A Bollywood Affair
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A Bollywood Affair

3.76 (3,460 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Deeply-felt emotions that will keep readers turning the pages." --Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author 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 naive 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 fresh new voice...Deeply-felt emotions that will keep readers turning pages. A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR has it all." Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author "Deeply romantic and emotional, with characters I fell in love with, A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR is simply unputdownable. It's sexy, it's dramatic, but most of all, it's a sweet, hot love story that made me sigh and smile and want to read it all over again as soon as I turned the last page." Nalini Singh, New York Times bestselling author "An impressive debut and a charming contemporary Indian fairytale...Vibrant and exuberantly romantic, Affair is chock full of details that reflect India's social and cultural flux." NPR.com "As intricate as a henna tattoo and as sweet as gulab juman... this witty confection is sure to delight...Captures all the glamour, mix-ups and humor of a classic Bollywood film." Shelf Awareness "Dev's heartfelt debut novel is rich in scenes and images illuminating Indian culture, leaving readers with a greater understanding and appreciation of Indian traditions while beautifully capturing the struggle between familial duty and self-discovery." Booklist A delightful debut packed with complex characters, deep emotions and just the right touch of humor. A tale of love, loss and second chances. Shobhan Bantwal, author of The Dowry Bride "In this enthralling tale of romantic complications Sonali Dev not only entertains but provides new insight into the human condition. A must read." Mingmei Yip, author of Peach Blossom Pavilion It is a true joy when a fresh new voice enters the genre, so make note of the name Sonali Dev! Based on this marvelous debut, Dev is set to become a star. Filled with warmth and completely unforgettable characters, this occasionally poignant story explores what happens when best laid plans go awry. An absolute winner from beginning to end, this spellbinding tale grabs your heart and never lets go! RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars, TOP PICK "This tasty Indian American confection will satisfy female readers of any age...A contemporary, transcontinental romance told with a light touch and lots of sizzle. Library Journal"show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 137.16 x 205.74 x 22.86mm | 272.15g
  • Kensington Publishing
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1617730130
  • 9781617730139
  • 376,047

About Sonali Dev

Sonali Dev s first literary work was a play about mistaken identities performed at her neighborhood Diwali extravaganza in Mumbai. She was eight years old. Despite this early success, Sonali spent the next few decades getting degrees in architecture and written communication, migrating across the globe, and starting a family while writing for magazines and websites. With the advent of her first gray hair her love for telling stories returned full force, and she now combines it with her insights into Indian culture to conjure up stories that make a mad tangle with her life as supermom, domestic goddess, and world traveler. Sonali is an active member of RWA and WFWA. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world s most perfect dog. Visit her on the web at sonalidev.com."show more

Rating details

3,460 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 26% (893)
4 38% (1,323)
3 25% (871)
2 8% (273)
1 3% (100)

