This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
He’s Bollywood royalty and she’s… not. What could be more fun than a modern Cinderella retelling set against India’s Bollywood? I was eager to dive into this new series by a new to me author.
Vikram Raawal, A-List Bollywood actor and CEO of his family’s film company is at the top of his game and yet, he’s having an existential crisis because he felt he has lost his way and is lonely for a real relationship. A rejected marriage proposal from his fellow actress and best friend, a fight when his brother calls him cold, arrogant, and out of touch, and then a sizzling encounter with his grandmother’s new personal assistant have him ripe and ready for a spicy flirty encounter with a disguised lady at a charity masquerade. But, when the ball’s over and the masks come off will he be able to find his Cinderella?
Naina Menon’s childhood actor crush walks into the room only to find her mimicking a scene that wasn’t one of his finer moments. A fiery exchange of hostile, but truthful remarks leaves her knowing that Vikram was right about her hiding from life and no fit person to pass judgment on what she can’t possibly understand. So, the night of her ex’s engagement party, she let’s Virat escort her to a charity masquerade ball so she can rub shoulders with India’s dazzling best and have a bit of a thrill to show herself that she’s ready to live a little. Then she encounters a softer and understanding side to Virat’s annoying brother who is nothing like their first encounter. He is all she had dreamed of in a man and he thinks she’s something of a dream. But, what will happen when the mask comes off and he’s looking at ordinary Naina?
Claiming His Bollywood Cinderella is a light and quick-read romance against the glitz and glamour of the movie world. I wanted something not very challenging, but slightly spicy, light, and romantic with engaging characters. With those expectations, I was not disappointed. Vikram and Naina’s romance had some conflict from the disparity of their circumstances, their equally strong personalities, and their own issues including Vikram’s struggles within his family and trying to do what he thinks of as duty rather than what he wants, but the conflict wasn’t searing and deep so it did feel like a fairytale romance with the issues mostly a matter of recognizing what was holding them back and wanting the romance enough to work at it. I confess that the romance felt a tad under-developed though I didn’t mind since it was a shorter novel and I anticipated that.
I enjoyed the lavish and bright description of the urban Indian setting, family and circle of friends. There was a nice balance of warm family with glitz and glamour life all while giving me a good flavor of Indian culture which is a huge draw to this story. Vikram’s Daadi (gran) was great and I can see that his brother, Virat, is going to need his own book. I was well aware what lay at the heart of the conflict when Vikram asked Zara to marry him and Virat chewed him out.
So, it was swoony, decadent, spicy and a lightly developed swift romance set in a gorgeous world. I can recommend it to contemporary romance fans who are looking for something in this fairytale retelling style.
My thanks to Harlequin for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #166
About the Book
He’s a Bollywood superstar, she’s a personal assistant… And their one night proves that keeping things professional will be impossible in this passionate and uplifting Cinderella romance from Tara Pammi.
A brief encounter… A forbidden fairy tale!
The hottest actor in Bollywood, Vikram Raawal has found love countless times—when he’s playing a role. In real life, he’s given up on finding a soul-deep connection and prefers to focus entirely on his career. Until at a masquerade ball, one woman leaves him craving more…
Naina Menon’s first impression of drop-dead gorgeous Vikram left much to be desired. But then one heart-stopping night shows her there’s so much more to him than his celebrity persona. Still, he’s a billionaire, and she’s a humble assistant. Is passion enough to bridge their different worlds?
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