A Change of Heart, Sonali Dev
Published September 27th 2016 by Kensington
Paperback, 352 pages
Source: e-ARC from NetGalley
Dr. Nikhil ‘Nic’ Joshi had it all—marriage, career, purpose. Until, while working for Doctors Without Borders in a Mumbai slum, his wife, Jen, discovered a black market organ transplant ring. Before she could expose the truth, Jen was killed.
Two years after the tragedy, Nic is a cruise ship doctor who spends his days treating seasickness and sunburn and his nights in a boozy haze. On one of those blurry evenings on deck, Nic meets a woman who makes a startling claim: she received Jen’s heart in a transplant and has a message for him. Nic wants to discount Jess Koirala’s story as absurd, but there’s something about her reckless desperation that resonates despite his doubts.
Jess has spent years working her way out of a nightmarish life in Calcutta and into a respectable Bollywood dance troupe. Now she faces losing the one thing that matters—her young son, Joy. She needs to uncover the secrets Jen risked everything for; but the unforeseen bond that results between her and Nic is both a lifeline and a perilous complication.
I give Sonali Dev a ton of credit just for the premise of this book. It is extremely brave to start out by murdering a character that was so great in your last book – The Bollywood Bride. I think it was pretty brave to make Jen a less than perfect character. Jen’s perspective is told in very brief snippets of her journal entries and she’s not all warm and fuzzy as one might expect a newlywed to be. This this contrasted sharply with Nic’s crushing grief and memories of his beloved – again a really bold route for a romance. So we find Nic trying to drink himself to death on a cruise ship 2 years after her murder when Jess comes and tries to snap him into action to find Jen’s killers in India.
Honestly the truth of Jess’s story was pretty easy to figure out and once I knew what was coming I just couldn’t get past it. Also as much as I liked Jess, to be truthful I didn’t want Nic to get past it either! The poor guy was suffering enough and I was anticipating some painful moments when he found out why she was really there. That kept me from feeling all the love between Nic and Jess the way I was meant to. Based on the other reviews I’ve seen though I’m in the minority here – maybe maybe I just need lighter overall when I’m feeling like a romance? Romance reading is an total escape for me so I need happy. This was busy with sexy romance, mystery, and past heartbreaks and other readers are loving it.
I do hope Dev continues with the Bollywood books in the way that I’m guessing because I like her characters and I like seeing the interaction between books. I will absolutely read whatever she writes next! I’m going to have to reread The Bollywood Affair though to get back to my own original Sonali Dev love affair.
Thank you Kensington and NetGalley for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review!