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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 6 star ratings
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    This book is awesome

    I received this earc from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. SPOILERS I rarely read romantic book, but I was intrigued by this book and sincerely hoped it wouldn't be a boring and predictable reading. It wasn't. This book surprised me. Not a first. I read the first chapters just to understand what was about, but then it got me. I fell in love, suddenly. Jeevani Charika wrote about two amazing and different main characters. The story swing from past to present, from 1994 to 2005, to 2012 and 2013. Chaya is in the 1994 a young Sri Lankan woman, with a scholarship for Oxford, away from her family and culture for the first time. Gimhana is from Sri Lanka too, a closeted gay man, afraid to come out, not only because he fears his family's disappointment, but because he was bullied and hurt. Years later Chaya and Gimhana encounter each other, both pressured by their family to marry (because having 30 years old it's considered being old in that community, above all for a woman).Slowly they become friends, after seeing each other at a party in Sri Lanka, in London, where both of them are workaholic and where Gimhana struggle to advance in a law firm with "traditional" values (seeing withouth a girlfriends was frown upon) and where Chaya struggle too, with her anxiety and panic attacks. They build a strong friendship, helping and understanding each other and decide to get married to free themselves from their families ' desires. They make a deal. No affair, No children. Discretion. Be there for each other. Stop drinking for Gimhuna, seeking help for Chaya. I was really upset reading how both of them have to fake to be other persons, Chaya fighting to contain and solve on her own her panic attacks, with only Gim's help, (until the end, when she decided to take medications and counsueling), Gim hiding his sexuality, for fear from himself and his family's thoughts, both trying to twist into their families expectations. I was interesting to read how Chaya fight to make her family proud, with her studies, with her fake marriage, Leaving her first and only love, Noah, at the college (because she thought that was the only way to respect her family's wishes and couldn't see a live for them) is a never closed wound, Chaya carries with herself, forced to live to other's expectation. Their charade goes on until Gim falls in love and get discovered by Chaya's niece and he and Chaya have to face the damage. I was pretty angry when Chaya's brother in law compared being gay with being a sexual predator and about the whole gay stigma, in Sri Lanka and how, even in London, Gim finds himself forced to leave his firm because of the rumors. I loved his relationship with Chaya, how both of them create a unconventional family, helping each other, worrying about each other, if Chaya ate, if Gim worked too much, if they slept, taking care of one other. Their friendship is really amazing and I loved how after the "scandal" they decided to start over, to be true to themselves, Chaya telling Noah the truth and Gim trying to repair his relationship with Zack. I love Zack as character and how he pushed Gim, with Chaya's help, out his comfort zone, pushing him to be open and free to be himself. I really liked Noam, too and, even though the ending was too perfect it appeal to my hidden romantic soul. Seeing Noah deciding to give himself and Chaya another chance, Gim and Zack living together, Chaya going to a therapist, she and Gim supporting each other... This book was really beautiful. The writing is fluid and I've read it in an afternoon, because I needed to know what was going on, how thing would be sorted out. I loved how the main characters, after being forced to respect other's desires, finally decided to be true to their souls and loves. It was really empowering. I liked Chaya, a lot. A research scientist, fighting her own past and panic attack, and how she grown in the book. Gim was an amazing characters, funny, thoughtful and caring. I loved them. Thanks to Jeevani Charika for this book.
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    Great characters

    Good, rounded, well developed characters. They felt real and helped me understand better a different culture and how the pressures of coming from one and living in another can affect people. I really appreciated the complexities of the relationships and the different types of love and how they can drive us.
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    multicultural interest

    A Convenient Marriage by Jeevani Charika Cultural expectations can play a huge part in how people live their lives…or don’t live their lives. Wanting to please family, even if it means ultimately hurting oneself, is so ingrained from birth that it often can harm the person who lives a lie or gives up the person they love. In this story Gimhana is hiding who he truly is and playing a part and Chaya is afraid to be with the person that probably could have made her whole and the person she was meant to be. Gimhana and Chaya think they have the perfect solution that will allow them friendship, someone to come home to and also provide stability and normalcy. What is the solution? Why, get married…though just a marriage of convenience. By marrying “suitable” partners they will also manage to get their families off their backs and stop all of the nagging they hear about getting married. And, though again living a lie, though a different one, they do seem to be getting along okay…at least for awhile. This book had me hoping that Gim and Chaya would eventually find a way to live with the people that truly made them happy. They went through so much for so many years that I was sure they deserved some true happiness. Their lives do eventually turn out okay but they have some tough times before they achieve the HEA they deserve. Well written and thought provoking I found myself wondering how difficult it would be to give up so much to please parents. Having lived in countries where homosexuality is still a crime I felt for Gimhana in ways I might not otherwise have. I know people that have given up the “love of their life” because of parental pressure and remembering them also came to mind as I read. So, definitely a book that made me think and care and hope the two would find peace after so many years of just existing. Thank you to NetGalley and Hera for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars
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    Thoughtful: obligation vs. Being true to self

    🌺Thoughtful story of family obligation vs. being true to yourself👍👍 4.5🌟stars 💔💞I truly enjoyed this thought-provoking, romantic tale. This story has such sweetness, sadness, desperation and realism. I found the main characters somewhat tragic but thankfully redeemed at the end by the power of love. The challenges both Gimhana and Chaya face as they lean on each other for support while keeping their deepest secrets and desires from family and work colleagues: they may be enmeshed in their Sri Lankan upbringing but are issues that are more universal as well. 👥Author Jeevani Charika's main characters are beset by both overt and subtle discrimination, Chaya in her work environment where her quest for a professorship, no matter how brilliantly she tries, seems always sabotaged, and Gimhana where his career advancement and worth as a good son are dependent on "fitting in" to the traditional heterosexual mold. Their marriage pact may be doomed to eventual failure, but their motivation is understandable. Their solid friendship, through everything, was comforting and inspiring. And what a lovely conclusion, full of hope for their futures (sigh!😌). 😊I am so glad the author kept with this story and finally published it. For some readers Chaya and Gimhana's dilemma may seem a bit dated, but I believe that, sadly, the issues they faced still ring true. Thanks to publishers Hera Books and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.
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