I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the tour today and to share my review today for Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal. This was a fabulous read that took me into the life of Aashi, her family and her friends. A chick-lit with an Indian twist!
My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloos Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley from the publisher Spellbound Books.
s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶e̶d̶ ended with that box…
The year 2000 and Aashi’s life was all set.
New Millennium, exciting beginnings, new life.
Or so she thought.
Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.
But then Aashi found the empty condom box…
Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.
Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.
And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets?
A stranger who’s hiding something…
Coming Summer 2023, book 2 in The Rishtay Series
This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I need to read more. I loved the journey I was taken on with the story of Aashi, her brothers Bali and Sunny, also her best friend Kiran.
After discovering her fiance isn’t quite the man she thought he was, Aashi makes the decision to break up the relationship. Aware of the possible embarrassment and shame that she may bring on her family worries her. It is so good that she has an understanding family and her best friend.
Deciding to use the honeymoon holiday rather than cancel it, Aashi and her brothers and Kiran make the journey to India. A trip that brought surprises and new experiences as well as new contacts.
This is such a wonderful story and it was interesting to see the author had put a list of the Punjab terms for the different family members. I have to say that as I got to know each of the family members and also others in the cast it soon became easy to understand them. This list of terms also includes that they may refer to non-related people as well.
This was a fabulous story and one that was full of so many things I know nothing much about. Understanding the family and the traditions as well as how things are gradually changing was great, also the food. mmmm… it sounds amazing. The one thing that I really appreciated knowing was the way the characters reacted when they arrived in India. The distinct smell and the colour overload were something that I had not even considered.
While this is a story about family and friends, it is also one about working out what makes the characters tick. There is a wonderful romantic tension, and nothing is straightforward. I do like the referrals back to tradition and how the rest of their families would feel. Even though each character has a choice, they are always resp[ectful of their families and how things will appear. Family is the core of the story in some ways and it was great to discover this.
As the story gradually progressed from home to India and then back home again I was taken on a whirlwind of a tour. Had some giggles and laughs as well as feeling for some of the characters. Aashi especially. It seems that Aashi transformed when she was allowed to be herself, and this was a subtle but amazing thing to watch.
How things worked out at the end was so appropriate and I felt it kept within the traits of the characters and it just felt really right.
I cannot wait to read the next book in this series, as this one was the first. A story that I think fans of romance and contemporary fiction are going to love. I know I did and I would definitely recommend it.
The only problem with this book that I had, is that I have to wait until next year before I can read the second in the series!!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but of Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her. From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing! Ritu also writes a blog, www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards and Best Book Blog in 2019.
Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.
Check out the other stops on the Tour…
Many thanks fo reading my post,a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx