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A Convenient Marriage (audiobook)

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It was the perfect marriage… until they fell in love. Chaya is a young woman torn between her duty to family and her life in the UK. While her traditional Sri Lankan parents want her to settle down into marriage, what they don’t know is that Chaya has turned away the one true love of her life, Noah, terrified of their disapproval. Gimhana is hiding his sexuality from his fam It was the perfect marriage… until they fell in love. Chaya is a young woman torn between her duty to family and her life in the UK. While her traditional Sri Lankan parents want her to settle down into marriage, what they don’t know is that Chaya has turned away the one true love of her life, Noah, terrified of their disapproval. Gimhana is hiding his sexuality from his family. It’s easy enough to pretend he’s straight when he lives half a world away in the UK. But it’s getting harder and harder to turn down the potential brides his parents keep finding for him. When Chaya and Gimhana meet, a marriage of convenience seems like the perfect solution to their problems. Together they have everything - friendship, stability and their parents’ approval. But when both Chaya and Gimhana find themselves falling in love outside of their marriage, they’re left with an impossible decision – risk everything they’ve built together, or finally follow their heart? Will they choose love, or carry on living a lie? An emotional, page turning read about love, family and the secrets we keep, for fans of Amanda Prowse, Ayisha Malik and Susan Lewis.


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It was the perfect marriage… until they fell in love. Chaya is a young woman torn between her duty to family and her life in the UK. While her traditional Sri Lankan parents want her to settle down into marriage, what they don’t know is that Chaya has turned away the one true love of her life, Noah, terrified of their disapproval. Gimhana is hiding his sexuality from his fam It was the perfect marriage… until they fell in love. Chaya is a young woman torn between her duty to family and her life in the UK. While her traditional Sri Lankan parents want her to settle down into marriage, what they don’t know is that Chaya has turned away the one true love of her life, Noah, terrified of their disapproval. Gimhana is hiding his sexuality from his family. It’s easy enough to pretend he’s straight when he lives half a world away in the UK. But it’s getting harder and harder to turn down the potential brides his parents keep finding for him. When Chaya and Gimhana meet, a marriage of convenience seems like the perfect solution to their problems. Together they have everything - friendship, stability and their parents’ approval. But when both Chaya and Gimhana find themselves falling in love outside of their marriage, they’re left with an impossible decision – risk everything they’ve built together, or finally follow their heart? Will they choose love, or carry on living a lie? An emotional, page turning read about love, family and the secrets we keep, for fans of Amanda Prowse, Ayisha Malik and Susan Lewis.

30 review for A Convenient Marriage (audiobook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    A romantic novel which is really about more kinds of love. Gimhana and Chaya are both Sri Lankans from traditional families. He's gay and closeted, at work in the UK as well as to his family, she's still traumatised by a breakdown at college and the end of the relationship then with a guy who she believes was the love of her life. They are both under pressure to marry--so they marry each other in full knowledge, agreeing terms beforehand, which works fine until they both fall in love. Obviously A romantic novel which is really about more kinds of love. Gimhana and Chaya are both Sri Lankans from traditional families. He's gay and closeted, at work in the UK as well as to his family, she's still traumatised by a breakdown at college and the end of the relationship then with a guy who she believes was the love of her life. They are both under pressure to marry--so they marry each other in full knowledge, agreeing terms beforehand, which works fine until they both fall in love. Obviously it's about romantic love. It's about family love too, and how they are both nearly destroyed by their love for families who can't accept them as they are. It's very much about self love, as Chaya in particular struggles with mental illness and self loathing and Gimhana battles his own fears. But most of all it's about platonic love, because the thing that allows them to take on all the above is the deep, intense love they develop for each other. Their marriage is healing for them both, because finally having someone who loves and cares changes everything, and that profound non-sexual affection is really the heart of the book. We do see the romantic relationships--Chaya's mostly in flashbacks (there is a lot of time jumping) and Gimhana's in real time) but they are not really the centre of the book. Tbh I didn't entirely buy into Chaya's lifelong passion, which felt a bit obsessive--I sort of wanted to see more of her with her love interest now to believe it would work, not memories of 17 years ago--but the gay romance is lovely, and the unspooling of their fake marriage is done well. A thoroughly enjoyable read. (NB there is a scene of homophobic violence early on and some homophobia from both families in Sri Lanka.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dash fan

    5☆ A Compelling and Powerful Romance A compelling and heartfelt romance and was poignant and thought provoking. I don't want to go into any detail about the plot as I think this is a Story you need to discover for yourself, the blurb is very intriguing and gives just enough away. The story is told by the two main characters Chaya and Gimhana and set in two time periods past and present. I really enjoyed how this book was written, both Chaya and Gimhana have such emotional and powerful stories to 5☆ A Compelling and Powerful Romance A compelling and heartfelt romance and was poignant and thought provoking. I don't want to go into any detail about the plot as I think this is a Story you need to discover for yourself, the blurb is very intriguing and gives just enough away. The story is told by the two main characters Chaya and Gimhana and set in two time periods past and present. I really enjoyed how this book was written, both Chaya and Gimhana have such emotional and powerful stories to tell that having their past stories only enriched the journey leading up to the future. It flowed seamlessly. There are some sensitive subjects which some readers might find difficult to read, but Charika Has written them with the right amount of sensitivity to still make a powerful impact. The Characters are Endearing, strong and very relatable and real. The plot is powerful, poignant, current, and opened my eyes to the pressure of arranged marriage, family demands and traditions and hiding your sexual identity to fit in and be accepted. A Convenient Marriage is a highly Compelling, Powerful and Poignant Read that I couldn't put down! It's a story of fitting in, finding oneself, trying to please everyone, racism, discovering your sexuality, the trials and tribulations of culture, traditions, family, and Finding love where you least expect it. A Convenient Marriage is a Story that touched my heart and I highly recommend. Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Tours for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily. Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Tours and Hera books for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily. My Review is also on my Blog Website :- https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/2019/1...

