At First Sight: Mili Rathod has been married for as long as she can remember, to a man she hasn't seen since said wedding 20 years ago when she was only 4 years old. And there is no sign that she will be seeing her husband any time soon, but at least being married has given her certain opportunities that would have escaped her otherwise, like going to University and then to study abroad to America, all in the effort to become a well-educated modern wife.
Samir Rathod worked hard to become one of Bollywood's most successful directors, and enjoys living the high life and dating beautiful actresses. However, under that public persona lies a man who would do anything for his family.
So when Samir's brother Virat finds out that he's still married to Mili, Samir decides he's going to fix this for his brother, hunting down the elusive bride and getting her to sign an annulment, so Virat can keep his life - and his new family - intact.
Once in Michigan, and after meeting Mili under less than auspicious circumstances, all of Samir's plans start to turn upside down, as Mili doesn't turn out to be like anything he imagined. She's smart, kind and beautiful, and before he knows what's going on, he finds himself stepping into Mili's life unable to tell her who he really is.
Second Glance: There are many words I could use to describe A Bollywood Affair. For one is compulsively readable - once I started I couldn't and I didn't want to put it down! - and its sweet, and the characters are truly unforgettable.
I kept thinking about Samir and Mili over and over, wondering how their story would unfold, and eager to get back to them. Both of them are very complex individuals. Samir is full of guilt and fear and is a bit damaged, but that doesn't stop him from being a good son and a good brother and generally a very decent human being. He has had lots of darkness in his life, but he is not a dark character.
Mili is stuck between two words and forever in a holding pattern, it seems. She wants to move forward, to start her life, but she can't until her husband comes to claim her; yet she has taken the time in between to make something of herself and take care of her grandmother as best she can and always willing to open her heart to new people.
They were very interesting and I enjoyed being in their heads. The secondary characters were a little bit less well drawn - with the exception of Virat and his and Samir's mother Lata who seemed more fully formed - but since the story was centrally about the time Samir and Mili spend together I was totally fine with that.
Even the setting was very interesting - most of the story takes place in Michigan with a little on Mumbai, and there is lots of references to Bollywood and the business, though they don't over power the story -and the food!! Oh, they talk about food so much in this book.
Bottom Line: I can't recommend A Bollywood Affair enough. It really grabbed me from the start and I was sad to see it end - I kind of wanted to spend more time with Samir and Mili - but it was very satisfying. And you know what? It did have a very Bollywood-esque feel to it, thanks to the turns that the story took, and I mean that in a best posible way.
This review is part of the A Bollywood Affair Blog Tour @ Tasty Book Tours. For the rest of the tour stops go here. And to enter the giveaway, just proceed bellow: