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The heroine of Saved in Sri Lanka, Devika Fernando’s latest romance book, is named Sepalika which is Sri Lankan for the Night Flowering Jasmine or Shiuli (which is the name of my website, in case you didn’t notice :P)What better reason to pick up the book then, right? So pick it up I did, and let me tell you that I’m not disappointed at all.
Sepalika turned out to be a feisty woman, courageous enough to pursue a career as a tourist guide due to her interest in the country’s rich history, when most women would be too busy thinking of their complexion. I almost wished she had retorted to her fiancé when he suggested she apply sunscreen and wear a hat “so she doesn’t become too dark” like the other Sri Lankans. Yet I admire her spunk, her willingness to look for a happier future.
Daniel on the other hand, has been portrayed as a history-loving, long-legged Irishman with “polished cheekbones you can cut yourself on”. What draws Sepalika most to him is his Irish accent though, and their common love for world history. Somehow, reading through the first few chapters, I almost wished that I would get a glimpse of some redeemable quality in Daniel and so would Sepalika. When he gave me a glimpse of his chivalrous nature or the mischievous glint in his eye, I was already 5 chapters in, and till then I just had the Irish accent to make do with.
Mahesh, somehow, always felt like a looming shadow. We knew he was there but not quite, his thinking and ideology straight from the dark ages. I’m so relieved that he got what was coming! 😀
The chemistry between Sepalika and Daniel was sizzling yet tender. But will it be a love story against all odds, especially since Sepalika is keeping a secret from Daniel? What happens when Daniel finds out? Well, I’m certainly not telling, am I? 😛
I followed Sepalika as a guide as she travels with her tourists from Colombo to Kandy, Sigiriya to Nuwara Eliya and beyond. The scenic beauty is ethereal making Sri Lanka the topmost destination on my travel bucket list. The vivid descriptions of Sigiriya frescoes or 100 foot Buddha statue in The Golden Temple of Dambulla, the information about Uda Rata Natum and the Vannam dance forms, the local sights and smell and cuisine are enough to entice a traveler. It’s clear that Fernando knows her country of residence inside out and loves it, for the love spills onto her words and made me love Sri Lanka too.
Kudos, Devika, for writing such a sweet yet steamy romance.