Come check out this new release! I made a last minute decision to read this title – so be sure you check out my review! Please see the other blast stops, and please be sure to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win $10.00 Amazon Gift Card or one of Three Print Copies of A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR
I’ve been really fortunate as a reviewer to have the opportunity to read lots of new-to-me authors. Usually those introductions are positive, and several have added to my to be read pile and wishlist of titles to acquire. Occasionally, I have an author that instantly goes to my “buy their books no matter what” pile, and today I am fortunate to have added another into that list.
Sonali Dev manages to incorporate traditional Indian values, attitudes and cultural identity into her new release and create a story that is engaging, emotional and easy to relate to. Without making explanations and definitions of the cultural elements so integral to the story too complex that they dwarf the action, readers are able to integrate some very unfamiliar concepts into the story and see how these elements effect and are affecting the progression of the plot.
This is so much more than a romance, Mili is learning to function away from her small village with a solid sense of ‘security’, married but not in daily contact with her husband: she is living in Michigan, worlds away from her small Indian home. There is only one problem: her husband isn’t all that interested in having a wife, especially not one from a provincial village.
When Samir arrives to obtain an annulment for his older brother, he is completely mistaken about Mili – believing her to be a social-climbing gold-digger. Again, his respect and ties to family have him behaving as he “should” first, and then he starts to watch and see the qualities that Mili shows.
While the tropes are not, in and of themselves anything fresh and new: misjudged ingénue, a wealthy bossy playboy who is conflicted about his persona; Dev infuses them with such cultural richness and detail, bringing the characters to life in fully three dimensions, flaws and all. We can see and feel the conflict and struggle that Mili has with being a “modern wife” as so much of what she is learning runs contrary to all of the tradition and Grandmother she holds dear. And Samir agonizes over his public ‘playboy’ image, as he is most comfortable being the dutiful son in a more traditional arrangement. These two show a steady growth of friendship with some lighter moments from Mili’s antics, and you can see the draw that they have for one another.
It’s always nice to learn while you read: and becoming so immersed in the story your heart goes out to Mili, sometimes even feeling frustrated with some of her choices. Then Dev smoothly shows readers that Mili is navigating a slippery slope between tradition and all she has learned, and you switch to cheering her on – hoping that she gets a chance at the happiness she so deserves. Fortunately, Samir, although often appearing to be uncaring and blustering through without thinking, really does believe that Mili is someone special, if only he has the courage to speak what is in his heart.
I loved this story: Dev’s writing is strong and her characters breathe from the pages. Utterly engaging, I sat down to read for a bit, and looked up a couple of hours later at “The End”. This author is now on my must buy list – and should be on yours.
Title: A Bollywood Affair
Author: Sonali Dev
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Kensington
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦Audible
Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in twenty years—not since she was promised to him at the age of four. Yet marriage has allowed Mili a freedom rarely given to girls in her village. Her grandmother has even allowed her to leave India and study in America for eight months, all to make her the perfect modern wife. Which is exactly what Mili longs to be—if her husband would just come and claim her.
Bollywood’s favorite director, Samir Rathod, has come to Michigan to secure a divorce for his older brother. Persuading a naïve village girl to sign the papers should be easy for someone with Samir’s tabloid-famous charm. But Mili is neither a fool nor a gold-digger. Open-hearted yet complex, she’s trying to reconcile her independence with cherished traditions. And before he can stop himself, Samir is immersed in Mili’s life—cooking her dal and rotis, escorting her to her roommate’s elaborate Indian wedding, and wondering where his loyalties and happiness lie.
Heartfelt, witty, and thoroughly engaging, Sonali Dev’s debut is both a vivid exploration of modern India and a deeply honest story of love, in all its diversity.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.