Our customer reviews

Married off at only four years old, Mili has never even met her husband. She knows he's an officer in the Indian Air Force, and she's done everything she can to grow into the perfect wife for him, but since leaving after their arranged marriage during childhood, he's never returned for her. She's certain, though, that when he does, when he sees he good, educated, modern yet traditional woman she has become, he will be more than pleased. Samir's memories of his childhood aren't all good ones, especially when it comes to anything involving his grandfather. So learning that the farce of a marriage to which his brother was subjected was never annulled, even as his brother has since married and is expecting a child, shouldn't surprise him. It's now up to Samir to find Virat's child bride and get her to release him from their absurd marriage and allow them to live the lives they've built for themselves. Judging Covers: The cover is beautiful, and if you've seen a few Indian weddings â?? or watched enough Bollywood films â?? it makes perfect sense. I wonder, though, if other romance lovers who haven't been exposed to that culture will even give it a second glance. To be honest, I probably would have looked right past it on Amazon, simply because I wouldn't have immediately connected the henna and bangles with a potential love story. More likely I would have thought it was general fiction or even non-fiction, and I would have missed a great book. Had it not been for the word Bollywood, I would have overlooked an incredible story. The Verdict: Let's just get this out of the way now: A Bollywood Affair is going down as one of my favorite books of all time, and it seems unfair to categorize it as five stars when it's clearly so much more. Upon turning the last page, I immediately want to read it again. Mili was impossible not to love. She's strong and humble, confident and inherently good. To say she lives meagerly is to grossly exaggerate her means. She sold everything of value to come to America and continue her education, living in a dumpy apartment with no furniture, a bare refrigerator, and little more than the hope that the husband she's never met will send for her. In the meantime, she attends classes, washes dishes to make rent, and sends money she can't afford back to India to take care of her grandmother. Where most romance heroines would lament the lack of food and spending money, Mili's every breath is filled with hope and purpose. Samir is easily the world's best brother, and his family is simply incredible. He should be the half-American, illegitimate shame of his family, but his late father's wife took him in without question and raised him with more love than most children ever know. A successful Bollywood film director, he's become spoiled and selfish, but his true loyalty lies with his family. His brother Virat's wife is expecting their first child when Samir and Virat learn that the â??wifeâ?? their grandfather arranged for Virat when they were just children is apparently still in the picture, and Samir sets off to find this woman and cut their ties, so his brother's true marriage will be legitimate. But what he finds is nothing like what he expected. Their initial meeting is hilarious and sad, a strange combination that works beautifully. Mili thinks the Indian man who shows up at her door is her recently-eloped roommate's brother, presumably looking for his sister and intent on breaking her away from her true love, and so she runs, wrecking her salvaged bicycle and hurting herself pretty badly in the process. Samir shows his heart in helping her and is at once entranced by her guilelessness and beauty. But legal notices his brother keeps receiving, each demanding a piece of their ancestral property, remind him constantly that for all her apparent goodness, Mili is a threat to their family. Their romance is borne of uncertainty that blooms into friendship, as Mili blindly trusts Samir and he tries to find a way to reveal his identity and solve his brother's problems. But the girl he gets to know disarms and captivates him, and the more he learns about her, the more difficult it is to separate his heart from his purpose. She eventually makes it clear that she's already married and that any flirting he does is out of place, but that just seems to make it harder for him to deny his attraction to her. I would imagine that some people would have trouble understanding Mili's loyalty to a husband she doesn't know, but I found that part of her character incredibly endearing. It's clear that she was raised believing that was her purpose in life, to become the perfect wife for this man, and as she's never seen any harm in the traditions she was taught to embrace, she's never questioned it. There's an intense respect for family and cultural heritage that is fascinating and altogether uncommon in modern times. I suppose it would have been more difficult to swallow had Mili not been such an intriguingly strong and independent character, but as she made her own way in the world, her clinging to a decades old promise simply added a new dimension to her. Hidden among the friendship and romance, though, the book is also a subtle commentary on the ongoing break between tradition and modernization, the complicated place of women in modern Indian society, and the place of love among honor and culture. It's not preachy; it simply presents the facts, and eye into a world many Americans only see through biased media stories and the occasional independent film, a way to get inside and view a rich, incredible culture through characters that are so classic and understandable that foreign concepts now make sense. While Mili and Samir are extreme opposites, they bring out the best in each other. She brings out his heart and vulnerability, and he gives her tenacity purpose and eventually freedom. Of course, the truth eventually comes out â?? at the worst possible moment â?? and everything shatters, but the connection they've achieved can't be abandoned. A Bollywood Affair is beautifully written, with wonderfully flawed characters, intense chemistry, and all the drama and humor of a Bollywood blockbuster film, leading to the perfect romantic ending. The story of Mili and Samir is universal, told in vivid detail with exceptional, emotional clarity and intense, undeniable chemistry. A Bollywood Affair is without a doubt a must-read for all romance lovers.show more
by FicCentral
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