A Distant Heart
Her name means “miracle” in Sanskrit, and to her parents, that’s exactly what Kimaya is. The first baby to survive after several miscarriages, Kimi grows up in a mansion at the top of Mumbai’s Pali Hill, surrounded by love and privilege. But at eleven years old, she develops a rare illness that requires her to be confined to a germ-free ivory tower in her home, with only the Arabian Sea churning outside her window for company. . . . Until one person dares venture into her world.Tasked at fourteen-years-old with supporting his family, Rahul Savant shows up to wash Kimi’s windows, and an unlikely friendship develops across the plastic curtain of her isolation room. As years pass, Rahul becomes Kimi’s eyes to the outside world—and she becomes his inspiration to better himself by enrolling in the police force. But when a life-saving heart transplant offers the chance of a real future, both must face all that ties them together and keeps them apart.As Kimi anticipates a new life, Rahul struggles with loving someone he may yet lose. And when his investigation into a black market organ ring run by a sociopathic gang lord exposes dangerous secrets that cut too close to home, only Rahul's deep, abiding connection with Kimi can keep her safe—and reveal the true meaning of courage, loss, and second chances. Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart.

A Distant Heart Details

TitleA Distant Heart
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 26th, 2017
PublisherKensington Publishing Corp.
ISBN-139781496705761
Rating
GenreRomance, Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary, Adult, Womens Fiction

A Distant Heart Review

  • Kate Douglas
    January 1, 1970
    I sat next to Sonali at an RWA book signing in Orlando this year, and managed to talk her out of an advance copy of A DISTANT HEART. I fell in love with this series after reading A Bollywood Affair, and couldn't wait to get my hands on this one.The thing is, every once in a great while a reader might be lucky enough to find an author with a voice so powerful, an ability to tell a beautiful story so compelling, that they become an absolute “auto buy.” For me, Sonali Dev is that author—her writing I sat next to Sonali at an RWA book signing in Orlando this year, and managed to talk her out of an advance copy of A DISTANT HEART. I fell in love with this series after reading A Bollywood Affair, and couldn't wait to get my hands on this one.The thing is, every once in a great while a reader might be lucky enough to find an author with a voice so powerful, an ability to tell a beautiful story so compelling, that they become an absolute “auto buy.” For me, Sonali Dev is that author—her writing is so lush, so full of beautiful phrasing and heartfelt characters that I find myself pausing to reread paragraphs and scenes for the pure poetry of her words. The setting for A DISTANT HEART is almost entirely in Mumbai, India. I’ll admit to spending more time than I should have searching Google images to see if the graphic visuals Ms. Dev creates with words are close to the reality I could see in pictures. She nails it. Once I had that confirmed, I settled in to read a most amazing story of the relationship between a young woman with a serious illness who was born to great wealth, and a young man from the slums with a tragic connection to the girl’s father.They are two who are terribly dissimilar—the overly protected girl, trapped and secluded by both her illness and her well-meaning parents, a boy who is forced at too early an age to become a man—and yet the friendship they build over the years that is so much deeper than mere friends is a powerful force that will change their lives and those of their families on every level.This is a story to savor, one you’ll probably finish, set aside, and pick it up immediately when you realize you can’t walk away from Dev’s world that easily. A DISTANT HEART has everything that makes a book unforgettable. Five stars aren’t nearly enough.Kate Douglas
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  • Barbara O'Neal
    January 1, 1970
    A book that is almost impossible to drop into a neat category. It's part suspense, part gritty crime tale, wholeheartedly romantic, and a most unusual Rapunzel tale. I loved that it was set in Mumbai, and yet was completely accessible. Loved Sonali's voice, which is highly original and lyrical. Loved the romance between two hungry souls. Sexy, gritty, romantic, compelling. Excellent.
