By Wendy Thomas
While bartending at a post-Oscars event in Hollywood, Advika Srinivasan meets the man who sweeps her off her feet. She doesn’t yet realize it, but Julian Zelding is a Hollywood legend with five Best Picture Oscars and a lavish lifestyle. All she sees is a handsome and charming man who sees her not as the “help,” but as an attractive and desirable woman. Impulsively, she abandons her workstation to get dessert with Julian at a late-night cafe. “Advika and the Hollywood Wives” by Kirthana Ramisetti starts off like a real-life, fairy tale romance.
Dealing with the recent and tragic death of her twin sister and her parents’ move back to India, 26-year-old Advika is ready for some romance and ease. Despite their more than 40 year age difference, Julian brings vibrancy and joy to her grief-filled life. In the aftermath of ditching work to hang out with Julian on the night of the Oscars, she loses her job and her financial situation becomes tenuous. Julian offers to let her move into his mansion, and shortly after they get married.
As an aspiring screenplay writer, Advika is dazzled by Julian’s connections and flattered by his enthusiasm about her career. He arranges meetings for her with influential people and finds a studio for the screenplay she wrote to process her sister’s death. But lavish gifts, romantic getaways and Hollywood connections can only get a marriage so far. When Julian’s first ex-wife dies and stipulates in her will that Advika will get a generous bequest if she leaves Julian, Advika sets out to discover the reasons behind the unexpected offer.
Not your usual romance, this novel combines elements of mystery and suspense with wish fulfillment. Stellar character development and intriguing plot points make this a true page-turner. Check it out at the Denver Public Library branch near you.
October is Digital Inclusion Month at the library. Check out denverlibrary.org or visit the Smiley Branch Library to learn more about our resources and programs to promote digital literacy and technology access for all.
Wendy Thomas is a librarian at the Smiley Branch Library. When not reading or recommending books, you can find her hiking with her dogs.