  3. 5 out of 5

    charlotte,

    That was probably the thing they recognised in each other – that sense of something hidden. Perhaps they had more in common than it seemed. On my blog. Rep: Sri Lankan mcs, gay mc, mc with (somatic?) depression and anxiety CWs: graphic homophobic violence (ch 2, past violence mentioned later on), graphic self harm scene (ch 23) Galley provided by publisher Sometimes, you just seem to get a string of books that aren’t for you, and all you can do is raise your hand and say it’s not you it’s me. That was probably the thing they recognised in each other – that sense of something hidden. Perhaps they had more in common than it seemed. On my blog. Rep: Sri Lankan mcs, gay mc, mc with (somatic?) depression and anxiety CWs: graphic homophobic violence (ch 2, past violence mentioned later on), graphic self harm scene (ch 23) Galley provided by publisher Sometimes, you just seem to get a string of books that aren’t for you, and all you can do is raise your hand and say it’s not you it’s me. And this book is yet another of those ones for me. For the right person it would be a good book. I am not the right person. All of which means, bear with this review, it’s just going to be a list of things that didn’t work for me (but may work for you!). But first. The good things! The premise. I love the marriage of convenience trope, usually when it ends up becoming a true relationship, but I also really liked the twist put on it in this book, where it’s true convenience because neither wants to marry the other really, they’re just doing it for their families. The characters. Yes, at times I thought they could have been more fleshed out, but overall, the cast was solid, and definitely easy to like. The less good things (or rather, things I disliked) were, as you might have guessed, more numerous, however. Homophobia. The first introduction we get to Gimhana is him being attacked by a homophobe. And then later on we find out he suffered worse attacks at school. To me, however, both felt somewhat unnecessary. I’m not saying never show this kind of thing, but here, it was almost, I don’t know, proof he had suffered homophobic violence or something. So, right, we need to know why he doesn’t come out, but isn’t it sufficient to mention his parents, his past at school. The attack in chapter 2 is also pretty much the only chapter we get from Gim’s POV in the ’94/’95 chapters, so it feels even less purposeful to me. (I also didn’t really like how their families’ homophobia wasn’t challenged, obviously not necessarily face-to-face, but just something in the narrative to say, uh, no not all gay men are predators.) Non-linear narrative. This is enormously a me thing. I can’t follow non-linear narratives, especially not ones like this one which jump all over the place. Sure, I can do your bog standard now/then comparison but when it’s going between 2005, 1995, 2012, 2016, it’s just too much for me. (I said it was a me thing.) The pacing. I guess this kind of links into the above point. It’s almost like, there was too much going on and the pacing suffered. I mean each of those time periods had, say, a quarter of the book dedicated to them. So that’s like a novella length for each. And it just ended up feeling rushed, with not enough time to develop the romances. Heck, they don’t even get the marriage part out of the way until 60%. So there’s no chance to develop Gim and his love interest in that period of time, and definitely no chance of developing Chaya’s second chance romance when they don’t divorce until about 90%. So in the end, I was just indifferent to the book really. But hey, to each their own, right?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Giulia Colma

    A Convenient Marriage is not a book about marriage. It’s a book about friendship, accepting yourself, letting go of family’s expectations and lastly, about love. This book was different from all others because it brought attention to two very important stigmas: mental health and homosexuality, all in the context of conservative Sri Lankan families. The protagonists are Chaya and Gimhana, both workaholics and excellent in what they do but not so much when it comes to love. Chaya still suffers from A Convenient Marriage is not a book about marriage. It’s a book about friendship, accepting yourself, letting go of family’s expectations and lastly, about love. This book was different from all others because it brought attention to two very important stigmas: mental health and homosexuality, all in the context of conservative Sri Lankan families. The protagonists are Chaya and Gimhana, both workaholics and excellent in what they do but not so much when it comes to love. Chaya still suffers from letting go her first love because it was considered unsuitable by her family and her culture while Gimhana is a gay man who works in a very conservative company and therefore can’t come out and have to keep appearances in order to succeed in his field. Their families are both pushing them to get married, so since they get along great and none of them wants to settle down, they arrange a fake marriage. All seems to work out until they fall in love. When I talked about it with some friends, they highlighted that I’m picky and that’s totally true. If you look at my Goodreads, you’ll mostly see positive reviews because I don’t usually finish books that don’t really resonate with me. When I started reading A Convenient Marriage I wasn’t so convinced about it. The characters seemed bland and the writing seemed basic but I didn’t give up on it because I was intrigued by the plot and the fact that the protagonists were Sri Lankan. So I kept on reading and then I found myself hooked. The writing style improved and the characters became more well-rounded and relatable. When I wasn’t reading, I couldn’t wait to get back into the story, to see if Chaya was making progress with her mental health and Gimhana was accepting himself a bit more. Seeing a strong and successful woman dealing with anxiety was so important for me because it reminded me that I’m not alone and everyone deals with something different, even if they seem perfectly fine from the outside. I found myself rooting for Chaya and Gimhana and their respective love interests because I could deeply understand them and they deserved love, despite the mistakes they made in the past. I adored the ending, I was grinning so hard reading the last pages that I kept on smiling even after I finished the book. To sum up, despite a weak start, I really connected with the characters, I both loved the original plot and setting. It was definitely an enjoyable and quick read and I recommended it to my friends.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I absolutely love to discover new authors and Jeevani Charika is certainly a new author for me. Having enjoyed reading 'A Convenient Marriage' as much as I did, I can guarantee that I will be reading more of her work in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'A Convenient Marriage' but more about that in a bit. I really took to the characters of Chaya and Gimhana from the start. I really felt for them because they are sort of torn between two cultures. Chaya is from Sri Lanka but she lives in t I absolutely love to discover new authors and Jeevani Charika is certainly a new author for me. Having enjoyed reading 'A Convenient Marriage' as much as I did, I can guarantee that I will be reading more of her work in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'A Convenient Marriage' but more about that in a bit. I really took to the characters of Chaya and Gimhana from the start. I really felt for them because they are sort of torn between two cultures. Chaya is from Sri Lanka but she lives in the United Kingdom and her parents are traditional and want her to settle down and get married. Chaya doesn't want to disappoint them and she has even turned away the one true love of her life because she fears upsetting and disappointing her parents. Gimhana also lives in the United Kingdom, whilst his parents live overseas. Gimhana is gay and he thinks that his traditional family will frown upon his way of life. They meet and they come up with a way to keep both families happy- they will marry each other and have a marriage of convenience. Only there's a complication when they find themselves falling for people outside of their marriage and they face a dilemma - do they risk everything that they have built up or do they finally follow their hearts? Well for the answers to those questions and more you are just going to have to read the book for yourselves to find out. It took me a little while to get into this story but that has more to do with the fact that I was tired and finding it hard to concentrate and cannot be taken as a criticism of the book. Once I got into the story that was it, I became addicted to reading this book. I found it to be educational in the fact that I learnt some things that I hadn't previously known- such as things about Sri Lanka itself and about its cultural practices. I didn't manage to binge read the book over the course of a day but I did manage to read it over the space of a couple of days. I seemed to race through the latter half of the book as my desperation to discover if both characters found the happiness that they both deserved and followed their hearts instead of making sure that everybody else is happy and forgetting about themselves. I got to the end of the book far quicker than I had anticipated. 'A Convenient Marriage' is well written. The author certainly knows how to grab your attention and draw you into the story from the start. She has created characters that you can't help but warm to and I am sure that there will be a fair few people who will be able to relate to some of the situations that the characters find themselves in. The author writes so realistically and uses such vivid descriptions that make you feel as though you are part of the story yourselves. That's how I felt at any rate. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'A Convenient Marriage' and I would recommend it to other readers. I will definitely be reading more of Jeevani's work in the future. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 4* out of 5*.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shalini

