Picture Perfect – ARC Book Review

Title:- Picture Perfect

Author:- Jeevani Charika

Date published:- will be published on 21st October 2022

Publisher:- HQ

Genre:- Romance


Plot:- 4/5

Writing:- 4/5

Overall rating:- 4/5

Niro is a photographer who’s lost the joy of taking photos. Burned by a bad break-up, she’s in desperate need of inspiration.

Vimal is determined to win back his ex-girlfriend. When he hears she’s bringing her new boyfriend on a group holiday, he impulsively declares that he’s bringing a plus one too.

Their mutual friends have the perfect solution: Niro can pretend to be Vimal’s new girlfriend and join the holiday. Imagine the incredible photographs she could take in the Swiss alps…

She’s not thinking about love. He’s thinking about someone else. Can they fake a picture-perfect relationship – or will real feelings get in the way?

Nirosha known as “Niro” is a photographer, dealing with a bad-breakup. Vimal is a banker who is also dealing with a break-up with his girlfriend Kerry and was determined to get back together with Kerry. A retreat organized by Vimal’s boss and having heard that Kerry has gotten a new boyfriend and moving on, Vimal didn’t really want to go to the retreat alone. Then he meets Niro and together with Niro he goes to the retreat pretending to be dating with each other.

Fake dating has become a common trope in many of the romance novels I have read. However, this was different–as both Niro and Vimal are Sri Lankan-British with the Sri Lankan culture fused into the story. So me, being a Sri Lankan is very special to me. I do like how the author had managed to make the story as realistic as possible, the fact that in many Sri Lankan culture, colorism is very important i.e. if you are dark skinned, chances of finding a future husband is grim (if it is arranged marriage that is). There were some parts that were slightly boring but there were some funny parts as well. The story was also predictable particularly the ending, as most romance do have a predictable ending. However, I actually enjoyed reading this book a lot. I also like how the personalities between Niro and Vimal are so very different–one friendly, one serious and did like how the romance developed between the two. I did like the epilogue part.

If you like to read romance book with fake dating trope with Sri Lankan culture blended in it, then this one is for you–worth four stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and HQ for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Hi. It’s nice to meet you, I’m Jeevani, but you can call me Jeev. Everyone does.

I write women’s fiction and contemporary romances with a hint of British cynicism. I also write under the pen name Rhoda Baxter. So why the two names? Well… I’m British Sri-Lankan and the first book I wrote was about a bunch of middle class Sri Lankan people. I couldn’t find a home for it (even though I got some very nice rejection notes). The next book I wrote was a rom com with white main characters in it. That found a publisher within a year. I chose to use a pen name for those books, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that my real name is difficult to spell and difficult to pronounce and marks me out as non-white. My fifth book also had Sri Lankan main characters. It hasn’t found a publisher yet.

Recently, I got to write a book with Sri Lankan heroine. So it seemed only right for that book to be under my difficult to spell, difficult to pronounce name.

For the record, it’s pronounced Jeev-uh-nee.

There’s a whole lot of other stuff I could tell you – but mainly, I’m a former scientist, a fan of Lego, an embarrassing mum, a part time geek (see ’embarrassing mum’) and a very short person.

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