Anyone who has ever used a dating app knows finding their ideal partner is often not as simple as swiping right for yes or left for no. Or, is it? In her new romance, The Right Swipe (Avon), author Alisha Rai pulls us into the fictional world of two online dating app creators and rivals who might just be a perfect match.

Rhiannon Hunter is a powerhouse careerwoman and founder of Crush, a highly successful dating app that empowers users to be honest about their ideal relationship. Rhi sets her sights on buying Matchmaker, a pillar of the dating industry that needs a serious upgrade. Instead of getting five minutes alone with Annabelle Kosta, Matchmaker’s current, reclusive owner, Rhi runs into Samson Lima. This ex-pro football star and former lover – for one night – is now the new spokesperson for the Matchmaker brand.

When Annabelle asks for Samson’s help with Matchmaker, he is unable to refuse. He would do anything for Annabelle, his late uncle’s longtime girlfriend and surrogate aunt. Both his uncle and father were pro-players whose lives were cut short. But even while dealing with the aftermath of their controversial deaths, Samson takes Matchmaker’s questionnaire. A longtime bachelor, “Lima Charm” is less than enthusiastic about dating. He just can’t stop thinking about the one woman who rocked his world – for one night – before he disappeared. Now that he realizes who Rhi really is, Samson wants more than just the chance to make things right.

When Samson proposes a business arrangement that will benefit them both, Rhi agrees, even though she knows she may not be able to stop herself from breaking her own rules. As the stakes get higher and the truth of their pasts come to light, Samson and Rhi have to decide just how much they’re willing to risk to stay in the game.

This novel is both a fun and important read. Rai succeeds in providing commentary on relevant issues in a way that doesn’t take away from the characters’ relationship. If anything, their struggles elevate their partnership and add depth to the story.

Rai excels in presenting a compelling message of independence and confidence. Right Swipe also includes an ensemble of stellar secondary characters. Lakshmi, Rhi’s assistant, is a true gem whose one-liners made me smile more than once, and I found myself wanting to be on the receiving end of advice given by Rhi’s best friend and investor, Katrina. Even Samson’s teammates seemed less like supporting characters and more like real people.

And I suppose that’s what I liked about this book. It’s a fictional world, yes, but one in which you can empathize with real characters who are dealing with real issues. Dating can be complicated, but so is life. Sometimes, all you can do is welcome the chaos with an open mind and an even more open heart.




Alisha Rai writes award-winning emotionally complex contemporary romance novels and is frequently sought as a speaker on a range of topics covering romance and media.

She is the first author to have an indie-published book appear on Washington Post’s annual Best Books list. Her books have also been named Best Books of the Year by NPR, Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, Kirkus, Bustle, and Cosmopolitan Magazine and her novels have won the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for erotic and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, Alisha is traveling and tweeting.