Cover Image: First Love, Take Two

First Love, Take Two

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Member Reviews

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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Second chance romances are my kryptonite. I'll pretty much always say yes to reviewing them because there's something about that romance trope that I absolutely love. But sometimes, I don't read enough about the book so I don't realize it's part of a series and then a whole bunch of other things let me down and then I don't like a book. *heaves large sigh* It's a sad, sad day when that happens but, unfortunately, it does occur. That was the case with First Love, Take Two by Sajni Patel, which just released last week. I wanted to love it. I really did. Alas, it was a struggle to get through.

Here's the book's description:
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?
First off, this is the second book in Patel's The Trouble with Hating You series (side note: anyone notice that a lot of rom com series just get named after the first book?). Normally, it's not a huge deal to have not read the previous book in a series like this. They're (supposed to be) more of a companion novel where each book is about a different friend/family member and there are small references to the previous story but nothing that would confuse the reader. I didn't get that with this book. Something MAJOR happened with Liya in the first book and I couldn't really get a good sense of it - it was like it was just alluded to and I was expected to know and Patel wasn't giving any extra info to those who hadn't read the first book. Because of this, I couldn't understand some of the feelings and motivations the characters had in the second book. 

Because I was annoyed at this being a second book and feeling like I wasn't getting all the information I should have, it took longer than I'd like to admit to get used to reading about a culture outside of my own. Normally, this isn't much of an issue for me. I always have to shift my mindset but I'm never outright annoyed like I almost was this time. It can be hard for me, a white, non-religious person, to understand a culture that is based around prayer and respecting elders no matter how terrible they may be. And some of the elders in Preeti's life were horrendous and were acting like catty high school girls. Not a good look. But again, they were being atrocious, in part, because of whatever had happened to Liya so I was a bit lost (but no less furious on Preeti's behalf, I'll say that). 

As for the romance...Preeti spent so much time fighting her feelings and avoiding even talking to Daniel that I wasn't really sure why they had been together in the first place. Did they actually love each other? Does she even like him or just feel like jumping into bed with him? Can they actually talk to each other for crying out loud and discuss why Preeti left? There were SO MANY things they were both keeping hidden and it was infuriating as they just ignored the elephant in the room and didn't address the why of their break up and tried to move past it. Spoiler alert: you have to address all issues before you can have your Happily Ever After.

So...no. First Love, Take Two was not a winner for me. There was too much that just didn't work for me in Sajni Patel's latest novel that meant I couldn't enjoy reading it. I don't think I'll be picking up anything she writes next but I know many others love her books. To each their own, I say!

*An egalley of this novel was provided by the Canadian distributor, HBG Canada, via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*
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This is truly an emotional love story that gripped me so hard into my feels. As a multi-racial American, growing up around people who told me my race (or mix of) wasn’t dating material, that someone would rather date someone who’s Asian because their parents told them instead of me, who’s only half, was really disheartening. And I felt seen in this book, with both Preeti and Daniel not feeling like they’re good enough for their families. If you like emotional love stories with raw characters showing their most vulnerable selves, you will enjoy this book.
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This was a really great book. It was so great to have a smart female lead and to have a male love interest who was more than happy to pick up the "traditional female" roles of cooking and being the supportive partner to help her. 

This book has such a great representation of anxiety. It was lovely to watch a character take steps to get the help she needs and to see her be able to ask her ex to sit with her, and for him to agree, because they know the importance and what a huge step this is. It was also lovely to see her start to share this message of getting help and accepting that it's ok to ask for what you need with her mom.

