The novella Paper Hearts and Promises is a part of the anthology “Something Old, Something New”. The anthology consists of seven novellas by seven bestselling authors, all on the theme of a second chance at love. Paper Hearts and Promises is the novella written by Devika Fernando and I was lucky enough to get an ARC to review. Paper Hearts and Promises is the story of Taara and Luke.
Taara is the daughter of Judge Chauhan, bound by the rules of her social class and status. Luke is a young Australian who is studying architecture for a year in India. As fate (and author) would have it, they meet in college ( in a scene straight out of a movie) and fall deeply in love with each other. Circumstances, however, decide to play the villain and they are separated, only to meet again after seven long years. Both of them are now at different stages of their life, Taara runs her own business and Luke is a successful architect who visits India on a business deal. When they meet they realise that they never stopped loving one another even after all the years of separation.
Devika Fernando is a prolific writer whose romances are usually about multicultural couples. In this novella, author Devika spins a tale where you root for the protagonists who are meant to be with each other. Her descriptions of Mumbai and Chennai bring the cities to life. In fact, the description of Taara’s shop wants you to find the store and purchase the lovely flowers. The flowers, which in their silent way, told Luke that it was Taara’s store. Taara is talented and creative who ensnares Luke with her beauty and talent. However, she doesn’t trust her heart’s decision and lets Luke go, which changes the course of their lives. Taara is a little bit like all of us, one who loves unwaveringly but somehow doesn’t have faith that true love will surmount all obstacles. Luke, on the other hand, is unwavering in his affections for Taara and yet, gets his heartbroken by Taara’s actions. The author shows how, even despite being in love, your doubts can cloud your judgement. The romance between the characters has the innocence of first love. There is an underlying sweetness to their relationship which makes you fall in love all over again. The end, with the paper heart, makes you sigh with happiness as the lovers unite for a happily ever after.