Saturday 4 January 2020

#CBR12 Book 2: "Tikka Chance on Me" by Suleika Snyder

Page count: 72 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

This novella was exactly what I needed in the stressful weeks starting the new year, when I'm massively behind on my work (thanks, ill-timed Christmas illness), still fighting a horrible cough and cold (at this stage, I'm not entirely sure I'm not suffering from a new cold that I caught on the heels of the first one). I have so many mediocre English essays left to grade, with the deadline of the 12th of January (when all the grades for term 1 have to be in) fast approaching. So, of course I'm procrastinating and writing a book review instead.

Pinky Grover was away at grad school when her mum got sick, so she dropped everything and returned home to help out in her family's Indian restaurant. Now her life is on hold and there is very little to excite her, back in the tiny town where she grew up, feeling her potential waste away. The only bright spot to her days is the frequent visits from Trucker Carrigan, resident bad boy biker. Of course, getting involved with someone who works as an enforcer for a biker gang is entirely out of the question, but he sure is nice to look at, and low-key flirt with.

Trucker Carrigan went away to the army and got recruited into the ATF. Now he's undercover in a motorcycle gang and counting the days until he finishes his mission to take down the right-wing racist nut-jobs he's had to spend oh so many months with and pretend to be friends with. His only bright spot is visiting the local Indian restaurant and flirting with the owners' daughter, the gorgeous Pinky. He knows full well he needs to stay away from her, as he'll be leaving town as soon as his mission is completed, and a nice girl like her shouldn't look twice at the sort of guy he's currently pretending to be. Nevertheless, he can't help himself, and after a chance meeting at the local Walmart, where they trade nerdy banter, it seems like it was always inevitable they'd end up in the back of his truck.

I don't normally like insta-love stories, and Pinky and Trucker go from low-level flirting and longing glances to an extremely steamy car encounter and motel hook-ups very suddenly. The fact that they grew up in the same town and went to the same school (although Trucker was a few years ahead of Pinky) makes up for it somewhat. These people aren't complete strangers to one another, they just don't really know what the other has been up to since they grew up and tried to escape out into the real world. So it didn't feel exactly like insta-love, but it wasn't exactly "I secretly loved you my whole life and now we're finally together" either.

While Trucker pretends to be a low-life criminal, right-wing domestic terrorist as his cover, he's clearly a caring, sensitive, funny and deeply nerdy cinnamon roll of a man in actuality. Pinky Grover may seem like the perfect and dutiful desi daughter, but she has never been shy about admitting her wants and needs to herself, and has clearly suffered a dry spell since she had to quit college and return home. She has no intention of flaunting her new lover in front of her friends or family, but neither is she going to apologise for or deny herself the pleasure of hooking up with Trucker as many chances as she gets before their time together runs out.

I got this at the beginning of last year after a very positive review from my fellow kissing book fan, Emmalita. With the current train wreck situation in the RWA, it seemed like it would be a good time to read some romance, and especially from somone who had been outspoken in supporting my beloved Courtney Milan. I'm not the least bit surprised that I enjoyed something Emmalita recommended, now I need to see what else I can find by Snyder, as this first taste was very good, indeed. Also, I desperately crave curry now.

Judging a book by its cover: I have what I assume is the original cover for this novella. It has since been re-issued with a cute animated cover, which seems to capture the characters really well, but I prefer this simple one. I love that we don't actually see more of the characters than their feet and a little bit of the legs. The image still says so much, and from the angle, you can tell that they are locked in an embrace, without actually having to see any more of their bodies.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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