Note : I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
The Protagonist, Dhruv, is a hot shot advertising executive who falls for his subordinate Anuradha. Though she doesn't work for him directly, yet the end up interacting and falling for each other in spite of the fact that Dhruv is married and has kids. However, Anuradha has a murky past which threatens their relationship. Things escalate quickly and Dhruv is forced to choose between his life and Anuradha.
Cliche story line, gaping plot-holes, lack of proper motive - That's just the complaints I have with the story line as such. The thriller part of the story needed a bit more of care and attention. Th
All the characters were sketched out rather well barring one - that of Dhruv's. I can't really comprehend his motives to cheat. He is neither portrayed to be bored nor is he desperate. It fails to strike me as to how a fully grown adult falls for that heat of the moment thing and goes on to cheat. This would probably suit a Young Adult with raging hormones, but does really not make sense for an adult. Anuradha's character was perfect but was typical of that of some one with a bad past. Kind of reminds me of all those typical Bollywood characters who end up falling for the married guy because of their own past.
I went on to finish the book solely because of the writing and clean editing! Perfect phrasing, no fancy vocabulary!
Verdict : Apart from the slightly misleading title and a predictable story, that book was an okay read.
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I've known the writer for quite a while now and have interacted with her over social media. Having not read her previous works, this book came as a complete surprise for me. The book turned out to be an interesting and un-put-downable read.
The story revolves around an alleged theft and an intense royal love affair. The story begins with an antique piece being stolen. Shefali, the art curator is accused of stealing the beautiful piece of art, the fabarge from the Ranaut royals. Prince Aryan, the heir of the family is after Shefali to retrieve it back. However, as expected, Shefali isn't the actual culprit. What unfolds is a high speed story with a dash of romance.
The main characters - Shefali and Aryan, along with the other sub characters were sketched out very clearly with enough information being given about each of them. Done to perfection would be the apt phrase to describe it.
The plot as such was well thought of with critical elements like romance and suspense incorporated in correct amount into the story. However, the dynamism is what I found a little unsettling. Aryan was the typical hot headed prince who didn't bother to check his facts thoroughly before trying to accuse someone of theft, but the moment he finds out the truth he simply melts and changes his stand. Barring this slight hitch, this book was perfect read.
Brownie points to the author for the perfect cover!
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FINDING THE ANGEL
All She wanted was love...
Shefali is a die-hard romantic. Having lost her parents at a very tender age, she is in search of a place which she can call home. Her passion for Art lands her a job as an art curator to the famous artifacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. When she meets the scion, Aryan Ranaut, she feels that her dream might come true until…
All He wanted was to trust…
Living the life of a modern day Prince is no easy task for the young and dashing Aryan Ranaut. Having lost his father to a rapacious woman, Aryan has severe trust issues. But upon meeting Shefali, he feels he could let down his guard. Until…
All They need is to find The Angel…
Just as Aryan realizes his love for Shefali, one of the most precious artifacts, The Angel, goes missing from the Ranaut collection. All fingers point towards Shefali—more so because she leaves the palace without telling anyone on the very night of the theft.
Finding the Angel is a story where duty clashes with love and lack of trust overrides passion. Under these circumstances, can The Angel bring the star-crossed lovers together?
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About the author
Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer, and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.
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Ponni's Beloved - An English Translation Of Kalki Krishnamurthy's Ponniyin Selvan by Sumeetha Manikandan : Review
It is a dream of every Tamilian to read this masterpiece of Tamil literature at least once in their lifetime. The original narration, the description and plot in general have captivated millions of people, young and old alike. Revered by a whole generation of people, this book is a bench mark of sorts of a perfect historical fact based fiction. The very idea of translating such a magnificent work of fiction by itself is terrifying. To take up such a task and trying and retaining the essence of the story is simply herculean.
Having heard people rave about the visual imagery the book presented, I was curious if the writer could actually come up with a translation which could render the same effect. To my utter surprise, the writer has a done a rather commendable job of bringing about the visual imagery. The setting of the story could be visualized perfectly. The writer has also painstakingly written a glossary of about 170 words which were in Tamil. It is evident from this that the writer has retained much of the original phrases verbatim. Thankfully, the book is in the digital format, thus making it easier for the reader to switch between pages. This attention to detail for words is commendable.
