The Wedding Tamasha by Sudha Nair

51bfcdRM33LThe Wedding Tamasha by Sudha Nair is another book that I picked up from Kindle Unlimited seeing the happy cover as well as the blurb. This book is about Indian family values and traditions.

The Blurb:

A sweet romantic tale about love, family, values and traditions.

Twenty-eight-year-old Shweta Menon finds refuge from an abusive husband by working at a Mexican café in the US. She doesn’t know how to tell her parents the truth about her marriage and return to India. But then her brother’s wedding leaves her no choice.

Entrepreneur Chef Niraj (Niru) Karthik is in charge of catering for his best friend’s wedding. He isn’t looking forward to meeting his childhood crush—the one that got away—but he finds himself drawn to her again.

Shweta has only thought of Niru as her older brother’s best friend, but now she’s falling head over heels in love with him. As both try to come to terms with their true feelings, they realize that a lot more than friendship is at stake.

And then, there’s Shweta’s family, mixed up in a dilemma: an overbearing father, an over-anxious mother, and three very disparate yet close siblings.

Will Shweta get the love and acceptance she yearns for? Or will upholding the family honour be more important?

The story:

Shweta Menon, 28, a management graduate, works in Villa Mexican Café in Edison, New Jersey without a legal permit, having escaped getting hurt at the hands of her husband, Raj. Julie, the café owner, needs an extra hand and takes Shweta in, no questions asked. Shweta does not have the courage to go back to her family in Bangalore. She has hidden the facts from her parents and is now in a fix, because they want her home for her only brother’s wedding, and she has to get her passport from Raj’s home. Her friend cum neighbour, Shipra, tries to help. She decides she will tell her parents about Raj when she goes back to India but to make matters worse, her room-mate, accompanies her to Bangalore, to experience an Indian wedding and then he wants to go to the Himalayas for a trek, and this does not go down well with her father.

And then there is Niraj Karthik, her brother’s best friend, the son of their family friend, who had left for his culinary degree in New York, who has come back and is now in charge of the catering for the pre-wedding events.

She was his first crush at 16, something she doesn’t know and to her, he feels different from a friend, something he does not know.

My take:

A simple story of a girl who leaves home after an arranged marriage only to be abused by her husband and she cannot fall back on her family.

He characters are realistic and have been developed well. The descriptions are detailed and I could actually visualise some of the scenes right before my eyes.

The relationship that Shweta shares with her elder sister, Neha, has been beautifully depicted. The author has described in detail the events of a South Indian Wedding.

The story has been written beautifully and the editing has been done well. The twists are enjoyable and all’s well that ends well.

 

 

Beauty is but skin deep (Romantic Shorts Book 2) by Sundari Venkatraman

51aI3rsw9ELBeauty is but skin deep is the second book in Romantic shorts by the Queen of Romance, Sundari Venkatraman.

The blurb:

It’s the last straw for Simran when the guy who had come home to meet her with the intention of marriage, falls for her younger sister.

Going to her mother’s best friend’s home in Mumbai to lick her wounds, she finds it difficult to forget the rejection she’s suffered at her father’s hands, all because she is dark skinned.

Nitin returns early from his trip to Sydney and is fascinated with his mother’s young guest right from the moment he sets eyes on her.

Simran finds it too strange that someone as handsome as Nitin would want to spend time with her unattractive self and tries her best to keep him at arm’s length.
Only, Nitin won’t listen as he pursues her relentlessly.

Will Simran ever be able to come out of her shell to see how much Nitin loves her? Or will she continue to wallow in self-pity?

The story:

22 year old Simran lives with her parents and younger sister in Mumbai. Being the darker one amongst the sisters, she faces the brunt of her father’s anger and her mother cannot do anything to support her. She is heart broken when the boy who was supposed to meet her for matrimonial purpose wants to marry her sister instead. So her mother takes things in her hands and sends her to her best friend, Nandita’s house, in Delhi.

