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24 Aug 2011

The Rajah's Chosen Bride

The Rajah’s Chosen Bride written by Amy Talbot and published by Eternal Press is a romance novel at 54,000 words in length across 15 chapters and 165 pages.

Amy Talbot lives in Christchurch, New Zealand and is a multi-published writer of books and articles in both online and printed format. She spends a lot of time reading, writing and editing books as well as teaching people how to read, write and appreciate the art of literature. However her time spent away from writing books is spent as a Freelance Developmental Editor and Creative Writing Tutor.

Arranged marriages are the norm in Rajput, India.
For Devendra Jain the idea of marriage is completely out of the question, he is happy with his bachelorhood and business travels that take him far afield so he has little time to think on the wants of a family of his own.
That is until he meets Vania di Bergolo at the funeral of her Grandfather Henry in Australia.
Vania, of Indian heritage herself is a challenging distraction to Deven, she is soft and gentle, reserved and determined. Even though they are the same they are also different in many ways. Vania has dreamed of Deven for so long since finding a photograph of him, will the reality shatter the dream.
So when it becomes known to them both, that both of their Grandfathers have arranged for them to be married some 20 years previously, it comes as quite a shock. Even more so for Vania when she learns her’s and her cousin’s inheritance rests on her and Deven saying, I do.
Will past secrets or lovers stop the wedding?
Will Deven or Vania decide to marry? Or go back to their individual lives on separate continents?
Although, perhaps there is a way out of this arrangement or a way around it at least...

The Rajah’s Chosen Bride is first and foremost a romance novel set amongst the opposing backdrops of Australia and India.
The character of Vania aids in the marriage of these two cultures throughout the story sometimes described as a child or child-like she manages to describe for us her experiences and emotions when experiencing something new.
This is a story about family honour; what it means to fore fill or deny a dead man’s wishes. Whether arranged marriages should be practised and whether they can work. This book shows that people are never what they seem and never what we imagine and neither are circumstances. We all have a choice but if you don’t take the risk you will never find out what could be.
What secrets would force you to say I do to a complete stranger? Or how far would you go to keep a secret safe and repay those in pain and release the regret felt for over a decade. Could everything be made ok in one fell swoop?
Secrets old or new can destroy relationships but sometimes just sometimes they can unite people. Here we see whether there is strength in forgiveness and forgetting of the past.
Personally I am intrigued by how easily the dialogue flows off the page and how exact the banter between the two main characters holds the story together and yet progresses it onwards quite fluidly. It is almost as if these characters are talking and the author has heard every single word and recorded it.

Amy Talbot has never herself visited India and one could be mistaken to say that she had, she has painted a beautiful picture of India’s culture and people and I now know that this novel was written from other people’s own experiences along with Amy’s own hard research.
I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending this book to anyone over the age of 17.
Amy Talbot and The Rajah’s Chosen Bride receive 4.5 out of 5 stars for an enlightening and often colourful tale of love and honour across the globe.

By R.N. Hadley