The Bollywood BrideAuthor: Sonali Dev
Series: Bollywood #2
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Release date: September 29th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Add to TBR: Goodreads
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"A fresh new voice." --Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author
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.
The GingerSnap’s review
I was so excited to read this book. My experience with Sonali Dev novels thus far has taught me that if I’m going to read one, it’s best to do it on a day/s when I don’t have a lot planned, because there is no way I’m going to get anything done with my attention so completely focused on her story. This story was in keeping with that theme; I didn’t even notice my train had arrived at my stop because I was so gripped!
This book tells us the second chance romance story of Ria and Vikram, two childhood sweethearts who are seeing each other for the first time in 10 years at their friend’s wedding. Much has happened to change both of them for better and worse, but the chemistry between them ignites the moment they lock eyes on each other again, and that sexual chemistry continues to build and build throughout the book. That, combined with the deep emotional connection that these two share, makes this such a gripping novel. I was rooting for them to get together basically from the moment the book started, and seeing them navigate through the trials and tribulations of their relationship was so worth the wait.
However, while this book totally delivered on emotional depth and steaminess, its ending was lackluster. Many loose ends weren’t tied up, which made the HEA unbelievable. Ria’s life path has forced her to make decisions that she hasn’t told Vikram about, and I felt like their HEA shouldn’t have happened until they both worked out their feelings about those decisions. Ria also hasn’t worked through her own guilt about hurting Vikram all those years ago, and for her to suddenly shelve a feeling that has tormented her for the entirety of the book in order to metaphorically sail away into the dawn with her one true love just didn’t seem likely, given her tendency to beat herself and always look at the dark side of things. Perhaps most importantly, Vikram’s mother has been absolutely horribly to Ria for the entirety of her and Vikram’s relationship, even going as far as threatening Ria in order to keep her away from her son. Yet Ria doesn’t bring this up with Vikram, even when they call his parents to tell them he and Ria have gotten back together and his mother is noticeably hostile.
I think the novel needed to be about 30 pages longer to give Ria and Vikram time to work through these issues so they could start their HEA on solid footing, knowing that they each were being totally honest with the other. After spending most of their lives either in love with each other or pining for each other, they need to ensure that something won’t come between them again.
I would recommend this book to…
Lovers of Bollywood movies, second-chance romance, and costume/food porn.