The Chai Factor: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

So good and doesn’t quite fit the rom com label. While it does have rom com moments, it goes into so much more then a meet cute. It’s a book based on reality. Cultural barriers and expectations, homophobia and acceptance, misogyny and sexism and just plain old goofiness and corniness. Plus, Amira was such a relatable main character, filled with anger bc she had reached her limit with society’s labeling of her as a brown, Muslim woman. She’s outspoken and speaks her mind. She calls people out on their racism and sexism and it’s not her issue if she makes people uncomfortable with the truth. She’s also smart and in a STEM field. She’s awesome in so many ways, particularly bc she is a prickly porcupine. I loved the relationship she had with her family and how she navigated so many issues. This book should be getting more shout outs bc on top of all that, it’s so unputdownable.

— Audrey H.


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.

About the Author

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.

Praise For…

“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

Product Details
ISBN: 9781443459877
ISBN-10: 1443459879
Publisher: HarperAvenue
Publication Date: July 9th, 2019
Pages: 304
Language: English