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The Reluctant Matchmaker
Shobhan Bantwal
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The Reluctant Matchmaker

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  533 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
In her thought-provoking, uplifting new novel, Shobhan Bantwal vividly blends the nuances of contemporary Indian-American culture with an unconventional romance. . .

At thirty-one, Meena Shenoy has a fulfilling career at a New Jersey high-tech firm. Not that it impresses her mother and aunts, who make dire predictions about her ticking biological clock. Men are drawn to Mee
ebook, 320 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)
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Becky Stone
Dec 11, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, not-a-fan
The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal.

This book is: boring with sprinkles of offensiveness.
Other elements: fat-shaming, sexism, romance between people of different heights, arranged marriages.
Read it: if the idea of an Indian-American main character is enough to make you forgive a lot of flaws. If you're not prone to bouts of feminist rage. If you think women without husbands are pathetic.
Overall rating: 3

I committed a cardinal error of readership when I selected this book to read. I judge
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
The main conflict in this book was that the heroine was barely five feet tall and the hero was six feet-five inches tall. The hero is 'nobly' staying away from the heroine because he feels that his gargantuan body will crush her fragile and delicate beauty.

This ofcourse doesn't stop him from being a sadistic (I refuse to accept that he's clueless) twerp who then proceeds to ask the heroine (who for the record, is wearing her heart on her sleeve like nobody's business) to find a six-feet tall pro
I have had this book for a few years. It showed up in the mail one day, I don't remember specifically requesting it, so I don't feel badly for not enjoying it that much. First, the cover suggests a setting in full or in part in India. Nope. NY, NJ, VA. Second, this is really just a romance. They are all well and good, but not my reading choice. The characters were pretty likeable and the plot was decent enough, but I could only take so much of Meena's whining and crying.
Sarah *Saranghae yo*
The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal was a lighthearted, amusing look into Desi culture surrounding women and marriage expectations. Despite the traditional looking background, the book is set in modern times. The plot revolves 31 year old Meena Shenoy, who works as a marketing consultant for the software producing firm Rathnay. Despite being content at this stage in her life, her mother and aunt are pushing her to get married. At the same end, co- CEO Prayjay Nayak is also looking for a ...more
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“Matchmaker, Matchmaker make me a match……” is not the song running thru Meena’s head when she runs into (literally!) her boss. She sprains her ankle, gets carried (by him) to his office where she spends the rest of the day on his couch resting. While she misses the whole thing he also carried her to his car and hauls her home. A very compassionate employer. What she didn’t miss is that he is 6’5” and she is five foot even if she stretches. He is HUGE for an Indian man and a bit intimidating.
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
I think I have found a new favorite author. Shobhan Bantwal writes Meena's story of finding a husband with humor and gives the reader an understanding of a the Indian culture without going over their heads. Most books that deal with a culture that I am not familiar with take me about half of the book to get the flow and the understand several meanings of words, or phrases they choose to use. But Shobhan writing is not like that at all. She takes the reader by the hand and guides them though Indi ...more
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed with the book, and honestly, a bit surprised that it got such positive feedback/reviews.
The only reason I got the book was because of its reviews, which is what has lead me to actually write this, I want to prevent anyone from jumping into the novel without realizing what they're getting into.

Now, I know that makes it sound like this was a terrible book, but in some ways, it was.

It is very superficial, a bit too much, so that it makes hidden remarks upon everything, from heig
Beth Withers
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main character, Meena, is an Indian American who has a mind of her own despite cultural traditions. She does an unusual favor for her boss, who is also Indian, and in the process finds herself in a rather uncomfortable situation. This romantic novel revolves around Meena trying to follow the desires of her own heart while still being mindful of the culture she treasures. While this book is a romance, one of the things I particularly enjoyed about it was getting to know something of one part ...more
Sweet, clean romance with a look into American India culture. Yes, some of the observations and conversations may be shocking by American standards, but keep in mind this is a different culture. Characters are likable. It reads like a Bollywood movie. Fun read and the food descriptions make me want to visit my favorite Indian restaurant.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a quick, easy, fluff read, with a very predictable ending. The writing is simple and the story pretty entertaining.
Nancy Narma
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Love Doesn’t Always Need a Matchmaker”

Petite. Single, thirty-one year old Meena Shenoy is a Marketing/Public Relations Executive for Rathnaya, Inc.; a software company dually based in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. For the most part, Meena enjoys her job and working with her boss, Paul and co-worker, “Pinky”. Paul and Meena are requested to come to the main office of the company’s CEO and co-founder, Prajay Nayak, who she has heard a lot of stories about, but has never met. With the appointmen
Story Description:

Kensington|June 26, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-7582-5885-4

At thirty-one, Meena Shenoy has a fulfilling career at a New Jersey high-tech firm. Not that it impresses her mother and aunts, who make dire predictions about her ticking bilogical clock. Men are drawn to Meena’s dainty looks and she dates regularly, but hasn’t met someone who really intrigues her. Someone professional, ambitious, confident, caring. Someone like her new boss, Prajay Nayak.

