A Mantra for Miss Perfect (The Sood Family) – ARC review

A Mantra for Miss Perfect
by Sapna Srinivasan
Release Date: January 19, 2023
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #3 in The Sood Family series
Number of pages:  260
Source:  ARC from the publisher
Contemporary Romance
Ages 13 and up
She has everything…except what she wants most.

Sahana Sood is beautiful, brilliant, and inches away from making junior partner at her downtown Seattle law firm. Ever the dutiful daughter, she’s lauded as Miss Perfect in her large Indian family and community. But Sahana is barely hiding her panic because, despite her best efforts and too many blind dates to count, she’s now thirty-two and has never come close to finding Mr. Perfect. Rumors are spreading—Sahana’s unlucky in love.

With marriage pressure mounting, Sahana buries herself in work. She’s confident she’ll close the acquisition deal for the Wilding Inn for her firm’s major client, but hits a snag. The handsome owner Ryan Mehra refuses to sell. He doesn’t need the money, the inn is a testament to his late parents’ love and he’d rather continue their legacy.

Sahana heads to the historic inn determined to not lose this deal. But the sparks that fly when she meets Ryan, who just might be more stubborn and driven than she is, soon have her worrying that instead of landing her partnership, she might lose her heart.

This story ended up being very sweet and gave me warm fuzzies, but it was a slow starter. So slow that I may have given up if it hadn’t been for my past experience with this author and this series. This can easily be read as a standalone, just know that you have to be patient as this story unfurls.

Sahana and Ryan don’t meet until the third chapter, in which they are set up on opposite sides of an issue. That rivalry doesn’t last long as they both seem to put it behind them the next time they meet…in chapter five. That meeting is, once again, quite brief. Then they don’t see each other again until the eighth chapter when we finally get to see these two start interacting more regularly and on a deeper level. This story is written from only the MFC’s POV, so the times between meet-ups seem even longer.

This couple definitely has chemistry. I understand how quickly they seemed to fall all in with one another, although Sahana doesn’t realize that’s what she’s doing. With her mother’s expectations of who she should marry and that she needs to marry NOW, Sahana is not in the market for any relationship outside of the match dates her mom is setting up for her. So her attraction to Ryan keeps getting pushed to the back and she desperately tries to ignore their connection.

As I said, this is a slow starter. At about halfway through things pick up to the pacing I like in my books. Finally, Ryan and Sahana are spending the majority of their time together and finally giving in to some of their feelings. Sahana is so muddled in her brain and being perfect for her parents and her extended family, that once things ramp up she puts on the brakes and turns her back on what her heart wants. This leads to some very touching scenes and a lot of self-reflection.

Although there were bumps along the way, I’m happy that it seems this series will continue with Sahana’s cousin Shaan. At least, that’s how it seems to be set up in this book. (Seriously, at one point in the beginning I was truly scared he was going to be the MMC with how the FMC kept thinking about his looks and personality!) The stories always wiggle into my heart, even if it takes more chapters than I’d like to find their groove.

3.5 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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