Title : The Malhotra Bride
Author : Sundari Venkatraman
Publisher: Flaming Sun; 2 edition (February 11, 2014)
The Malhotra Bride is Author Sundari Venkatraman’s second novel, the first being Double Jeopardy. With this novel the author has forayed into the self-publishing world and I wish her lots of luck and hope she’ll sell lots of copies.
Suneeta is a beautiful and lively girl who wants to chase her dreams of becoming an interior designer so when her parents ‘fix’ her marriage with the most eligible bachelor in town – Akshay Malhotra of the Malhotra Garments, she hatches a plan to get rid of the prospective groom. Even though Akshay is quite smitten by Suneeta and is ready to allow her the freedom she desires, she doesn’t relent and sends Akshay packing. But when she comes to know that her very strict parents are planning to hold a ‘swayamvar’ for her, she hesitatingly signs a ‘contract’ with Akshay to be his bride. Whether she becomes the Malhotra Bride or not is for you to read and find out my dear readers.
The novella was a light and breezy read and I finished it in a single sitting of 3-4 hours. Yes, that’s how engaging and interesting the story is! I couldn’t keep the book down and was compelled by Suneeta and Akshay to turn page after page. The first thing that attracts me to a book are the characters and I found beautifully sketched-out and real characters in this one. Starting with the strict Gokul Rishi to the understanding Grandpa Ratan to The Malhotras, all were interesting as well as believable. I think, of all the characters in this novella, Grandpa Ratan (or dadaji as he is fondly called), steals the show! Sundari has a strong voice and it comes across in the narration. The plot is full of unexpected twists and this makes the book un-putdownable. I did wish though that the conflict were more intense. The ‘contract’ was not used to it’s full potential. I wondered to myself what if both sets of parents had found out about it? And then, what if Grandpa Ratan had found out about it? It would have made the climax more nail-biting. But well, that’s just me and the author has done a fab job with the book so no, this doesn’t take anything away from the book.
I would recommend this book as a quick weekend read to all Romance lovers of the world. Yes, the world because some of the rituals described in the book are very visual and I’m sure everyone will enjoy them.