Silent Witness by Sharmishtha Shenoy

I received Silent Witness by Sharmishtha Shenoy as a review copy from the author and I am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Akhil Garg, a real estate developer in Kolkata, dies after drinking a can of soda bought from a local superstore. Others who drank soda from the same superstore suffer food poisoning too, but Akhil is the only one to die. Is Akhil’s death an accident? Akhil’s real estate company, Garg Developers, is insured for a hundred crores, and his business partners, who are also his family and close friends, stand to gain tremendously from the insurance payout if his death is proved accidental. The owner of the superstore is Mr. Bagri, a poor relation of the Garg family, whom Akhil had insulted just a few days before his death. Did Mr. Bagri take revenge by poisoning Akhil? Or was it a tenant whom he was trying to evict? Or could it be his flamboyant nephew Dinesh, who resented and despised him? Bad blood can destroy dynasties. Akhil Garg’s mansion was protected by high gates and security measures designed to keep bad elements out. But what if the enemy was within? As the investigation proceeds, a blood bath starts as one by one, the partners and employees of Akhil’s company start dying. There are suspects aplenty, and Vikram Rana has the challenging task of identifying whether Akhil’s death was an accident or a homicide.

The story:

Detective Vikram Rana who is in Kolkata for a vacation with his wife and daughter when an insurance company approaches him to look into the death of a builder, Akhil Garg. The payout is a huge sum of money and the beneficiaries are many.

So with the help of his friend, Inspector Lobo, who has been assigned the case by the police, he sets out on the journey of finding the culprit from amongst the suspects.

My take:

I loved the story and Kolkata and the various Bengali dishes described in the book, this book really pulled me back to Kolkata and its streets.

There are many characters and each character is complicated. Though they are related to each other, yet they are jealous of each other. And as we think, we know who did it, there is a twist in the tale.

The language is simple and easily understandable and the story moves at a fast pace. The descriptions, be it of the persons, places, food or even the weather, are detailed. And as the plot becomes twisted, the book becomes unputdownable.

I loved the book and would recommend it.

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

Grounded (The Groom Series#3) by Sundari Venkatraman

I received Grounded, the third book of the Groom Series by Sundari Venkatraman as a review copy from the author and I am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Avinash isn’t too disturbed in the beginning when he’s placed in Home Quarantine the moment he touches down in Mumbai after a work trip to the UK.

It is later that a lockdown is declared due to the fast spreading pandemic. The highly successful investment banker is shaken to the core as he spends day after day all by himself as he’s grounded. His successful career doesn’t seem to hold any value to him anymore.
Into his life walks in Vaishali, a motivational speaker with a positive turn of mind. She doesn’t just save him from a daily diet of Maggi and boiled eggs, but also from his morbid thoughts.

It’s not long before he falls in love with his saviour and is keen to make her his life partner.
But what about Vaishali? Is she the marrying kind? Read the final book in The Groom Series Trilogy to find out if Avinash will be able to persuade Vaishali to spend her future with him.

The story:

Vaishali Yadav is a motivational speaker. The youngest of three sisters, Vaishali has her own reasons for not getting married. Keeping her business in mind, Vaishali, moved to Mumbai six months ago and stays in her brother-in-law’s flat because of the demands of her career. And then, she is stuck in the lockdown with nowhere to go. But, being the positive person that she is, she agrees to help out an elderly lady living alone, with her daily meals.

Unknown to Vaishali, the flat next door has an occupant, Avinash Lohia, an investment banker and Goldman Sach’s, who has been home quarantined after he comes back from his official trip to the UK. Unlike Vaishali, Avinash is not prepared for the same.

My take:

This book rotates around the Covid pandemic, the lockdown and how all that had an impact on our lives. It talks about how we as individuals reacted to the situations of the pandemic and how we carried on.

Though this is the third book of the series, it can be read as a standalone, but as the characters from the previous book are mentioned, this book will be enjoyed more if we get to know the other Yadav sisters as well and how close knit the family is.

