Flames of Desire by Sudha Nair

I received an ARC of the book Flames of Desire by Sudha Nair from the author and am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

A busy doctor and a harried restaurateur hook up at their high school reunion.

Dinesh was the old, school prankster who always got into trouble. He liked to pull girls’ pigtails and stick pencils into their plaits. Once, he’d been playing football inside the classroom when he’d broken a girl’s glasses. Pooja had been wary of him ever since.

So, was being drunk on the day she met him also one of his pranks?

It served his ego right that Pooja had always ignored him in school. And yet, he’d had a thing for that nerdy studious girl in glasses.

So, what was she doing outside his room on that weekend of the class reunion?

Pooja is a busy pediatrician who works too hard to ever let her hair down.
Dinesh owns a restaurant thousands of miles away in Arizona, USA. Estranged from his father, he’s in India only for the reunion.

Two adults, one weekend, and a hot fling with nothing to lose. Seems like just what they need. Except falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan.

Flames Of Desire is the second book in the Class of ’11 Reunion series of steamy reunion love stories! It can also be read as a standalone novel.

Don’t miss Pooja and Dinesh’s story if you’re looking for the perfect holiday romance with lots of fun and steamy scenes!

The story:

Pooja, Ms Nerdy Glasses at school, is a busy paediatrician at KPS Medical Hospital, Kottayam and she has no time for holidays. She decides to join the weekend reunion meet-up in Alleppey because she wants to meet her best friends, Meenakshi and Apoorva, and also to meet all her other classmates ten years after leaving school.

Dinesh, the class prankster, had been sent to the US by his father after he was suspended from school. He runs a restaurant named after his mother, Kamala’s Flame, in Arizona. ever since his mother’s death two years ago, coming to India is not the same for him. He decided to come for the reunion because he needed a break from his busy schedule.

And the first person she meets at the resort is a very drunk Dinesh.

What next….

My take:

The story has been written in first person from the points of view of both Pooja and Dinesh, giving an idea of their feelings. The characters have been developed well and are realistic.

The back stories of the characters have been portrayed well and that actually explained a lot of their reactions.

I loved the friendship between the girls. The easy camaraderie between the friends is so natural and realistic that I remembered my relationship with my school friends.

The language is simple and the story is fast paced. I just could not keep the book down once I started it.

Really loved the book. I am really looking forward to reading the next books in the series and also about their friends.

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

Midnight’s Star: A passionate contemporary friends to lovers romance (Shades of Night Book 1) by Shilpa Suraj

I received an ARC of the book Midnight’s Star: A passionate contemporary friends to lovers romance (Shades of Night Book 1) by Shilpa Suraj from the author and BookR3vi3ws and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Visually impaired author and current flavour of the Indian literary scene, Dev Arya, has not just triumphed against the odds in his life, he’s annihilated them. He’s got fame, fortune and floozies in abundance. And yet, he’s lonely.

Cafe owner and only child to her dependent father, Avni Desai is broke, heartbroken and a true survivor. But no matter how hard she hustles, she’s still struggling to stay afloat.

And then, one day, Dev walks into her cafe…and everything changes for both of them. From excellent tiramisu to earshattering singing, from dramatic friends to accident prone sexcapades, they embark on the ride of a lifetime.  Will it all be worth it though? Will two broken souls find a way to heal each other? Or do the fractures go so deep that there is no way for either of them to find the love they so deeply crave and yet can’t seem to have?
The story:

Avni Desai and her boyfriend of five years, Bharat started The Teacup, a café, together. This café had been their dream throughout their hotel management degree. After a year into the business, he had taken up a job in the kitchen of a five star hotel and Avni was managing the café herself. She would send him his share of profit regularly. Eight months ago, she lost her mother to a road accident and her father got paralysed. And then one day, her best friends, Sehar and Diana, tell her that he is getting married to someone else. And when she confronts him, he tells her that he does not want to take care of her handicapped father. And she realizes that she is more relieved than heartbroken.

Dev Arya, a bestselling author, was visually impaired when he was seventeen, in an accident at home. He got incredibly lucky with his debut book, and spends a lot of time wondering if people truly like his books or just like the idea of an author who is blind. He lives with his mother, who is constantly on the lookout for girls to get him married. Rishi and Manav have been his friends since school.

On the day Avni gets the news, she meets Dev, who has come to her café to meet a prospective match, and they become friends.

What next….

My take:

First chapter down, and I was hooked.

Written in first person from the point of view of both Avni and Dev, this book gave me an idea of their feelings.

