Cover Image: First Love, Take Two

First Love, Take Two

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Member Reviews

This is the second book in The Trouble with Hating You series and I think it was better than the first! Preeti is one of Liya’s best friends and finds herself in need of a place to live. Liya offers her apartment she is no longer using but on one condition: Daniel, Preeti’s first love and ex, is going to living with her for 3 weeks. Preeti is struggling with finding a job after her residency is over, a new apartment, her pending engagement (to someone she doesn’t think she’ll be able to love), and now living with her ex. Could her anxiety levels get any higher? Will she choose her parents’ happiness over hers or will she try to give true love a second chance?
This is not your typical romance, it has many other issue going on within the storyline. It explored the traditions and family expectations in the Indian culture, mental health issues of someone in the medical field, classism, and racism. Daniel’s father doesn’t think Preeti is good enough for his son and that she won’t fit into his “world.” Preeti’s family (her aunties) don’t like that fact that Daniel is Black. At times, the story felt like it had too many topics going on at the same time but I think the author did well covering everything. I don’t think the story would have been as good if the classism and racism topics weren’t an issue. Family drama is really high throughout this book. Daniel is butting heads with his father in his work life and personal life. Preeti is dealing with her potential fiancé and his family, her parents and aunties, her next steps in her career, all while trying to deal with her anxiety. I liked how Preeti’s anxiety was not presented as a weakness and she showed great strength in seeking help. Daniel did what he could to help when Preeti was feeling anxious but also helped her realize her anxiety was something that needed he attentional a professional. Again, I didn’t like that the setting was very generalized and no Houston landmarks made any appearances. Overall, I really like Preeti and Daniel’s story and felt their story was better than Liya and Jay. Also, the author’s dedication was really sweet.
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As you can probably guess from the title, First Love, Take Two, features one of my favorite romance tropes: "second chance at love". Preeti and Daniel are exes who ended their relationship due to pressures from their families but reunite when they both move into a mutual friend's apartment. While they try to keep things platonic, it does not take long for their feelings towards one another to come out again. Patel, the author, does a fantastic job tackling a difficult subject - how someone's cultural background and family can influence their relationships with others - while also writing a swoon-worthy romance novel that you won't be able to put down!
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I've been anticipating reading this book ever since I devoured The Trouble with Hating You back in February, and this book was worth the wait!! 

In the second book of the series, we are following Preeti and Daniel, a Blindian couple that broke up six years ago but never stopped loving each other. The book starts when our MC from The Trouble with Hating You, Liya, offers her place to both Preeti and Daniel. We love forced proximity!! After six years of running away from their relationship, Preeti knows it's about time Daniel learns why she broke up with him with no explanation. Yet, with Preeti's anxiety mixed with complicated family dynamics, saying what you need to say isn't always so easy.

Y'ALL. The chemistry between Preeti and Daniel was off the charts! There was so much flirting and taunting and sexual tension and I was so here for it. Simply put, I could not put this book down, and I just need more romances from Sajni Patel ASAP. Unlike other second-chance romances I've read/watched on TV/seen in real life, the premise of this one, where they initially broke up due to a mix of conflicting family values and bad mental health, kept me rooting for them the whole time. Besides the romance, I loved the representation of South Asians seeking therapy for their mental health. I also love how, like in The Trouble With Hating You, we once again see our MC stand up to their toxic Indian community, this time concerning anti-blackness. 

If you read and loved The Trouble with Hating You, I would highly recommend First Love, Take Two. The only negative in the book I would note is that some plot points felt a little rushed, but I was so invested in their romance that I barely cared.
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This one explores a lot of hard issues with racism, mental health, families, different cultures, and when you get to pick your life. Parts will make you laugh and then cry the next chapter. This touches a lot of mental health and how its still viewed in main stream but also different communities and how long it takes for people to ask/get help. This one will make you want to yell at them to talk- many times "just talk please you two" over and over- in true second chance fashion they are trying to learn from their past issues.  

