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The Marriage Game

(Marriage Game #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  10,394 ratings  ·  1,591 reviews
A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy.

After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in
Paperback, 338 pages
Published June 9th 2020 by Berkley
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Chelsea The main character in the second book "The Dating Plan" is a character in "The Marriage Game" so they are connected but seem to be their own separate …moreThe main character in the second book "The Dating Plan" is a character in "The Marriage Game" so they are connected but seem to be their own separate stories.(less)

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Average rating 3.53  · 
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 ·  10,394 ratings  ·  1,591 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At these depressing, high tension, ill-fated, virus mania days, this kind of LAUGH OUT LOUD novels are the best medicine for our souls!

OMG! OMG! My cheeks hurt! My tummy aches! My eyes filled in tears! I haven’t laughed so hard since my husband request me to cook a simple dish for him! I had great time!

Witty dialogues-CHECK

Amazing, hot, sizzling, earth shattering chemistry- CHECK

Creative, unique, awkward, humorous situations that the characters find themselves into-CHECK

Best of best supporting c
No bigger catfish than a book that pulls you in with laughter and by the end of it makes you want to hurl.

My brain cells have been treated unjustly. I am in no mood to write a rant review, because my brain cells need some self-care right now.

And I need to use that energy to read another book that will fill this void this book created.


Buddy-reading with my fav bunch of people! Azrah, Ameerah & May! ✨
Update 2
Decided to lower my rating, even more *facepalms*
Cause whenever I think of this book...I just remember how culturally inaccurate it is
Add to the fact the the luuuuuurve interest DOES NOT even FEEL like an Indian guy!!
Why the heck is he so cocky and arrogant??!!
I am not stereotyping Indian guys BUT at least the ones I know are NOTHING like the lurrrrve interest!!
They are shy and reserved
Most of them won't even LOOK into your eyes!! THAT shy!!
Again this is me speaking from my own exper
✨ A ✨
Layla Patel's life in New York has fallen apart, so she moves back to San Francisco where she hopes to have a fresh start and to be closer to her family.

When her dad offers her the use of the office above the family's successful restaurant, Layla is determined to start her own business. But Layla's father suffers a heartattack just before he's able to inform Sam Mehta, CEO of a corporate downsizing company, that the office is no longer available.

After the shock of realising the predicament the
3.5 stars

 photo 48F7B530-3BC7-4380-AE09-4CA278BB3BA9_zpsnhflbypc.jpg

The Marriage Game is Sara Desai’s debut novel, and what a delight it is! I had so much fun reading this book.

Layla comes back home to California from NYC after her current relationship ends and she loses her job. She’s in her mid twenties and starting fresh again. She’s ready for a new job and a new start, and her father is ready for her to find a husband. He sets up an on-line dating profile for her and picks 10 guys for her to meet. 

Sam is renting the office above Layla’s fami
Berit Talks Books
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sweet and sassy! Sara Desai made me laugh, smile, swoon, blush, and giggle with this delightful story. What a fun twist on the enemies to lovers trope. Layla has returned home to San Francisco after a bit of a scandal at her previous job in NYC. Her dad is thrilled and promises her the office above the family restaurant. He also decides to set up a dating profile for Layla and begins to vet potential husband’s for his daughter. Next thing Layla knows she is sharing an office with a stubborn but ...more
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Well, it's been a while since I read this so this review is basically just a general approximation of my feelings that I don't really remember.

The Marriage Game started off... okay. It felt kind of cheesy and I wasn't totally attached to any of the characters.

But then... in walked one of the most annoying, toxic love interests I've ever seen. Sam was so irritating and rude.

It felt like the author was trying to write a bad-boy, misunderstood male character but it did not work at all.

He was pos
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was such a cute, uplifting read!

Layla Patel is going home to her family in San Francisco. Life is just not going well. Layla’s father thinks she walks on water and wants her to find happiness again, so he gives her his upstairs office to set up Her new business.

And he creates an online dating profile to find a man for Layla. You read that right! Oh, and he arranges the dates for her, and one comes knocking!

Sam is also using the upstairs office. He was already there, but Layla is smooshed in
Paula M
Okay, here’s the thing. I really want to like this book, to the point that I begged myself to just let go of the stuff bothering me. But I just couldn’t continue anymore. It was too much!!! 

First of all, let me just say how much I like Sara Desai’s writing. Her writing made me continue to read the book until my brain cells exploded from all those unnecessary sexual innuendos. Her writing AND that pretty cover kept me going for a short while, sadly though, they’re not enough. The premise of the b
♛ may
if i eliminated the word 'Sam' from this book it would have been so much better

buddy read with my favs ameerah, azrah, & warda ❤️
DNF at 36%

This was a very anticipated read. I love the cover and the synopsis seems like everything I could have wanted.

