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Rogues & Remarkable Women


Recipe for Persuasion

Recipe for Persuasion, June 2020
by Sonali Dev

William Morrow Paperbacks
Featuring: Ashna Raje; Rico Silva
464 pages
ISBN: 0062839071
EAN: 9780062839077
Kindle: B07X3LJS7B
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"A beautifully heartfelt novel... inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion!"

Fresh Fiction Review

Recipe for Persuasion
Sonali Dev

Reviewed by Danielle Dresser
Posted May 2, 2020

Women's Fiction Contemporary | Fiction

Ashna Raje is trying to keep her late father’s restaurant, Curried Dreams, afloat. While she’s technically a great chef, Ashna follows her father’s recipes to the letter, never trying new things and it’s starting to show. When her friend begs her to take part in a Food Network cooking competition, called Cooking with the Stars, Ashna reluctantly agrees, mainly because if she and her celebrity partner win, she’ll be able to keep Curried Dreams open, and she’ll prove to herself, her family, and most especially to her estranged mother, that she can do something worthwhile. But Ashna is floored when she is paired up with Rico Silva, the retired international soccer star who happens to be Ashna’s first love. . . and heartbreak.

Rico has never forgotten Ashna, nor has he forgotten how heartbroken he was after their abrupt breakup at the end of their senior year of high school. Though he went on to become a world-renowned footballer, Rico has always felt like something was missing, and he’s pretty sure that something is Ashna. Trying to figure out what to do after a career-ending injury, Rico jumps at the chance to do Cooking with the Stars--after he finagles to be partnered with Ashna--and hopes he can finally get some answers about what really happened to the woman he loved.

After a video goes viral of Rico catching a falling knife inches away from Ashna’s feet, the entire country is watching Cooking with the Stars, and Ashna is overwhelmed. Her restaurant is still in flux, her mother won’t leave her alone, she feels like she has no idea how to cook anything, and Rico is back in her life, asking too many questions about the past. Will she be able to handle the pressure of a cooking competition? Can Ashna forgive her mother’s actions and start a real relationship with her? And is there any chance she and Rico can work out their differences and rekindle the romance they once had?

VoirSeries

RECIPE FOR PERSUASION by bestselling author Sonali Dev is an emotional, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting book about forgiveness and letting go. Don’t let the illustrated cover fool you--this book does not shy away from devastating revelations, deeply guarded family secrets, and ugly truths that the characters of this book have to meet head-on. Ashna is a lovely main character; she’s relatable, quietly charming, and determined to prove she can be successful in her life. Rico is very charismatic and equally as charming as Ashna, but in a different way. All of this is not to say that Ashna and Rico do not have flaws or issues neither have fully dealt with since they broke up 12 years ago. While she has support from her extended family who essentially raised her after her mother went back to India and became a women’s rights advocate and her father was consumed by running the restaurant and other demons, Ashna has always felt like an outsider and placed the blame on herself for the way her life has taken shape. Rico lost both of his parents when he was very young, so when he found Ashna, he felt like he had finally found someone to be with forever--and is part of the reason why he has harbored such strong feelings for her for so long.

Such deeply-felt emotions are in the careful and adept hands of author Sonali Dev, who has written a beautifully heartfelt novel, loosely inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion. The Raje family is full of interesting characters, and they are all fiercely loyal to one another. Trisha and DJ, the couple from PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND OTHER FLAVORS and other family members make appearances throughout the novel and are fun to see again. There’s an intriguing side story of Ashna’s mother and many of the decisions she made in her life--namely, deciding to return to India and leave her husband and Ashna in California--which answers some of the questions Ashna has always had about her mother. Every scene, description, and thought is meticulously described in great detail, immersing readers in RECIPE FOR PERSUASION from start to finish. The end does drag on somewhat, but all loose ends are tied up to an ultimately satisfying conclusion. And luckily for all of us, there are more Rajes with stories to be told.  

Learn more about Recipe for Persuasion

SUMMARY

From the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors comes another , clever, deeply layered, and heartwarming romantic comedy that follows in the Jane Austen tradition—this time, with a twist on Persuasion.

Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen? 

Rico Silva, that’s what.  

Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster. 

FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn't too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he's definitely over her. 

But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce…and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico.  Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion…? 

In Recipe for Persuasion, Sonali Dev once again takes readers on an unforgettable adventure in this fresh, fun, and enchanting romantic comedy.


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