Title: The Right Swipe
Author: Alisha Rai
Date published: July 2, 2019
Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:
– Nude pics are by invitation only
– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice
– Protect your heart
Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.
Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…
Originally I was going to write a regular review for this book, but I was just so impressed with the craft of this romance that I decided to write about why this is such an excellent romance instead. So, without further ado…
what makes the right swipe a good romance
- TENSION. OMG, there’s so much excellent tension in this book. Initially, it comes from how much Rhiannon hates Samson for ghosting her. She tries so hard to convince herself that she’s not hurt by him because she’s fine with casual sex and relationships, but she really liked him and trusted him enough to say yes to a second date, so really, she is hurt. Later, there’s tension because Rhi is somewhat using Samson to get close to his aunt Annabelle in order to talk to her about buying their company, Matchmaker. I liked also that this was called out by Rhi’s friend Katrina, because otherwise my opinion of Rhi at that point might not have been so good.
- Characters. All the characters in this book were great. Rhi is such an ice princess, and has trouble dealing with being hurt, feels guilty for not talking to her mom more, and is a good friend to Katrina, the woman who originally invested in her company, Crush. Samson is definitely a big softie/gentle giant type who cares deeply about his family and always wants to do the Right Thing. These two personality types seem like they might not go together, but they definitely do. Alisha Rai also did a great job making me want to know more about the side characters, especially Lakshmi, Rhi’s assistant who sorta falls for another woman, and also Rhi’s best friend and sometimes-roommate, Katrina, who has anxiety (even though it wasn’t a major focus of the book, the anxiety rep is still really good).
- Exploration of issues outside the romance. The actual romance plotline is all well and good when you’re writing, well, a romance, but a romance still needs other things in it going on to make it really stand out. For Samson, Rai had his other issues be focused largely on family, and the reader gets to learn a lot about brain trauma issues with football players, which is a huge cause that Samson champions throughout the book. I really related to Rhi’s struggles with her past relationship with her boss at Swype and dealing with the aftermath of how emotionally manipulative and controlling he was, and not knowing whether to come forward and having it affect her reputation and just generally how she dealt with it. All of these other topics in the story made it a very well-rounded story and added so much depth to the characters.
- Obstacles. In any good romance, there are major obstacles to the characters being together. Samson and Rhi definitely have a lot of obstacles. For one, there’s Rhi’s trust issues, both with Samson himself and Rhi in general. For another, there’s a time limit on their relationship when they start filming for the Crush/Matchmaker video campaign. There’s also the snag of Rhi sort of at times using Samson to get closer to his aunt because she wants to buy Matchmaker and that’s a major goal for her for most of the book. These obstacles create more tension and increase the character’s chemistry and make the reader root for them more, and Alisha Rai did a really good job with doing all these things.
In short, THE RIGHT SWIPE is really a top notch romance. It is expertly crafted, supremely well-written, has interesting, well-rounded characters, and has a main romance that you definitely want to root for. I’m so psyched that this is going to be a series, and I REALLY hope that there is a Lakshmi book and a Katrina book, because I really want to know more about them, and there are just so many characters in the series I would love to read more about. I cannot wait for this book to come out so everyone can read it and I super can’t wait for the next book to be announced/cover reveal/to come out. If you’re looking for a romance with depth and heart, definitely check out THE RIGHT SWIPE.