Along Came a Spyder by Apeksha Rao

I received Along Came a Spyder by Apeksha Rao as a review copy from the author and B00kR3vi3ws and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Samira Joshi wants to be a spy!

Samira is smart, sassy and … seventeen.

Her only dream in life is to be a spy. Leading missions, running agents, evading exploding napalm – Samira wants to do it all.

And, why not? After all, spying runs in her genes.

One day, she accidentally discovers a secret sisterhood of teen spies – The Spyders, and Samira wants in!

The question is, do they want her?

To find out, read this fast-paced and thrilling spy adventure by debutante author, Apeksha Rao.

The story:

Seventeen year old Samira Joshi lives in Mumbai with her grandmother and her parents live with them off and on because of their job. Samira comes fom a hearty, sneaky, nosy stock and has only one ambition in life, to be an elite intelligence agents/ spy like her parents. Though her parents have read bedtime stories of the girl who worked for the French Resistance, made her solve anagrams and numeric codes and trained her in spycraft, but now they want her to become a doctor and not follow her dreams.

One day, she follows a classmate to protect her and lands up into the secret sisterhood – The Spyders. Will she be accepted there?

My take:

A thrilling book with many adventures. The story is written in first person from the point of view of Samira. I read the first book, Itsy Bitsy Spyder by Apeksha Rao, before I started this one and I can say that this book can definitely be read as a standalone.

The story is fast paced and a page turner. The language is simple and funny at times. The story moves back and forth between the past and the present. I loved the twists and turns and how the adventures come in one after the other. The book also talks about the unpredictable lives of spies and their difficult training.

The author has created realistic characters. Even the secondary characters were important and have been developed well, though I wanted to know a bit more about them. They are tailing, eavesdropping and making gadgets, all in their day’s work. The back stories have been written in such a way that I could understand her relationship with her parents. I loved Samira and her grandmother’s closeness and also her difference of opinion with her mother.

The immense research that has gone into the book is clearly visible. I could feel the scenes move right in front of me. And the way it ended made me realise that there is more to come and I am really waiting for the books in the series now.

The book is a must read for adults and young adults alike.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free review copy of the book from the author and B00kR3vi3ws in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

The Passionate Princess by Sundari Venkatraman

I picked up Sundari Venkatraman’s first Historical Romance, The Passionate Princess from the Kindle Unlimited Library.

The blurb:

All it took was one look. And they were in love…

Princess Hemangini is mesmerised by Prince Devendra when she falls into his arms while rushing across the royal gardens.

The Prince of Indrapuri is amazed that the Princess of Mahendrapuri is even more beautiful and graceful than what the visiting bards sang in praise of her.

Their mutual attraction blooms into love and they decide to get married. Tying the knot is easy, but consummating the marriage is another matter altogether.

As their love and passion draw them towards each other, Devendra’s mother, Queen Kanchana Devi, keeps throwing obstacles in the path of the lovers; sometimes in the name of rituals and sometimes inflicting doubts in their minds; doing her best to keep them apart.

As the frustrated bride and groom tolerate the intervening time with impatience, something happens to shake up Hemangini; something that makes her refuse to let her husband touch her.

What will the proud prince have to do to make his princess fall into his arms once again?
Read this historical romance from India to find out if the passionate princess finds happiness with her prince or not.

The story:

The Prince of Indrapuri, Devendra, is out riding when he meets Hemangini, the Princess of Mahendrapuri. He is instantly attracted to her and gets invited as a royal guest. Her parents are happy to meet him and her mother wants her daughter to marry him. Unknown to the royal family, Deven writes to his mother about his intentions.

On the wedding day, Devendra’s mother sets some conditions for the couple which they have to abide.

My take:

The author has created the 1840s beautifully with cities like Indrapuri and Mahendrapuri. The names of the characters are also in line with the time. The setting is apt with the costumes and horses and carriages. A well researched story, in terms of costumes, food, means of transport and currency. I never felt that the towns were fictitious, I actually felt that they really exist.

