Thrilled to be supporting my lovely friend Ritu Bhathal with her re-release of Marriage Unarranged on 6th June, now published by Spellbound Books!
The cover above has been updated with a little quote from Amanda Prowse on the front! How cool is that!
And a press release…
Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Well, I loved Marriage Unarranged so much I read it twice. Lol. It’s quite a long book!
I read it for the first time as a beta reader with an ARC and then again for this review. Everything about this engaging romance appealed to me: the characters, the cultural aspects, the little touches of humour, the Asian family dynamics, the beautiful and informative descriptions of India, (I’ve never been, but it has always been forever on my bucket list,) This story transported me there, and I especially loved the detail in the Gurdwara scenes in which Sikh’s come together to worship and share simple community tasks. Oh, how I would love to visit!
I found it particularly relatable as my mother is from an Asian background and the first thing she says to me in the morning is ‘What are we having for dinner!’ The lovely cooking scene between two of the characters in the book, sums this up so much. Food is of prime importance in Asian culture and can be a great ice breaker.
I also loved how Aashi ‘s character changed as the story progressed, retaining all her admirable qualities (and she has these in abundance,) but becoming more confident. To begin with she is cossetted by her family and her brothers, Sunny and Bali. But, away from home, her trip to India with her brothers and her best friend Kiran does wonders for her flagging self-esteem after Ravi’s selfish treatment.
All the characters in the story are well crafted. I especially have a soft spot for: Aashi, her best friend Kiran, (who fights her corner like every best friend should,) her feisty brother Bali, and Arjun, the potential love interest otherwise known as ‘Pillow.’ Even the subsidiary characters such as the fashion designer Milan are well crafted and entertaining! And, Ravi well he’s a rat!
The fledgling romance unfolding between Aashi and her ‘Pillow’ was just so lovely, especially after all the heartbreak she experienced with a broken engagement.
The reveal towards the end of the story regarding Arjun was an interesting addition and I loved the humorous ending!
I better not say anymore for fear of spoiling the story for you.
My recommendation: Go get a copy! My rating 5 stars.
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And… Coming Summer 2023, is book 2 in The Rishtay Series! It will now officially be part of a series, The Rishtay Series with book two coming out in June 2023! Rishtay means relationships, which covers both romantic and familial relationships that are at the heart of this whole series.
How exciting is that! Looking forward to reading book 2.