Love’s Labor by Andy Paula

loves-laborLove’s Labor by Andy Paula is the simple but complicated story of Piali Roy and Sathya Nair.

The blurb:

Piali Roy has had enough. Between her beloved father, a rigid traditionalist who refuses to accept anyone from outside their caste and community, and the ‘unsuitable’ Sathya, who is madly in love with her and won’t back down in his quest to get her, Piali is ready to jump off a mountain top without a parachute.

So, she’s left home, and the small town of Jampot, and is trying to find peace in a remote hill station. It looks like her past is about to catch up with her, though…

The characters:

Piali Roy lives in small town of Jamshedpur with her conservative parents and a younger brother. Her father is against intercaste marriages. She works in the school as an English teacher.

Sathya Nair, is the Chairman’s son, an animation artist, back in Jamshedpur to take over the reins of the family business.

The story:

Piali and Sathya go to Panchgani for a teacher’s camp with Piali as the team lead and Sathya as the treasurer. And they fall in love, even though Sathya is engaged to Vinitha, the daughter of his family friend and the school’s headmistress.

He wants to marry her and she cannot marry him because of her conservative family, she being a Bengali and he, a Malayali. She is from a middle class family and he, from the rich. His parents think that she is after his money but seeing her, decide otherwise. He wants them to elope and she wants to get married with her parents’ consent.

To prove himself, he moves to Hyderabad and takes up a job. Piali resigns from her job in Jampot and moves to Mussoorie, thus running way from everyone. Only her mother knows about it and Sathya tracks her down.

My take:

A light read. I finished the book in one sitting and enjoyed it. The characters are very realistic and the plot is interesting. What makes it all the more interesting is that the book starts with Sathya tracking her down and the story being in flashback. The book ends suddenly but I was expecting a little more.

Highly recommended.

Book Source: Review copy from Indireads

Piublisher: Indireads

Book Type: Ebook

Girl From Fatehpur by Sarita Varma


Girl From Fatehpur by Sarita Varma is the story of Sanjana, a simple girl from Fathepur, now working in Mumbai.

The Blurb:

“I love you Rajan,” she had blurted out, hands clenched tightly at her sides.

“Sana, you are only a kid…you will soon forget all this. Besides, don’t you also love Shahrukh Khan?”

A decade has gone by and Sanjana, now a highflying professional in Mumbai, thought she was over her childhood crush on the enigmatic Rajan. Back in her hometown Fatehpur for a family wedding, she bumps into him; he’s still enigmatic and the sparks are still there. Just when things begin to heat up, though, in walks Krish, a colleague from Mumbai, who seems to be very possessive of Sanjana…

The Story:

Sanjana, Sana, is born and brought up in Fatehpur by her doting family of parents, grandparents and Uncles and aunts. They are a very close knit family and she is very close to her cousins and can share her innermost feelings with them especially Devika. Rajan is their neighbor and a close friend of her cousin. When she is fifteen and he nineteen, she confesses her love to him just before he is leaving for the US for his engineering degree.

Now, ten years later, she has not been to Fatehpur since the tragic death of her parents in a car crash four years ago and is working in Mumbai. Zoya is her colleague and flatmate and she can bare herself to her. Krish Chauhan is the Team Leader and has proposed marriage to her and she is not sure of herself and wants time.

She finds the perfect opportunity for a break with her cousin, Renee, getting married in Fatehpur. On the way to Fatehpur, she meets Rajan and they slowly come back to the familiarity of their teenager years and get involved in the wedding preparations. They make a good team. And suddenly, Krish reaches Fatehpur as the cousin of the groom. Krish is like arubber ball, undeflatable. She is all the more confused.

How does Sanjana fair in the love triangle? Read the book to find out.

My take: 

I loved the way the author has developed the characters and described their feelings. The language and flow are good and the story is very sweet. She has described the joint family culture in India and also the feelings of the characters.

The book leaves a sweet taste in the mouth and a smile on the lips. An unputdownable book.

A must read, definitely.

Book Source: Review copy from Indireads

Publisher: Indireads

Book Type: ebook

The contract by Zeenat Mahal

ImageThe contract by Zeenat Mahal is the story of Shahira and Hussain set in Pakistan.

Book Blurb:

“…I’ll pay you a monthly salary to behave and appear for all practical purposes as my wife…If you agree, the marriage vows can be taken on the phone on Saturday, since I have an hour free in the morning.”

Circumstances have forced the young divorcée, Shahira, to accept Hussain’s unusual proposition. As per their contract, she’ll have his name, will be paid to look after his ailing mother and motherless daughter and will be left well alone by him. Perfect!

