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Book Review: The Contract by Zeenat Mahal

Title and Author: The Contract by Zeenat Mahal
Print Length: 95 Pages
Publication Date: Indireads (June 2013)
Language: English
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Review:

Shahira is finally living her life on her own terms. She is free of her abusive marriage, is independent and has a son who completes her world. So what if she is divorced with no male protection. She wants to prove to everyone that women don't need men to protect and support them.

But a sudden tragedy forces Shahira's hand and she has to agree to the unusual proposal from Hussain who just wants a mother for his daughter and a wife in name only so that his ever-matchmaking mother is satisfied and he is free to carry on his life as he wishes!

What starts as a business proposition is soon converted to something deeper when hearts and emotions get involved!

When I read the blurb of the book, I was instantly attracted to it. I love stories with a handsome, brooding hero and a strong, independent heroine. Their altercations are so entertaining and fun to read about! :)

The cover is fine, nothing very special about it but it still engages the reader. 

The story starts a bit slow but just after a page or two it picks up pace and takes the readers on a journey with unexpected twists and turns. Whenever I thought I knew what would happen next, Zeenat gave a completely new turn to the story.

The writing style is engaging and gives an insight into the Pakistani lifestyle, their traditions and beliefs. I was really surprised to know that marriages could happen on the phone! Maybe this happens but I didn't know this and was a bit amused but largely shocked. Marriages are very important events and I just cant imagine having mine on the phone! The general thinking of people where they consider women subservient to men and don't expect them to stand for their own is pretty common in India too so I could empathize with the author here.

The characterization is very real like and I could connect with every character in the story. Shahira impressed me with her strength of character, her resolve to stay independent and her levelheadedness. She is smart, beautiful, a book lover, an eager learner and a loving mother. Hussain is suave, handsome, brooding, often unreachable but with a soft heart inside a hard exterior. I loved the scenes between these two. There is wit, humor, sass and a battle of wills. They were adorable together with some very intense moments. The children, Natasha and Shahaan are both cute and add more fun to the overall reading experience. Hussain's mother, Salma is a hopeless romantic and a determined matchmaker. She wants Shahira and Hussain to be together and her efforts to throw them together are funny and very adorable. :)

The author takes up some social issues in her book like abusive husbands, physical and mental harassment of women at the hands of her husband and in-laws, the expectations from a woman to stay with her husband even if he is traumatizing her and also stay agreeable to him at all costs.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book except one point. More romantic tension should have come from Shahira apart from Hussain. Hussain's part is great but Shahira's actions needed a bit more development. This should have been remedied a bit.

Apart from this small point which you may or may not notice amidst all the action, this is a great read and I had great fun while reading the book. A perfect leisure read which thrills and excites, I give The Contract a 4.5 out of 5 and strongly recommend it to everyone. Zeenat is a talented writer and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

I received the book from the author and I am very thankful to her. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.

Buy From: Amazon IN | Flipkart.com

~Read my Review of the other books by Zeenat Mahal~

She loves me, He loves me not by Zeenat Mahal: My Review
Haveli by Zeenat Mahal: My Review

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