Contempoarary Romance | 4/18/2023 | Penguin Publishing Group
Jasmine is a messy, slightly irresponsible 33-year-old still dealing with the ‘bad girl’ reputation given to her by her parents and the elders in her Indian community. Through a series of misunderstandings, she is now trapped on an Alaskan cruise with those same elders but this time she won’t let them define her.
This book is a second coming-of-age for Jasmine as she confronts mistakes she has made in the past and decides what her next stage of adulthood will look like. As the cruise makes its way around Alaska, Jasmine slowly starts to reconcile and build a new relationship with her parents and the elders on board. I liked how the story really interrogated Jasmine’s supposed reputation and how thin the line can be when you live in an immigrant community. I think it’s also notable that the older characters in this book (60+) were shown as energetic and adventurous.
Jasmine isn’t alone on this voyage as 28-year-old golden boy Jake has also tagged along, resulting in a solid but ultimately predictable romance.
I thought the Alaskan cruise setting was a unique backdrop. They should sell this book on Alaskan cruises because the way they describe the excursions and scenery made me want to look into it.
I felt like Lali extended the book by about 10% past its natural ending. We get what feels like an HEA (happily ever after) but then the book keeps going and is just vibes. Maybe it’s because I don’t read a lot of contemporary romance, but I feel like contemporary romance books finally have heroines that feel like modern-day millennials or Gen Z. They have realistic jobs, and finances, and are figuring out how to live the dream we were all promised.