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Marriage Unarranged

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  60 reviews

‘Chick Pea Curry’ Lit, Chick Lit with an Indian twist

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set.

Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box...

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon

ebook, 1, 378 pages
Published February 9th 2020 by RBW Books
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  140 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Zoé-Lee O'Farrell
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020
I have been dying to read this book for ages, ever since Ritu told me at the last Blogger’s Bash that she was writing it! So when she asked me if I wanted to read it I jumped at the chance!

When I got my copy, I do what we all do went on to Goodreads and marked it as Currently Reading and I checked out how many pages and then I panicked! Because I thought that is a lot! Will I like it? Will it drag? Because according to Goodreads it’s nearly 400 pages!

However!!! And it is a HUGH HOWEVER!! Do not
Sally Cronin
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely story and one I enjoyed very much.

This is a romance and an exploration of life in families where parents are striving to maintain cultural traditions, as the younger generation adapt and engage in the environment they were born into. For Aashi's parents and those of her fiancee Ravi, the drama that unfolds is unthinkable, but love and a realisation that losing face in the community is not the end of the world, opens the door to a new beginning.

With the support of her brothers Sunny
M.J. Mallon
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, blog-tour
Well, I loved Marriage Unarranged so much I read it twice. Lol. It’s quite a long book!

I read it for the first time as a beta reader with an ARC and then again for this review. Everything about this engaging romance appealed to me: the characters, the cultural aspects, the little touches of humour, the Asian family dynamics, the beautiful and informative descriptions of India, (I’ve never been, but it has always been forever on my bucket list,) This story
Robbie Cheadle
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Marriage Unarranged is a delightful and feel good romance with the additional interest factor that the main characters are all people whose parents or grandparents originated from India and are of the Sekh faith, but who have grown up in Britain. The young people who feature in this story come from Birmingham in the UK and are the products of an interesting mixture of the modern British influences around them in the schools and work places and the traditional influences of their families and com ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
'Marriage Unarranged' by Ritu Bhathal is an uplifting and enlightening tale about one woman's journey towards self-discovery. Encompassing the themes of friendship, family, finding courage within and letting go of the things that are no longer good for you, this is a wonderful take on what happens when life doesn't go exactly as you planned, and how, with the help of those who care about and love you, you can overcome even the most unthinkable of situations.
In Bhathal's 'Marriage Unarranged', re
Kristine Brown
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Marriage Unarranged is probably one of the best "Getting Over a Breakup" stories I've ever come across. Culturally rich and emotionally captivating, it's a story that inspires us to find and refine our best qualities, to get back up off scraped knees when life knocks us down. From the first sentence, I was hooked. This novel, though written in lush prose, reads quickly, and deserves to be re-read in years to come.

Ritu Bhathal's debut novel is flavorful, spunky, and smart. You're bound to identi
Lizzie Chantree
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a wonderful romance read full of flavour and contrast, then take a look at this book. The characters are beautifully written and you are transported into their world at every turn of the page. This is a love story with lots of twists and turns, heartbreak, unfaithful relationships and ultimately, happiness. The story is rich in culture, heritage and family expectations. Perfect for those who love a romantic novel to add to their bookshelf.
Colleen Chesebro
Aashi is getting married! She envisions herself dressed in different bridal outfits, and she feels like a princess… until she turns up at Ravi’s house. The door is answered by Nishi, a drop-dead gorgeous co-worker of Ravi who leaves abruptly with Aashi’s arrival.

Aashi is a lovely young woman, the kind any man would be thrilled to marry. She’s a bit naïve, but still gives Ravi, the man of her dreams, the benefit of the doubt… until she discovers the empty condom box. His betrayal is a stab to her
D. Peach
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a light, romantic jaunt from England to India and back again. When Aashi finds a used condom in her fiancé’s bathroom, the wedding is suddenly off. Her family is angry and embarrassed, but they support her decision. A trip to India, originally to purchase a wedding gown, becomes a vacation for Aashi and a chance to unwind and heal. Her two brothers and her best friend Karin go along.

