Over the past year, I’ve really gotten into romance novels! My favorite romance novels are ones where in addition to a love story, there’s also side plots that are about the careers and interests outside, and sometimes including, each other. While the Modern Love Series by Alisha Rai is an engaging and cute series, I felt kind of disengaged because I wasn’t in the right mood.
Each book is told from dual perspectives. The first book, The Right Swipe, centers Rhiannon Hunter and Samson Lima. Rhiannon Hunter is the CEO of her feminist dating app company, Crush. Samson is man who Rhiannon shared one day with, but then, Samson disappears. When he comes back into her life, Rhiannon is unsure what to do when Samson comes back into her life, and the two end up having to work together. One of the elements I liked was that Rhiannon doesn’t apologize for what she wants and is willing to listen to other perspectives (namely, Samson’s). I also like how this book calls out the sexism that can come with dating apps.
The second book, Girl Gone Viral, tells the story of Katrina King (a partner of Crush) and Jas Singh. I love the bodyguard x love interest trope, and also how Katrina and Jas were both equal players in their relationship. Katrina is kind and loving. After an encounter with a handsome man, Katrina goes viral because of a fabricated, Twitter romance story. Jas invites her to his family’s farm until the media excitement is dampened. I love how Jas is always there for Katrina. Additionally, Katrina’s love of cooking is inspiring – she uses a starter that was passed down from her mother.
Katrina also has a panic disorder and goes to therapy. I like how Rai talks about mental health in this book, and how it’s ok to get help.
The final book, First Comes Like, focuses on Jia Ahmed and Dev Dixit. Jia is a leader of the online beauty community who thinks that she’s been corresponding with Dev Dixit, a famous soap opera actor. However, when they meet at a party, Dev doesn’t recognize Jia, much to Jia’s disappointment. Dev and Jia eventually end up fake dating because they’ve been spotted by the media. I love how Dev is open to hearing why Jia thought she was talking to him, rather than insulting her, and both characters are drawn to each other because they’re both involved in some form of visual media.
I wish the characters had spent more time with each other in the beginning (for example, I personally would’ve liked to see Dev perhaps talk to Jia in the hotel lobby), and I think I wanted to see Dev interact with Samson and Jas. These are just my personal thoughts.
While I wasn’t in the right mood for this romantic series, others may enjoy it more than I did. I was hoping for these books to break me out a reading slump, but I just wasn’t as attached to the plots as I would’ve liked. I honestly struggled with writing this review, but these novels are ones that captured my attention, as I finished them in one day. Rhiannon’s ambition, Katrina’s compassion, and Jia’s confidence make them enjoyable main characters to read about.