I have been a huge fan of Rai’s Modern Love series starting with The Right Swipe. I can’t decide if I love Girl Gone Viral – the second in the series – more than the first, but I knew I had to track down First Comes Like! And I was not disappointed! Keep reading this book review to find out what I liked about First Comes Like.
Beauty expert and influencer Jia Ahmed has her eye on the prize: conquering the internet today, the entire makeup industry tomorrow, and finally, finally proving herself to her big opinionated family. She has little time for love, and even less time for the men in her private messages—until the day a certain international superstar slides into her DMs, and she falls hard and fast.
There’s just one wrinkle: he has no idea who she is.
The son of a powerful Bollywood family, soap opera star Dev Dixit is used to drama, but a strange woman who accuses him of wooing her online, well, that’s a new one. As much as he’d like to focus on his Hollywood fresh start, he can’t get Jia out of his head. Especially once he starts to suspect who might have used his famous name to catfish her…
When paparazzi blast their private business into the public eye, Dev is happy to engage in some friendly fake dating to calm the gossips and to dazzle her family. But as the whole world swoons over their relationship, Jia can’t help but wonder: Can an online romance-turned-offline-fauxmance ever become love in real life?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: panic attack
First Comes Like was a charming story about second chances and embracing what life throws at us. It’s an action packed fast read – I devoured this book in one day! I just couldn’t stop reading and I adored reading Jia and Dev’s chemistry. Talk about instant and sizzling! This dual POV story allows readers to get to know both Jia and Dev better. To see the ways that Jia feels “too much” and how that phrase affects her life. I hate that phrase! To see the ways Dev struggles with raising his niece and envisioning a future in Hollywood.
Jai stole the show. I knew she would because not only does she have a savvy business sense, but there were so many pieces of her character I adored. I loved that she records affirmations for herself, that she feels that people do not take her seriously – all of it hit a bit too close to home! As I kept reading, my instant love for Jia only deepened. At the same time, I began to love Dev. His interactions with his niece were instant swoon for me, but I began to love how feminist Dev was and the impact of his past.
The pressure both Jia and Dev feel in regards to their parent’s, their upbringing, and the ways their future intersects was fascinating. I couldn’t stop turning the pages as I watched their chemistry unfold across the page. While I felt the ending was a little hasty, Jia and Dev feel so multi-dimensional and there were so many of my favorite tropes here! It’s incredibly hard to stop caring about what other’s think. To not let their comments and judgements impact you. Jia’s struggle with this resonated so deeply within me.