The characters are realistic and their emotions have been described in detail. I loved how Vaishali’s family supported her when she needed them and how they interacted with each other. I loved Vaishali’s positive attitude and Avinash’s openness to learn more.

The language is simple and the story is fast paced and the twists and turns make the story unputdownable.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-book from the author in exchage for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Takakush by Raina Reiter

 

“A fantastic tale that weaves a spell of ancient mysticism and modern charm.” –Tim Marquitz, Author of the Demon Squad series, The Enemy of My Enemy series, and more.


When Professor Elena Lukas returns to her cozy Pacific Northwest hometown with a broken heart, she’s plunged back into the fate she tried to escape. Like her mother and grandmother before her, Elena must now dedicate her life to a powerful ancient Lithuanian goddess. Although she is prepared to live as a priestess hiding in a contemporary tourist town, she arrives to find that a series of so-called animal attacks have terrorized her forest.With the help of a handsome detective from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Elena uses her expertise in invasive and endangered species to identify that these are no normal animal attacks. The woods are stalked by a dark, mystical creature bent on ravaging the area in an attempt to quell its insatiable hunger. When her little sister goes missing, Elena realizes that the beast can only be vanquished if she is brave enough to face it in-person, embrace her identity as a high priestess, and expose her powers to the man she is growing feelings for.Raine Reiter weaves together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Her vivid, flowing prose takes readers of dark fantasy into a world that looks and feels real, while still evoking the enticing paranormal creativity shared by authors such as Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson.

Book Links:


The World of Takakush – Genus Magica Book One


Takakush, the dark contemporary fantasy is the story of Elena Lukas and her family of powerful hereditary priestesses. All four human women manifest a powerful Goddess and practice the old ways of pagan Lithuania. The great powers they possess come with costs.

Mina Lukas, the family matriarch, is the priestess of Zemyna, the Lithuanian Earth Goddess, representing birth, rebirth and renewal. She became a consecrated servant to the deity in her twenties. A world traveler, Mina speaks many languages. Her major gift is healing.

The proprietor of the Swan House Inn and Retreat in the Pacific Northwest, Mina pays bills, raises her teenage daughter, an emerging fire goddess, and cares for her aging mother, Regana, priestess to the goddess of the occult, fate and death.

The goddess gifted Regana with great powers, including transformation and prophecy. She seldom leaves her bedroom, preferring to wander the “Penumbra”, a magical dimension where she is young, powerful and vital. No-one knows the human woman’s actual age, but she appears to be well over one hundred. The old woman’s mental capacity is declining as her individuality merges with her goddess.
Fifteen-year-old Gabby Lukas is a postulate of Gabija, the Lithuanian goddess of the fire. Gabija’s gifted her novitiate with pyrokinesis, the ability to start fires at will. This dangerous gift is emerging and will take practice to control. Goddess Gabija’s nature is assertive, volatile and fiery. She has a temper. Gabby Lukas shares these traits.

Professor Elena Lukas believes she turned her back on her destiny until her fiance cancels their wedding. Broken-hearted, Elena retreats home to her eccentric family. At her birth, her family dedicated her to the Lithuanian Forest Goddess Mediena, but she hadn’t committed to the bond. Elena must decide if she will serve as a priestess and avatar, sealing her powers. Or turn her back and live a normal life. The goddess gifted Elena with a spiritual connection to nature and a raven familiar.

When Elena discovers a series of so-called animal attacks terrorizing her forest. With the help of a handsome detective from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Elena uses her expertise in invasive and endangered species to identify that these are no normal animal attacks. The woods are stalked by a dark, mystical creature bent on ravaging the area to quell its insatiable hunger. 

Author Raine Reiter weaves together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Her vivid, flowing prose takes readers of dark fantasy into a world that looks and feels real, while still evoking the enticing paranormal creativity shared by authors such as Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson.



Raine Reiter weaves together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Her vivid, flowing prose takes readers of dark fantasy into a world that looks and feels real, while still evoking the enticing paranormal creativity shared by authors such as Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson.

A fifth generation Washingtonian, Raine lives in the gloomy Pacific Northwest and wanders the rainforest with her silly spaniel, Luke.


