6 Swoon-Worthy Desi Romance Books That Are A Must-Read This Monsoon


One of the best things that booktok and bookstagram has done is make the conversation about books more diverse and inclusive. Gone are the days where every book recommended to us had white characters with relationships, problems and tropes that many found hard to relate to. Not that we didn’t devour those books, but still. You get my point.

And then came Desi Booktok, with its distinctly Indian aesthetic and stories that could give Bollywood scriptwriters a run for their money. Sure, Indian writers had been writing good books for quite some time, but only a handful few got any kind of recognition.

Desi booktok changed all of that, and now there’s no dearth of Indian books for you to choose from. Especially when it comes to romance. But before you rush to insta for your book equivalent of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, check out these Desi Romance recommendations.

Dating Dr. Dil


Of course I had to put Dating Dr. Dil right at the top of this list. Nisha Sharma’s romcom has everything: enemies to lovers, fake dating, a Taylor Swift playlist, desi aunties being nosy – you name it. The book follows Kareena Mann, a 30-year-old single lawyer who is hopelessly in love with the idea of love, and Prem Verma, a marriage counselor-cum-TV show host who doesn’t believe in love. After their heated debate goes viral, the two find themselves matched with each other against their wishes, till they realise that there’s more to their relationship than just mutual hate.

Kismat Connection

Let’s get this straight. This is NOT the Shahid Kapoor-Vidya Balan film (*sighs*). We all have that one relative who is absolutely obsessed with astrology. Anything professed by the stars is exactly how their life will play out, word to word. Now, whether the stars are right or not isn’t something for me to say (as if the family astrologer didn’t predict that this writer would be in media when she was six months old). What I can say, however, is that a light-hearted friends-to-lovers romance about trying to change your fate is something you shouldn’t sleep on. Madhuri Iyer, our protagonist, is hell-bent to prove her astrology prediction wrong. The prediction: She will marry the first man she falls in love with. Madhuri ropes in her bestfriend, Arjun, for an experimental fake relationship. They have known each other since kids, of course she won’t fall for him! Except, Arjun has been secretly crushing on her for ages, and Madhuri’s experiment takes a turn she didn’t expect.

Delhi via Lucknow

If late ‘90s nostalgia and second-chance love stories are your thing, then you would absolutely LOVE Ashwini Rudra’s Delhi via Lucknow. When Himanshu Shukla, a middle-aged investment banker has a chance encounter with the unrequited love of his college life, Rimjhim Singh, at Lucknow Airport, it brings back memories of his early twenties that had long been buried. Flashback to Kanpur in the late ‘90s, where we meet Himanshu aka Guddu, a student leader who is at odds with local goon and aspiring CA Bechu Mishra, for the heart of the most beautiful girl in town, Rimjhim. Alternating between love triangles of the past and second chances of the present, this book is a roller coaster of emotions that will leave you laughing, crying, and rooting for its adorable characters and their relationships (romantic and otherwise).

Till The Last Breath

Given that Durjoy Dutt was the starting point for many of us desi romance readers, it would be a disservice to finish this list without mentioning even one of his books. This reader likes herself some gut-wrenching, change-your-view-on-life type of romance (The Fault in Our Stars much?), so it’s no wonder that Till The Last Breath is my favourite in this list. The book follows two patients admitted to room 509 of GKL Super Speciality Hospital – one, a medical prodigy with a fatal, incurable disease who wants to make the best of the time she has left, and the other, a drug addict with multiple organ failures and a disdain for life. As life, love and death take hold of the 12X13 foot room, we follow not only the patients lives, but also those of their doctors and team of interns who put their licenses at stake for the sake of two terminally ill patients.

The Single’s Table

Aspiring entertainment lawyer Zara Patel is happily single and is attending the wedding of a couple she matched. But pouring rain on her party is Jay, a military security specialist. Jay’s black cat attitude is like a blackhole of gloom for Zara, and golden retriever Zara is too loud and pompous for Jay. But deals are struck (at this point I don’t even know why I come back to this trope after every two seconds), and Zara has to find “the one” for Jay in exchange for contacts to celebrity clients. And where there are enemy contracts, love follows soon after.

To Have And To Heist

In this Desi rom-com meets Ocean’s Eleven roller coaster ride, the protagonist Simi and her friend are prime suspects of a multi-million dollar jewellery theft. And out of the blue enters our mysterious and charming well-wisher, Jack, who offers to help her find and retrieve the missing diamond necklace and prove her innocence. Simi gathers a ragtag group of people to to organise the heist, but can she really trust these people to pull off this high stakes operation?

Digital Intern

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