Sarita Sengupta is in her last semester of grad school and has finally realized she doesn’t have a career plan, a girlfriend, or a clear outlook on life. She works as a pastry shop’s head decorator, but is otherwise drifting without direction until a friend’s birthday party ends with her waking up in surprise next to Maritza Quiñones, a pretty ballroom dancer whose cheerful charm and laser focus sets Sarita on a path to making all of the choices she’s been avoiding.
I adored the first half of this book. Like give-it-all0the-stars-in-the-history-of-stars level of adoration. The way Sarita and Maritza meet, the way they dance around each other and fall into this sorta kinda relationship but not because they are both intensely busy. But they make the time and enjoy each other. And everyone is rooting for them and you just WANT them to make it because it’ll make life happy forever and ever if they do. You can tell they’re going to have to work at it but you’re eager to see that happen. Plus we get to see Alex and Craig some more, along with the rest of the Sucre Coeur gang.
Then Sarita’s family problem crept in. I didn’t get why Sarita’s parents let Anjila act like that to Sarita in their presence. Sure, you can’t change how one of your children is influenced when they move away from home. But you sure as heck can let them know you absolutely will not stand for your oldest child to tear down your youngest child regularly. But the parents allowed that behavior for TEN YEARS! When it comes out the real reason behind Anjila’s behavior towards Sarita it made even less sense. When everyone in Sarita’s family coddle Anjila and allowed her to run rampant with her hate they told Sarita her feelings didn’t matter as much and it’s ok Anjila tore her down every single time they saw each other. And that didn’t sit well with me and I was angry along with Sarita. I feel like Sarita far more restraint than I ever would have if something like that happened to me.
And then Maritza’s dancing issues happened. She didn’t talk about her problems with anyone. She kept vital information from Sarita. I can understand why she didn’t want Sarita to leave her over it, Maritza should have given Sarita more credit. Had they sat down and had an actual conversation about it they would have been on the same page and worked towards where Sarita made the same decision she did in the end. When it got to the point Nicky acted the way he did, Maritza should have gone to someone-Fred or her mom maybe?-for helo. Maritza let Nicky go too far too long. I was so proud of Fred and Maritza when they finally put Nicky in his place. It should have happened far sooner, but I cheered when it did.
I struggled to understand why they both wouldn’t confide in each other with their problems. Sure, you don’t want to be all problems all the time at the start of a relationship, and you don’t want to be seen as crazy either. But I’m not comfortable with the notion of not talking to your partner at all because it’s “too soon”. However I did like they both bowed to work on it in the future. They both realized they needed to talk more and share their troubles so they don’t become bigger problems that will break them apart.
In the end I wanted more and better from these two. I do have faith they’re going to try harder going forward. They’re going to work hard to have their relationship ensure the struggles of distance and crazy things life throws in their path. I would love to see more from them to know how they’re doing and how they work. I’m hoping for more books in the series so we can see the Sucre Coeur gang again. I would love to see more of them get happy endings they so justly deserve.
Three and a half
I’m quite excited to have Maritza stop by today. She’s here to talk a bit about what she likes to do on her days off. Though she doesn’t get many days off she uses them pretty wisely. Read and enjoy!
What kind of…what? I like to sleep, who is even…
Oh, sorry. What are you saying? Introduce myself? I guess that would make sense.
I mean, I don’t even know who I’m talking to. Who’s out there?
Okay, okay. Pushy much? I’m Maritza. Just Maritza. Maybe we can be friends later and we’ll talk nicknames. We’ll see.
So listen. You ask me what I enjoy doing on my day off. Well, I’ll tell you, I don’t really get much in the way of days off. I’m a ballroom dancer, so that’s the number one use of my time. We’re talking hours, right, hours of me strapped into high heels and twirled around and flung over shoulders and the whole time, I am smiling because that’s part of the practice. Yeah. I have to practice smiling. Anyway, that’s all exhausting.
It’s also not cheap. I mean sure, sometimes there’s prize money in competing. But I have costumes to sew – do you even know how much good knockoff Swarovski crystals cost? Knockoff! It’s insane. But yeah, costumes, and shoes, and lessons, and the hair product alone, you don’t know. It all costs money. That means j-o-b JOB, my friend. If I’m not in the studio, I’m at this pizzeria I’ve been working at for a few years. The pay’s not bad, and I like my coworkers. It’s actually a fun place to work. But tossing pizza dough and waiting tables isn’t really restful, either.
There are 168 hours in a week. Figure I try and fail to sleep 56 of those hours, maybe. Then I commute 20 or so of them – my brother Javier doesn’t always share the car, and buses aren’t that fast – and I have to eat, and help out around the house, and try to squeeze in socializing time. Oh, and hygiene, I mean, I sweat a lot with the dancing, and I like to be cute, so that all takes time.
So yeah. On my day off, I enjoy doing nothing, mostly sleeping some more because eight hours a night during my normal week is something that only happens if I’m lucky.
But I just met someone, and I like her a lot. So maybe I can find some time in my days off to hang with her. Hope so.
Hey, this wasn’t bad. Thanks for having me around today!
You can call me Mari.
“I met someone.”
Devesh makes a happy little humming noise. “Reeti, that’s great.”
“Yeah. It is. She is. I mean, so far. I met her last night.” Not for the first time, Sarita wishes she’d had a land line put in. She could use the coiled phone cord to fiddle with right now. “We had dinner tonight.”
“That’s really fantastic.” Devesh is smiling, she knows, and she hears him put a hand over the phone to tell Sunil. “Sunil says that’s great, too. Tell me about her?”
“Um,” She plucks at her laptop charging cable, winding it around and between her fingers. “Well, her name is Maritza. She’s hot, and she’s funny, and she’s a ballroom dancer who seems to actually know what she wants to do with her life, and now I’ve got a complex.”
“Reeti,” Devesh sighs, and he tsks. “Come on, don’t think like that. You’re great. You don’t need to have a complex.”
“Eight years of college and I don’t know what I want to do with my life. You come on.” Shaking the coiled cable off of her fingers, she picks it back up and starts twisting it again. “She’s known what she wants since she was nine. When I was nine I wanted a Tamagotchi, which I couldn’t even manage to keep alive for more than a week at a time.”
“Okay, the only person we knew who was successful with their Tamagotchi was that Brian Michaelson kid from down the street,” Devesh says. “The rest of us all sucked at it. I wouldn’t go around using it as a yardstick to measure your life’s ambition by.” His voice softens. “Don’t worry about it, Reeti. You’re doing fine. You want to study philosophy, so you’re doing it. Figure everything else out later. And Jesus, don’t judge yourself by someone else you just met.”
Sarita leans on her hand, running her fingers into her hair. “It’s been a long day.”
“I guess so.” The sounds of Devesh settling in against a pile of pillows rustle down the line. “So. Funny, hot, and a ballroom dancer, huh? She sounds like a keeper.”
Sarita leans back in her chair, and suddenly she’s smiling again, her paper and her existential crisis forgotten. “Early days, but… you know, I definitely want to see her again. And again…”
The butterflies take flight.
Lissa Reed is a writer of fiction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her first composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary fiction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Certainly, Possibly, You is the second book in Reed’s Sucre Coeur series.
Connect with Lissa Reed at lissareed.com; on Tumblr at http://lissareedbooks.tumblr.com/; on Twitter @LissaReedBooks; on Goodreads at http://goodreads.com/LissaReedBooks and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorlissareed
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