First Comes Like is the third companion novel in Alisha Rai’s Modern Love series.
In this installment we follow Jia Ahmed, roommate of Rhiannon and Katrina, the stars of the first two novels.
Jia is a successful Beauty Influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers. Having been in that space for quite a few years, it is starting to feel stale for her. She dreams of one day owning her own make-up company.
She’s so focused on her career that it surprises her when she starts to fall for a man who begins DMing her.
The man in question is Dev Dixit, a successful actor from a powerful Bollywood family. They’re basically royalty.
Dev has recently moved to the United States to try to take his career in a different direction. He wants to be free from the shadow of his family; to forge his own path.
When Jia hears of a party she knows Dev will be at, she decides it is finally time for them to meet in person. They have been messaging for so long, but when she mentions meeting, he generally redirects the conversation.
Jia is ready to take matters into her own hands, but when she approaches Dev at the party, he acts like he has no idea who she is.
Jia is horrified and embarrassed. She flees the party like Cinderella at the ball, leaving a dumbfounded Dev in her wake.
From there we watch as the truth behind Jia and Dev’s online interactions comes to light.
When the tabloids begin covering their relationship, portraying it in a more intimate way than is true, the two develop a scheme to save face.
Thus an adorable Fake Dating trope develops. Bringing both of their families into the fray, ups the stakes for both Jia and Dev.
I know I’m in the minority opinion, but this was actually my favorite in the series.
I found it so refreshing to read a Romance following a different cultural perspective than my own. I loved all the characters and arc of Jia and Dev’s relationship. It left me swooning.
I really enjoyed both Jia and Dev’s perspectives and again, appreciated how Rai portrays her characters working through real-life issues with family, career and even self-confidence.
I think it makes her characters feel more complex, real and easy to relate to. I have felt that way with all three books in this series.
As far as the steam factor goes, there’s not much here; some, but not a lot. I feel like if you go into this, seeing Alisha Rai’s name on the cover, and think the steam train is about to roll into the station, you may be disappointed.
However, if you arrive looking for great character work and are willing to sit back and soak up the feels as an adorable intimacy is built outside of the bedroom, you could enjoy this as much as I did!
The audiobook is fantastic as well, definitely recommend that. In short, this was great. I really enjoyed my time spent with this story.
I would absolutely pick up future works from Rai!