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Gale Martin

Award-winning writer. Binge watcher. #Opera wonkette. My newest novel, a murder mystery called WHO KILLED 'TOM JONES'? is now available. @Booktrope novels at http://amzn.to/12Ti0NU Lancaster County, Pennsylvania · galemartin.me

Love Comes Later - Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar What an unusual setting for a romance, especially for Westerners who want to experience a slice of love and marriage in the Arab or South Asian culture. If you've ever wanted to be a fly on the wall in a Qatari compound, or hang around a London flat shared by two women from exotic lands whose native cultures subordinate women to men in their societies, then this is the novel for you.

Though it was hardly the novel's central purpose, Love Comes Later does illustrate that respectable women's professional choices are marginalized in Muslim culture, and, to a lesser extent, within the Hindu culture. As long as the reader can accept that fact that educated Muslim women are consigned to shallow and often hollow existences compared to their Western counterparts, which I think the author herself emphasizes in between the lines, you can detach enough to settle into this book.

In terms of craft, the author head hops a lot within single chapters, which I found sometimes jarring. Also, for a romance, when it comes to passion and intimacy, the characters are very, very restrained--though they are quite adept at nastiness and name calling. And yet, the novel was a fast read, mostly because it offers something akin to a mini-immersion in living and thriving in modern-day arranged marriages amidst an intrepid culture replete with cell phones, iPods, Twitter posts, and international mega-pop stars.