    A convenient marriage need not be a failed one. Two lonely strangers Chaya and Gimhana kept meeting each other and decided to get together, knowing the truth. Gim was gay, and Chaya had lost her love. Both were dictated by the terms of society and the land they came from. 7 years of marriage passed by without anyone knowing the truth. But the secret got out, and they had to grow up and find a plan B to deal with the aftermath of it. True love needed to be fought for. My second book by author Jeev A convenient marriage need not be a failed one. Two lonely strangers Chaya and Gimhana kept meeting each other and decided to get together, knowing the truth. Gim was gay, and Chaya had lost her love. Both were dictated by the terms of society and the land they came from. 7 years of marriage passed by without anyone knowing the truth. But the secret got out, and they had to grow up and find a plan B to deal with the aftermath of it. True love needed to be fought for. My second book by author Jeevani Charika, I enjoyed the flow of the story. The journey of both the characters through time was filled with pathos, yet was honest and filled with hope. Life is messy. We're all trying to get through it the best we can. Who was I judge the decisions the two undertook when they got married to keep society and their loneliness at bay. They were best of friends who knew each other and were synchronized with their lives. I loved how the author portrayed them. There was a genuiness about her writing, with emotions choking me up just when I least expected. Some scenes resonated with me. The only niggle that popped up was oft times I had to go back to chapter heading to get an idea of which year they were in. The to and fro of timelines was a bit confusing. But that was just a small thing. Gim and Chaya told their tales authentically, showing me facets of their life and the struggles they went through, including Chaya's anxiety issues. The credit goes to the author for taking me on this beautiful journey. Some of the scenes I could recognize, the closeness of family in Sri Lanka and their culture, it was the same in mine too. I could understand the reasons given by the characters. Discrimination is felt even today, color of the skin and lifestyle still matter to some. I too went through it. So I understood. Sometimes the story gets to you and there are emotions you cannot express. Same happened with me today. I just have to say I loved the story and the characters and way it all came together.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    A sweet story, about a marriage of convenience in the Sri Lankan community. Set in the UK, Sri Lanka and Canada, this is a well told story, with likeable characters, that explores what it means to be either a career woman or a gay man with a Sri Lankan heritage. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, with it's ups and downs, and alright it had a sweet ending, but the main characters deserved that. I was given a copy of this audiobook by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. A sweet story, about a marriage of convenience in the Sri Lankan community. Set in the UK, Sri Lanka and Canada, this is a well told story, with likeable characters, that explores what it means to be either a career woman or a gay man with a Sri Lankan heritage. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, with it's ups and downs, and alright it had a sweet ending, but the main characters deserved that. I was given a copy of this audiobook by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Long

    What an absolutely marvelous book. A love story about all aspects of love, about the one who got away and love at first sight, about friendship and family, about duty and loyalty and everything in between. Gimhana and Chaya simply leap off the page and when I forced myself to put down the book, only because I had to, I couldn't wait to go back to reading about them again. I was even caught saying "Oh Gim! No!" very loudly yesterday evening. Seriously, it's a beautiful, moving story, full of emoti What an absolutely marvelous book. A love story about all aspects of love, about the one who got away and love at first sight, about friendship and family, about duty and loyalty and everything in between. Gimhana and Chaya simply leap off the page and when I forced myself to put down the book, only because I had to, I couldn't wait to go back to reading about them again. I was even caught saying "Oh Gim! No!" very loudly yesterday evening. Seriously, it's a beautiful, moving story, full of emotion with a really satisfying ending. Excellent all round love story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Siobhán

    *I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the free book.* I don't usually read or particularly enjoy "romance" novels a lot as I want something more going on. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this romance that does things a little different. First of all both protagonists are from Sri Lanka and live in the UK, pursuing high profile careers. She's trying to become a professor of biochemistry and he's a high profile lawyer in a conservative firm. They're bot *I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the free book.* I don't usually read or particularly enjoy "romance" novels a lot as I want something more going on. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this romance that does things a little different. First of all both protagonists are from Sri Lanka and live in the UK, pursuing high profile careers. She's trying to become a professor of biochemistry and he's a high profile lawyer in a conservative firm. They're both lonely and both their parents are pressuring them to marry. She's heartbroken and suffers from extreme panic attacks, he's a closeted gay without any friends. A convenient marriage might just solve most of their problems... I liked the setting, Sri Lanka, Oxford, and London and I grew to like both main characters. What I enjoyed most of all was the mixture of postcolonial and queer issues mixed together with a certain level of drama expected from the romance genre. It was entertaining, light, and I rooted for a happy end for both of them. 4 Stars

  10. 5 out of 5

    Littlebookterror

    A Convenient Marriage is not what I expected it to be. The cover and description lured me in, expecting a rom-com with some mature discussions on the side. It’s not that. This is a sombre look at Sri Lankan culture, how it affects people who don't fit in and how you rule your own life. It follows Chaya and Gim for two decades, their ups and downs, how and why they decide for a marriage of convenience and how it all worked out. I'm not even sure if I would classify it as a romance in the tradition A Convenient Marriage is not what I expected it to be. The cover and description lured me in, expecting a rom-com with some mature discussions on the side. It’s not that. This is a sombre look at Sri Lankan culture, how it affects people who don't fit in and how you rule your own life. It follows Chaya and Gim for two decades, their ups and downs, how and why they decide for a marriage of convenience and how it all worked out. I'm not even sure if I would classify it as a romance in the traditional sense. I was very emotionally invested in both characters. I could clearly understand their thoughts, their feelings; I was right there with them. Chaya does read quite unchanged, she only shows emotional growth shortly before the book ends. There were several things I disliked from the plot. I was simply not expected for the book to go in those directions (they are slightly spoilery): (view spoiler)[- Zack and Noah’s relationship developed almost completely off-screen. So were is all the romance I was promised? - I find it a bit unbelievable (or not well written) that Chaya obsessed about Noah for close to 20 years. She suffered so much with her decision, - The cheating. I hoped the premise would preclude cheating - I find it sad and strange that Chaya and Gim never grew closer together after living together for several years. Their habits don't change from that first introductions; I had wished for a closer partnership than what appeared to be simple roommates. - The confrontation between Chaya and Zack with Gimhana at his firm was totally out of place and such a cheap move in the otherwise well-planned story. (hide spoiler)] I think the flashback storytelling was detrimental to my enjoyment. The scenes don't always pick up the same time as the last one ends and it's never properly marked. It made it harder for me to feel for both of them. The ending also felt a little bit rushed and I looked like it didn't affect the two characters as they were making life-altering decisions. Or maybe the buildup was not as well done. I received an Advanced Reading Copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Juniper