Raine Reiter on the Web:
Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads * Amazon

Giveaway:
1st Prize – $10 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize – Paperback Copy of Takakush & a T-shirt
3rd Prize – An eBook Copy of Takakush

Entry Rules:
Enter your answers to the following questions in the Rafflecopter below:

Where did the Lukas family originally come from?

  • Zimbabwe
  • Jupiter
  • Lithuania
  • Antarctica

What is our hero, Elena Lukas’ occupation?

  • Butcher
  • Baker
  • Candlestick Maker
  • College Professor
 

The novel Takakush takes place in what region of the US?

  • The Pacific Northwest
  • The South
  • The Midwest
  • The Northeast

Gobsmacked (Groom Series#2) by Sundari Venkatraman

I received Gobsmacked, the second book of the Groom Series by Sundari Venkatraman as a review copy from the author and I am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

The city bred Amit and the village-born Radhika fall in love at first sight, getting married three years later.

Looking forward to a wonderful life with her husband and family in Delhi, Radhika begins her new journey with stars in her eyes…

…only for things to come crashing when Amit’s mother Shanti ill-treats her. Hating her small-town daughter-in-law, Shanti is determined to break her son’s marriage from Day One.

And it looks like she has succeeded when Radhika leaves her husband one fine day, apparently giving him no explanation for her action.

While Radhika waits for her husband to pacify her and take her back, Amit is too hurt and upset to even contact her.

Will the heartbroken couple ever get back together? Especially after being separated for nearly two years? And even if they did, will Shanti let them live in peace?

The story:

Radhika Yadav had met Amit Sharma on the day of her sister’s wedding and it was love at first sight for both of them. She was only nineteen and he, twenty five. So they decided to wait for three years before getting married. But once they got married, all her dreams came crashing down and she left a note for Amit and came back to her parent’s house within two years of marrying him. And hoping that Amit would come looking for her once he came back home from work in the evening, but that never happened.

Now, two years later, Amit sees Radhika being awarded for the work done, and the past comes rushing up.

My take:

A story of a married woman who belongs to a small town. And her mother-in-law has problems accepting her. Though this is the second book of the series, it can be read as a standalone, but as the characters from the previous book are mentioned, this book will be enjoyed more if we know the circumstances of Amit and Radhika meeting for the first time.

The characters are realistic. I loved Radhika’s determination and strength. I loved Amit’s father, Janardhan.

The language is simple and the story is fast paced and the twists and turns make the story unputdownable.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-book from the author in echange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Pride, Prejudice and other flavours by Sonali Dev (Rajes#1)

This is one book that has been sitting on my bookshelf for almost two years now, I had presented it to myself on two birthdays ago and when the second one in the series was almost released, I read it. And am reviewing it now, when the third one is almost there.

The blurb:

Award-winning author Sonali Dev launches a new series about the Rajes, an immigrant Indian family descended from royalty, who have built their lives in San Francisco…

It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep.

Dr. Trisha Raje is San Francisco’s most acclaimed neurosurgeon. But that’s not enough for the Rajes, her influential immigrant family who’s achieved power by making its own non-negotiable rules:

·       Never trust an outsider

·       Never do anything to jeopardize your brother’s political aspirations

·       And never, ever, defy your family

Trisha is guilty of breaking all three rules. But now she has a chance to redeem herself. So long as she doesn’t repeat old mistakes.

Up-and-coming chef DJ Caine has known people like Trisha before, people who judge him by his rough beginnings and place pedigree above character. He needs the lucrative job the Rajes offer, but he values his pride too much to indulge Trisha’s arrogance. And then he discovers that she’s the only surgeon who can save his sister’s life.

As the two clash, their assumptions crumble like the spun sugar on one of DJ’s stunning desserts. But before a future can be savored there’s a past to be reckoned with…

A family trying to build home in a new land.

A man who has never felt at home anywhere.

And a choice to be made between the two.

 The story:

Trisha Raje, San Francisco’s most acclaimed neurosurgeon, specializes in microsurgery.

But when it comes to her family, she has existed on the fringes of her family for the past fifteen years.

The Raje cousins had all grown up in the same house, her older brother, Yash, who is running for the governor of California. Her older sister Nisha, the perfect big sister, who manages Yash’s career. Her younger brother, Vansh, the free-spirited brat who did as he pleased. And their two cousins, Esha, the oldest of the cousins, whom Trisha’s parents had raised since her parents had died in an air crash and Ashna, her younger uncle’s daughter, who practically lived with them. And the Raje blood was not just thicker than water, it was thicker than glue, it was how the families were supposed to be.

And her latest case has made her all emotional. The patient, Emma Caine, a visual artiste is suffering from a tumour and would lose her eyesight in surgery. And this was the first time in her five years of surgery that a patient of hers was going to go blind.

DJ Caine was twelve when his father died and his family threw him, his sister, Emma and their mother out of their home. And they grew up in an attic flat in London, he went to culinary school and dreamed of becoming a private chef. And then he had to move from Paris to save his sister, by taking her to Trisha as his friend Ashna had suggested. Not only that, Ashna had even got him a job with the Rajes.

My take:

I loved the story. It is a really interesting book to read, though a bit long, but patience actually pays. I could see the Rajes and their lives unfold right before me and really loved every moment of the book. I loved the family bonds and the relationships the cousins shared.

I loved the characters but loved the secondary characters more: The loving grandmother who counted the days between visits from her grandchildren; HRH, the strict father and Mina, the mother who balances them both. The banter between the siblings and the cousins is very realistic as also descriptions of their childhood. The feelings of the characters have been described and the characters have been written in such a way that makes them and their feelings realistic and relatable.

A beautiful book centred on family, pride, emotions and relationships.

Waiting to read the next book in the series.

Cover Reveal: The Right Kind of Wrong by Shilpa Suraj

 


He’s dangerous, damaged and doomed but he’s hers…

With no name, no medical history, multiple gunshot wounds and enough security to rival the Prime Minister’s, Dr Aria Dubey’s new patient is something more than she asked for. And everything she might just need.

Intelligence Officer Karan Bhatnagar has only vengeance on his mind. Nothing will stop him from seeking justice for his murdered parents. 

Not even almost losing his own life. And certainly not the doctor who healed but couldn’t save him. The woman he can’t afford to fall for. And the killer’s next target.

There’s only one thing left to do…find the killer and end him before he ends them. Will Karan and Aria risk everything for a love that is all kinds of wrong? And yet, is the right kind of wrong.


Releasing on 26th January!


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:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter












Holiday Bridal Wave (A Forbidden Office Fake Marriage Billionaire Holiday Romance) (The Warren Family Holidays Book 2) by Gwyn MacNamee and Christy Anderson

I picked up Holiday Bridal Wave (A Forbidden Office Fake Marriage Billionaire Holiday Romance) (The Warren Family Holidays Book 2) by Gwyn MacNamee and Christy Anderson from the Kindle Unlimited Library. This is the story of the second Warren son, Archimedes, who is line to become the CEO of Warren Enterprises after Artemis left.

The blurb:

Wanted: one bride for marriage to billionaire heir at New Year’s Eve wedding. Submit resume and photo to INEEDAWIFE@wannamarryabillionaire.com

ARCHIMEDES
All I want is to be CEO at Warren Enterprises Worldwide, but the newly revised Warren Trust makes it clear…

I won’t inherit the company or the family fortune unless I’m hitched before the first of the year.

Too bad I don’t have a girlfriend or fiancée.

What I do have is charm, dashing good looks, a prestigious lineage, an email address, and a faithful assistant willing to help me sort through all the applicants.
But the longer we spend weeding out the duds, the more I appreciate the woman in front of me.

Too bad Blaire doesn’t fit the requirements for a Warren bride.
And one way or another, this New Year’s Eve, I’ll be kissing my wife at the stroke of midnight.
BLAIRE
Helping my hot boss find a bride isn’t really part of my job description.

It’s busy enough around the office during the holidays without having to comb through applications from vapid bimbos who only want the Warren money.