I did like Layla...or I likely would found myself rooting for her if I continued. She’s hurting and smart and has a big heart. I loved her loyalty to her family and friends. Sam is horrible. His entire inner monologue is just sexualizing Layla when she’s in the room. He legit thinks about her “bouncing breasts” constantly and it got so very old.

Plot wise, there was so much po
Lacey (laceybooklovers)
I don’t know why I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did but it was great! The audio was fantastic and the romance was fun – lots of love/hate and forced proximity between the main characters.

Layla has returned home to San Francisco after losing both her job and boyfriend and she wants to start anew. She was to build her own company helping people find jobs and is offered the space above her parents restaurant as her new office. What she doesn’t know is that her dad has already rented out
K.J. Charles
The writing is zizzy and fun but the book's trying to have its cake and eat it with a bad-tempered bad guy corporate downsizer sexist male lead who is *also* funny, warm, cute, and protective. Didn't come together for me. DNF at 37%. ...more
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I feel like we are blessed with so many new romances from a talented women...
The Trouble with Hating You
Last Tang Standing
and now this one...

I had so much fun with this book.
I recommend it!!!
It is definitely a hilarious book and what happened to me with this one is that I want to read it again... which happens so rarely... I am excited about what will Sara Desai write next!!

4,5 stars

Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, read-in-2020
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

*** 4.5 STARS ***

I’m very happy to say that I absolutely loved The Marriage Game and I definitely can’t wait to read more of Sara Desai’s novels in the future.

I loved the main characters Layla and Sam and the chemistry between them. They had such great banter and I was rooting so hard for them. I also really liked Sara Desai’s writing style. This is her debut novel but it absolutely doesn’t feel like it is. Additionall
This was so funny and cute, but I definitely feel like there were some issues...

This book has trigger warnings for domestic violence, alcoholism off the page, specific violence against women. The Marriage Game wasn't a book that I intended to read. I randomly checked it out from my library and decided to give it a chance. Desai introduces the reader to Layla and Sam who in my opinion are complete opposites in terms of personality and appreciation for their cultural identity. There were a lot of
The Marriage Game was so much fun to dive into. Definitely needed a light and fluffy book during this crazy hectic day. In it, you will meet Layla and Sam. At first, these two started off on the wrong foot. Then things got hectic and hilarious pretty quickly. So when feelings started to develop between the two, well, I couldn't stop myself from shipping them.

Now I love a good banter between any character within a book. So I couldn't stop smiling whenever these two were just talking to one anoth
Lily Herman
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
What an absolutely delightful debut from Sara Desai. The premise of a dark 'n' twisty corporate downsizing consultant and a hopelessly romantic HR recruiter battling for office space—and each other's affections—could warm even the most late-stage of capitalist hearts.

Unsurprising to literally anyone who's put themselves through the torture of reading one of my romance novel reviews, I loved this book in large part because of the well-done enemies-to-lovers trope. The fight for the office space w
Krista Regester
Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I love the positive rep of Indian culture. I do not love this "love" story. ...more
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
Quirky, crazy, and sexy too.

I love the premise of the story which was one of the reasons why I chose to review it.

One of the cool things about this story is that we get a lot of East Indian culture. The descriptions and detail of foods, clothing, and mannerisms is quite complex. You can almost smell the cooking as you’re reading.

Because of that detail of cultural influence we also get a high number of characters in the story that can sometimes be tough to keep up with. P
Okay, bear with me, I haven't written a review in some time and I'm so done with this book that you can tell I'm not even invested in the review.

Let's start with the basics, did I enjoy this book? Yes, at some points.

Could it be shorter? It SHOULD be shorter.

I think the majority of readers that have finished this book have a problem with Sam, and here I come to tell you all that I actually like Sam. I finished this book because of him.

It's Layla who I cannot stand. Goddammit, Layla was insuffe
The Nerd Daily
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Portia Brown

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai is an adult contemporary romance filled with drama, wit, and a hilarious enemies-to-lovers romance.

This novel follows Layla Patel, a woman in her twenties who returns home to her family in San Francisco after she loses her job as a recruitment consultant and breaks up with her boyfriend. Her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, offers her the office upstairs so she can start her own business
Jun 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
*The more I discussed it with my bookclub girls the more I got annoyed and realised 2 ☆ is too generous.

This definitely took a turn I wasn't expecting. 📉 I thought this was going to be a 5☆ read. 😭 There were parts I really liked and others I really struggled with.

