Realistic Fiction, Romance

Will Roadtrip for Books

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

I love a good romance, and I took the recommendation of Emily Hall, owner of a local indie bookshop called Main Street books, when I picked up this week’s book: When Dimple Met Rishi

Dimple Shah yearns to make a name for herself as a computer coder. As an eighteen year old Indian, however, Dimple’s parents have a very different plan for her future. Her mother seems desperate to see her only daughter immediately married and pregnant so she can gossip about her grandchildren with friends. While the Shahs agreed to let Dimple go to Stanford to major in coding, they consider it the perfect place for Dimple to shop for a husband. As a result, Dimple is agog when her parents actually agree to let her attend an elite coding camp called Insomnia Con at San Francisco State University during the summer before she starts at Stanford. Little does Dimple know, her parents have already been husband shopping for her.

Rishi Patel prides himself on being the good son. In his Indian household, he respects his parents and values their wisdom. When they choose Dimple Shah as a possible marriage match for him, he’s excited and eager to please his parents. When Rishi meets Dimple at Insomnia Con, he assumes she’s eager to get to know him, too, but their first interaction ends quickly with Dimple throwing a coffee at Rishi. Oops.

Dimple and Rishi are forced to team up to submit an app concept for Insomnia Con, and as the couple gets to know each other, sparks definitely fly. But Dimple begins to question whether she has room in her life for a successful career AND a relationship with Rishi, especially since he’s so content to please his parents. Rishi’s talents as an artist are obvious. Why, then, would he choose to study engineering?

Overall, a top-notch book with fresh, diverse characters. I loved learning about Indian food, culture and customs as I read this book. Dimple and Rishi are both relatable and have a love story that will make anyone say, “Awwwwwww!”

Will Roadtrip for Books

I considered several possible #plotdrivenlife experiences for this book including taking a self-paced coding class and throwing a coffee on someone (just kidding!). I decided to search for a bookstore-restaurant like Two Sisters Bar and Restaurant, the setting of Dimple and Rishi’s “non-date.” I loved this scene in the book because there is palpable chemistry between the characters, but they are still trying to figure out each other. Rishi, being the sweetie he is, arranges to have several sentimental books placed on their reserved table for Dimple to peruse. Swoon!

So, I figured it wouldn’t be hard to find several local restaurant-bookstores to choose from. Not true. In fact, I couldn’t even find any non-chain coffeeshop-bookstores near me! Since I was taking a road trip to Cincinnati to celebrate my friend Jaime’s birthday, I decided to move my search for a restaurant-bookstore to her neck of the woods. With her help, we found Roebling Point Books and Coffee in Newport, Kentucky. It is a magical place. While it’s not a restaurant, shoppers can enjoy coffee and treats while browsing an eclectic, cozy bookshop. It’s truly one of a kind, and I could happily live there! From the inscription on the fireplace to the chalkboard art on the exterior walls and the recycled church pews in the community room, If I lived closer, I’d hang out at this place all the time.

I love this picture of Jaime trying to decide which book to buy.
One of Roebling Point’s inviting spaces. Couldn’t you just move right in?

Jaime, her mom and I did stop by another bookstore with a connected restaurant called Joseph-Beth Booksellers. While this is a chain bookstore, it is one of my favorite places to visit in Cincinnati, and its attached Bronte Bistro doesn’t suck. I think it’s frowned upon to bring unpaid merchandise into the bistro, but you can enjoy delicious food while gazing longingly into the bookstore, so I won’t complain. It’s the next best thing to Two Sisters.

My delicious tomato-mozzarella panini and pear salad from Bronte Bistro.

Do you know of any restaurant-bookstores I should know about? I’m always game for a roadtrip!

Happy reading,
~Kelly

 

 

 

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