Wednesday, 4 January 2012
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... Book #263
Busted in Bollywood - Nicola Marsh
Entangled Publishing, 2011
From the back cover:
"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?"
Nicola Marsh very kindly sent me a copy of this to read and review. Thank you, Nicola.
The heroine Shari agrees to go to Mumbai and pose as her best friend Rita, and use her brashness in an attempt to scare off Rita's arranged fiancé. However an idea that initially seems a hoot soon turns into a bit of a headache for Shari. Not only does she have Rita's crazy Aunt constantly feeding her delicious yet fattening food, but Rita's intended Rakesh has figured out the plan and agrees to go along with it providing Shari will introduce him to Rita. Rakesh's business partner Drew, the hero, also knows Shari is faking it as Rita but seems to think she is some sort of con-artist/gold-digger. And if that is not enough Shari has also gained an admirer whom thinks she is a famous Bollywood actress. All this results in Shari having an amazing, if rather crazy, time discovering her Indian roots whilst landing a part as an extra, and falling in love with Drew.
I thoroughly enjoyed this, a lot more than I thought I would. The plot is so quirky that it is rip-roaringly fun to read. I love the eclecticness (is that a word?!) of the situations Shari seems to find herself in. Fun is the word here, and the entire book is! The romance is nice, but what is most special about this book is the solid friendship between Shari and Rita that is constant throughout the book.
The first person narrative is full of snark and self-deprecation that is humorous and witty, and I found it highly entertaining to read. The heroine's nickname habit did get on my nerves after a while, but I think it fit her zany character well. The culture and surroundings of Mumbai are beautifully described, and the food sounds mouthwatering!
Shari really does go on a journey, both a literal one and one of self-discovery and enjoyed every minute of it with her.
Nicola Marsh has done a fab job of writing a fun, rom-come style book that is very endearing.