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Friday, October 24, 2014

Early Review: A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

Title: A Bollywood Affair
Author: Sonali Dev
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Kensington Books (October 28th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
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.
A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev is such a perfect book that you NEED to read it, the end. Not enough to convince you? Greedy people!

Milli Rathod was married to a boy (Virat Rathod) from her little village, when she was only four years old. Couple of days after the wedding, Virat and his family moved to a city, leaving Milli behind with her grandmother. For twenty years, Milli has been patiently waiting for her husband to come claim her. She has used her time wisely, getting an education and working on improving herself, all to be the perfect modern wife “her husband needs”.
Milli gets the chance to go to Michigan on a scholarship; a trip she hopes will change her life. Maybe, if Virat learns about it he will come sooner to make her his wife.
Virat thought his marriage to Milli was annulled many years back and has never thought of Milli. He is married to a woman he loves and they are expecting their first child together; but after he suffers an accident he learns the marriage with Milli was never annulled and his current marriage would not be valid unless he convinces Milli to sign the annulment documents. Due to his accident, Virat can’t travel. He asks his younger brother, Samir to travel to Michigan in his stead and to convince Milli to sign the documents.
Samir will do anything for his brother; even tricking the woman he believes is extorting his brother, but when he arrives to Michigan the woman he finds is not what he was imagining her to be.
Coincidences will bring Milli and Samir together, to an arrangement of mutual benefit. What starts as a simply friendship soon develops into much more; but they are both keeping secrets that could destroy their new bond.

Milli is a great heroine. She’s a woman that despite her limitations (thanks to her very traditional upbringing) has done the best she could with her life. She has worked hard to get educated and to be better, not only for her, but with the idea of helping other women in the future. Milli is selfless, noble, generous, smart and funny. She’s simply a delightful heroine.

Samir is a conflicted character, it’s almost as if he is two different persons, the public man and the family man. The public man is modern and doesn’t want any entanglements. The family man is caring, loving and bighearted. He loves to take care of those he loves and he shows it over and over again during the course of the story.

Samir and Milli’s relationship starts slowly. First, it’s a companionship, then, it turns into a friendship and from there, feelings start to bloom. Their relationship is packed with small gestures and little details, making their romance feel beautiful and sweet, but there is a problem, both of them are keeping secrets and when they come to light their love get tested.

The secondary characters bring color to the story, especially Milli’s best friend, Ridhi and her over the top Punjabi family. The Indian culture also plays an important role with its contrasting traditions and family values.

Sonali Dev’s writing is emotional, fluid, and vivid. Her words are easily visualized and experienced. A Bollywood Affair is so masterfully written is difficult to believe it is her debut novel.

One thing I have to talk about is the food. OMG! The Food!! As I said before, Sonali’s words are very vivid and food plays an important role in the story. This book made me Hungry! Yes, with capital H. As an Indian food lover, page after page this book kept me salivating and dreaming of samosas, rotis, curries, and so many more delicacies. Nom nom.

If there is a book contemporary romance fans need to read this year that is A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev. Trust me, order this book and read it. I can guarantee you you won’t regret it.

My Verdict: 5 Paws

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