Cover Reveal: Twilight’s Temptation by Shilpa Suraj

The ace photographer and the supermodel, they should have been a match made in heaven. Instead, they fought like the demons of hell. 
Complicated, surly, and sexy, Manav Apte was probably the only photographer who resented his muse. From the day he’d seen her, there had been no other. Unfortunately, she was the one woman he could never have. 
Passionate, talented, and gorgeous, Diana Severes refused to give the temperamental ass behind the camera the satisfaction of knowing he got under her skin. It was, however, impossible not to notice him or his glowering disapproval that trailed her everywhere she went. 
Their dislike and distrust of each other is legendary in the fashion industry and yet, the sparks that fly when they come together for work are enough to light the sets on fire. 
Will the Golden Girl of India’s fashion scene be able to see beyond his hatred to the love he’s desperately trying to mask? And will the country’s most talented photographer realise that his true talent lies not in what he views through his lens but what he sees through the filter of his heart?

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.

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The India Story: An Epic Journey of Democracy and Development by Bimal Jalan

I received Bimal Jalan’s The India Story: An Epic Journey of Democracy and Development, as a review copy from the publisher and I am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Based on extensive research and data, and aided by Bimal Jalan’s experience as the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, this book gives us a vision for the way ahead.
Since 2014, the political profile of the Indian Union government has changed dramatically. After a long period of coalitions and their innate issues and delays they bring to the reform process, we have a government that has a majority on its own. This puts India in a great place to initiate some strong, much-needed political and economic reforms in order to promote overall national interests.

Before diving in, it is important to look back and learn from our past experiences, so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes. And who better than Bimal Jalan to take us through India’s economic past. Divided into two sections, ‘Learning from our Economic Past’ and ‘Beyond the Metrics of Economy’, the essays in this volume cover a range of topics — from economic and political reforms to good governance — and a recounting of the lessons they provide is bound to contribute immensely to the contemporary debate about India’s approach to its economy and political reforms in the twenty-first century.

My take:

I was a little lost when I started reading the book because the terms were a little new to me, but then I decided to read the introduction again and slowly started to get familiar with the terms. The author, who is the former governor of RBI, has explained about the economic past and also evaluated the present policies. 

Divided into two parts, ‘Learning from our Economic Past’ and ‘Beyond the Metrics of Economy’, this book starts from the 1990s and comes to the present, even taking into account the current pandemic. The book talks about the various policy changes over the years. There is a lot of statistical data as well. I must confess, I found some terminologies difficult, so maybe a small vocabulary at the end would be useful.

The author’s depth of knowledge and the extensive research that has one into the book is visible and makes it all the more interesting. 

I feel that this book would be of great interest to economics students, economists and bankers (I have seen how my husband and daughter understood the book better than I did). But that does not mean that I did not enjoy it. Once I got the hang of the economic jargon, I really enjoyed reading it.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

The Other Wife by Ruchira Khanna

I received Ruchira Khanna’s latest book The other Wife: a twisted tale as a review copy from the author and I am thankful to her for the same.

The Blurb: 

Dimple is at the peak of her career when a devastating event changes her whole life. Amidst legal battles, she finds love and takes a decision that will change her life yet again. But will that decision go well with her parents?

Will, there be a happily-ever-after for Dimple and her beau, or will she need to accept the other wife?

The Other Wife is a twisted tale sure to entertain as well as make you introspect.

The Story:

Dimple Kapur was a young and ambitious lady whose only goal was to have a successful career, until she met Rishi. Rishi Malhotra, the assistant to the lawyer who was hired by her parents to file a case against her employer, who had falsely accused her in a case. And she fell in love with him. 

And much to the disappointment of her parents, she eloped with him, married him and when she came back to her parents for their blessings, they were not very happy. So she moved to Delhi from Kanpur to be with Rishi. 

And then two years later, she meets Pearl, Rishi’s other wife, who is so much like what she was when she had married Rishi.

My Take:

The title intrigued me and only once I was reading the book did I realise what it was all about. The author has depicted the concept well and the story really made me introspect and think a lot about my marriage as well.

The characters are realistic and well developed. The author has described the emotions and insecurities well. The story has been written in first person from the point of view of Dimple. 

I actually loved the way the story has been written and would definitely recommend it everyone.

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.

Spotlight: Loving You by Andaleeb Wajid

 

Hamza Ali is ready to get married, fall in love and live happily ever after. The only problem is, he’s about to marry one woman but falls in love with another… So how will he find his happily ever after?


