a project that Farah Heron put all her heart into and I'm grateful that she decided to share it with readers. At the center of Accidentally Engaged is Reena, a South Asian woman who is a little disgruntled at how her life is turning out to be and the pressure of her parents' expectations. She has a career in finance that she absolutely despises. Reena's true passion lies in cooking and baking, especially bread-baking. At the same time, her parents are trying to set her up with a "good Muslim boy" and their latest target, Nadim, also happens to be Reena's new neighbor. An opportunity to make her dreams come true arises in the form of a cooking contest, Reena and Nadim team up and enter a fake relationship. This not only provides her with a much-needed reprieve from her stagnant life, but it brings her a new friend and maybe love into her life. I really like how Farah Heron writes her female protagonists. They are all such normal characters and it's easy to relate to them. I really adored Reena and related to her a lot. Both her connection and her discontentment with the South Asian community she grew up in rang a chord with me. Reena loves her culture, which the author weaves into the story really beautifully through the food and traditions, but there were also parts of it that she found suffocating. I like that Farah didn't shy away from showing the complexities and ups and downs of what it's like to grow up to South Asian immigrants. Reena's identity isn't the only layer of her character I liked. She starts off the book accompanied by low self-confidence and unhappiness at certain aspects of her life. We see a lot of her growth throughout Accidentally Engaged and it's very satisfying to someone who is rooting for her. As much as I liked Reena, it was Nadim who stole the show for me, and admittedly, it's for a very selfish reason. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Nadim had grown up in Tanzania. I think a lot of people are under the impression that there are no South Asian communities in Africa. I grew up in one of these big communities myself, so this book feels like the only representation I will ever see in a romance book. If I seem protective towards Nadim, it's because this is the representation of my dreams. Anyways, Nadim is an actual angel who oozes sunshine! He is a sweetheart, knows how to lay on the charm, and is gentle. I liked that his personality was in contrast to Reena, who is a bit of a grump. They balanced each other out really well and I could see why they started off as such good friends. If you enjoy the fake relationship and friends-to-more tropes, I think you are going to have a grand time with Accidentally Engaged. The progression of their relationship is fun! The two get close as they shoot for the contest from Reena's kitchen and as Nadim falls in love with her cooking, he slowly finds himself falling in love with her too. Honestly, they were precious together and they also had me laughing quite a few times. The cooking show scenes, in particular, were terrific because they not only show just how much chemistry the two share but also just how comfortable they become around each other as they film more episodes. Accidentally Engaged is a beautiful book that explores love, family, culture, and cuisine within a South Asian community. It's rich and complex and doesn't shy away from showing both the ups and downs of growing up in the desi community. Just make sure you have a snack while reading the book. You're going to need it. I loved this book and I hope you will too! CW: mention of depression and anxiety Relationship disclosure: Farah Heron and I are mutuals on social media.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Sweet, humorous, and sassy! Accidentally Engaged is a fresh, flirty, heartwarming tale that takes you into the life of Reena Manji, a hardworking, young woman of Indian heritage who endeavours to do whatever it takes to change all aspects of her humdrum life, including faking an engagement with the man her parents have promised her to and whom she refuses to marry in order to enter a coveted cooking show contest specifically for couples. The prose is heartfelt and light. The characters are kind, s Sweet, humorous, and sassy! Accidentally Engaged is a fresh, flirty, heartwarming tale that takes you into the life of Reena Manji, a hardworking, young woman of Indian heritage who endeavours to do whatever it takes to change all aspects of her humdrum life, including faking an engagement with the man her parents have promised her to and whom she refuses to marry in order to enter a coveted cooking show contest specifically for couples. The prose is heartfelt and light. The characters are kind, supportive, and eccentric. And the plot is a push-pull tale of familial responsibility, intrusive parents, witty banter, tender moments, goals, expectations, secrets, friendship, chemistry, introspection, honesty, and love. Overall, Accidentally Engaged has everything you look for in a rom-com as well as the added bonus of a touch of culture, traditions, weighty issues, and delectable goodies. I enjoyed every delicious minute that had me smiling, laughing, and definitely making too much homemade bread. Thank you to Forever and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    Ack! Okay! Well! I'm already feeling very chaotic about this rating and review! Let's dive into it! There's so much to love about Farah Heron's Accidentally Engaged. Reena is such a fun and unique heroine, Nadim is both lovable and mysterious, and the entire Manji family is a damn trip. Plus the food descriptions in this book not only made my mouth water but also made me decide that bread-baking will be the delayed quarantine hobby I take up next. I think where things got a little hinky is that th Ack! Okay! Well! I'm already feeling very chaotic about this rating and review! Let's dive into it! There's so much to love about Farah Heron's Accidentally Engaged. Reena is such a fun and unique heroine, Nadim is both lovable and mysterious, and the entire Manji family is a damn trip. Plus the food descriptions in this book not only made my mouth water but also made me decide that bread-baking will be the delayed quarantine hobby I take up next. I think where things got a little hinky is that there's just too much going on in this novel. Reena and Nadim's parents setting them up! Reena's relationship with her sister Saira! Reena's past failed relationships! The cooking show subplot! The foot shenanigans! The secrets that Reena's family is keeping from her! The secrets that Nadim is also keeping from her! The list goes on and on. The book is just shy of soap opera-levels of drama at the end, but the problem is that I don't really know if that's exactly what Heron was going for. I would've loved if there'd been fewer subplots with a little more depth added to the remaining ones, especially because there were some really important topics that could've used more exploration, like mental illness and treatment. This is definitely one of those times where half stars would be useful, because this book teeters around 3.5ish stars for me. Content warning: Disordered eating, mental illness, mentions of infidelity

