Author: Zeenat Mahal
Pub Date: June 12th 2013
Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Book/Author Site
Synopsis: It’s the 1970′s in Jalalabad, an erstwhile princely state in Pakistan. Chandni is a self-proclaimed cynic and prefers to be called C. An orphan brought up by her domineering grandmother, a.k.a. The Broad, C is rebellious, quick-witted and stunningly beautiful.
When Taimur, a.k.a. Alpha Male, enters the closed universe of the haveli, he is smitten, but he’ll never admit it.
The stakes get higher when the father, who had so cruelly abandoned her at birth, returns and C’s dream of reuniting with him becomes a reality. But now she has to choose between her father and his hand-picked groom on the one side, and Alpha Male and The Broad on the other.
Source: Provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review.
My Thoughts: This book was nothing like I expected but I absolutely loved it! I was expecting a serious historical novella (I hadn't read the synopsis) but what I got was a fun rom-com. I loved every moment of it and read it in one sitting! I recommended it to my best friend and she loved it so much that she read it multiple times! She even said that the book was like a drug and she was having withdrawal symptoms after finishing it.
Story: The story was awesome! It not only had an epic 'love-hate' romance but also included the themes of importance of relationships and growing up. Zeenat Mahal writes relationships really well! Be it a familial relationship or a romantic one, she writes them true and genuine and is able to capture the heart and essence of it. In this short novella she was able to do just that and it really captures your heart. The story isn't without it's own twists and turns as well and keeps you guessing what will happen next. It was a fun journey.
Writing: I love Zeenat Mahal's writing! I loved it in 'The Contract' but I love it even more here! She is hilarious and witty and so much fun! She shows rather than tell and it is easy to lose yourself in her books. As I wrote before, she writes relationships really well and she creates amazing characters! She is definitely one of my favorite authors and I have loved all her works till now.
Characters: I enjoyed all the characters in this book very much! They were all very realistic, even relatable, and so much fun! I loved being in Chandni's head! I adored her sarcasm and wit but what I loved about her was her innocence! Everything about her felt so real. She easily became one of my all-time favorite fictional characters! And the nicknames she gave to people were hilarious!
Taimur was such an awesome bad boy! I'll admit, I was too busy admiring the awesomeness of Chandni to give much attention to Taimur. But my best friend was head-over-heels in love with him. So much so that she wanted her very own Taimur. So Taimur must have been amazing! I found his little crush on Chandni very cute and their bickering was adorable! I loved the angst and chemistry! The angst is the best part about love-hate romances and it was handled really well in this book.
All the other characters were a lot of fun and written extremely well! The Broad was probably one of my favorite characters and she reminded me a lot of one of my friend's grandmother. My friend's grandmother, like The Broad, was very strict but you could see she had the best intentions at heart and loved her grandchildren. The Broad was very much like that. I really liked Chandni's relationship with her half-brother. It was very much like my relationship with my brother. Chandni's father was written really well as well.
Overall: I really loved this book! I think everyone should read it, even if you aren't related to Pakistan or South Asia in any way. It's a great book which has lots of heart and really good writing!
About The Author:
‘Haveli’ and 'The Contract' are Zeenat’s first two published novellas. Her latest novel, She Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, has just come out and is number 2 on amazon asia list.
She can be contacted on the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/zeenatmahal.author
Her email: firstname.lastname@example.org