When I first started The Bollywood Breakup Agency by Naina Gupta, I thought I could tell what would happen. Neela Solanki, in her twenties, loves to party and have a good time, shop, and is fortunate enough to come from a wealthy family and doesn’t have to work, is getting pressured from her traditional Indian parents to find a suitable husband. Neela is against arranged marriages, and sees what her best friend V is going through with her disastrous soon to be husband. But when her parents tell her to either find a husband or they will cut her off financially, Neela starts a secretive new business- breaking up arranged marriages. Her first customer is bestie V, who can’t imagine spending the rest of her life with her repulsive fiancée. As word spreads, Neela’s services become more popular. At the same time, she is possibly finding love herself––but will he be accepting of her business? And will his family be accepting of her?
Like I said, I thought I knew what was coming. The first few chapters I was completely turned off from Neela. Egotistical (constantly talking about how she beautiful is), self-centered, selfish, and completely relies on Dad to fund her way through life. She even makes jokes about getting a “real” job––clearly so beneath her. As the story continued on, I kept waiting for the lightning bolt moment to strike––for Neela to realize her repulsive attitude was one that needed to be changed. But it didn’t happen. So I kept reading, thinking for sure this girl has to turn her life around at some point. Well––spoiler alert––it doesn’t. The self-centered, lazy, spoiled, selfish attitude reeks throughout the entire book. I’m confused. Why was this book written? All I took away from it was that the bad girl gets everything in the end. No lesson learned, all the way to the last page. And I figured out who Mr. Trivedi’s son was within the first two chapters. The suspense was not there if it was going to be mentioned every other page. And I’m sorry, but Neela doesn’t even love Navin as a person––she loves that he was a big TV star. She talks horribly to his dad, but he stands up for her? Baffling. I have no interest in reading the sequel and am really disappointed in this book. The idea behind The Bollywood Breakup Agency is a good one, but Neela needs a major life adjustment for me to be able to recommend this book.
**This book was provided to me for a review with no compensation.**
In My Mailbox: Week of November 20
Author: Meryl Davids Landau
Received: From Meryl Davids Landau
Synopsis: Lorna Crawford has a great boyfriend, longtime friends, and a well-paying job as special-events coordinator at a premium ice-cream manufacturer. But, out of sorts and filled with self-doubt, the 33 year old soon realizes that what she really wants is to stay on the spiritual path she keeps diving off of. Lorna jump-starts her efforts at a silent yoga retreat. But after returning from the mountain, she quickly loses her connection in the face of scheming coworkers, judgmental girlfriends, and, especially, her overly critical mother. Lorna also wrestles over her future with her boyfriend, a hot guy who takes her to the hottest places, but who can’t discern a meditation cushion from a toad stool. Reading spiritual books and visiting a channeler and energy healer move Lorna forward, but her confusion remains. Lorna’s seeking is put to the ultimate test when personal tragedy strikes. Will she come to truly understand that living spiritually has little to do with how you pretzel yourself on the yoga mat (although she gets plenty good at that), and everything to do with embracing the twists in everyday life?
Author: Nicola Marsh
Received: Nicola Marsh
Synopsis: 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 fiancÃ© 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 fiancÃ©.
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?
Author: Beth Labonte
Received: From Beth Labonte
Synopsis: Bored administrative assistant, Tessa Golden, is trapped in a life of lousy weather, irritating bosses, and mind-numbing secretarial work. Her dreams of being an artist have rapidly deteriorated into building things out of paperclips while on hold with tech support. To make matters even worse, the love of her life has gone off and married another woman.
So when Tessa is suddenly transferred to the Las Vegas branch of her company – playing wingwoman to her freshly divorced boss, juggling a client-from-hell, and catching the eye of one very eligible coworker – will her life finally be shaken up enough to straighten itself out?
Author: Naina Gupta
Received: From Prospera Publishing
Synopsis: When party-loving Neela Solanki rejects yet another loser in the long line of potential suitors who keep turning up in the ‘good’ room, her traditional Indian parents finally take decisive action. Fed up with her persistent refusal to provide them with a son-in-law and grandchild, the Solankis confiscate the phone, car and credit cards they pay for, and give her one last chance to comply before she is kicked out of the house.
Desperate for cash, Neela starts up a secret business breaking up the engagements of those trapped in the unstoppable force that is an Indian marriage arrangement. Add to that an addiction to Indian soap operas, being stalked by the latest loser’s father, a jilted ex and a love interest from an unlikely source, and Neela finds life is about to take a turn she never expected.
Debut Authors and Titles- November 2011
Author: Pricilla Bleik
Synopsis: India Roman has always come second best. Growing up with a clinically depressed sister, overbearing mother and then settling for a controlling marriage to a much older man, India is used to accepting what little life throws at her. When her husband leaves her with two young children and a mortgage, on the same day her sister goes missing after successfully auditioning in the first round for the world’s premier talent show, India decides to take a chance on herself. Taking her sister’s place on the talent show, India lies about her age and pretends to be her sibling to make it through to the finals. But there is more than one dark secret in her past, and just when it seems that India might finally come first, a shocking revelation rears up to steal the limelight once more.
Available: ebook in November and paperback early 2012.
Author: Naina Gupta
Synopsis: Twenty-six-year-old Neela Solanki’s family is fed up with her rude refusal to either work or marry any of the eminently suitable men put before her, so they cut her off without a penny. Unable to make her designer ends meet, Neela stumbles upon a unique business idea – a breakup agency that helps ‘de-arrange’ unsavoury Indian engagements. However, Neela’s brash attitude to her culture soon comes back to haunt her, when she finds love in the most unusual of places.”
Available: ebook in November and paperback early 2012.
Author: Samantha March
Synopsis: Jasmine Jones is ready to begin her new life as a college student, and is ecstatic to have best friend Abby by her side. But weeks into their new college life, Abby drops the bomb- she is pregnant, and dropping out of college. Jasmine can’t handle the fact that Abby is wasting her opportunity to get an education, and going back to her cheating, abusive boyfriend. She struggles to move on from her friendship with Abby, but befriends two new girls at college. Everything seems back on track for Jasmine- great new friendships and roommates, a strong relationship with boyfriend Nate, and excelling at her college courses. But Jasmine’s newfound happiness is shattered when her pregnancy test comes out positive. Does she have to drop out of college now and become a young mother? Will Nate stay with her? How can she afford a child? Jasmine’s life has been filled with obstacles and challenges along the way- from a missing father, sexual and physical abuse, and addictions that tore her family apart. With this latest setback, Jasmine fears her life will always be a struggle. Destined to Fail is one woman’s story about overcoming adversity in life, about taking the negatives and finding a positive, and about never giving up hope.
Available: November 2011
Authors: Natalie Aaron & Marla Schwartz
Synopsis: As a producer on a reality dating show, Abby Edwards knows that true love is a myth. Her career and her friends are all she needs. Right?
When her screenwriter ex makes a hit movie based on their relationship, Abby’s faults are projected on screens across the country. Suddenly the fact that her job depends on orchestrating hot tub hook-ups doesn’t seem so impressive.
Her friends rally to help. Zoë thinks she needs to meet a guy. Stephanie suggests an attitude adjustment. Nancy wants her to get in touch with her inner Goddess. Abby knows they mean well, but she prefers to focus on her work. Unfortunately, she’s already embarrassed herself in front of her new boss, Will Harper, who she would find totally crush-worthy if he weren’t so irritating.
Abby’s about to be reminded that life doesn’t follow a script—and good things happen when you least expect it…
Available: November 2011