The Chai Factor
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. (From HarperCollins Canada)
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From the book
The last time Amira travelled alone, she'd been unceremoniously escorted out of the security clearance area of the Toronto airport, blocked from boarding her flight to Philadelphia. Nothing like that could happen now—this was a train, and there was no border crossing between the small city where she went to grad school and Toronto. No border meant no overzealous guards accusing her of terrorism because of her last name and fondness for Arabic calligraphy. But as her train appeared to be stuck in some place called Port Hope, and as a creepy man wearing silver pants appeared to be studying her, Amira clearly couldn't quite trust any deity to help her reach her destination unscathed.
From The Chai Factor by Farah Heron ©2019. Published by HarperCollins.