A Distant Heart

A Distant Heart

by Sonali Dev


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A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev

Her name means “miracle” in Sanskrit, and to her parents, that’s exactly what Kimaya is. The first baby to survive after several miscarriages, Kimi grows up in a mansion at the top of Mumbai’s Pali Hill, surrounded by love and privilege. But at eleven years old, she develops a rare illness that requires her to be confined to a germ-free ivory tower in her home, with only the Arabian Sea churning outside her window for company. . . . Until one person dares venture into her world.
Tasked at fourteen years old with supporting his family, Rahul Savant shows up to wash Kimi’s windows, and an unlikely friendship develops across the plastic curtain of her isolation room. As years pass, Rahul becomes Kimi’s eyes to the outside world—and she becomes his inspiration to better himself by enrolling in the police force. But when a life-saving heart transplant offers the chance of a real future, both must face all that ties them together and keeps them apart.
As Kimi anticipates a new life, Rahul struggles with loving someone he may yet lose. And when his investigation into a black market organ ring run by a sociopathic gang lord exposes dangerous secrets that cut too close to home, only Rahul's deep, abiding connection with Kimi can keep her safe—and reveal the true meaning of courage, loss, and second chances.
Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart.
 Praise for Sonali Dev and A Change of Heart
“In Dev’s seductive and complex story of love lost and then found, one layer of mystery leads to the next. . . . Will hold a permanent place in readers’ hearts.”
–Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
 “Dev deftly navigates the complex themes of bereavement, motherhood, and how the culture of India exists in America. . . . This is stunning all around.” –Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“Mystery, adventure, and romance are spiced with Bollywood glamour in this heart-stopping novel…. Riveting.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496705761
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 12/26/2017
Series: Bollywood Series , #4
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 652,091
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Award winning author Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories that let her explore issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after. Sonali’s novels have been on Library Journal, NPR, Washington Post, and Kirkus Best Books lists. She won the American Library Association’s award for best romance in 2014, is a RITA Finalist and RT Reviewer Choice Award Nominee, and is a winner of the RT Seal of Excellence. Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband, two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog. Find out more at sonalidev.com.

Read an Excerpt


Rahul Present day

Kimi had summoned Rahul to The Mansion and naturally he had come, because relationships, like people, were creatures of habit. He stood at one end of the massive gilded room and watched Kimi pace the silk-carpet-covered marble. The glow of the huge crystal chandelier picked out every nuance of her restlessness. If he didn't know better he'd say she looked like an imprisoned princess. But she wasn't. Not anymore.

Earlier that morning she had sent him a text message saying: We need to talk.

Those four words had never in the history of humankind ever led to anything good. Nonetheless, it had been two months since Kimi had shut him out after that bastard gangster, Asif Khan, attacked her in broad daylight on the streets of Mumbai, a city Rahul was tasked with keeping safe. So roughly half an hour after her text had arrived, here he was.

The Mansion's main living room never failed to make him feel like he had wandered up to the forbidden first-class deck on the Titanic. For all the time Kimi and he had spent in her home, they had barely ever been together in this royal-court-like living room. But today, Kimi had greeted him with nothing more than an uncharacteristically curt nod, led him here, and then wordlessly proceeded to pace. Watching her struggle with what she wanted to say made an all-too-familiar heaviness drag at Rahul's limbs, the kind that made him restless to move while also digging him into place. Not being able to form words out of feelings was his special gift, not hers.

Kimi and Rahul had been friends since he was sixteen years old — a friendship that had spanned fourteen years. For most of those years their friendship had been cloistered within these walls, where all that they shared had been safe, where they had been only who they were to each other. Over the past two years, their friendship had been let out into the world where it had never stood a chance.

Suddenly, she stopped and spun around to face him. Her ever-present ponytail whipped around her neck and spilled across her shoulder. With a flip of her head she flung it all back in place. Her face was, as always, all eyes. He had missed her eyes. Missed all she was able to say with them. Now, every golden-brown fleck trapped her struggle to get the words out.

