Culture clashes and modern love

Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh (Hard Play #2)

Rebel Hard is probably Nalini Singh’s most important contemporary romance.  It’s the story of an arranged marriage, a modern arranged marriage.

Ms Singh has thrown caution to the wind.  And it’s wow!

It’s a fascinating story. But what I found most fascinating was my own reaction to it.

Truthfully, I only read this as it’s a Nalini Singh.  Why would I be interested in a book about an arranged marriage?  I tried to be open minded, but truly my prejudices about a woman being forced into an arranged marriage were leaking out.  Eek!

What became clear is that the clash that’s central to the story is Nayna’s own internal struggle.  She and Raj both want to make their own choices, yet for different reasons choosing the traditional route was also important to each of them.  Their journey is emotional and filled my heart with love.

Their initial meeting was madcap and full of attraction. But their hopes and dreams were not aligned.  I loved how they weaved their way around each other, with each step they were a little closer each time.  Simply gorgeous.

The characters are wildly different (wait for grandma!), yet almost all were of Indian descent.  The insights into their culture were fantastic.  If you want a sweet, sassy and sexy romance this has your name on it!

My love for the TRex is well known and until now unwavering. I haven’t abandoned The Bishop (Rock Hard), but well Raj gave him a real run for his money.

Thank you Ms Singh for opening my eyes, never would I have considered arranged marriage had a place in today’s society.

Thank you Nalini!

The Bollywood Bride Sonali Dev (out Sept 29th)

A gorgeous read.

A romance that is both sweet and passionate; a relationship that smoulders with burning fire based on childhood friendship.

The contrasts in Ria and Vikram’s relationship reflects the differences between the Bollywood weddings that Ria stars in and the real deep connection that Nikhil’s wedding ceremony showcases.  The welcome from his family to his bride is simply magical.

I so enjoyed seeing the variety of contrasts that Ms Dev provides, perhaps that of Ria the Bollywood star and the troubled girl returning to her family in Chicago for a wedding is the most engaging.  But the most powerful differences are between Ria and her mother.  Whilst Ria may believe that her mother shows her own future, its clear that Ria has a powerful control over her mind.  Her ability to control her emotions and understand her mental fragility give real hope for her future.  The final scenes as she talks about her parents and her future is both gut wrenching and heart warming.

As for Vikram – intense, gorgeous, tough, gentle, creative, intelligent and sexy.  Who’d stand a chance?  Seriously.

Ms Dev has created a wonderful cast of characters from some crazy dancing aunties to a bitchy venture capitalist they shine.

Its one of those books you don’t want to end, but equally you can’t wait for the ending.  And you head relentlessly for the ending as you can’t put the book down!

I read this because of a quote from Nalini Singh – one of my fave authors (psy changeling & rock hard).  So, thankyou Nalini for introducing me to another new lovely author as I await the arrival of Naasir!

Thanks to netgalley for an ARC in return for an honest review.  The Bollywood Bride is out on the 29th September.