I received an ARC of the book The Wish To Belong by Sunanda Chatterjee from the BookSprout and am thankful to them for the same.
Dr. Lily Leoni may have grown up in the exclusive Wellington Estates, but she will always remain the butler’s niece, an outsider looking in. Arjun Dheer seemed like a kindred spirit until he broke her heart. Lily has moved on, but something’s amiss in her new relationship.
On all counts, Arjun Dheer is a savvy businessman and entrepreneur. But a career decision threatens everything he yearns for, and the only way out is marrying the wrong girl. But Arjun has never forgotten Lily.
With their attraction undeniable, but their relationship impossible, can Lily and Arjun forge a way through the chaos of secrets and betrayal to a place of trust and belonging?
Book 4 of the Wellington Estates Series, The Wish to Belong, is a stand-alone romantic saga about second chances, acceptance, and finding love despite all odds.
Lilibeth Leoni, Lily, an only child, and her mother were abandoned by her unemployed, drunk, gambler father twenty three years ago when she was six. And then when she was seven, she lost her mother in a hit and run and was brought up by her Uncle Anthony. She grew up with the Riley’s family where her uncle Anthony was a butler and they lived in a small outhouse at the back of the property that belonged to the Rileys. She was grateful to the Riley’s for all that they had done for her but her allegiance belonged with Danielle, her best friend since elementary school.
Eight years, when Danielle and Lily were in college, they met Arjun Dheer, from India, who was also one of the students and the three became best friends. Arjun was her college friend and heartthrob with whom she had broken off before she joined medical school saying that she would be busy. This was because she felt that Arjun and Danielle belonged together and Danielle’s happiness meant everything to Lily and she felt that she had to encourage Danielle’s friendship to Arjun because their families were similar. and it was Lily’s responsibility to make sure that Danielle made the right choice. And also because Arjun was never around, he disappeared for days at end, didn’t answer her texts and almost never called.
Arjun Dheer belonged to a rich family in India and his family owned wineries in India. Arjun has a younger sister, a loving mother and a much older and aloof father. All his life, Arjun had tried to impress his father, but it was his sister who was Daddy’s favourite.
After college, Danielle moved to India on a project and Arjun had helped Danielle by getting (temporarily) engaged to her when she was in India to protect her reputation.
Now, twenty nine year old Dr Lilibeth Leoni is a third year resident in the emergency department of a hospital. She knows the importance of conveying her empathy, her concern, her support to the next of kin of her patients. Her boyfriend, William, is the Chief oncology Fellow at the hospital.
Arjun, now 28, needed to show his father that he was capable, responsible and that he belonged to the family. The feeling of helplessness and inadequacy from Lily’s rejection still haunted him and drove him deeper into his work to justify his life. So, he bought a winery in Temecula, Southern California a few years ago and left his secret life for good, one year ago. Once his new ventures took off, he could finally be rid of his other obligations. And then there is his grandfather’s will which states that all the property would be divided between Arjun and his sister only if they marry an Indian.
Arjun and Lily meet after eight years and they have their questions but they also have the attraction going strong. Arjun was the most thoughtful, most considerate, most caring person she had known and Arjun had loved no one but Lily. Both seemed to have something to prove to the world.
But, She saved lives. He took them. They could never be together.
I loved the story and read the book thrice and enjoyed it even more each time. There are so many stories within the story and each story has so many layers. As with the other books in the series, this book can be read as a standalone, though characters from the previous books do make their appearances.
I loved the characters and how they have been developed. The author had developed the back stories so well that it justifies how each character behaves and reacts to the situations. Lily’s compassion is so visible, and so is Danielle’s friendship. The relationships and conversations between the characters is very realistic. Arjun’s love for Lily could be felt. The emotions have been described in detail and as with all her books, relationships are the main point in the story. She has described relationships in relation to kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken crockery, by mending the cracks with a mix of lacquer and gold or silver dust resulting in a stunning piece of art.
The language is simple and the plot has been developed in detail. Though the story moves back and forth between the past and the present, I never got lost as the author has mentioned the time at the beginning of the chapters.
A beautifully written book, which has all the elements, friendship, family, relationships, romance, love and even loss. The story made me laugh, cry and smile, sometimes all at the same time.
I loved the book and would definitely recommend it.
Waiting eagerly for the next book of the series, which I think would be the story of Avinash Singhania.
DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC of the book from BookSprout in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.