Sonali Dev returns to the blog with the third in her Austen-inspired series, The Rajes with
Incense and Sensibility
Taking a page from Austen, Dev has used the basic themes, modernized them and woven them with Indian traditions, beliefs and even customs to bring us a whole new and modern series to find as enjoyable and thought-provoking as the originals. I love Dev’s insights into customs and traditions, family ties, expectations and even secrets that are revealed within the books, and we have some lovely (if occasionally trying) characters to get to know. Not a direct ‘translation’ of the original, this story takes the basic highlights of the Austen book and makes the correlations that fit her characters, her story and the time.
Yash Raje is determined, ambitious and driven and has set his sights on the Governor’s mansion in California. Measured and controlled – he’s using the family name, connections and his own not insignificant appeal to win hearts and votes throughout the state. But, as we see all too often, there is an incident at a political rally, and one of Yash’s friends is injured in the hate-fueled moments, leaving Yash feeling out of control (new for him) and panicky. He’s never had an issue with nerves before – and he’s not one who lightly allows for weakness in himself – but to get to his goal – no one can know that he’s now suffering from ‘nerves’ and isn’t sure how he’ll manage to continue his campaign in ways that are expected for a gubernatorial candidate.
Enter India Dashwood, raised by yoga teachers, in touch with ALL the emotions, and the state’s foremost expert in dealing with stressed out overachievers in California. India also happens to be a family friend, being the best friend of his sister, Trisha, and when that’s not complex enough – the two shared a moment in time before he moved on as she wasn’t where he thought his ‘partner’ should be (or what he thought at the time). Yash knows that he treated her badly – so that adds to his anxiety: his shame in mistreating her years ago with his need for her now…. a healthy steamer trunkful of issues to add to the general anxiety and guilt about his injured friend / bodyguard.
Here is where Dev excels – not only do we see the family’s influence and desire for Yash to continue to shine for himself and the family, and the quiet yet direct way that India helps him to deal with his issues, past traumas and even the now growing attraction between them, even as she is dealing with her own issues with family struggles with the business, her conflict of interest in Yash as her ‘patient’ and whether or not she wants to go with the first instinct of popping him upside the head when the arrogance, determination, stubbornness and general ‘maleness’ of Yash pushes her patience to the brink. Bold and brave, Dev has given us a couple to root for, even as their problems seem insurmountable the parts of them that believe and think alike are far more in number than those that are opposites, and they do make an adorable couple that you can see for miles.
Title: Incense and Sensibility
Author: Sonali Dev
Series: The Rajes #3
Also in this series: Pride Prejudice and Other Flavors
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Asian-American, Contemporary Elements, Depression, Family Saga, Friendship, Grief, Romantic Elements, Second Chance
Published by: William Morrow
Published on: 6 July, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 12 Hours: 57 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
gubernatorial candidate, has always known exactly what he wants—and how to use his privileged background to get it. He attributes his success to a simple mantra: control your feelings and you can control the world. But when a hate crime at a rally critically injures his friend, Yash’s easy life suddenly feels like a lie, his control an illusion. When he tries to get back on the campaign trail, he blacks out with panic.
Desperate to keep Yash’s condition from leaking to the media, his family turns to the one person they trust—his sister’s best friend, India Dashwood, California’s foremost stress management coach. Raised by a family of yoga teachers, India has helped San Francisco’s high strung overachievers for a decade without so much as altering her breath. But this man—with his boundless ambition, simmering intensity, and absolute faith in his political beliefs—is like no other.
Yash has spent a lifetime repressing everything to succeed, including their one magical night ten years ago—a too brief, too bright passion that if rekindled threatens to destroy the dream he’s willingly shouldered for his family and community . . . until now.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.