India

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A Holly Jolly Diwali

Niki Randhawa, heroine of the rhyming A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli, has always been risk-averse. She chose a practical career, lives with her parents, and dates only steady, proper men. This has not paid off, as she finds herself both single and unemployed. She decides to take a break from pr ...

B+
The Rules of Arrangement

While periodicals like Salon and The Atlantic sounded the death knell on chick lit back in the 2010s, I’ve been noticing a mild resurgence of the genre via reprints and new releases. The Rules of Arrangement is one of the latter, a modernized iteration of the classic formula of a young woman juggl ...

A-
Mother Land

Leah Franqui’s Mother Land isn’t quite as interesting as her first novel (America for Beginners), but in its messy, wonderfully insular sense of family, culture and the notion of rebelling against both, it’s quite the unique gem. Rachel Meyer, recently moved to Mumbai with her new husband D ...

A
The Henna Artist

In The Henna Artist, author Alka Joshi introduces readers to a smart, independent-minded heroine, struggling to gain independence in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Lakshmi Shastri makes her living creating beautiful henna designs on the skin of some of the city's wealthiest women. It's a ...

B+
Of Curses and Kisses

Sandhya Menon opens a brand-new series of fairytale retellings centered around an elite academy with a magical secret with Of Curses and Kisses, a lovely re-take of Beauty and the Beast. Book-loving Rajkumari Jaya Rao of the Imperial House of Mysuru enters St. Rosetta’s International Academy in ...

B+
Of Curses and Kisses

Sandhya Menon breathes new life into the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale with her diversely cast Of Curses and Kisses. The author’s humor creates a nice balance to her look at serious issues like teen loneliness and parental expectations in this fun YA novel. The Emersons and Raos are the Engli ...

B
The Object of Your Affections

Falguni Kothari's The Object of Your Affections isn't an easy book to define. It's the story of best friends who embark on a journey that will change their lives in unimaginable ways. It's a quiet story that focuses on the inner development of its characters rather than on the high drama that fills ...

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The Secrets Between Us

Thrity Umrigar's The Secrets Between Us is one of those books I want to shout about from the rooftops. I want everyone to experience the depth and beauty of the author's writing, the power of which moved me to tears on several occasions. It's not a book that is designed to make readers happy, but th ...

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Not Quite a Husband (#14 on our Top 100 Romances list)

An AAR Top 100 Romance originally published on June 12, 2009 If you want to read Sherry Thomas's third novel, Not Quite a Husband, choose a moment when you have some time to yourself, because this is a book not so much to devour, but to savor at leisure, like a glass of excellent wine. A short ...

A
The Duke of Shadows

I read The Duke of Shadows for the first time some years ago – before I started reviewing – and I remember being blown away by the quality of the writing, the richness of the setting and the passion and intensity of the romance.  I don’t get much time for re-reading these days, but I decided ...