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The Singles Table
Cover of The Singles Table
The Singles Table
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Opposites attract in this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy about a free-spirited lawyer who is determined to find the perfect match for the grumpy bachelor at her cousin's wedding.
 
After a devastating break-up, celebrity-obsessed lawyer Zara Patel is determined never to open her heart again. She puts her energy into building her career and helping her friends find their happily-ever-afters. She's never faced a guest at the singles table she couldn’t match, until she crosses paths with the sinfully sexy Jay Dayal.
 
Former military security specialist Jay has no time for love. His life is about working hard, staying focused, and winning at all costs. When charismatic Zara crashes into his life, he's thrown into close contact with exactly the kind of chaos he wants to avoid. Worse, they're stuck together for the entire wedding season.
 
So they make a deal. She'll find his special someone if he introduces her to his celebrity clients. But when their arrangement brings them together in ways they never expected, they realize that the perfect match might just be their own.
Opposites attract in this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy about a free-spirited lawyer who is determined to find the perfect match for the grumpy bachelor at her cousin's wedding.
 
After a devastating break-up, celebrity-obsessed lawyer Zara Patel is determined never to open her heart again. She puts her energy into building her career and helping her friends find their happily-ever-afters. She's never faced a guest at the singles table she couldn’t match, until she crosses paths with the sinfully sexy Jay Dayal.
 
Former military security specialist Jay has no time for love. His life is about working hard, staying focused, and winning at all costs. When charismatic Zara crashes into his life, he's thrown into close contact with exactly the kind of chaos he wants to avoid. Worse, they're stuck together for the entire wedding season.
 
So they make a deal. She'll find his special someone if he introduces her to his celebrity clients. But when their arrangement brings them together in ways they never expected, they realize that the perfect match might just be their own.
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    When Zara Patel, hopeful girlfriend of an A-list movie star, entered Peter Patterson's Extreme Paintball Adventure for her cousin's bachelor-bachelorette party, there was a spring in her step, a song on her lips, a cake in her hands, and a celebrity autograph on her arm. Nothing could spoil her good mood, not even the high-pitched shriek of Parvati Chopra, her roommate and long-suffering best friend.

     

    "What happened to your dress? Stacy is going to kill you!"

     

    On a scale of disasters, a stained dress was hardly cause for alarm even if Stacy Jones, the bride's Maid of Horror, did tend to overreact. In the last six months alone, Zara had lost two jobs, three boyfriends, and four tires-stolen off her Caribbean Blue Chevy Spark when she'd been arguing a case in court. She'd also been rejected five times from the Hamilton app, which meant it would be at least another year before she could even try to get discount tickets to see her favorite Broadway musical of all time.

     

    "Chad Wandsworth signed my arm!" Zara turned to the side to better display the bold strokes of the movie star's name etched in black Sharpie on her biceps. "I'm never going to wash again."

     

    "I'm more interested in that stain." An ER doctor at San Francisco General Hospital, Parvati liked to drill down to the facts as quickly as possible. "I didn't think the dress could get any worse." Her gaze fixed on the bodice of Zara's hot pink '80s-style explosion of a dress adorned with taffeta, tulle, bows, sequins, ruffles, and sleeves puffed so high they obscured Zara's peripheral vision. "It'll be awesome," Stacy had said when she'd informed the bride's friends that they would be wearing secondhand bridesmaid's dresses for the paintball game. Zara wasn't convinced that a cleavage-baring minidress was the best attire for playing paintball in the middle of a forest, but she adored her cousin Tarun and his bride-to-be, Maria Gonzales, so she'd said "yes" to the dress and handed over her five dollars for the thrift store special.

     

    "I was in an ice cream shop. You know I have no self-control when it comes to anything ice cream." She gave a resigned shrug. "I had a milkshake in one hand and the cake in the other when Chad-we're on a first-name basis now-walked in. He's in entertainment. I want to get into the business. I figured I should give him my card in case he ever finds himself in need of an attorney. I put the milkshake on the cake box, reached into my purse, and . . ."

     

    "I can see what happened." Parvati sighed so loudly she startled a couple walking past. "I should have known the temptation would be too much. You couldn't just go in and buy the cake."

     

    "Thank goodness for that," Zara retorted. "And for the fact my dress is standout hideous. Chad would have walked right past me. Instead, being a gentleman, he stopped to help me." She shot an envious gaze at Parvati's sky blue gown. With seven tiers of ruffles, puffed sleeves, and a hoop skirt, she was missing only a pair of glass slippers and cartoon birds fluttering around her sleek dark hair. It wasn't fair. Parvati didn't care for musicals. If anyone should have had the Enchanted-style princess dress, it was Zara. Instead, Stacy had punished her with the worst '80s fashion had to offer simply because Zara had accidentally spilled a glass of wine on her at the engagement party when she thought she'd seen Lin-Manuel Miranda at the bar.

     

    "We'd better get the cake to Stacy," Parvati said. "She's already upset that we have to have mixed teams. When she sees your dress she's going to lose...

About the Author-
  • Sara Desai has been a lawyer, radio DJ, marathon runner, historian, bouncer, and librarian. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, kids, and an assortment of forest creatures who think they are pets. Sara writes sexy romantic comedy and contemporary romance with a multicultural twist. When not laughing at her own jokes, Sara can be found eating nachos.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 26, 2021
    Desai does it again in her latest San Francisco–set rom-com starring the lively, eccentric Patel family (after The Dating Plan). Zara Patel, an impulsive, celebrity-obsessed personal injury lawyer with a penchant for playing matchmaker, loves romance—for other people. Her parents’ devastating divorce has made her both crave intimacy and flee from it. So when she finds herself powerfully attracted to Jay Dayal, a rigid Air Force veteran, at a mutual friend’s joint bachelor-bachelorette paintball party, her response is to shoot him in the butt. As an apology, she offers to matchmake for Jay, who agrees, wanting to please his single mother, who’s urging him to date more—but the strong chemistry between Zara and Jay quickly leads them to abandon this plan in favor of sizzling-hot sex. However, when Zara’s first celebrity client demands she go after Jay’s security startup for failing to protect him from a threat, the clash of professional and personal ambitions threatens the relationship neither of them claim to want but both desperately need. Zara and Jay are a refreshingly self-aware pair, and it’s eminently satisfying to see them not just address their business conflicts but seek professional psychological help, Zara for her fear of abandonment and Jay for PTSD. Desai’s fans will be delighted. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary.

  • AudioFile Magazine Quirky, hilarious, and romantic, this is the perfect story for narrator Soneela Nankani. When lawyer and matchmaker Zara Patel and military security expert Jay Dayal meet at a bachelor/bachelorette paintball game, their opposite personalities clash instantly in a laugh-out-loud way. Nankani's timing is spot-on, and she perfectly voices Zara's enthusiasm, Jay's seriousness, and the various characteristics of all of their friends and family--expertly transitioning between the multidimensional characters. When Zara agrees to find a match for Jay if he will introduce her to his celebrity clients, hilarity ensues, and they find that they themselves just might be an unexpected match. The story includes steamy, explicit scenes, so some listening situations may call for earbuds. K.S.M. � AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine
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Sara Desai
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