Book review | First Comes Like by Alisha Rai
Author: Alisha Rai
Genre: Adult Romance
No. of pages: 432
Published by: Avon Books
Published on: 16th February 2021
My rating: ★★★★☆
The author of The Right Swipe and Girl Gone Viral returns with a story about finding love in all the wrong inboxes...
Beauty expert and influencer Jia Ahmed has her eye on the prize: conquering the internet today, the entire makeup industry tomorrow, and finally, finally proving herself to her big opinionated family. She has little time for love, and even less time for the men in her private messages—until the day a certain international superstar slides into her DMs, and she falls hard and fast.
There’s just one wrinkle: he has no idea who she is.
The son of a powerful Bollywood family, soap opera star Dev Dixit is used to drama, but a strange woman who accuses him of wooing her online, well, that’s a new one. As much as he’d like to focus on his Hollywood fresh start, he can’t get Jia out of his head. Especially once he starts to suspect who might have used his famous name to catfish her…
When paparazzi blast their private business into the public eye, Dev is happy to engage in some friendly fake dating to calm the gossips and to dazzle her family. But as the whole world swoons over their relationship, Jia can’t help but wonder: Can an online romance-turned-offline-fauxmance ever become love in real life?
Jia Ahmed, the internet sensation based in LA, has her life and dreams sorted, until the oldest grandson of the Bollywood sensation - Vivek and Shweta Dixit - slides into her DMs, claiming her to be the girl of his dreams. Jia and Dev start chatting but it fickles down when Dev's younger brother dies. But months later they hit each other up again. When Jia suggests about meeting up, Dev always dodges the offer. Until Jia finds the perfect opportunity to meet him - she decides to crash the Premiere party of Dev's debut Hollywood show.
Jia's world crashes down when Dev claims that he has no clue who Jia is let alone talking to each other. A heartbroken Jia rushes out, but a stunned (because he legit has no idea who she is) and enamoured (because he fell in love at first sight) Dev decides that he will track down Jia and ask for forgiveness after he investigates the catfishing.
When one thing leads to another, and the two being photographed by the paparazzi what may look like the them being too cozy with each other, Jia and Dev decides to fake date. Jia to appease her family, and Dev to take his publicity a notch higher. Will his fake dating facade last long? Or will they fall hard - Bollywood style - for each other?
First Comes Like is the perfect Bollywood-ish, sappy, glittery adult romance. It has just the right amount of pace, and lots of things happening in 400 something pages. Jia and Dev are the swoon-worthy couple, who do have their awkward moments at first, and then they have those butterflies-in-the-stomach moments, which makes the book just the perfect adult romance.
We get to see a lot about an influencer/YouTuber's life and Dev's Bollywood background gives us a good look into that superficial lifestyle. This book is filled with so much drama, and there's so much going on at moment, that not once you will feel bored. It had the right amount of fun and charm. The characters were well written, though I found Dev's grandmother to be obnoxious and Dev is too good to be true, but since its fiction, I'll take that.
Jia's character was very relatable. She falls in love, gets heart-broken, decides not to mope to much and then falls in love again. Even though she promises not to fall for Dev, she couldn't help but acknowledge how she feels, and embraces it. She's awkward, she's forward, and she's super anxious, which makes her the relatable heroine.
Topping off Dev's character with a miserable past and him trying to get past that gives him a certain charm that makes him the boy boyfriend of your dreams. Not to forget the author's too precise character description of his physical appearance and giving him all gentlemanly attributes makes him easily an unforgettable character.
The side characters, especially Dev's niece and Jia's four sisters have my heart. They have their own personality that gives depth to the book, without sabotaging our protagonists' limelight. Jia's twin sister Ayesha is my favourite character to be honest. Her character really did make me laugh out loud. If you decide to pick this book up, do it for Ayesha and Jia and Dev's intimate moments (*winks*) that's not gonna disappoint you.
The author has a super fun style of writing, neither making it too descriptive not too concise. The short chapters were a good decision, and the change in POVs was needful addition, since I really like reading the guy's perspective in romance novels.
Alisha Rai pens award-winning contemporary romances and her novels have been named Best Books of the Year by Washington Post, NPR, Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, Kirkus, and Cosmopolitan Magazine. When she’s not writing, Alisha is traveling or tweeting. To find out more about her books or to sign up for her newsletter, visit www.alisharai.com.
I received a copy of the book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.