The author has developed the characters beautifully and I loved them and the conversations between them. She has created the back stories well and this really gave an idea to the reactions of both Avni and Dev. She has beautifully described how Dev would link a person to his voice. The way the author has described Avni’s relationship with her father, or the lack of it, seemed realistic.

I loved the friendship between Avni, Sehar and Diana and also that between Dev, Rishi and Manav. The best part was the easy camaraderie between the friends, which felt to realistic and natural.

The language is simple and the story is fast paced. I just could not keep the book down once I started it. I am really looking forward to reading the next books in the series and also about their friends.

Really loved the book and would recommend it to everyone.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-book from the author and BookR3vi3ws in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Spotlight: Insincerely Yours by Manasi Singh

All Ray wanted was to have some fun. Little did she know that what began as a harmless midnight adventure would soon end up being the most terrifying night of her life.

Shuttling back and forth between the States and whichever obscure Indian town her civil servant father was transferred to, Atreya ‘Ray’ Sen’s life has always been on the move. When she comes down to sleepy old Visakhapatnam and befriends Mira, Ray hopes she could be a successful means of whiling away her summer. When Mira invites her to a late-night adventure with Mira’s boyfriend and his pals, Ray jumps at the chance for some excitement. When one of the boys suggests they take a detour to one of Vizag’s most famous haunted houses, the night takes a turn for the dark. The spirit of a mean old man seems to be following them, killing them off one by one.
A near-death experience reveals to Ray that she is the only one who can bring peace to him. Now, Ray must race against time to find a way to save her family and friends, or else the once-peaceful town of Vizag would witness a bloodbath like never before.
An old Victorian mansion with a dark history…a spirit with a vengeance…a girl with no memory of her past…
Will Ray be able to stop the killings in time? Or will she be left with no friends and no family yet again?

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Real Life Incident that inspired Insincerely Yours

In the words of Stephen King, we make up horrors to cope with the real ones. But what if the horrors written is a part of reality? What if the tale is written not just as fiction, but as a memoir to the unexplained that occurred years ago, yet bears fresh imprints in mind?

When I sat down to write this story, I had to resurrect memories from my college days, from that fateful night, when my friends and I had decided to have our own little late-night adventure. Back then, we were just stupid college freshmen who didn’t have a care in the world, who would go lengths for cheap thrills from the world of the supernatural. Here, I bring you the real-life story that inspired me to write Insincerely Yours.

Our night started on the cliché note of being cold and stormy. We had found our source for horror stories: our friend Vishnu. Vishnu would always keep us at the edge of our seats with his storytelling, and that evening was no different. We had assembled in a circle around him, drinks in our hands, when he started telling us about the legendary haunted house that stood proud just off the path to the beach in Vizag. As the story goes, the house belonged to a retired colonel and his family. They kept to themselves, but the neighbors often complained of yelling and fighting coming in the evenings. One night, the house fell silent, and the neighbors saw an eerie glow emanate from the windowpanes. When they went over in the morning to check, they found that the Colonel’s family had disappeared overnight. The house was still as is, sans the family that had once lived in it. Nobody knows where they went, and the watchman claimed he never saw anyone leave the house. Their mysterious disappearance gave rise to the stories that the house is haunted.

Scoffing at his words, my friends and I decided to check it out for ourselves. So off we went, Shreya, Swetank, Vishnu and I, on a drunken midnight visit to the famous haunted house. The house had a sinister look to it, with the front lawn stretching before us, coated with dried grass, exactly how I chose to describe in the book. Inside, the house looked like someone had lived here years ago, and had suddenly just chosen to walk out. The place oozed with a cold vibe, and I wasn’t the only one who felt it. We decided to explore the house a little, and each room creeped us out a little more than the next. Most of the belongings of the house had turned to debris owing to a cyclone that had wreaked havoc in Vizag a year ago, but there was one room that had managed to stay intact. Intrigued, we stepped in bravely, and immediately, we felt helpless. It was like the place had sucked the happiness out of our lives as a blanket of depression descended on us. We saw muddy footprints going towards the bathroom, and opened the door to find the room painted in vantablack, the darkest color known to humanity, often the sign of evil. The room started feeling like it was sucking the energy out of us, slowly as it grew. Swetank, being the most sensible of us, insisted we get some fresh air at the balcony we had seen on our way into the room. At the balcony, we felt the sudden weight the room had given us lift off us, and we slowly relaxed into conversation. In the entire time we were in that house, I kept getting this feeling that someone was watching us. As we were talking, I felt something move from the corner of my eye, and turned towards the balcony door, where I saw five shadows. Four was of us standing in the balcony, but one was coming from inside the house. As I turned around quickly to see if anyone else had noticed, I saw Swetank looking pale as a sheet. We saw the shadow stay for a few seconds, and it suddenly disappeared, vanishing. At this point, Swetank and I ushered the other two out of the house, and made a run for it. All we knew was that the old Victorian mansion housed something that was pure evil, so dark that even one hour in that place had left us feeling soulless for days after. Swetank and I promised then and there that we would never meddle with forces outside of our control ever again, but as you all know, promises are meant to be broken.