But Archie needs my help, and I’m hopeless to deny him when he flashes me that panty-melting grin and sings my praises.

He says I’m invaluable.

As an employee…or more?

Because with every moment we spend together planning his loveless New Year’s Eve wedding, my heart inches closer to falling in love with him.

Holiday miracles are the things of fairy tales, but this New Year’s Eve, one might be found in the place they least expect it.

The story:

Archimedes Leonidas Warren, Archie, the second son of the Warrens of New York, always wanted to be the CEO of Warren Enterprises. But, as his elder brother and the first born, the title was Artemis’s. Until, Artemis decided to call it quits and follow his heart. Now, Archie can get what he wants. But, there is a rider. He has five weeks to find a bride, marry her by December 31 and have a kid within a year, if he wants to qualify for the role. And Archie is in a fix. He does not have a girlfriend, nor does he have an idea of whom he can start with. All he has ever wanted was this company, not some woman or a family, so, he asks Blaire, his executive assistant to help him find a bride. And also plan his wedding.

Blaire, who is everything that Archie isn’t. She is the girl who believes in Christmas and miracles. She has planned her dream wedding. And so to help her boss, she suggests that they run an ad in the paper and possibly set up a website. And as regards the wedding planning, she decides to take help from her wedding journal.  And they start ‘Operation Find a Wife’.

As they work in close vicinity of each other, Archie realises that Blaire is the closest friend he has and even goes out of the way to make her happy. And Blaire starts falling for him. But, unfortunately Blaire is not Warren material in Archie’s eyes, and he has to marry someone who fits the bill.

My take:

This is a sweet romance. As soon as I finished with the first book of the series, I really wanted to read Archie’s story. And I must say I was not disappointed. The story alternates between Archie and Blaire and we get to see both their points of view. I loved the Christmassy feel to the story with the detailed descriptions of the clothes that Blaire wears as well as the snow globes she has on her table.

The story has friendship, family, love, and humour mixed with a crazy rich family. I loved the characters especially the funny Blaire. I loved how the characters from the first book also make their presence felt off and on. And Athena as well. And am waiting to read her story next.

Once the story begins, the book becomes unputdownable.

Dear Husband by Anika Rao

I picked up Dear Husband by Anika Rao from the Kindle Unlimited Library.

The blurb:

She was barely conscious when a dashing army officer married her to save her life. Her husband didn’t even know how she looked, since she had been heavily bandaged. He immediately left for service after the wedding.

They communicated frequently through letters where she poured her heart out to the man who became her savior and solace. Two years passed and her husband has just returned home.

Will she tell him how she feels about him? Or will she release him from the marriage which began as an act of mercy?

Dear Husband, all I want to say is that I…

Note: This is a standalone short and sweet romance with a happy ending.

The story:

Vikram Verma is sitting with his friends when he witnesses a car accident. The lone survivor is a girl who is badly injured. So he takes her to the army hospital for treatment. But as she is a civilian, she cannot be treated there, so he marries her so that she can get the best possible treatment. And he leaves for duty. He does not know anything about his ‘wife’ except that she is Rubina. When Bina recovers, Vikram’s parents take her home so that she has a complete recovery.

Bina writes to Vikram regularly, and the two become friends.

Two years later, Vikram comes home……..

My take:

 A sweet story of two people who are united by fate and letters. The language is simple and the story is fast paced. I loved Bina’s relationship with her in-laws.

A must, must read.

One day in Paris by Shobana Mahadevan

I picked up One day in Paris, Shobana Mahadevan’s latest book from the Kindle Unlimited Library.

The blurb:

What would you do if you get a chance to spend one magical day in Paris with your high school crush?

Aditi has just arrived in Paris for a one-year course. She runs into a bit of a trouble when a stranger from her past sweeps in and saves her. And it is not just any stranger. It is Rishi, her high-school crush. The one who had monopolized her thoughts, her feelings, and her entire life while having been blissfully unaware even of her very existence. And just like that, Rishi, whom she never thought she will see again, breezes back into her life nearly a decade later.

