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Then, Now, Always

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  49 reviews
She needs him. But does he want her?

Maya Rao has made her own dreams come true: she’s the owner of a bustling café and bakery in New York and the mother of a beautiful teenage daughter, Samantha. But when Samantha lands in legal trouble over a misdemeanor she didn’t commit, Maya is desperate. Desperate enough to call Samantha’s dad, Sam Hutcherson, whom Maya left
ebook, 384 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by HQN Books
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  86 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warm, sweet, and engaging!

Then, Now, Always is an emotive, second-chance romance between the driven, successful Sam and the spirited, hardworking Maya as they discover that beneath all the past heartbreak, miscommunication, and secrets is an unconditional love that is still smouldering and definitely worth fighting for.

The prose is fluid and smooth. The characters are caring, hesitant, and endearing. And the plot is a push-pull tale of relationship dynamics, familial expectations, introspection,
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't wait to start this book when I received the ARC--I mean, with this tagline, I was hooked! "Indian girls don't have babies out of wedlock. Maya did. Now she has to tell Sam his daughter is 15 and is in trouble with the law."

The story is told with two blended timelines, and I feel like I've lived and breathed with these characters. I couldn't put it down. I know Maya and Sam will stick with me for a long time. This is a second-chances story--emotionally satisfying, adorable, and
Falguni Kothari
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In THEN, NOW, ALWAYS, Mona Shroff weaves a sweet and heartwarming romance of forgiveness and second chances, and the lies we tell in the name of love. Sam and Maya are utterly unforgettable.
I loved the premise of this one, I do enjoy a second chance romance and was excited to get to it.

I liked Maya and Sam well enough. They’re both good people, still desperately in love with each other, and nearly too stubborn to do anything about it. I really liked Samantha and she was a brightness in every scene.

Plot wise, it was meh. The chapters are in a past/present format and while I normally love that way of telling the back story, it fell flat for me. I was surprised to see that the “past
CW/TW under spoiler tags: (view spoiler)

The secret baby plot line and the repetitive lying/deception by all characters (everyone, and well into the second half of the book even after the main secret is revealed) is not working for me. DNF.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This does not read like a debut. Shroff deftly weaves together two timelines with the hero/heroine, pulling readers through the past and present simultaneously. The effect is a slow burn romance interwoven with parental disapproval, cultural differences, and the simple difficulties of first loves. It's a gorgeous second-chance story, cleverly crafted, and a fun twist on the secret baby trope. It's not a sprint, so if you can't handle character building outside of snarky banter, this isn't the ...more
2 stars for the first 75%, 3 for the last 25% where the romance part actually happened. 4 for the cover.

After this book, I’m never accepting a contemporary ARC with a secret-baby trope ever again. Never ever.

Content advisory: cancer, underage drinking, lots of lying, BIG Misunderstanding à la Judith McNaught but not as successful.
Samantha (WLABB)

They were young and in love, but she suddenly broke it off, and he was left wondering why.


Her daughter was in trouble, and Maya was left with no one to turn to, but the man she had left behind, so many years ago.


Maya and Sam's lives will forever be linked via their daughter, Samantha, but could their relationship move beyond co-parenting to something more like what they had once shared?

It no big secret that I love contemporary romances, but this one managed to evoke a much
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-reviews
THEN, NOW, ALWAYS is a solid second-chance romance that follows Maya and Sam in both the then (1996) and now (2012/2013). Maya and Sam fell in love one summer when they were very young and she was a nanny for his much younger cousins. However, just as they were about to take a step further, their relationship ended.

Now, Maya is seeking out Sam for his help with her daughter, Samantha, who is being targeted by a mean girl who also has a lot of money and thus power. Sam is a lawyer- and Samantha's
Denise Hershberger
The cover of this debut novel caught my eye. I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into between it being a Harlequin novel and a debut, but I was so drawn to the cover I gave it a chance.

I loved the second chance romance side of this story. Normally that isn't my favorite trope, but it worked well for this storyline and wasn't an unrealistic plot at all. I loved how at no point was the romance easy for Sam or Maya. That would have been so annoying. Instead they each had a lot to overcome,
Bruin Mccon
DNF at 50%. I loved so much about this book other than the completely insane plot between Maya and Sam. They fall in love, she gets pregnant, then they break up and he never knows she was even pregnant let alone had his child. When the daughter, Samantha, is fifteen, she gets in trouble at school and Maya panics and asks Sam for his help. She kept his daughter hidden for fifteen years but then just randomly tells him immediately. No. I got to the part where the reader discovers why exactly she ...more

I love falling in love with a new author. And that is exactly what happened when I read “Then, Now, Always” by Mona Shroff.

This is a beautiful story about Maya & Sam that is told over a span of 15 years. You truly feel like a part of there love story. I absolutely loved watching the characters grow & mature from the past to the present. It’s a slow burn that makes you remember your first love. It will leave you with a warmth that will continue to linger well
Kishan Paul
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Then, Now, Always is a sweet romance about Maya and Sam: two young lovers ripped apart by their insecurities, the hurts of their pasts, and the challenges of their present and future. When these two are forced together over a decade later, lies and secrets will be revealed. Mona Shroff weaves an intricate tale of love, loss, and the beauty that emerges from forgiveness.
Monica Sharma
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely deligjtful book, every last bit of it. I haven't been able to put it down...literally have been ignoring my children!! A beautiful, complicated, emotional, happy, and everything in between, romantic story. It left me wanting more, but feeling full. The best kind of story!!!!
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so cute, one of those everlasting love types and I loved it. Sam and Maya are both headstrong and stubborn and it makes such a wonderful story.
Ashley *Booksbrewsandbarks*
Many thanks to Harlequin for my advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review! I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. With an emphasis on incorporating the Indian culture in this modern romance, the book does a great job at educating the reader without losing sight of the romance being at the heart of the novel. The characters of Sam and Maya are shown through dual timelines at the beginning of their romance in their early 20's and then reconnecting 15 years later.