About the Author:

Manasi Singh is a lawyer, graduated from one of the top law schools in India in 2019. Lawyer by day and reader by night, Manasi always had a lot of stories to share, which she did by publishing short stories and articles in newspapers, magazines and journals. In 2019, she began writing short snippets on social media under the name “The Vanilla Writer”, shortly after which she published her first novel “As Fates Would Have It”, which was received warmly by readers of all ages. Manasi is a firm believer in art and creativity not being restrained in any way, which is why she writes short stories, fiction novels, screenplays for short films, and much more.

Manasi on the Web:
Twitter * Instagram * Facebook 

Bones by Lily J Adams

I received Bones, the first book of the Rebel Saints MC Series by Lily J Adams as an ARC courtesy BookFunnel and I am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

The Devil Riders think they can move in on our territory.

Over my dead body.

As President of the Rebel Saints, it’s my duty to protect my men and this town.

That’s just what I intend to do…by any means necessary.

The last thing I need is a complication like Harper.

Strong.

Beautiful.

Sexy as sin.

Trying to deny the attraction between us is futile.

And when she becomes inextricably entwined with defeating our new enemy, all bets are off.

Together, Harper and I are combustible, but so is building tension with our rivals.

Things are reaching a boiling point and ready to explode.

Not everyone can survive the fallout.

The story:

Gabriel Stone, or Bones as he is known as, is the owner of a Biker’s bar and also the president of the Rebel Saints Motorcycle Club. He is a divorcee with a teenaged son who lives with his mother. Bones meets Harper, casino manager of the Red Stone Hotel, when she needs help to change a flat tyre. She is attracted to him, but has decided that she would not get involved with any Biker’s clubs, but this club is different.

And then her boss asks her to ask the Biker’s Club to provide additional security at the casino where she is the manager.

My take:

This is the first book of the Rebel Saints MC series. I loved the characters, both the main ones as well as the secondary owns. The story alternated between Bones and Harper’s points of views and has been written in first person.

There is suspense and there is a lot of drama. The story is fast paced and a page turner, I really could not put it down because I wanted to know what happens next.

Waiting for the other books in the series.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free ARC fron the author via BookFunnel in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

An Unexpected Love by Ada Knight

I received An Unexpected Love by Ada Knight as a review copy from StoryOrigin and I am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Danielle Phelps has worked as a trauma doctor for many years – the hospital a home away from home, her patients her family. That is until a new doctor comes on the scene.
James Duncan is a man running away from the past without any regard for the future until he runs across Dr. Danielle Phelps. Now the two must find common ground among the undeniable attraction.

My take:

A short story about two doctors working in an Emergency room.

Danielle has been there for many years and James has just joined, and each of them has a past.

I loved the book and the characters. The characters have been developed well and their conversations have been written well. I loved the friendship between Dani and Meghan.

The story is simple and can be finished in one sitting.

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

The Rebel Princess: A Historical Romance (The Princess Series Book 2) by Sundari Venkatraman

I received The Rebel Princess: A Historical Romance (The Princess Series Book 2) by Sundari Venkatraman as a review copy from the author and I am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Having lost her royal parents in a palace fire at the young age of four, Chamundeswari is brought up to be the docile princess of a vassal kingdom by her stepmother who is also the newly crowned queen and her brother, the chief minister.

Though Vijayendran is the youngest born of the Chozha Emperor and his temple dancer wife, he grows up to be a great warrior and leader under the auspices of his elder brother Rajendran only after his father’s death. He has been especially trained by the newly crowned king to win over territories and annex them to the greatest empire of those times.

The earth quakes and the skies shiver when Chamundeswari and Vijayendran come face to face. But is everything what it appears to be on the surface? Forget being docile, the princess with a tiger for her pet, appears to be a rebel through and through. And the warrior whose strength is to annex regions could be the very person the princess needs to save her kingdom.

But will The Rebel Princess heed the words of the man who sets her on fire with a mere glance?