"Just tell me what the bastard did to you, Kimi," he pushed, finally abandoning the subtlety that had earned him his reputation for having some of the best interrogation skills in the Mumbai police force. His legendary patience was also suddenly nowhere in sight. The Asif Khan case had consumed him for two years, and he hated that the gangster had somehow found a way to drag Kimi into his cesspool of crime. The man's evil wasn't just inexhaustible but downright immortal in its power.

Two months ago, Rahul had finally caught up with the bastard and emptied five bullets into him. But instead of dying, the gangster had slipped into a coma with all the answers Rahul needed trapped inside his seemingly indestructible brain, leaving Rahul, and all the people Khan had wreaked havoc on, holding their breath until he woke up.

"Good is strong," his father had loved to say. But ten years in this job and Rahul knew evil possessed all the real strength. Good just had to keep on faking it to stay in the fight.

"Is the case all you care about?" she asked, and the sadness in her tone multiplied the weight dragging at Rahul's limbs many times over. "Never mind," she said before he could answer, letting him off the hook and reaching for the anger she had embraced so determinedly these past few months.

Over the years, Rahul had marveled at how Kimi kept herself from anger. From real anger. Because whether she was throwing her playful bluster at him to push his boundaries, or trying to hide from him all the frustration of wanting impossible things, she never let the anger consume her. Not the way he did.

Even now when she had every reason to be furious with him, it was taking her some effort — her shoulders squared, her jaw tight, the deliberate effort reminding him of the way she had once tried to walk in heels too high — and that made him feel at once too big and too small.

The crystalline brown of her eyes darkened with the words she was about to say and Rahul braced himself. "I'm going to give you what you want. I'll tell you what happened with Asif Khan. But after that you have to promise that you'll leave me alone." She took a breath, steadied her voice. "Forever. I never want to see you again, Rahul."

It was the ninth time in the span of their friendship that Kimi had said those words to him.

Yes, he kept count. He kept count of everything.

Four surgeries, one hundred and eight hospitalizations, twenty-six transfusions, seven times that the doctors had asked her family to say their good-byes. And nine "I never want to see you agains."

He gave her his disbelieving look. Because he couldn't let her see how much he hated when she said those words. When he believed them for those first few seconds.

"I mean it this time, Rahul," she said with her jaw set, but then the impact of her declaration gathered in a sheen across her eyes. He was about to reach for her, but she caught the hesitation in his fingers and he stopped.

The rush of longing in her gaze lasted the barest second before she turned it back into a glare. Her anger regained steam as she squeezed her eyes shut and stemmed the tears before they fell. She backed away from him without waiting for him to respond. She knew him too well for that.

"Let's do this in Papa's office. He's waiting for us." She headed up the dramatically sweeping marble staircase that still felt alien beneath Rahul's feet even though he'd stopped using the servants' stairs years ago. "I want Papa to be there for this."

Kirit Patil greeted them without leaving his deep wing chair in his dark-paneled, high-ceilinged library office. The wall of windows behind him framed an orange morning sky over a blue-gray ocean. A backdrop befitting the longest serving home minister of Maharashtra state, and one of Bollywood's greatest erstwhile superstars. But Rahul's mentor no longer looked anything like the larger-than-life hero who had saved Rahul from every roadblock and land mine life had thrown in his path. He looked defeated. After all these years, they were just two men equalized by their inability to protect the girl who tied them together.

Kimi walked to the windows and stared out at the ocean across the building-covered hill that The Mansion was perched on top of. Rahul tried not to think about how a reckless trip down to that very strip of beach with her had changed the course of his life. Tried not to think of how well she wore the calm she'd always known how to pull on for the benefit of everyone around her. More than anything else, he had wanted her to learn how to pull it on for her own benefit. And now here it was.

She rubbed the transplant scar that ran down her chest under the intricately embroidered silk of her kurta and threw him a glance that caught the flash of all they had shared in his eyes before he looked away.

Kirit pointed to the chair next to him, but Rahul couldn't sit. It had nothing to do with the fact that he never sat in the minister's presence. He was too wound up to sit down.

