A Bollywood Affair

As intricate as a henna tattoo and as sweet as gulab jamun, Sonali Dev's debut novel takes its inspiration from the world of big Indian cinema. Mili Rathod of Balpur, India, has waited 20 years for her husband. Married at age four to 12-year-old Virat (and then separated when his family moved away), her beliefs in tradition and destiny have left her pining for their reunion. After her acceptance to an international study program in Michigan, Mili resorts to writing a letter asking her absent husband to claim her.

Bollywood director Samir likes his women without strings attached, but he would do anything for his family. When his brother Virat--who is now married with a baby on the way--receives a letter claiming his childhood marriage that he thought had been annulled years ago is actually valid, Samir offers to go to America and talk the girl into bowing out of her claim. He expects a gold digger but instead finds idealistic, tender-hearted Mili, who injures herself in their meet-cute of mistaken identity.

Seeing Mili as the cure for his writer's block, Samir pretends to be her new neighbor. Under the guise of helping while her ankle heals, Samir remains close to his muse--he'll tell her everything once his script is complete. Soon, however, Samir is cooking for Mili, taking her to a lavish wedding and falling in love. As the lies mount, he wonders if she can forgive him for the truth.

With a setup as far-fetched and irresistible as that of a classic Bollywood musical, this witty confection is sure to delight. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

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