The story:

Princess Chamundeswari was four years old when her parents perished in a fire that engulfed their castle. She was brought up by her step-mother and her brother. She is a timid princess in front of them, but unknown to them, she has been secretly trained in warfare by her mother’s loyal servant, Vishnurayan and his wife, Anagha, whom she is very close to. She also has a pet tiger, Manu and a horse, Rahu.

Prince Vijayendran of the Chozha Kingdom was nine when he lost his father. It was his half brother, Rajendran, who raised and trained and trained him.

Chamendeswari meets Vijayendran at a temple, but she thinks that he is a warrior in the Chozha empire. But actually, Vishnurayan has selected him to guard her because he knows that her life is at risk.

My take:

A beautiful story about a strong princess. The research that has gone into the book is clearly visible in the names, the attire, the food and even the mode of transport used in the book.

The characters are well developed and the suspense has been beautifully created in the book, not for us but for the other characters in the story. I loved how Manu would react to Chamundi and to the others. The supporting characters have been beautifully portrayed and have been given due representation in the book.

The language is simple and the book is well narrated. The story covers the elements of love, friendship, jealousy, loyalty and even some humour.

Loved the story and am looking forward to more such books by the author.

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

The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancee by Alisha Kay

I received The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancée : A passionate, funny, second chance Indian romance (Devgarh Royals Book 1) by Alisha Kay as a review copy from BookR3vi3ws and I am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

A scandal-averse Maharaja.

A free-spirited actress.

What do you get when you throw them together and add a fake engagement to the mix?

Either a match made-in-heaven or a royal disaster.

Nivy Sharma knows exactly what she needs – the freedom to be herself and follow her passion. Guess what she doesn’t need? A tailor-made husband.

When her meddlesome mother tries to throw her into the arms of a mom-approved suitor, Nivy runs the other way.

Right into the arms of the man who shattered her heart five years ago.

His Highness Veerendra Singh can recognize a pain-in-the-ass when he sees it. Especially when it falls into his arms.

Even if said pain-in-the-ass has legs that go on forever and lush lips that just beg to be kissed, Veer vows to run the other way. As he did once before.

But, when the marriage-minded princess of Tejpur sets her sights on him, Veer runs back into Nivy’s arms to propose a fake engagement.

When ‘fake’ starts to feel very real, Nivy and Veer have to decide what is important – long-held prejudices or the chance for a life with the only person they’ve ever loved.
Will this be their second chance at love or will their broken past ruin their hope for a shared future?

The story:

His Highness Veerendra Singh, 30, lost his father in a triple tragedy that struck their family when he was thirteen and his sister, seven, manages the affairs of the family estate at Devgarh. One day his mother calls him and informs him that his sister, Jayshree, Jessie, wants to get married. And that the Maharwal of Tejpur, whose son is the groom in question would want a double marriage, with Veer marrying his daughter Anika. As they are indebted to him for helping them when his father passed away, Rani Ma could not refuse the offer. But Veer, for the life of him cannot marry Anika.

Jayshree’s best friend, Nivy Sharma, ran away to Mumbai from Devgarh five years ago, after leaving a note for her brother, Dr Aryan Sharma, to become an actress. Now she is back because she needs to lie low as she is bankrupt after investing all her savings in a new production, and has run out of investors. Her mother does not leave a chance to taunt her and seizes this opportunity and tries to get her married to one of Aryan’s colleagues.  

Nivy was in love with Veer five years ago before she left for Mumbai after he broke her heart. And now she is back and to make matters worse, Veer proposes that she acts as his fake fiancée, it would help keep Anika off his back, and in return, he would finance her project.

My take:

The story is a fast paced romance which left me with a smile on my face for a long time. Not to mention that the story also stayed with me for long, and is still my go to story when I am in a bad mood.

I loved the characters, be it Nivy or Veer or Jessie or Aryan and even Rani Ma. The relationship between Jessie and Veer and their mother has been portrayed beautifully. I loved the easy camaraderie between the siblings and also between Nivy and Veer.

The story has been written well, in first person from the point of Nivy and in third person from the point of Veer. I loved that we could get a glimpse of their emotions. The book is hilarious and also serious at times. The scenes have been described in detail and could be easily picturized.

I want to read the story of Aryan and Jayshree as soon as I can, because they have kept me hanging.

A must, must read with a warning that this book is unputdownable.

An excellent debut. Waiting to read more from the author.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free ebook from BookR3vi3ws in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Midnight’s Star by Shilpa Suraj

 

Visually impaired author and current flavour of the Indian literary scene, Dev Arya, has not just triumphed against the odds in his life, he’s annihilated them. He’s got fame, fortune and floozies in abundance. And yet, he’s lonely.