Nandita’s son, Nitin, 28, comes home from Sydney, unexpectedly, and finds a guest in the house. He tries to draw her out of her shell and becomes friends with her. He even finds her beautiful and tells her so.

But Simran feels that either he is just passing time or feeling sorry for his mother’s best friend’s daughter.

My take:

The story is short and sweet. The characters are realistic and relatable. The language is simple and the story just flows. I loved the way the author has mentioned what many girls face and are unable to break the barriers of the society.

Looking for more such books from Sundari.

 

Crossing Lines: Book 2 Geeks of Caltech Series by Aarti V Raman

51TsWMVKkaL.jpgI received the book, Crossing Lines: Book 2 in the Geeks of Caltech Contemporary Romance Series by Aarti V Raman, as a review copy from the autjor and would like to thank her for the book.

The blurb:

SHIV

After years of being alone and working as a hacker for corporates and the government alike, I want out.

I want normal.

I want roots.

I’m going to be a bar owner. It’s the future I never knew I wanted.

I shouldn’t have met Naina, my next door neighbor. She shouldn’t have saved me. She definitely shouldn’t want me.

Because she thinks she knows me.

But she doesn’t. I am bad news.

NAINA

I have always been the ambitious, dutiful daughter to my immigrant South Asian parents. My life plan? Becoming a doctor and being independent.

But I didn’t count on him.

My surly neighbor with pitch-black eyes that made my head spin.

The first time we met, he knocked me on my ass. The second time we met, I treated his broken nose from a bike accident.

Then I came to know, there was something wrong with his heart.

He told me he was bad news, but I wanted him anyway. And so I crossed all the lines for me – professional, personal, sexual.

But, there are some things that even a doctor can’t fix.

I am afraid Shiv is one of them.

The past has a way of catching up with you and screwing up your present. Especially when you have secrets that just won’t stay buried… does love even stand a chance?

Crossing Lines is book two of The Geeks of Caltech series. A unique band of friends bonded by loyalty, brotherhood, and pain, the Geeks of Caltech are to die for and their women all they wish to live for!

The story:

Shiv Naren Pal, Shiv, Shiven, was seven when his mother left them.  He was eighteen when he some problems at high school. Now at 28, he wants a fresh start. Content to be a rolling stone so far, lugging his survival kit which contained all, that he wanted to make a living, he wants to put down roots. After years of being alone and working as a hacker for corporates and the government alike, he wants to be a normal person, wants a home, a life. He wants the co-ownership of Geeks Will Be Geeks (GWBG) along with Dev Banerjee, his oldest friend and current part-time employer.

Having graduated from California Institute of Technology, Caltech, he had not moved to Chicago with Karthik, Kit, his pal. A self-contained man, he is a loner- highly intelligent and secretive. He has sleeping issues and work calms him and centres him when nothing else can. He does not need comforting and is not capable of forming lasting relationships with women. He likes people on his terms and Naina is one of them.

Naina Nitin Shah, 28, is working as a second year resident at Pasadena General Hospital after graduating in medicine from Boston. Born to Indian immigrant parents, her elder sister, Anjali, is happily married and a stay at home mom, but Naina wants everything and would not settle for settling, she is juggling between too many shifts and not enough sleep and student loans. She is a very competent and calm woman who sees the best in people. She does not do casual but believe in long term relationships. Katya Breadon is her best friend since medical school days and is now a fellow resident at Pasadena General.

Naina and Shiv are neigbours living on different floors in the same building. One day, when Naina is just back, she finds an injured Shiv being brought to the building by Bharat Shrinivasan, his friend. So Dr Naina, gives him first aid and takes him to her hospital where Dr Breadon is on emergency duty and saves him.

Shiv enters Naina’s uncomplicated life and complications begin.

My take:

I loved the story and the realistic, relatable characters. The language is simple and the narrative just flows. The descriptions are detailed and scenes can be visualised easily. I loved the easy camaraderie between the boys. I loved Naina, her sister and her best friend. The conversation between the characters has been written in such a way that I felt that I could hear them speaking. Am eagerly waiting for the next one in the series.