The romantic story is fairly straightforward, and it unfolds at a leisurely pace. What held my attention
Pete Springer
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Marriage Unarranged by author, Ritu Bhathal, is the story of a young Indian girl, Aashi, who finds herself in the most difficult of spots after she discovers that her fiancee, Ravi, has been cheating on her. Aashi doesn't want to believe it to be true, but all of the evidence is clear that Ravi is a liar and cheat. She is afraid to divulge this secret to her more traditional Indian parents, whom she knows have their hearts set on Aashi marrying Ravi. She musters up the courage to tell them with ...more
S.C. Skillman
This story provides a fascinating insight into the close network of Indian Sikh families in the UK (Punjabi Birmingham). Our heroine Aashi, betrayed by her fiancé, breaks off her marriage plans and then has to face the challenge of the varied reactions of her parents and family, her fiancé's parent and family - and the rest of the Sikh community so closely connected to them via the local Gurdwara. Written in a breezy, light tone, this is a delightful story which follows Aashi, her 2 protective b ...more
T.L. Clark
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, chicklit

If you follow my reviews, you know I rarely give a 5* but this book has earned it.
Aashi has burrowed into my heart with her excellent, demure grace.

Where do I begin? The end!
Oh, that Ravi!!! (*boo hiss*)

Aashi's family are wonderful. I adore her daddy-ji - such a lovely teddy bear of a man.
Mummy-ji is quite traditional but no less lovely.
And her brothers? Nobody could want better - overprotective with love.
And, as if that wasn't enough, Kiran, her best friend, is wonderful if not slightly k
Debbie Harris
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read! I have known Ritu as a blogger for years and enjoyed meeting her a few years ago at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in London, so it was always going to be a book for me to read, if only to support a fellow blogger! But it turned out to be far more enjoyable than I anticipated :) It's also been my first 5 star read for 2020 and I don't give them out willy-nilly!

The story was captivating, contemporary and realistic with the characters well drawn. I wasn't prepared for how m
Lucy Mitchell
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing

If you are looking for an uplifting romance plot, a great cast of characters, a good sprinkling of humour and a glimpse of true India – this book is for you!

My heart went out to the main character Aashi. Her broken engagement is heartbreaking to read and I wanted to reach inside the book and hug her.

The trip to India with her best mate and her brothers is inspired as its during this trip Aashi starts to find herself. This book is crammed with vivid descriptions of true India and I thou
Willow Willers
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book by Ritu Bhathal is so good that I have read it twice. I simply fell in love with Ashi within the first page. She starts out an innocent abroad but as the story progresses she blossoms into a fully rounded and beautiful woman. Every character in this book leaps off the page and it is like watching a film unfolding in front of you.
After a shock discovery and a broken engagement Ashi and her two brothers and her best friend set off to India on a life changing holiday. They meet a really
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I’ve read by Ritu Bhathal and I have to say I really loved it! I learned some amazing facts about a different culture I knew nothing about.

The story begins with Aashi and Ravi looking forward to wedding plans. Not everything goes to plan and Aashi joins her brothers and best friend Kiran on a trip to India. Sunny (brother) has business to discuss in India. While they’re away Ravi has a lot to think about and Aashi’s good name is dirtied.

I love Aashi’s best friend Kiran a
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The first thing that catches your eye about "Marriage Unarranged" is the cover - a visual treat - and the book is more of the same. The story of a woman who grows up in a culture where everything is arranged in the case of love - so what happens when your world is turned upside down? Bhathal writes what she knows, and the books is infused with insight as well as humor...a terrific book!