Cafe owner and only child to her differently abled father, Avni Desai is broke, heartbroken and a true survivor. But no matter how hard she hustles, she’s still struggling to stay afloat.

And then, one day, Dev walks into her cafe… and everything changes for both of them. From excellent tiramisu to earshattering singing, from dramatic friends to accident prone sexcapades, they embark on the ride of a lifetime. 

Will it all be worth it though? Will two broken souls find a way to heal each other? Or do the fractures go so deep that there is no way for either of them to find the love they so deeply crave and yet can’t seem to have?
Book Link:
Goodreads

Releasing on 28th May!

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

Numbers (Book 3 Rebel Saints MC) by Lily J Adams

I received the ARC of Numbers, the third book of the Rebel Saints Series by Lily J Adams as a review copy from the author and I am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Helping the Rebel Saints go legit would be a lot easier without the Devil Riders stirring up trouble…

And if I hadn’t just been arrested for a crime I didn’t commit.

Thank God for the intelligent and beautiful attorney who comes to my defense.

But she brings more than just her knowledge of the law.

She lights a fire inside me I haven’t ever felt before.

The sparks between us are undeniable and the passion we share unfathomable.

Only she’s keeping a secret.

One that draws her straight into the crossfire.

The club may be my only family and my entire life, but Mia is my heart.

I’ll protect her at any cost.

Even if it means risking everything.

The story:

Nathan Briggs, or Numbers, as he is called because he is an accountant who also manages the finances of the Rebel Saints MC meets Mia Copeland, a lawyer, who is defending him in a case that involves stealing of a car.

But this is not all, they have their pasts which keep coming up.

My take:

This is the third book of the Rebel Saints MC series and can be read as a standalone, but I feel reading the previous two books will give a better idea as to what is going on.

I loved the characters, both the main ones as well as the secondary owns. We had met Numbers in the previous two books fleetingly, but Mia is the new character, who really grows onto you. I felt for her when she is struggling to keep her mother happy and also when she is blackmailed. The story has been written in first person from the point of view of both Numbers and Mia and we could get a feel of what was going on with the two of them.

There is suspense and there is a lot of drama. the story is fast paced and a page turner, I really could not put it down because I wanted to know what happens next.

Waiting for Ink’s story.

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

The Imperfect Bride (Book 2 in The Mismatched Couple series) by Rubina Ramesh

I received The Imperfect Bride (Book 2 in The Mismatched Couple series) by Rubina Ramesh as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Ruchika didn’t want to live under the shadow of her younger sister. She didn’t want to marry the man rejected by her sister and she didn’t want to go to the USA when her heart was set on going to London. But still, she gave in and did all of them. So she wanted to take one decision that was entirely hers. She wanted to divorce Kabir and go back to her village, Toosa. She does go back to Toosa, but her heart remains in Seattle, with Kabir.

Kabir was engaged to one sister and now married to the other one. There is nothing he doesn’t know about Ruchika. She is his best friend from first grade. He knows how utterly selfish, bird-brained, and irresponsible she is. He can’t trust her to make an omelet without burning the house down, let alone live with him in Seattle, without her family. But more than anything else, he refuses to be the second-best man in her life. So, if it was a divorce she wanted, he would damn well give her one.

But could she please leave his heart behind?

You do remember Nikki’s sister Ruchika, don’t you, from The Confused Bridegroom? Well, you guys said that she deserved a love story. You asked, and my imagination got its wings.

The story:

Ruchika and Kabir have been best friends since childhood. And Kabir has been in love with her till she gets engaged to Arvind and Kabir has no choice but to agree to marrying Ruchika is the Sarpanch’s daughter and Kabir, the son of the headmaster in their school who had gone to New York to study and later he started working in Seattle.

And then because her sister fell in love with Arvind, Ruchika and Kabir get married. Kabir feels that Ruchika married him because she was compelled to and Ruchika feels the same. She is unable to manage the house, so she decides to divorce him be being the Imperfect bride. And then Ruchika is mad at Kabir for not turning up at the court.

Read the book to find out more.

My take:

I read this story when I was isolated after testing positive for Covid, and believe me, this story must have increased the oxygen levels in my blood.

I loved the cover and the story. A simple story with funny twists and turns. The book is funny and I found myself laughing out loud so many times. The characters are realistic and their confusions are funny. I loved the ‘imperfect’ Ruchika and all her antics, be it at the airport, in the aeroplane or even in Seattle.

Add all this and some Punjabi tadka and you are in for a funny ride. The language is simple and the story is fast paced.

Overall, an enjoyable read.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-copy of the book in exchange for an homest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.