"This won't take long," Kimi said, her entire focus back on the ocean. "Two months ago, I was working on a story and waiting outside Mithibai College to speak with students about a starlet's private pictures that her jerk boyfriend had leaked. I noticed the SUV that had been following me around for a few days." She threw Rahul a warning glance and he swallowed his interruption. "Papa already had two bodyguards tailing me everywhere."

She didn't bring up the fact that she had come to Rahul and begged him to convince Kirit to call off the bodyguards and Rahul had refused to get involved.

Kirit opened his mouth to say something, but then he too thought the better of it and slumped back in his chair.

Kimi hesitated, then squared her shoulders. "I walked right up to the SUV to ask why they were following me."

Rahul groaned. "What the hell, Kimi?"

"I know it was stupid!" she snapped. "I shouldn't have done it. I know that. But I had bodyguards with me. I thought I was safe." Her voice went quiet again. "I just wanted to scare them off. They were making me feel trapped."

He shut up after that and let her finish.

"When I saw Asif Khan ..." She swallowed and Rahul felt all her sickness at saying that name turn into rage right in the pit of his stomach. "I knew I had made a mistake. I tried to get away, but he reached out of the SUV window and grabbed my shirt. Before I knew what was happening one of his men had a gun to my side." An eon passed before she spoke again, her voice dipping to a whisper. "He ripped open my blouse."

Rahul didn't move. If he moved, he'd break something. And this was hard enough for her without him losing it.

She cleared her throat and strengthened her voice. "He wanted to look at my scar." She touched her chest, tracing her scar, and finally met Rahul's eyes again. "He knew about my transplant. He wanted to know where my heart had come from."

That was the last thing Rahul had expected her to say. Why on earth would Asif know about her transplant?

Before he could ask, she turned to her father, then back to Rahul. "Papa won't tell me who my donor was. Do you know anything about it?"

Kirit stood, cutting her off from view for a second before she stepped around him. "You have to stop this nonsense, Kimi beta, please. The man is a sociopath. He messes around with people's heads. It was a confidential donor. We signed papers agreeing to let the donor be anonymous. It's wrong to break that confidence, not to mention illegal. You're letting a madman get inside your head."

How had Rahul never asked about Kimi's donor? How had he never wanted to know who had given her the ultimate gift?

Maybe because when you found out that your best friend had a new lease on life, yanking apart the jaws of the gift horse to stare into its mouth wasn't your first instinct. Apparently not his tenth or twentieth instinct either. Plus, she was right, the bloody case had completely consumed him. Even now, two years after her surgery, when Kimi had refused to speak with him for weeks, he had been too absorbed in the case, and he had convinced himself that her silence was an extension of the deep freeze their friendship had descended into since her transplant.

Kimi looked so disappointed with her father, Rahul didn't know how he stood it. "It's not just my head the madman has messed with, Papa. He tracked me down in broad daylight. He's killed hundreds of people including Rahul's friend Jen Joshi."

Rahul didn't like the way she made the word friend sound like an accusation, but then there was nothing about this conversation that he did like. "Can you come into the station and make a statement?" Of all the things he wanted to say to her, of course he said the least important one. And the one that would make her the angriest.

She looked up at the ceiling and shook her head. "I should have known DCP 'Stonewall' Savant would only act so interested because the precious love of his life is involved here."

"Jen was not the love of my life." Could they step back from this bull for one moment? When the hell had Kimi learned to derail every single conversation he tried to have with her? No matter what happened between them, they had always been able to talk to each other.

Her eyes dimmed with hurt but her stance remained combative, hand on hip, jaw raised. "I was talking about your job, not about Jen. But thank you for that."

He threw a glance at Kirit. His eyes were squeezed shut in defeat. Rahul hated doing this in front of her father.

His silence only made the anger in her eyes heat up, but then she pulled on that calm once again as though reminding herself that she was wasting her time. "Listen, Rahul, I've already told you all I know. After that the bastard pushed me into the ground and drove away. That's all the statement I can give you. And no, I didn't call you here to ask for your help. I didn't want any loose ends." She gave her father a quick hug. "Bye, Papa." Then swept past Rahul and out of the room.

