Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Bollywood Affair Review

 I had the great pleasure of reading an early copy of A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev. I was excited to find an Asian author, an Indian/Bollywood type story, and a pleasant and diverse stray from the common, white, everyday plots and characters in mainstream fiction. For quick reference on what I loved and disliked, I've broken down my opinions, which are merely that.
 First, the plot: Mili is an Indian from a small village in Rajasthan that practices child marriage. At four, she was married to twelve-year-old Virat and has waited twenty years for him to claim his bride. In the meantime, she groomed herself to be the perfect wife. Educated, pretty, poised, somewhat traveled, religious, and humble. She's even taken care of the grandfather of the runaway groom (his mother took him and his brother and fled the grandfather), as horrible as he was (the grandfather, not the groom) and revered him until his death. She sends Virat a letter, and until that letter, he had no idea he was still married. His mother had the marriage annulled a year after the wedding, but of course grandfather intervened. Virat is now happily married to the love of his life and expecting their first child. After an accident, he's unable to hunt Mili, who's gone off to America for a year-long course in higher education, and sends his younger half-brother, the Bad Boy of Bollywood directors, Samir. The brothers think this village girl has ulterior motives, but one clumsy, infatuated scenario after another, Samir finds not only the script-writing jump he so desperately needs, but sincere feelings for this neurotic, accident-prone girl. All he has to do is get her to sign the annulment papers and be on his way, but he takes advantage of his new muse and finds himself going out of his way to help her.
  The few "negative" takeaways (I quote the word because there's a meaningful balance to counteract it): Mili is a naive girl, but then again she's from a village and bravely pushes herself to become more modern and educated in a social structure where finishing high school isn't all that important for girls. Good for her! Mili also cries...a lot...as in twenty-five percent of the book and it gets annoying, but once her tears dry, the reader, and a certain Bollywood-ish hero, knows there's possibly no fixing the situation. Mili is also very accident-prone, which isn't a bad thing. It makes her imperfect and relatable, however she seems to fall into the hero's arms quite a lot. Ridhi, Mili's flatmate in America, can be annoying in her immaturity but adds comic relief. Finally, if you're not into the f-bomb, it's best to skim over some parts in Samir's POV.
  The great stuff: Dev's prose is excellent and lyrical. She has fleshed out characters who are all different in wonderful ways. Mili and Samir couldn't be further apart. I loved how Samir slipped into a Shah Rukh Khan type character during the roti scene. I have no idea if Dev intended that, or perhaps I was just pleasantly reminded of the biggest of Bollywood heroes, but it put a smile on my face. I smiled a lot, in fact. The romance is sweet and there's an explosive scene, but the story revolves around fighting these feelings when Mili believes she's still married to another man without making her sound preachy or elevated in her thinking.
  Do I recommend this book? Yes. Of course. Not because it's different or a part of my culture, but because it's a good read.
Available 10-28-14
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 na├»ve 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.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mountain of Light Review

The Mountain of Light by Indu Sundaresan  
  The Kohinoor diamond is a thing of beauty, majesty, myth, drama, and adventure. The Mountain of Light captures the exquisite tale of this diamond's journey between the hands of royals, stealth, and entanglement as it travels from India to near and distant countries to eventually land in the hands of the British.

  As I've come to expect from Indu, she brought her masterful story telling of old India, and with it, vivid culture and surroundings. She took history and weaved an entertaining story just as she did for the Taj trilogy, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This is not a quick, easy read, but if you want world-building, a lesson in overseas history, detailed imagery, and descriptive settings, then this is a must-read.

"From the internationally bestselling author of The Twentieth Wife, a novel based on the tumultuous history of a legendary 186-carat diamond and the men and women who possessed it

As empires rose and fell and mighty kings jostled for power, its glittering radiance never dimmed. It is the Mountain of Light, the Kohinoor diamondand its facets reflect a sweeping story of love, adventure, conquest and betrayal. Its origins are the stuff of myth, but for centuries this spectacular gem changes hands from one ruler to another in India, Persia, and Afghanistan. In 1850, the ancient stone is sent halfway around the world where it will play a pivotal role in the intertwined destinies of a boy-king of India and a young queen of England, a queen who claims the Mountain of Light and India itself for her own burgeoning empire, the most brilliant jewels in her imperial crown. 

The Mountain of Light is a magnificent story of loss and recovery, sweeping change and enduring truth, wrapped around the glowing heart of one of the world's most famous diamonds."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hellhound Swag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Of Triton Review

In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?

Release Date: May 28th

I really liked Of Poseidon, where we discover that half-human, half-Syrena Emma has inherited the Gift of Poseidon: she can communicate with sea creatures. And it left the story on a cliffhanger. Of Triton didn't disappoint. Here we discover who has the Gift of Triton and what that gift is. The humor was great, I laughed and smiled many times, the tension was stronger than it was in Of Poseidon, and the chemistry between all the couples and how it effected others leaps off the pages. 

Banks continues her duo view points, the first person for Emma and the third person for Galen, and it really works for this series. We get one main story line and then a drizzle of other smaller subplots that have a major impact on the former. There are misunderstandings, betrayals, reunions, and does someone...?

Of Triton was very well executed. A ton of sassy humor, a hint of romance, a downpour of danger, a whirlwind of emotion, and all of it age appropriate for very young readers but entertaining enough for adults. 

I can't wait for the final installment: Of Neptune. There's no cliffhanger in Of Triton, so I have no idea where this may lead!

If you pre-order this book and send proof of purchase to oftritonbonuscontent@gmail.com, you'll receive exclusive bonus material from Banks: a scene from Toraf's view point. Toraf, btw, is a cutie secondary character. I love him! Come on Banks, write an entire book for Toraf and Rayna...pretty please? Read more about the bonus material here. Maybe you'll find Banks at a city near you during the Spring 2013 Fierce Reads tour with a few other amazing authors.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hellhound Is A Day Away

 Still interested in getting a free read in exchange for a review? Hellhound is emerging tomorrow and I'm doing a month-long blog tour. If you're interested in doing a review, interview, guest post, giveaway, blog blast, or any other awesome thing, please fill out this form. Wow, doesn't that sound so nice and tidy and official? :-)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hellhound Goodreads Giveaway

Hellhound is almost here! And there's a giveaway going on Goodreads RIGHT NOW! Request it, add it, or click on the link to the right. :-) Happy Hunting. SQUEEEE!!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Date By Mistake Review

I read this because Gwen Hayes wrote one of the novellas. As always, Gwen doesn't disappoint with her writing. I love that her writing morphs styles from project to project. I was surprised to find how sexy this story was, a lot of explicit scenes and cursing. Those aren't my things. I can do without mentioning various body parts and dropping the F-bomb. Call me old school, or prudish, or whatever. Aside from that, the prose was smooth, the relationship between Dane, aka Mr. Virile, and Holly, aka The Girl Next Door, was electric from the start. The stakes weren't high, but someone had to change their values and outlook on life, and it was a predictable, although very cute, ending. Two stubborn people who give opposing advice on dating, getting laid vs. a meaningful relationship, clash and brawl and against their will, fall in love. 4 stars.
Date by Mistake