The Shaadi Set-Up

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rita is dating a man that she thinks her mother will not approve of so she concocts a scheme: Rita and Neil will both sign up for, an Indian matchmaking site, and when it matches them together their families will have to accept that they are perfect for each other. The only problem? Rita’s ex Milan Rao. Sparks fly when Milan and Rita begin working together on a house, which has Rita questioning everything. Will Rita and Neil make it, or will Rita find a second chance with her first love?

This is a funny and heartwarming romance filled with diverse, likable characters. Rita is struggling to keep her head above water with her furniture restoration business when Milan reenters her life with an offer to stage a hard-to-sell house. Rita could certainly use the money and she definitely wants to prove to Milan that she is over their past relationship and living her best life, so she takes the job. But with the two working so closely, feelings from the past are bound to resurface.

The book is written from the perspective of Rita and though I thought she was funny, I did not love the writing style. I thought it was flippant in an odd way, for example there is a moment when Rita feels overwhelmed and the author just writes a series of letters like “ajahsda” to show that. Acronyms like WWJD and IRL were also used in the writing, and that just took me out of the story, personally. I think other readers might find that charming, but I just found it annoying. 

Beyond that, though, I enjoyed Rita’s perspective and liked most of the other characters, with the exception of Neil. It was hard to see her pulled between Milan and Neil when Milan is clearly the better choice, both because he is better suited to Rita and because he just seems like a better person. Neil is a total pushover to his mother, but treats Rita in a really strange, demeaning way. Like he refuses to hug her if she is sweaty. I found it hard to believe that she would stay with Neil when he acts that way, especially knowing that her mother would disapprove of him. 

I loved the scenes with Milan and Rita because they were filled with witty banter and compelling sexual tension. They fell back into each other easily and it was fun to watch their feelings resurface, but this time as mature adults. I really loved when they had honest conversations about their past and worked through problems in an emotionally healthy way. 

This was a fun read, but not one of my favorite romances for sure. I didn’t connect with the writing style and thought there was a lack of development in some of the characters, but I did enjoy the chemistry between Rita and Milan. I wouldn’t classify this romance as a can’t miss, but it’s an upbeat, breezy read if that’s what you’re looking for. 

If you’ve read The Shaadi Set-Up tell me what you thought!

Published by Kristi

Hi there! I am Kristi, a book obsessed human with strong opinions. Join me as I read across genres and do the work to find you the best of the best books.

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