Desert Isle Keeper
Kamila Knows Best
Kamila Knows Best is a gently funny, charming romcom that upends Jane Austen’s Emma and has a lot of fun with its energetic heroine and engaging premise.
Kamila Hussain is a Toronto accountant with a warm, closely-knit friend circle and an Instagram-famous dog, Darcy. She’s popular, happy and successful, she adores her father and tries to spend as much time as she can volunteering at the local animal shelter. But there’s something missing from her life – true love, the sort of which plays out all the time during the Bollywood movies she loves. But making others – chiefly her father – happy takes precedence, so she often takes on more than she can handle.
Rohan Nassar is a friend of the family whom Kamila is fondly annoyed by, yet who is always there for her during her lowest (and even most embarrassing) moments. He’s handsome, he’s well-off, he cares about her and knows how to talk her down when she’s ready to faint from the sight of blood.
But everything changes when Kamila agrees to assist her shelter’s local puppy prom, which will require her to put in hours of extra work on top of her challenging job, at the same time as her father’s health takes a turn for the worse. Then Jana, her childhood nemesis, arrives in town and begins to throw a bucket of cold water on all of Kamila’s varied parties and plans – and also takes an interest in Rohan. Can Kamila and Rohan figure their feelings for one another out, and will Kamila pull off the puppy prom? Or will Jana intervene and become Rohan’s girlfriend?
Kamila Knows Best manages to deconstruct what it’s like to be seen as perfect while juggling many varied burdens. Kamila is struggling with caring for her elderly father, work stress, and anxiety caused by her late, emotionally abusive mother’s behavior. She’s strong and in control, but she has to learn how to delegate things, whether it to be to a prospective lover or a close friend, and this is a well-delivered and valuable lesson.
Kamila and her father have learned different things from dealing with Kamila’s mother, and their interactions together speak of all they’ve been through. I really liked their relationship and how they both grow within it – and have to learn to grow outside of it.
Meanwhile, Rohan and Kamila are adorable together, and their romance is quite the slow burn (they don’t even kiss until we’re halfway through the book). They’re quite good for one another, and have a sweet chemistry. The dogs are predictably cute, and Kamila’s friends circle is a fun and relatable bunch.
Kamila Knows Best is well aware that life isn’t a musical number or a fairytale – but it knows that a fairytale romance can lie just around the corner.
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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