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A Bollywood Affair [Kindle Edition]

Sonali Dev
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“Deeply-felt emotions that will keep readers turning the pages.” --Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author

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.

Heartfelt, witty, and thoroughly engaging, Sonali Dev’s debut is both a vivid exploration of modern India and a deeply honest story of love, in all its diversity.

“A delightful debut packed with complex characters and deep emotions.” —Shobhan Bantwal, author of The Dowry Bride

“Sonali Dev not only entertains but provides new insight into the human condition. A must-read.” --Mingmei Yip, author of Peach Blossom Pavilion

Editorial Reviews


"A Bollywood Affair is an impressive debut ...Vibrant and exuberantly romantic, Affair is chock full of details that reflect India's social and cultural flux." -

"Debut author Sonali Dev writes a beautiful love story in A Bollywood Affair... One of the best romances I've read this year." - USAToday

"Dev's heartfelt debut novel is rich in scenes and images illuminating Indian culture, leaving readers with a greater understanding and appreciation of Indian traditions while beautifully capturing the struggle between familial duty and self-discovery." - Booklist

"This tasty Indian American confection will satisfy readers of any age who would enjoy a contemporary, transcontinental romance told with a light touch and lots of sizzle." - LibraryJournal

"Based on this marvelous debut, Dev is set to become a star. An Absolute winner from begining to end, this spellbinding tale grabs your heart and never lets go!" - RT BookReviews

"Deeply-felt emotions that will keep readers turning the pages. A Bollywood Affair has it all." --Susan Elizabeth Phillips,  NYT Bestseller

"Deeply romantic and emotional, with characters I fell in love with, A Bollywood Affair is simply unputdownable." -Nalini Singh, NYT Bestseller

"A Bollywood Affair was one of the best books I've read this entire year. The characters are so richly drawn, the writing is utterly breathtaking." - Kristan Higgins, NYT Bestseller 

"A delightful debut packed with complex characters, deep emotions and just the right touch of humor." -Shobhan Bantwal

"As intricate as a henna tattoo and as sweet as gulab jamun
...With a setup as far-fetched and irresistible as that of a classic Bollywood musical, this witty confection is sure to delight." - ShelfAwareness

About the Author

Sonali Dev has published several articles on art, architecture, and movies in the Indian Architect and Builder magazine. She was also an assistant editor at Architectural Journal in Mumbai, India. She coordinates Windy City Romance Writers' of America Four Seasons romance writing contest. Sonali lives in Chicago.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1002 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1617730130
  • Publisher: Kensington (October 28, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JVW6GQ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,259 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful thought provoking book November 10, 2014
By Bj Cox
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is nothing like the joy of reading a five star book and finding the words to share it with other readers. Mili Rathod could easily have been a Mary Sue, one of those good girls it is hard to relate to. Instead Ms. Dev has given us a heroine that is innocent, good to the bone, concerned for the welfare of others and trying to make a difference in her world. Mili was married at four years old to Virat Rathod. Mili's grandmother had raised her daughter and married her off when she lost her daughter and son-in-law and had to raise their daughter. She scraped together a dowry for Virat's grandfather and waited for them to take Mili. Virat joined the Air Force and annulled the marriage, but the grandfather stopped the paperwork and continued to run through all Mili's assets. At 24, she was still waiting for her husband to come get her while educating and preparing herself to be an officer's wife. She get a chance to study in the US and sells her dowry jewels to buy her plane ticket. She lives in a ghetto and washes dishes in a Chinese restaurant to make money to send to her grandmother.

Sounds depressing, but it is not. Mili is full of laughter and has accepted her lot in life. She is still trying to prove she is worthy of affection. Her room mate is a drama queen who is about to elope because her family wants her to marry a cardiologist and she is in love with a computer programmer grad student. Meantime, the grandmother has taken matters in her own hands and files a lawsuit to get her grandaughter a legal share of Virat's grandfather's estate and force him to come and get her. His wife is pregnant and his plane crashes. Virat learns that the marriage is legal and he will have to get an annulment to keep his upcomming child legitimate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book November 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I love a story that takes me on a journey. Through the growth of its characters, through rich cultural diversity, and through a myriad of emotions. Sonali Dev’s debut novel A Bollywood Affair was a heart warming story, filled with a cast of engaging characters, set against a backdrop of powerful and vibrant imagery and took me on that journey and stayed with me after i read the last page. It tells the story of Mili and Samir, two people who grew up in the same area in India, with the same cultural beliefs, yet ending up with different perspectives on those beliefs and traditions, one with a more western view and one more eastern.