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dana Herondale

    I am not South Asian or East African so I will not speak on how that aspect of the character’s identity was represented in the book. Please look for other ownvoices reviewers if you want that perspective. I picked this book up specifically because it was ramadan and for this month I wanted to stick to reading books about Islam or that have muslim representation. Now don’t get me wrong this book did have muslim representation... it was just horrible. Allow this book to serve as a reminder that no I am not South Asian or East African so I will not speak on how that aspect of the character’s identity was represented in the book. Please look for other ownvoices reviewers if you want that perspective. I picked this book up specifically because it was ramadan and for this month I wanted to stick to reading books about Islam or that have muslim representation. Now don’t get me wrong this book did have muslim representation... it was just horrible. Allow this book to serve as a reminder that not all ownvoices books have good representation because this was a trainwreck. My first red flag when we met Nadim and he offered her beer in their first meeting. Islam was ridiculed over the course of this book and I lost all hope that it could possibly get better twenty pages in. The whole “yeah i respect it but...” made it even more irritating and harder to deal with. This book had characters that spoke of Islam as if it was some kind of primitive way of thinking and that by drinking alcohol they somehow set themselves apart. There are almost two billion people who follow this religion and this book mocked it. I went into this book expecting something like You Deserve Each Other but halal. I expected it to represent muslims and have characters that reflected islamic values and, with the exception of the protagonist’s parents, I didn’t get that. Other than the fact that both main characters identify with Islam all we see from them about the religion is them belittling it and the author setting them apart from other Muslims because they have sex and drink alcohol. Rather than a “not like other girls” trope I saw an “I’m not like other Muslims trope”. That’s the best way in which I can sum up how I felt about this book. Other than my obvious issues with the Muslim representation in this book I also had an issue with the plot... it just didn’t do it for me. The plot was everywhere and made no sense. There wasn’t a clear way where one thing led to the next. Nothing felt well developed, including the characters. Other than his ethnic and muslim identity (as well as a foot fetish) we really don’t see much of a personality from Nadim. I had a similar issue with Reena, but you would have to swap out the foot fetish with baking because that’s all we got from her. But don’t worry they’re not like other Muslims so it’s fine💕 Seeing white, non-muslim reviewers rate this book five stars for the so called diversity while they ignore the people who were supposedly represented by this book is fucking annoying. Listen to ownvoices reviewers when they voice their concerns about a book and it’s harmful representation. Overall I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone, not just because of the offensive representation, but also because it wasn’t well written and did not have a coherent plot.