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  • Timitra
    January 1, 1970
    A Distant Heart is a friends to lovers story set in India that I quite enjoyed. I loved the way in which the author told it. Showing the hero and heroine's first meeting as children and how their relationship evolved over time. Nothing between moves quickly, it's a slow build up that is very much reflected in the way things are revealed and the culmination of their first sex scene.I definitely recommend it to one and all.ARC provided by publisher through Net Galley
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  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow
  • Ishita
    January 1, 1970
    I hate it when books with an Indian backdrop promise an "authentic Indian rep" and it ends up being a bad imitation of cheesy bollywood song-and-dance romance.But I loved A Distant Heart for being so unabashedly Bollywoodsy in terms of setting up the world of its two main characters. Rich Girl meets Poor Boy - CHECKPoor Boy follows his father's footsteps by joining the city police force - CHECKRich Girl's father is a politician - CHECK The infamous Mumbai mafia are the menacing villians in the s I hate it when books with an Indian backdrop promise an "authentic Indian rep" and it ends up being a bad imitation of cheesy bollywood song-and-dance romance.But I loved A Distant Heart for being so unabashedly Bollywoodsy in terms of setting up the world of its two main characters. Rich Girl meets Poor Boy - CHECKPoor Boy follows his father's footsteps by joining the city police force - CHECKRich Girl's father is a politician - CHECK The infamous Mumbai mafia are the menacing villians in the story - CHECKThe Poor Boy is the sole bread-winner of his family who live in the Mumbai chawls - CHECKand so on.Yet, what makes this book rise above the cliches and the simple two-line plot are the two main characters. When Rahul stays away from Kimi, you understand. You understand Kimi’s stubbornness. Her sporadic desperation to cling onto Rahul not because she started considering him as her lover, but because he was just about the only friend she could make during her forced exile from the outside world. And if you know something about how the classic Indian stories have characters reacting to and believing in luck and superstition, you sort of get where Rahul is coming from too. I quite liked some of the secondary characters too, especially Kimi's parents. If there is a spin-off to this book that is a love story of Kimi's parents (who were former bollywood stars), I would definitely read it. The book has some really good quotable passages, my favorite ones being about making peace with circumstances and losing control of circumstances and your body when you have an illness. If there is something that could have been better, it is probably some of the dialogues. It felt clunky at times.. and well.. read too much like.. quotes? I mean, there were times it didn't feel casual or authentic in a way you would expect people to actually converse. I also would have liked if the author had gone the whole hog with the mystery plot (instead of making it really predictable)This plot is something that was introduced in the previous book. But, there is enough background information given, so the book worked perfectly fine as a standalone for me (since I havent read the previous book). However, I feel that I would have related to a couple of characters more if I had read the previous book (when they were first introduced) I would recommend this book for its bittersweet romance lilting in from the mansions and chawls dotting the Mumbai landscape. Do check it out when it hits the stores this December!(I was lucky to get an ARC of this book from [email protected]/wordpress. Thank you!)
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  • Lisa Lin
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of A Distant Heart at RWA this past July and jumped at the c hance to read it ASAP.Sonali's writing is lyrical and evokes all the emotions and feelz. You are immediately transferred to Mumbai and her descriptions are so vivid, it makes you feel like you are right there, seeing what the characters see, feel, taste, smell, and experience. But also, Sonali dives into the tangled web of complicated family dynamics and relationships, and tackles heavy topics like reg I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of A Distant Heart at RWA this past July and jumped at the c hance to read it ASAP.Sonali's writing is lyrical and evokes all the emotions and feelz. You are immediately transferred to Mumbai and her descriptions are so vivid, it makes you feel like you are right there, seeing what the characters see, feel, taste, smell, and experience. But also, Sonali dives into the tangled web of complicated family dynamics and relationships, and tackles heavy topics like regret, selfishness vs. selflessness, consequences of choices, and how far is too far to go for a loved one.But through it all, there is a beautiful love story between Kimi and Rahul. It is complicated, twisted, and beautiful and at times hard, just like life. It was also lovely to see cameos from characters from previous books. A Distant Heart is a not to be missed book!
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  • Natasha
    January 1, 1970
    I got an ARC of this book at RT. This story is set in Mumbai and it's a continuation of the previous book (A change of heart). We were introduced to Kimi and Rahul in the previous book. The previous book was a bit dark. Especially from the authors other works. This one is much lighter. The description of Mumbai, the environment and it's people is spot on. The parallel timelines worked really well for me. We got to see how Kimi and Rahul's relationship progressed and that was very sweet. Some par I got an ARC of this book at RT. This story is set in Mumbai and it's a continuation of the previous book (A change of heart). We were introduced to Kimi and Rahul in the previous book. The previous book was a bit dark. Especially from the authors other works. This one is much lighter. The description of Mumbai, the environment and it's people is spot on. The parallel timelines worked really well for me. We got to see how Kimi and Rahul's relationship progressed and that was very sweet. Some parts seemed rushed. But it didn't affect my overall enjoyment of this story. I loved it!
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  • stacia
    January 1, 1970
    Sonali Dev is a master of literary romance novels and she's at the height of her power here. It's been interesting to see how her work has evolved from A Bollywood Affair, which was fun and breezy and relatively innocent, to this novel which seems to be the culmination of a journey into work that marries elements of murder-mysteries and thrillers with components of the romance novel. Her last novel seemed to struggle a bit with balancing it all but this one is seamlessly executed, managing not t Sonali Dev is a master of literary romance novels and she's at the height of her power here. It's been interesting to see how her work has evolved from A Bollywood Affair, which was fun and breezy and relatively innocent, to this novel which seems to be the culmination of a journey into work that marries elements of murder-mysteries and thrillers with components of the romance novel. Her last novel seemed to struggle a bit with balancing it all but this one is seamlessly executed, managing not to go too dark by centering the romance from the first page and using it as the book's most consistent throughline. Love the couple and the unusual circumstances surrounding their relationship, loved the examination of their relationships with their families. It's just really well done.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    I run a romance novel review blog and received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. To read my review of Sonali Dev's first novel The Bollywood Bride, please check out: http://romanticallyinclinedreviews.bl...Website: romanticallyinclinedreviews.blogspot.comBlurb:Kimaya is a miracle baby; the first child to survive following her parent’s seven miscarriages. At the age of ten she develops a rare form of aplastic anemia that severely compromises her immune system and requires her I run a romance novel review blog and received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. To read my review of Sonali Dev's first novel The Bollywood Bride, please check out: http://romanticallyinclinedreviews.bl...Website: romanticallyinclinedreviews.blogspot.comBlurb:Kimaya is a miracle baby; the first child to survive following her parent’s seven miscarriages. At the age of ten she develops a rare form of aplastic anemia that severely compromises her immune system and requires her complete isolation from the world around her.Rahul was thirteen when his father died protecting Kimaya’s father, a popular politician. Though he is, at first, filled with hate and rage towards Kimaya’s family he accepts their gift of financial assistance for his family, with the caveat that he work to pay them back. Then, one afternoon, while washing bird poop off windows Rahul comes across Kimaya, trapped and lonely behind the glass windows of her bedroom.As the years go by Rahul and Kimi develop a unique and deep friendship. He becomes her eyes to the outside world and she becomes his refuge in a cruel world. With Kimi’s encouragement, Rahul makes his way into the extremely selective Indian Civil Services Police Cadre. When Kimi is given a new lease on life via a life-saving procedure, she and Rahul must navigate their undeniable attraction, their lost friendship, complicated family dynamics, and a web of lies that cut too close to home to learn the real meaning of courage, loss and love.Review:Sonali Dev, author of The Bollywood Bride, is an absolute wonder of an author. The Bollywood Bride is the first in a series that I wouldn’t really call a ‘standalone series’. You’re going to need to read The Bollywood Bride and The Bollywood Affair and A Change of Heart. I’ll admit that I only read The Bollywood Bride, as of yet (ah-mazing) and I was able to get the gist of A Distant Heart’s background stories, but it would have been so much easier had I snapped up those other books first.Have you ever wanted to read a book and immerse yourself in another culture? Honestly, prior to this book that was never my goal with romance novels. I don’t want to think. I want a distraction from my life when I read romance. I guess the reality is that I’d never found an author who could bring me so deeply into another culture, another country, another world quite like Sonali Dev does with the Indian culture. Her books are an experience unlike any other.Sonali Dev’s writing is like poetry (but better because I honestly don’t enjoy poetry that much, or maybe I just never found the right poetry). She doesn’t just write a book, she creates an experience; a tour of India and of its people. This book is quite the journey even without the geography lesson though. You become Kimaya. You become Rahul. You understand their pain and their suffering as if it was your own. Your heart hurts even as it soars with love and understanding for their circumstances.The passion within these pages isn’t like your typical romance novel. The love between Kimaya and Rahul is a different sort of love than we’re used to reading between the pages. It’s innocent and wholesome, a relationship formed between two lonely children who were desperate for friendship and understanding. In the same breath, however, you can see the co-dependent, borderline unhealthy, bond that the two of them have for one another. You war with yourself over what is right and what is necessary for these two to have their happy-ending.You won’t regret picking up these books. They’re heart-warming, moving novels that challenge what you think a romance novel is and can be. Your life will be forever changed by what you read between the covers of these books. In case you weren’t pulled in by this review alone here’s a few more words about this book: gangsters, heart transplants, & murder. Hooked?
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  • Stacy
    January 1, 1970
    If you haven't read Sonali Dev and you're wondering whether you should pick up this book, then the answer is an emphatic YES. If you're looking for a comparison, I find that I keep thinking of Kristan Higgins, particularly her more recent books that have moved quite firmly out of the "romance" category and into the "women's fiction" category, where there's much more going on than just boy-meets-girl. What I love about Dev is that while her stories are romances at their core, they are also so muc If you haven't read Sonali Dev and you're wondering whether you should pick up this book, then the answer is an emphatic YES. If you're looking for a comparison, I find that I keep thinking of Kristan Higgins, particularly her more recent books that have moved quite firmly out of the "romance" category and into the "women's fiction" category, where there's much more going on than just boy-meets-girl. What I love about Dev is that while her stories are romances at their core, they are also so much more. I feel like she's pushed that ratio higher with each successive book, and I appreciate that courage. So now, with A Distant Heart, she continues the story of the black market organ ring that she first introduced in A Change of Heart, and it's as much about that as it is about two people finding their way to each other. This is a good thing, as it introduces a satisfying level of tension in a way that doesn't feel artificial--Rahul and Kimi are trying to find the truth behind her transplant experience and evade a mad man, and their enforced proximity pushes them to confront their past and decide what to make of their present. Unfortunately, it does make the opening chapters a little slow and exposition-heavy. For those of us coming from ACoH, we already know the story (and what Rahul & Kimi are going to find at the end of their hunt), so it makes one a little impatient to get to the "real" story. But if this is your first Dev book, then the exposition is necessary, so it's forgivable. Once Rahul and Kimi are forced together, things certainly pick up. This is also about the time where the alternate timeline moves to the point where Rahul and Kimi are building their childhood friendship, while the earlier chapters were establishing their individual backstories. That's where the real joy comes in--seeing them together when all they had was each other. I enjoyed the alternating time period construct--you got to see their relationship develop without it interfering with the tension of the current day action, and you knew there was real love and friendship there, not just easy romance insta-love. They are both lovely, strong, admirable characters, even as their personalities develop in opposite directions as a result of hardship. In the end, of course, that's the real mystery we want solved--whether the boy who's afraid of losing everything and the girl who refuses to let go of anything can find their way back to the rock in the middle of the ocean where they first stood together.Many, many thanks to the fabulous author for sharing an ARC and not making me wait until December!!
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  • Sahiti Penna
    January 1, 1970
    I was not sure what I was expecting with this book, which is an excellent place to start as your mind is a blank slate, free of any pre-conceived notions or expectations. The pace of this story builds up slowly and when it does, it is hard to put the book down. It starts off slow, shifting narratives and timelines. The waffling narration is effecting in that it gives the reader to know all the three main characters- perenially sick Kimi with her congenital condition, tough cop Rahul whose past s I was not sure what I was expecting with this book, which is an excellent place to start as your mind is a blank slate, free of any pre-conceived notions or expectations. The pace of this story builds up slowly and when it does, it is hard to put the book down. It starts off slow, shifting narratives and timelines. The waffling narration is effecting in that it gives the reader to know all the three main characters- perenially sick Kimi with her congenital condition, tough cop Rahul whose past seems to have cocooned him in a shell he cannot break out of, Kimi's father, the erstwhile Actor and politician, whose power and charisma hide some deep secrets beneath them. Kimi and Rahul share a very deep connection, having shared their childhoods, but the bond between them has suffered blows of time and distance. Perhaps this has to do with an event in the past that has scarred Rahul's memory. This is a book which borders on a romance genre, with the addition of a suspenseful backdrop of events. A notorious goon is on a spree attacking people Rahul knows and interacts with. A string of events connects Kimi, through her surgery to the intricate plot of lies, mistrust and facts-unknown. While Kimi is on a quest to find out the truth about her heart, Rahul has no option but to follow his childhood friend. Or does he have more reasons to do so? All in all the suspense and the plot revealed in the second half of the book, makes this read worthwhile.Somethings I felt could have been better about the story-Opening narration was not too clear and the often shifting timeline and perspective confuse the reader and the reader often is left behind with less facts to go ahead with. The plot in the story, was, after a point a little clearer and probably predictable.Kimi's wealth, Rahul's poorer, financially disadvantaged background, were decribed with a lot of cliche's. As a Bombay-ite, I identify with the locales described in the book, but the descriptions were very cliched, which felt a little shallow to me and could have had a bit more character.Things I liked about the book-The ascending drama and suspense. The characters become more and more endearing as you flip the pages. You identify with their confusions, dilemmas and finally understand them better. I feel this is the Author's and the book's most-prized win, in this book.Rating- 3.8/5
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Sonali Dev breathes life into Kimi and Rahul. Her fluent prose evokes the turmoil, the tests of faith and the eternal magic of love and hope. Through the depths of family roots to the quiet beauty shared between the two main protagonists, we have a story with grace, charm, compassion and desires which long to be fulfilled. A Distant Heart is fast-paced and intense and the clarity with which the characters’ lives unfold will fill your heart with utter satisfaction— a thoroughly enjoyable read!Hig Sonali Dev breathes life into Kimi and Rahul. Her fluent prose evokes the turmoil, the tests of faith and the eternal magic of love and hope. Through the depths of family roots to the quiet beauty shared between the two main protagonists, we have a story with grace, charm, compassion and desires which long to be fulfilled. A Distant Heart is fast-paced and intense and the clarity with which the characters’ lives unfold will fill your heart with utter satisfaction— a thoroughly enjoyable read!Highly Recommended5 Stars
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  • Make Kay
    January 1, 1970
    Sonali Dev is an author I heard about for quite some time before picking up her first book. Most of my major books blogs were raving about Dev’s writing, but as someone with no interest in watching Bollywood movies, I figured a book series labeled Bollywood would not be my cup of tea. But boy howdy, was I wrong. I dearly love a good angsty romance. And Sonali Dev can deliver that in spades! Set after A Change in Heart, A DISTANT HEART can nonetheless be appreciated on its own. Although Goodreads Sonali Dev is an author I heard about for quite some time before picking up her first book. Most of my major books blogs were raving about Dev’s writing, but as someone with no interest in watching Bollywood movies, I figured a book series labeled Bollywood would not be my cup of tea. But boy howdy, was I wrong. I dearly love a good angsty romance. And Sonali Dev can deliver that in spades! Set after A Change in Heart, A DISTANT HEART can nonetheless be appreciated on its own. Although Goodreads does not list A DISTANT HEART as book 4 in the Bollywood series, it clearly is, including many of the same characters from book 3.While Dev’s books are presented as romance, they feel like crossover genre reads to me. Women’s fiction, mystery, and romance combine with the joy of learning about a rich culture I am not intimately familiar with. Dev’s books are lush pageants of color, taste, and emotion. A DISTANT HEART feels more firmly in the Women’s Fiction camp with a romance enlivening it, rather than a “simple” romance. Much of the book is beautifully heart-wrenching. Kimi and Rahul struggle with so many challenges that both unite them and separate them. Class distinctions in their native Mumbai, terrible medical disease and uncertainty, and loss. Yet there is the presence of hope and of dreams, of friendship and of love. This book brings me to tears over and over. Tears of both sorrow and of joy. There are a lot of raw emotions here that really illuminate the underlying messages of hope and connection. Dev’s A DISTANT HEART will be a book that lingers in my heart for years to come, whispering words of love and complex emotion.
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  • Falguni Kothari
    January 1, 1970
    What a really good book does is:- Keeps you flipping pages (all night long) until it's done - makes you stare at the book in your hands even after you've finished reading it- urges you to hand it over to another avid reader so you can gush about it together- inspires that next great scene out of you (as a writer)- triggers various gushy social media posts ADH does all of that and more. Having read a Change of Heart, I was already acquainted with DCP Rahul and Kimi. I knew what was coming. I knew What a really good book does is:- Keeps you flipping pages (all night long) until it's done - makes you stare at the book in your hands even after you've finished reading it- urges you to hand it over to another avid reader so you can gush about it together- inspires that next great scene out of you (as a writer)- triggers various gushy social media posts ADH does all of that and more. Having read a Change of Heart, I was already acquainted with DCP Rahul and Kimi. I knew what was coming. I knew their story, and yet I hadn't known them at all. This book is about passions of love..."the best of it and the worst of it." It's about friendship, and guilt, and life and fate. It's about a girl whose health mocks her zest for life. And a man whose life has been sucked dry of zest. Rahul and Kimi can only be whole together. We know they'll make...they have to...but their journey to that end is what grand love stories are all about.
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  • Lorie Glowania
    January 1, 1970
    This book shows how complicated life can be. A beautiful written story of love between Kimi and Rahul that is never easy and not complicated. Sonali Dev always amazes me with her easy flow of writing and always leaves me waiting for what’s next
  • Emily Redington
    January 1, 1970
    I raced through this book and would have loved 300 more pages with these fantastic characters! Sonali's writing is absolutely immersive - Kimi and Rahul were so vivid and real to me, and the descriptions of life in Mumbai transported me there alongside the characters. The love story is tender and true, and the exploration of family dynamics really deepens the experience (and is yet another way Sonali brings her readers inside Indian culture). I've read all four books in the series and still didn I raced through this book and would have loved 300 more pages with these fantastic characters! Sonali's writing is absolutely immersive - Kimi and Rahul were so vivid and real to me, and the descriptions of life in Mumbai transported me there alongside the characters. The love story is tender and true, and the exploration of family dynamics really deepens the experience (and is yet another way Sonali brings her readers inside Indian culture). I've read all four books in the series and still didn't see the end coming - definitely left me thinking about how far I'd be willing to go for the ones I love. Highly recommend!
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  • Rebekah Haas
    January 1, 1970
    The first thirty pages were lost on me, I felt like not enough information was provided and that it was too much continuous exposition. That being said, I didn't realize it was a continuation of another book and not a stand-alone novel. The plot was good, but I don't want to discuss it in too much length because of spoilers, but it was a decent read. If you're a picky reader, though, be aware that this book is a little different and that you should definatly read the first book first.
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  • Eva
    January 1, 1970
    I’d been wanting to read Kimi and Rahul’s story since reading A Change of Heart and it did not disappoint. Sonali has a way with words, made me want to read out loud. She writes stories that keep you interested and characters you want to root for. Always a delight to read such an authentic voice.Thanks to NetGalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mskychick
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. This is a more powerful book than I was expecting, even for Sonali Dev, who can knock my socks of with emoting. I'm gonna have to process this one for a bit.
  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    A very enjoyable book, full of action and adventure. It was an exciting book that kept my interest the whole way through with the twists and turns. I am glad it had the ending that it did.
  • Katie Atmakur
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so incredible i love every page of it the author of it is so talented!!
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