Shari Jones needs to get a life. Preferably someone else’s.
Single, homeless and jobless, Indo-American Shari agrees to her best friend’s whacky scheme: travel to Mumbai, pose as Amrita, and ditch the fiancé her traditional Indian parents have chosen. Simple. Until she’s mistaken for a famous Bollywood actress, stalked by a Lone Ranger wannabe, courted by an English lord, and busted by the blackmailing fiancé.
Life is less complicated in New York.
Or so she thinks, until the entourage of crazies follows her to the Big Apple and that’s when the fun really begins. Shari deals with a blossoming romance, an addiction to Indian food and her first movie role, while secretly craving another trip to the mystical land responsible for sparking her new lease on life. Returning to her Indian birthplace, she has an epiphany. Maybe the happily-ever-after of her dreams isn’t so far away?
Shari Jones has made a mess of her life. She's lost her boyfriend, her home and her job in one fell swoop, and yes, all those things are connected. So when her best friend Amrita gives her the chance to head to India to impersonate her Shari doesn't have anything to lose. All she has to do is dump the fiance that Amrita's parents have arranged for her to marry and then head back Stateside. Easy. Or not as the case may be.
Shari was born in India to an Indian mother and an American father, but she has lived most of her life in the US. When she arrives in India she is almost overwhelmed by the sights, the sounds, the atmosphere, the food and more. It turns out that the fiance, Rakesh, is really a good guy and a pretty good sport given that he knows that Shari isn't who she is pretending to be almost immediately. He goes along with the charade though in order to protect Shari and Amrita from his overbearing family, but only on the condition that he gets to meet the real Amrita and to find out why he isn't good enough for her.
In addition to having to navigate the perils of Rakesh's mother and sisters there is also the small matter of Rakesh's business partner, Drew, who is instantly suspicious about Shari's intentions and to whom Shari is very attracted.
This was a fun and flirty read, and touched on some interesting issues like prejudice and living life with two cultural identities (this is a subject that I often find interesting because of my son's mixed heritage, especially seeing as his African cultural experiences are very limited). I would suggest that this very nearly sits in the category of chick lit as well as contemporary romance. The voice is first person, the characters are often brand name dropping and for all the being broke, they seem to be able to indulge in wearing and shopping for very expensive clothes and more.
There are small issues - some of the characters are a little two dimensional, and the connection between Drew and Shari is very physical for example - but if you are looking for a fun read which has a different setting to so many of the other contemporary romances that are out there at the moment then this might be the book for you! If nothing else you will be craving Indian food! All the food mentioned in the book sounded exotic and tasty and oh so good!
I should mention in relation to the food that Nicola Marsh is currently doing a blog tour where she shares some of the recipes for food mentioned in the book. I am hoping that there will be something that I can make in amongst those recipes and I will try to do a Weekend Cooking post accordingly.
As long as you go into this book expecting that all the women are beautiful, the men all rich and handsome, a little bit of inane humour and lots of fun, then you will have a good time reading it.
Thanks to Netgalley and Entangled Publishers for the egalley of this book.