  21. 4 out of 5

    fanna

    A woman in her thirties—Reena—whose passion for cooking and baking makes her finance job look even more dull, and an eligible bachelor and real estate dealer posing as a marriage prospect—Nadim—are thrown in neighboring apartments of a building in Toronto, through a happenstance set up by Reena's desi parents who are adamant on finding that perfect Muslim husband for their daughter. Efforts meet fate when Nadim agrees to be Reena's partner at a local cooking contest; consequently faking an engag A woman in her thirties—Reena—whose passion for cooking and baking makes her finance job look even more dull, and an eligible bachelor and real estate dealer posing as a marriage prospect—Nadim—are thrown in neighboring apartments of a building in Toronto, through a happenstance set up by Reena's desi parents who are adamant on finding that perfect Muslim husband for their daughter. Efforts meet fate when Nadim agrees to be Reena's partner at a local cooking contest; consequently faking an engagement since only couples are allowed to compete; and the latter can no longer dodge this matchmaking attempt by her parents because Nadim's charm and British accent is gravitational. Intricate in the aspect of exploring family dynamics, past secrets, hurtful instances, one's career taking a nosedive, and cultural expectations, this romance focuses extensively on finding oneself uninfluenced by familial duty while coming to terms with personal motivations and fulfilling individual progress. The resplendent descriptions of food, a chemistry brewing from believable plotlines, and scenes involving adorable parents on social media, this adult contemporary romance satiates on many levels while leaving one hungry for a slightly more focus on Nadim too. ↣ an early digital copy received via netgalley but review remains uninfluenced. ↢ blog | ko-fi | twitter October 28, 2020: Yes to adult romance books with desi characters!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shagufta

    I really really wanted to like this book because it’s about a family/female protagonist living in Toronto from East Africa and of Indian descent and it’s not often to see South-Asian/African/Muslim characters in romance novels. The novel is about Reena, who lives in a building her father owns, and meets her neighbour Nadim one day and finds out that he is someone her family approves of and someone who works with her father, and therefore someone she feels is off limits to her. They get along ext I really really wanted to like this book because it’s about a family/female protagonist living in Toronto from East Africa and of Indian descent and it’s not often to see South-Asian/African/Muslim characters in romance novels. The novel is about Reena, who lives in a building her father owns, and meets her neighbour Nadim one day and finds out that he is someone her family approves of and someone who works with her father, and therefore someone she feels is off limits to her. They get along extremely well though, and the book is about their relationship, and a FoodNetwork competition they enter together. On the bright side, it was lovely to both see South Asian/East Africa culture depicted in stories and the relationship between the two sisters in this book and their attempt to figure out their relationship. For those reasons I finished the book. On the not bright side, this book has too much going on though and it felt hard to care/hold onto all the threads going on in this book. I think the intention was to create a picture of a family that makes no sense, but in doing that, the book dragged on. Nothing was really fully developed, it felt confusing why the characters were making such a big deal of things, and the secrets felt irrelevant and pointless. I also think the author was really trying to make a point that the characters drink in a way that felt like as a reader I was being hit over the head with this fact. I’m fine with Muslim characters drinking in novels but this book it felt like alcohol was mentioned in a heavy handed way.

  23. 4 out of 5

    book bruin

    Prepare yourself (and your bellies) for this delicious story! I don't think I have ever been so hungry and inspired to bake as I was while reading Accidentally Engaged. I started it before bed one night and less than 24 hours later, I had a chocolate bundt cake and a loaf of everything bread. LOL What I loved: - Reena's journey was so relatable. Her struggles with her family and her own identity really resonated with me. I know all too well how the threat of shaming one's family and "saving face" Prepare yourself (and your bellies) for this delicious story! I don't think I have ever been so hungry and inspired to bake as I was while reading Accidentally Engaged. I started it before bed one night and less than 24 hours later, I had a chocolate bundt cake and a loaf of everything bread. LOL What I loved: - Reena's journey was so relatable. Her struggles with her family and her own identity really resonated with me. I know all too well how the threat of shaming one's family and "saving face" are such a heavy burden to bear. How expectation and obligation can override any personal aspirations or goals. The confusion of family coming first, when so much is hidden and not talked about (either because of fear and judgement or because no one wants to burden anyone). I thought the author did an amazing job showcasing these topics in the novel. - Reena and Nadim. I loved how genuine they were with each other. The lack of filter and judgement was wonderful. Plus, they had amazing chemistry (Nadim was such a charmer!) I about died from the scene with all the sourdough babies. - ALL THE FOOD. I'm hungry just writing this review. LOL - The friendships. I loved Amira, Duncan, Shayne, and Marley. They were such a wonderful support system and were not afraid to call Reena out on her BS. Yes, they sometimes let her meander there, but I appreciated that they always had her back. This is my first book by the author, so I didn't realize Amira and Duncan had their own story (The Chai Factor). Definitely adding it to my TBR. - The healing of Reena's relationship with her sister Saira. There was a lot of hurt feelings and baggage between these two, but I liked that the author let things unfold naturally here. There wasn't a magic solution. Just communication, listening, and most importantly time. What didn't quite work: - Sometimes the plot threads felt a little overwhelming. There was a lot going on and to unpack with our characters. Reena's journey was the focus, but I would have liked a little more time spent on her and Nadim's evolution. - The pacing was slow and steady until the end, where it felt like it went into overdrive. The ending wrapped up a little abruptly. - As much as I liked the positive steps the Manji family made at the end, it also felt a little too tidy. Some traditions and ways of doing things die hard and I don't think the cultural pressures would have been disregarded so easily. It didn't feel genuine to have everyone suddenly adopt new ways of thinking. Overall, this was a wonderful novel and I'm looking forward to reading more books by the author in the future! CW: depression, alcohol, mental health, mentions of eating disorder *I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*