After watching his brother’s disastrous love marriage fall to pieces, Hamza decides that the only marriage for him is an arranged one. In Mahrukh, his family finds him the perfect bride. But while Mahrukh may be the perfect bride, it’s her divorced aunt Noorain who is the perfect woman for him.
Noorain Alam has never loved or been loved. Until the day her niece gets engaged to a man who is completely out of her reach and yet, he’s everything she never knew she wanted.
Blindsided by the strength of emotion they feel for each other, Noorain and Hamza find themselves in a battle for their happiness. But will love win? Or will family and duty stand in its way?

Book Links:
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Read an Excerpt from Loving You

The last thing Hamza Ali wanted, was to be late. But given the traffic and his own state of mind, he knew that it was a foregone conclusion. He just had to grit his teeth and bear it, even as he tamped down on the anxiety spiralling inside. 

His phone rang and he answered it on Bluetooth, knowing that Ammi was frantic with worry. 

‘I know, I know…’ he said in a placating manner. 

‘They’re already here!’ Ammi said in a loud whisper. 

‘I’m on my way, Ammi. I’ll be there in another fifteen minutes,’ he said. 

‘Fifteen minutes?’ Ammi yelped. ‘But…’ 

‘I’m driving. I’ll reach sooner if I’m not talking to you.’ Saying so, he disconnected the call and focused on reaching home. 

Today, of all days he had a presentation that ran late. He’d tried to explain to his boss that he needed to be home early but of course that hadn’t been possible. Kannan didn’t like to listen to excuses or anything personal when work was involved and Hamza knew better than to tell him the real reason he needed to be home early today. 

People were coming to see him. 

Yes. A girl’s family actually. He had told Ammi that he was ready for marriage and it would be a good idea if she started looking for potential brides for him. Ammi had been only too pleased to comply. 

His twin brother Hamdaan thought he was being an unnecessary martyr by opting for an arranged marriage. 

‘What would you know?’ Hamza snapped at him, annoyed. Hamdaan had a love marriage and then, when that fell through, he had an arranged marriage where he fell deeply in love with his wife Ghazal. 

This just convinced him that not everyone was cut out for a grand love affair and anyway, this was what his parents wanted. He wanted to give them that happiness. At the cost of your own, Hamdaan asked. 

‘What guarantee is there that a love marriage will be better?’ Hamza asked him. Hamdaan nodded. 

‘I know, but…’

‘And you did have an arranged marriage with Ghazal and you two seem to be just fine,’ he reminded him. 

‘Well, that’s because I got incredibly lucky,’ Hamdaan commented, a smile on his face as he thought of his wife probably. 

Hamza glanced at his face in the rear-view mirror at a traffic signal and sighed. There wasn’t going to be any time to even wash his face, let alone shower, if the girl’s family had already reached home. Ammi had been slightly put out when she heard that they wanted to vet him first, and if he was a good enough candidate, she and Ghazal Bhabhi could go and see the girl and take things forward. 

‘That’s how everyone does it these days,’ the broker aunty informed Ammi. The broker aunty who brought the rishta was a fascinating specimen, with her smartphone full of biodatas and photos of potential brides and bridegrooms. Hamza had looked at her paraphernalia, eyes wide that day when she wanted to ‘see’ him before finding the right rishta. 

‘First they see the boy and if he’s good, then you can see the girl. That way, the girl is not unnecessarily exposed, na?’ she asked, moving the paan she’d been chewing, around inside her mouth. 

‘Fine, Arifa Apa. Whatever you say,’ Ammi said. 

Now, he felt the slightest bit of apprehension inside when he wondered about this stranger who could possibly become a part of his life soon. But he had wanted this, right? In fact, he had gone on to convince Hamdaan to get married again so that it would clear the way for him to get married. 

His phone rang again. 

‘Ammi,’ he groaned out aloud but then saw that it wasn’t his mother but it was Ghazal. 

‘Yes, Bhabhi,’ he answered as the car moved forward in the traffic finally. It felt odd, calling her Bhabhi since she was so much younger than him but it added to the decorum and formality in their relationship, which was something he liked. 

‘How far away from home are you?’ she asked softly.

‘Around ten minutes, tops,’ he said. 

‘Okay, so don’t park in front of the house. Park behind, and I’ll be waiting near the kitchen door. You can hop inside from there and freshen up in your room, Hamza Bhai,’ she said. 

‘Oh. Oh thank god!’ he muttered, feeling slightly better. 