The original story is famous for it's diverse subjects primarily focusing on politics and betrayal. Focusing on the story in this review is not possible as the book is a work of translation. Moreover, one has to savor this story instead of reading about it.
To settle into this story, one needs quite some time. Such is the story line as such. I had already attempted to read this very book's translated version by a different writer. I couldn't get past the initial few pages. The narration seemed too dry for my taste. It was almost the same case with this book too, but I was resolved to finish it off. One added advantage was that, I was already acquainted with this writer's style of writing. That made things a bit easier.
The mark of any good work of translation is to open up the story and culture of the original version to diverse readers. This book has achieved that goal to a major extent! Looking forward for the next edition.
One book ought not to be missed!
The book is a collection of photographs by Debra Schoenberger taken in various places across India in various states including Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh. Most of the photographs are in color while a few of them are in black and white.
The subject includes both humans and things. The introduction to the book is short and crisp, almost poetic in a way, but that's all it is. The photographer has let her pictures do the talking rather than giving an introduction to each picture. The pictures are predominantly candid, while there are some photographs where the subject pose beautifully. The photographer has managed to capture the diverse culture of northern part of India. The color, the vividness and the clarity is remarkable. A picture speaks a thousand words, but there are times when a word amplifies the context. That lack of context made a vast difference with this book. Had there been a couple of lines about the picture in terms of where it was taken etc, it would made a lot of difference.
Commenting on the technical aspect of the photos does not really make sense. All that matters is that if the photos actually bring out the emotion or the reality of the subject in question. There were few photographs which hit home, while some failed to make an impact. For example, the photograph with a man dying colors on a thread hit home in terms of the richness and depth, while there are silhouette pictures which were a tad too dark to be appreciated fully.
India is a land of colours and diversity. The photographer has made a rather conscious attempt to capture the richness of the colors and culture. However, given that she traveled only the northern part of the country, the diversity part of the culture isn't reflected in the photographs. Moreover, to the west, the very word "India" conjures up and abstract image of snake charmers and crowded streets, which also seems to be a theme of sorts of this book. There are places in the country where modernization and "Westernization" has dug its claws into. This book fails to capture that part of the country which has now become an integral part of the country. Not all roads are crowded and dingy. Not all buildings are old and dilapidated!
Rating : 3/5
Note : I thank iReadBook tours for the review copy!
Millionaire scion Aradhaya has just lost his parents and is cheated by the woman he marries. On a rebound he falls for Sambhavi, renowned writer and professor. She lays her terms, driving him to give up too soon. To recoup from dejection, he leaves his house and starts to live in a recluse, working with complete strangers to bring about a positive change in their area. Does Sambhavi accept Aradhaya now?
A simple and neat cover which depicts the protagonists against a simple backdrop. The cover does give subtle hints about the story.
Having read the writer's previous works, I had very high expectations with respect to characterization. His previous work was spot on in this department. However, this book disappointment me a wee bit. Aradhaya's characterization was perfect with enough flaws and strengths exposed, but Sambhavi's character seemed way too superficial. Her core character of being strong lacked that conviction for me. In fact, her character paled out in comparison with Aradhaya's character. I would have preferred a bit more depth for Sambhavi's character
The unusual story, the philosophical conversations and the love triangle. The first half of the story which involved all characters was quite captivating to read. The writer seems to have evolved a lot from his first book. The language and general writing seems to be much better with this book which made it a tolerable read.
What could have been better
The pacing slacked mid way. The initial setting did leave the writer with enough scope to steer the story with a much faster pace and a different direction, but the writer choose not to. Also, the whole love angle between a teacher and a student seemed way too cliche to me. The part where Aradhaya goes into recluse, but ends up building an entertainment park seemed a tad unrealistic and not conforming to the plot setting the writer initially put up. He ends up doing good using his surname and father's money. It's not his own money. Agreed that he had the intention to do good in first place, but the means of doing it does confirm to the ideals the writer set in the first part of the story. The climax seemed a tad too hurried and could have been structured better.