  24. 4 out of 5

    Azanta

    I really, truly had to force myself to get through this book and I wish I DNF’ed it. It was not for me but if you’re looking for a light-hearted rom com with all your favorite cliches and no other plot other than the MC drooling over men explicitly, this is for you. These are not the type of romance books I read so I was not expecting to not like this book at all. My first and most immediate turn off was the ridicule of Islam. Saying over and over that you “respect it but...” does not make the r I really, truly had to force myself to get through this book and I wish I DNF’ed it. It was not for me but if you’re looking for a light-hearted rom com with all your favorite cliches and no other plot other than the MC drooling over men explicitly, this is for you. These are not the type of romance books I read so I was not expecting to not like this book at all. My first and most immediate turn off was the ridicule of Islam. Saying over and over that you “respect it but...” does not make the ridicule okay. Islam is not a culture - it’s a religion that is practiced by billions of people. It’s not strict customs and traditions that force people to either choose fun or a cult. Again — these are my opinions and mine alone because I practice Islam but those who don’t might enjoy it. This is not good Muslim rep in anyway which is so disappointing because it’s counting as an OwnVoices novel. Anyone who praises this book for Muslim rep is wrong, especially if they’re not Muslim.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Readaholic Book Reviews

    Reena Manji loves to bake. Baking bread is a hobby and it brings her joy. What doesn't bring her joy - a) her overbearing Indian family b) her job in finance c) Nadim, her new neighbor who just happens to be the same guy Reena's parents are trying to get her to marry. Reena and Nadim eventually form a friendship. This friendship turns into a fake engagement when Reena and Nadim sign themselves up as cooking contestants for a show on FoodTV. They have so much fun cooking together that they decide Reena Manji loves to bake. Baking bread is a hobby and it brings her joy. What doesn't bring her joy - a) her overbearing Indian family b) her job in finance c) Nadim, her new neighbor who just happens to be the same guy Reena's parents are trying to get her to marry. Reena and Nadim eventually form a friendship. This friendship turns into a fake engagement when Reena and Nadim sign themselves up as cooking contestants for a show on FoodTV. They have so much fun cooking together that they decide to keep on going with the ruse as well as the cooking competition. But when they're always in such close proximity will the lines start to blur between a fake engagement and a real relationship? I honestly enjoyed Accidentally Engaged so much. I loved the desi representation and I have so many parts of the book highlighted. I related to Reena and Nadim's characters A LOT - from her overbearing parents, to the food, to small things like going shopping for Indian outfits with your aunts and cousins. Nadim and Reena's relationship from dislike to friends to lovers was so sweet. These two had such great chemistry and I was rooting for them throughout the whole book. Reading this book made me hungry - so keep that in mind! I loved all of the secondary character's from Reena's best friend to her sister. Overall I highly enjoyed Accidentally Engaged and would give it 4.5 stars! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sana

    I loved the previous title (The Right Spice), why did they change it =/ Still excited for this, though!

  27. 4 out of 5

    lauren.

