First Comes Like by Alisha Rai
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?
First Comes Like is the third book in the Modern Love series, but this is the first one that I have read. I don’t think I missed out by not having read the first two books. Thank you to Libro.fm for sending me an ALC in exchange for an honest review.
If you have seen any of my past reviews you will know that I adore romances where one of more of the characters is famous, so I was destined to enjoy First Comes Like as both Jia and Dev have a certain level of fame. Jia is a beauty influencer, and I thought the discussion around her career and how other people saw her a certain way was interesting. It was so sweet to see that Dev respected her and her job and helped her to overcome some of her insecurities in that regard. Dev is a famous soap actor from India who has recently moved to Hollywood, but it was his backstory and family dynamic that was most intriguing to me.
I have come to realize that I prefer romances where we get the perspectives of both parties because it adds another layer of depth and the reader has a greater chance of forming a connection with both of them. First Comes Like is 432 pages, which is quite long for a romance, but a lot of those pages are used to set up the story and to develop the characters, which I thought was great as I am a character-driven reader.
The highlight for me was the discussion of boundaries and respect. Jia is Muslim and has certain boundaries that she is not willing to cross, which Dev is very protective of as well. He is constantly aware of how things may look to others and never wants to put Jia in a compromising position. This does lead to some miscommunication, but they were solved rather quickly.
Another thing I thought was interesting was that this book does not have the third act breakup that we have come to expect in romances. This means that there was a little less tension than I am used to but it was a sweet romance! There are also a lot of tropes in this that I thought were done in a fresh way and made sense for the story. I won’t say anymore because you just need to experience it for yourself!
First Comes Like comes out February 16th!
- Characters: 7
- Atmosphere/Setting: 7
- Writing Style: 7
- Plot: 7
- Intrigue: 8
- Logic/Relationships: 8
- Enjoyment: 8
Overall CAWPILE score: 52/7=7.4