Review: The Takeover Effect – Nisha Sharma

Review: The Takeover Effect – Nisha SharmaThe Takeover Effect
by Nisha Sharma
Series: The Singh Family #1
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Genres: Romance
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Hemdeep Singh knows exactly what he wants. With his intelligence and determination, he has what it takes to build his own legacy away from Bharat, Inc. and the empire his father created. But when his brother calls him home, Hem puts his dreams on hold once again to help save the company he walked away from. That’s when he encounters the devastating Mina Kohli in the Bharat boardroom, and he realizes he’s in for more than he had bargained.

Mina will do whatever it takes to regain control of her mother’s law firm, even if it means agreeing to an arranged marriage. Her newest case assignment is to assist Bharat in the midst of a potential takeover. It could be the key to finally achieving her goal while preventing her marriage to a man she doesn’t love—as long as her explosive attraction to Hem doesn’t get in the way.

As Mina and Hem work to save Bharat, they not only uncover secrets that could threaten the existence of the company, but they also learn that in a winner-takes-all game, love always comes out on top.

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5 stars icon contemporary icon m/f romance icon

I had previously read and loved Ms. Sharma’s My So-Called Bollywood Life, which was YA, so I was ridiculously excited to hear she was writing an adult own voices romance!  While there were some parts that were a bit rough, the book generally lived up to my expectations!

After a falling out with his father over his ex-fiancee, Hem left his dad’s company to found his own and distanced himself from his family.  But when his father has a heart attack, he agrees to return as interim legal counsel in order to prevent a takeover.  There he meets Mina, a lawyer hired to help decide if the takeover would be in the company’s best interest, and sparks fly.  Like Hem, Mina has her own issues – her scuzzy uncle has ordered her to find in favor of the takeover if she wants to remain at the company her mother founded.  Mina’s determined to come to her own opinion, however, and it’s soon clear that someone’s trying to ruin the company.  Between corporate espionage, an arranged marriage, and strained family relations, not to mention professional ethics, what chance do Mina and Hem have?

I adored Mina.  She’s strong, capable, and unafraid to stand up domineering men, and though there wasn’t that much of her actually doing her job in the book, the parts that were made her seem very competent. I liked that Mina and Hem were from the same background – both Punjabi Sikhs – so they had a similar background to work from, and I loved that their food, traditions and language that were so important to them were incorporated so well into the book.  I definitely had a humongous craving for paper dosa!  Hem was an interesting character, simultaneously both grounded and rich playboy, buying expensive clothes for Mina randomly. I liked his relationship with his family, especially with his brothers, and how connected and responsible he still felt for his family’s company, even though he walked away from it.  The relationship between Hem and Mina moved quickly, and was initially pretty insta-lust.  At times Hem bordered on just plain too alpha for me with the way he pushed Mina, but she was also quick to set boundaries with him.  Their banter was amazing and the thing I loved most about their relationship.

While I’d normally save the cons for later, there’s a lot about Hem’s ex-girlfriend, Lisa, so much that she felt like a third person in their relationship.  I had mixed feelings about it.  On one hand, I can understand why he’d compare his next girlfriend to the last woman he was involved with.  On the other hand, it felt weird that he viewed literally everything Mina did in comparison to her.  Plus, Lisa was white, and, well, almost stereotypically culturally incompetent – viewing everything from multi-day weddings, to his family dynamic, to his religion with mild contempt.  Perhaps it’s the environments I’ve been in (working in IT, especially), but while I don’t doubt there are plenty of white women who would feel the same, I can’t imagine someone dating someone while rejecting everything about the culture that made him who he is.  The thing that bothered me most, though, was a throw-away sub-plot about them having a drug dealer who’d been involved with an uncle “taken care of” in India.  While I don’t think anyone would disagree there are corruption issues in the Indian government, I’m not sure that these rich families would have such a cavalier attitude towards murder.

Going back to the positives, I love Ms. Sharma’s writing style.  It’s very emotionally laden, very soap opera-y or Bollywood-y, but while I think it worked perfectly in her YA novel, there were a few times it was too much in this book.  The corporate plot was interesting and held my attention.  Well, to be honest, the whole book did – I couldn’t put this book down and tried to read it in one setting!

Overall, despite my critiques, I very much enjoyed this book, and I’m very much looking forward to the next in the series!  If you’re looking for an enjoyable romance with diverse characters and don’t mind an overly alpha hero, I think you’ll love this gem!

NB: I didn’t read it before I wrote this review (I prefer not to read others’ reviews before writing my own), but Aarya (who’s desi) had a different take on the book over at SBTB.

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