Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat
Grade : A-

Sonya Lalli brings forth another winner with Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat, a lovely story about romance found upon a cruise ship between two oil-and-water childhood friends.

Jasmine Randhawa is newly single as she boards a cruise for seniors with her parents (replacing her sister on the trip). With no hope of romance on the horizon after her long, seemingly-perfect relationship with Brian hits the rocks, she has to face the judgement of her parents and their friends. Jasmine has a long history of reaching for perfection in the eyes of these people, only to fall short, which, in their eyes, has given her a bad reputation. This in spite of a successful career and a formerly-successful love life. She surely won’t feel a romantic spark with the only person her age on the boat – her longtime nemesis since childhood, Jake Dhillon.

Arrogant Jake has always been the poster boy for perfection in their South Indian social circle, so Jasmine has loathed him for his cocksure behavior, and Jake has always thought she was far too wild for him. But time alone in closed quarters begins to change things for them both. When they get to Alaska – and home again – will they have a relationship worth fighting for?

This is an enjoyable story, and Lalli has a lot of fun with her cruise ship setting. Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat manages to both be a great little story about how appearances deceive and a fun one about being true to yourself.

Jasmine, of course, has depths beyond her wild-child ways, and Jake is much sweeter than he seems on the surface. They’re dynamite together, and the relationship works like gangbusters, providing readers with a connection worth rooting for and definitely one worth reading.

As always, Lailli takes on South Asian cultural norms with aplomb and challenges the stifling requirements of expectations in communities and families. There’s no such thing as perfect, and both Jake and Jasmine are living examples of this. Jake and Jasmine do indeed rock the boat – the boat of their community’s beliefs and their own preconceptions about one another. The book is wonderful, perfect if you’re too seasick to board a cruise ship yourself!

Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes

Grade: A-

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : April 18, 2023

Publication Date: 04/2023

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Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
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