A must, must read

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

I’m All Yours: She will definitely make him believe in love by Madhumitha Lakshamanan 

51byZ9V84bL._SY346_.jpgI’m All Yours: She will definitely make him believe in love by Madhumitha Lakshamanan is the first book by the author that I read.

The Blurb:

Shakthi was a beautiful, 25 year old Indian girl. She was a Chennaiite and was working as a Chartered Accountant. Her life was like a bed of roses until the day when her marriage was arranged with a complete stranger.

But who is the man? Does he even deserve Shakthi?

Leading their lives separately for years together, what will happen when they are put to live under one roof? Will they try and make their marriage work? What is it that doesn’t allow them? In the process of making her husband believe in love, will she lose her faith in love?

To know more, read I’m All Yours

The story:

Twenty five year old Shakthi, a chartered accountant lives in Chennai with her parents and younger brother. She works as an auditor at Auditing Sands. Ankitha is her best friend and colleague. Her parents have been trying to get her married for a long time and she has been stalling it. She does not want to change herself for anyone.

At the behest of her parents, she meets Gautham, 25, also a chartered accountant and also an auditor at the same firm. But she has never seen him or even heard of him at the company as he does outstation audits. Karan is his colleague and best friend.

They get married two weeks later. But there is something that he has been hiding in his closet that comes in the way of their relationship, something she cannot put a finger to.

Will their marriage work?

My take:

A simple story, written in first person from the point of view of both the protagonists, but mostly from Shakthi’s point of view. The characters are realistic and well developed and so is the conversation between them. The language is simple but the story is a tad bit too long.

 

Make the World go away by Reet Singh

51im24We-3L.jpgMake the World go away by Reet Singh is a Short, dark read by the author who is known for her romantic novels:

The Blurb:

Madly in love with her batch-mate from medical school, Kavya is shocked to find him morphing into a suspicious, paranoid man two years into their marriage. Does the birth of their daughter, Mithu, have anything to do with it? When Nitin, her beloved husband, refuses to seek help, Kavya does the unthinkable – she runs away with her infant daughter.
Will Nitin find them, and if he does, will there be hell to pay?

The story:

Kavya and Nitin, both psychiatrists, were in love and her parents disowned her when the two got married. Life was good, until one day, Kavya ran away from home with her less than a year old daughter, Mithu, to Cherthala, a sleepy town in Kerala. She had been preparing for this escape from her husband as she had accumulated money and bought a place that was secure, serene and private. She had even dyed her hair blonde, and called herself, Dr Kay. She sees patients at her property and is called the Golden Angel.

Both mother and daughter are living a life of seclusion for twelve years, until….

My take:

What a story.

Truly realistic and believable characters. Loved the story and the flow. Author’s first book which not a romance but she has succeeded in making it a masterpiece

Loved the way the author brings the twist in the tale.

Love Officially by Sudha Nair

LO_Cover_USLetterSize.jpgI received the short story Love Officially by Sudha Nair, free from the author. This short story is available to all who sign up for her newsletter.

The Blurb:

Love Officially is a sweet office romance story.

Remember the time when you were young and confused? How life was full of choices and you had such a hard time making up your mind? Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane as you read this story, and I hope you enjoy it!

The story:

Meera and Ria are colleagues and best friends. Both of them work in the same office. They have a new colleague, Vivek Menon, who has eyes only for Meera, but Meera does not want an office romance to ruin her job.

She comes home only to find her parents wanting her to meet a boy who works in a software company in California for matrimonial purpose.

My take:

I loved the simple story. The language is easy to understand and the story just flows. Though the story is only 19 pages long, the author has written the story in such a way that I could actually see the story happening right before my eyes.

A must read.

DISCLAIMER: I received the story free from the author. The decision to review the story was entirely mine. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Race Course Road by Seema Goswami

51oIBfOkAFL._SX334_BO1_204_203_200_I received Race Course Road by Seema Goswami as a review copy from the publisher, Aleph Book Company . I would like to thank the publisher for a copy of the book.

This book is an out and out political thriller.

The blurb:

Set largely in the Prime Minister’s official residence, the Race Course Road complex, Race Course Road revolves around the aftermath of the assassination of a sitting Prime Minister and the battle for succession that ensues within his family, with the elder son and heir, Karan Pratap Singh, trying to fight off the challenge presented by his charismatic half-sister, Asha Devi.

As the search for the murderer continues, sex scandals surface, revelations about dodgy arms deals rock India and rival TV anchors shout and spar even as the country undertakes one of its most bitterly-contested general elections ever. Who will get to live in Race Course Road once the votes have been counted? Who will get to rule India for the next five years? Who will be the new Prime Minister of India? Read the ultimate insider’s political thriller to find out.

The story:

The story begins with the Prime Minster of India, Birendra Pratap Singh, addressing a rally and as he is making way back to his car, he goes and shakes hands with the fans and suddenly collapses. The Prime Minister is dead and his son, Karan Pratap Singh is made the interim Prime Minister. And then the elections are announced. There are many contenders for the post, not only from the main political party LJP but also from the opposition.

What happens in the general elections? Read the book.

My take:

An out and out political thriller, this book gives the reader a perspective of how the political parties, politicians and the media play a role in our country.

The characters have been developed in detail, are realistic, relatable and the conversations between the characters are very natural. The author has portrayed the softer side of the politicians, when they are family people like all of us.

The story has everything: assassination, power and what comes with it, intra familial conflict, TV debates, media competition, sibling rivalry, political families and what goes on in them, how people protect their public images, family politics.

The author has made the book relatable by adding real events that have happened in India. The language is simple and the narration is done well.

A book that is an unputdownable page turner.

DISCLAIMER: I received the book as a review copy from the publisher, Aleph Book Company, in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

 

 

 

 

The Guest by Suneetha Balakrishnan

518T1H4IKBLThe Guest by Suneetha Balakrishnan is a short read of 47 pages. And this story shows that a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law can be friends. I picked up the book from Kindle Unlimited because I found the blurb interesting.

The Blurb:

The dynamics of Indian family life is not quite what we watch on TV.

Are all moms-in-law tyrants? Are all husbands romantic but with no time to express his feelings to his wife or chauvinistic and wayward and involved with other women even when he is married, or just mama’s boys? Do moms-in-law and daughters-in-law bond at all?

Here’s Sameer, who is a ‘catch’, an eligible bachelor one hears of as ‘nice’ boy in matrimonial parlance. To a girl and her family that only means that he is qualified, comfortably off, well-employed, young and has no bad habits. And when Sameer was proposed for serene Kavitha, she thought he was too nice. But is a girl allowed to say No because the groom proposed is unexciting? Then she met his mother…

The Guest is a day in the life of Mama, Sameer and Kavitha. A story of ordinary, everyday people, that drop the garb of fiction and offer you a slice of life, which is more than a storm in a tea cup.

The story:

Kavita, Sameer and Saraswati live in a typical Indian middle class household. Saraswati was widowed young losing her husband to an accident and brought up her ten year old son, Sameer, single handedly.

Sameer and Kavita’s marriage is arranged at the behest of his uncle and Kavitha only agrees to the marriage after meeting Saraswati. The two women develop a bond and Kavita is more of a daughter than a daughter-in-law to the older lady.

Sameer is happy go lucky person, who prefers his world sunny, often ignoring problems until someone solved it for him or the problem just went away. He is an easy going person, does not take any initiative and is detached from his family. If things worked his way, he was OK but if things did not go according to his preferences, the whole world would be at fault.  Even before he got married to Kavita, his cousin Arjun would help Saraswati in the household chores. Kavita is a quiet, complacent little woman and she has no complaints. Even after his marriage to Kavita, Sameer does not take any responsibility and the ladies want Sameer to take charge.

One day, Sameer and Kavita have an argument and ………..

My take:

The duration of the story is just one day but the way the story has been written gives the reader an idea of who the characters are and their inter-personal relationships. Though the story is simple with realistic characters, and only 47 pages long, the essence of the story runs deep. The story has been beautifully narrated and I loved the twist at the end.

Book Blitz: Forsaken horse wind by Ciara Lake

About the Book:

A troll, a mortal, and a love hot enough to melt ice.

Trapped in a vicious life, Breanna Devion survives only by the strength of her heart. Determined to have more than what her abusive stepfather has planned for her, she’s willing to risk everything to be free.

Axel Venrick is a troll who has spent centuries alone, isolated in his castle in Iceland. At the insistence of others, Axel crafts the ultimate tool to find his soul mate. He creates a beautiful ring which is bespelled, blessed by a god, and sent forth to locate Axel’s other half.

The ring finds Breanna just in time to prevent her stepfather’s disastrous plan from taking place. But angry gods, vengeful parents, and an evil lurking in the immortal world all conspire to destroy the love of the jaded troll and his innocent mortal. Can their love free them or will the evil spreading from the bowels of the earth destroy them first?

Book Links:
Read an Excerpt:
“It’s going to be ugly if they get here. I may have to kill some of them. I’d prefer not to, at least this day. But they may leave me no choice.” He shrugged. “So, let’s go to avoid this problem. I didn’t come here to make war on these humans. I came to fetch my mate.” He stepped closer to the porch. “Trust me, Breanna. Let your heart guide you. If you listen to it, you will know what to do.”
“My mother’s in her room sleeping. I need help with her. She’s ill, and she can be difficult.”
“Let me inside, I’ll talk to her.”
“Okay.” She stood aside. “I’m your mate?”
“Yes, you’re my mate.” In a few quick steps, he stood inside the house. He had to duck as he entered, and once inside he hunched not to hit the ceiling. “Gather what you would like to take with us. Get the coat I gave you.”
Breanna picked up the coat to put it on. She took him to her mother.
“Mother, this is Axel. We need to leave with him. Hugh’s upset with us. He’s coming back to… hurt us. We have to go.” Breanna tapped her mother’s arm. “Mother, please wake up.”
Fiona rolled over to look at Breanna. Her eyes were crazed. “What is it, child?” Her voice sounded weak. “I was dreaming of Hema taking me to his realm.”
“We need to leave. This is Axel.” Breanna pointed at him. “Umm, he’s a friend of mine. We need to go with him, now.”
“No.” Her mother sat up in the bed, shaking her head. Her hair looked wild all over her head. “I must wait for Hema to return. If I’m gone he may not find me.”
“Mother, we have to go. Hugh’s not happy, and he’s bringing others to start trouble.”
“You leave, I’m staying here. I’m not worried about Hugh.” She lay back down, rolling to the other side. “I cannot leave. Hema may come to get me.”
Axel patted Breanna on her shoulder. “They’re almost here. Stand back with me. Lay the coat down then give me your hand. We’ll watch to make sure your mother’s safe.”
He reached for her hand, and Breanna allowed him to hold it.
“No one can see us now. It takes less power if you hold my hand to make you invisible with me. We’ll wait and watch. They cannot hear us either.”
Breanna followed Axel out into the front room of the house. They stood to the right of the fireplace out of the way. The front door burst open, and Breanna jumped.
“It’s okay. They don’t see or hear us. You’ll be safe.” He gently squeezed her hand. “Relax.”
Hugh, along with two other men, entered the house. The door banged against the wall, and they pushed the chairs to the floor as they stomped inside. Others were outside the house calling loudly for her.
“Where’s the bastard? The damn girl’s in league with him.
About the Author:
Welcome to Ciara Lake’s World. Meet Gorgeous Werewolves, Vampires, Dragons, Mermaids, Wizards, Witches, Mythological Gods and Goddesses, Mere Mortals And More! Fiction has always been a passion of mine. Creating worlds and developing characters is a great way for me to relieve the stress and strain of my everyday world. In fantasy (paranormal) and sci-fi stories, the author has the unique ability to invent wonderfully exotic places and people. I do that in my books. These fantastic genres provide a limitless ability to be creative and inventive. My stories provide an escape into a special world filled with unique and otherworldly things. And there is always a happy ending.
Contact the Author:

