Set in 1840s India, this tale of star-crossed lovers packs a powerful punch. When Olivia, a forthright young American, comes to live with her very proper British relatives, she falls headlong into love with angry, half-caste Jai. Olivia believes nothing will ever diminish her love for Jai, but can it withstand the terrible revenge he is planning to take on the people who betrayed him? Ryman has done a good job of portraying the closed, rigidly stratified colonial society; against this background her vibrant, passionate main characters compel attention. Occasional lapses into overheated prose are disconcerting but don't impede the story's flow. Suspense, exotic locales, and strong-willed lovers make this novel a treat for romance readers.
Rebecca Ryman is the pen name of an Indian writer, Asha Bhanjdeo, who only wrote three books under this name: Olivia & Jai, The Veil of Illusions (the sequel of Olivia & Jai) and Shalimar. She died in Calcutta in 2003.