• Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Arts and Culture

Modern multi-cultural romance is relatable and offers many surprises

By: Manju Chandran

THIS is the second book from author Alisha Rai in her modern love series and continues her exploration of the romantic genre in contemporary culture.

While her first book The Right Swipe looked at dating apps, this time around the trigger point for the plot is social media. The story revolves around Thai-American model Katrina, who has risen up from very difficult beginnings to become a famous celebrity, who lives an extremely secluded life and is dealing with anxiety and other mental health related illness.

That privacy is shattered when a video of her in a café of an innocent encounter, goes viral and gives off the wrong impression. With the internet on the hunt for Katrina, she gets her friend and bodyguard Jas Singh to whisk her away to his family home. That search for privacy unexpectedly leads to romance between Katrina and her handsome bodyguard.

The nicely paced novel built around the chemistry between the two protagonists has a multi-cultural romantic story, which is layered with other issues like mental health, social media and being brave enough to start all over again. The relatable character and situations turn what initially looks like a lightweight read into an engaging story that offers up surprises along the way.

The slow-building romance is also an aspect that those who have fallen for a friend will connect with and the background issue of mental health is dealt with in an intelligent way. Just like her novel The Right Swipe, this story is also connected very much into the smartphone generation with everything just a click of a button away.

On the downside, the author does veer away into unnecessary territory and perhaps the supporting Indian protagonist seems more researched than the lead character. That doesn’t stop this book, which has plenty of sensitive, sexy, smart, emotional and fun moments from being a good escapist story to spirit you away from the current self-isolation being inflicted on the world

Eastern Eye

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