Photo courtesy of http://www.anjugattani.com
My fling with romance novels continues with this gorgeous find, the December 2011 release of Anju Gattani’s debut novel DUTY & DESIRE, heralding the author’s arrival into the world of women’s fiction, with strong overtones of romance and fantasy, in her first installment in the Winds of Fire series.
When duty usurps desire, can one woman stay the course and fight for what she believes? Set in modern day India, this is a passionate story filled with love, betrayal, and a haunting reality so stark, beautiful and desirable Sheetal Prasad wonders just what she’s gotten herself into by marrying Sanjeet, heir to the staggering Dhanraj fortune.
Sure I’ve seen Indian weddings in movies such as Bend it Like Beckham, but nothing prepared me for Gattani’s sumptious, vivid, detailed descriptions of an elaborate display of riches and jewelry, sari colors, and the excitement or drama (whichever you prefer) occurring at such a life changing event. Gattani’s descriptions activate my imagination and made me feel as if I was at the wedding watching the machinations of jealousy, hate, and joy unfold.
I’m married to a lover of exotic cars who knows everything there is to know about the Lamborghini so when I came across my one nit pick where the author chose to meld together a Murcielago and a Diablo, I had to inquire if such a thing was possible. Sadly no, it’s not, as these are indeed separate cars with equally separate make-up. Nevertheless, this minute misstep is overlooked as it never once detracts from the story being told.
In order to survive the harsh dichotomy of strict loyalty and unbound desire, Sheetal must find a way to tame her wild, sexy, and unrepentant husband. But Sanjeet is holding onto a secret that threatens to irrevocably destroy their marriage and sever the fragile bonds holding his family together. And with no assistance from her in-laws, who are deeply embroiled in fighting demons of their own, Sheetal turns to her family for help only to realize she is the only one capable enough to fix her problem.
Despite her fears, and a rather shaky confidence, Sheetal’s hunger to succeed propels her forward, helps her overcome her demons, soothes her husband’s savage ways, and cement her place in the hierarchy of the powerful Dhanraj family.
Well, if the romance genre is going to be filled with all these wonderful stories of love in Eastern lands, I’ll be adding more spaces to my reading lists.
Anju Gattani is a new author on the rise. For more information on her Winds of Fire series, check out her website at www.anjugattani.com