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Olivia and Jai by Rebecca Ryman

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LCW
Compulsive Reader
Location: Southern California

Olivia and Jai by Rebecca Ryman

Postby LCW » Tue August 26th, 2008, 5:24 pm

This story is set in India some 20 or so years before the Sepoy rebellion. Olivia is an American who is in India for an extended visit with her Aunt, who is married to a British tea merchant. One day while trying to escape a boring ball she goes outside for some air and privacy. Ending up down by the river, she crosses paths with Jai Raventhorne, a dark, brooding, and mysterious Eurasian. For reasons unknown to them they are drawn to each other with an intensity that is both exhilarating and frightening. Despite Jai's repeated warnings that he is no good and will ultimately end up hurting Olivia her runaway emotions have a mind of thier own. Jai, knowing he will eventually hurt her, is unable to resist his own attraction to Olivia as well.

Eventually Jai's disturbing warning proves true...in the form of an unimaginable betrayal that shatters not only Olivia but her entire family. For some reason Jai is set on destroying Olivia's family. After the betrayal Olivia's love turns to an intense all consuming hatred. Her life spirals downward and she puts all her efforts into destroying Jai...and discovering the reasons and motives behind his intense hatred for her family.

As Olivia and Jai's hatred for each other increases they do all they can to hurt and destroy each other. However, the vigor and passion that they throw into hurting each other matches the one they once loved each other with. And as we all know...the opposite of love is indifference, not hate!

This story started out much like a typical well written Historical Romance, after the first 100 pages though it quickly turned into anything but. This is an emotional rollercoaster ride and I found myself cheering for Olivia and hating Jai with an intensity that I'm sure would make the author proud. It was absolutely impossible for me to tear myself away from this book at times. The plot is complex and the elements of mystery, romance, and revenge are absolutely genious. The last 20 pages had me in tears!

This is a great book, one of those rare books that envelopes you and you live, sleep, eat, and breathe it while you are reading it. When you finish you will wish there was still more to read. I find myself thinking about this book weeks after I've finished it. Lucky for me there is a sequal!

5/5 stars

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue August 26th, 2008, 6:17 pm

I can't recommend this enough I loved every minute of it. My review,

The story begins in Calcutta in 1848 as Olivia O'Rourke arrives from California to spend time with her mother's sister, Lady Bridget Templewood. Used to the freer life she shared with her father, Olivia chafes under the rigid morals of British Society, but then she accidentally meets a man reviled by her family, Jai Ravenstone. Jai is a Eurasian with a mysterious past who against all odds built up a successful shipping empire.

Despite her family's hatred of Jai and his attempts at destroying her uncle's competing shipping business, Olivia cannot overcome her overwhelming attraction to Jai and sees him at every opportunity, even though Jai himself warns her of the dangers of involvement with him. Just when it seems Olivia and Jai may be able to surmount the problems of his past and find love, Jai's obsession with destroying the Templeton's takes him on a path that utterly destroys Olivia's love for him and sends her on a path of building her own business ventures to enact her revenge against Jai.

This was a wonderful tale of love and revenge that will have you reading well into the wee hours of the morning, by page 250 or so I literally didn't come up for air until I finished it. There are many twists and turns and quite shocking surprises that will have you guessing and turning the pages until the very end. It's not quite up to the standards of The Far Pavilions, but for those seeking a well spun yarn set in 19C India during the British Raj this is one worth checking out. 5/5 Stars.

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MLS859
Reader
Location: Georgia, USA
Contact:

Postby MLS859 » Wed September 10th, 2008, 6:10 pm

I adored this book, even though the time period and locale aren't my favorites. As has been said, this was a very emotional novel and is on my list of top recommendations.

However, there is a sequel...VEIL OF ILLUSION...and I almost wish I'd never read it...

Another book, set during the same time period (or thereabouts) is ZEMINDAR by Valerie Fitzgerald. I really enjoyed that one as well.

Lynn

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Wed September 10th, 2008, 10:05 pm

I agree about Zemindar, it's excellent. The last 50-60 pages turn off the phone kick the husband and dog outside and enjoy.

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love_uk
Reader
Location: Milwaukee & Northumberland

Postby love_uk » Thu September 24th, 2009, 10:26 pm

Have always loved Olivia & Jai & have re-read it many times. Was excited to her about the sequel but that seems to be disappointing to those who posted. :(

Zemindar never quite grabbed me - Give me Far Pavilions & Shaow of the Moon anytime!
Joan

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter. ~Thomas Helm

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Fri September 25th, 2009, 12:08 am

I enjoyed the sequel, but it's not going to be for everyone. Those needing a perfect HEA should stay away. The ending feels like there's a story untold, like there was going to be a third novel that never happened.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be


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