Congratulations to the lovely Ritu Bhathal for the highly anticipated release of her latest book! ❤️
This is a delightful male-male sweet romance. Sunny is just adorable and Milan is the perfect guy for him! I raced through this book in one highly enjoyable weekend. -Bestselling author Jeevani Charika
Who knew that an innocent trip to India in the year 2000 would have such an impact on his life?
Sunny had only gone as a chaperone for his sister and her best friend and to attend to a few business matters.
He’d ended up with a deal that would change the shape of his professional future and possibly his personal one too.
Battling the pressures of marriage by his family isn’t Sunny’s only fight, as he finds his feelings for a certain ‘friend’ may be more than just friendship.
But how can he tell anyone how he truly feels?
Because the road to love isn’t always straight…
Ritu Bhathal is a fresh, new, and much-needed voice for British Asian fiction.
Straight As a Jalebi is Book 2 in the Rishtay Series, following the Gill family in the new millennium.
Book 3 Due out in 2024.
Ritu Bhathal’s latest novel Straight As a Jalebi tackles arranged Sikh marriages, the divide between attitudes of the older and younger generation, the difficulty of M/M and other religious denomination relationships, as well as the bigotry of some family members and the wider community in the UK and abroad to gay relationships.
I also read and enjoyed the first book in this series: Marriage Unarranged.
Straight As A Jalebi continues the tale with the familiar characters of Sunny, (the older brother,) Milan, (the flamboyant fashion designer,) Aashti, Arjun, Kiran, Bali, (the younger hot-headed brother ) as well as new additions: Harpreet and Priya. The latter parts of the book with Harpreet and other characters are really touching. I really liked the development of her character. In fact, I enjoyed the female inventiveness and kindness demonstrated by women trying to find solutions to Milan and Sunny’s predicament.
Straight As A Jalebi gives insight into the older generations’ attitudes, obsession and customs associated with marrying off their much loved children personified in Mummy-ji and Daddy-ji and the aunties!
In a similiar way to the first book, Marriage Unarranged, Straight As A Jalebi has many cultural references which I enjoyed.
The ending tied up book two well and introduced the reader to more to come with a taster of book three at the end. It can be read as a standalone, but the series is best read in sequence.
I certainly enjoyed this quick dialogue led read. It felt like you were part of a fascinating conversation!
The ending and Milan’s character were somewhat subdued to what I had expected!
Perhaps Ritu Bhathal intends to reveal more of Sunny and Milan’s story in book three. I hope so! It’s my gut feeling that the author wanted to show another dimension to Milan’s persona with a more personal, still flamboyant but less overtly so, to reveal a more authentic side to his character. I better say no more for fear of spoiling this novel!
Overall, a highly recommended read for romance fans and the LGBTQ community with a cultural detail in the backdrop which is sure to entice.
My rating 5 stars
Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with 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 on 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, http://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.