Title: A Change of Heart
Author: Sonali Dev
Genre: Adult Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Dr. Nikhil 'Nic' Joshi had it all—marriage, career, purpose. Until, while working for Doctors Without Borders in a Mumbai slum, his wife, Jen, discovered a black market organ transplant ring. Before she could expose the truth, Jen was killed.
Two years after the tragedy, Nic is a cruise ship doctor who spends his days treating seasickness and sunburn and his nights in a boozy haze. On one of those blurry evenings on deck, Nic meets a woman who makes a startling claim: she received Jen’s heart in a transplant and has a message for him. Nic wants to discount Jess Koirala’s story as absurd, but there’s something about her reckless desperation that resonates despite his doubts.
Jess has spent years working her way out of a nightmarish life in Calcutta and into a respectable Bollywood dance troupe. Now she faces losing the one thing that matters—her young son, Joy. She needs to uncover the secrets Jen risked everything for; but the unforeseen bond that results between her and Nic is both a lifeline and a perilous complication.
Delving beyond the surface of modern Indian-American life, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s page-turning novel is both riveting and emotionally rewarding—an extraordinary story of human connection, bravery, and hope.
While this book is a "romance", I was pleasantly surprised at how it was so much more than that, even more than her first book. Sonali Dev manages to weave a tale that is almost part mystery/thriller, suspenseful, and focused more on just the romance between our two MC's. Along with the infusion of Indian-American culture, and Dev has done it again.
Nic is a doctor, who has spent that last two years after his wife Jen's death on a cruise ship, hiding from the world and getting drunk. That is, until he meets Jess, a woman with his wife's hair and supposedly, her heart. And Jen apparently has a message for him. Jess just wants to get this over with and get home to her baby, but she needs Nic's cooperation to finish the job Jen started.
I will say, this book takes a bit of suspension of belief in the beginning. I mean, Nic is a doctor, he should have known that Jess's story was completely absurd. But Dev in her signature way, helps us to really feel and understand their emotions, the hopelessness and despair that both of our characters feel, that lead to the decisions they make.
I do love Dev's writing, as I feel that she writes emotions so well. And this is a book with a lot of emotions. Even when I felt some of the plot points were sketchy, she manages to draw you in with her writing. I also did like how this was more than just a romance, with the POV's of the others involved in the case, and trying to figure out how it all came together.
Again, I thought this was an interesting portrayal of Indian-American life in both India and America, and the infusion of culture (and food) was very nicely done. I enjoyed this book very much, and in fact it made me want to pick up the previous companion that I had originally DNF'd (while characters do appear from that one in here, it is a companion, not a sequel and can all be read as standalone).