I loved the characters, Hema is a strong woman and Deven knows what he needs to do. The chemistry between them was electric.

Though the cover is beautiful, but I felt that maybe the dresses on the cover could match the descriptions in the book.

I loved the book and I am looking forward to the next books in the Series.

You may Kiss the Bridesmaid by Camilla Isley

I received You may Kiss the Bridesmaid by Camilla Isley as a review copy from StoryOrigin and the author and am thankful to them for the same. This is the sixth book in the “First Comes Love” series, and the first one that I read by this author, but it can be enjoyed as a standalone.

The blurb:

Archibald Hill is handsome, single, and he’s going to his best friend’s wedding ready to make a conquest or two. After all, everyone knows weddings are the perfect setting to get lucky.

Summer Knowles used to have a life—friends, family, a sister who’d do anything for her—until she blew it all away with a terrible mistake. Now, attending her twin’s wedding as the party’s undesirable number one seems like more than she can handle. So, when a tall stranger with smoldering ice-blue eyes offers her a therapy of seven nights of no-strings-attached fun, she might even ignore that he has a beard and accept.
Problem is, Summer has never been good at keeping sex and feelings separated…

The story:

Summer Knowles has sworn off boyfriends after ‘The Mistake’, so much so that she travels across the country to get her eggs frozen. Then, three weeks later, she has to put on a smiling face and attend her twin, Winter’s destination wedding at Napa. To top it all, she would meet her old friends who make it a point to remind her of ‘The Mistake’. Though the Maid of Honour, Lara, has forgiven her, her own mother does not spare her.

So, she finds a solace in Archibald Hill, Archie, the groom’s best friend and the Best Man. Archie is everything she is not, a player, someone who shies away from commitment. They try to keep their week-long arrangement a secret because they know that Winter would not appreciate the liaison.

My take:

This is the sixth book in the “First Comes Love” series, but it can be enjoyed as a standalone. The story alternates from the point of view of Summer and Archie making the book all the more enjoyable.

The characters are flawed, relatable and realistic. Even the supporting characters are interesting and I would definitely want to read their stories. I loved how Winter was protective of Summer.

The scenes have been vividly described and could be easily picturised.

This is a fast paced story about friendship, family relationships and love. A lot of emotions float around like guilt, shame, love, protectiveness. This book is funny, a light read that is perfect in these stressful times.

This is the first book I have read by Camilla Isley and I plan to read more books from her, especially this entire series.  

DISCLAIMER: I received a free ebook from StoryOrigin in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Spotlight: Teething Troubles of Love by Summerita Rhayne


Sheena and Vinayak are doctors working in the same dental institute, but their paths would never have crossed if Sheena’s deception hadn’t woven a web of lies in which Vinayak became entangled. He may have his own reasons for letting her make believe go on but getting his heart involved is not on the agenda.

From a rajputana estate to a villa on an Indian Ocean island, join them in a journey of tangled deceit mixed with unwilling attraction in this page-turning romcom.


‘It was a joke,’ she said weakly, a half questioning lilt at the end of her sentence as she wondered if it was a suitable excuse. It made him frown harder.

‘Are you sure it can qualify as that? This is someone’s personal life we are talking of here.’ He added, emphatically bringing down his palm on the desk, ‘Mine!’

She winced. ‘I never meant it to reach your ears,’ she said truthfully.

‘I would like to know what you meant by telling Dr. Deven that you were engaged to me!’

‘Oh, I didn’t tell him we were engaged. I said we were going to be  engaged!’

He just stared at her for several seconds. Then his expression changed but not in nice way. The frown lifted but his eyes narrowed as he said, ‘Oh,’ very sarcastically. ‘How odd of him not to have related your facts verbatim.’

She winced again. Seated in the leather chair in his office, behind the imposing desk with the state of the art laptop and surrounded by book cases filled with thick volumes on dentistry, while he dominated her by physically looking down at her, she was at a disadvantage. Actually, she was at a disadvantage because she was caught in the wrong.