Rahul followed her into the empty corridor, pulling the door shut behind him. "Kimi."

She was about to take the stairs, but she turned around and faced him. "Don't make this harder, Rahul. You have Asif in a coma. You have the answers you wanted from me. We're done. I know you didn't believe me before, but this isn't like all the other times. I'm not that girl anymore. This time I mean it."

Once again she turned away, tried to walk away. But then she was looking at him again, every familiar brown fleck in those too-brave eyes of hers focused on him. "This was what you wanted." He did. "And you were right, we don't work." They didn't. Not the way she wanted them to. "I need this. I need to get away from you, from everything. Just let me go."

There were so many things he wanted to say, but there was no expectation in her words. This wasn't her riling him up for a reaction. This was her leaving.

She ran down the stairs without a backward glance, yanked the door open, and then she was gone from sight. The ornately carved door slid shut behind her, the subtle click loud in the silent house. Rahul couldn't remember the last time the caged-animal feeling had been so crazed inside him. It had been the bane of his teenage years and now it squeezed outward against his rib cage.

"Let her go, son," Kirit said behind him.

That's exactly what he intended to do. But not while that monster was still alive and his men were running around Mumbai where they could hurt her.


Kimi Present day

Freedom was a beautiful thing! Mumbai in all its grimy, gray, pre-monsoon glory flew past Kimi as her auto-rickshaw sped between cars and pedestrians with the zeal of a bastard child born of a Diwali rocket and an immortal god. She almost asked the driver to slow down, but with the wind whipping her ponytail and the driver's mop of curls in a joint symphony she felt as recklessly brave as the whirring vehicle racing along on its three wheels.

Emblazoned across the dashboard of the rickshaw was the goddess Durga dancing on the corpse of a demon like the evil-hunting badass she was. Bowing to her was Bollywood's favorite superhero, Krish, with his muscles bulging like fat rubber balls and his hair coiffed high. In a perfect background score to her life's drama, the techno-beat-laden remix of an old Bollywood number drowned out the cacophony of horns the driver left in his wake.

The combination was delicious and exactly worthy of what she had just done. What she was about to do.


You know who else was badass? Kimaya Kirit Patil, that's who.

There had been one hundred and twelve instances over twelve years when each breath had been a fight and her limbs had turned to mist. She had fought. Not like a warrior, because that would involve the use of said limbs, but like someone drowning, where all you could do is keep the water out of your nose, so it wouldn't keep the air from your lungs. Breathe out. Breathe out. She had followed those breaths. Grabbed on to those thin wisps of air like lifelines and made herself live one grip at a time.

Then the cure she had waited twelve years for in a sterile room had come. A heart had become available. Surely that meant something. Someone had died, after all, so she might live. Someone with the exact kind of blood and plasma that would let a foreign heart beat within her chest with the confidence of an indegene. Surely that meant she could now have what she never thought she would — all that she had gazed upon from the windows of her room, sealed tight with every technology known to man, so no germ, no pathogen would dare venture into her world, let alone an entire human being. Except Rahul — he had ventured. And then gone on venturing until he was all the way inside.

He'd helped her understand calculus and the nuanced stories of Premchand. He had known how atoms split, why Europe went to war twice within half a century, and the why and when of each invention that transformed the history of civilization. He had touched her, despite promises he'd made. Because it was exactly what she had needed. His gloved hand in hers. He had given her anything she had asked for when everyone else had been too afraid. And she had known that if she lived, if her parents got what they had sealed her in a room twelve years for — a daughter who lived — she would spend the rest of that life taking care of him. The way he had taken care of her.