‘Don’t thank me yet. Ammi is having kittens and puppies and she won’t rest easy until you’re here,’ Ghazal said. 

‘You hold her off, Bhabhi!’ he said as he stepped down on the accelerator to reach home as soon as he could. 

Twenty minutes later, he emerged from his room, his face still shiny with water droplets. He took the towel from Ghazal gratefully and scrubbed his face and she winced. 

‘It’s your face. Not a dirty vessel and Scotch Brite,’ she admonished him as she took the towel from his hands. 

Ammi didn’t know that he was back home yet and she looked at him surprised when she came out from the kitchen, just as he was tucking his shirt inside properly. He had barely had a chance to look at himself in the mirror and he was worried about making the wrong sort of impression but Ghazal assured him that he looked fine. 

‘When did you…where were…’ she trailed off. 

‘Ask Bhabhi,’ he said with a smile as he kissed his mother soundly on her cheek. She did some nazar utarofy thing for him and smiled at Ghazal, even as she put her hand on her chest. 

‘Go now,’ she said. Nodding, he walked into the living room where Hamdaan and Abba were speaking to the men who had come to see him. 

‘Sorry, I’m a bit late,’ Hamza said as he walked up and shook hands with the three men who stood up when they saw him. 

The men looked from Hamdaan to him and one of them smiled. ‘Amazing how much you two look alike,’ he said. 

Hamza nodded and then, his father indicated that he should sit down on the sofa. The men all sat down and they started talking. 

The mad pounding in his chest finally eased down enough and he almost relaxed until he remembered why he was here. 

The middle-aged man in the centre, wearing the white shirt with black stripes, left untucked was apparently the bride’s father. He wore a namaz topi on his head and he had a beard. Hamza smiled at him as he spoke, but he was instantly curious about the girl’s family and what sort of person she was. 

He also didn’t know her name yet. A droplet of sweat trickled down his back in a straight line when he realised the enormity of what he was getting into. He didn’t even know the name of the girl he was willing to marry, let alone what she looked like. And somehow, he felt that if he asked her name, it would put him and his family on the back foot. He should have asked Ghazal, he realised. 

‘Have some tea,’ one of the men offered to him and he nodded. He leaned forward and picked up a tea cup and his gaze met his brother’s, who lifted an eyebrow sardonically. 

The two of them were connected intrinsically, as they were twins and there were times when they could have a complete non-verbal exchange between them and no one would be the wiser. 

You asked for this.

Hamza nodded slightly and he looked up at his brother defiantly. Yeah. So what?

Just wondering if you know what you’re getting into.

Shut up. 

Hamdaan hid his smile as he sipped his tea and mentally, Hamza flipped him off but responded to the questions being asked of him. 

When the ordeal was finally over, the three men got up and shook hands with him once more. They shook hands with Hamdaan and the bride’s father even hugged Abba as they left. 

‘Satisfied?’ Hamdaan turned to him as soon as the men departed. 

‘Yes,’ Hamza said, rolling his eyes. Abba returned just then before the two of them could get into an argument. 

‘They’ve asked us to come and see the girl tomorrow,’ Abba announced, a smile on his face. ‘Your Ammi and Ghazal will be going.’

Hamza’s heart pounded again. It was finally happening. 

‘What’s her name?’ he asked and Hamdaan gave a short laugh. 

‘Not one person back in college would have believed you to be capable of this,’ he said. 

‘Of what? And you wouldn’t know since you didn’t study with me,’ Hamza retorted. 

‘Her name is Mahrukh,’ Ghazal said softly as she came into the living room. Hamdaan beamed at her as she went and sat down beside him. One of the girls who worked in the house followed her and she collected the tea cups and deposited them on the tray. 

‘Like Shahrukh?’ Hamza asked sceptically. 

Ammi chuckled. ‘No. Mahrukh is a girl’s name. It means someone who looks like the moon.’

‘It’s a beautiful name,’ Ghazal assured him. 

And what of the girl, he wondered. Was she beautiful too? 

About the Author:

Andaleeb Wajid is the author of 27 published novels and she writes across different genres such as romance, YA and horror. Her horror novel It Waits was shortlisted at Mami Word to Screen 2017 and her Young Adult series, The Tamanna Trilogy has been optioned for screen by a reputed production house. Andaleeb’s novel When She Went Away was shortlisted for The Hindu Young World Prize in 2017. Andaleeb is a hybrid author who has self-published more than 10 novels in the past two years.

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