Oh, why had she indulged herself and told the little fib to Deven?

Could she throw herself at this man’s mercy and beg for forgiveness? The thought left her mind as soon as it entered it. Not a hope in hell.

‘You’renot finding this funny,’ she muttered.

‘Maybe I will when you let me in on the joke.’

He sounded grim and no wonder. She squirmed mentally. Even as she cursed the inventiveness of her mind, several weird explanations flitted across it. She could say she’d made a bet of some sort. Or she’d just tried a gag on him. Or she’d been taking advantage of his credit at the snack shop.

That was her personal chink in the armor. Caught in any tricky situation, her mind began to weave convenient – if weird – stories.

‘Dr. Sheena.’ His tone had a steely edge now. ‘Will you explain how I seem to have acquired a fiancée?’

Not on your life.


Book buy link:

Click here to buy at Amazon:

About the author:

Summerita Rhayne writes contemporary and historical romance. She first got published in 2013 and has won contests with prestigious publishers such as Harlequin and Harper Collins India. Most of her books are set in India but have a global feel to the story.
At heart, she’s a family person and even though she loves her medical teaching profession, she happily becomes a homemaker when not at work. She loves winding down with music, romcoms and whodunnits.

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Book Blitz: Anamika Khanna Falls in Love by Shraddha Sahi


About the Book:

How far would you go in love?

A few missed calls? Liking every post of his on FB? Landing in the hospital when you fall from a tree because you wanted to see into his room?
Anamika Khanna is madly in love with Rahul…
How can someone be so blind? Why can’t she see how much I love her? Will my confession jeopardise our friendship?
Vikram Lobo, the bookworm has developed muscles and lost the soda bottle glass-es. But he can’t stop his heart from skipping a beat when he sees Anamika.
Rahul, the high society Adonis wants nothing to do with the gauche, middle class weirdo who’s following him around. Until she moves into his league…
Laugh out loud at Anamika’s antics and follow her on the roller coaster that is her life!

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Meet Anamika Khanna

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

I would start the day with mooning over the picture I have of Rahul. Then I’d drop in at his house pretending to want to borrow another book to read. And spend the rest of the day dreaming of the time when he realises he’s in love with me.

If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?

I’m not the very imaginative types and I hated history in school. I would want to spend the day with Rahul, far away from the disapproving eyes of his mom, though!. And yes, on this ideal day, Rahul should develop a sudden and intense dislike for his fiancee Preeti and break things off with her!

What is your idea of perfect happiness? And, what is your current state of mind?

The sun will shine only after Rahul and I are together! Right now I’m sad that Vikky doesn’t support me in my quest. After all he’s my best friend, so why does he keep telling me I’m wrong? And why do I care he’s not happy? I should only focus on Rahul, right? Not give Vikky’s abs sidelong glances!

What do you consider to be the most overrated virtue and why? 

I hate having to have ‘ambition’! I really don’t want to work for a living. Let everyone else join the right race and be daring and motivated and read Michelle Obama’s autobiography. I just want to be loved, by Rahul, of course!

Tell us 3 things about yourself that the readers do not know about

– I tasted my Dad’s scotch when he and Mom when for a party and put in a little water to restore the original level (just in case, though he’s not very observant!)
– I find it tough to make polite conversation, I daydream too much and lose the thread of the conversation and then the person gets miffed when I ask them to repeat the question.
– I wish I had a big brother to take care of me. Being an only child sucks!

About the Author:

Words have been the centre of Shraddha’s existence for as long as she can re-member. Fed up with her constant demand for books, her parents asked her to write her own. And so, it began!

She’s an ophthalmologist with a specialisation in Glaucoma. She juggles her profes-sional demands with her new label of tennis mom and the larger than life charac-ters that live in her mind, demanding to be manifested.

