Title: Accidentally Engaged
Author: Farah Heron
Publication date: March 2nd, 2021
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.
Accidentally Engaged follows Reena and Nadim, two Muslims living in Canada, who are expected by their parents to get engaged. Reena has absolutely no intention of doing that, she does not have a love life but does not have a good relationship with her parents to allow that to happen. No matter how attractive Nadim is, or how much he loves her bread making, or how he lives across the hall from her…
I love reading romances from cultures that aren’t mine to experience the differences. As I am not Muslim, I cannot speak to the representation accuracy – but knowing Farah Heron is a Muslim writer I feel confident that the story is Own Voices and is a good representation. Also, this book absolutely made me want to learn how to make bread from scratch and do it all the time. I still haven’t done that – but I still might do it!! I would definitely also name my sourdough starter with no shame.
There is a lot of themes about family and acceptance in the book as well, Reena goes through a lot of growth with her relationship with her family members throughout the book. Whereas I think the ending wasn’t congruent with the rest of the story, it really did allow Reena to make strides with her family.
Definitely a solid read, and it is my first from Farah Heron but I would read others. It wasn’t completely memorable for me, especially when it comes to the side characters. I normally like side characters to have more attention and their own story lines and I didn’t feel that was as much the case in this book.
Happy reading folks!