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.
Another emotional read from Sonali Dev! This one had a different feel to it than her first book (A Bollywood Affair)–overall it was darker with less of a lighthearted feel, mainly due to the secrets Ria’s keeping. (Yes, there’s secrets in Affair too, but they’re not quite as weighty as these.)
But–Such. A. Good. Book!
I did spend a huge chunk of it pleading with Ria to just tell Vikram already–gah! It took so long–but ultimately all the angst was worth the wait because the rest of the story was just so well written. Despite the overall seriousness of the storyline, there were some lighthearted moments–when Ria takes the boys shopping for wedding clothes, for example–that provided a nice foil for the somber mood of much of the book.
And Vikram is such a picture of broody deliciousness. I have no idea how Ria could have possibly left him in the first place! (But hey, if she hadn’t, no story–so there is that…)
Bride has another cast of fantastic characters, and such detailed descriptions of Indian food that it had my mouth watering the whole time–I just cannot wait for Ms. Dev’s next book!
In the meantime, if I were to be invited to a traditional Indian wedding, I sure as heck wouldn’t say no… 😉
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.