Rating: 4 stars
Natasha is a badass boss. Just how badass? She can make a grown man cry, whip a team into shape, meet her targets – and she won’t take any bullshit, period. Of course, getting the job done is never enough for a woman in a man’s world. When it’s time for her promotion, she’s passed over for Rishabh – a smarmy rake who apparently has ‘people skills’. He knows just how to push her buttons and it’s driving her up the wall. Then there’s the very serious Nikhil, whose quiet self-assurance and distracting dimple only seem to complicate things at the office. With a crotchety old neighbour, an unrelenting friend and a tumultuous family history in the mix, Natasha is suddenly beginning to find that everything she’s ignored in the pursuit of success is coming back to haunt her.
But don’t worry. She’s bringing her A-game. She always does.
This is the first time I’ve ever read an office romance, so to say, and the first time reading a book by Yashodhara Lal. I didn’t know what to expect considering I usually stick to YA books, but this book ended up making me want to read more of this genre. I actually finished this book on a Sunday, because the story and writing were such that I was reluctant to put it down at all.
This book is about Natasha, a 35-year old Sales Head for whom, work is first and foremost, and rest takes a backseat. In the first two parts of the book, her life seems to be straight and narrow, and her hard working nature seems to push away anyone who gets close to her. She’s sarcastic, negative, pessimistic, and not a very likable character, and that’s just what grabbed my attention. The fact that she isn’t candy coated, all strawberries and vanilla. She doesn’t take any bullshit or excuses when it comes to her job, and is headstrong, earning the moniker ‘Hitler’ from her juniors, and seems to be the Grinch who stole Christmas. She’s interested in results, and following hard and fast rules, without giving much heed to how her co workers feel about her or her methods.
These qualities of hers are what drive people away. The first two parts of the story highlight how her lonely her life is to people who observe, such as the reader, but she’s adamant that she needs nothing and no one, which leads to her alienating everyone close to her, such a her best friend Priya.
However, she does have a soft side to her which comes out when she interacts with Nikhil, who her colleague and a single father, and his daughter, Tisha. One thing I loved about Natasha was the no-nonsense way she dealt with the situations that came with being single and successful at 35.This book made me laugh out loud multiple times at the way Natasha viewed the world around her, her sarcastic observations, such as that of the ‘Chopra fossil from downstairs,’ whom she eventually opens up towards, and her ‘I need no one’ mantra.
“We come alone and we go alone.”
This book also touches upon some issues faced by women such as Natasha herself in the workplace, such as sexual harassment, and the constant power play between her and the new boss, Rishabh, who is seen as better suited for leadership by their colleagues. This is a mainly feminist novel about an independent working woman, which I thought was inspiring. One thing that I’m confused about is the fact that she did nothing about the advances made towards her, which would be considered sexual harassment. It just doesn’t seem like Natasha’s character to let that go after a page of contemplation.
All in all, I absolutely enjoyed this book and found myself immersed in Natasha’s world and the author’s easy narrative style for a few hours until the book finished. I’d absolutely recommend this to anyone who wants a light and entertaining read. I, personally, can’t wait to read the rest of the author’s books.
Thank you for reading this review!
- Pages: 294
- Published in and by: 2016, Harlequin, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
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(Disclaimer: All views and opinions in this review are my own and unbiased)