Just as Meena’s thoughts
By Shobhan Bantwal. Grade B+

At thirty-one, Meena has a flourishing and successful career as a Marketing and PR consultant at a New Jersey tech firm. Not that it makes her mother and aunts very happy. After all, being a single woman at the age of thirty-one is indeed a tragedy, especially if you are an Indian. Meena is not averse to getting married; she has even dated a few times but has never been able to find her ‘Mr. Perfect.’ And when she does finally fall in love, it happens to be her boss,
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, asian-indian
The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shoban Bantwal is an engrossing and a fast read. I did think that it was a little slow in the beginning. Meena Shenoy is 31 year old marketing and public relations executive for Rathnaya, Inc. She loves her job and is starting to get nagging from her parents and other relatives to get married. She is also feeling the time clock working against her. She is Hindu and of the Brahmin caste and the same subtype (Sarawat) as the boss of the company. She appreciates her grea ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2012
3.5. This was a pretty good story. I love stories about people whose traditions are unfamiliar from my own. I'm definitely not familiar with arranged marriages at all. I've only met one person that was in an arranged marriage (she's Indian actually, like Meena in the book) and her arranged marriage has worked perfectly. She's been married for several decades! It's pretty amazing! Anyhow, I liked learning about how Indian- Americans may try to set something like an arranged marriage up from right ...more
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Shenoys, Kaveri, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and Ramdas, an engineer, are a Konkani Brahmin family living in New Jersy, USA. They have a 33 year old son, Maneel, a successful stockbroker, a 31 year old daughter, Meena and a 28 year old son, Mahesh, a resident in a nearby hospital.

Kaveri’s sisters are doctors and like her, they also live in the US. The three sisters have a 78 year old aunt, who is fun loving and young at heart and their children dote on Akka. They confide in her and s
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, chick-lit, 2012, india
Meena Shenoy is a 31 year old career woman. One day she literally runs into her boss, Prajay Nayak, for the first time and ends up with a severely sprained ankle. After Prajay shows his tender side in caring for her, she starts to fall for him. Then Prajay makes a surprising request - he wants Meena to help him find a suitable wife. He offers to pay her handsomely for being his "marriage consultant." Meena accepts his offer even though her heart is breaking.

In the Author's Note, Shobhan Bantwal
Shobhan Bantwal’s The Reluctant Matchmaker is a charming story about a girl who falls in love with a man who’s perfect for her. If only he’d see it. But if he did, we wouldn’t have a story now would we?

Meena Shenoy didn’t know she’d be well on the road to love when she literally crashes into her boss, Prajay. He’s super tall (compared to her diminutive height), super smart, and super sweet. The fact that he’s showing concern over her injury has her parents planning their wedding already. Then he
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author: Shobhan Bantwal
Title: The Reluctant Matchmaker
Description: The author describes her work as “Bollywood in a book.” Basically it’s a romance populated with Indian American characters. Meena’s boss Prajay hires her to help him find a wife, but she would just as soon keep him to herself.
Review source: Library Thing Early Reviewers
Plot: I’ve read plenty of romances. This is the first where the big conflict is that he’s too tall and she’s too short.
Characters: I’ll have to admit my ignorance
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Of course, I love everything Shobhan Bantwal writes.

Five foot Meena Shenoy literally runs into her six-foot-something boss, Prajay, at work, sending her flying an spraining her ankle. When he offers her a ride to work, they become friends and she falls for him. Her traditional Indian mother and aunties are sure something will come of this.