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Bossypants by Tina Fey is my first ever full fledged Audio book. My first experience with an audio-book was a short story narrated by my favorite British Actor - Benedict Cumberbatch. After a large serving of perfect Indian home-cooked traditional meal, it's hard not to doze over post lunch. When your work is mind boggling and requires you to pay rapt attention, one can't help but resort to various means of staying awake - Cups of coffee, metal/rock music blaring or for people like me, sneak reading/audio books. This book was such fun to listen to that I ended up chuckling loudly only to end up earning weird looks from people sitting around me.
The voice, the narration, the pauses, the tone - every single element of the audio book was perfect. Having grown up in another part of the world, this book was an eye opener when it came to the media culture in the America - the country which still remains to be a dream for many people. With self effacing humor and intelligent storytelling, this audio-book is such a pleasure to listen to. The narrator/writer in question is a complete stranger to me. I've not watched her shows and haven't even heard of her until now. I'm not sure if I would have liked this book had I read it in it's original paper format. The narration by the writer herself made this audio book a great read. As a matter of fact, this audio book would be a great place to start for people who aren't familiar with the format. Speaking from personal experience, the voice of the narrator and the narration in itself, most often drives away people from this format owing to monotony. Imagine having to hear an interesting story in your ears being narrated by some person with deadpan narration. Most of the narrator often do a good job, but there are exceptions too. However, this book wasn't a part of that exception category!
She stole his Christmas dinner and left him with a kiss.
Dan Tollinger is having a bad Christmas. His wife lost her battle with cancer and he’s finding it hard to manage his two sons. Busy with his shop he has little time left foe them, so having a woman around to keep an eye on them seems like an ideal solution.
She hopes he won’t recognize her
Tonya needs premises to run her business after her bakery got damaged in a fire. With a son to bring up on her own, the sensible option is to accept Dan’s job offer to housekeep while putting her business back on the track.
Getting drunk together obviously isn’t the answer
Neither counted on the unexpected warmth and awareness that sprang up between them. Would it be wise to let it kindle to desire and then something more?
Especially when his sons are not ready to accept her in his life.
About The Author
SummeritaRhayne writes contemporary and historical romance with lots of emotional conflict. She first got published in 2013 and has won contests with prestigious publishers such as Harlequin and Harper Collins India. She’s a bestselling romance author at Amazon, butloves her teaching job as much as writing. Juggling two careers with home can be difficult but she firmly believes if the inspiration is strong enough, the story characters will find a way to make the writer pen them down, even when writing time is in short supply. When cerebrally confronted with the sizzling interaction of two Alpha characters – yes, both the hero and heroine in her stories are strong- minded in their own way - the only way to get peace is write their book!
Book Link & Excerpt!
His Christmas Delight
Excerpt from His Christmas Surprise
She hovered a moment, her eyes going wide in astonishment – the only feature visible in her face which she’d cloaked with a wraparound on the lower and another on the upper part of her face. She sensed his reserve, partly turned away as he was, attempting to give her space. To his surprise, she put the chicken on the counter and then came forward. Towards him. Upto him. Then she reached out slender arms and pulled him down to put her mouth on his.
A shockwave ran through his body. It was a quick kiss, yet not a peck. Her mouth moved as though learning the imprint of his, her body moved a fraction closer. Dan felt her breasts, soft yet firm, press against his chest. His breath caught, blood roared in his veins and he felt the unmistakable distinct flare of desire. Whether it was the forbidden nature of the caress, or the length of time since he’d been this close to a woman, he was caught in the temptation. It shocked him, exhilarated him and suspended him in the moment, as time and space receded. He might have reacted more, he didn’t know. She stepped back and he was left, grappling with the reality.
She picked up the package.
‘Wait!’ He spoke almost too late. She had nearly reached the door. She stopped but didn’t turn back. He could read fear in the tense lines of her body.
