Review: Marriage by Arrangement by Sophia Singh Sasson

Posted August 6, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 14 Comments

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Review: Marriage by Arrangement by Sophia Singh Sasson
Marriage by Arrangement

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Series: Nights At the Mahal #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin Desire
Released on August 1, 2020
Pages: 224
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

When an interior designer architect scores the commission for her company that can launch her to where she wants to be, she is determined not to mix business with the pleasure of a certain debonair Indian hotel owner who could use this sort of distraction from the cares of life.  A delicious work place romance is layered with the spices of family, tradition, and past pain.


Marriage by Arrangement, the first of the Nights at the Mahal series, opens when Rani Gupta, a junior at her firm and passed over for promotion more than once scores the winning design proposal to refurbish India’s hottest businessman bachelor, Arjun Singh.  She made the mistake of letting herself get tangled in a traditional Indian marriage and then a colossal workplace dating disaster.  Her career is all she has left and she intends to prove her ability and her professionalism by making a smash hit of Arjun Singh’s new jewel of a hotel.  The hotelier is charismatic, but getting to know the man himself is her downfall into a temporary arrangement which starts to feel all too real and the complications pile up fast.

Arjun is as taken with the designer as the designs for his new hotel.  Rani gets exactly what he wants.  Traditional and high class quality India motif in Vegas.  He can respect her need to keep things all business.  He himself refuses to do relationships and must eventually go back home to fulfill an arranged marriage agreement, but a few months with Rani  couldn’t hurt and would be a great escape from the demands of his family with parents touting tradition and his younger siblings wanting a bit of modern independence.  Rani gets all that and the struggle to balance the two.  She gets it all too well and he struggles not to fall for this vibrant, intelligent, and talented woman.

At first, Marriage by Arrangement has the tug and pull of a secret romance set in the business world, whether they can keep it short term and cut ties, and whether they can be discreet and not get Rani in trouble with her bosses.  There is no stinting on the flavor of India whether it is Rani’s Indian-American background or Arjun’s Indian background.  Just as I expected from the blurb.

But, then the author takes things deeper letting the reader get to know the struggles they face because of their backgrounds and their histories.  I went from moderately interested to totally vested in this pair, their stories, their families, and their relationship.  Arjun kept his engagement to Hema a secret from Rani and I just knew it was a ticking time bomb.  Just like the confrontations between Rani’s fierce need for independence and the restrictive traditions of Arjun’s family back home was looming over things.

I love when a book takes me by surprise like this and goes well and beyond expectation.  I can’t wait to read more of the series and the author’s books.  Those who enjoy spicy romance with well-developed characters, a bit of business, and a lavish cultural backdrop should give this one a go.

My thanks to Harlequin for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #97
Books N Tunes #28  Bhushan Kumar’s Lahore

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anne - Books of My Heart

I think overall I would enjoy reading this although I would be furious over the traditional aspects. The same thing is sort of happening in politics right now. But the world has changed and the traditional values are being run over slipshod. I dislike politics and religion. They always seem to be about control and power. ok end rant.

I’m glad this one was so fulfilling for you. I’d like to try it. Fantastic review!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

LOL, rant away. It’s hard not to get worked up about both topics no matter what you believe. This was one that took me a little by surprise. I loved the way she wrote Rani with such depth.

Lover of Romance
1 year ago

oh wow….this sounds like such an experience. These are the BEST moments….is when the story turns into such a gravitating story. So thrilled it turned out the way it did for you!

Great review.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, it was a pleasant surprise to have it dig deeper than I expected. Thanks, Renee! It was dazzling. 🙂

1 year ago

Oh, not a fan of a secret engagement looming over them! Those kinds of plot devices usually stress me out. Glad to see you really enjoyed this one even with that kind of conflict hanging in the background. It must’ve have been done well.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel

Fortunately, it was done in a way that wasn’t cheating because they had agreed to keep the relationship short term and he would go back to India. However, as things started to change, I was wondering how that was going to affect things. It wasn’t a huge focus because their other concerns like her independence and his traditional family affecting things was great. I thought the author got around all that well.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I do love arranged marriages. I am hoping I feel the urge to slip into a romance soon.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

It can be an interesting dynamic. Oh no, hope the romance slump ends soon. 🙂

1 year ago

This one sounds great. I like the sound of the Indian characters and the hotel design playing a part too. That secret definitely sounds one of those ticking time bombs that you just know will cause trouble later. Great review!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Lola

It was all that, Lola. I can’t wait to get the rest of his family stories.

Carole Rae
1 year ago

Putting this on the TBR list!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Glad to tempt you with one. 🙂

1 year ago

another book for me to check out! okay, keep adding to my reading pile Sophia lols.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Sharonda

Heh, heh, love tempting you with new ones for your pile, Sharonda. 🙂