We get all the characters from book one and they come in perfectly! I can't wait to see more of this series and more of the ladies to get their HEA. 

we also get a hint of steam with them. I also want her red dress :)

I listened to the audiobook and just loved it! The narration was amazing! 

4 stars
3 steam 

Thanks to Hachette Audio for a copy of this audiobook
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Nearly finished with her medical residency, Preeti is still looking for a permanent job. Her traditional Indian family is eager to see her matched and married, and she just found out she needs to find a new place to live. Could her anxiety levels get any higher? Turns out, yes — her temporary apartment apparently also comes with her ex as a roommate. Preeti left and broke Daniel’s heart years ago, for complicated reasons she’s never explained. Will they get a second chance at romance, and if so, can they make it work despite the disapproval of both their families?

This isn’t necessarily your typical contemporary romance—there’s a lot going on here. I liked that the story explored Indian culture through both the closeness of family and the pressures of traditional expectations. I was also glad to read a book that focuses on mental health from the perspective of a high performer suffering with anxiety. Preeti is someone who gets it done and makes it happen—she’s awesome; yet, her anxiety is always lurking in the background. And on top of all of that, there is of course the Preet/Daniel storyline. At times, this all felt like a lot of topics to cover simultaneously, and I do wonder if it might have been more effective to not try to tackle so much. However, I flew through this book and was invested in Preeti’s character arc. If you’re a contemporary romance fan, I think you’ll like this one!

Thank you to Forever for the chance to read and review a free copy of this book!
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Sometimes you read a romance novel, and you get a glimpse of a potential couple and you desperately hope that the author will write about them next. This was the case with Sajni Patel’s First Love, Take Two I had a feeling that I would love Preeti and Daniel and I’m glad I was proven right!

From their first reunion, it’s obvious that Daniel and Preeti were made for each other. No one else is able to help Preeti with her anxiety like Daniel can and no one is able to support Daniel working through with his difficult relationship with his father like Preeti. There is so much chemistry and sexual tension between Daniel and Preeti in the book that you just want to keep reading through their various miscommunications, misunderstanding and the plethora of obstacles from both families to see them finally get together. I love how they start off as awkward roommates, then go back to being friends again before anything truly romantic takes place. 

While I adored them both as individual characters, Preeti in particular won me over with just how passionate she is about her work as a family doctor, and I love how this book shows that everyone, even healthcare practitioners, can have mental health struggles. This doesn’t mean you can’t be successful and have a fulfilling life and career. You just need to remember to take care of yourself and get the proper help when you find things to be too much.

As with The Trouble With Hating You, Patel once again uses the characters in her books and their situation to criticize the toxic dynamics in the South Asian religious community and shows us that the reality is that it’s not just white people who can be racist towards others. It was also refreshing to read a romance where there was opposition from not just one side but both sides,of the couple, on top of the classicism and racism. Fortunately, Daniel and Preeti also have some amazing family members as well and Preeti of course, also has her amazing, kick-ass friends who unconditionally always have each other’s backs. My favourite part of this book would have to be when all their supportive loved ones come together for a special grand surprise near the end.

If you love a satisfying, second chance romance, then I would recommend First Love, Take Two! The story and characters will both warm your heart and make you tear up in the best possible way.
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First Love, Take Two was absolutely incredible. I personally loved it even more than The Trouble With Hating You! I related to Preeti so much, from her thoughts on her own Indian culture to her relationship with her family, and the way that Sajni Patel wrote her character made me feel more seen than I've experienced in a while. I loved seeing the complex dynamics within the Indian community. One of my favorite things about this book was the way that Preeti's anxiety was portrayed. It felt so realistic and on top of that, the way that Daniel helped her with her anxiety was so perfect. The moments when he helped calm her down after a panic attack were some of my favorites.
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Yay for second chance romances! I loved First Love, Take Two. This book was such a great continuation of Sajni Patel's series. I love the Indian representation in this book and its discussion of mixed race relationships. Preeti and Daniel had quite a past to sort through with both their relationship and their families. And Sajni made that come alive for me as a reader. And who doesn't love a man that can cook? This was such a fun read. I can't wait for the next book featuring this group of friends! 

