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The Marriage Code The Marriage Code is a great debut that is immersed in Indian culture has a strong female character in STEM and is a charming romance with an enemies to lovers trope that readers will fall in love withEmma is a strong independent woman who is dedicated to her job She is smart and shows that a woman can dominate in the STEM world She has been in a relationship for a while and when her boyfriend proposes she declines She uestions whether she was truly in love or just comfortable with the idea of being in a relationship After the breakup she focuses even on her project and lands the promotion she has been wanting But that means she will have to work with her nemesis RishiRishi is a programmer that is hoping to make big changes for his future He wants to land the promotion and be the lead for taking project Helix and turning it into an app And he is facing pressure from his parents to find a wife that fits all of their criteria When he learns that Emma got the promotion he he doesn't really want anything to do with projectEmma knows that she needs Rishi so she makes him a proposal; join the team in exchange for Emma finding him a wife with her marriage code algorithm They team up and agree to make the most of it Their job takes them to India which is Rishi homeland They really make a great team and as they work together it was so nice to see their chemistry build They begin to develop feelings and act on them How could their feelings be so strong in such a short amount of timeThings progress and yet Emma and Rishi know that it will be difficult for a future because of Rishi's plan's to marry an Indian woman like his parents Will Rishi ever stand up to his parents for love Can Emma handle another heartbreakI was so excited to read this book for many reasons I love an enemies to lovers trope and I always like learning about different cultures Brooke Burroughs wrote one great debut I loved her writing style The build up was so worth the waitI give The Marriage Code 5 stars This story is perfect for romance readers who enjoy an unexpected romance and a strong female lead character After reading the author's bio you can tell that she wrote this based on her own experiences in the STEM world and working in India She tied in her experiences and wrote such a charming romance I look forward to reading from this author in the future In Brooke Burroughs’s endearing debut novel set in vibrant India enemies turned allies encounter obstacles in an unexpected multicultural romance only to discover that in the end love is loveEmma has always lived her life according to a plan But after turning down her boyfriend’s proposal everything starts to crumble In an effort to save the one thing she cares about—her job—she must recruit her colleague Rishi to be on her development teamonly she may or may not have received the position he was promised She didRishi cannot believe that he got passed over for promotion To make matters worse not only does his job reuire him to return home to Bangalore with his nemesis Emma but his parents now expect him to choose a bride and get married So when Emma makes him an offer—join her team and she’ll write an algorithm to find him the perfect bride—he reluctantly acceptsNeither of them expect her marriage code to work so well—or to fall for one another—which leads Emma and Rishi to wonder if leaving fate up to formulas is really an euation for lasting love Burroughs weaves a realistic yet romantic tale of two characters who appear opposite in nearly every way and yet so compatible Rishi and Emma are both great protagonists that you can’t helped but root for India is presented in loving detail and with such passion you’d be hard pressed to not feel Emma’s excitement at every ‘adventure’ Burroughs’ debut is a solid offering and I’ll be looking for from her in the future 4 starsI highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good RomCom Emma is a very organized career driven and structured woman After she ends up turning down her boyfriend’s proposal things start to get messy But at least she has her job She is told to recruit Rishi a new colleague that transferred branches to be on her new App development team However Rishi was told that he was going to be the leader of the app development team not Emma What he thought was going to be his big promotion becomes butting heads with Emma If things could not get any worse they figure out the development team will be relocated to Bangalore India His hometown Where his parents are expecting him to find a wife and get married very soon Emma tries to talk Rishi in joining her team even though he was supposed to be leading it but telling him she will help him find a wife for himGreat read just wish it was a little shorter I felt like it was stretched out a bit Thank you Publishers for the complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review Sweet and laidbackFor me this is the kind of debut that starts out strong then loses steam along the way It's a true romance complete with an enemies to lovers style relationship and some lighthearted friction It's got closed door intimate scenes and just a touch of sexiness yet still feels like a modern love story I really enjoyed getting to know both characters and the story will completely immerse the reader into Indian culture Where this falters for me is the heavy heavy focus on that Indian culture Rishi is searching for the perfect parent approved bride for the vast majority of the story and it gets extremely detailed There's a point where enough was enough and the details became boring but I also loved the uniueness There's a fine line between the twoThe story follows Rishi a man returning to his home of India after working in the States for years Rishi has largely separated from his traditional upbringing but after seeing how his brother's marriage to a non parent approved woman tore the family apart he's decided to go back to his roots in a lot of ways He's looking for the perfect traditional Indian wife and using a search engine he developed to do so The problem His new co worker a red headed American who stole his job invaded his life and seems to hold all of his interestI had every intention of rating this higher because I actually did like a lot of the story But it just dragged SO MUCH in the middle The focus becomes very much about India their food and culture before slowly transitioning back into the romance