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The Smitten Husband (Marriages Made in India) Paperback – October 3, 2019
Tall, dark and handsome Ram Maheshwari lives in Jaipur. At twenty-nine, he is already a billionaire jewellery designer. When his parents go looking for a suitable bride for him, Ram goes along with their plan-he has no reason to refuse.
A beauty with brains, Sapna Purohit is a bridal mehndi designer, and her work is all the rage in Pushkar. She doesn't come from money, but she is feisty and assertive. A romantic at heart, Sapna dreams of a prince charming who will one day breeze into her life and sweep her off her feet.
When renowned astrologer Vidyasagar proposes an alliance between the two, he sets the wheels of fate in motion. One look into Sapna's stormy-grey eyes, and Ram is lost. Only, Sapna does not see her prince charming in him. But when the Maheshwaris offer to bear all the wedding expenses, Sapna is left with no choice except to agree to the match.
But what about her dreams? What about love? Steeling herself, Sapna sets a condition to the marriage. Will the smitten husband agree?
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- Publisher : Westland (October 3, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 164 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9388754492
- ISBN-13 : 978-9388754491
- Item Weight : 4.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.08 x 0.41 x 7.8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #9,563,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The smitten husband is basically happy and contented, having come from a well-to-do-family and founded his own prospering jewelry business. His family is prompted by an astrologer to seek a bride for him- it is past time! A daughter from a poor family of a religious professional who supplements the family income by her mehndi (temporary tattoo that adorn women) and who happens to be terrific looking is recommended by the astrologer. But the girl is used to being her own master and is further influenced by her friend who married for love. She tells her suitor that she does not want to marry, but feels pressure to not disappoint her family who recognize that she and they could not do any better. So she consents and feels manipulated and resentful. The bulk of the story is a chronicle of how the smitten husband with (almost) infinite patience woos his bride. The proximity of two attractive people enjoying many outings together (money is no object) leads (surprise, surprise) to physical desire, and a description of foreplay and lovemaking that was too much for me.
I had a friend from India who reported that her arranged marriage, like the vast majority, resulted in the couple falling in love. Martin Luther observed that putting a man and woman together alone on a regular basis is like putting straw next to a lit candle and expecting nothing to happen. When it happens it feels like a happy accident, but jaded outsiders see it coming. Counter-intuitively, arranged marriages have a lower rate of divorce than love marriages (so much for the "love wins" slogan), probably because parents have perspective and experience, and a knowledge of human limits that youth cannot imagine.
This story was an interesting picture of modern Indian society, the roles and social expectations. There was a feminine perspective reflected as well which portrayed the female lead's "faults" in the most sympathetic light, and the male in an idealized fashion- wealthy, patient, conscientious, etc. Like other romance novels, it conditions the female to expect a savior who will provide things she wants and then wait for her to come around. We all want a relationship where we freely give and receive, but getting to that sweet spot is the hard part, the subject of this little narration.
This is a breezy, quick read which I devoured in a couple of hours, like a refreshing drink and a spicy snack mixed into one because of its fluent style and its steamy undertones. Ram sounded like a hero I’d fall in love with, being so mischievous on the one hand and so kind and quiet on the other hand. I think he found a perfect match in the vivacious yet slightly insecure Sapna with her apt name (it means ‘dream’). I found it interesting that the author chose to make him a very masculine sort of hero but with softer, deeper sides to him – especially as he designs and sells jewellery. As for the heroine Sapna, she struck me as a little stubborn but smart and sassy too. I was somewhat reminded of the heroine in “The Madras Affair” by the same author (which happens to be my favourite of her novels). She had no tragic past holding her back, though, so Ram managed to win her over eventually.
The title of the book is pretty perfect. I liked its simple style, fast pace and sizzling scenes. As with the other book in the series by Sundari Venkatraman, it gave me a glimpse of previously encountered characters from another book (The Runaway Bridegroom, to be specific) and further endeared itself to me with that. Also, it took me on a short trip to an exotic location (Madurai), and that’s always a treat.
If you like short reads that don’t lack some tension and have nicely fleshed-out characters but no unnecessary clutter, then you’ll like this Indian novella. I just wish the story had been a bit longer.
Top reviews from other countries
Title- The title perfectly matches the theme of the novel and the way the story moves, it makes it apt.
Ram Maheshwari is a successful jewellery designer who has a huge showroom on MI Road, Jaipur. He’s tall, dark, handsome and a billionaire to boot. He’s twenty-nine and falls in with his parents’ wishes when they try to arrange his marriage.
The lovely, stormy-eyed Sapna Purohit is from Pushkar. She’s managed to finish school and makes a living by doing mehendi designs during weddings. She’s always dreamt of a Prince on a white horse, sweeping her off her feet.
One look into Sapna’s grey eyes and Ram is lost. Only, Sapna is unable to see her Prince in Ram. Being from a poor family, she has no choice but to go along with the tide when the Maheshwaris offer to bear all expenses of the wedding.
Does that mean that the feisty Sapna is all set to accept Ram as her husband? She puts forth a condition, after the wedding. Will the smitten husband agree to it?
*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.
Plot- The plot is simple and intruguing without any loopholes. The story revolves around a couple named Sapna and Ram who belong from different corners of the societies. When they come across things didn't click on both the sides but as the decision is based on man's verdict, the marriage happens. This is a journey of a non hero who later turns out to be a hero.