Full review is coming soon.
Mar 15, 2021 rated it liked it
3.9 ⭐️

tons of humor, romcom, kind of chaotic. the family is adorable—it’s my second novel from sara desai so i was familiar with the other characters from the dating game which i read in january. layla is daisy’s cousin.

good start to the book, found myself not wanting to put it down. some dull parts, but i pushed through it. the banter was great! i felt their connection, there was a pretty good build up between them. the dialogue made me laugh and the characters were likable (sometimes)

BUT there
Kezia Duah
Dec 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
You know that friend who manages to make everything sexual, Desai is definitely that friend. I thought I would hate how “sexual” this was, but actually, I really enjoyed it.

I didn’t know such good banter like this existed because wow. Is it even legal to laugh as much as I did? And when I thought I knew what to expect, I just kept getting the unexpected.

Layla’s dad is the real MVP of this story!

I’m glad that Sam was able to get justice for his sister at the end! I thought his and
Z - literaryeffect
“She hadn’t come here just for the game. It was about him.”

tw: domestic violence

This book is a pleasant surprise! I didn’t expect to love it so much but it’s definitely an addition to my fave romance books.

Layla Patel is back home to her family in San Francisco. She is strong-willed, intelligent, snarky, and she wants to rebuild her life. She wants to start her own recruitment agency and decides to use the vacant office above her family restaurant.

Sam Mehta is charming (and he knows it), su
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
True rating: 3.5

This one is hard to rate because it's was the definition of a romantic comedy. The writing was light and fluffy. The dialogue was sharp and witty. You can feel the chemistry between two characters. The only issue I had with this book was that the characters were hot/cold. They wanted each other but jumped to conclusions. They had miscommunication issues. They hurt each other on purpose. They didn't think a lot of the times. It was frustrating to read a lot of the times. With that
Fizah(Books tales by me)
Jul 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2020-read
Urghhh, I always decide to not read these desi-cliche-trashy-romance-chick list. But when I start to see people drooling on somebook. My self-control starts to waver, maybe this one will be good, maybe this one will be different. But again and again, they left me disappointed.

I am just going to keep this review short.

I liked the cultural representation. They way author showed family bonding and love among the family. But this is only thing I liked in the book.

Why everything has to be sexualized?
May 26, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: series, contemporary
2.5 stars

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

Layla Patel is going home to San Francisco after walking in on her social media reality star boyfriend in bed with two women and her throwing his stuff out of their apartment is recorded and goes viral. Home to her family's Spice Mill Restaurant where her mother's tough love and father's hugs will help her get her life back on track. She's planning on
Kristy Johnston
“She’s disorganized, unprofessional, and her taste in furniture is even worse than her taste in friends.”

I’d like to add that she’s immature, selfish and entitled. While I started out liking Layla when she first entered the restaurant and greeted her parents in chapter one, I quickly changed my mind.

"I considered adding a laxative or even a spoon of ipecac syrup to the coffee, but there’s only one bathroom and I’ll need to freshen up for my clients.”

I instantly took a disliking to her rude frie
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Sara Desai has been a lawyer, radio DJ, marathon runner, historian, bouncer and librarian. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, kids and an assortment of forest creatures who think they are pets. Sara writes sexy romantic comedy and contemporary romance with a multicultural twist. When not laughing at her own jokes, Sara can be found eating nachos. Visit Sara at ...more

Other books in the series

Marriage Game (3 books)
  • The Dating Plan (Marriage Game, #2)
  • The Singles Table (Marriage Game, #3)

Articles featuring this book

  Few things compare to the electric anticipation of the next entry in a series you're obsessed with–you get to drop back into worlds your...
63 likes · 15 comments
“Love doesn't always hit like a thunderbolt. Sometimes it can grow quietly in the background until one day you realize it is there.” 6 likes
“Her breath hitched when he slid a thick finger into her wet heat. Slow. Firm. Agonizingly delicious.
"You're so wet," he murmured. "It really did turn you on."
"You turn me on." She arched against him, pleasure rippling through her core. Sam pushed another finger inside, angling to brush against her sweet spot.
"I thought you needed me, like right now," she panted as he palmed her breast through her clothes.
"I need to give you pleasure first." His heated gaze trapped her, made her insides tighten.
"So you're a gentleman sex beast." She wrapped her arms around his neck, ran her fingers through the softness of his hair. His shoulders were so broad, his neck corded with muscle. But unlike Harman's steroid-enhanced physique, Sam's perfect body was real.
"I don't feel like a gentleman." His voice was deeper than normal, thick and hoarse. He teased her nipple to a peak through her clothes. "The things I want to do to you right now are as far from gentlemanly as you can get.”
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