A Bollywood Affair (Bollywood #1) audiobook
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A Bollywood Affair (Bollywood #1) audiobook free
Wow! This book covers a lot of ground, starting with Mili, who is a very complex woman. She believes in arranged marriages (she was betrothed at age four!) but also in independence, equality, and education, and goes to America to further her education. She still, 20 years later, believes she is married to a man (Virat) who is an officer in the Indian Air Force, although they have not met since their “marriage”. Virat needs his marriage annulled so he can marry his pregnant fiance, so his half-brother Samir goes to America to get the annullment. Samir, whose mother is American and who he hasn’t seen since his very early days,, is forced to attend to Mili after she injures herself. Mili and Samir find themselves attracted to each other, but both reluctant ot act on the attraction. Samir also must confront his abandonment issues. A fascinating juxtaposition of Indian and American cultures. I greatly enjoyed and learned from this book.
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I read this one because of how much a friend of mine loved it and while I also really enjoyed it, I really wish deception plots were less common. I hate them. But Mili is such a unique character and I really liked her and Samir together despite the deception. Mili was married to Samirs brother when she was four and then never saw her husband again, but very much still counts herself as married. Samir, as a favor to his brother, tracks Mili down in Michigan, but Mili thinks hes someone else and injures herself badly trying to run away from him. Samir takes care of Mili and finds himself really coming to care for this woman and trying to figure out how this sweet woman is trying to claim a share of his brothers estate. Theres a lot happening in this book plot wise, but it still manages to feel fully fleshed out and developed. I do want to mention that Samir has a traumatic past that comes up several times (child abuse) and there is representation of a serious illness in here.
Audiobook A Bollywood Affair (Bollywood #1) by Sonali Dev
Bollywood and Romance…it was inevitable, or was it? Romance is probably the most formulaic of genres and that formula does transfer well to Bollywood. But would the melodrama of Bollywood transfer well to the American romance genre?
Strangely, it does….very well!
While I don’t think readers of A Bollywood Affair need to be Bollywood experts, it does help to know a bit about what Bollywood actually is, otherwise this book will just seem outright crazy (if you are completely unfamiliar with Bollywood, a good entry point is 2004’s Bride & Prejudice, an English-language Bollywood retelling of, well, you know…It is currently streaming on Netflix). The thing is, there is a reason why this book feels like a Bollywood movie–and I heard a rumor that it will soon be one. Bollywood may not be exactly mainstream in romance, but it actually works.
I really appreciated how Dev wrote this–there are a lot of interesting cultural details, but Dev doesn’t put them out there like a lesson. Too often in books set in a non-Western (or even just non-American) culture, the author feels that they have to take the time to explain everything. Dev, on the other hand, just puts it out there like it is the most normal thing in the world to the audience. The reader may not catch what something is the first time it is mentioned but, by the end of the book, they know what it is.
I really enjoyed both characters. While they are, like many characters in romance novels, a little “shinier” than reality, I still found myself rooting for both of them, especially Mili. She is a wonderful mix of innocence and sass. Samir is definitely in the rakish vein of romance heroes, but Dev does flesh him out nicely and I found myself liking him more than I thought I would.
As this is romance, predictability, is, well, predictable. However, I still found some nice twists and turns in this story. The plot does go a little dark in the second half, but Dev addresses it in a way that the narrative does not become melodramatic. Personally, I liked this section of the book the best as it is here that Dev really gets into the emotional side of her characters.
There is one way in which this book differs from Bollywood. Bollywood movies are chaste and this book is…not. It’s not erotica–the spice level is on par with other mainstream American romances–but I did find it surprising when put against how Bollywood-ish this story is Still, it has some of the more tastefully done sex scenes that I’ve read in romance in quite some time.
While I read romances, I rarely find one that I feel I can recommend unreservedly. In fact, this is the first one I can think of when that has happened since the retirement of LaVyrle Spencer in the 90s. Dev is a formidable new voice in romance and I can’t wait to read more by her!
Audio A Bollywood Affair (Bollywood #1) narrated by Priya Ayyar
Mili has been married since she was a child to a man she barely remembers. For the last 20 years she has been hoping he will come and get her.
Samir’s brother doesn’t realise the marriage he was forced into as a child still holds, he sends him to the US to get her to sign annulment papers, assuming the village girl will be easy to persuade. Things don’t go to plan.
Get what you pay for with this book really.
A pretty basic and unnecessarily complicated story in parts that takes pains in some areas that didn’t need to be complicated and glosses over points that should probably be explained more comprehensively because they seem pretty unbelievable (though maybe slightly more believable than Bollywood standards was what she was going for).
Didn’t root for either of the main protags, Samir’s reaction to any woman he’s not related to or Mili are pretty derogatory and he engages in deceit and manipulates for gain without much sense of guilt. Mili is more likeable, but is your standard Mary Sue that’s clumsy (see Bella Swan). She makes irrational decisions (like the decision to trust Samir at all) and seems to spend a lot of time crying or falling over.
That mingled with the frankly tediously repetitive use of descriptive writing when it came to Samir and Mili bordered on clich (lots of cascading hair and sparkling eyes). The descriptive use for some scene settings were good, but besides Mili and Samir, there didn’t seem to be a lot of reference to how many of the other characters looked, not always a fault in writing, but with such focus on how the main characters looked, the other characters seemed to be an afterthought and (unsurprisingly) are otherwise pretty one dimensional and undeveloped character wise too.
Free audio A Bollywood Affair (Bollywood #1) – in the audio player below
I just adored this story of Mili and Samir. It’s very well written with developed characters and a storyline that keeps hold of you. I loved the cultural details woven into the story. The relationship between the two protagonists develops beautifully. A wonderful read – one to savour and thoroughly enjoy!
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