On the verge of realizing her dream of being a doctor, Preeti Patel should be ecstatic. But between the stress of her residency, trying to find a job, and managing her traditional, no-boundaries family, Preeti's anxiety is through the roof. Relationships and love aren't even an option. Fortunately, Preeti's finally found a new place to stay . . . only to discover that her new roommate is her ex.

Preeti never quite got over Daniel Thompson. Super-hot, plenty of swagger, amazing cook—the guy is practically perfect. And if it weren't for their families, there might have been a happily ever after. But it's hard to keep her sanity and libido in check when the man of her dreams is sleeping mere feet away. Can Preeti and Daniel find a way to stand up and fight for each other one last time . . . before they lose their second chance?
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First Love, Take Two is the second installment in the Trouble With Hating You series; however, I feel that it works wonderfully as a standalone as well. I loved getting to revisit some characters and scenarios that were in the first book but the story itself had its own issues and challenges for the main characters and it was easy to differentiate it from the previous story. 

First Love, Take Two deals with real everyday issues like racism, the challenge of moving on, love, friendship, anxiety, and trying to establish yourself. My personal favorite thing about this story is that Sajni Patel once again proves that she is absolutely terrific at forming strong female characters that can not only stand on their own but they can also be vulnerable and open.
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TW: racism, anxiety, touch aversion, miscarriage

I really enjoyed this sequel to The Trouble with Hating You. 

This was a slow burn romance; however, the sexual tension between Preeti and Daniel was jumping off the page!

Preeti’s character really resonated with me as someone who didn’t want to burden her friends with her problems. I also loved Daniel’s grandparents - they were so sweet!

This is my favorite second chance romance as the reason for Preeti and Daniel’s breakup made perfect sense to me. I also loved the portrayal of the forced proximity/ one bed trope, which is one of my favorite romance tropes!

What I appreciated:
- the unique pairing of an Indian female and a Black male protagonist
- the depiction of racism within meddling communities
- the parental and community pressures to marry within your own community or someone of similar socioeconomic status
- the representation of a character who experiences touch aversion and anxiety
- how even doctors can suffer from anxiety, how much of a toll dealing with tough incidents can take on a doctor, and how it is not easy to get a job as a medical resident
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“I was determined to consider every angle and see where a second chance could lead us”

On the verge of realizing her dream of being a doctor, Preeti should be ecstatic. But between the stress of her residency, trying to find a job, and managing her traditional, no-boundaries family, Preeti's anxiety is through the roof. Fortunately, Preeti's finally found a new place to stay . . . only to discover that her new roommate is her ex. Preeti never quite got over Daniel, the perfect man. And if it weren't for their families, there might have been a happily ever after. Can Preeti and Daniel find a way to stand up and fight for each other one last time . . . before they lose their second chance?

Holy Moley, Daniel has become my new book boyfriend. I loved so many things about this one (a second book to “The Trouble With Hating You”) that It would take me this whole post to name them all. I’ll just say this, I love how strong Preeti and Daniel both are, together and separately. I love what they were willing to do for each other and I love that when they finally communicated well, they realized they were better together than apart.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Forever and Hachette Audio for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

CW: abortion (side-character on page), racism, anxiety, depression, sex-shaming, sick parent, touch aversion

This book covered so many topics well.  The burn out of medical professionals (not COVID related). Beautiful reflections of so many cultures, family and what brings us all together, food.  Fighting for what you want against societal expectations.  

Please note while this is the second book in a series it can be completely read as a standalone.