During the middle Rishi also just bugged me like crazy with his determination to please his parents That took some of the sparkle out of this love story but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy a lot of it Ultimately this is a very promising debut It's got the laidback kinda sweet vibe that you'd expect from the cover it remains clean for the most part and it was pretty charming Travel lovers will appreciate all of the detail and modern romance lovers will fall for the characters A Book You Want to Like ButThis debut novel has gotten good buzz and the book itself is at least in part based on the author's experience as an American woman working in India in IT fun to have a STEM heroine based in reality that part does come across well and as someone who married an Indian man some of which is supposedly depicted in the book However the book suffers from flaws typical of debut novels even though according to the acknowledgments she has worked with a host of people to shape this book including those at her publisher and her critiue writing partners I was turned off right away by the info dumping that starts the book; seriously that is the first thing a publisher should prune That's just always a big turnoff for me A skilled writer—as we assume one who got a book contract from a publisher should be—should weave that information into the book proper instead of trying to tell us everything she deemed important for us to know right at the start I also thought the book had issues with pacing It is a long book nearly 400 pages but it starts off glacially slow Things pick up and even out a little once she gets to India but at times even in that part unimportant details and conversations slowed the story's pace But then the end feels rushed Despite the massive team she had she didn't seem to have the people who would help her shape this somewhat amorphous mass of a book into a better one—nor did she have that knowledge herself By the way there's also profanity in this book including the F bomb I don't like to see profanity in any book and I honestly think that authors should warn about this in their book descriptions so those of us who don't like to be exposed to such things in their reading material don't have to be Unfortunately did not include the Look Inside ability for any of December's First Reads as I certainly would not have chosen this book if I had seen the info dumps and profanity 45 stars Debugging their relationship Emma has been put in the unenviable position of recruiting as lead developer for her team the man who had been promised the supervisory position she was given  Needless to say they don't start out their relationship with enthusiastic warm fuzziesSo Emma works out a deal with Rishi to help design a matchmaker program to find him the perfect bride and get his parents off his backThis was a fun romance though a little longer than average with the added pleasure of an Indian setting which was so wonderfully descriptive that I'm now ready to explore Indian cuisine beyond chicken curry lol  The author notes in her bio that she herself spent time working a STEM job in India along with marrying a coworker she met there and she demonstrates a clear as well as amusing and freuently affectionate familiarity with the cultureEmma Rishi are sympathetic relatable and the premise of their story is readily believable  Rishi's developing relationship with Emma is further complicated by his family's expectations but then the whole point of his efforts was to avoid letting his parents pick his bride for him where will he put his foot down  It's a romance so we know it will be at our heroine's side but it's an entertaining journey getting thereRomance level passionate kisses secular attitudes about sex a couple sleeps together but no graphic detailsLanguage moderate but does also include about 15 uses of the f wordReligion some very minor discussion of religious beliefs but the story is secular; Use of the Lord's Name carelessly ie in vain sadly unnecessarily but not as curses at least fwiw ✨Review✨Thank you so much publishing for the free ARC of “The Marriage Code” to review Readers can grab a copy on 1121 “In Brooke Burroughs’s endearing debut novel set in vibrant India enemies turned allies encounter obstacles in an unexpected multicultural romance only to discover that in the end love is love” Oh how I love Emma and Rishi These two characters were just wonderful Both are so intelligent witty and uniue I’m already wishing there was another story featuring them The book is largely set in India and I loved it There is so much that this book teaches you about arranged marriages food and culture in India Experiencing India through Emma’s eyes is the best because her awe inspires Rishi to find a newfound love for his country The book is over 400 pages long and my one and only complaint would be that I felt the ending was a bit rushed Everything came together so uickly at the end and since it is a bit of a long book I wanted a little time spent on the ending Overall really loved this read though If you’re looking to give a debut romance a try next year then please consider picking this one up 45 ⭐️ I'll read pretty much anything set in India but this one wasn't for me I'm not a fan of chick lit and no amount of banging on about programming code and apps could hide that there's not a lot of substance to this novel Nothing happens that's in the slightest bit unpredictableThe book perhaps suffers for being based on the author's own experience of falling in love with an Indian guy When reality gets in the way writers too often over describe stuff the book full of things relevant to them but just dull and unnecessary to the plot I thought it would be a uick romp through a light book but it was so dull that I really had to force myself to get through this one as the second half really dragged All you'll learn about Bangalore which is a pretty boring city as far as Indian cities go is there's lots of food and lots of traffic Not exactly incitefulUnless you love this sort of thing give it a miss Very charming story about Emma and Rishi who discover love amidst the competitive world of tech design and the difficulties of a cross cultural relationship Don’t read this when you are hungry the depictions of the food alone will send you rushing for a snack or a great cup of coffee Enjoyable even if a little predictable A perfect read to relax and unwind with

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