The Princess of a Whore House by Mayank Sharma
I was intrigued by the title and wanted to see how the author dealt with it.
The book is a quick read. Events flow one into the other. It is very obvious that the social issue of how children of sex workers are treated was what Mayank Sharma wanted to focus on and the story does that. It focuses on the life of Aparajita from her childhood to her happily ever after. It documents the problems she has first getting admission to a good school to colleagues accepting her. She is as the synopsis says a go getter and she is not ashamed of the fact that her mother has been forced into prostitution.
The story feels like a mixture of Cinderella and Pretty woman, but the characters are a tad unbelievable. It is difficult to imagine a 12 or 13 year old kid, who has been born in a remote tribal area and then spends a couple years being tutored with other children from the brothels, saying things like, “Life sucks when the stereotypes like you look at a million year old yardstick to decide what we deserved. Again and again you position us in your hierarchy based on prejudiced notions of a restrained society”
As far as the story goes, it is pretty good till the end. Then it disappoints. It could have definitely been handled much better. As they say, it not just the end of the story that is important, it is the settling down that comes after that that gives your reader true satisfaction.
About the author
“Her Secret Husband” is the third book in the “Marriages made in India” series. Having read five of the ten books authored by Sundari Venkatraman, I must say her writing has gotten so much better. This is really difficult for someone who already was a really good writer. But now her story moves seamlessly, through time and events.
The story very nicely brings out the fact that people see what they want to see. Ruma’s mother looks at the boy she has chosen for Ruma and thinks that they make a lovely pair. Dadima looks at them together and feels disgusted . The poor father just buries his head in the sand and notices nothing.
Her characters are well fleshed out. Whether it was Ruma, or Lakshman or Ruma’s grandmother, Sundari made them come alive. Though the series is about the Maheshwari family, it is Ruma’s character that had me hooked.
She comes from a conservative family that believes in arranged marriages and women not working after marriage, yet, she is a feisty young woman. She is not someone who sits quietly and lets life take its course. She is assertive and confident enough to make the first move, first by taking the first step towards ending the distance between them, by visiting Lakshman in his home town unexpectedly and then proposing marriage to him.
But there was one paragraph that made me fall in love with Lakshman.
“They walked to Om Book Shop where Lakshman insisted on buying every book she browsed.
“Laki, are you mad? I don’t need so many books.”
“I need to buy them for you,” was the quiet reply.”
Now that is what I call hero material!
HER SECRET HUSBAND
(Marriages Made in Heaven Book #3)
The Maheshwaris are back, a little secretly this time!
What do you do if you find a man who looks like chocolate, speaks like warm syrup, looks at you like you were the most precious cake ever created, and he can bake too? You marry him, even if in secret.
Ruma Malhotra falls head over heels and a little more in love with Lakshman Maheshwari, but her parents insist that she marry a rich businessman of their choice. When Ruma’s only option is to marry Lakshman in secret, she is left torn between her love for her parents and her passion for Lakshman. Is a secret marriage the solution or will it lead the way to a public disappointment?
Lakshman Maheshwari falls in love with Ruma Malhotra the first time he sets his eyes on her in Ranveer’s office. Will he agree to marry Ruma in secret even if it means betraying his parents?
Psst… Those who have read THE MALHOTRA BRIDE might be happy to reconnect with Sunita & Akshay Malhotra in this one.
*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.
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About the author
Her Secret Husband is the tenth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #3 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India. Book #1 of the series is The Smitten Husband & Book #2 is His Drunken Wife. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom, The Madras Affair and An Autograph for Anjali—all romances. She also has a collection of romantic shorts called Matches Made in Heaven; and a collection of human interest stories called Tales of Sunshine. All of Sundari Venkatraman’s books are on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK, Canada & Australia under both #romance & #drama categories.
Books by the author
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Thwarted Escape, her debut nonfiction novel/memoir has been First Place Category Winner at the Journey Awards 2014 hosted by Chanticleer Reviews and Media LLC, USA. Her literary works have appeared at numerous literary journals and anthologies (print and online), both in India and the US. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction and also translation works are regularly published in Setu, the international bilingual journal, Cafe Dissensus, Different Truths, Readomania.com and other publications. She has received the Reuel International Award 2016 for her English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s novella Nastanirh (The Broken Home) instituted by The Significant League, a renowned literature group in Facebook.