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A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

AbollywoodaffairWhy I read it:  I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  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 naïve 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.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I admit I’m not a big Harlequin Presents reader.  While I don’t mind reading about the occasional rich alphahole, many of the HPs I’ve tried have not worked for me because the power differential in the relationship is too great – perhaps I’ve tried the wrong ones but the alphahole vs the innocent doormat ingenue mostly doesn’t work for me (Not that I’m saying that all HPs are like that.  I don’t think that is the case).  A Bollywood Affair isn’t a HP, but I think it’s a close cousin.  It seems to me to fit within the common tropes and themes within the line, while at the same time being somewhat fresh and different to the usual fare. I didn’t personally find that it subverted tropes.  It seemed to me to stick fairly closely within them but it mostly did this in an entertaining way which I enjoyed, but did not adore.

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