Here's a look:
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you want to feel the rainbow vibe of Bollywood, read this wonderful book! There is so much life in this story! I enjoyed the beautiful, amusing, and thought-provoking plot, admired the historical sites, and almost tasted the traditional food of colorful India. I even learned a few Indian words! Thank you, Ritu, for this unforgettable, joyful experience!
Krista Jade
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fun Read - Learned a Lot

This book was a perfect mental getaway amidst the COVID lockdown. If you're looking for a fun read that isn't too heavy, definitely take a lot at this one. I learned a ton about India as the story was a mixture of romance and travel. The writing style was well-done. I'll be on the lookout for more books by this author!
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not usually a genre I would go for, but I wanted to branch out more this year, and Marriage Unarranged was a really fun and easy read!
Anandh Sundar
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good Indian romcom

Good romcom with a subtle hint of a sequel and fast moving plot. Will certainly await the next novel from the author
Ankit Gupta
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Look, I’ll be honest. I wasn’t too keen on picking this book as the theme didn’t seem deep enough. But I picked it because of the awesome reviews and because I wanted something super light and fun. And I am glad I did! The story had a very good pace with humour scattered all along. Some of the themes with Indians living abroad on their struggle and success to keep Indian culture alive in a foreign land /with their kids and their longing to go back to their roots, was brought out beautifully. (I ...more
Lora Shouse
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book to read while you are shut up at home during a quarantine. It offers a look inside the lives of a bubbly group of young people, and even gives you the chance to visit India!

Aashi is living in London, but her family is from India. At the beginning of the story, she is engaged to Ravi, also an Indian living in London. But Ravi doesn’t appear to be as committed to the relationship as Aashi. When she discovers he is seeing somebody else, she freaks out and breaks off the engagem
Katherine Gillespie
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perfectly riveting

This book was amazing. I felt transported into this amazing story. I do not have any experience with India besides Indian food in America and interactions with wonderful people from there. With that said, I feel immersed in the culture. I could almost smell the incense, taste the tea, and see the sights of not only Birmingham but India. All of the characters felt real. I want to be friends with Aashi and Kiran, I want older brothers like Bali and Sunny... Arjun is a dreamboat.
Matthew Goodall
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Where on earth do I start? This book is charming, bewitching, entrancing, captivating, full of heart, warmth, beauty and humour.
It’s a clean romance which the author herself describes as “'Chickpea Curry' Lit — Chick Lit with an Indian twist.”
The story follows Aashi, just prior to her dream wedding, when she finds out she’s being cheated on.
Not content to totally abandon all of her plans, she, her best friend, and two protective older brothers go to India to holiday, shop, pay respects at th
Janet Gogerty
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have not been to India, but the pictures the author paints are how I imagine from stories told by British Asians 'going home' and others visiting for the first time. This is a romantic story, but also an amusing one, young people on holiday to India without their elders hiring drivers and keeping to an agenda. They want to visit a real cinema, not the new multiplex, travel around like locals. There is glamour, for this is also a business trip for Aashi's older brother who wants to reinvent the ...more
Julie Hiner
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is totally, completely, 100% out of my normal genre pickings.

Thank you to the author, Ritu, for opening up her world to me, as a reader.

This beautifully written story is infused with the author's rich culture. She sprinkled behaviours, beliefs, food, and parts of the world into the story that opened my eyes up to a completely new experience. The story is endearing. I was pulled into a delightful journey with a set of lovely characters.

Jess Carpenter
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was pleasantly surprised with this book! I don’t normally read anything that’s not in first person, and I was shocked how easily Ritu switched between the characters she had here. Each of them seemed to have a really distinctive voice, and even though they switched around a lot, I never felt lost.

Aashi bothered me in the beginning, but in a good way. If I had to guess (and i know nothing about this but I’ll say it anyway), I’d say that her character was on-par with someone of that background.
Judy Ferrell
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The wedding that wasn't.

When the bride finds out the truth, all bets are off. But it gets better! I'm a trip to India she meets the man for her. This is a romance that will really hold your interest. Not only because of the relationship aspect but because of the background of Indian customs and scenery. I really enjoyed it.
Mae Wagner
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this story! Being a lover of Bollywood, and Indian culture, I was beyond excited for Ritu’s book to finally arrive.

It did not disappoint! All I can say is that I can’t wait for more!
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Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970's to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.
From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother.
The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry.
Winning little w

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