Title: The Other Side
Series: Book #1 in the Island Girls Trilogy
Author: Zee Monodee
Line: Ubuntu (geared to African Romance)
Publisher: Decadent Publishing, LLC
Release date: July 30, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Comedy/ Interracial Multicultural Romance/ Bollywood
Length: 272 pages
Heat Level: Sensual/ 2 flames
Divorce paints a scarlet letter on her back when she returns to the culture-driven society of Mauritius. This same spotlight shines as a beacon of hope for the man who never stopped loving her. Can the second time around be the right one for these former teenage sweethearts?
Indian-origin Lara Reddy left London after her husband dumps her for a more accommodating uterus—at least, that’s what his desertion feels like. Bumping into him and his pregnant new missus doesn’t help matters any, and she thus jumps on a prestigious job offer. The kicker? The job is in Mauritius, the homeland of her parents, and a society she ran away from over a decade earlier.
But once there, Lara has no escape. Not from the gossip, the contempt, the harassing matchmaking...and certainly not from the man she hoped never to meet again. The boy she’d loved and lost—white Mauritian native, Eric Marivaux.
Back when they were teens, Eric left her, and Lara vowed she’d never let herself be hurt again. Today, they are both adults, and facing the same crossroads they’d stood at so many years earlier.
Lara now stands on the other side of Mauritian society. Will this be the impetus she needs to take a chance on Eric and love again?
Decadent Publishing http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=817&osCsid=uk690a1muqacdt8v6csmtuo7d2
Amazon (available at the discounted price of $2.99) http://www.amazon.com/Other-Side-Island-Girls-ebook/dp/B00E77XHG6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375035073&sr=8-1&keywords=the+other+side+zee+monodee
About the author
Stories about love, life, relationships... in a melting-pot of culture
Zee is an author who grew up on a fence – on one side there was modernity and the global world, on the other there was culture and traditions. Putting up with the culture for half of her life, one day she decided she'd stand tall on her wall and dip toes every now and then into both sides of her non-conventional upbringing.
From this resolution spanned a world of adaptation and learning to live on said wall. The realization also came that many other young women of the world were on their own fence.
This particular position became her favorite when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing – her heroines all sit 'on a fence', whether cultural or societal, in today's world or in times past, and face dilemmas about life and love.
Hailing from the multicultural island of Mauritius, Zee is a degree holder in Communications Science. She is a head-over-heels wife, in-over-her-head mum to a tween son, best-buddy-stepmum to a teenage lad, an incompetent domestic goddess, eternal dreamer, and an absolute, shameless bookholic. When she isn’t penning more stories and/or managing the Ubuntu line at Decadent Publishing, you can bet you’ll find her with her nose in her tablet, ‘drinking in’ a good book.
Tidbits about this book & series
- The Island Girls trilogy follows the 3 Hemant sisters – Lara, Neha, Diya – over the span of the 2000-2010 decade, chronicling the changing face of the Mauritian society over that crucial period.
- Back in the year 2000 (when this story takes place), divorce was an almost-alien, shunned & vilified concept. People were still supposed to marry ‘for life’ and a wife left her husband’s home only in her coffin. Those who dared brave this silent edict did it at the risk of becoming marginalized and cast away. Like Lara, the author, Zee, divorced her British husband and returned to the island to face such drama. Much of the divorce angle in the book comes from her own experience.
“Should I order a Sprite for you?” he asked once he returned to his seat.
“I prefer Pepsi.”
Since when? She used to hate any kind of cola. From the tight expression on her face, he wouldn’t put away the notion she might’ve contradicted him just for the fun of it.
She’d make him sweat. He tensed.
Eric nodded and signalled to the waiter. He didn’t speak again until the server returned with her drink and set the glass in front of her.
All the while, he kept his focus on her. It shouldn’t have been possible, but she was more beautiful than in his memories. Well, a teenager certainly had nothing over a grown woman, and Lara struck him as the type of woman whose prime didn’t lie in her young adult days. The maturity of womanhood had shaped her, moulding her into an alluring creature of sophistication and refinement.
However, beneath the façade, she’d probably not changed very much inside. Proof—he could still rattle her as easily as in the past. She was not over him, just like he’d never gotten over her, either.
Where did that leave them, then?
Her left hand lay on the table, and he darted a quick glance at her fingers.
She pulled her arm back and placed it under the table as soon as she noticed his perusal.
Not enough time to spot if a paler band of skin rested on her third finger where her ring should’ve been. Merde.
The seconds ticked by, and she neither spoke nor did she reach for her drink. He’d been right. She’d ordered Pepsi to contradict him.
Lara. He wanted to sigh. This is me you’re trying to kid.
“You know,” he said, “when I asked you for a drink, I didn’t mean it literally. I planned on some conversation, as well.”
She shrugged. “What do you want to talk about?”
“Everything, and nothing.” He paused. “How’s life? And how’s your husband?”
She lowered her eyelids at the mention of the other man. From the silence that stretched, he wondered if she’d deign answer him or tell him to get lost.
Lara took a deep, audible breath, and brought her gaze up to meet his. “He’s doing okay, I guess,” she said softly.
Trouble in paradise? A part of him wanted to jump with joy. Callous of him, but the only thing he registered was that she could be free. The urge to ask her if she was indeed single again burned through him like wildfire, but he wouldn’t press, at least not yet.
So he raised an eyebrow but kept mum.
She squirmed under his scrutiny, before she squared her shoulders.
“How’s your wife?” she asked.
He clamped his jaw at the question thrown in a tone struggling to sound light, yet was anything but. A muscle started to tick in his cheek after a few seconds.
So that’s what had happened. Lara thought he’d married Sophie. He’d told himself she must’ve had much more faith in them.
Wrong belief, and because of it, they’d lost twelve years. More than a decade during which their lives could’ve turned out so differently. What was done was done, and they had to look to the future. Could the two of them have a second chance today? Or in the future?
Everything rested on the decision he would make in the next split second. He could as easily bring this meeting to a conclusion, and they’d each go their own way. If Lara hadn’t trusted them back then, what hope did he have to change her mind today?
Except they were no longer kids. As adults, they owed it to themselves to give in to another chance.
He wanted Lara. Come what may, he’d have her.
So he shook his head and gave her a slow, lazy smile. She hadn’t been able to resist that one back in the day.
“I’m not married, Lara. Never have been.”