She has written A Doctor in the House (Partridge), A Great Fall (Juggernaut) and The Case of the Counterfeit Currency (Mango Books) and also has an anthology of poems (F.I.S.T) (Pothi Books)

Shraddha finds herself attracted to stories about women – strong ones, funny ones & kick ass survivors. Her self-deprecating humor tends to stay with you long after you’ve shut the book.

Author Links:
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A Dangerous Affair by Rubina Ramesh

A Dangerous Affair by Rubina Ramesh is a love story set in West Bengal in 1947 that I had picked up from the Kindle Unlimited Library.

The blurb:

She is a young girl of twenty who leads a well-protected life. But in 1947, when India is at the brink of getting her independence, who could remain innocent to death and loss? Charu is not spared either. Anger bubbles inside her, and she vows to avenge her loss. But to do so, she has to cross the path of Dev.

He is the privileged son of the zamindar. He enjoys being a spoilt brat and has a Cassanova image. But his good looks and charming smile hide some deep secrets. Will he be able to bare his heart to a young girl who was much beneath his status?
They meet, and they clash. Falling in love was in their destiny. But would the same destiny send Charu to face her death? Or will Dev be able to save her on time?

The story:

The year is 1947 and the place: Chakrimulia village, Mendinpur district tucked in a corner of West Bengal.

The home of Biplop and Sharoda Majhi is the hub of the revolutionaries in the village. Charu Majhi, the youngest child and the protected one, is not allowed to be a part of any of their affairs, though her elder sister and brother are actively involved. She thought that her father was The Leader but later realised that the instructions came from somewhere else.

One day, when she is returning home from a neighbouring village, two British soldiers try to misbehave with her. And she is saved by a masked man. But this incident causes a lot of bloodshed in her village and she loses her siblings. Her father blames her for this and she wants to make amends. For this, she has to get the details of the person behind the killings for The Leader and is planted in the Zamindaar’s house as a scribe.

At the Zamindaar’s house, she meets The Leader again. She also meets Dev, the Zamindaar’s son, who does not leave a chance to tease her. And she is attracted to both of them.

My take:

I loved the story and the setting. The cover is beautiful. The characters are well developed, relatable and realistic. The conversation between the characters, which has dialects from Bengali, has been beautifully expressed. The author has created the setting and timeline well.

The language is simple and the story is fast paced. The suspense and the twists make the story unputdownable. I finished it in one sitting and loved every moment of the story.

An excellent book. A must, must read.

Spotlight: A Dangerous Affair by Rubina Ramesh

Print Length: 211 pages
Publication Date: September 11, 2020
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Romance, History, British Raj



She is a young girl of twenty who leads a well-protected life. But in 1947, when India is at the brink of getting her independence, who could remain innocent to death and loss? Charu is not spared either. Anger bubbles inside her, and she vows to avenge her loss. But to do so, she has to cross the path of Dev.


He is the privileged son of the zamindar. He enjoys being a spoilt brat and has a Cassanova image. But his good looks and charming smile hide some deep secrets. Will he be able to bare his heart to a young girl who was much beneath his status? 
They meet, and they clash. Falling in love was in their destiny. But would the same destiny send Charu to face her death? Or will Dev be able to save her on time?

Read the Excerpt


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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Falling for Cinderella: an Indian Billionaire romance by Preethi Venugopala

Falling for Cinderella: an Indian Billionaire romance by Preethi Venugopala is her latest book that I picked up from the Kindle Unlimited Library.

The blurb:

When what you seek is seeking you…

Karan: It all started at a masquerade ball. I took one look at the girl dressed as Cinderella and fell head over heels in love. 

I was not someone who believed in love. 

Yet, within a few hours, she made me crave for things I never knew I wanted. 

I began to equate her presence with happiness. 

Like a warm breeze on that winter night, she thawed my frozen heart. 

At midnight, she ran away without telling me who she really was. Just like Cinderella.

I was never the same again. 

I couldn’t forget her, but she came visiting only in my dreams.

No matter what, I was determined to find her.

Chandni: Karan was not someone I could even dream about. 

I was a poor orphan, a nobody.