Excerpted from "A Distant Heart"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Sonali Dev.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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A Distant Heart 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
A story that is told in two voices, both of which tell their side of the story in a mix of flashbacks to past and distant past events, using these voices and the concept of ‘love’ to explain, justify, share and provide pivot points on which the story moves forward, sideways and occasionally halting as the layers are uncovered. The cornerstone on which the story pivots is Kimi and her friend (only friend) Rahul – both from very different levels in society and both caught in the trap of love, loss and unspoken dreams. Set in India, one has to understand that even in this day, the class system is fairly rigid - not only a function of birth and professions handed down over generations, but limited further by employment (or lack of), housing, and general financial stability. Rahul is from a family who lives a hardscrabble life – with his father working long and hard to become an officer in the police – steps up from constable. Kimi was born to Bollywood royalty – with money and privilege, a large mansion overlooking the sea, and an immune system that endangers her life and requires she live in isolation between medical treatments. Both Kimi and Rahul have experienced loss and fear losing those they love even more. But both differ in their reactions: he closes off his feelings and emotions, she dives in with both feet, expecting that for this moment, things will be just wonderful. As her only friend, Rahul becomes a focal point for Kimi: he’s sharing moments of the ‘outside world’ with her, helping her with her homework, guiding her to protect her heart and self from the dangers that exist. While he tries to ‘educate’ her to the darker side of life – she challenges his control that won’t allow him to think of her as someone he needs or loves, since that always ends. And he believes that every step forward they make together – speaking, touching, daring to be close – are dangerous to her. But Kimi challenges his views of the world and his place in it – challenges him to take up the civil service exams and join the police. Behind the major story of Kimi and Rahul’s relationship and the various ups and downs therein, the story brings us to the black market for organ donations, missing donors from the list, and the death of a young mother to be who was the first to see the connection between missing people on her donor database and people coming off the transplant list. The ringleader of this despicable business is in the hospital, in a coma, put there by Rahul – and he’s only waiting for the man to awake for questioning – as he needs answers about his friend’s death and the other people threatened and manipulated as part of the black market organization. But the strings and ties go deeper – from the missing undocumented to the doctor and a series of complicit medical personnel, threats and more death as others are lost, found and compromised, the corruption and back-alley dealings go deeper and further than anyone expected. Dev created an intriguing story that takes a bit to adjust to as the points of view alternate in past, distant past and present form: readers have to take the story as it comes in bits and pieces and wait for them to fall into place to create the full picture. Underlying the entire story is the mystery and at its core – love. What is true love, and to what lengths would you go to for that love: and can you really (even with concerted effort) deny love when it is there. I’ll have to say that the ultimate anta
Laeljeanne More than 1 year ago
Kimi spent her childhood in isolation due to an immune disease, her only friend, Rahul, the son of the police officer shot protecting her father, who sacrificed his own childhood to pay off the debt to her father for he and his siblings’ education. Love grew quietly, but was thwarted by class difference, complicated emotions, and, of course, things left unsaid. In this continuing story from the previous novel, the tone changes to the intimacy of an intense friendship created by Rahul supporting Kimi throughout her ongoing illness and eventual heart transplant. Switching from present tense to past tense when they first met, the reader watches their relationship grow and develop unevenly due to their differing class levels, and especially through the connection to her family through obligation on both sides. In the present, Kimi is in danger from the criminal operating the black market for stolen organs by murder. She must place all her trust in Rahul to aide her in finding out the truth behind her heart transplant, though in the end, it leads her back home to a horrifying secret. The romance is deeply embedded in this suspense thriller, with hot and heavy hitting hard in intricate scenes of the back and forth of a couple who cannot allow themselves to be completely vulnerable. Dev does a superb job of crafting a relationship with obstacles seemingly too large to overcome, all the while ramping up the suspense of the danger to Kimi and the secret to which only the reader is privileged to know. The ending line will make the reader laugh out loud! I was fortunate to receive this lovely novel from the author through a giveaway. Although it can be read as a standalone novel, A Change of Heart sets up the storyline and enriches the experience of this book. I highly recommend reading both.