Steam: 2 (closed door)
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I wasn't sure about Preeti and some of the choices she made as a resident, but I really liked her lovely roommate.  It's so nice to see some Blindian representation and I love a second chance romance, also a chef is my favorite type of love interest
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Sajni did it again. This book gave me life, holy fucking shit. Do I have a new favorite romance?????? 

Everything I loved (hint it’s actually everything about this book)
- Second Chance Romance!!!! People need to stop sleeping on this trope. It hits so good when you’ve been in a long term relationship, especially with how this one is done. It nailed the way you know someone so intimately when you have been together a while. I just can’t even fathom how perfect Sajni executed this trope, like how was this god tier execution?
- I loved the drama and the figuring shit out of everything. It just felt realistic to me
- Preeti, the way she grew in the book was spectacular and I loved her finding her voice
- Daniel calling Preeti “Pree” 🥺
- Only one bed forced proximity? Another bomb trope that was done so well!!!!
- Gahhhhh the chemistry, the tension, the love exploding from the book was amazing 
- Should I continue?? I want to say more but don’t want to give spoilers but 🏡

Damn, just pick up this book now. Stop reading this review and get it now, GOOO!!! And thank me later 

PS - I am now a Sajni Patel Stan and will be buying everything she writes
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This is yet another series where I started halfway through, which didn't take away from the story but definitely left me intrigued! Preeti and Daniel were together in college but split for a few different reasons. Due to unforeseen circumstances end up sharing the same apartment. This book has a will they-won't they vibe to it which leaves us wondering where they can go with so much history. Loved this story and the characters and getting to learn more about different cultures. Can't wait to read more by Sajni Patel!

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc for an honest review!
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Perfect for readers interested in second-chance and forced proximity trope romcoms and also for those interested in seeing some diverse characters. The diversity definitely pulled me in and on top of it, an Indian origin heroine with anxiety issues working on her medical residency was refreshing for sure. Especially because anxiety is such a taboo in Indian families till date. Daniel was just too perfect and I have to admit, he just cannot get better at all. 

The thing that kept me hooked in mainly was - I wanted to see how Daniel would react when he finally gets to know the real reason behind their breakup. Preeti also depicted the very specific set of Indian origin second-generation immigrants who have to constantly struggle adapting to two countries/cultures and end up falling short in either case in peoples' judgments. It was finally good that the reason for their breakup was very valid one unlike many others in this genre but I wished to read more of their past to understand how it didn't allow them to move on even after so many years.

Absolutely enjoyed this one and its very interesting characters.. I also felt including very relevant topics was done neatly without going overboard. The ending was proper Bollywood style cheesy but was heartwarming without a doubt!
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Thanks so much for the ARC! 

Wow! I’ll admit it took me a little while to get into First Love, Take Two. I love a good rom-com and I could sort of see where this was going. But I didn’t expect to have “all the feels” which I definitely did.

Preeti comes from a traditional Indian culture. I love all these current books about strong Indian women because I’m learning so much! I really didn’t know of all the loyalty, rules, and expectations built into the culture. As an Indian woman Preeti us expected to succeed, cook, clean, be polite, attend mangir services, and marry Indian. But that list is wildly unrealistic not to mention overwhelming.

Preeti left the love of her life, Daniel, due to cultural differences. He is a black man which was not acceptable for her aunts. They gossiped about her and her parents and made their lives miserable. Daniel comes from a wealthy family and his father tells Preeti she isn’t worthy of him. All of this leads Preeti to leave Daniel even though he had no idea all of this happened.

6 years later Preeti and Daniel end up staying in the same apartment while their lives are being sorted out. Preeti is to marry Yuvan, even though the very thought makes her blood run cold. She also is becoming a doctor while battling severe anxiety issues. I loved seeing a main character face a very real issue. Women today are expected to do it all. I can’t imagine the stress of being a doctor mixed with pressure from her relatives to live up to Indian expectations.

