Review: A Holly Jolly Diwali

Title: A Holly Jolly Diwali
Author: Sonya Lalli
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

One type-A data analyst discovers her free-spirited side on an impulsive journey from bustling Mumbai to the gorgeous beaches of Goa and finds love waiting for her on Christmas morning.

Twenty-nine-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She’s always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she’s always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she’s laid off, Niki realizes that practical hasn’t exactly paid off for her. So for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya’s wedding.

Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it’s the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual.

When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. When she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life–to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life the old Niki never would have dreamed of.


When twenty-nine year old Niki is suddenly laid off from her job, she decides to do something uncharacteristic and fly to India for her best friend’s wedding on a spur of the moment vacation. She arrives in India in time to celebrate Diwali before the wedding. Niki meets Sam, a London musician, and is instantly attracted to him. The attraction is mutual so they decide to go on a group trip with the newlyweds. However, on that trip, their whirlwind romance is threatened when they have to come to terms with their different lifestyles.

This was a book about celebration. It wasn’t necessarily a Christmas novel, because only the final chapters took place during Christmas. Niki celebrated Diwali, and most of the novel was about her friend’s wedding. There were different kinds of celebrations, and they all gave the story a very festive feel.

I flew through this book. It was fast paced and exciting. It wasn’t steamy but I loved the romance. I fell in love with the characters and I really want to know where their story is heading next!

A Holly Jolly Diwali is a fun, festive romance!

Thank you Berkley Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Have you read A Holly Jolly Diwali? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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