Austenesque, Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Diverse Hero, Diverse Heroine, Romance, Second Chances

Review | Recipe For Persuasion by Sonali Dev

An Indian chef and a Brazilian soccer player are the main characters in this lovely retelling of Persuasion.

Recipe for Persuasion is a delicious retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion where the main characters are an Indian chef and a Brazilian soccer player. Our thanks to Harper Collins Publishers and NetGalley for the advanced reader’s copy.  

Book Details

Title: Recipe for Persuasion
Author: Sonali Dev
 Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
(May 26, 2020)
Length: 448 pages
eBook ASIN: B07X3LJS7B

Book Description

From the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors comes another , clever, deeply layered, and heartwarming romantic comedy that follows in the Jane Austen tradition—this time, with a twist on Persuasion.

Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen? 

Rico Silva, that’s what.  

Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster. 

FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn’t too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he’s definitely over her. 

But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce…and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico.  Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion…? 

In Recipe for Persuasion, Sonali Dev once again takes readers on an unforgettable adventure in this fresh, fun, and enchanting romantic comedy.

From the Publisher’s Blurb


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As a hard fan of Jane Austen and originally from Brazil, I was immediately hooked by the premise of Recipe for Persuasion. Two high school sweethearts (an Indian chef, and a Brazilian soccer player), separated by family opposition, meet again twelve years later as participants in a culinary reality show.

What at first seemed to be a romantic comedy soon turned out much denser and more complex. The intricacies of Indian culture, especially the role of women and their fight for equal rights, are a big part of the story.

It is not exactly a light read. Ashna (the heroine) suffers from a traumatic childhood. Fruit of a loveless marriage, she was deeply influenced by her parent’s neglect. Alcoholism, verbal abuse, marital rape, child emotional abandonment, and a touch of politics distance the book from the realm of rom-coms.  

It was not the escapist reading I was expecting. It was a solid story with very interesting and layered characters.

Ashna is vulnerable and full of doubts, a person haunted by duty and guilt. Frederico, the hero, like his counterpart in Persuasion, is a confident man, but most of all, a very respectful individual. His love for Ash was palpable and beautiful.

Overall, a very engrossing and diverse telling of Persuasion.

Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

(A slightly different version of this review was originally published on 03/16/2020 on

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories that let her explore issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after.Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog.



34 thoughts on “Review | Recipe For Persuasion by Sonali Dev”

  1. I haven’t read Persuasion by Austen yet despite it being on my bookshelf (*hides in shame*) but this has me very interested. From the premise is appears to be a light rom-com but I like that this has a surprising amount of darker themes and issues that it addresses. Fab review Lu! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never read a Jane Austen retelling, this sounds like a really interesting story and I’m adding it to my TBR! Great review Lu 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful review! I love when a book surprises me by having more depth than I expected. Sometimes it can be a miss, especially if the writing doesn’t support it, but this sounds like a definite winner! Persuasion is my favourite Austen so I’m now very excited to read this one 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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