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Jeevani Charika introduces her readers to a whole gaggle of colorful characters in A Convenient Marriage. Following two Sri Lankan people more dedicated to their work than they are to their own self care, Chaya and Gimhana are both from traditional families and that aspect alone dictates their decisions in life. Chaya falls in love with a man “unsuitable” by every standard her family and culture can imagine. Gimhana has always known he was gay, but after being attacked for it he decides to hide Jeevani Charika introduces her readers to a whole gaggle of colorful characters in A Convenient Marriage. Following two Sri Lankan people more dedicated to their work than they are to their own self care, Chaya and Gimhana are both from traditional families and that aspect alone dictates their decisions in life. Chaya falls in love with a man “unsuitable” by every standard her family and culture can imagine. Gimhana has always known he was gay, but after being attacked for it he decides to hide that part of himself from everyone around him. The plot of the story begins by jumping back and forth between 1995, when Chaya started at Oxford, and 2005. Much of the first half of the book revolves around Chaya and her relationship with a man named Noah—either she’s right in the middle of it or she’s mourning their lost relationship. Noah’s it for her, she’s it for him; he envisions endgame and she envisions the literal degradation and ruin of her family if she tries to bring this white boy home to meet the family. She is staunchly against their relationship continuing beyond college or even the next day, convinced that they were doomed from the onset. She ends the relationship and is incredibly depressed, a time she calls her ‘Breakdown’. She then proceeds to mourn their relationship for SEVENTEEN YEARS. Gimhana is with another boy when we’re introduced to him and it is cute for exactly .02 seconds until they get hate-crimed. I think he was like, maybe 19?? Understandably, he becomes incredibly careful about seeming at all homosexual. In 2005 he’s a lawyer at an incredibly old fashioned practice, where he gets passed over for lesser men because they’re married with children. He’s told numerous times that to get ahead in the firm, he should get married. It doesn’t help that he’s the only brown person and is perpetually single and people might start to talk. It’s a fluke, really, that these two meet at a party while visiting their respective families in Sri Lanka. Both of their mothers have been setting them up with eligible single people and it just so happens that these two human train wrecks meet behind a pillar. Gim’s sloshed on whiskey and Chaya’s in a fancy pantsuit. But they recognize something in each other, the same kind of loneliness. When they start spending time together in London, Gim tries to take care of Chaya when she’s not used to doing anything with other people. Their friendship flourishes but we don’t even get to the concept of them marrying until the halfway point of the book. That’s so much time spent mourning Chaya’s relationship, especially considering how many times she ends up encountering him. But, of course, it just wouldn’t work. The scene where they have coffee after her honeymoon???? “My wife and I are separating…” “Hey Noah remember when I dumped you bc this would never work? Well I’m married now lol” Y’ALL. Also did I mention we’ve now entered 2007? And 2012; and 2016; we get back to 2013 for a while too. I don’t mind a story where there are regular flashbacks but for the love of every conceivable deity WHY did A Convenient Marriage need to jump in nearly every chapter? It got so hard to follow after a while. The pacing was really strange for me mostly because the blurb made it seem like the marriage itself was the focus when that wasn’t entirely true. Yes, marriage is the overwhelming theme, but the marriage in question doesn’t take place until halfway in. After a 7 year time jump, Chaya’s job is still the same while Gim got ahead in the firm like he wanted. He’s been sleeping with a man for over a year and hasn’t told Chaya? And he told his boyfriend that she was his housemate? I mean, not wrong, but homeboy got dragged for filth and he deserved it. “It was the perfect marriage…until they fell in love” yeah, with OTHER PEOPLE. Chaya spends the entire plot post-wedding as Gimhana’s beard and sure, being married got her family off her back, but he definitely got the lion’s share of the perks. He abuses their marriage agreement because he got complacent and she’s the one who gets the brunt of the judgement at first. The second half of the book is his relationship with his secret boyfriend and Chaya is STILL all about Noah. After she asks for a divorce from Gim, she even goes to Canada to find him??? Like a fucking stalker. How did she think that was gonna go? You dumped him TWICE. But he’s the love of her life or whatever so it’s fine apparently. And then their second chance happens like 3 pages from the end like what is pacing??? Doesn’t exist. Final notes: two Sri Lankan train wrecks parading as functional adults need to go to THERAPY.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Geha

    A Convenient Marriage by Jeevani Charika Cultural expectations can play a huge part in how people live their lives...or don’t live their lives. Wanting to please family, even if it means ultimately hurting oneself, is so ingrained from birth that it often can harm the person who lives a lie or gives up the person they love. In this story Gimhana is hiding who he truly is and playing a part and Chaya is afraid to be with the person that probably could have made her whole and the person she was mea A Convenient Marriage by Jeevani Charika Cultural expectations can play a huge part in how people live their lives...or don’t live their lives. Wanting to please family, even if it means ultimately hurting oneself, is so ingrained from birth that it often can harm the person who lives a lie or gives up the person they love. In this story Gimhana is hiding who he truly is and playing a part and Chaya is afraid to be with the person that probably could have made her whole and the person she was meant to be. Gimhana and Chaya think they have the perfect solution that will allow them friendship, someone to come home to and also provide stability and normalcy. What is the solution? Why, get married...though just a marriage of convenience. By marrying “suitable” partners they will also manage to get their families off their backs and stop all of the nagging they hear about getting married. And, though again living a lie, though a different one, they do seem to be getting along okay...at least for awhile. This book had me hoping that Gim and Chaya would eventually find a way to live with the people that truly made them happy. They went through so much for so many years that I was sure they deserved some true happiness. Their lives do eventually turn out okay but they have some tough times before they achieve the HEA they deserve. Well written and thought provoking I found myself wondering how difficult it would be to give up so much to please parents. Having lived in countries where homosexuality is still a crime I felt for Gimhana in ways I might not otherwise have. I know people that have given up the “love of their life” because of parental pressure and remembering them also came to mind as I read. So, definitely a book that made me think and care and hope the two would find peace after so many years of just existing. Thank you to NetGalley and Hera for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    T.B. Caine

    Thank you to Netgalley for giving me a copy for review! I usually don't like more contemporary stories especially ones that focus heavily on romance but this one was an exception. To get the rating out of the way: it is 4 stars. This has more to do with the fact the marriage that sounds like the main premise of the book only happens at the midpoint. Closer to the 57% mark, that is a loooong way to go just to get to the promised part of the book. Another issue is that we see one POV a lot more tha Thank you to Netgalley for giving me a copy for review! I usually don't like more contemporary stories especially ones that focus heavily on romance but this one was an exception. To get the rating out of the way: it is 4 stars. This has more to do with the fact the marriage that sounds like the main premise of the book only happens at the midpoint. Closer to the 57% mark, that is a loooong way to go just to get to the promised part of the book. Another issue is that we see one POV a lot more than the other, and we get more flashbacks in one POV than the other. It feels like there could have been an extra 100 pages just about their marriage so we got to see more of that (and also I might be a bit biased because I loved both MCs and I wanted more of both of them). I felt that all reactions and actions in the book were realistic, and the treatment of mental illness in the book was done very well. I just really wish we saw more of the marriage because just seeing them be really good friends was so much fun. I loved the ending too. If you want a contemporary that deals with hard hitting themes like mental illness (depression & anxiety mostly) and what it is like to be gay in a society that doesn't accept it, I'd get this! Even if you don't usually like contemporaries, this one did a good enough job keeping me invested all the way. There never felt like there were any bits that lost me, which is usually the case with books like this.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