Until her new husband decides to stop playing by the rules…

The story:

Shahira, a thirty year divorcee stays with her eight year old son and works as a teacher. She is good friends with her student, Natasha and her grandmother, Salma. Salma suggests that she marries Hussain, Natasha’s father, a businessman and a widower. Both Shahira and Hussain do not want a second marriage, but on Salma’s insistence they enter a marriage contract: A marriage of convenience, a business transaction. The marriage is solemnized over a conference call. She does not like him and he thinks her to be a black widow spider, but his mother was determined to play fairy godmother to Shahira’s Cinderella.

What happens next, read to find out.

The book has been written very well and the characters are very well developed. The relationship between the characters has been very well portrayed. I enjoyed the book a lot.

Book Source: Review Copy from Indireads

Publisher: Indireads

Format: Ebook

Scorched by his fire by Reet Singh

1743663_10151903589460840_429926970_n Scorched by his fire is Reet Singh’s debut book for Mills & Boon. It is the story of Mita and Tanay and set in Mauritius, Delhi and Kolkata.

Mita Ramphul, 26, works as a school teacher in Mauritius and lives with her mother Radhika. He Uncle Raja is always on the lookout for a possible match for her and keeps turning up with proposals from ‘nice’ young men. But she is not ready to say yes. Sammy, her mother, her Nana and Nani are her favourite people in the world.

She has known Samrat Kalachand, Sammy, all her life. He is her childhood buddy and the slayer of all her dragons. He works in a bank and is married to Laxmi and Mita is uncomfortable around her best friend’s wife. Laxmi thinks that Mita is having an affair with Sammy.

Tanay Devkumar, Laxmi’s brother is a detective. He runs the detective agency, D & S Detectives. He believes the worst of Mita and it out to protect his sister from her.

He blackmails Mita to go out with him and she agrees using him to tell her uncle to get off her case.

The characters of the book have been very well developed and described. I could actually picturise them. The flow of the book is good and she has described the places like Grand Bassin in Mauritius, and Connaught Place in Delhi and Kolkata very well.

A nice book, overall. Recommended highly. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Book Source: Bought

Publisher: Harlequin India

Stories for your Valentine

I was in for a surThumbnail%20of%20Valentine%20Anthology-500x500prise when I opened the Pagerturn Publications website and found that there was a new book available. To top it all, if you wanted an ebook, it was available free of cost. I created an account on the Pageturn ebook site: (this was explained to me very patiently by the lady who answered the phone call) and the book was instantly available, I downloaded it and started reading it.

Stories for your Valentine is a collection of eighteen short stories from winners of the Red Romance Short Story Contest 2013 judged by two authors of Red Romance: Lakshmi Palecanda and Meera Shivashankar, this anthology of winning story was published to mark Valentine’s Day 2014. The stories have been categorized under four sections namely, first love; arranged love; second chances and twilight love.

Keys by Dhaval Rathod is the story of Dhyey, who comes home to Rajkot from Mumbai and Nishita, from Jamnagar, who stays with his mother and the KEY to a room.  Love in disguise by Vandana Kumari Jena is the story of Neharika Mathur, who wins a slogan competition and a trip to a luxury resort in Jaipur as the prize and Jai Singh. Euphoria by Namratha is about a seventy five year old man reminiscing a rainy night in Mumbai when he was twenty-one. The first taste of love by Abhinav Sethi is about Abhay who has missed out on life while he was busy making his career till he meets Nidhi. Dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ by Dhaval Rathod is a cute story of two persons who find a novel way to find out about each other before agreeing to get married. If it’s meant to be by Pamela Fernades is about Megha, unmarried at 29, whose parents want her to get married and she is fed up with meeting guys till…. The perfect arrangement by Renuka Vishwanathan is the story of Neeta who is given the chance to shortlist the boys for marriage before her parents.  Something beautiful, something eternal by Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan is the story of an old man who finds a way to thank his friend after a gap of forty years. Faded memories by Sanhita Baruah and Himanshu Chhabra is about Soumya and Sashank who loved lost and loved again albeit in a different way. A love story by Nescher Pyscher is about two persons who have loved and lost the same girl.  Touch me, sweetheart by Sadurya Sridhar is about a middle aged lady who suddenly starts feeling lonely in life and how she tackles it. Post it! by A.F.Ghori is about how Abhimanya was content with his life and work till he clicked OK to a friendship request from Asha on Facebook. The valley of love by Sarita R Pasricha is the story Sandeep Negi and Ananya Bakshi and the journey from Delhi to Uttarakhand. The gift of spring by Purba Chakraborty is the story about a divorcee Sneha and how she learns to love herself and start life afresh. Why not? by Dhaval Rathod is about a radio jockey and a guest on her show. The last surprise by Rhoney is the story of Rory and Estella. Fifty’s love by Shuchi Kalra is about a mother-daughter relationship. Autumn by Bijoy Bharathan is the story of someone who believes in love.