He was a billionaire, the hottest bachelor in India, coveted by rich women everywhere. 

A dance: that was all he asked.

But while we danced, I gave him my heart, knowing that the magic would end once he realized my true identity.

I was nothing but a cheat.

Yet, the magic didn’t end that night.

A bizarre twist of fate put me in his path again. I had to hide my secret, even though I wished to confess everything to him. 

Was watching him from afar the only thing that was written in my destiny?

The story:

Chandni Khanna was five years old when she lost her parents and she was brought up by her grandmother. Both of them were ill-treated by her father’s cousin who had taken over the business and their home. They were ill-treated and humiliated in public. And after the death of her grandmother, three years ago, she was shifted from her home, the Malhotra Mansion, to a small room in the annexe attic. Not only that, she was forced to earn her keep, by being their all-round help after she returned from college. After she graduated with a high rank, her uncle granted her a scholarship.

Courtesy the scholarship, she is now doing her MBA and her friends Vani and Shweta help her with the assignments and exams whenever possible. Lavanya, her cousin closer to her age, is not close to her.

Karan Varma, a billionaire in his own right, is a businessman and unique and innovative electronic gadgets, majority of them his own inventions, is his USP. He is very close to his mother having lost his father.

Chadani’s aunt, Lavanya’s mother, asks her to act as Lavanya at a masquerade ball and attract the attention of Karan Varma. And at the masquerade ball, Karan dances with Chandni, thinking her to be Lavanya, is smitten by her and she leaves with his jacket.

His mother realises her son is smitten and ……

My take:

A beautiful story of the first fairy tale that I had heard. The book has an attractive cover.

This story has been written in first person from the point of view of Chandni.

The characters are well developed and realistic. Chandni is independent and strong. And Karan is the ideal hero. Secondary characters like Chandni’s mother and Sugandhi Iyer make the story more interesting.

The story is fast paced, written in a simple language which is easily understandable. I loved the story and would definitely read more from her.

Shades of Raven (Eureka in Love Series Book 1) by Tamara hart Heiner

I received Shades of Raven (Eureka in Love Series Book 1) by Tamara hart Heiner as a review copy from Story Origin and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

She’s not looking for a man. And he’s not looking for a family. But somehow, they find each other.

Ever since Amber found herself a single mom, she’s struggled to provide the comforts of life for her and her young daughter. When the opportunity to become co-owner of the wedding planning company she works for arises, Amber knows it’s just what she needs to set herself up as an independent woman.

Of course she doesn’t count on Tyson, the local hotel manager who sweeps her off her feet. Amber is the kind of girl he’s always dreamed of: smart, responsible, and capable of doing any task put in front of her. The only thing he didn’t include in his plan was a kid.

While Amber fights against her independent nature, Tyson fights against his feelings of inadequacy. Will they be able to pull together and make their pieces a whole?

The story:

Amber Morris, assistant manager at Tying The Knot, a wedding planner company, is looking to be promoted after being in the company for six months. She has a two year old, Raven. Though her parents helped her when Raven was a baby and Amber was studying. Now, Amber has moved to Eureka and Clarissa, Raven’s babysitter, is one of Amber’s only friends.

Most of their weddings are hosted at the Crescent Hotel. Tyson Hafford is the hotel manager, concierge, clerk and just about everything. The younger sibling, he always wanted to be a lawyer, but has his reservations in applying to a law school.

Tyson is immediately attracted to her. So is Amber, but she is reluctant to share her secret with him and has her reasons.

My take:

I loved the story and the characters.

The characters have been developed beautifully, and their background stories helped me understand their hangups. Amber was justified and protecting Raven and Tyson was justified getting angry. I loved the friendship and the sweet romance between them. Even the secondary characters have also been portrayed beautifully. I loved Raven. And I felt that they also each deserve a story, be it Connor or Clarissa.

I will definitely read the next book in the series.