This book was fun and touching and full of great characters. It's a really great read.
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After reading The Trouble With Hating you this past month, I knew I needed to get my hands on this. I was not disappointed to say the least. Patel’s spotlight on mental health, toxic collectivism, racism, hymen enthusiasts, and duty in the south Asian community was spot on - there are definitely people in my real life I could fancast as these characters.  
The portrayal of Preeti and Daniel’s relationship throughout the years, with and without each other, only emphasized how the two are meant for one and other. From being college grads lost in their love with one and other, making rash decisions, itching to find their place in the world, in comparison to now, when they have matured and found their own footing in how to handle hard situations. 
As a first-generation, south Asian daughter myself, I felt for Preeti cause the positions she had been put in are ones that those who share her identity, will understand all too well. Preeti is faced with finding balance in doing what’s best for herself while also being conscious of those her decisions affect, taking on the expectation of ensuring her parents had a child they were proud of, and making a new path for herself as opposed to a traditional one. As the reader follows her through each obstacle, there is no way they won’t find themselves rooting for her.
And Daniel… DANIEL. The man’s emotional literacy had me eager to find out how he would react to each hiccup in both his and Preeti’s lives. If he had his own POV, I know it would just be spent gushing over Preeti. Also, THAT sketch - talk about a new bar for men. 
This book is a solid 4.5 out of 5. The two things I had trouble with was 1.) the pacing of events - everything was happening so fast I felt like a couple of situations could have been explored a little more and 2.) the reasoning for their initial breakup - I definitely can’t say more without spoilers, but it seemed weird that those were “consequences” the couple didn’t consider before. 
Overall this was an incredibly fun read that I will definitely be suggesting to friends who want to both read something sweet while feeling entirely seen.
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I had to DNF this book. It read like an insiders club that i wasn't privy too. I was frustrated that it kept illudiding at events that weren't on page. I gave it a good shot, like 35% before i gave up. I couldn't connect to any of the characters.
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This book was so adorable! It was my first time reading Sajni Patel and it did not disappoint. I thought the way the book handled real life issues that are dealt with in relationships was really well done. Preeti suffers from anxiety, and it was so interesting to explore that aspect of her relationships. A partner can either help or make it so much worse depending on how they act. Preeti is also part of a big, traditional Indian family where everyone knows everything about each other. I loved learning about her culture and how she held her own against the gossip mill. Overall this was a cute second chance romance full of chemistry and tension between the characters. But don’t come looking for steam, it’s very much a fade to black kind of story.
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ARC provided by netgalley in exchange of an honest review. 

This second chance romance was a complete disappointment and utterly unforgettable. It's the second book in a romantic series and while I had not read the previous book I decided to give this one a chance because the plot was really intriguing. While I understood their background as a couple and as individuals perfectly, there's definitely a sense of being dropped midway through a series as the author dedicates a lot of time to reminiscing about their past dynamics as a couple without giving us new flashbacks instead deciding to tell us how perfect they were together. Thus, I could never really get invested in their relationship because while they were supportive of each other and shared cute moments most of the time was spent crying over the past. 

My main issue with this romance is the author's writing style, it's not something I enjoy and I couldn't enjoy the story itself because of it. The way the inner narration of the main character is written feels very exaggerated and not authentic, I also had a personal issue of the exclamation marks because it just read weird to me. Aside from that, the way the issues of racism and the cheating that the main character did to her fiancee with Daniel as well as her confrontation of aunts was very rushed and was not dealt with in an appropriate manner and thus left me unsatisfied with the resolution. Everything felt superficial and the main character just kept ignoring the issues around her and while she did grow as a person it became kind of annoying to see how she could never verbalize anything. 

The characters were not likeable, their relationship was not believable, the writing style was not to my taste, their ending was again too rushed. I wouldn't read from this author again. 

So, why did I give it 2 stars? Well, I didn't hate it and at times enjoyed how Daniel took care of Pree. They had some cute moments but it didn't save the book for me.
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I am not going to lie this book was HEAVY. Way heavier than my typical romance. my biggest feeling coming out of this book is waiting for the romance to take center stage. I think it took a backseat to family drama and mental health issues. I would have loved to feel more angst between main characters. I enjoyed the cultural aspect of the book though!
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