Friday Favourites #14: Sonali Dev


After a short break I'm back with my Friday Favourites posts. This week please welcome Ms Sonali Dev, author of the absolutely fabulous A Bollywood Affair (review) - contemporary Indian romance, set in India and the US. Her second novel, The Bollywood Bride, which I already read and loved so much, is releasing on 29 September 2015. Read on the learn more about Ms Dev's love for travelling and 1990s sci-fi miovies, together with old Bollywood claasics.

Friday Favourites

1.    Favourite place
Its impossible for me to answer this question because one of my favorite things to do is to travel. Its almost as though the husband and I work primarily to support our wanderlust (food, shelter, clothing and raising children war for second place). And I dont remember a single place Ive travelled to that isnt a favorite is some way. But if I had to pick a few Id say Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan for its combination of idyllic charm (no motor vehicles are allowed on the island and those large hoofed horses are straight out of a fairy tale plus theres the perpetual smell of fudge being cooked) and the pristine blue of Lake Michigan edged by white rock and sand. Then theres the Hanging Bridges of Arenal in Costa Rica where youre literally walking over the rainforest and theres thirty layers of plant life living on top of plant life. And for some crazy strange reason the incredibly touristy Covent Garden in London because every single time Ive been there some sort of silly, wonderful memory had been made.

2. Favourite food and drink 
Gosh, did you pick these questions to torture me? Anything thats well crafted. A perfectly balanced marinara is just as much a thing of beauty as the most complex biriyani. Having said that, the rose flavored macaroon from LaDuree in Paris might be the most magical thing Ive ever eaten. The only thing that beats it is this steamed rice flour dumpling stuffed with sweet coconut that my mother makes called Modak. Drink is easier: Moscow Mule is my current favorite.

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song
Classic Bollywood film songs from the seventies.
Breakfast in America by Supertramp might be a song thats been a favorite the longest and Ill listen to Hotel California hundred times a day and not tire of it.

4. Favourite movie/TV series
Movies: I love nineties sci-fi movies. Minority Report, Fifth Element, Gataca. I love the metaphors about love and free choice and discrimination.
TV series: Big Bang Theory and Im still kinda hung up on Friends and Seinfeld.

5. Favourite hobby besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby
This ones easy. Reading. Hands down. Id rather read than do anything else.

Favourite books 

The Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
Vikram Seths prose is pure poetry to me, incredibly smooth and perfectly pitched. This story set in newly independent India is a perfect snapshot of an infant nation with all its cultural complexities and characters whove stayed with me twenty years after the last time I read the book.

A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
The way Mistry brings this multi layered, incredibly complex story together is nothing short of genius. And you can smell and taste this book, you feel it in your marrow, its crazy powerful writing.

The Bronze Horseman, Paulina Simmons
This love story set during the siege of Leningrad in WW2 is everything a love story should be. You fall madly and entirely in love with Tatiana and Alexander, you live their love. I suggest you expect to be entirely useless for at least a week after you read this book.

Bridgette Jones Diary, Helen Fielding
The perfect neurosis of being a woman is unapologetically captured in this delightful, hilarious retelling of Pride and Prejudice. There are lines I laugh out loud to even after having read them a hundred times.

I also have to mention the last three books Ive read because theyve been incredible treats.

Kristan Higgins If You Only Knew. At once ugly-cry poignant and shriek with laughter funny, Higgins foray into Womens Fiction epitomizes everything thats beautiful about her writing.

Molly OKeefes Everything I Left Unsaid is a classic romance that turns the genre on its head. Superbly damaged characters who are beautifully pure of spirit and writing that made my breath catch while making me smile.

Kate Meaders Playing With Fire is a delicious romance but Ive never seen a heroine quite like this one. I've read 'plus size' heroines before (and they often make me cringe) but Alex is big and strong and utterly comfortable in her skin. Not just comfortable but proud of her strength. She's a firefighter, and her body and her spirit are not just an asset to her job but the essence of an identity she embraces with pride and passion. Not one single negative thought about her body. The world needs more heroines like this.

Author Bio and Links

Award winning author, Sonali Dev, writes Bollywood-style love stories that let her explore issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after. 

Sonali’s debut novel, A Bollywood Affair, was one of Library Journal and NPR’s Best Books of 2014. It won the American Library Association’s award for best romance, is a RITA Finalist, RT Reviewer Choice Award Nominee, and winner of the RT Seal of Excellence. Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog. 

I loved Ms Dev's debut novel, A Bollywood Affair, which made the list of my favourite books of 2014. I just finished her second book, The Bollywood Bride, and it's even better - an intense, somewhat dark, somewhat hopeful and happy contemporary romance.


Ria Parkar is Bollywood's favorite Ice Princess--beautiful, poised, and scandal-proof--until one impulsive act threatens to expose her destructive past. Traveling home to Chicago for her cousin's wedding offers a chance to diffuse the coming media storm and find solace in family, food, and outsized celebrations that are like one of her vibrant movies come to life. But it also means confronting Vikram Jathar.

Ria and Vikram spent childhood summers together, a world away from Ria's exclusive boarding school in Mumbai. Their friendship grew seamlessly into love--until Ria made a shattering decision. As far as Vikram is concerned, Ria sold her soul for stardom and it's taken him years to rebuild his life. But beneath his pent-up anger, their bond remains unchanged. And now, among those who know her best, Ria may find the courage to face the secrets she's been guarding for everyone else's benefit--and a chance to stop acting and start living.

Rich with details of modern Indian-American life, here is a warm, sexy, and witty story of love, family, and the difficult choices that arise in the name of both.

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