His Highness Veerendra Singh is the scion of the royal family of Devgarh. Young, dashing and wealthy, he is perpetually hunted by marriage-minded nubile women. The only hitch is that he does not want to be on the matrimonial market. To top his disinterest, he has vowed never to marry anyone who would shame their family. Nivy Sharma is a successful Bollywood actress and best friend of Veer’s sister, Jessie. Five years ago, Nivy had run away to Mumbai to create her own path and become an actress. Unfortunately, her current movie, one that she was producing herself, has run out of money. With work stalled, Nivy is back in Devgarh, to lick her wounds. When Veer and Nivy meet again after five years, words and sparks fly. Then Veer proposes something outrageous, that Nivy and Veer enter into a fake engagement. Why does Nivy agree to his proposal? And during this fake engagement, will both of them be able to avoid falling in love with each other, again?
The book, written by Alisha Kay, is your quintessential feel-good romance. The writing is crisp, putting the focus firmly on Nivy and Veer. Since it is written in their voice, it is easy for the reader to understand the perspective and emotion of the protagonists. The dialogues flow fast and swift and the repartees keep you chuckling. The parts where Jessie and Nivy gang up against Veer are hilarious. You get a feeling of camaraderie and underlying love. Nivy is headstrong and ambitious, yet she has a pure heart. She wants to succeed, but on her own terms and doesn’t hesitate in putting in hard work. For her, her work comes first. Battling years of criticism by her mother, she thinks she spoils everything by her headstrongness. Veer is a prince with hidden depths. Events in his past have forced him to be publicity-shy, and he has trouble trusting anyone outside his family. Both of them need to overcome their insecurities to find the happiness they deserve. The supporting cast of Jessie, Rani Ma, Aryan, Anika and Nivy’s mother leave an impact. The exchanges between Veer and Rani Ma are heartwarming and amusing.
One issue which I think was touched upon beautifully in the book was the relationship between Nivy and her mother. It makes you rethink your parenting approach, of how a mother’s constant criticism can chip away a daughter’s self-worth and value. It is not about the lack of parental love, but rather, a parent’s lack of ability to understand their child’s viewpoint. The fact that a child might have different dreams and desires than the parent, and for parents to accept that.
For a romance novel to succeed, certain parameters must be met. The chemistry between the protagonists should be sizzling; The dialogues crisp; the story should move at a fast pace; packed with emotions, and if possible, keep the reader chuckling. The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancee ticks all the above requirements successfully. It is an engrossing light-hearted book, a perfect escape from these gloomy days.