A trip with the Tycoon by Nicola Marsh

scan0003I had gone to the Daryaganj Sunday Book Market to buy books for my children when this book with the Taj Mahal on it caught my eye. I picked it up and found the book to be A Trip with the tycoon by none other than Nicola Marsh. It is the story of an Indo-Australian girl, Tamara, who makes a much awaited trip to India to connect with her Indian roots.

The Blurb:

Determined to forget her husband’s infidelity and bring her confident, fiery self back, Tamara Rayne is in India on a trip of a lifetime. Love isn’t on her itinerary, so she hardly notices when blast from her past Ethan Brooks boards her train….The maverick entrepreneur has wanted Tamara ever since he met her. Under the shimmer of the Indian sun, Ethan decides he’s waited long enough….

The story:

Tamara Rayne is a food critic in Melbourne when she meets much celebrated chef, Richard, falls in love with him and marries him. Post marriage, she acts the perfect hostess to Richard, who also is a co-owner of Ambrosia, a fine dining restaurant in Melbourne and she later realizes he has a mistress tucked away. Richard does not survive a massive heart attack and she is left managing Ambrosia with Richard’s partner, Ethan Brooks. According to Tamara, Ethan Brooks is a rich playboy who owns many restaurants world over.

Ethan has been attracted to Tamara ever since he saw her but maintained his distance because she was his partner’s wife. He sees her as a strong independent woman when he helps her sort out things after Richard’s death. He even allows her the use of Ambrosia to restart her work as a food critic.

A year later, she decides on taking a trip to India, a trip she had planned with her mother, Khushi, three years ago, a trip which never happened. And who does she meet when she is about to board the train to Rajasthan at Delhi, Ethan Brooks. And Ethan is all set to woo her.

My take:

Being an Indian, it was the Taj Mahal on the cover which made me pick up the book without even reading the blurb. The characters are well developed and likable. The story is nice and she has described the Indian locales very beautifully.

I loved the book.

Highly recommended.

Book Source: Bought

Publisher: Harlequin India

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Leap of Faith by Julia Regul Singh

9788129124807I received the book, Leap of Faith by Julia Regul Singh, as a review copy from Rupa Publications and would like to thank Richa for the same. It is the story of an Indo-German marriage.

The Blurb:

Beautiful and intelligent Christina von Hoisdorf is on a career high, she is the youngest tenured professor of Sociology at the New York University, with several books and guest lectureship offers under her belt. But little does she know that a chance encounter at a West Village café will turn her life upside-down, when she meets the dashing and handsome Andalip, an investment banker from New Delhi. Andalip offers to buy her a coffee and soon after that they fall in love.

As their relationship progresses towards marriage, Christina suddenly finds herself remapping her life, leaving New York to land in the hustle and bustle of India for an Indo-German wedding. But a series of cross-cultural misunderstandings are in the offing- from delayed flights and disastrous wedding invites to stolen wedding jewellery and Andalip’s grandmother’s ‘heart attack’- and the two find themselves struggling to maintain their relationship, as well as their own cultural identities. Will Andalip and Christina’s love survive? Or will Andalip’s grandmother’s firm belief- of never mixing cultures when it comes to choosing a spouse- ring true for them as well?

Funny, warm and especially relevant in today’s world of multicultural romances, Leap of Faith is a heart-warming testimony to the power of true love.

The story:

Christina von Hoisdorf, 35, a professor of Sociology at the New York University, is a German. She has an elder sister who lives close to her parents in Germany. Her new best friend, Purnima, P, is married to a banker from Delhi and has moved to NYC. Also a teacher, she is Christina’s constant relationship adviser who gives Christina an insight into an Indian marriage and an Indian family.

Andalip Singh, 40, an investment banker in New York, is the only son of his Indian Sikh parents. He has three married sisters all younger to him. His big joint family lives in Delhi.

Five years ago, Andalip met Christina in a café and after dating each other for three years, they decide to get married. Both families agree to a wedding in mid-November and Christina decides to keep her family out of the preparations as much as possible and Andy’s family is fully involved. Andy and Christina decide to move to Delhi before the wedding and stay there, and also that Andy would join his father in the business after a year or so.  So Christina goes home to her parents after packing her stuff up in New York, to spend a month with them before moving on to Delhi. And then starts the circus of the big fat Indian wedding.

