The Chai Factor: A Novel (Paperback)
Amira Khan has no plans to break her no-dating rule.
Thirty-year-old engineer Amira Khan has set one rule for herself: no dating until her grad-school thesis is done. Nothing can distract her from completing a paper that is so good her boss will give her the promotion she deserves when she returns to work in the city. Amira leaves campus early, planning to work in the quiet basement apartment of her family’s house. But she arrives home to find that her grandmother has rented the basement to . . . a barbershop quartet. Seriously? The living situation is awkward: Amira needs silence; the quartet needs to rehearse for a competition; and Duncan, the small-town baritone with the flannel shirts, is driving her up the wall.
As Amira and Duncan clash, she is surprised to feel a simmering attraction for him. How can she be interested in someone who doesn’t get her, or her family’s culture? This is not a complication she needs when her future is at stake. But when intolerance rears its ugly head and people who are close to Amira get hurt, she learns that there is more to Duncan than meets the eye. Now she must decide what she is willing to fight for. In the end, it may be that this small-town singer is the only person who sees her at all.
FARAH HERON was born in Toronto, where she currently lives. Her varied career history ranges from selling yarn to selling bikinis, and from hiring in the high-end fashion industry to counselling high-risk youth. An unapologetic, outspoken feminist, Farah Heron tells stories that reflect the diversity in her own life and explores how women thrive in an uncertain world.
“Farah Heron’s debut is a heart-warming, hilarious rom-com that you will not be able to put down. . . . A great debut by a very talented author.” — Sabina Khan, author of The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali
“Amira and Duncan are irresistible. You’ll be rooting for them from the start, laughing along the way, and cheering when they finally figure things out. Farah Heron writes with the keen eye of a satirist and the big heart of a romantic.” — Jenny Holiday, author of Bridesmaids Behaving Badly and One and Only
“The Chai Factor is equal-parts layered, complex and heartwarming. Amira and Duncan are smart and funny characters, the romance between them spicier than masala in chai. Farah Heron effortlessly weaves life’s serious issues into this delightful romantic comedy. A brilliant debut.” — Tanaz Bhathena, author of The Beauty of the Moment and A Girl Like That
“Filled with honest and difficult moments, this is just the kind of unapologetic heroine and story we need to understand our world better. A charming yet insightful read.” — Sonali Dev, author of A Distant Heart