THE SMITTEN HUSBAND
The Queen of Romance novels, Sundari Venkatraman, answers a question put to her by Deepti Menon.
It is wonderful to see so many stories fly out from your prolific pen. Where do you get your ideas from, especially for a five-novella series? How difficult is it to sustain the tempo as well as the credibility of the characters, considering that they stem from book one and live on over the next four books? Which are the characters closest to your heart, and why?"
Firstly, let me thank you for your compliment.
When I published The Runaway Bridegroom, a few of my readers were impressed with Shikha, one of the side characters, and her relationship with Abhimanyu. They wanted to know what happened to the two. I wasn’t sure of writing a sequel as I couldn’t visualise a full-length novel for them.
Later, when I read a number of novellas from western authors, I thought I could maybe create a novella for Abhimanyu and Shikha. As I took a five-hour bus journey all by myself, it suddenly struck me that I should do a series for the characters from The Runaway Bridegroom – Chanda’s four brothers and Abhi-Shikha. That’s how the idea for a series was born. Novellas worked best as there wasn’t enough meat in the stories as they clicked away in my head to be created into full-length novels.
I also loved reading the many series of novels published by Julie Garwood (Claybornes’ Brides); Nora Roberts (The Key Trilogy; The Donovan Legacy series; Cordina’s Royal Family series) and many such books by Janet Dailey that are truly inspirational. So I thought, “why not?” and began writing the Marriages Made in India series.
Sustaining the tempo isn’t too difficult as each has a different set of characters who have their own stories to tell. Credibility – yes, there’s a bit of work there. I keep going back to my earlier books to ensure that I don’t describe someone wrong. Luckily, I don’t forget the basic characteristics. Or rather, the characters don’t let me forget their qualities. Like Ram (The Smitten Husband), is a tease. Lakshman (Her Secret Husband) is the silent one. Shikha (His Drunken Wife) is brash and loud-mouthed, loving her drinks.
Many of the characters keep coming and going from the series. But I do my best to focus on the protagonists with just a few glimpses of the others.
I must say I adore all my characters. It’s like asking which kid a mother likes best. I’m sure you know what I mean. Otherwise, I can say that I enjoyed creating Shikha since she’s a tough personality, quite badass and different from my usual characters.
Thank you for your wonderful question. You actually helped me get all my jumbling thoughts regarding this matter into a proper sequence. :D
Ram Maheshwari is a successful jewellery designer who has a huge showroom on MI Road, Jaipur. He’s tall, dark, handsome and a billionaire to boot. He’s twenty-nine and falls in with his parents’ wishes when they try to arrange his marriage.
The lovely, stormy-eyed Sapna Purohit is from Pushkar. She’s managed to finish school and makes a living by doing mehendi designs during weddings. She’s always dreamt of a Prince on a white horse, sweeping her off her feet.
One look into Sapna’s grey eyes and Ram is lost. Only, Sapna’s unable to see her Prince in Ram. Being from a poor family, she has no choice but to go along with the tide when the Maheshwaris offer to bear all expenses of the wedding.
Does that mean that the feisty Sapna is all set to accept Ram as her husband? She puts forth a condition, after the wedding. Will The Smitten Husband agree to it?
*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.
Read an excerpt...
“Good morning!” said a sleepy voice. “What are you doing so far away?” called out Ram, before reaching out with a long arm to pull her to him.
A startled Sapna gave him a shocked look that was lost on her husband, whose eyes were still closed. His arms went around her waist like steel bands, his breath hot against her cheek. “Sapna...” he whispered in her ear as his hard lips pressed into her petal soft cheek.
Sapna tried to pull out of his arms, only to have them pull her closer. Her breasts were flattened against his solid chest. Her traitorous body seemed to enjoy the pressure as her nipples perked up. She did her best to hold on to the control that was slipping fast.
“Ram,” she called out loudly, hoping to wake him up. She couldn’t free her arms that were trapped against her own body, as he held her in a crushing grip. His mouth was busy exploring her face, moving inexorably towards her lips. His eyes continued to remain closed, while his hands moved restlessly at her waist. “Ram...” her voice came out in a whisper, as she felt his tongue trace the edge of her lips. Tortured, she made the final move to capture his roving lips, breaking free her hands to hold his face steady.
“Sapna...” sighed Ram, kissing her gently, his tongue first tracing her upper lip and then her lower one. He gently bit the luscious curve. Sapna instinctively opened her mouth to let him explore the velvety cavern with his tongue. Shyly, her tongue reached out to mate with his, making Ram groan with need.
His hands moved restlessly on her body, her nightie bunching up. His muscular legs tangled with her slim ones, making her sigh with pleasure as his hard and hairy skin brushed against her soft and silky one. His hands cupped her lush bottom, caressing it lovingly.
Sapna suddenly became aware of his hardness pressed against her belly. Coming to her senses, she turned her face away, breaking the kiss. “No Ram.”
His wet lips continued to caress her, his tongue exploring her shell-like ear. Even as her heart thudded loudly, Sapna pushed against him. “Ram, please, will you stop it?”
His black eyes opened a slit, desire and slumber at war in them. “Sapna?” If he hadn’t been fully awake before, he was now, as he stared at her lovely face that was so close to his. He slowly recalled what had been occurring over the past few minutes. He had at first thought he was dreaming about kissing the luscious woman in his arms. How had she landed there in the first place?
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The Smitten Husband is the eighth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #1 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom, The Madras Affair and An Autograph for Anjali—all romances. She also has a collection of romantic short stories called Matches Made in Heaven; and a collection of human interest stories called Tales of Sunshine. All of Sundari Venkatraman’s books have been on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK & Australia many times over.
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Other Books By Sundari Venkatraman