Release Day Blitz: My Heart’s Regret by Shilpa Suraj

About the Book:

Samaira Reddy, the girl in the big house, the Bade Sahib’s daughter, only wants one thing and one person…a life with her childhood sweetheart, her Rags.
Raghav Cherukuri has always been known as the driver’s son. And has also always loved his Sam, the girl he can never have and never forget. And so, he leaves her and his life in Hyderabad behind.
But now, Raghav is back. A Chief Officer in the Merchant Navy, he is the success he’s always wanted to be. And yet, he has failed.
Samaira is meeting the ‘perfect groom’ her family approves of…A man whom Raghav can never be.
Can it finally be their time to be together? Or has their happy-ever-after passed them by?
This novella was previously part of the anthology Something Old Something New.

Book Links:

Read an Excerpt from My Heart’s Regret:

“Why did you leave?” The question shot out of her taking them both by surprise. They stared at each other, a wealth of memories flooding the space between them. Years of hurt, months of pain and a million unspoken words crowded around them.
“Don’t.” He turned away from her, shaking his head. “Don’t do this.”
“Why not? You don’t think I deserve any kind of explanation?” 
He opened the rear door of the car in response. “Are you ready to go home?” 
“Home?” She laughed, a bitter sound that floated in the air. “Is that still home to you?”
“Are you ready to go back to your home?” The slight emphasis felt like a slap across her face.
“And that’s the truth of it, isn’t it?” She watched his face for a clue to his feelings. She found none. He was as stone-faced as ever.
“You don’t think of it as home anymore. When you left, you didn’t just leave to study and start your career. You left everything behind. Your home. Your past. Your…”
“Yes.” His acceptance cut her off mid-rant. “I left it all behind. The poverty. The insults. The humiliation. I left my life here behind.”
“Is that all you left behind?” The words sliced through the night like a knife.
Raghav just stared at her, his eyes a cauldron of bottomless emotion. On a growl of frustration, she slid down from the car and stomped towards the door he still held open. Yanking it from his hand, she slammed it shut. Then she walked around the front of the car to the passenger door and got in.
A storm was coming. A loud rumble of thunder could be heard and the wind was picking up outside the car. It blew a lock of his unruly hair into his eyes. 
He didn’t notice but she did. Even through the tears stinging her eyes, she noticed everything about him. 
Raghav continued to stand, motionless by the rear door, his tightly clenched fists the only evidence of the emotion raging inside him. The first drops of rain started to pelt down drenching him in seconds.
Finally, he moved towards where she was sitting. Leaning down, he rapped on the window to get her to put it down.
Samaira obliged, arching an eyebrow in challenge.
 “Get out.” The words were gritted out through clenched teeth.
“No,” she snapped the word out.
“Go sit in the back seat.”
“No,” she said again as she settled more comfortably into the seat. 
“Sam, if someone sees…”
“Let them.” She couldn’t care less.
“Sam, please.” The plea was quiet, but it sliced through. “For my father’s sake.”
Her heart broke at the words. She swiped at the tear that escaped and rolled down her cheek. Without looking at him, she stepped out of the car and got into the rear seat. 
Raghav slid into the driver’s seat and put the car in gear.
They drove home in silence, each lost in their own tortured thoughts. It wasn’t long before her house loomed in front of them. 
They were almost at the gate when she spoke, “Are you happy?”
His hands tightened on the steering wheel. “Are you?”
She laughed. The mirthless sound echoed between them as Ahmed Chacha waved them through the gates. “You’re not going to answer any of my questions, are you?”
Raghav sighed. “What’s the point of this conversation? Discussing the past is going to bring us nothing but more pain.”
“Alright. Let’s talk about the present. Why did you come back?”
Raghav brought the car to a halt outside her front door. “I came back for my parents.”
“Never for me,” she murmured. “You left me without a second thought.”
Raghav, who was holding her door open, froze at the soft words. She stepped out of the car and around his still form. She wasn’t going to beg him for answers anymore.
“The thing is, Sam,” the whisper reached her through the violent noises of the stormy night, “You left me first.”
About the Author:

Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Contact the Author:
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