Saturday, February 20, 2016
3 Stars - The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev
About the Book
Ria Parkar is Bollywood's favorite Ice Princess--beautiful, poised, and scandal-proof--until one impulsive act threatens to expose her destructive past. Traveling home to Chicago for her cousin's wedding offers a chance to diffuse the coming media storm and find solace in family, food, and outsized celebrations that are like one of her vibrant movies come to life. But it also means confronting Vikram Jathar.
Ria and Vikram spent childhood summers together, a world away from Ria's exclusive boarding school in Mumbai. Their friendship grew seamlessly into love--until Ria made a shattering decision. As far as Vikram is concerned, Ria sold her soul for stardom and it's taken him years to rebuild his life. But beneath his pent-up anger, their bond remains unchanged. And now, among those who know her best, Ria may find the courage to face the secrets she's been guarding for everyone else's benefit--and a chance to stop acting and start living.
Rich with details of modern Indian-American life, here is a warm, sexy, and witty story of love, family, and the difficult choices that arise in the name of both.
Dev's A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR was one of my favorite reads last year. If you look around, you'll find many readers felt the same way. AFFAIR was a delight - light and romantic and strengthened by familial ties and humor. It reminded me a bit of Moonstruck made into a Bollywood love story.
You'll see similarities in theme in A BOLLYWOOD BRIDE, though the story carries a somewhat darker thread woven into the story. Ria Parkar suffered trauma in her early childhood and discovered normalcy in Chicago summers growing up with her cousin and his friend, Vickham (Viky). What promises to blossom into a childhood sweetheart romance wilts with the interference of Viky's mother.
Now adults, Ria and Viky angst their way through the cousin's wedding preparations, with Ria trying to maintain the icy persona for which she is known. Gradually all the barriers break down because, of course, there's too much between them to ignore.
I looked forward to reading BRIDE because I loved AFFAIR so much. And...I liked this book. It's lacks the lightness of Dev's debut, but it tackles issues of mental illness and family tensions. It's a challenge to bring something heavy into a romance story, and Dev does it well. Where I nearly devoured AFFAIR in one sitting, though, I had to set BRIDE down on occasion and pace myself.
I did enjoy this book, however. I look forward to what Dev has for us in the future.
ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley