Mini Reviews: A Retelling with a Desi Twist & A Sexy, Suspenseful Romance

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Unmarriageable
by Soniah Kamal
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Ballantine Books
  

Rating: ★★★½

Synopsis via Goodreads: In this one-of-a-kind retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.

A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.

When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the festivities, Alys’s lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful—and single—entrepreneur. But Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal—and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.

Told with wry wit and colorful prose, Unmarriageable is a charming update on Jane Austen’s beloved novel and an exhilarating exploration of love, marriage, class, and sisterhood.

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would read a retelling of one of my favorite classics with brown characters! This book was such a treat to read and it had me falling in love with the world of Austen all over again!

Unmarriageable is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan. This retelling follows the original plot of P & P to a tee but it has a desi twist! Mrs. Binat’s greatest wish is to see her five daughters married and settled with well-off suitors. However, the second eldest, Alysba Binat, has other plans as she has no intentions of marrying and becoming a housewife and would rather spend her days teaching young girls to own their independence and chase after their dreams. But when a invitation to an extravagant wedding arrives, Mrs. Binat sees this as an opportunity for the girls to find potential husbands and encourages her daughters to mingle with the guests. When her eldest daughter becomes charmed by the successful entrepreneur, Fahad Bingla, Mrs. Binat is over the moon and the Binat family eagerly awaits Bingla’s proposal. But their happiness may be cut short if Bingla’s friend, Valentine Darsee, has his way—that is unless Alys can convince him otherwise.

Just like with the original novel, it did take me some time before I was fully immersed into the story. But once I got the hang of things, the story picked up and I was flipping through these pages, one after another. Like stated before, the plot for Unmarriageable almost mirrors the originally classic exactly and I actually liked that Kamal stayed true to the original because it made it easier to follow along.  I loved how Kamal weaved in Pakistani culture into this story. The language, the descriptive food and the cultural traditions were things that I found myself being able to relate to. I also really appreciated the fact that Kamal touched upon the societal pressures that most young brown girls face today when it comes to marriage, family and careers. The Binat family is definitely the highlight of this book. Mrs. Binat is a riot and stays true to our original Mrs. Bennet. She has no filter whatsoever and is always commenting on her daughters appearances and their behavior. She reminded me of my own mother to be quite honest and it just goes to show that no matter the nationality, brown mamas are the same across the board, lol. I definitely feel like Alys Binat embodies the values of the modern day brown girl—someone who wants to be find love and be able to have it all but not at the risk of her independence. I do applaud her for how she went about things and did things on her own terms and not anyone else’s! The romance is a bit played down in this retelling and I do wish that it had played a bigger role throughout the story. I just wanted to feel a stronger chemistry between Valentine and Alys. I will say that compared to the original Mr. Darcy, I felt like Valentine Darsee was a little nicer and not as arrogant and dare I say, I kind of miss that arrogance. To each its own, I guess. Overall, Unmarriageable was a refreshing twist on a classic romance and I highly recommend it to those who love retellings and all things Austen!

 

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The Fearless King (The Kings #2)
by Katee Robert
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Forever

Add to Goodreads || Buy on Amazon  

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads: Fake boyfriend. Real danger.

Journey King is an expert at managing the family business. But when her father returns to Houston hell-bent on making a play for the company, Journey will do anything to stop him, even if that means going to Frank Evans for help. Frank deals in information, the dirtier the better. Rugged and rock solid, he’s by far her best ally—and also the most dangerous.

Frank knows better than to get tangled up with the Kings. But something about Journey’s rare vulnerability drags him deep into enemy territory . . . and into her darkest past. Pretending to be her boyfriend may be necessary for their plan to work, but Frank soon finds helping Journey is much more than just another job—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

 

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

I have been dying (like DYING) to read this book ever since Katee Robert announced its release! Frank and Journey were two of my favorite secondary characters in The Last King so I was ecstatic to see that they would be our couple for the next installment in this series. There was definitely a little somethin’ somethin’ going on between these two in the previous book so of course my nosy ass needed the see whether or not those sparks were going to fly. 

On the outside…Journey King seems like she has it all put together. On the inside…well that’s a whole different story. But the walls she’s so desperately tried to keep up are about to come crumbling down when her father comes back into town. A hostile takeover ensues and Journey turns to the one man who can help her and her siblings save their company—Frank Evans. But it comes at a price and if Journey wants to keep her father from taking over then she’s going to have to play by Frank’s rules, even if that means risking her own heart.

Y’ALL. I AM OBSESSED! Katee Robert totally delivered when it came to the second installment in The Kings series and even has me suffering with a small case of a book hangover! The Fearless King picks up right where The Last King left off so it is necessary to read the previous book before diving into this one. Robert wastes no time jumping right into the messy plot as the villain, Elliott Bancroft, makes his presence known and tells Journey and her siblings his intentions. My blood was legit boiling for a good majority of this book because Elliott is just a vile human-being who finds joy in putting the fear of god into his children and I wanted to fight him. He’s a great villain, I’ll give him that but it still doesn’t make me hate him any less. I definitely felt like Robert turned things up a notch with this book because the suspense had me at the edge of my seat! There were so many moments where I was holding my breath and pulling at my roots because I thought one of the King siblings were going to die and I couldn’t handle it. While there were a lot of tense moments throughout this story, there were also quite a bit of angsty and sexy moments to balance things out. The chemistry between Frank and Journey is HOT, HOT, HOT and I couldn’t get enough of the scenes where these two would sneak off to be together. I lived for their banter and I loved how in sync they were with one another. They were one badass power couple and a force to be reckoned with! As for Frank and Journey, I loved them even more after finishing this book. It’s funny because these two think they’re so different, but they really aren’t. They both know what it’s like to feel hurt and abandoned by a parent. They both put up walls to hide how vulnerable they truly are. They both fiercely protect the ones they love, even if it means putting their own self in danger. It’s their similarities that brought them together and it’s why I kept rooting for them to come out on top in the end. The Fearless King was an unputdownable read and I seriously just wanna flip back to the first page and read this story all over again! If you love your romances with a dash of suspense and heart palpitations, then you need to pick up The Kings series ASAP. I promise you won’t regret it!

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I'm Ari, a local NYC bibliophile and a forever daydreamer. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book and my head up in the clouds. I am also a coffee addict and a chocolate connoisseur. I fell in love with the romance genre about three years ago and I haven't been able to stop reading about happily-ever-afters, which is ironic because I'm a bit of a cynical romantic in real life, haha. I hope you all enjoy my blog and fangirling with me about all the smutty reads!

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