Theme- There are many themes in this novel. The main highlight is the male chauvanism society. Sundari maam elucidates that time when Indian men were the bread earners and their decisions were final but we find a bit of twist where the Maheshwari family is ready to accept their daughter- in- law the ways she is. But still when Ram agrees for the wedding inspite of Sapna's reluctance, this shows us this concept.
Wedding plays a vital role in this novel. Always girl's are affected if they don't get a proper match. Hence, here we notice Sapna as a victim of such things and her rejections were due to inability to pay dowry. But in the last case, Ram didn't ask her any dowry and her parents were pretty impressed by Ram and his family's thoughts.
Individuality is one such theme. In India, women are mostly deprived of their individualities. Sapna is independent and wants to marry someone who could understand her and has her own picture of a perfect husband but that image she couldn't find in Ram. She thought after wedding she would lose her individuality but this novel is full of surprises and the way Ram gives her space is impeccable.
Characterisation- The characters are realistic and amazing. I simply loved Sapna who is an independent girl with simple living and high thinking kind of attitude. She belongs to a poor family always lived with respect and dignity. When she comes across Ram, who is not her Prince charming she begins to hate things. She is not happy with the wedding and feels like a curse with this rich man. Later on, things take a positive change and love dwells slowly.
Ram is a rich guy who instantly falls for Sapna and doesn't want to lose her at any cost. Things get upside down when Sapna reveals that she doesn't want tobe with him. He gets infuriated and as an audience we do sympathise with him but when we he keeps himself at his wife's place he realises that he was at a fault. He tries every possible thing to mend the relationship and later on, his hard work is paid off.
Style- I really loved the Indian touch in the novel. The flow of the story was smooth and easy. The sentences were simple, compound and complex. The author has beautifully described the things be it the small house of Sapna or the ravishing environment at Ram's place. The narrative technique is mind blowing.
My Observations- This story highlights the arrange marriage. According to me, arrange marriages are beautiful as there is alot to know the person. It even takes our entire life to know a person but in love marriage we know everything from the start and that click begins to fade away. In this story, though Sapna wasn't happy earlier and had a bad opinion about Ram but later on, as she started living with him, spending time with him, she realised that he was not a bad person infact, he is a gem of a person. Sundari maam has beautifully delineated this concept.
Ram is that kind of hero, I’d fall in love with- spunky, naughty and mischievous on one hand and kind, cordial and good-natured on the other. And yup. He is drool-worthy. There was this one moment in the story where I went “OMG. What now!”, when Sapna puts forth her condition after their wedding. His patience and understanding is commendable. The chemistry is sizzling and spectacular too. I simply loved the story and it is fast-paced, saucy and racy.
The other characters are etched beautifully as well. I loved the bond between the Maheshwari brothers.
As always, the language and flow of the story was impeccable and having read other books from the author, that was a given. Also, the author always try to bring to light a social issue through her books. This time she pondered over dowry. That in itself is a huge plus.
And of course, it is a novella and you would be left with wanting for more.
All in all, I simply loved the book that I immediately bought the author’s next two books in the series.
Do I Recommend? Absolutely- For a light, fast-paced story.
Rating: A shining 5 on 5 from me.
Sapna has a ‘Cindrella’ kind of episode where her husband Ram plays the role of the prince as well as the fairy godmother. But there is one hitch—she doesn’t love the prince.
As all the girls dream, Sapna too had the dream of being swept off by a handsome prince, but Ram doesn’t invoke any such feelings in her when they meet for the first time. She is not able to say no to him since there was nothing wrong with his proposal. He was dashing, rich and ready to wed her without any demands. She marries him as a duty to her parents.
Ram on the other hand is totally enamored with Sapna, and doesn’t understand her reluctance for the alliance and attributes it to shyness on her part. He wants to give her the world, but everything comes to a standstill for him when Sapna voices her condition on the wedding night. The story is sweet as it unfolds and reaches the happily-ever-after end.
Ram is totally endearing in his role as a dotting son, brother and husband. One empathizes with his situation. On the other hand one can’t but agree with Sapna’s logic too. I loved both the characters as they complimented each other. The supporting characters are familiar and charming. And the sexy, sensuous escapades between two lovely characters are particularly enjoyable.
What is love? Is it the journey or a destination. The author has captured both sides of romance expertly in this sweet, sensuous romance novella. Written in her inimitable, simple style ‘The Smitten Husband’ is a perfect read for a lazy afternoon or a stormy night.
Smitten Husband is story about Ram and Sapna 's diverse emotions that creates an amazing love story .It is also about how each and every person accepts situations that endures his/her life persecution .
The writer has penned this story very well by giving us a hope to think about the bright future with his/her love .
It is not only about how poor or rich family you are coming from but also about the quality of individual that reflects his/her attitude towards the other person or a family .
5 Hearts for this book
The story is short and simple. The characters are clearly drawn and their emotions smoothly set out. We empathise with Sapna and her worries about fitting into a rich family, for we know how important money is to smooth the way when two families come together. The story picks up pace after they have a heart to heart and begin to understand the other’s issues and motivations. The two engage in a dizzying tango as chemistry and passion play a huge role in shaping their relationship.
The only problem I had with the book was that there was not much complexity in the plot. There seemed to be no negative characters at all, a rather unlikely phenomenon in the world we live in!
The Smitten Husband is as sweet and fresh as the jhangri that Sapna discovers during her honeymoon in the south! Definitely recommended if you like reading romance. Read in full here: [...]