Lightning Review

Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai


Partners in Crime

by Alisha Rai

I have a terrible memory for books. While it makes rereading a joy, things get tricky if I don’t write my review immediately after reading the book. But not in this case. With one thing after another, I’m only sitting down to write this review a good long while after I read the book, and the plot is crystal clear in my memory. This is a testament to two things: 1. The skill with which it was written 2. It’s originality.

I adore the main character, Mira Patel. She’s got layers and guts and trauma and a good, good heart. She has distanced herself from her dysfunctional family and now works as the straightest-laced of things: an accountant. The love interest, Naveen Desai, is a lawyer, but also a cinnamon roll with layers and guts and heart! (For a heist-mystery-suspense novel, this book has one helluva lot of heart.) Mira has come to Naveen (a former love interest) to settle her aunt’s affairs. That Mira and Naveen are kidnapped at that point and spend a wild night trying to untangle the mess around them is a surprise to both – in more ways than one. Usually I detest a second-chance romance. I find the emotional labour tiresome. In the case of Naveen and Mira, it feels more like a romance interrupted and then restarted.

I love an action-adventure plot, but rarely am I presented with something so original. The romance is so central and so rich, that I didn’t anticipate that the mystery plot would match the richness of the romance plot. But it did! The plot twists were gloriously sudden, but didn’t feel out of place.

I did have to put the book down for two weeks while reading because I thought my absolute least favourite ‘dark moment’ trope would be used: miscommunication. I detest this stuff so I was instantly turned off when it looked like it was heading that way. It took me a while to convince myself to give the book a chance. I’m so glad I did! Instead of nonsense miscommunication, there was an open, frank conversation. I love it when characters begin to make the brave choice instead of the cowardly one.

Because of my absolute abhorrence of a Big Misunderstanding plot, I nearly didn’t come back to this book, so if that turns you off, too, don’t make my mistake. You’ll be rewarded with a fun, emotionally nuanced, and surprising heist adventure – a very memorable one!


Indian Matchmaking meets Date Night in this fun, romantic adventure by Alisha Rai — “One of the very brightest romance writers working right now.” (Entertainment Weekly)

Mira Patel’s got a solid accounting career, good friends, and a whole lot of distance between her and her dysfunctional family. All that’s missing is a stable romantic relationship. Armed with a spreadsheet and professional help, she sets out to find her partner in only legal activities, but much to her matchmaker’s dismay, no one is quite right.

Including Naveen Desai, the very first match she unceremoniously rejected.

Lately Naveen’s been too focused on keeping his sick grandfather’s law firm afloat to think about love, and he’s stunned when Mira walks back into his life to settle her aunt’s affairs. He’s determined to keep things professional…though it’s impossible not to be intrigued by all of the secrets piling up around Mira.

If getting back together with an ex is a bad idea, getting kidnapped with one is even worse.

Suddenly, Naveen and Mira find themselves in a mad dash through Las Vegas to escape jewel thieves, evade crime bosses, and follow the clues to untangle the mess her family left behind. As her past comes back to haunt her, Mira despairs of ever finding someone who might understand her…but maybe, over the course of one wild night, she’ll find that he’s right by her side.

Contemporary Romance, Romance
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  1. LisaM says:

    I checked this out from the library recently but haven’t read it yet (the story of my library life lately). After reading your review, I’m glad I have it right at hand, especially with a long weekend coming up.

  2. FashionablyEvil says:

    I liked this one, but I will say that the ending crams in a lot, so much so that I had a hard time believing that the characters could emotionally process it all (there are two major plot twists when one would have been just fine.) Other than that, it’s a fun read!

  3. Lara says:

    FashionablyEvil, that’s a really good point! I confess that by the time the plot sped up, I was reading at hyperdrive pace so it seemed normal to me 🙂

  4. Lisa F says:

    Another good one by Rai, but yeah, the pacing is a bit of a mess. It’s a flat B for me.

  5. chacha1 says:

    I went into this really wanting to like it, read up to the escape (which is more than 20% in, so I gave it a fair shake), and just didn’t believe those MCs were going to get over their BS and Speak Plainly, so I bailed. If they eventually actually do talk, that’s good. Maybe I’ll come back to it when I’m not predisposed to be annoyed by getting a crime caper when I wanted a romance.

  6. Sandra says:

    I read this last weekend. It was ok. The whole caper bit was over the top to me. And both protags, but especially Mira, really could have used a good therapist to deal with their family issues.

  7. Lora says:

    Someone take my money! I love a straightforward convo instead of emotionally immature adults arguing and angsting because they can’t communicate well. Yay! Can’t wait to read.

  8. Kareni says:

    The hem of the white dress shown on the cover is in serious danger!

  9. Mel says:

    One of the cutest books I’ve ever read; I found it absolutely delightful. Mira and Naveen are so well-developed and likable, and the plot is refreshingly different. I’m not a big fan of either adventure or contemporary romance, so it says a lot about this book that it caught and kept my interest.

    It’s also the first romance I’ve ever read that’s set in the context of contemporary Indian matchmaking, which I found really fascinating. I think a lot of us have pretty stereotyped, even condescending, views of that practice and this book was a wonderful window into how it really works.

    I have to make two comments which show, more than anything else, that I’m a grammar asshole, but truly, I feel like if this stuff bothers me, it must bother other people, and it causes a momentary blip in my suspension of disbelief. 1. The gauge behind the steering wheel that tells how fast you’re going is the speedometer. The odometer is the thing that shows the total mileage on the car. From the description of Gladys’s car, I’m guessing it shows about 500K. Or maybe it’s even rolled over and started anew already. (Editor, where are you?) 2. Narrator of the audiobook: “Chased” is a homophone of “chased.” It does not rhyme with “passed.”

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