Revolutionary Hearts (review)

Monday, March 30, 2015

revolutionary hearts by pema donyo
Title: Revolutionary Hearts
Author: Pema Donyo
Release Date: March 30th, 2015
Genre: Historical - Romance
Age Group: New Adult or Older
Source: Author
Rating: 4 stars
“Parineeta Singh has always known her purpose in life: to help exact revenge on the invading British and free India. She becomes a maid for General Carton in order to supply information to her brother’s Indian revolutionary group. But when her employer is exposed as an American spy, she agrees to help him escape the British Raj.

She did not agree to lose her heart.

To complete his mission, Carton – aka undercover operative Warren Khan – must hide both his true objective and his part-Indian heritage. But once he meets the captivating Parineeta, who holds the key to both his freedom and capturing her brother, a suspected anarchist, he finds the subterfuge more difficult than anticipated.

Navigating between the lavish social circles of the British elite and the dense jungles of 1920s India on the brink of the country’s revolution, the two must find a way to protect both their lives and their love. ”

RELATED: One Last Letter

My Review

*Received a copy for an honest review.*

I read and love Pema Donyo's other work One Last Letter. So when I was contacted to read and provide an honest review for Revolutionary Hearts, there was no way I was passing that up.

Sometimes I can really call a good book before reading it.

Revolutionary Hearts did not disappoint. The story was told in alternating point of views between Warren and Parineeta. Warren was an undercover American spy seeking possible dangers to America amongst the Indian Revolutionaries. In order to help her brother, Parineeta agreed to pose as a maid and spy on one of the British general in charge. And when the two meet, everything changes for them both.

I knew this would be a romance going into the book. But Revolutionary Hearts was so much more than that. While it's only a novella in length, it does what some full fledged novels fail to do: made you think and feel. The story was set in a time where England occupied India, and they controlled everything. The tension between the two groups was powerfully written and you really felt as if you where there, struggling right along with our heroes.

The characters were spectacularly written.

Warren was interesting. I knew what his secret was going to be, almost from the beginning, but I loved watching their relationship building up to him sharing his past with her. He was smart and resourceful, yet he wasn't all knowing or condescending. Right from the start, we learn that his identity was compromised. He could have done things differently knowing his exposure was imminent, yet he was willing to risk more and more to follow his conscience. I really loved him.

Parineeta was no less interesting. She was a strong female character who knew her own worth, even if other people could not look past her mixed heritage to see it. My absolute favorite thing about this book was watching her grow. She took what others thought to be a taint, her English half, and by the end it became a shield of sorts. You could not use that to hurt her or belittle her if she moved to the point where it no longer harmed her. A powerful message for anyone being discriminated or bullied over something they cannot change.

Their story needed to be lived.

Warren's cover being blown, and his teaming up with Parineeta really pulled the reader into the society they lived in. Pema Donyo did a wonderful job showing the reader the tensions between the two groups as they story progressed. Personally, I don't really see the world as people divided up into their "races." To me, none of that has any bearing on whether or not I like you as a person. So it's never something I've focused on. But Pema Donyo makes you see it, and then she makes you think and question why you see it. 

The book itself is well written and fast paced. Every page counted, and made the story that much more compelling. As the pages passed, the budding romance between the duo grew. But it never eclipsed the other themes this book offered. Even if romance stories are not your thing, Revolutionary Hearts had plenty of action and suspense to get you through.

Words To Live By

"I do not believe any race is better than another or that one race is entitled to freedom while another is not." (14%)
"Who possessed more useful information about the revolutionaries than another spy?" (25%)
"Do not allow anyone's opinion to cause you to doubt your own worth." (52%)
>"I am not afraid."
"No one can be strong all the time." (88%)


If you are looking for a powerful story about equality, and looking to fall in love with two fascinating characters, than I highly recommend Revolutionary Hearts. It may be just a novella, but it is a book to be read.


  1. I really love the cover of this one, I like the sound of the romance and you review has convinced me to give it a go! - I hope I like it as much as you have, wonderful review. <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

    1. Hope you like it!

      Thank you for stopping by.


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