Author: Pema Donyo
Genre: Historical fiction, Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Release Date: 2015
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Parineeta Singh has always known her purpose in life: to help exact revenge on the invading British and free India. She becomes a maid for General Carton in order to supply information to her brother's Indian revolutionary group. But when her employer is exposed as an American spy, she agrees to help him escape the British Raj.
She did not agree to lose her heart.
To complete his mission, Carton - aka undercover operative Warren Khan - must hide both his true objective and his part-Indian heritage. But once he meets the captivating Parineeta, who holds the key to both his freedom and capturing her brother, a suspected anarchist, he finds the subterfuge more difficult than anticipated.
Navigating between the lavish social circles of the British elite and the dense jungles of 1920s India on the brink of the country's revolution, the two must find a way to protect both their lives and their love.
My review: In order to help aid the revolutionaries cause of India’s independence, Parineeta agrees to spy on the British General, Carton by initially becoming his maid. Carton, humored by Parineeta’s outspokenness, decides to make her his assistant. However, Carton is actually an imposter and an American spy. When his charade is found and is being pursued by the British soldiers for treason, he bargains with Parineeta to help him get to Lucknow so he can escape to America safely and she in turn he will give her the information that will help aid the revolutionary cause. However, as they journey through Lucknow, they not only found themselves swept into the midst of the of the revolution, but also they didn’t plan on falling in love.
If it wasn’t for Parineeta, Carton would not have lasted long. Taken by her bluntness, Carton decides to make her his assistant and asks her to help with his escape. Parineeta is smart and resourceful for she not only knows how to get there, but she also knows how to survive. She knows how to build a fire, a skill that Carton lacks. She also has a plan to help them get to Lucknow, so that they would not have to walk on foot. She is also passionate for she supports India’s independence, and willing to do anything to make that happen. However, Parineeta is very vulnerable. She is half-white, and half-Indian, yet she feels that she doesn’t belong anywhere. She feels like she doesn’t have an identity. She is sad that nobody wants her because of her skin color, for she is too dark for a British soldier and too light for an Indian man. Yet, when she meets Carton, who looks at her as an equal, she is astounded, but at the same time she is afraid to fall in love with him for fear of being abandoned.
Carton, though he has many secrets, is really a kind man. He treats others with respect. While he focuses on escaping back to America, he becomes friends with Parineeta. He sympathizes with her and her cause. However, he is afraid to fall in love with her because he is trying to leave India, and thereby abandon her.
Overall, this book is about secrets, friendship, family, romance, choices, and the love for one’s country. It is also a quest of searching for one’s identity and a sense of belonging. The book was very well-written. The setting of the Indian background was beautiful, and the author made the politics that was heavily discussed in this book very comprehensible to the reader. The characters are very complex. I recommend this story to anyone that is looking for a fast-paced action story with a strong romantic tension between the two leads.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars