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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A Date with a Bollywood Star review

Mills & Boons novel in Indian setting was an interesting proposition. Though the terms like bindi, halwa are sprinkled here and there, the writer duo, who go by pen name Riya Lakhani, have set their novel in England.

The heroine Rani, is a twenty five year old journalist of Indian origin working for the London Review. The hero is her teenage heartthrob, Bollywood superstar Omar Khan, who is of Pakistani origin and lives all the time in London. The story ( I know no one is interested in knowing the story of a Mills & Boons novel as everyone knows it. Still I go ahead) is that Rani gets late for her interview with the Bollywood star, get her leg twisted and literally falls for her hero. 

On the very next day our hero asks for a night out and tells her that he is in search of a ghost writer for his autobiography, though doesn’t tell her that he has fixed her for the job. On the very next day he takes her to his Gregorian Villa for a brunch. She gives up her job and moves in with him albeit only for professional purposes viz. writing of his autobiography.

No wonders the professional goal turns into personal and they end up in bed. Only after having a good time there, does Rani discover that the thirty eight year old star is already married. So then come few misunderstandings, financial problems and parental opposition. Finally the father has a change of heart and they have a grand wedding. Now as regards the writing style is concerned in the initial few pages the complex sentences make the comprehension difficult. Much words are devoted to describe the tea lover heroine’s kitchen.  For example see how do the following sentences sound. “Just as Rani stretched their arms as far as they could go without actually letting go Omar tugged back towards him like a yo-yo, spinning her back into his arms.” and “It wasn’t what Rani had expected, but then she wasn’t sure what to expect; even in the short time she’d known him it was hard to second-guess what was going to happen next.” Fortunately as the novel progresses such complex sentences reduce in number. However there comes the contender for bad sex in novels category with “Omar was standing so close to her, his award-winning bottom just an inch away from her. She was overcome with a desire to grab it in both hands.” 

As regards the story is concerned the raw end of Omar’s mother remains raw till the end. We only know that she is dead. In commercial novels like these the readers should be told in unequivocal words as to whether she was an orphan or a prostitute. The change of heart of Rani’s doctor father is also illogical. Most importantly there are no sparks in Rani-Omar relationship. Where the novel scores is it lives to the expectation of catering to a teenage girl's fantasies. The novel can be termed as an average. Not bad at all for Indian Mills & Boons which gave us a nightmare called Secrets and Saris.

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