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Distant Heart is my 4th book by Sonali Dev, and the 2nd time I've come across Kimi and Rahul, who 1st make several appearances in A Change of Heart, ( this is something I have noticed in her work, she would introduce a minor character in 1 book, and give them their own story and make them the main character in another { Ria and Vikram - Bollywood Bride} something that I've grown to love ) though at that time I didn't particularly like either of them nor paid much attention to them, after reading this, I can safely say that I have grown to love them both the same way I love Mili and Samir ( Bollywood Affair - My favourite book by her) and Vicky and Ria ( Bollywood Bride, Oh Vicky you heartthrob!!!). Another thing I absolutely love about her books is that everyone is interconnected !!!!!!! but you can still read them without reading the other books and not feel lost and utterly confused.. Now back to the ADH , like all her books at first glance this is light hearted, funny and romantic BUT she always ALWAYS talks about some underlying issue in the (indian?) society.. in this case it's the black market for organs. Like all her books this too was an emotional rollercoaster, if you're like me, this book is a guarantee to make you squeal, laugh, cry, cringe, facepalm, groan (nearly threw the book away because I wanted to shake Rahul hard but punched a pillow instead and felt a lot better) and of course , angry. Though the dual time lines might seem confusing, if you're truly engrossed in the book then the whole thing will flow smoothly. This book , for me, though had a tad slow start, was unputdownable once I got into it. It was money well spent, very well spent indeed.
heathercm2001 More than 1 year ago
Kimi and Rahul's story is the type of book that is good for the soul. They have a very special relationship, and Dev made it even better by adding in an intriguing story that caused quite a bit of trouble for them. I really liked how the story went back and forth between the past and the present because it gave me their whole story, which is too special and complex to leave anything out. A Distant Heart had vivid details that made it easy to not only picture the setting and the people, but their feelings and emotions as well. It was almost as if there were tiny strings attaching me to the characters and I felt everything they did. Everyone should give this book a try so they can experience Sonali Dev's beautiful writing.
NicFictionAddiction More than 1 year ago
4.5/5 Stars This book is easily my favorite in the Bollywood series so far. It definitely has a different feel than the other books in the series since it flashes back to Kimi and Rahul’s childhoods and it takes place in India, but I think it’s all the better for those things! What Fed My Addiction: A lifetime romance. I am a sucker for a story of childhood friends who become more, and I absolutely loved seeing the friendship between Kimi and Rahul develop. Their history makes every moment between them (in the present) crackle with chemistry, even when they’re trying to deny it. The setting. I’ll confess that I don’t know much about India, but Dev did such a fantastic job of setting the atmosphere that I felt like I truly got to know Mumbai. Class structures. Kimi and Rahul come from different worlds, even though they live in the same city. And a major theme of the book was the exploration of how the difference in class affected them, both separately and as a couple. Rahul came from nothing, and he felt indebted to Kimi’s father—a feeling he did not particularly savor. At first, he felt a lot of bitterness because of that. But Kimi changed all that for him. She humanized the wealthy and powerful in a way that her father never could. I thought it was interesting that though class differences were a definite focus of the book, it wasn’t really what kept Kimi and Rahul apart (which is what you would stereotypically expect). Their story was much more complicated than that. High stakes. From the beginning, Kimi and Rahul are trying to solve a mystery that we already know the answer to. This could have made for a boring book, but it didn’t. Part of that is because the focus of the book is really on the relationship between Kimi and Rahul (including how it developed throughout their childhood). But also, because we know that the person hunting Kimi is serious—and seriously dangerous—the stakes are very high and the story is intense at certain points. What Left Me Hungry for More: Not much. I was a bit worried at first that the obstacle to the romance in this book was going to be a little too close to the obstacle in book two (basically, one half of the couple believes that they’re somehow cursed and are bad for the other person). But, in the end, this story felt more nuanced and I truly understood Rahul and his trepidation about getting close to anyone—especially Kimi. This is a fantastic installment in the Bollywood Series! (Though, just as a warning, it has almost nothing to do with Bollywood). These complex characters are sure to win your heart (and break it a little along the way). I give this book an easy 4.5/5 Stars. ***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via ALA Annual in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Njkinny More than 1 year ago