    If you want a book that will give you all the feels, like literally ALL of them: love, frustration, flutters, tears (it made me tear up more than once!!) then this is the book for you!! At first it seems like your typically ‘fake dating/engagement’ but it’s much more than that, we got crappy parents, who I didn’t really enjoy but realize the depth and realism it added to the story itself. We have cooking!!! And there’s even recipes for one of the cuisines cooked within the book, amazing!! We hav If you want a book that will give you all the feels, like literally ALL of them: love, frustration, flutters, tears (it made me tear up more than once!!) then this is the book for you!! At first it seems like your typically ‘fake dating/engagement’ but it’s much more than that, we got crappy parents, who I didn’t really enjoy but realize the depth and realism it added to the story itself. We have cooking!!! And there’s even recipes for one of the cuisines cooked within the book, amazing!! We have talks on mental health and realizing our worth and going for what WE want rather than letting people influence us (in negative ways). We have the frustration of watching two characters who are clearly destined for each other pull away and dismiss real feelings (it’s incredibly frustrating in the most romance novely way possible). We have embracing ones culture and not shying away from it or letting the world ‘white wash’ it. Loving your own trade and being proud of it!! And if all of that doesn’t make you pick up this book, the hero is referenced, within the first few pages of the book, as a ‘Brown Captain America’ which if you don’t like superhero’s or Chris Evans I get it, but HOLY COW YES. If I had to pick one thing I didn’t like about this book, besides the crappy parents, would be that the steam and tension was definitely there but it was more fade to black than anything else, so a bit more in-depth steam would of been amazing! Small tw for people who don’t like feet, there’s a small foot fetish within this book, it’s more poetic than distasteful though lmao. “Remember when I told you that I don’t know who I am most of the time? I’m not like that with you. I feel like me with you. This ring cost me thirty dollars, but it won’t turn your finger green. Will you keep it as a promise to never marry me?”

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    ACCIDENTALLY ENGAGED by Farah Heron is a brilliant rom com!! I loved reading this book! This contemporary romance combines baking, meddling parents and a fake engagement. So fun! Right away the first chapter made me LOL and there were so many funny moments throughout this book. I loved how the setting was Toronto and the Canadian touches. Both main characters, Reena and Nadim, were likeable and even better together. I loved the recipes included too. This book made me hungry! I definitely recomme ACCIDENTALLY ENGAGED by Farah Heron is a brilliant rom com!! I loved reading this book! This contemporary romance combines baking, meddling parents and a fake engagement. So fun! Right away the first chapter made me LOL and there were so many funny moments throughout this book. I loved how the setting was Toronto and the Canadian touches. Both main characters, Reena and Nadim, were likeable and even better together. I loved the recipes included too. This book made me hungry! I definitely recommend this one when you want to put a smile on your face! . Thank you to the author for my advance review copy!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nnenna

    4.5 stars Thank you to the publisher for giving me a free copy of this book! All opinions are my own. Finally, my craving for a fun romance read has been satisfied thanks to this delightful book! There were so many aspects of this book that I loved. Food plays such a huge role in this story, and I really enjoyed reading about all the different dishes that Reena makes. Bread baking is also significant and that felt relatable since I too went through my bread phase during quarantine (and after readin 4.5 stars Thank you to the publisher for giving me a free copy of this book! All opinions are my own. Finally, my craving for a fun romance read has been satisfied thanks to this delightful book! There were so many aspects of this book that I loved. Food plays such a huge role in this story, and I really enjoyed reading about all the different dishes that Reena makes. Bread baking is also significant and that felt relatable since I too went through my bread phase during quarantine (and after reading this, now I really want to make bread again). This book also touches on mental health issues. I couldn’t help but wince a little because Reena’s strategy of ignoring her problems and hoping they’ll go away is something I’ve definitely done (and still do). I could also relate to her feelings of having to navigate around both family and cultural expectations. I loved that Reena’s family was from Tanzania and the way the author highlighted her Indian and East African heritage. The premise of the cooking show was great and shows like that are right up my alley. In fact, it reminded me of The Big Family Cooking Showdown on Netflix, which is a fun show to watch if you’re into cooking shows. I would 100% watch the show that Reena and Nadim are on. I loved Reena as a character: she’s smart, independent, and still figuring out what she wants her life to look like and what makes her happy. I feel like she’s someone I would be friends with IRL, and not just because it sounds like she can really cook (although that would be a huge bonus)! A big part of this book as well is the exploration of family dynamics, with Reena and her parents, and also with Reena’s sister. There’s so many secrets between them and it’s interesting to see how those secrets affect their relationships. Did I think that the ending was the most realistic? Not necessarily, but who am I to say what’s realistic! And it probably could have been tightened up a little bit in terms of pacing. Also, for those who are wondering, I’d say the steam level for this book was medium to medium-low. You all know that I love when a book includes recipes, so I was stoked to see a couple included here. Thank you to this book for satisfying my reading craving and for being such an enjoyable read. Now I’m just actually hungry and need to go eat some delicious food asap!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    A fake engagement, a cooking show, awesome friends, family, and food? I mean, yeah, this book has it all and more! Reena and Nadim are sweet, sexy, and perfect for each other. If you’re not swooning, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. My first book by this author, but definitely won’t be my last!

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