I went into Prem Numbers by Suleikha Snyder extremely curious about the title of the book. Clearly a play on Prime Numbers, this one talks about Prem, the Hindi word for Love.
Fellow Words People who failed Math in schoolTM, bear with me for a minute. If you think back, a prime number is any number that is divisible by 1 and itself. So 2, 3, 5, 7,…and so on. Every number that is not prime is a composite number. Made of more than one part.
Doesn’t that make the life of a prime number immensely lonely? But then, there’s also the fact that the coming together of prime numbers can make a composite number.
Multiply 2 by 3 and you get 6. One half of a whole.
A lonely being with another lonely being, finally belonging.
And that’s what every story in Prem Numbers is all about.
Me right now:
About Prem Numbers.
Prem Numbers is a collection of stories about lonely people looking for the one — or more in the case of the ménage in She’s So Lovely, the final story — to give their hearts to. You have the first Black Vice President mulling over the politics of going public with her relationship with her much younger Secret Service agent in At Her Service, an actor who plays a Godman in a TV show bound by moral clauses in his contract which forbid him from doing Aarthi (I couldn’t resist, I’m SORRY!) in Have a Little Faith, the hit man who has made a deal with the devil, so to speak, and a chance encounter with a fellow lonely creature builds the endurance he needs to finish the deal in A Sorta Fairytale, and so on.
As the Goodreads synopsis says, “These are the prem numbers. They almost always add up to passion.”
While Prem Numbers is a collection of individual short stories, the one common thread connecting each story is the vulnerability and hopefulness of each of its characters. Every story has a character laying themselves bare and being hopeful despite the possibility of rejection or judgement. Be it the actor-Godman who just wants a normal relationship without people putting him up on a pedestal, the good Indian daughter who falls for the misunderstood Bad Boy, or the superhero who travels the world to find the solution that will let him have a relationship with his fellow hero which doesn’t involve her venomous touch killing him.
Short stories can be a restrictive medium when it comes to portraying a well-rounded romantic relationship from beginning to a possible HEA, but Snyder manages it with finesse. She so effortlessly packs in romance, sexy times, drama, intrigue, passion, and banter within the scant legroom short stories allow, making you root for each character despite the limited period of time you’ve known them. I honestly can’t help but be immensely impressed by her writing chops.
Prem Numbers also includes the novella Tikka Chance on Me, in which the main characters share a moment that’s described as a “trailer for the splashy, over-the-top, comic-book movie of their lives.” This description is perfect for every relationship in this collection. Every story is as steamy as it is passionate. Most of the characters are in love. And yet, not a single moment feels contrived. Even I, hater of all things insta love, was swooning when a character who’s only ever kissed his partner once declares he loves her.
Equal parts romantic and steamy, Prem Numbers had me swoon one minute and fan myself the next.
In addition to all the sexy times, passion, and relationships, each story also finds a way to include witty dialogue and snappy banter. I was honestly snorting throughout. Look at this line right here from Tikka Chance on Me:
“But accounting, which had never really been my passion to begin with, couldn’t possibly hold a candle to trying Trucker’s special seekh kebab in the cab of his truck.”
In all, Prem Numbers is a beautiful collection of short stories anyone who loves romance should check out. It’s filled to the brim with love, passion, hope, and of course, sexy times. Read it right away!
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The book in bullets.
Prem Numbers has:
- Romantic short stories.
- Lots of love but also lots of Earth-shattering smut.
- Witty characters with grade A banter.
- Male characters who subvert standards of masculinity.
Related: Which romance novel trope are you based on your Zodiac sign?
If you liked Prem Numbers…
You might be interested in Guarding Temptation by Talia Hibbert.
With the best friend’s sibling and forced proximity tropes, this delightful novella is about political campaigner Nina who gets doxxed and has to move in with the brooding, overprotective hero. Shenanigans ensue, of course.
Oh and, this novella also has a cameo from Jasmine and Rahul from the recently retitled The Roommate Risk!
- Have you read any of Snyder’s books before?
- What do you think of romance in short stories?
- What’s your favourite indie romance novel?
Talk to me in the comments!
Excellent review, Shruti. 🙂 Thanks for putting this on my radar. Snyder must be really talented if she made you root for every character you came across in this short story collection.