Inconvenient Relations (Arranged Match #1) by Simi K Rao is the first book in the Arranged Match series. It is the story of Shaan Ahuja and Ruhi Sharma set in India and the United States.
Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.
This multi-cultural contemporary romance story of an arranged marriage is a beautiful blending of showing the Indian and American cultures. Readers will learn more about the Indian heritage and the romance that happens behind closed doors in an Indian relationship in Simi K. Rao’s Inconvenient Relations. This coming of age story about true love explores multi-cultural issues. Her next book, The Accidental Wife, will be available in 2015.
Ruhi Sharma, 24, is the only daughter of Amrit and Devyani Sharma of Chandigarh. She is very beautiful and accomplished. Her parents had raised her in the best way they could, so apart from being an MBA, she was proficient in household work. They want to get her married and when the proposal comes from the most well-known family in Chandigarh for their well-accomplished son, their happiness knows no bounds.
Shaan Ahuja, 27, youngest child of the four sons of Ahujas, is a fresh aerospace masters graduate from a premier engineering institute located in the Los Angeles, California. He works in a leading aeronautics and space exploration company in Los Angeles.
Ruhi wants to make her father happy and agrees to the match. She has a traditional Indian wedding with all the paraphernalia and comes to her marital home as a blushing bride. But her bubble is burst on her wedding night when Shaan tells her that he cannot do justice to this arranged marriage as he is in love with someone else. He tells her that he has been forced into this marriage because he had to fulfill the last wish of his dying grandfather. She calmly tells him that it was not her fault and requests him to think it over. She tells him that they could stay married for two months before telling their families that they want an out.
So Ruhi and Shaan move to the US, and decide to stay there as flat mates- Shaan being the generous one giving Ruhi the master bedroom and taking the smaller room himself. He gets engrossed in his work and even forgets to get her a phone or give her some cash. She keeps herself busy with the house and the kitchen. And then she starts to explore and meets an old lady at a bus stop, and they become friends. The old lady calls herself, Sunshine. She makes friends with his friend and his family and they treat her like family.
Do Shaan and Ruhi do what they had decided to do or do they become close? Read on….
The author has developed the story around arranged marriage, which is very common in India. Families meet, approve of the match and the boy and the girl get married. The same thing happened with Shaan and Ruhi. They get married only for her to realize that his love interest lay somewhere else.
The characters have been developed in a way that it was very hard not to fall in love with either of them. Ruhi, I loved but Shaan, I could not hate. Even the supporting characters like Sunshine, Sujoy and his family, the Sharmas and Ahujas have a role to play in the story. The characters are so true to life and relatable. The conversations and the interactions between the characters are very realistic. The author has described the feelings of both the characters in detail. And the silent conversation between Ruhi and Shaan was cute. The relationship between the characters has been described well.
The narration is simple but I felt that the book could have been made about fifty pages shorter. The use of hindi words gives the story the Indianness and the author has even described the terms used at the end of the book. A lot of emotions have been described in the book from affection, love, jealousy, romance, friendship. Some scenes have been described so well that it was easy for me to picturise them.
The book is unputdownable from the word go.
Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.