Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal -- A Review

The Reluctant Matchmaker 
by Shobhan Bantwal 

I found this charming romantic comedy a fun lighthearted read at a time when I sorely needed a mood lift.  I think the author's own branding of her romance novels as 'Bollywood in a book' is spot on as I could so see this as a movie.

The narrator, Meena, is a still unattached PR professional pushing thirty, who as the daughter of India immigrants on the east coast is embedded in an American ethnic sub-culture that stigmatizes the single life-style for a women when it continues much past the end of college.

So Meena, several years post college, is getting a lot of not so subtle hints from family and friends and has just seen her own best friend married off and thus unavailable for the on-a-moment's-notice confidences they both so depended on.

It's not that she wants to be single.  She just hasn't had much luck at finding that happy ever after love match she dreams of and has begun to wonder if her resistance to the arranged marriage like her own parent's quite successful and loving one is misguided.

Then one morning on her way to a meeting with her new boss she rushes out of an elevator without looking and collides with a giant of a man taking an embarrassing tumble that knocks her breathless and sprains her ankle.  When the giant the lifts her up and carries her gently to a couch she begins another tumble--into love and it seems a seriously sprained heart.  For her gentle giant, who turns out to be the boss, Prajay, has noticed her alright but not in the way she hoped.

He had noticed her competence at her job and thought those skills would translate well into a task he needed done on a very discrete basis.  He offers to pay her regular consultant fees to solicit and screen applicants for the role of his ideal bride: intelligent, professional, independent, thirty-something and tall--very tall.  Prayjay views his exceptional size as being a danger to any petite woman.

How can Meena bear to perform this heartbreaking task for him.  Yet how can she not?  Not only can she use the money, it does mean spending more time in his presence.  And maybe in the meantime he'll open his eyes and heart to the potentially perfect match that had already fallen at his feet.

From the Publishers:

It starts with a bizarre accident. When young and petite Meena literally collides with her strikingly tall boss, Prajay, she takes a nasty fall, but doesn’t count on falling in love with him. So imagine her dismay when he makes an astonishing request. He wants her to craft a personal ad that will help him find a suitable wife, a statuesque, sophisticated Indian-American woman who will complement his remarkable height. Despite Meena’s attraction to Prajay and the complications of balancing work and her “marriage consultant” role, she can’t refuse his assignment. And yet, she comes to some surprising realizations about love, tradition, and the sacrifices she will—and won’t—make to win over her giant. 

What They're Saying about other Bhantwal titles: 

“One of the best [novels] I’ve read this year. I couldn’t put it down…this book is a gem!” –Mary Monroe, New York Times bestselling author on The Unexpected Son

“Compelling and memorable.” —Mary Jo Putney, New York Times bestselling author on The Forbidden Daughter

“Vivid, rich…expertly portrays a young woman caught between love and duty, hope and despair.” —Anjali Banerjee on The Dowry Bride

“Dazzles you with a taste of Desi culture in America.” —Caridad Piñeiro


Shobhan Bantwal is an award-winning Indian-American author of five multicultural women’s fiction books with romantic elements, branded as “Bollywood in a Book.” Her articles and short stories have appeared in The Writer magazine, Romantic Times, India Abroad, India Currents, and New Woman. The Reluctant Matchmaker is her sixth book, scheduled for release on July 1, 2012. Visit her online atwww.shobhanbantwal.com to learn about her books, trailers, contests, photos, recipes, and more. Visit her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ShobhanBantwal.author.

Tomorrow I'll be posting an interview with Ms Bantwal coupled with a giveaway so be sure to return for that.  Meanwhile, follow the blog tour to see more reviews, and guest posts by the author and giveaways:


1 tell me a story:

Teddy Rose 8/07/2012 11:55 AM  

Thanks again for taking part in the tour. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book!

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