Tulsi Vivah (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Tulsi Vivah (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: Anna Kaling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holidays
Page Count: 62 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5


The festival of Tulsi Vivah ushers in the Hindu wedding season and tears away the love of Kristopher’s life. Three years of passion and tenderness are reduced to a shameful skeleton in the closet as Arjuna submits to the marriage his parents have arranged for him. His family has never even heard Kristopher’s name.

The festival, a ritualistic wedding between the holy basil plant, Tulsi, and her eternal lover, Vishnu, is as much of a play-act as Arjuna’s upcoming nuptials, but he believes the wedding will honor his parents and please Vishnu. So why is his Tulsi plant—whose leaves heal and bless the devout, who is Vishnu’s representative on earth—dying? Arjuna tends to her with all the care of a concerned parent, but it might take more than his devotion to save her. She might need Kris, with his clever green-fingers—and maybe a revived Tulsi can heal two hearts.

“Tulsi Vivah” is perhaps my favorite story from the 2018 Dreamspinner holiday series and at only 62 pages this tale feels whole and complete and is very compelling.

Arjuna is a closeted Hindu who agrees to marry a woman in an arranged marriage to honor his very ill mother’s wishes … which totally blindsides Arjuna’s boyfriend of three years, Kristopher. Kaling does a beautiful job of balancing Kristopher’s heartbreak with Arjuna’s determination to make his mother happy, while making himself and his bride-to-be totally miserable. Kaling captures the difficulty of wanting to honor ones culture, while wondering if breaking those traditions is the only way to be happy. I loved the depth of emotion and give “Tulsi Vivah” 5 stars.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Tulsi Vivah provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

A few “badges” from NetGalley:
100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader


  • Your review was intriguing to the point that I had to buy this one to read. Reading about different cultures is a favorite of mine. Thanks for the great review.

    • I also read some less-than-glowing reviews of this story, but the depth of the story and the careful articulation of the cultural issues really won me over. Let me know what you think if you end up reading the book!


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