Overall, an excellent compilation of stories. Each story has something to say and more to ponder about. There were a few stories which left me in a trance and I would let them sink in before I went on to the next one. The book can be read and enjoyed anytime, one story at a time or many stories together. Really, loved the book and I am sure you will too. My favourite stories were those by Dhaval Rathod. I am desperately waiting for the published copy to arrive on bookshelves so that I can buy one and add it to my library.

Book Source: Free ebook from publisher

Publisher: Pageturn Publications

Haveli by Zeenat Mahal

18137948I received the book Haveli by Zeenat Mahal from Indireads as a review copy. I would like to thank Naheed Hassan of Indireads for sending me the book to review. Haveli is the story of Chandni. The story is set in 1971 in Pakistan.

 Book Blurb

Abandoned by her father, C. is brought up by her domineering, intractable grandmother, whom she privately refers to as ‘The Broad’. Raised in the closed environs of a haveli in Jalalabad, C. is rebellious, quick-witted and a self-proclaimed cynic.

So, when The Broad presents her with the ‘suitable’ Taimur as a possible husband, C. isn’t too happy with the arrangement, no matter how gorgeous ‘Alpha Male’ may be. As it happens, the feeling is mutual. Or is it?

And when C.’s long lost father enters the scene, things get really complicated…

The Story:

Chandni, daughter of Zainab and Shah Jehan (referred to as Nameless), is the granddaughter of Zaitoon Begum, the widow of the last Nawab of Jalalabad. She lives with her grandmother in Gulaab Mahal, calls her Bi Amma and refers to her as “The Broad”. She has been homeschooled by the best tutors.

Zafar is her half-brother, trained to be lawyer, works in the only law firm in Jalalabad, which belongs to Rtd. Colonel Farhat Ullah. Zafar wants to marry the Colonel’s daughter, Mahnoor.

Ali or Baba is a friend of her late mother’s and she has a special relationship with him. He reminds her of Santa, visiting them twice a year and bringing her presents like chocolates and heels. She finds him jovial and funny and loves him with all her heart.

She has a crush on Kunwar Rohail Khanzada, whom she has wanted to since she was ten. He is widowed with a thirteen year old daughter, who is a good friend of Chandni’s. She tries to dress up provocatively to attract his attention.

Her grandmother wants her to marry Taimur, Ali’s son. She hates him and names him Alpha Male. He sees through her and tells her that if she plays hard to get, for which he would help her, maybe, Kunwar would fall for her. She throws literary insults at him and calls him names of various fictional characters like Uriah Heep, Rumpelstiltskin amongst others. But he tells her that eventually, she would marry him.

Suddenly her father arrives on the scene and tells her that he has come back for her and wants her to marry the man of his choice. everyone feels that he has an ulterior motive but not Chandni.

Would Chandni marry Taimur or the man her father wants to marry? You must read to find out.

The characters are well developed and the plot is interesting. There is drama, emotions, humour and suspense all rolled into one story. The book is humourous and the names that Chandni gives to people are actually very funny.  I finished it off in one sitting as the book is short, crisp and unputdownable.

Highly recommended.

Book Source: Review Copy from Indireads

Publisher: Indireads

Forever and a day by Nikita Rajwade and Rachana Deshpande

forever and a day_Forever and a day coauthored by Nikita Rajwade and Rachana Deshpande, is the story of Sahil and Nihara, set in Bangalore.

Shail Sanghvi, son of Major Virendra Sanghvi, a celebrated man in the Indian Army, but a tyrant at heart. Sahil wants to become a lawyer someday and stand up for weak people. He does not feel or show emotions. He lives with his mother in Bangalore and is a student of University of Legal studies, Bangalore.

Nihara Rao, an inconvenience to her father since the day she was born, because he wanted a son, until she topped her class in the first year of her schooling, is selected to participate in the International Latin Ballroom Dancing Championships much to her father’s disappointment. She is the college president and head of student body at St Xavier’s College, Bangalore and has uplifted the college festival. She is afraid of Public Speaking.