Darn, that was hard to swallow. I really didn’t expect to dislike these characters so much. The spiel is exactly like the blurb indicated, so I expected there to be some sort of (white?) lie/secret involved, but when shirking from telling the truth was catching from one character to another, on top either obnoxious or judgmental or combo of the two?? I was so done!!

I actually love second chance trope, but the delivery of this one just didn’t sit well with me. And then there was the back and
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a sweet romance and I was completely captivated by this book. Even though it's full of deception and lies, the redemption and love at the end will leave you smiling.

What I loved about this book:

1. I had a hard time putting this one down because both Sam and Maya are such amazing characters and I needed to know how their story ended. Great characters that are likeable and relatable always keep my attention while reading a book. These two will stick with me long after I've finished.

Shawna (what.shawna.reads)
Then, Now, Always is a solid debut from Mona Shroff. It’s an emotional second chance romance between Maya, the Indian daughter of a single mother from Queens, and Sam, the half-Indian son of a doctor and a lawyer. They had a summer fling 16 years ago in Maryland before Maya broke it off and returned home. Now her daughter is in trouble and the only person she can turn to for help is Sam, who she hasn’t seen since that summer.

The story alternates between the summer that Maya and Sam met and fell
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
***I received an e-ARC from NetGalley

I loved this book! I guess this book made me realize that I kinda like the secret baby trope? But I guess that's because I love the second chance romance trope which goes hand in hand with the secret baby trope.

I loved how in this book, I got to learn a lot about the Indian culture since I like learning about cultures in general. This book is also told in two timelines, the past and the present. Usually, this would bother me but I saw how it was necessary for
Liz Sergent
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picked this book up because it looked like a fun read! I couldn't put it down. Loved that Maya and Sam were able to reconnect. It was a quick, fun read.

Maya's daughter Samantha is in trouble at school, they found drugs in her locker and she hit another child. Samantha's father is an attorney and Maya reaches out to him for help with "her"daughter. Things turn quickly when Sam realizes that Samantha is his daughter, things get really messy when San's fiancee finds out about Maya.
Kathleen Gray
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dual time line, dual view point novel that's a second chance romance and a secret? Sign me up. Maya and Sam have not seen each other for 16 years. They've both made good lives- she owns a bakery and he's an attorney- but only she knows what he's been missing. Samantha, their daughter has gotten herself into trouble and Maya sees no recourse but to confess to Sam and get his help. Big surprise not only to Sam but also to his family. One of the great charms of this- what sets it apart from ...more
So I went into this one with an open mind. I love single parent stories, but she kept her baby a secret from the father which I didn’t like.
Maya seems like a great mom and Sam has no idea he had a 15 year old daughter till she looked him up needing help.
Then this book just got blah for me.
So I skipped around hoping I could get back into it.
I didn’t.
I didn’t even see how it ended.
Not the book for me.
Carrie Lomax
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful, charming and oh-so-sweet. Gives you all the feels. This is a fabulous debut by a wonderful new contemporary author.
Dee/ bookworm
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#HeadsOrTails #NetGalley

Cute novel. I don't know if it would work in real life, but it is fiction.

I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really really loved this story! It was full of the intricacies of Indian culture and the challenges of first generation immigrants and plans that just didn’t work out! I loved the number and richness of the subplots and the sweetness of Sam and Maya’s story! There were a few surprises in the book and one tear jerker surprise at the end... at least for me! I will be watching for more stories from this talented new author!
Loved the idea of this book, struggled with the execution. The story alternates between the present day second chance romance, and 16 years earlier when the couple first met. I didn’t enjoy the youthful storyline. I was frustrated by the many gender stereotypes baked into the characters’ dialogue and behaviors. Even the delightful role reversal of having the hero have lighter skin than the heroine couldn’t make up for it.

I found the hero to be cocky and his decision to focus on corporate law
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O.k., I'll admit to it right from the start; I loved this book! Here are the reasons why.

I love learning something new when I read, and Mona Shroff delivers! Then, Now, Always gives us a wonderful glimpse into Indian culture.

Some books that jump from the past to the present can be disjointed. Shrof handles the transition with ease, always making the move when the reader needs to better understand the situation.

We get to follow the characters over a long period of time which gives the reader a
Danielle from Short and Sassy
1 star
This book was awful. Within the first chapter with the daughter getting in trouble and some backhanded comments, it was hard for me to go on. I DNF most of it. I skimmed to the ending to see where they ended up.
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an unexpectedly deep secret baby romance from a debut American author of Indian origin. I love finding romances from voices that are not frequently represented in romance, especially ones that feature characters with different backgrounds to your own and I’m committed to reading more of those kinds of voices, which is exactly why I so wanted to read this- well, that and my adoration for the secret baby trope.

I think on the balance of things, I liked this. I think it was well-written
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