My take:

The book had been divided into four parts mentioning the different phases, New York, Germany, when Christina lands in Delhi and after the wedding preparation starts in full swing. She has gone into the miniscule details of a big fat Indian wedding to write the book which gives an impression that she has an experience or an extensive research has gone into the book. The language is simple but the presentation is unique.

The book is more like a guide to an Indian Punjabi Wedding. If you want to enjoy the nitty-gritty’s of an Indian Punjabi wedding, it is the book for you.

Book Source: Publisher

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Spotlight: The Accidental Wife by Simi K Rao

About the Book:

From the author of Inconvenient Relations Simi K Rao!

If you enjoyed Inconvenient Relations, you’ll love The Accidental Wife, a new contemporary romance from Simi K. Rao.

Some accidents are meant to happen…

Dr. Rihaan Mehta is a brilliant young neurosurgeon who has no inclination for love or marriage. According to him wives and girlfriends are annoying accessories that one can do without. But when his mother dangles the sword over his head in classic Bollywood style, he succumbs, and sets out in search of a bride who would fit his ‘requirements’. But can Rihaan deal with what he gets instead?
Book Links: 
Goodreads I Amazon.in I Amazon.com

Excerpt:
PROLOGUE
“Another beer to calm the nerves?” A distant cousin who Rihaan had never the pleasure of meeting before, suggested with a knowing smirk.

This was followed by a loud burst of laughter. It was close to midnight, but the party had just begun at the usually serene Mehta abode in South Delhi. “Rihaan doesn’t need anything to cool him down. He’s going to be a full-on man tonight! Can’t afford to disappoint bhabhi, right?” This was promptly followed by another outburst of mirth.

Rihaan submitted to several friendly thumps on his back, returning them with the obligatory wry smile that could be interpreted any which way they desired. He didn’t care about their opinions.

It was true, he hadn’t let a single drop of alcohol pass through his lips. Not because he was anxious to perform well on his wedding night and impress his new wife. On the contrary, he wanted to keep all his faculties intact so he could confirm the suspicion that had been gnawing at his brain ever since the wedding ceremony. And with each moment that passed, his unease had grown steadily.

Unable to bide his time any longer, he stood up and went toward his room paying no heed to the numerous whistles and catcalls that followed in his wake.

Thrusting the door wide open he strode toward the marital bed. It was bare except for his bride’s wedding finery that lay in a neat pile in one corner. His heart now thudding at a frantic pace inside his chest, he scanned the vicinity, fervently hoping his concerns were for nothing.

He approached the wide open balcony door, and his pulse slowed down slightly. Perhaps he’d just been imagining it all?

A girl stood there leaning against the railing, her face upturned toward the full moon. On hearing him approach, she turned around. “Finally! I’ve been waiting like forever!”

He frowned, straining to decipher her features obscured by deep shadow. “Deepika?”

“Naa…, not Deepika.” She stepped forward into the light, a bright smile illuminating her strikingly graceful features.

His heart sank. Not Deepika.

“I am Naina—the girl you married. Goodbye, Rihaan.”

About the Author:

Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in both northern and southern India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years. She is the author of multicultural contemporary romantic fiction.

The inspiration for her books and other creative projects comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances.

Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life.

Much of Rao’s down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world.

A practicing physician, Rao lives in Denver with her family. Her published works include Inconvenient Relations and The Accidental Wife. She is currently at work on her next release.

Contact the Author:

Website I Blog I Facebook I Twitter I Goodreads

 

Review follows……………..

Defined by Others by MCV Egan

unnamedunnamed (1)I received the book Defined by Others by MCV Egan as a review copy from Debdatta Sahay of Book r3vi3ws. It is the story of a forty seven year old lady, who after travelling all over comes back to the town where she has grown up, and rebonds with her friend.

The blurb:

A word, a single word defines a moment for Anne. She needs to find a new one when her spouse leaves her at the age of 47, coming out of the closet literally in a closet. She finds herself back in her hometown amongst her high school friends which she left behind in her past.

An inheritance from a friend leaves her with the means to meddle and spy on the lives of some of their mutual acquaintances. In an attempt to run from her reality Anne gets engrossed in a game of “fun” and “flirtation” with her friend and fellow sufferer Connie at her side. Anne however did not read all the files and what to her is fun games turns into a deadly reality. It is no longer a game.

Life, death and not even a defining word can stop the reality of manipulation.

