Title: First Love, Take Two
Author: Sajni Patel
Series: The Trouble With Hating You #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Narrator: Soneela Nankani
Length: 11 hours (336 pages)
Publisher: Hachette Audio; Forever
Release Date: September 21, 2021
Recommended for fans of: Abby Jimenez books
Content Warnings: racism, medical trauma, miscarriage, mental illness, toxic friendship, sexual assault
On the verge of realizing her dream of being a doctor, Preeti Patel should be ecstatic. But between the stress of her residency, trying to find a job, and managing her traditional, no-boundaries family, Preeti’s anxiety is through the roof. Relationships and love aren’t even an option. Fortunately, Preeti’s finally found a new place to stay . . . only to discover that her new roommate is her ex.
Preeti never quite got over Daniel Thompson. Super-hot, plenty of swagger, amazing cook—the guy is practically perfect. And if it weren’t for their families, there might have been a happily ever after. But it’s hard to keep her sanity and libido in check when the man of her dreams is sleeping mere feet away. Can Preeti and Daniel find a way to stand up and fight for each other one last time . . . before they lose their second chance?
This second chance, forbidden romance with the forced proximity and one bed tropes is the kind of contemporary romance I just love that is sweet, hilarious, and EMOTIONAL. Sajni Patel writes in a way that makes me FEEL for her characters, from sorrow to outrage to joy.
Preeti and Daniel’s relationship was full of witty banter and delicious pining. The romantic scenes are clean/closed door, although there is a decent amount of innuendo throughout the book for humor. I didn’t completely buy the reason for their original breakup or the circumstances that brought them back together, and some scenes seemed overdramatic, but it made for an entertaining and emotional book.
This is not just a heartwarming rom-com; the story addresses many heavy topics including racism, mental health struggles, and toxic relationships. Preeti comes from a traditional South Asian family Daniel is Black, and members of both families do not approve of a match outside their respective cultures. There is also a scene where one of Preeti’s patients has a traumatic miscarriage.
This book made me feel all the feels. I also loved the Texas setting, Preeti’s supportive group of girlfriends, and the descriptions of food! You know it’s a good book when it inspires you to get Torchy’s Tacos for dinner. I hope Sajni Patel continues to write for an adult audience.