Whatever Happened to Modern Tempted? A Spotlight on…Shoma Narayanan

In 2013 Mills & Boon relaunched their RIVA line with Modern Tempted (called Harlequin KISS in the States), an imprint that held echoes of the Temptation novels of the 80s and 90s, and the sexiness of the Modern Heat series from the 00s. 

Whether as RIVA or as Modern Tempted, I adored the books and was incredibly upset when the line stopped publishing two years ago.

So this month I’m taking a look back at the authors of Modern Tempted, at the books they wrote then, and what they’re up to now…

Shoma Narayanan

Take One Arranged Marriage is a fantastic example of taking a trope and playing with it:

When Tara Sundaram learns that her father has found her the perfect husband she is not convinced.

She may be from a traditional Indian family, but she is far from conventional…  Perhaps she should check out her future husband in secret (just in case!?)

Bumping into Vikram Krishnan – all six feet of deliciousness – Tara’s blushes betray her outward coolness – maybe marriage to Vikram will have its perks!

But before she says ‘yes’, Tara has a few little rules for her husband-to-be.


Shoma Narayanan was the first of India’s Mills & Boon authors to be published internationally, and so provides a unique insight into traditional arranged marriages.

I love the fact that both Tara and Vikram secretly meet up to see what the other’s like, and realise that they’re strongly attracted to each other.  They work together to try and find a marriage and relationship that’s going to work best for the both of them.  Plus he’s gorgeous and she’s modern and sassy.

Narayanan’s other Modern Tempted books include:

  • Monsoon Wedding Fever  (Riya did not expect to trip over Dhruv, the guy who broke her heart, in her living room.  He’s back in town for her flatmate’s wedding, and to consider a marriage of his own…)
  • The One She Was Warned About  (When Shweta bumps into Nikhil, the bad boy from her past, she finds herself still drawn to him and to those spine-tingling kisses!)
  • Twelve Hours of Temptation  (Copywriter Melissa should be at an awards ceremony – she’s the reason they’ve been nominated after all, but she’s still stuck in the office!  So when her boss Samir offers to driver her himself, they’re in for a long journey together…)
  • An Offer She Can’t Refuse  (Darius can’t understand why Mallika would turn down the job of a lifetime…especially when it comes with him attached!)

So what’s Shoma been up to since the end of Modern Tempted?

She’s written a book called It’s Complex about two neighbours who are thrown together:

When Jai and Nikita have a dramatic encounter the night that he rescues her from a near-fatal accident, they sudden fall into a relationship that’s full of ups and downs…

Shoma started reading Mills & Boon romances at the age of eleven, borrowing them from neighbours and hiding them inside textbooks so that her parents didn’t find out. At that time, the thought of writing one herself never entered her head — she was convinced she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. When she was a little older, she decided to become an engineer instead, and took a degree in electronics and telecommunications. Then she thought a career in management was probably a better bet, and went off to do an MBA. That’s a decision she’s never regretted, because she met the man of her dreams in the first year of B-school —fifteen years later, they’re married, with two adorable kids whom they are raising with the same careful attention to detail that they gave their second-year project on organisational behaviour.

A couple of years ago, Shoma took up writing as a hobby (after successively trying her hand at baking, sewing, knitting, crochet and patchwork), and was amazed at how much she enjoyed it. Now she works grimly at her banking job through the week and tries to balance writing with household chores during weekends. Her family has been unfailingly supportive of her latest hobby, and are also secretly very, very relieved that they don’t have to eat, wear or display the results!

Find out more about her and her writing on her Facebook page.


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