He loves books and she, movies. To Sahil, Nihara is too perfect to be true. They become friends.

The book is cute and I am sure it will be liked by all who like cute romances.

Book Source: Bought

Publisher: Pageturn Publishers

The Backbenchers: The Missed call by Sidharth Oberoi

300x300_b2d1d81ef928e8971aa5b3891e332e4eThe Backbenchers: The Missed call by Sidharth Oberoi is the second book of the backbenchers series. It starts where the first book, The Backbenchers: The Extra class left off. The story revolves around Natasha in this book of the series. Natasha does not like her mother who had left her and gone away.

After being almost expelled from the Presidency Convent and losing the Head girl position, Natasha Malhotra is depressed. Everybody in the school jumps at the chance of commenting on her. Her friends also back-bite and she is out to take revenge. Then she has to team up with Shreya, who was her best friend until four years ago, for a science quiz.

Shreya changes Natasha and makes her a different human being.

The Backbenchers: The Extra class by Sidharth Oberoi

300x300_1b0b2c4131a60352e297d42a6b594a65The Backbenchers: The Extra class by Sidharth Oberoi is the first book of the backbenchers series. It is the story of Class XII students of a Delhi school. I bought this book because I had read the third book in the series and this was available at 50% off.

Ananya’s father has been transferred from Raipur to Delhi. She is in Class XII and has taken admission into The Presidency Convent at Barakhamba Road, a co-ed school for the rich and well-connected kids (now we know which school the author is talking about). In Raipur, she had always studied in a girls’ school. Being shy and introvert, she finds it hard to adjust to the culture of the school, the short skirts, the cars and the attitude of the other students.

In Raipur, she was a popular student but here she needs to get noticed. Here everyone is talking about her so, she gets a makeover: changes her dressing style and her hairstyle. She wants to join the debating club. She meets the club president Yuvraj, who is the college head girl Natasha’s boyfriend. Natasha does want her in the club.

Does she manage to get into the debating club? Does she manage to make friends in the school? This book talks about all this and more. A typical school story which also involves school politics.

A short simple read. Read it when you don’t want to read anything else or when you have left the book you are reading at office and want something less meaningful to fill your time. The funniest part was that the only extra class in the book had no relevance to the story.

Book Source: Bought

Publisher: Grapevine

Love @ Air Force by Gaurav Sharma

Love @ Air Force by GauravImage Sharma is the story of two friends Sushil and Shabd, best friends in class eleventh and twelfth and now both in the Air Force. I received this book as a part of the Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. Thank you, Nimi Vashi, for the book. I would also like to express my thanks to the author of the book for making the effort to courier the book to me.

The story: Sushil Awasthi and Shabd Mishra were classmates and best friends in class eleven and twelve, in K.V. Chandigarh. Shabd made him realize what a true friend is. Shabd was n all-rounder, better in studies, sports, debates, everything.   In school, Shabd was in love with Soumya Maharishi, the daughter of a senior Air Force Officer and Shabd’s father was a Junior Warrant Officer. Difference in the ranks of their fathers in service prevented Shabd to communicate his feelings to her. Sushil got recruited in the Indian Air Force after class twelfth exams and left for the training immediately. He thought it was the best career at that time to bail his family out of the strained circumstances at the earliest. Shabd joined AFMC, Pune thinking that he would make an eligible match for Soumya but when he passed out, she is already married to an Air Force Officer. They have never met since 1990.

Twenty Years Later: Now, in late thirties, Sergeant Sushil Awasthi, posted at AF station Agra, goes to the Station Sick Quarter and finds that the new medical officer is Wing Commander Shabd Mishra. They forget their designations when they see each other. Sushil is married to Divya has two kids Uday and Snigdha. Divya taunts him all the time and his children are his only achievement in life. Shabd is not married, he still clings to Soumya’s memories and has a box of memorabilia full of things he has been keeping for her all these years. Sushil tells Shabd that he needs to consult a psychiatrist. Shab uses his influence to get Soumya’s husband transferred to Agra. Will Shabd be able to communicate his feelings to Soumya? Will she reciprocate? What is Sushil’s role in the love story? You have to read the book to find out.

The review:  The story has been written in first person, the narrator being Sushil. The language is simple and easy to follow. The disparity between the officers and the staff in armed forces has been highlighted in the book. Though, the story has been written in the present, the flashback has been beautifully woven into the book. The characters have been well developed and easily identifiable. It is a love story with a difference.

A nice light read.

“This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program”.

To get free books log on to