The story:

Three friends, Anne, Connie and Amanda attended high school in 1983.

Now it is 2012, Anne, 47, is a divorced lady, with twelve year old twins who are in boarding school. Her husband has left her for another man and she is back in town from Florida to get her parents’ home in order to sell or keep.

Connie is also divorced and has lost the custody of her children to her in-laws due to her irresponsible behavior. But she is still friends with her husband.

Amanda is the last person in town anyone would call a friend but now she is dead and has left Anne a legacy, which is given to her by Amanda’s lawyer, Pete. The legacy is a laptop, a thin envelope and a large thick manila envelope. The envelopes contain a pre-paid card with 5000 dollars value, a dossier on several members of their high school class, a flash drive and a note addressed to Anne telling her how to play the ‘game’.

Connie and Anne meet at a store when their carts collide and decide to meet at Anne’s old home to talk about their respective husbands who have left them to be together. And they are tempted to play Amanda’s game, before they know it they get hooked to it and their ‘targets’ are other High School friends. They decide to play till 20th December 2012, a day before the Mayan Calendar ends.

The story also moves in parallel involving their families and their mutual relationships and their inner hidden talent also comes to the forefront.

And the game backfires.

My take:

Having never read such a book before, I was intrigued by the plot, it’s different. The book has been written in first person from Anne’s point of view. Mandalas and Catfish game were things that were new to me. I was kept hooked to the story because I was curious to know what happens next.

Overall, a compelling read.

Book Source: BookR3vi3ws

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Spotlight: Lemon Girl by Jyoti Arora

 
Lemon Girl 
by 
Jyoti Arora

 

The Blurb


‘It’s all your fault.’

Mere words these are.

“But words can possess a shadow invincible enough to rob even a soul of its eternity.”



In a society that finds it easier to mark sins of a victim than the culprit, Nirvi is a young girl punishing herself for the faults she did not do and avenging her hurts by defeating her own truth.

She is scared of her future, and ashamed of her past. She is failing herself, and knows it. She has had a long line of boyfriends, and hated them all. She detests the guy she is living with, runs away from the one she loves , and seduces the one who can never love her.

When Arsh first sees Nirvi, she’s a free and frank girl in whose eyes sparkle the lemony zest of life. The next time he sees her, she is a voiceless doll draped in clothes that cover her body less and shroud her soul more. And Arsh can’t rest till he finds out what made Nirvi give up her own real self.

Nirvi knows she is dragging herself on a path from which there can be no recovery. Can her spirit survive the treacherous downfall? Or is the pull of fear and push of desperation just too strong to withstand for a girl who believes she has “nowhere else to go” but down.



“When it’s time for you to fall in love, even a lemon can become the cause of it,” says Arsh.

But can love survive, when even the self love dies?

Can love survive when respect is no more?

Does true love have the power to revive a dying soul?

Find out in the pages of this brilliantly woven, intense, heart-warming and thought-provoking saga of RISING IN LOVE

Buy @
 
 
Watch It 
Meet the Author




Jyoti Arora lives in Ghaziabad, India. Jyoti Arora is a Post Graduate in English Literature and Applied Psychology. Her writing achievements include two novels, three blogs, several wins in national level blog competitions, over five years of freelance writing experience, developing books for kids and abridging 24 famous English novels like Jane Eyre, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn etc.

Jyoti’s first novel, Dream’s Sake, was published in 2011 by V&S Publishers. It received great reviews and much appreciation from readers.

Books have always been Jyoti’s best friends. In fact, books so fascinated her from early childhood that she learnt reading, by herself, even before she started going to school. And she considers herself most fortunate that she is able to pursue her dream of being a novelist and work at what she loves best.

However, if books are Jyoti’s first love, and she’s still very devoted to them, the thrilling and steadily advancing world of technology also fascinates her. As a result, one of Jyoti’s blogs is a technological blog called Techn0Treats. In 2011, a post in this blog won her the title of Samsung Mobiler when Samsung made her a part of the team of twenty bloggers chosen from all over India through a blogging competition. In this team of twenty bloggers, she was the only woman and perhaps the only one who had studied literature instead of science. As a Samsung Mobiler,Jyoti is a patient of Thalassemia Major which forced her to stop going to school after class seventh. After that, she continued her studies on her own through correspondence courses. Her zest to overcome her medical problems and zeal to achieve success keeps her striving on with her endeavors to make her dreams come true.