Tall, handsome, and intelligent, Rishi provokes a resurgence of old feelings in Aditi. Aditi discovers that Rishi is everything she had envisioned him to be and more. Sparks fly between them, and she is astonished to find a sizzling connection and intense chemistry developing between them.

There is just one snag – it is Rishi’s last day in Paris. Can one measly day in Paris change anything?

It is Aditi’s second chance. Would she be able to make him fall in love with her in one day? Or will the continents just divide them forever?

The story:

Aditi was in Class 10 when she developed a crush on a class 12 student, Rishi. And then he left the school and so did she.

Now, ten years later, Aditi is in Paris for a one year course and she runs into Rishi at a train station. It is Rishi’s last day in Paris, so he suggests that they spend it sightseeing together.

My take:

A simple story of a girl who wishes to meet her school crush before she dies. And her wish comes true.

Add to that the charm of Paris, and you have a romantic tale.

I loved the characters and also the interactions between them the scenes are well described and the story is a quick read.

Holiday Terminal: (A Second Chance Secret Baby Billionaire Holiday Romance) (The Warren Family Holidays Book 1) by Gwyn McNamee and Christy Anderson

I picked up Holiday Terminal: (A Second Chance Secret Baby Billionaire Holiday Romance) (The Warren Family Holidays Book 1) by Gwyn McNamee and Christy Anderson from the Kindle Unlimited Library because I liked the blurb.

The blurb:

Two hearts. One snowstorm. A second chance at love.

Penelope
Swirling snow may have stranded me at this tiny airport in the middle of nowhere on Christmas Eve, but it has nothing on the storm raging inside me when he walks into the terminal.

Artemis Warren.

My first love and the man who shattered my world.

I thought I locked my feelings for him safely away in the past, but one look is all it takes for me to drown in his icy blue eyes again.

So much time has passed.

I’m no longer that naïve teenager standing on a beach, wishing the boy would choose me.
Now, I’m hiding a secret that could unravel both our lives.

Artemis
The emergency landing in Nowheresville is more than an inconvenience.

It’s a disaster.

The annual family holiday party in NYC was my chance to make the statement I’ve been dreaming of for so long.

Now, all my best laid plans will have to wait until I can get out of here and back to civilization.
Nothing can salvage this day.

Yet seeing Penelope Barnes again turns this bad situation into the opportunity of a lifetime.
Reuniting with the only woman I’ve ever loved would be the ultimate Christmas gift.

But how can I heal the old wounds and or fit into the new life she created?

When temperatures drop and snowflakes fly, can love find a way to weather the storm for the ultimate Christmas miracle?

The story:

Penelope Barnes, Pen, the only child of her parents, lived in Cape harmony with her parents. At seventeen, she met Artemis Warren III, Artie, who was visiting the small beach town with his family for summer holidays, and fell in love with him. Only to realise that Artemis would leave her and go to law school like his father and his grandfather.

Now, six years later, Pen is travelling to Cape Harmony from Nashville, on Christmas Eve, with her five year old son, Max and her mother, in her boss’s aircraft, when they encounter a snowstorm and the pilot cannot do anything but land on the closest airport, which happens to be Millerton Field, a small strip in Tennessee near the North Carolina border. After a day of tiring meetings, as a producer’s assistant, all she wants is to reach her parents’ house because Max deserves that much.

Artemis Warren is flying to New York after closing a case for Warren Enterprises when he is caught in the middle of the snowstorm and is forced to land at Millerton Field. Happy to be away from the Warren holiday party but sad as he would not be able to make an important announcement, Artie decides to wait until the storm lifts and he can get out of there.

He meets Pen and old feelings surface. But Pen wants nothing to do with him, because she feels betrayed. And when he sees Max, he realises that Pen has been hiding something from him.

My take:

A sweet, warm, second chance romance is what we need on a cold winter night, and this book is that and more. The cover is beautiful.

The characters are lovable and the story has been written from the point of view of both of them. I loved Max and Pen’s mother as well.

This is the first book in the series and I am looking forward to reading the stories of Archimedes and Athena as well.