Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Review: "A Change of Heart" by Sonali Dev

A Change of Heart Sonali Dev
Published: September 27, 2016
ISBN: 9781496705747
Genre: Romance
Source: Personal Copy
Highly Recommended

You might enjoy this book if you like: Multicultural novels, Romantic suspense, Sad but sweet stories

Summary:
Dr. Nikhil 'Nic' Joshi had it all—marriage, career, purpose. Until, while working for Doctors Without Borders in a Mumbai slum, his wife, Jen, discovered a black market organ transplant ring. Before she could expose the truth, Jen was killed.

Two years after the tragedy, Nic is a cruise ship doctor who spends his days treating seasickness and sunburn and his nights in a boozy haze. On one of those blurry evenings on deck, Nic meets a woman who makes a startling claim: she received Jen’s heart in a transplant and has a message for him. Nic wants to discount Jess Koirala’s story as absurd, but there’s something about her reckless desperation that resonates despite his doubts.

Jess has spent years working her way out of a nightmarish life in Calcutta and into a respectable Bollywood dance troupe. Now she faces losing the one thing that matters—her young son, Joy.  She needs to uncover the secrets Jen risked everything for; but the unforeseen bond that results between her and Nic is both a lifeline and a perilous complication.


Delving beyond the surface of modern Indian-American life, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s page-turning novel is both riveting and emotionally rewarding—an extraordinary story of human connection, bravery, and hope.

My Thoughts:
I think I just need to admit that I'm a total fangirl for Sonali Dev.  She has become one of the select few authors whose books I'll pre-order as soon as they show up on Amazon (although I think, from here on out, I'm going to opt for the print instead of electronic version.  There is nothing wrong with the eBooks, but I'd really love to have these keepers on my shelf and not archived in my Amazon account).

I will say that I had a little trouble getting into this one at first.  Part of that is that this particular book tends to veer a bit towards the Romantic Thriller subgenre, which isn't really a go-to of mine, but that is just a preference issue.  It also isn't something that happened in her first two Bollywood books, so I was caught a little off guard.  Once I got used to it, though, I was sucked right in.

Dev does such a wonderful job when she ties her characters into knots.  Both Jess and Nic have great backstories, although we did get a taste of Nic's in The Bolllywood Bride.  I also felt that Dev did an admirable job of giving out just enough information to keep the story going, but not so much that the reader doesn't need to wonder what is going to happen.

I loved the development of Nic and Jess's relationship.  Honestly, I wasn't sure that Dev could get them "there," given from where they started at the beginning of the book..  Yet, nothing between them felt rushed or forced.  Their own stories were also completely genuine and I found myself aching for both of them.

My only complaint about this book is a minor one--I felt the ending and the tying up of plots to be a bit rushed.  As I said, Romantic Thrillers aren't really something I read much of  and, ironically, I think that is why this wasn't a big deal for me.  Readers who are much more into that subgenre might not enjoy the ending as much.

There are two other things about this book that I feel I should put out--these aren't criticisms...they re just things to be aware of.  First of all, this book isn't exactly a standalone.  I do think that you need to read The Bollywood Bride first, as it not only introduces Nic and Jen, but also gives us Viky and Ria's story, which does come up in this book.

Secondly, a trigger warning: there is a scene in which a rape is somewhat graphically described.  I did feel that there was enough lead up to it that, if this is an issue for you, you would now it is coming and could skip it.

All in all, though, this was a wonderful love story and one I'm so glad Sonali Dev has given us.  Now I just need to wait for her next book.....

I was not solicited for this review and I received no compensation for this post.



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