    A Convenient Marriage is a sweet novel about two people, a woman named Chaya and a man named Gimhana, who had given up on love. Both of them are ambitious, career minded, live in London, and come from Sri Lankan families who prize propriety and adherence to strict rules regarding marriage and behavior. Chaya grew up being the "clever one" (as opposed to her sister, "the pretty one"). She gave up a relationship with a white English man to please her family, and sunk into depression and anxiety. G A Convenient Marriage is a sweet novel about two people, a woman named Chaya and a man named Gimhana, who had given up on love. Both of them are ambitious, career minded, live in London, and come from Sri Lankan families who prize propriety and adherence to strict rules regarding marriage and behavior. Chaya grew up being the "clever one" (as opposed to her sister, "the pretty one"). She gave up a relationship with a white English man to please her family, and sunk into depression and anxiety. Gimhana is gay and had hoped he could be his true self in England, but ended up being gay-bashed and working for a law firm that prides itself on its "traditional values". When Chaya and Gimhana meet, they're in their early thirties and being nagged to marry by their families. They strike up a friendship. Eventually, Gimhana offers more of a business proposal than a romantic proposal, telling Chaya that a marriage of convenience can solve both of their problems. It does--for a while. They have a nice relationship as best friends and roommates. But can it last? I found that Jeevani Charika offered a bit too much prologue, then time-hopped a bit too quickly in the second half of the novel. The effect is choppy. It seemed that she was rushing to the finish. However, she does explain Chaya and Gimhana's motivations well, and allow the reader to sympathize with them both. If one can overlook a few stylistic flaws, the novel is charming overall. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dee Dee (Dee Reads for Food)

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an advanced copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review. --------------------------------------------- Before I get to the plot itself, let's talk about the audiobook on the whole. There's a single narrator for both POVs but it doesn't get confusing or tiring especially since we mostly followed Chaya. I think they made a good choice with the narrator as their accent made the entire experience feel more authentic. Now for the novel as a Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an advanced copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review. --------------------------------------------- Before I get to the plot itself, let's talk about the audiobook on the whole. There's a single narrator for both POVs but it doesn't get confusing or tiring especially since we mostly followed Chaya. I think they made a good choice with the narrator as their accent made the entire experience feel more authentic. Now for the novel as a whole. I really enjoyed the platonic chemistry between our two main characters, it was obvious from the beginning how well they complemented each other. By my own fault, I had expected things to turn rocky a lot sooner than it did, however, when things did start falling apart my heart broke for both of them (though I felt worse for one more than the other). The betrayal of their agreement wasn't just brushed off as often happens with marriages of convenience in romance novels, instead, there were real consequences. Overall, if you want an easy to get into story with a fake relationship that doesn't lead to romance, then this could be a great place to look.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    A beautifully read story of a couple who arranged their own marriage of convenience. Set over the years from university to their mid thirties the couple are facing angst over their choices, pleasing family, friends & colleagues, accepting the norm and finally living their true authenticity. Facing truth and accepting the changes that need to happen for a true life. Could be any culture but this is centred around a Sri Lankan couple who live in London. Thank you #NetGalley for the audiobook to re A beautifully read story of a couple who arranged their own marriage of convenience. Set over the years from university to their mid thirties the couple are facing angst over their choices, pleasing family, friends & colleagues, accepting the norm and finally living their true authenticity. Facing truth and accepting the changes that need to happen for a true life. Could be any culture but this is centred around a Sri Lankan couple who live in London. Thank you #NetGalley for the audiobook to review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dreaming

    I took a relatively long time reading this book, but I liked it very much. I knew nothing about the Sri Lankan culture and I enjoyed learning about it a little. I felt sad for the two main protagonist having family and tradition dictate and initially destroy their lives, but the road to the end conclusion was enjoyable. I will certainly remember the author's name and will try her other books. I took a relatively long time reading this book, but I liked it very much. I knew nothing about the Sri Lankan culture and I enjoyed learning about it a little. I felt sad for the two main protagonist having family and tradition dictate and initially destroy their lives, but the road to the end conclusion was enjoyable. I will certainly remember the author's name and will try her other books.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zaba Cita Novine

    This was sooooo slow and sooooo predictible that it hurt! And it's not like you can see one step ahead, you can see the whole book after only a few pages. It was difficult for me to finish this one, it was just too boring. This was sooooo slow and sooooo predictible that it hurt! And it's not like you can see one step ahead, you can see the whole book after only a few pages. It was difficult for me to finish this one, it was just too boring.

  19. 5 out of 5

    S.J. Lomas

    I really liked this book. I felt the characters were realistically flawed and this was a nice twist on the marriage of convenience trope. It was different than I expected it to be, as I thought it would be a lighter, more rom/com type of book. It had more depth and drama than I expected, but that only made it better, as far as I was concerned. The author skillfully pointed out at the end of the book that if you subscribe to her newsletter, you'll get a free story with a little epilogue about Cha I really liked this book. I felt the characters were realistically flawed and this was a nice twist on the marriage of convenience trope. It was different than I expected it to be, as I thought it would be a lighter, more rom/com type of book. It had more depth and drama than I expected, but that only made it better, as far as I was concerned. The author skillfully pointed out at the end of the book that if you subscribe to her newsletter, you'll get a free story with a little epilogue about Chaya and Gimhana. It worked on me. I enjoyed their journey so much, I'm definitely signing up to see what the future holds for them.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mary Thornburg

    Another fine – and definitely heart-wrenching! – book from Jeevani Charika. As another reviewer notes, the central conflict for both main characters, Chaya and Gimhana, is between being true to your own feelings and being true to what's expected of you. In Chaya's case, this means choosing between her love for Noah and her love for her family, and that's not an easy choice for a nineteen-year-old alone in a strange new environment to make, especially when she knows that her family will be sure sh Another fine – and definitely heart-wrenching! – book from Jeevani Charika. As another reviewer notes, the central conflict for both main characters, Chaya and Gimhana, is between being true to your own feelings and being true to what's expected of you. In Chaya's case, this means choosing between her love for Noah and her love for her family, and that's not an easy choice for a nineteen-year-old alone in a strange new environment to make, especially when she knows that her family will be sure she's wrong if she chooses Noah and will be forced to reject her completely by their friends and their whole cultural tradition. For Gimhana, the choice is even more complicated. Not only will his parents be shocked (and more than merely shocked – from their point of view he'll reveal himself as a criminal, an unnatural monster) if he comes out as gay, but also the career he's worked so hard to secure will be destroyed. It's easy to say you'd choose love over traditional expectations. The first great thing about this book is that Charika makes it so very clear that for these two people, it's anything but easy. She doesn't tell you how hard it is – she allows you to know Chaya and Gimhana so well that you figure that out for yourself. The other great thing about "A Convenient Marriage" is… it's a romantic comedy! Yes, the situation these two people face is tragic. But from the moment they meet, at a party, both hiding from their mothers who are trying to introduce them to potential marriage partners, it's also funny, and they both get the joke. In fact, by that time you know them both well enough to know they'll see that side of it. Their marriage of convenience is in fact a good one. They fit each other like gloves, both smart, both hurt, both understanding and kind. And Gimhana can cook, always a plus. Their relationship works well, until… until… But find out for yourself. This is a wonderful story. I'd love to see it made into a film!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lu