Besides for her friends, Daniel is the only person who truly understands Preeti and knows how to help her. The love they have for each other is beautiful and real. But can it withstand their financial and cultural differences? Is love enough? Is it worth it? 

This book had me in tears (and completely obsessed with Daniel). Such a beautiful story with a large dose of reality mixed in. I loved the rawness and honesty!
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Sajni Patel you have done it again. I was so excited to be able to receive an ARC of this book and it lived up to everything I was hoping. Pretti and Daniels relationship is heartfelt and an example of true love. I loved how Patel always tackles difficult topics is a patient yet educational way. I’m excited to see if anymore stories are able to come from this world and continue seeing Patels writing progress !
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“Some days, giving my all wasn’t enough.”

Preeti is put together on the outside, but on the inside, she's under constant pressure.  As chief resident at the hospital, Preeti does it all, including agreeing to an arranged marriage to Yuvan to keep her family happy.  But when the love of her life, Daniel, comes back into the picture temporarily, Preeti's willpower, and heart, will be put to the test as she navigates just what she wants out of life.

I loved The Trouble With Hating You, so its sequel has been high on my radar of anticipated reads.  Even weeks after finishing the book, I am still thinking about it.  First Love, Take Two tackles heavy topics, such as anxiety, racism, and economic gaps with care and compassion.  Preeti faces not only family pressures, she also has to navigate cultural pressures to marry within her race and religion.  This leads Preeti to anxiety and panic attacks.  I thought the mental health rep was realistic and beautifully done.

Preeti and Daniel's story has both forced proximity and only one bed wrapped in a second chance romance.  With her friends pushing Preeti to get closure with Daniel, you can cut the sexual tension with a knife.  While Preeti blames herself for her mother's health issues, Daniel sticks by her side, knowing exactly how to comfort her, but also constantly pushing the envelope to get under Preeti's skin and back into her heart.  Their interactions were laced with raw emotion, all while Preeti is caught between obligation to her parents and tradition and her true feelings.

First Love, Take Two is a fantastic sophomore book and I cannot wait to see where the series goes from here.  I love these characters, this group of friends and how real their stories are.  I loved this book and appreciated how seen I felt through the mental health rep.  

Thank you to Forever and NetGalley for the gifted copy.

⚠️ CW: anxiety, racism, stillbirth 

PS: I hate Yuvan so much.  And you should too.
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Preeti Patel is struggling. At the tail end of her residency, she is overworked and underpaid, and now on top of that, she’s about to lose her place to live. Knowing her predicament, Liya, Preeti’s best friend, offers to let her live in her old apartment. There’s only one issue, Preeti’s ex-boyfriend, Daniel, is living there too. Daniel was the love of Preeti’s life until Preeti suddenly ended things six years ago with no explanation to Daniel. Now forced to live together, Preeti and Daniel must decide if they can put the past behind them or if their worlds are just too different.

First Love, Take Two is the sequel to The Trouble With Hating You, a book I adored when I read it last year. I loved returning to this world and getting to see how things were faring for Liya and some of the other characters from the first book. Though it would be helpful for some of the background, context, it is not necessary to read the first book to enjoy First Love, Take Two.

Told entirely in the first person from Preeti’s perspective, First Love, Take Two is an emotional rollercoaster of a second chance romance. Preeti is such a great character. I love how headstrong Preethi is and how much she takes charge and isn’t afraid to stand up for herself or her family. She is smart and hardworking, and she cares deeply about her patients.

I loved how Patel handled mental health in this book. Preeti suffers from severe anxiety, a taboo topic in the Indian and medical communities. She struggles in solitude, until Daniel comes back into her life, and helps her seek help. I liked Daniel from the beginning, but my favorite parts with him were while he is comforting Preeti during her anxiety attacks. It truly highlighted who he was as a person. 

I highly recommend First Love, Take Two to fans of second chance romance and forced proximity in romance!

Thank you to Forever and Netgalley for the review copy! All opinions are my own.
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