Tied in knots by Sundari Venkatraman

51LfzqrgKCL._SY300_Tied in knots by Sundari Venkatraman is the second book in the The Thakore Royals.

The Blurb:

When Princess Chitrangada Vasudeva of Jodhana runs away from her bodyguards in the European city of Zurich, the last thing she expects is to be incarcerated with a stranger in his hotel suite for three days and nights.

Prince Rajvardhan Thakore of Udaipur is on his way to take part in the ice polo event at St. Moritz and plans to take a much-needed break in Zurich. He’s thrown for a toss when he stops his car to help a damsel in distress. A few minutes into the encounter, he finds out that “Princess” is anything but a helpless female.

Sparks fly, and how!

Until that morning when Princess simply ups and leaves Rajvardhan without a contact number or a forwarding address. He doesn’t even know her real name.

And then they meet again under the most unusual of circumstances back in Rajasthan, during Chitrangada’s engagement to Raja Harischandra Gajanan of Indore. Even stranger is the fact that her fiancé is more her father’s contemporary than hers.

Will the Thakore prince’s endeavor to make the Vasudeva princess his own succeed under the circumstances?

The story:

Twenty five year old Princess Chitrangada Vasudeva of Jodhana was brought up by her father, Raja Bikram Vasudeva, her mother having died when she was a baby, she is close to him. Her father wants her to marry twice married, forty eight year old Raja Harischandra Gajanan of Indore, who had fallen for her at a party at a common friend’s place in Gwalior. The engagement was to take place in two months.

An expert at restoring heritage buildings, Chitra takes up contracts with companies and she is in Zurich for some official work. And her father has appointed four bodyguards to keep her safe, but she does not know from what, as she has no threat on her life. So one day, on the way back to the hotel, she gets off the car she is travelling in and runs away. But what she forgets to bring with her is her cell phone and her passport. And as she does not have a passport with her, she is stranded as no hotel will give her any accommodation and the snow is falling.

Twenty eight year old Prince Rajvardhan Thakore, second son of the Thakore family of Udaipur, educated at Harvard has been playing polo for the past seven years. He is on the way to his hotel in Zurich, from where he would go to take part in the ice polo event at St. Moritz, when he sees a lady in red flailing her arms for a lift. And he plays the perfect Knight in shining armour and gives her a lift.

But this is the just the beginning. She tells him to her get an accommodation for her in the hotel where he is putting up and introduces herself as Princess, and he as, Raj. But there is no room available, so they have to share his suite, and she even creates trouble for him, but then, they come to an understanding, she gets the sitting room and he takes the bedroom. And then the blizzard, making the roads and railroads impassable, ensures that they are stuck with each other.

Three days later, when the roads are motorable, she packs up all the clothes he bought for her and leaves his suite without even a good bye, a contact number or a forwarding address as she does not want to be rejected by him. He gets up to find her gone and realizes that doesn’t even know her real name. And after winning the ice polo event, Raj decides that he would find Princess come hell or high water.

My take:

I loved the story and the realistic characters. The connect with the previous book in the series has been made beautifully. I felt that this book just continues from where the previous one left off. The characters from the previous book of the series also have roles to play and Samrat, the detective in many of her books, is also mentioned in passing. And the best part is that this book can be read as a standalone too.

The conversation between the characters just flows. The story is fast paced and I finished the book in one sitting. The descriptions are detailed and the twist at the end made my day.

Waiting for the third book in the series, which I feel would be story of the Thakore daughter, Dayanita. Doesn’t that name ring a bell???