Is there any better feeling than the one you get when your phone signals an email, and you check it and it says, “Your library book has automatically been downloaded to your account”??? This is the second time this year that I’ve gasped, loudly, in sheer, unadulterated excitement due to one of those emails. I’d been on the waiting list for Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder (published by Suleikha Snyder, 2018) for…probably over a month, although it was on my TBR list for longer than that. I never mind waiting for library books; it makes me happy that other people are reading and enjoying the book as well, but I was reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally looking forward to this. So when it showed up in my email, I had to squee more than a little!
Pinky Grover came home to work in her family’s middle-of-nowhere Indian restaurant when her mother got sick, but now that Mom is better, Pinky is…still there. She bides her time fantasizing bout bad boy Trucker Carrigan, head of the dangerous Eagles motorcycle gang, who comes in constantly to eat with his crew at the restaurant and make eyes at Pinky. On the surface, they’ve got nothing in common and both of them know they should stay away from the other, but the chemistry between them is incendiary. Trucker’s not quite what he seems, and after Pinky figures out his secret, she’s even more all-in, even though she knows the only destination for the two of them is heartbreak in the extreme. Trucker and Pinky ride it out (literally…) as far as their fledgling relationship can go, but when the time comes to say goodbye, how can either of them move on?
Whew, this is spicy and delicious! (Much like my favorite local Indian restaurant, which I haven’t been too in far too long and where I could eat every single day of my life. Indian food is my favorite of all the cuisines.) This is about as far away from a chaste romance as you can get, so choose something else if you prefer that genre. Pinky as a character is an absolute delight; she’s dutiful to her parents but still determined to be her own person and live her own life. Her goals are, for now, on hold, but she hasn’t abandoned them. Trucker (whose real name is Tyson), is an enigma with a surprisingly enchanting center, a not-*quite*-so-bad boy with a heart of steamy, molten-lava sexiness. They’re two people from two entirely different worlds, but Suleikha Snyder has crafted some scorching chemistry between the two of them, and Pinky and Trucker are instantly believable as a couple.
Ms. Snyder has absolutely gained another fan with Tikka Chance on Me. I’m so looking forward to reading more from her. Not only do I admire her writing, she’s so open and honest on Twitter about suffering from anxiety and depression. There have been a few conversations lately between different writers, talking about their struggles, and, as someone who has dealt with lifelong anxiety as well as bouts of major depression that started when I was thirteen (which went mostly ignored by my family, since it was 1993 and no one really knew what to do about such a problem where I lived at that time), seeing people discuss their issues so openly is still such a balm to my soul. I hate that Ms. Snyder has to deal with this, but I’m so, so grateful that she uses her voice to heighten awareness and make others, including me, feel not so alone. It really does help.
To sum it up, Tikka Chance on Me combines the sweet and the spicy in a way that will warm every last cell in your body, and leave you craving both more from the author as well as a plate or twenty of tikka masala (make mine tofu, please).