Old Money (Wellington Estates Book 2)

by Sunanda J. Chatterjee

Synopsis

Caught between two cultures, Indian-American designer Juhi Raina receives a break-up text while celebrating her best friend’s wedding. Salvation comes in the person of Conner Riley, photographer and heir to a fortune. The two seem made for each other; both are independent and honest and looking for love.

A perfect romance comes crashing down with the reactions of both Juhi’s and Connor’s families. The secrets of the past must be discovered if Juhi and Connor are to find each other.

Theme of the Book

Old Money is a book about love and betrayal, about loss, heartbreak, and redemption. It is also about family: the ties of love that bind and the adherence to tradition that can tear members apart.

What I Liked About the Story

Ms. Chatterjee has developed an interesting parallel between the two families concerned in the book, the Rileys and the Rainas. The Rileys come from old money and are determined to maintain their status. They strongly object to the engagement of their son, Connor, to Juhi as she does not meet their standards of an acceptable bride. The Raina family is an old Kashmiri family that is also much concerned about their traditions and their status. They, too, object to the engagement but for a different reason. At first, their concern is that Juhi would be marrying outside her culture and her aunt cannot understand why Juhi cannot find a good Kashmiri man for a husband.

Thus we have two families who are from very different cultural traditions yet are both bound by those traditions and unable to accept an “outsider” into the family. Despite their wildly different backgrounds, the families are more alike than not.

The plot includes family secrets, jealousy, betrayal, and heartbreak but still is based on love, both familial and sexual. There are plenty of twists and turns with an outcome that manages to tie all the loose ends together in a satisfactory way.

This is the second of the Wellington Estate series of books and the main focus has moved from Laura in the first book to Juhi in this one. The Wellington Estate, however, maintains its position as an unfriendly and snobbish district, nearly a character in itself.

What I Didn’t Like About the Story

Juhi is an up and coming fashion designer with her own boutique, a growing list of clients, and a new business partnership. At one point in the story (and I will try to avoid spoilers), Juhi takes a position that has nothing to do with her fashion business but which is crucial to the plot. It is very hard to either understand or believe that someone in Juhi’s position would have the time or energy to take the position she does. I realize that this position and the contacts she makes through it are very important to the dénouement, but it still strains the reader’s credibility.

Final Say

Old Money contains all the elements for a successful romance: love, betrayal, secrets, and sex. It is a very good follow-on to the first of the Wellington Estate series, Sins of the Father and an excellent addition to any romance library.

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