Reading a new author can be somewhat nerve-wracking especially if it’s the second book in a series like Sugar, Spice, and Can’t Play Nice by Annika Sharma.
With an author like Annika Sharma, she actually released the first book in her series last year and that was Love, Chai and Other Four-Letter Words. You might recognize the beautiful blue cover with the two characters who are dancing on the cover.
Even though I hadn’t read the first book, I was more than excited to read Sugar, Spice, and Can’t Play Nice by Annika Sharma. As I’m sure most of us can relate, this book’s cover draws your eye in. As someone who loves pink and green together, this was amazing.
As for the story inside, I have a lot to unpack and a lot of thoughts about Sugar, Spice, and Can’t Play Nice, so let’s get into it.
Sugar, Spice, and Can’t Play Nice won’t sweeten everyone’s cup of tea.
Upon seeing the cover for this, I was ecstatic to be sent an ARC by Sourcebooks Casablanca and I immediately believed it would be my new spring favorite. Before I get into my thoughts, I wanted to share the plot of the story which is about Payal who is an up-and-coming fashion designer, and Ayaan, a marketing genius who has a disastrous one-night stand.
The two find out days later that their families want them to get married as a show of goodwill with their two companies merging. From that point on, it becomes a race for Payal and Ayaan to get what they want while trying to weasel their way out of the marriage. These two play the long game and it’s fun to watch.
Despite this book being marketed as a romance, I feel like the romance isn’t where the book shined. Rather this story was at its best when it followed Payal and Ayaan along their career paths. Payal is working so hard to get her clothing line, Besharmi while Ayaan is proving his marketing expertise to his family and helping Payal gain more traction.
I loved seeing how everything came together for Payal’s line. Hearing how the clothing was described along with all the hoops she had to jump through was daunting. As for Ayaan, he was working on gaining the respect of his family and it was hard to read at times. Either way, I feel like that’s where the book really shined.
To me, the romance is what really fell flat here. I can get behind a slow burn but these two hooked up once and then didn’t kiss for over 100 pages. Maybe I just love a good kiss scene, but I couldn’t help but want to scream at them. The attraction was there so I just wanted to see them be together and show that intimacy that didn’t have to come through in sex scenes.
Aside from the lack of romance, the story did feel a bit predictable, but honestly, this is only this author’s second book so I can excuse that. Even though I didn’t absolutely love this book, I’m going to be picking up the next book as I enjoyed the Chai Masala Club and the fun they brought to the story.
Even though Sugar, Spice, and Can’t Play Nice wasn’t a home run for me, I’ll be watching to see what Annika Sharma does in the future. I feel like she has the potential to deliver something with a bit more romance so I’m crossing my fingers.
Sugar, Spice, and Can’t Play Nice by Annika Sharma is out now wherever books are sold.
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