**copy received via NetGalley**
Genre: Romance/Literary Fiction
Length: 253 pages
Cost: $0.99 (Amazon Kindle)
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥ for settings/cultures not traditionally featured in western romances, and overall quality
I definitely went outside my traditional reading lines when I requested this book. How could I resist, though? As a student of psychology and a lover of people in general, I find the culture, people, and religion of Qatar fascinating. Rajakumar definitely focuses more on the characters in this story than the romance, and I think that this in turn feeds the quality of the read. References to language, religion, locations, and culture all circuit into the reader to add an intense amount of credibility for this author. The idea of our parents arranging or selecting a partner and future for us may be horrifying and foreign to many people raised in western households. Let’s face the facts, though – this was happening not many years ago in our cultures as well. Sometimes the parental touch works out and everything is copacetic, but when it does not work out…it can be bad for everyone. In the end, arranged marriage requires a lot of faith in the person doing the selection and pressure for them to make the best choice. The added factor of religious and national stress in addition to familial approval further entangle an already complicated situation for the characters in Rajakumar’s tale. There are no steamy scenes in this book, but the author manages to bring the heat with a look or a kiss. I really liked some of the characters in this story, but at times even the main characters frustrated me. With that said, I understand that the characters are as much products of their environments and people as we ourselves are, and that they are breaking out on their own against the flow of tradition and history. I actually had to mull on my feelings about the book for a few days after it ended more on one of the “happy for now” notes that many authors are trending toward today, but in the end I was definitely won over. I really hope that the author follows up on this series soon. If you are a reader who enjoys a layered tale and have a thirst for something different, find out if Love Comes Later.