The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai (Modern Love, #1)

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

TRIGGER WARNING: Sexual harassment, coersion

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…

Alisha Rai gives us the perfect view of what online/modern dating is like – without the soul crushing side affects of actually having to protect ourselves from the trash human beings that frequent dating apps.

Rhiannon’s rules for online dating were simple, straightforward, and quite similar to the same rules my friends and I established early in the online dating phase.

But, The Right Swipe goes beyond just showing us what it’s like to date in 2019. There are real parallels to what it’s like as a single woman of color trying to build a name for yourself.

I related to Rhiannon in many ways. Mainly, her fire to chase her dream and never take no for an answer. She’s great at what she does and she’s willing to go to extreme odds to achieve it.

Briefly, there is an exploration into mental health and how hard it is for black women to seek help and take care of ourselves. We’ve been socially programmed to always be strong, to never show weakness, and to only put our best foot forward in front of the public.

Rhiannon’s story shows that it’s possible to face your trauma and still remain loved, supported, and successful.

What I think I enjoyed most about this story was that although both man characters were POC, Alisha Rai normalized who they were while stile celebrating their ethnicity. So many times in books, the writer tries to emphasize a black person’s ethnicity by describing their skin as the color of inanimate objects or their hair as course cotton. Here, Alisha Rai made sure their ethnicity was clear, but in not such a dehumanizing way, which I greatly experience.

Samson’s story was very intriguing to me as well. It made me step back and really look at the impact that CTE has/had on football players and even led me to do some research on how the issue is being handled at all levels of the sport – This is what good writing does: It challenges you to learn and to be better while also validating your experiences and your identity.

I highly recommend this book!

The Right Swipe is out on August 6th! Pre-orders are available online. I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and I’, so glad I swiped right on this novel!

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