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received this earc from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. SPOILERS I rarely read romantic book, but I was intrigued by this book and sincerely hoped it wouldn't be a boring and predictable reading. It wasn't. This book surprised me. Not a first. I read the first chapters just to understand what was about, but then it got me. I fell in love, suddenly. Jeevani Charika wrote about two amazing and different main characters. The story swing from past to present, from 1994 to 2005, to 2012 an I received this earc from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. SPOILERS I rarely read romantic book, but I was intrigued by this book and sincerely hoped it wouldn't be a boring and predictable reading. It wasn't. This book surprised me. Not a first. I read the first chapters just to understand what was about, but then it got me. I fell in love, suddenly. Jeevani Charika wrote about two amazing and different main characters. The story swing from past to present, from 1994 to 2005, to 2012 and 2013. Chaya is in the 1994 a young Sri Lankan woman, with a scholarship for Oxford, away from her family and culture for the first time. Gimhana is from Sri Lanka too, a closeted gay man, afraid to come out, not only because he fears his family's disappointment, but because he was bullied and hurt. Years later Chaya and Gimhana encounter each other, both pressured by their family to marry (because having 30 years old it's considered being old in that community, above all for a woman).Slowly they become friends, after seeing each other at a party in Sri Lanka, in London, where both of them are workaholic and where Gimhana struggle to advance in a law firm with "traditional" values (seeing withouth a girlfriends was frown upon) and where Chaya struggle too, with her anxiety and panic attacks. They build a strong friendship, helping and understanding each other and decide to get married to free themselves from their families ' desires. They make a deal. No affair, No children. Discretion. Be there for each other. Stop drinking for Gimhuna, seeking help for Chaya. I was really upset reading how both of them have to fake to be other persons, Chaya fighting to contain and solve on her own her panic attacks, with only Gim's help, (until the end, when she decided to take medications and counsueling), Gim hiding his sexuality, for fear from himself and his family's thoughts, both trying to twist into their families expectations. I was interesting to read how Chaya fight to make her family proud, with her studies, with her fake marriage, Leaving her first and only love, Noah, at the college (because she thought that was the only way to respect her family's wishes and couldn't see a live for them) is a never closed wound, Chaya carries with herself, forced to live to other's expectation. Their charade goes on until Gim falls in love and get discovered by Chaya's niece and he and Chaya have to face the damage. I was pretty angry when Chaya's brother in law compared being gay with being a sexual predator and about the whole gay stigma, in Sri Lanka and how, even in London, Gim finds himself forced to leave his firm because of the rumors. I loved his relationship with Chaya, how both of them create a unconventional family, helping each other, worrying about each other, if Chaya ate, if Gim worked too much, if they slept, taking care of one other. Their friendship is really amazing and I loved how after the "scandal" they decided to start over, to be true to themselves, Chaya telling Noah the truth and Gim trying to repair his relationship with Zack. I love Zack as character and how he pushed Gim, with Chaya's help, out his comfort zone, pushing him to be open and free to be himself. I really liked Noam, too and, even though the ending was too perfect it appeal to my hidden romantic soul. Seeing Noah deciding to give himself and Chaya another chance, Gim and Zack living together, Chaya going to a therapist, she and Gim supporting each other... This book was really beautiful. The writing is fluid and I've read it in an afternoon, because I needed to know what was going on, how thing would be sorted out. I loved how the main characters, after being forced to respect other's desires, finally decided to be true to their souls and loves. It was really empowering. I liked Chaya, a lot. A research scientist, fighting her own past and panic attack, and how she grown in the book. Gim was an amazing characters, funny, thoughtful and caring. I loved them. Thanks to Jeevani Charika for this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    An emotional, intelligent and thought-provoking read about duty, desire, courage and letting go, A Convenient Marriage is a bold and brilliant tale from Jeevani Charika that will make readers laugh, cry and think. Chaya is a woman caught between two cultures. Living in the UK, but still very close to her Sri Lankan parents who are very traditional and conventional, Chaya is well aware that her parents’ dearest dream is to see her walking down the aisle towards a Sri Lankan husband they would appr An emotional, intelligent and thought-provoking read about duty, desire, courage and letting go, A Convenient Marriage is a bold and brilliant tale from Jeevani Charika that will make readers laugh, cry and think. Chaya is a woman caught between two cultures. Living in the UK, but still very close to her Sri Lankan parents who are very traditional and conventional, Chaya is well aware that her parents’ dearest dream is to see her walking down the aisle towards a Sri Lankan husband they would approve of for a lifetime of marital bliss. Chaya does not want to disappoint her parents, yet being a good Sri Lankan daughter has meant that she has had to reject the only man she has ever loved: Noah. Chaya is not in the right place for a relationship nor does she think she can ever meet anyone who can match up to Noah, but could a marriage of convenience to a ‘suitable’ husband be just the ticket to get her interfering but well-meaning parents off her case? Gimhana is in a very similar boat. His family might live half a world away, but they still keep pressuring him into getting married. So far, Gimhana has managed to avoid getting hitched to the plethora of women his parents send his way and he intends to keep it that way. But coming up with reasons why he does not want to get married is getting harder and harder – and Gimhana knows that he cannot possibly tell his parents the truth that the reason why he has not proposed to any of the women they suggested is because he is gay. When Chaya and Gimhana meet, they realise that they are in a very similar situation and that a marriage of convenience could be the answer to all of their prayers. Together, Chaya and Gimhana can build a good life for themselves where they have companionship, stability and friendship. Everything seems to be going swimmingly for the two of them – until the unthinkable happens and both Chaya and Gimhana find themselves falling in love outside of their marriage. What will Chaya and Gimhana do now? Will they risk everything they have built together? Or will they follow their heart and grasp this unexpected chance of happiness? A Convenient Marriage is a wonderful tale about being true to yourself, finding the courage to go after your heart’s desire and taking a leap of faith. Written with great understanding and sensitivity, A Convenient Marriage effortlessly juggles light and shade with flair and style and it’s a book that will have readers giggling and wiping away a tear or two in equal measures. A fantastic read that will have me seeking out more titles by Jeevani Charika, A Convenient Marriage is not to be missed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Isabelle D

