A Sweet Deal by Andaleeb Wajid is a fast paced romance set in Bangalore.
Say hi to Rumana. A freshly minted (baked?) chef who decides to trade her powersuit for chef’s whites to live her dream of owning a café. Cut to six months later and there is Not Too Sweet, a gorgeous little café with a burgeoning clientele. This is home and heart and everything in between. But Rumana’s baker’s bliss is cut short when competition drives in not only right into her street but parks itself right next door! What the…
Enter Daniyal—rock star chef, too good-looking, and annoyingly charming. With him around, Rumana flits between being putty in his hands—giving away a cherished recipe to him when he asks nicely!—and getting mad at herself for her actions. But battle lines get drawn when Daniyal decides to present her recipe to the world with his take on it. Attracted towards the wild-haired Rumana, whose sweet kisses are a complete contradiction to her angry personality, Daniyal has no idea what’s about to hit him.
At Daniyal’s Desserts, he can’t get her out of his mind.
At Not Too Sweet, Rumana is plotting sweet revenge.
Will the two be able to strike a sweet deal?
Impulsive, Kindle addicted bookworm Rumana and level headed, doodler and sketcher Neharika had met at a software company where Rumana was a software engineer and Neharika, a quality analyst four years ago. And gravitated towards each other because of their mutual interests in food and literature and their pipe dream of opening a café.
One day, they decided to call it quits and start their café. With the help of Neharika’s mother (who gave them space), no help from Rumana’s parents (who find it an impractical decision to leave a job for a café) and all their savings, the two girls open their café in Bangalore and name it ‘Not too Sweet’. Vinod is their man Friday who helps them with the outdoor jobs and sometimes as a waiter. They are happy catering to small parties along with their routine sales.
One day, Vinod comes in holding a flyer which says that a new patisserie, called Daniyal’s Desserts is opening next door. Daniyal is a rich, experienced chef who has worked in many restaurants around the world.
Now, their café is at the risk of losing the regular customers and Daniyal’s Desserts looks more attractive. And Rumana takes it on herself to save their café because she has to prove herself to her parents and also avoid getting stuck in an arranged marriage to the NRI her parents have chosen for her. So, she schemes and plans Daniyal’s downfall…
Daniyal is attracted to her and so is Rumana, but she tells herself to stay away from him because he is the ENEMY.
I loved the book. As a person who wanted to open a café myself, till reality dawned that I could not do a full time job and run a café too, I have kept that thought on the backburner. So I loved it even more.
The name of the café is so apt, and I loved the ambience too. The characters are life-like, relatable and so real. What I enjoyed most was the conversations between them, the jealousy and how Rumana tried to hide the blunders committed from Neharika. The descriptions of the food items are moth watering and I am looking for the recipe of a carrot cake that has apple sauce and cinnamon…this book has everything, friendship, romance, competitiveness, jealousy, stress and also independence.
The language used is simple and the story just flows, making the book unputdownable. The tense used is different and initially I took some time to get a hang of it. The chapters are short and end in such a way that I had to start the next chapter because I really wanted to know what happens next.
Milan Vohra has mentioned on the cover that “this book cannot be put down” and I thoroughly agree with her on this.
This book is a must, must read with a warning that once you start it, you will not be able to put it down till you finish it.
One question, is Neharika’s story coming up next?