Night manager and ordinary islander Marie doesn't need a knight in shining armour to rescue her from her misery. Not that she is miserable, just that having a loving companion doesn't hurt. In comes waltzing the handsome and smart Prince Christian of Taragonia. Sparks fly right from the start and she ends up accepting an invite to stay with Prince Christian's sister and her friend, Princess Olivia. Things go from bad to worse, thanks to the media and a fact that Marie is a commoner. Does this fairy tale involving royalty have a happy ending?
Kind of looks a bit too ordinary for this extraordinary and well written tale. I would have preferred something a bit exquisite!
Well-balanced would be the word to describe the characterization. In the initial part of the story, the writer focused on Olivia's character and then gradually progressed to Marie's and Christian's character. She weaved little sub stories to bring in the human side of a character which was touted to be a stoic royal. However, one such sub story (where Christian flies over to Africa with Marie to find her parents but ends up saving people caught in floods) seemed little deliberately written to give depth to the character. Nevertheless, this didn't hamper the plot's flow.
The characterization, the plot line and the writing in general were flawless. The romance between a commoner and a royal was written with a good sense of reality. Immaterial of the times we are in, a relationship between a person from the lower rung of the society in terms of income and stature with that of some one from the upper crust of the society doesn't not sit well. Civilization is yet to progress to a state where two people can love each other without having to think about their stature in the society. It is evident that the writer has researched well to sketch the characters and relationships between modern day royals and commoners.Thankfully she didn't portray the royals as people with way too much money which they flaunted meaninglessly.
What could have been better
The writer chose the traditional method of scaring off a character to abandon the relationship - The case when media wrecks havoc in the relationship of a celebrity. I would have rather preferred an actual fight or argument between the protagonists. Just my perspective!
Recommendation : For romance lovers! Clean, neat and well written book!
Want to know more about the book? Wish to buy it? Head over to Amazon!
Double murder in a remote forest area. One victim shot at close range, other while escaping. The victims are rumored to have been in an affair while one of them was married. Seems like a classic case of revenge murder. Surprisingly, all markers point other wise. Investigative officer Daniele Harper chases all lead patiently only to hit a roadblock in spite of the mammoth amount clue markers. In comes blazing Scott black, the ballistics expert who helps Daniele crack the case. Sparks fly and they end up cracking the case just a tad too wide open!
The cover isn't really visually appealing, but it has been designed very tactfully in order to ensure that the reader doesn't end up judging the book by it's cover. The book back summary however, entices a reader enough to pick up the book!
It is very hard to concentrate on characterisation when the plot line requires action rather than the characterisation. A romantic mystery, however, does provide that little space to manoeuvre and bring out various shades of characters, predominantly of the protagonists. The writer evidently has made maximum use of this gap to show various shade of Dani's and Scott's character. Dani grows up crushing on her brother's friend, Scott and finally when they find each other, the connection is explosive. This connect doesn't occur immediately, but after the typical struggle between being in love and lusting. The writer has perfectly portrayed that period of trying to find each other. It was surprising to notice that other minor characters were also given their appropriate space balanced perfectly.
The suspense element was kick-ass. The final twist was nothing short of being mind blowing. The writer evidently knows her way around crafting a perfect plot with enough markers to maintain that suspense element.The chemistry between Dani and Scott blended perfectly well into the story instead of sticking out. The story line line was well thought of and logically balanced. There weren't any glaring logical errors in the plot. The writing was well balanced. The perfect mix of both worlds - Romance and a good mystery. The writer beautifully slipped between both worlds, doing equal justice to them. That balance is what made this book a perfect romantic thriller.
What could have been better
The story begins with two murders. Both the victims aren't given much characters. They sounded so cold and impersonal in a way. Had this been a wee bit different, the climax could have been better justified and would have also packed an emotional punch. Though the plot line was unpredictable, the motive to kill was justified flimsily. This is also the direct consequence of not elaborating on the victim's personality as such. That's my only qualm with the book!
Recommendation : For mystery and romance lovers. Well balanced and perfect read!
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Note : I received the book in exchange for an honest review via Tasty tours from the publishers on NetGalley!