    I knew I'd love this book. Not only because the author has been one of my favourites for a few years (first as Rhoda Baxter then with Christmas at the Palace and This Stolen Life) but also because I've always liked marriages of convenience and friendships between women and gay men. So I had high expectations and I'm now happy to say I did enjoy it as much as anticipated. I didn't expect the story to go back and forth between two timelines (1994-95 and 2005) until the wedding (after which it so I knew I'd love this book. Not only because the author has been one of my favourites for a few years (first as Rhoda Baxter then with Christmas at the Palace and This Stolen Life) but also because I've always liked marriages of convenience and friendships between women and gay men. So I had high expectations and I'm now happy to say I did enjoy it as much as anticipated. I didn't expect the story to go back and forth between two timelines (1994-95 and 2005) until the wedding (after which it soon skips to 2012-2013 to show how what seemed like the perfect solution becomes less ideal) but it didn't bother me at all as it allows the reader to witness some important events in each of the main characters' past without delaying too much the moment when they meet. In case you're the kind of person who doesn't like stories of friendships between gay men and straight women because the woman "inevitably" ends up wishing the man could fall in love with her (or worse, they do try to be a real couple at some point), let me assure you that you can safely read this book. There's never any ambiguity between Chaya and Gimhana. The only thing that threatens their friendly arrangement is that they can't help being attracted to other people. I love that this book is mainly a friendship story. It does include love stories, starting with Chaya's past relationship with someone she couldn't even consider mentioning to her beloved family because he wasn't Sri Lankan (which automatically made him unsuitable), but the friendship leading to the fake marriage is the key part of the plot. Also, having seen enthousiastic comments by Sri Lankan readers, I wanted to make clear for everyone else that this books is just as enjoyable for those of us who don't share the main characters' culture. Especially, I suppose, to anyone who has ever had any reason to think a fake relationship might be a good solution to make them appear more conform to what society in general and/or their family in particular expected from them, but that's probably not required either.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    I do love the way Jeevani Charika writes. There is such an open honesty in her characters. I so enjoyed her previous book, This Stolen Life, and when I was offered the chance to join the blog tour for her next book, A Convenient Marriage, I didn’t hesitate. There are some similarities between the books: the most obvious one is that the cultural background of the main characters, Chaya and Gimhana, is Sri Lankan; other not so obvious parallels are the struggles with identity and to fit in with the I do love the way Jeevani Charika writes. There is such an open honesty in her characters. I so enjoyed her previous book, This Stolen Life, and when I was offered the chance to join the blog tour for her next book, A Convenient Marriage, I didn’t hesitate. There are some similarities between the books: the most obvious one is that the cultural background of the main characters, Chaya and Gimhana, is Sri Lankan; other not so obvious parallels are the struggles with identity and to fit in with the stringent cultural rules that their families still follow. Regardless of how far we think we’ve come, and how forward-thinking and open-minded we think we are, we can never assume that everyone thinks and feels the same. Age-old cultures and traditions still take centre stage in many countries, and for many families who still maintain these, no matter which country they may find themselves living in. For Chaya, her role has always been clear: she’s the ‘good sister’, the ‘clever one’, while her sister has been the ‘pretty one’. The pressure to be successful has always been immense, and paired with the additional expectation of needing to get married to an appropriate partner, she feels adrift – she already met her soulmate and he’s someone she knows her family would never accept. Gimhana’s parents have been trying to introduce him to the ‘perfect’ wife for almost as long as he can remember. As a Sri Lankan male, he knows that he’s expected to have a profitable, thriving career and a happy marriage with a satisfactory number of offspring. But there’s one problem: Gimhana isn’t interested in women – an unacceptable concept for his family. In her gentle, subtle way, Ms Charika writes with a clarity that displays her knowledge of the subjects she’s chosen to cover: the Sri Lankan culture, mental health issues, sexuality and sexual preference, gender roles – especially in the workplace – and how family values can be manipulated to suit the requirements of those in power. This is a touching, sometimes difficult, 4-star read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katie Greenwood

    Firstly, a massive thank you to Sarah Hardy and Jeevani Charika for having me on this blog tour. I absolutely adored this book. Admittedly, it wasn't a shock considering I've loved both of the other books I've read by Jeevani. In this, we follow Chaya and Gimhana two Sri Lankan's living in London with very traditional parents. They've both become pretty successful in their respective fields. Both have hidden huge secrets. Chaya is still in love with her University boyfriend and first love Noah who Firstly, a massive thank you to Sarah Hardy and Jeevani Charika for having me on this blog tour. I absolutely adored this book. Admittedly, it wasn't a shock considering I've loved both of the other books I've read by Jeevani. In this, we follow Chaya and Gimhana two Sri Lankan's living in London with very traditional parents. They've both become pretty successful in their respective fields. Both have hidden huge secrets. Chaya is still in love with her University boyfriend and first love Noah who her parents would most definitely not approve of. Then Gimhana is firmly in the closet. I hadn't realised that there was still such a stigma around being gay in Sri Lanka. Granted for the most part this book is set between the nineties and 2015ish. As a result, neither of them want to get married but their parents are determined to find them a suitable match each. With all Jeevani's books, I'm struck by the delicacy with which she negotiates difficult topics and the diversity of the topics she covers. Chaya suffers from anxiety and constantly throughout the book a message of getting treatment and medication as they can help and they aren't bad things is enforced. Gim is stuck in the closet despite being comfortable with himself due to both his traditional parents and 'old school' law firm. The views are never condoned but the position Gim is in explains his need to remain closeted. There's talk of sibling rivalry, grief, alcohol abuse and I think even dementia. I had a feeling I knew how their two stories were going to intersect when I started reading and honestly I adored it. There's an ease about the two of them together and the phrase platonic soulmates comes to mind. They balance each other so well, offer help when necessary but they aren't perfect. Which makes them real. I felt like I knew both of them by the end of this book, as though I'd been for a coffee with them. That's when you know it's a good book. And the ending. Oh, the ending. You know the happy squee you do when something just ends so perfectly.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    🌺Thoughtful story of family obligation vs. being true to yourself👍👍 4.5🌟stars 💔💞I truly enjoyed this thought-provoking, romantic tale. This story has such sweetness, sadness, desperation and realism. I found the main characters somewhat tragic but thankfully redeemed at the end by the power of love. The challenges both Gimhana and Chaya face as they lean on each other for support while keeping their deepest secrets and desires from family and work colleagues: they may be enmeshed in their Sri Lank 🌺Thoughtful story of family obligation vs. being true to yourself👍👍 4.5🌟stars 💔💞I truly enjoyed this thought-provoking, romantic tale. This story has such sweetness, sadness, desperation and realism. I found the main characters somewhat tragic but thankfully redeemed at the end by the power of love. The challenges both Gimhana and Chaya face as they lean on each other for support while keeping their deepest secrets and desires from family and work colleagues: they may be enmeshed in their Sri Lankan upbringing but are issues that are more universal as well. 👥Author Jeevani Charika's main characters are beset by both overt and subtle discrimination, Chaya in her work environment where her quest for a professorship, no matter how brilliantly she tries, seems always sabotaged, and Gimhana where his career advancement and worth as a good son are dependent on "fitting in" to the traditional heterosexual mold. Their marriage pact may be doomed to eventual failure, but their motivation is understandable. Their solid friendship, through everything, was comforting and inspiring. And what a lovely conclusion, full of hope for their futures (sigh!😌). 😊I am so glad the author kept with this story and finally published it. For some readers Chaya and Gimhana's dilemma may seem a bit dated, but I believe that, sadly, the issues they faced still ring true. Thanks to publishers Hera Books and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Azu

