“Loving You” is the sixth book in the destination wedding series by author Andaleeb Wajid, and is the story of Hamza and Noorain. Hamza had seen his twin brother Hamdaan’s heartbreak when Hamdaan’s love marriage failed. He has also seen Hamdaan discovering love and contentment with his second wife, Ghazal. A marriage arranged by the families. Hamza too, decides to play roulette on the arranged marriage table, giving his family the go-ahead to search for a suitable bride for him. His family picks the young, pretty, virginal Mahrook. But there is a problem, Hamza feels a disconnect with Mahrook, but not with Mahrook’s aunt, Noorain. Young, divorced and totally ineligible Noorain. Hamza is bound by engagement to Mahrook, but he cannot help falling in love with Noorain. Noorain cannot bear to hurt her niece, whom she cares for deeply. But she can’t help but slowly fall in love with Hamza.
Noorain’s character stands out in this book for me. She is shown to be a truly independent woman who has nurtured her feminine side as well. It is not that she is not affected by the negativity or the barbs directed towards her, but Noorain rises above it, choosing to be true to her spirit. Noorain’s decision to grab her happiness makes her a marked departure from the heroines who love to play the role of the martyr. Hamza has a strong streak of sensitivity that I wish more men had. Though initially oblivious to the repercussions of his actions on Noorain, he is strong enough to accept his responsibility. The double standards with which society treats men and women are clearly depicted in the family scenes of the book.
Ghazal and Hamdaan form the support system for Hamza. I had fallen in love with Ghazal in Only You ( Book 5 of Destination Wedding Series), and in this book too, I was impressed by her sensitive yet practical nature. Noorain’s Nani provides some naughtiness and lightheartedness in the book. She depicts that we have been given only one life, which should be lived on our own terms. But the focus of the book rarely shifts from the feelings of the protagonists.
“Loving You” is a book for you if you are in the mood for a story that tugs your heartstrings. Noorain and Hamza’s story is deeply emotional. The passion and feelings between Noorain and Hamza flow deep under the surface. The book shows that love is messy and uncomfortable. Happily, ever-afters are not destined but have to be built, block by block. For reaching happily ever after, sacrifices need to be made. The lovers need to decide whether to hold on to love or not. This story is not only about happily-ever-afters, but about making life full of love and facing challenges together.