Prajay, on the other hand, decides to find a tall Indian-American wife and enlists Meena's help in the search. She reluctantly agrees and ha
I received this book through the Goodreads Giveaways program. This book was a slow-starter for me, mainly due to the fact that I was woefully uninformed on the Desi culture (or any Indian culture, for that matter) and so I would re-read things a couple of times and sometimes stop to do some research when something piqued my curiosity. Once I got familiar with many of the terms the book rushed by for me. I really enjoyed the story. I must say, I had no idea that "modern" Indian-Americans were at ...more
Maggie Boyd
This is a 3 1/2 more than a 3. It reads very much like a basic Harlequin romance. Meena is racing to a meeting, anxious to impress the boss. She steps off the elevator and essentially gets run over by Prajay, the very boss she was trying to impress.She falls flat on her back, revealing enough that people feel free to compliment her nice undies. Her ankle is clearly hurt and the doctor is called to give an assessment. His diagnosis? A bad sprain. Prajay, in an effort to make it up to Meena, deter ...more
Kathy Jund
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not in my job description!

A hilariously amusing tale by Shobhan Bantwal, that gives new meaning to the term office romance! It certainly does not make a best first impression to meet the CEO of your company by falling at his feet…(literally), even if in your opinion it is his fault! The vantage point from the carpet allows you to take in shoes but not much else, except when finally able to gaze through tear-filled lashes, you notice the darkest most penetrating eyes peering down at you from a cr
Pamela Kramer
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Reluctant Matchmaker" by Shobhan Bantwal continues her style of writing about Indian and Indian-American women and their families. This book is about a second-generation Indian woman who, at the "advanced" age of thirty-one, is still single.

In Indian families, this is a tragedy. Sons are preferred, but if one has daughters, they are to be married so they become the responsibility of the husband and his family. Meena, the protagonist, still lives at home in spite of having a successful job a
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a light and breezy read - a true delight after the heavier books I have reviewed in the last few days. Meena is an Indian American young lady working for a rich, Indian American man but at first she just wants to impress him so that she can advance in her career. She dresses carefully for her first meeting but ends up colliding with him and finds herself on the floor with a sprained ankle. Not the first impression she wanted to make. He does remember her though and calls her to his offi ...more
Aug 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ipad, 2012
The Reluctant Matchmaker is a very sweet romance. It is a story of how love can be found anywhere and sometimes fate has a way of intervening. Despite what Prajay believes, he and Meena are very right for each other. Meena just needs to convince him.

I liked Meena. She is a strong character who has an internal struggle. On one hand, she wants to be independent and find her own way. On the other, she wants to stay true to her culture and upbringing. I enjoyed the cultural aspects of the book. I l
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction
Having read the author's Full Moon Bride I wanted to read some of her other work. In this book, Meena is a 31 year-old marketing and PR manager getting to the age where her family is worried about her finding a good match. An embarrassing collision into her new boss and fall result in a twisted ankle for Meena and a week spent driving back and forth to work with Prajay, her boss and owner of the software company she works for. Tiny Meena is fairly instantly attracted to super-tall Prajay but he ...more
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am going to type this review while I sort out how I would rate this book. So difficult.

I think the author writes well and tells an engaging story. I loved the premise of the girl acting as matchmaker for someone she loved. That is the good part of the review.

I had hoped I had found a good, new author but I think this is my first and last book by this author. This book was listed as young adult fiction, but in my opinion, it was not.

Another negative was that I felt the end of the book was no
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise is intriguing: NRI hotshot asks cute young employee to help him in his matrimonial quest, unaware that she's in love with him. Unfortunately, nothing elevates this above a Harlequin romance with Indian American characters. The heroine is a) cute and teeny, b) maddeningly indecisive, c) a career girl with a not especially intellectual job, and d) "liberated", yet with all the traditional values desirable in a traditional wife, (great with kids, likes to cook, demure about sex). There ...more
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this as part of a Goodreads Firstreads giveaway.

This is the first book I've read by Shobhan Bantwal but it makes me want to read her other works. The Reluctant Matchmaker is chick lit with an Indian twist. The struggle between Meena trying to be a modern American woman while staying true to her Indian heritage underlys the entire storyline. I imagine this is a struggle many children of immigrant parents deal with.
The characters are described with enough detail that you can picture them in
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Shobhan Bantwal is the Indian-American author of THE DOWRY BRIDE, her debut novel set in India and slated for release by Kensington Books in September 2007. It is the first of a two-book contract with Kensington.

Since 2002, Shobhan's articles and short stories have appeared in a variety of publications like India Abroad, Little India, U.S. 1, Desi Journal, India Currents, Overseas Indian, New Wom
More about Shobhan Bantwal...

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