All Mili wanted to be was an irresistible wife to her husband and after an arranged marriage when she was 4 years old, she decides that she is going to do everything in her power to make that happen. Once she is old enough she decides to take off to America to educate herself and make herself worthy of her husbands stature. Even though she hasn’t seen him for 20 years, she saw marriage as sacred and believed he would come for her one day. I instantly warmed to Mili and her innocence yet wordly knowledge charmed me. She had strong cultural beliefs instilled in her by her grandmother who had brought her up after the death of her parents. Her ties to her native traditions were strong, yet she melded them beautifully with the ways of her temporary home, America. I loved that she still retained her childlike wonder while demonstrating that she was mature beyond her years. Her humour, her clumsiness, her total immersion in her love of good food where endearing character traits and her fierce loyalty to her family and friends and, her generosity to strangers, were qualities that i admire. She really was a character that I connected to easily.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Over-the-top Bollywood-style romance November 7, 2014
A Bollywood Affair was an interesting read. I loved the idea of the book, but the execution was slightly lacking for me.

For a Westerner, the idea behind this story is fascinating. Mili was married at the age of four, and even though such child marriages are illegal, she has always considered herself to be a wife, even though she has no memory of her husband. Her husband, however, believes that the marriage was dissolved and has married again. When he learns that the marriage has not been officially set aside, he asks his younger brother, Samir, a Bollywood writer/director, to get Mili to sign the paperwork to end their marriage. When Samir meets Mili, sparks fly, and he is able to overcome the writer’s block that has kept him from completing his latest script. In order to keep writing and to keep from destroying his growing relationship with Mili, he hides the truth of who he is from her. When the truth finally comes out, Mili has to decide whether she can ever trust Samir again.

I loved getting a glimpse into Indian culture in this book—that’s one of its biggest selling points. The main characters, Mili and Samir, are also a strong point of the novel. Mili is strong character, determined to better herself in spite of her humble background and to do the right thing by her husband; she’s also quite funny at times. Samir is less immediately admirable, since he deceives Mili. However, since his actions are in part inspired by the strong allegiance to his mother and brother he feels after suffering from abuse at the hands of others as a child and also by his genuine feelings for Mili, they are understandable.

The weak aspect of the novel for me was the over-the-top nature of almost everything in the story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Love Story
I liked this story. It was witty and moved along. Easy to read; the meanings of the few Hindi words can be deduced from the context. Read more
Published 14 hours ago by Cabellero
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed the story
I really enjoyed the story , who knew you could be married off at 4. Grandfathers can be crooked everywhere. Mili faithful for all those years. Read more
Published 17 hours ago by Chris Bush
4.0 out of 5 stars However some of the terms used in the book could have been better...
Very enjoyable book with some educational value on the conflicts between the traditional and modern Indian lifestyle. Read more
Published 18 hours ago by teresa
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story
The hype was so big around this, I think my expectations were too high. It was hard to get into, for me the back story could have been more engaging. Read more
Published 3 days ago by SummerMeadow8
5.0 out of 5 stars A slice of perfect!
This book was an amazing journey through a culture and a love story for the ages. Milli was married to Samir's brother at a very young age, and now she wants to claim her husband... Read more
Published 5 days ago by W.Byrne
4.0 out of 5 stars Yummy romantic treat!
This was a fun and exciting read. The author has a real talent for writing descriptively, bringing characters to life on the page, and moving the story along. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Dr. CSS
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed it very much. Laughed out loud at times.....waiting to read her next book.
Published 8 days ago by Ajitha Abeyratne
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this book in a total two days. ...
I read this book in a total two days. When I had to put it down I could not wait to get back to it.
Published 11 days ago by no
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
Good Valentine's weekend read.
Ten books listed in the Daily Herald.
This was a fun choice.
A few twists but outcome predictable.
Published 13 days ago by M. P. Fontana
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel good kind of romance
“A Bollywood Affair” by Sonali Dev. Both Samir and Mili are genuine good characters that have been through a lot in different ways. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Vanessa Hinman
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More About the Author

Sonali Dev's first literary work was a play about mistaken identities performed at her neighborhood Diwali extravaganza in Mumbai. She was eight years old. Despite this early success, Sonali spent the next few decades getting degrees in architecture and written communication, migrating across the globe, and starting a family while writing for magazines and websites. With the advent of her first gray hair her mad love for telling stories returned full force, and she now combines it with her insights into Indian culture to conjure up stories that make a mad tangle with her life as supermom, domestic goddess, and world traveler.

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.

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