You can stalk her @


                  

 

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Lemon Girl by Jyoti Arora

the lemon girl coverI received the book Lemon Girl by Jyoti Arora as a review copy from The BookClub Group. This book is the story of Nirvi, a girl, who changes drastically following an incident in her life.

The Blurb:

‘It’s all your fault.’

Mere words these are.

“But words can possess a shadow invincible enough to rob even a soul of its eternity.”
In a society that finds it easier to mark sins of a victim than the culprit, Nirvi is a young girl punishing herself for the faults she did not do and avenging her hurts by defeating her own truth.

She is scared of her future, and ashamed of her past. She is failing herself, and knows it. She has had a long line of boyfriends, and hated them all. She detests the guy she is living with, runs away from the one she loves , and seduces the one who can never love her.

When Arsh first sees Nirvi, she’s a free and frank girl in whose eyes sparkle the lemony zest of life. The next time he sees her, she is a voiceless doll draped in clothes that cover her body less and shroud her soul more. And Arsh can’t rest till he finds out what made Nirvi give up her own real self.

Nirvi knows she is dragging herself on a path from which there can be no recovery. Can her spirit survive the treacherous downfall? Or is the pull of fear and push of desperation just too strong to withstand for a girl who believes she has “nowhere else to go” but down.

“When it’s time for you to fall in love, even a lemon can become the cause of it,” says Arsh.
But can love survive, when even the self love dies?

Can love survive when respect is no more?

Does true love have the power to revive a dying soul?

Find out in the pages of this brilliantly woven, intense, heart-warming and thought-provoking saga of RISING IN LOVE…

The story:

When Arsh is a final year engineering student, he hears a girl haggling for lemons, and is attracted to her. And he addresses her as Lemon Girl and they end up fighting.

Now five years later, he is back in Gurgaon, after a three year stint in Bangalore, he goes to a pub and hears her laughter. He has not forgotten her and a lemon always reminds him of her. He is sure it is her but her appearance is completely changed. Gone is the plump, curly haired girl, and in her place is a thin girl with straight hair, but the eyes are the same. She also recognizes him and is on the defensive. She tells him that she is here with her boyfriend cum live-in-partner, Samarth, Sam. Tiya, Nirvi’s best friend, unsuspectingly helps him enter the closed circle.  Sam turns out to be none other than Arsh’s classmate from college days, the professor’s pet. Arsh befriends Sam, shifts into a flat near Sam only to find out why Nirvi has become the shadow of the happy Lemon Girl he had seen five years ago.

My take:

The language is simple and the reader keeps guessing as to what happened to Nirvi to make her the girl she is now. The characters are very real; we meet a Nirvi or an Arsh every day.  The plot is different and the narration is done from the point of view of both the characters. The character whose point of view is being expressed is the name of the chapter. The story moves back and forth from the present to the past thus keeping the reader busy as to what is exactly happening and why. The story is touching and emotional.

Book Source: The Book Club Group

Breach by Amrita Chowdhury

bc1cc-23743815I received the book Breach by Amrita Chowdhury as a review copy from The BookClub and am thankful to Rubina for the same. I even got the opportunity to go to the book launch and get it autographed, I took it. This has been my longest review so far. The book is a cyber-thriller and the story moves in parallel in India, USA and China.

The Blurb:

How secure are your secrets? Weeks before Acel is ready to file the global patent application for Colare, a wonder drug for pancreatic cancer, the research data stored at its offshore data center in Mumbai goes haywire and Dr. Udai Vir Dhingra, the charismatic, Ivy-educated young leader of its Indian business, gets blamed. Battling market pressures, media leaks, livid American bosses and crumbling relationships, Vir must find the real perpetrators or see his career-and his life-spiral downwards. Swept into a shadowy world of masked online identities and muddied digital footprints, Vir discovers that nothing is easy or obvious and everything has a price. Set in Mumbai, Washington DC and Suzhou, in an online-meets-offline adventure of cyber threats and IP espionage, drug research and medical ethics, strained affairs and lost love, disillusionment and hopelessness, Breach is a clever, fast-paced thriller full of surprises.

The characters:

COLARE, the wonder drug of a giant pharmaceutical company, Acel, based in Maryland, USA, is about to be launched globally.