    I was intrigued by the blurb of this book: a fake marriage between a Sri Lankan woman and Sri Lankan gay man, who are best friends? Sign me in! I had some difficulties at the start. The writing style was a bit boring for my taste and I remember thinking "oh boy, this will be a long one" but I was pleasantly surprised: if I still didn't like the writing by the end of the book, I was pretty deep into the story and couldn't stop reading. I had to know what happened next! The pacing was a bit slow i I was intrigued by the blurb of this book: a fake marriage between a Sri Lankan woman and Sri Lankan gay man, who are best friends? Sign me in! I had some difficulties at the start. The writing style was a bit boring for my taste and I remember thinking "oh boy, this will be a long one" but I was pleasantly surprised: if I still didn't like the writing by the end of the book, I was pretty deep into the story and couldn't stop reading. I had to know what happened next! The pacing was a bit slow in the first half (the wedding appears only in the second half of the book) and I wished we had more Gim's POV during the 90's. I was confused by the non-linearity of the narration (but that may just be me) and sometimes, it was hard to understand the chronology of the events. The best things in the book were the two MCs, who were vivid and likeable (especially Gimhana, I connected with him in a way I couldn't with Chaya) and their relationship was a precious one. I especially loved how Gimhana cares for Chaya, how he insists that she seeks some therapy. The ending was a bit rushed. I would have liked more development with Chaya's second chance at romance for instance. Overall, it was a good read, with charismatic characters and an interesting setting. I would recommend it to anyone who seeks a diverse romance with some twisted fake marriage trope. Warning for a homophobic attack (graphic) in chapter 2. Thanks to the publisher who provided me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cj

    A Convenient Marriage follows two main characters across twenty years of their lives. Chaya and Gimhana are from Sri Lanka, but despite living in the UK, they are still facing pressure from their parents to get married. Both have their own reasons for not wanting to get married so when the opportunity arises - they agree to marry each other in a marriage of convenience to keep their parents happy. Everything seems to be going to plan until they fall in love. // Admittedly, I did not expect to enj A Convenient Marriage follows two main characters across twenty years of their lives. Chaya and Gimhana are from Sri Lanka, but despite living in the UK, they are still facing pressure from their parents to get married. Both have their own reasons for not wanting to get married so when the opportunity arises - they agree to marry each other in a marriage of convenience to keep their parents happy. Everything seems to be going to plan until they fall in love. // Admittedly, I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but I absolutely loved every aspect of it. While marketed as a romance novel, it is that and so much more. There are many important themes discussed throughout such as homophobia, mental illness, parental pressure and cultural expectations. The author’s portrayal of mental illness, as well as Gim’s gradual acceptance of his sexuality were beautifully handled and ultimately what made this a 5 star read for me. I throughly enjoyed the deep friendship between Chaya and Gim - it was great to see how much the marriage benefited each of them personally, as they were provided with the companionship they both desperately needed. Lastly, there are two beautiful romantic relationships explored within the book that deserve praise. As you learn more about what the main characters have been through, you will become more hopeful that they get their happily ever after. This was an all round beautiful read and I’m so glad I picked this book up! Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ritu Bhathal

    Stigmas are something many of us have to live with, and there are different stigmas attached to different diasporas. Chaya is a Sri Lankan girl trusted to leave her family and study in the far away, yet prestigious university of Oxford. Love is the last thing on her mind, or shouldn't be. Gimhana is another Sri Lankan displaced in the UK. He's hoping to get his qualifications and become that successful lawyer, as well as be able to be the real himself - a self that loves men, not women. In a clever Stigmas are something many of us have to live with, and there are different stigmas attached to different diasporas. Chaya is a Sri Lankan girl trusted to leave her family and study in the far away, yet prestigious university of Oxford. Love is the last thing on her mind, or shouldn't be. Gimhana is another Sri Lankan displaced in the UK. He's hoping to get his qualifications and become that successful lawyer, as well as be able to be the real himself - a self that loves men, not women. In a clever way, Jeevani Charika weaves chapters laying foundations and dripping clues as to what the past knew that hindered the progression of both individuals. Fast forward to a time where both are being hounded by their families to get married. In a strange twist of fate, they meet, and end up in a marriage of convenience, for them both. No expectations from each other, a friendship, and no secrets... but are there? I really enjoyed reading this story, especially as a fellow South Asian, and knowing so many of these expectations that are hung around our necks as youngsters, weights that can hinder rather than help our lives. There is a shift now, in the way many of the issues raised are thought of now, but not big enough. An enjoyable read, and a cultural education for many, I believe.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Signed, Iza

    a fake marriage between a Sri Lankan woman and Sri Lankan gay man, who are best friends? Yes Please The story swing from past to present, from 1994 to 2005, to 2012 and 2013. Chaya is in the 1994 a young Sri Lankan woman, with a scholarship for Oxford, away from her family and culture for the first time. Gimhana is from Sri Lanka too, a closeted gay man, afraid to come out, not only because he fears his family's disappointment, but because he was bullied and hurt. Years later Chaya and Gimhana e a fake marriage between a Sri Lankan woman and Sri Lankan gay man, who are best friends? Yes Please The story swing from past to present, from 1994 to 2005, to 2012 and 2013. Chaya is in the 1994 a young Sri Lankan woman, with a scholarship for Oxford, away from her family and culture for the first time. Gimhana is from Sri Lanka too, a closeted gay man, afraid to come out, not only because he fears his family's disappointment, but because he was bullied and hurt. Years later Chaya and Gimhana encounter each other, both pressured by their family to marry (because having 30 years old it's considered being old in that community, above all for a woman).Slowly they become friends, after seeing each other at a party in Sri Lanka, in London, where both of them are workaholic and where Gimhana struggle to advance in a law firm with "traditional" values (seeing withouth a girlfriends was frown upon) and where Chaya struggle too, with her anxiety and panic attacks. They build a strong friendship, helping and understanding each other and decide to get married to free themselves from their families ' desires. They make a deal. No affair, No children. Discretion. Be there for each other. Stop drinking for Gimhuna, seeking help for Chaya. Emotional and thought provoking read.

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