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Tall Poppy Review: Love, Heartbreak, and Samosas

in Fiction by

Romance comes in many forms: sweet and light, steamy and fun, dark and suspenseful, magical and mysterious—and that doesn’t even scratch the surface. Sonali Dev’s second novel, The Bollywood Bride (Kensington Publishing), continues her trademark blend of heartbreaking backstories, electrifying romance and Indian culture.

“They were surrounded by people, seemingly enjoying the company, but they kept stealing glances at each other as if everything else were just a distraction.”

The Bollywood Bride introduces us to Ria Parkar, a Bollywood star with a deeply troubled past and an icy demeanor meant to keep admirers at arm’s length. When she returns home to Naperville, Illinois in suburban Chicago for a family wedding, she must confront her childhood friend and ex-boyfriend, Vikram Jathar, the former love of her life who she last saw ten years before when she crushed his heart.

“She was a ticking time bomb and he was angry enough to be her fuse. And together they were a tragedy waiting to repeat itself.”

In the giddy swirls of wedding preparations for their cousin, the two ex-lovers are forced to interact under the watchful and very nosy eyes of their many aunties and uncles. With outside threats from a mystery blackmailer and looming paparazzi, tension mounts and sparks rekindle.

Dev’s gorgeous writing yanks on the heartstrings as the characters’ tragic shared past unfurls, leading our hero and heroine on the path to their well-earned happy ever after. Within the novel, the emotional toll of mental illness, particularly as it relates to family and culture, and workplace sexual abuse are explored as significant plot points, adding complicated layers to the characters. 

While covering dark topics, lightness keeps the book balanced with a plethora of scrumptious Indian food prepared by the many aunties (oh, to spend a day in that kitchen) and Dev’s wry wit.

If you like your romances to contain as many tears as they do swoons, then grab a copy of The Bollywood Bride and enjoy it with a side of samosas.

The Bollywood Bride is now available for purchase.

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About Sonali Dev

Award winning author, Sonali Dev, writes Bollywood-style love stories that let her explore issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after.

Sonali’s novels have been featured on best book lists by Library Journal, NPR, the Washington Post and Kirkus Review. She has won the American Library Association’s award for best romance, the RT Reviewer’s Choice award for best contemporary romance, the RT Seal of Excellence, and is a RITA Finalist and has been listed for the Dublin Literary award.

Sonali 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. Find out more at sonalidev.com.

Amy E. Reichert is the author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE (Gallery / Simon & Schuster, summer 2015) and LUCK, LOVE & LEMON PIE (2016). She earned her MA in Literature from Marquette University, and honed her writing and editing skills as a technical writer (which is exactly as exciting as it sounds). As a newly minted member of the local library board, she loves helping readers find new books to love. She’s a life-long Wisconsin resident with (allegedly) a very noticeable accent, a patient husband, and two too-smart-for-their-own-good kids. When time allows, she loves to read, collect more cookbooks than she could possibly use, and test the limits of her DVR.

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