Oh my goodness, folks. If you’re into contemporary romance (if not you obviously haven’t read The Wedding Date), you are going to absolutely adore this one. The Matchmaker’s List (out now) by Sonya Lalli is a cross-cultural rom com of the first order. I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour. I just finished reading it (oops, last minute, as usual) and I couldn’t put it down. Raina is a relatable character and I loved following her on her escapades. I think we’ve all had that one person from our past that we idealize and can’t seem to get out of our system… until we do. The Matchmaker’s List was just what I needed right now to cure my winter blues.
About The Book
One devoted modern girl + a meddlesome, traditional grandmother = a heartwarming multicultural romantic comedy about finding love where you least expect it
Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it–or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina’s side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tight-knit Indian-immigrant community, but now she’s ambushing Raina with a list of suitable bachelors. Is it too much to ask for a little space? Besides, what Nani doesn’t know won’t hurt her… As Raina’s life spirals into a parade of Nani-approved bachelors and disastrous blind dates, she must find a way out of this modern-day arranged-marriage trap without shattering her beloved grandmother’s dreams.
About The Author
Sonya Lalli is a Canadian writer of Indian heritage. She studied law in her hometown of Saskatoon and at Columbia University in New York, and later completed an MA in Creative Writing and Publishing at City, University of London. Sonya has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and loves travel, yoga and cocktail bartending. She lives in Toronto with her husband.
Get a Taste With This EXCERPT
The following is excerpted from The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli. Copyright © 2017 by Sonya Lalli. Reprinted with permission by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
“So here we are,” Vishal said, tugging at the sleeves of his white collared shirt, which were sticking out from his navy blue suit. I looked down, wondering what kind of omen it was that I was wearing virtually the same outfit.
“Have you been here before?”
I shook my head. “It just opened, didn’t it?”
“It’s been two years, actually.”
“Two years?” I glanced around the coffee shop, one that I could have sworn until recently used to be a takeout sushi joint. “Are you sure?”
A waiter brought us a latte each, and I tried to brainstorm conversation topics as I laconically stirred a packet of sugar into my cup. Had it only been one week since I turned 29? For a woman who once spent three months deciding on what handle she wanted as an email address, Nani sure didn’t waste any time. Within days of receiving ‘the list’, I’d received a text message from Vishal – the fellow Bengali boy who also liked “business things”. Unfortunately, he happened to work in the building next door to my office, and I wasn’t able to find an excuse not to see him.
I thought I’d be nervous, but I wasn’t. It was like having an awkward meet-and-greet with a client, or a job interview for a position you really didn’t want. Sure, he was handsome, and civil – but within thirty seconds of shaking hands I could tell we lacked chemistry. Or for that matter, failed to have anything in common. Funny how Nani thought that we could be a match made in heaven just because we both worked on Bay Street and understood how the stock market worked. The conversation was stilted, awkward, but eventually we found some things to talk about. Afterwards, I insisted on paying for my own coffee, and then he walked me back to my office. Shaking my hand, he held eye contact just a bit too long. Was he also thinking about how he would spin this date to his family? I was about to joke that we should make up an excuse together for why there wouldn’t be a second date, when he sighed loudly.
“Look, I’m dating someone. I have a girlfriend.”
I guffawed. “Are you kidding me?”
“I’m sorry – ”
“Don’t say sorry to me,” I said, crossing arms. “You should be saying that to your girlfriend!”
“I know, I know…”
“What on earth are you doing?”
“My mom doesn’t like the fact that she’s not not Indian. And she’s been on my case to meet you for months.” He shrugged. “I just thought this would make everything easier.”
“On you, maybe.”
“I know.” He shrugged. “This was a stupid idea.”
“Stupid is an understatement, Vishal.”
He smiled at me for the first the time. He didn’t seem so dull when he smiled, and I half wondered whether we would have been friends had we met under different circumstances. Vishal ran his hands through his hair, and I wasn’t sure what to say to him. Shay was right; Nani wouldn’t care one way or the other if the guy I ended up with wasn’t Indian – but that was Nani. Not everyone was lucky enough to have that.
“It sounds like you need to call your girlfriend,” I said after a moment. When he smiled, I added: “And maybe stand up to your Mom?”
“Perhaps.” He cocked his head to the side. “But it’s not like you wanted to meet meeither. I mean, how many times did you check your Blackberry in the last forty-five minutes?” I hesitated, and he continued. “Sounds like you need to stand up to someone, too.”
I nodded, even though I knew I wouldn’t. What was the point of standing up to Nani? So I could let her down like the rest of her family had?
I didn’t have a boyfriend, or even a prospect. The only men I met were through work – and they were all married, or single for a reason. And Dev… Well, Dev was nothing but a memory.
My Favourite Quote
“Raina, my point is that she hated herself. I see so many kids raised to feel shame about who they are, what they want, who they love. And whether it’s about sex or identity–or even just making mistakes–when people grow up, sometimes, they screw up. Isn’t that the point?”
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Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.