The Acel Biosciences team at Maryland comprises of Andrew Rudds, the head of Research;  Dr Terence Small from analytics;  Chief Scientist Dr Peter Lee, Colare is his baby, and Lara Andrews, Acel’s Chief Legal Counsel.   A person who goes by an alias, Mystic Mir, also acts as a representative for Acel. Dr Sandler is the Principal Investigator for Colare. Jake Livingstone is the Head of Security at Acel and Dean and Scott comprise the tag team.

Dr. Udai Vir Dhingra, 33, Vir, with a Bioinformatics and molecular modelling background is the youngest Country Head in Acel’s global empire. He is an Ivy League pedigree who has his trajectory mapped out, ‘Multi-millionaire by thirty and retired by forty’. He had convinced the Acel Chairman, Adam Janlowski to open the centre in Andheri, Mumbai, India. His parents live in Solan and Harry and Nikhill are his friends from Boarding school days. Dr Tracey Ward, Research Fellow in Paediatric onco immunological department at NIH Maryland is his fiancée. Diti Rajan is his ex-girlfriend, who broke up when he went abroad because she could not maintain a long distance relationship. Now she is a journalist.

The team at Acel India comprises of Delna, Vir’s secretary; Prashant Mehra is the Head, Sales and Arnab Mazumder looks after finance. Dr Amin Ali looks after the Colare R & D in India. The Acel International Data Centre at India is headed by Laxminarayanan Radhakrishnan, Rads and Pranav Verma, Peevs, is one of the programmers.

Annaswamy Cherian and Vaidyanathan are intellectual property lawyers based in Chennai.

Madhu Mishra has come from Korba to attend Junior College and tuitions and stays with her cousin Ankita Sharma and her family. She is bullied by Ankita’s friends, Raghu Damodaran and Suv. Intelligent Raghu’s secret passion is hacking and he finds a friend in Jiggs, who also shares the same passion.

Sandman works in a mobile and computer repair shop and is also a hacker. Peter Zhang is involved in the drug and human trafficking network. There are other characters like the family members, business acquaintances, colleagues, laboratory staff and other people whom they meet during the course of the story.

The story: 

Acel is on the verge of patenting a new drug ‘Colare’ but, suddenly they realize that the data centre of their Mumbai office has been hacked and Vir and his team are blamed for the BREACH putting their credibility at stake. Peevs and his team find an open port in the server and feel that the data may have been altered and they want to lay a honey trap. Things on his personal front are a nightmare, what with Diti coming back into the picture and Tracey is not finding herself at home in India when she visits Vir. To top it all, a detective agency is also hired to track a missing worker at the data centre in Mumbai. Meanwhile, Jake hires Kartik, an ethical hacker to trace the IP addresses.

In another part of Mumbai, Madhu is logging on to a website and unknown to her, someone gets access to her computer and starts taking the data from it. She gets to know that it is Suv and Raghu and decides to avenge it. Raghu, previously involved in hacking, in order to earn money becomes a suspect and Madhu is also a suspect because the IP addresses are traced to her home.

The investigation begins and so does the confusion. Everytime it looks that the mystery is solved, something else turns up giving the suspect a clean chit. So who is the main culprit? Will the mystery be ever solved?

My take:

Initially, I got a little confused with the story moving from one character to another and from one place to another, so I actually felt there were many unrelated stories going on but then this is what I did. I jotted down the names of the characters on a sheet of paper, their designations and where they stayed and then, the confusion disappeared and I was fully into the book, reading it late into the night. The chapters are short and the happenings are described simultaneously at different places on the globe. Like Ravi Subramaniam’s book, there are bitcoins in this one as well.

The author has put in a lot of research while writing the book. The story moves in the first gear for the first fifty pages or so and then takes up speed and then, it becomes unputdownable till the mystery is solved. The author has meticulously maintained the chronology of events very well giving the reader a feel of what is going on the language is simple and the author has described technical terms in simple layman language.

What I also liked about the book is that though she mentions the main plot in the first six pages and goes back fifteen days to start the story, the present is also mentioned in the main story, giving the reader a feel of continuity in the story. What she could have done was to give a small introduction to characters so that the initial confusion goes.

But it made me think, are our computers safe?

A must read thriller for everyone, and now that I have introduced the characters in my review, you will not have to make that list.

So, go ahead, read and enjoy…..

Book Source: The Book Club

Publisher: Hachette india