A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev is a book that I had been eagerly awaiting. Even though it can be read as a standalone story but in my opinion, it will be best understood and cherished if you have read Sonali's previous book, A Change of Heart first because the plot carries forward from where it left off in the previous book. We saw Inspector Rahul chasing down the mastermind behind an organ trafficking ring in A Change of Heart but despite a partial closure, the mystery behind the operation of this deadly organs trafficking ring and how it all connects to people near Rahul's heart is revealed in this book. Here we get an up and close look into Rahul's life and finally meet Kimi aka Kimaya, his one weakness outside of his family. I had absolutely adored A Change of Heart and this book again had me enthralled. Sonali Dev truly understands the inner workings of the heart and her attention to the minutest of details about daily life and human nature had me respecting her more and more. She vividly and realistically sketches the two worlds : one of priviledge and the other of the common man working hard to provide two square meals to his family. One is symbolized by our hero, Rahul and the other by Kimaya. I loved following the story as it went back and forth in time and traced a journey of love, friendship, loss, determination and second chances. The writing style is vivid, engaging and will keep you hooked right till the end. I enjoyed meeting Nick, Nikki and Joy from the previous book and this book has finally given me the contentment that I get when all the dots in a mystery finally connect. A stark, sometimes scary and other times brutally honest, this book had me feeling myriad of emotions and I am so so happy to have gotten a pre-release copy of this book. Ms Dev's books have become an "Auto-buy" for me and even before I finish her one book, I am already eager to get her next book! A definite must read, I give A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it all romance lovers. If you like an intense, brooding hero, a fiercely independent heroine, a potent romance and a mystery that tests all your brain cells then this book is for you. I received an ARC from the publishers via Netgalley and I am very thankful to them. The above is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Oh, goodness. I haven't read A Change of Heart yet (there is no excuse--I have the audiobook! I've read all of her other books! This year just got away from me :(...) and since this one is somewhat connected, there are some mildly spoiler-ish bits. But that didn't stop me from loving this book, and it's definitely not going to stop me from reading A Change of Heart...soon. Promise! A Distant Heart is a wonderful story--just as deliciously angsty as her other books, with a touch of suspense and danger thrown in as well. I loved the back and forth between Kimi and Rahul's past and present--watching them become friends, and then seeing them become more--and the Rapunzel-like feel of her life in The Mansion was a nice touch. (The label "Mission KAKA"--Keeping Ailing Kimi Alive--made me smile every time she thought it.) Sure, there were times I wanted to shake Rahul for being so stubborn, but at the same time it's hard to blame him when you know his history. (Plus, the story needed angst. Still, though--grrrrrr.) Kimi was just wonderful from start to finish--how that girl could manage to stay so positive in spite of everything--especially what she finds out toward the end--was inspiring. She has a lot to do with the story's black moment, but that too felt realistic and believable. Word of advice, though--don't take a big sip of anything just before Kimi reflects on reading the Kama Sutra online--OMG, I almost lost it there ;) Horses and elephants...LOL! Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
EileenAW More than 1 year ago
WOW!!! Words alone cannot express how much I loved this book, A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev. From the beginning, this book pulled me into a story of friendship, romance, struggles, mystery, and secrets. Kimi and Rahul are unforgettable characters as we learn their stories, both now and ago. The manner in which Ms. Dev went back and forth with time as she told this love story was very well done. This reader felt as if these two were friends of her. Sonali hit home in showcasing the dilemma a parent faces when their child faces death and choosing the “right” options to keep them alive. This was truly a heart-wrenching love story that still allowed the main characters to reach their happy ever after despite lots of detours and obstacles. I really loved reading this book and had trouble putting this book down. Ms. Dev held me captive, drawing me into her book, making me forget the world around me and not letting me go even after I turned the last page. I highly recommend this book to other readers. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Timitra More than 1 year ago
A Distant Heart is a friends to lovers story set in India that I quite enjoyed. I loved the way in which the author told it. Showing the hero and heroine's first meeting as children and how their relationship evolved over time. Nothing between moves quickly, it's a slow build up that is very much reflected in the way things are revealed and the culmination of their first sex scene. I definitely recommend it to one and all. ARC provided by publisher through Net Galley