Breaking all the rules by Sapna Bhog

41dz-vS9VtL.jpgBreaking All The Rules by Sapna Bhog is the third book in the Sehgal Family and Friends Saga. It is the story of Rithwik Bali and Aisha Solanki.

The blurb:

Enter a world of glamour, wealth and beautiful people. Enter the world of the Sehgal family and friends. A brand new series of books!

A workaholic by day, a playboy by night – that is the reputation, which precedes RITHWIK BALI – India’s most eligible bachelor – he always manages to create a stir, no matter where he goes or what he does. Tired of his extravagant lifestyle, his father gives him an ultimatum – to marry within six months or relinquish his position as the Managing Director of his company. However, Rithwik’s dilemma is that he’s not ready for marriage. Time is running out unless he comes up with a plan.

After surviving a dark tragedy, working as the personal assistant to the MD of Fortuna International is a dream job for AISHA SOLANKI, up until her boss proposes to her – a temporary engagement for six months. With her back against the wall and unable to decline all that Rithwik Bali has to offer, Aisha has a tough choice to make. Especially when, spending the next few months engaged in a mock courtship is not how Aisha envisioned her future particularly since she finds herself drawn to her dynamic, charismatic new boss.

Proposing their fictional engagement to Aisha was easy for Rithwik – after she proves her loyalty to him time and time again, the plan just clicked into place. But when this game of deception unexpectedly changes to something more, then all bets are off and rules will be broken!

Is falling for your fake fiancé a happy ending or a recipe for disaster?

Breaking All The Rules will be the third book in the Sehgal Family and Friends Saga. It can be read as a standalone. If you like reading strong characters in stories centered on family and friends then you will love this series of books.

The story:

Rithwik Bali, 31, India’s most eligible bachelor, who is on the social media for the wrong reasons. He is reckless, ruthless, rebellious.  A workaholic, he is also a risk taker, and goes for bungee jumping, scuba diving and other such high octane sports which are his passion. And his parents issue him an ultimatum, to find someone to marry or say goodbye to the business of Fortuna International. And now Rithwik has a month and a half left to either get a fiancée or to say goodbye to his business. And he does not want to be forced to marry.

Aisha Solanki is Rithwik’s PA, she is loyal and very efficient and dependable. She is 29 and lives with her friend Diya in Diya’s flat as her mother hates her and blames her for her brother’s death. She gets along well with her sister-in-law, Sabrina and Ahaan, her seven year old nephew.

Rithwik makes a fool proof plan to get out of the mess created by his parents. He asks plain Jane Aisha to be his fake fiancée for six months and makes her a proposition which she cannot refuse. Only four more people are aware of this closely guarded secret, his friends Rishi and Aditya and Sabrina and Diya.

All is moving according to plan until one day, there is something all over social media, something only Aisha knows and Ritwik suspects her hand in it.

My take:

The plot is interesting and what is more interesting is the way the author has presented the simple plot with unexpected twists and turns. The language used is simple and the story just flows from one page to another.

The characters in the book are well developed and the characters from the previous books of the series also make appearances off and on.

The story has friendship, romance, loyalty, misunderstanding, heartbreak, and hatred.

I liked the way the story moved weaving the characters of the other stories in the series. Eagerly waiting for the next book, the story of Veejay Bellani and Diya Thakur, and I hope I would not have to wait for long.

Though this book is the third in the Sehgal Family and Friends Saga, it can be read as a standalone.

 

 

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Switch in Time by Rajesh Shankaran

41bj6xh9bSL._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book Switch in Time by Rajesh Shankaran, as a review copy from Author’s Channel and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

In the midst of a fierce succession battle for the crown of the Ajmera business empire, Lallan Ajmera introduces the twenty-four year old Kamsin Ahlawat as his heir-apparent and second-in-command. As Kamsin begins to consolidate her hold on the empire, Lallan Ajmera realizes that she is not just after his money but wants the complete destruction of his family, his legacy and all that he holds dear.

A powerful rival of Lallan Ajmera is killed in a seedy hotel in Byculla. Inspector Bushra Khokhar begins her investigations into this case and finds visible but intangible links to the power struggles in the Ajmera boardroom.

As a string of murders pile up across Mumbai, Bushra Khokhar races against time as Kamsin exacts her revenge on Lallan Ajmera, a man she has more in common with than either of them will admit.

The story:

Business tycoon, Lallan Ajmera, is still coming to terms with the fact that his latest escort, the beautiful Kamsin Ahlawat, is  his abandoned daughter when his rival is his Rasheshwar Jatia, is found dead in a seedy hotel room in Mumbai. Inspector Bushra Khokhar is the investigating officer for the case.

Following Jatia’s death, Lallan is not reachable to his family after he announces a board meeting. His wife Aarti Devi, his son, Mtigank, his daughter in law, Neeti and his second in command contemplate what could be the need to call an urgent meeting. They are all taken aback when Ajmera announces Kamsin as his successor and also that Ajay and Mrigank to report into her. And now all of them want to find out why?

But that is least of Bushra’s worries. More murders using the same technique, her only son, Danish, who is not well, her father, who is uncooperative and her single status, come in the way of her solving the murder mystery. And make her determined more than ever to solve the case.

My take:

The story begins with a murder and the police on the search for the killer. But that is not all, there are many more subplots to the book. And each subplot is somewhere linked to the main plot but the best part is that the subplot does not take away the importance of the main plot. The writing is crisp, and not once did the author lose the main plot while going into many subplots.

The characters, though many, have been developed well and I was not confused between them. I would have loved to know more about the Jatias. Scenes have described in detail and the twists and turns keep the reader guessing till the end as to who the murderer is.

The book is a fast paced page turner once I got the hang of the book and I could connect some incidents, I was engrossed and just did not want to keep it down.

I loved reading the book and would like to read more from the author.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from AUTHOR’S CHANNEL in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

Book Blitz: The Runaway Bridegroom by Sundari Venkatraman

 

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Westland Boks 
Publication Date: August 31, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available across all bookstores in India
Genre: Romance
 
Eight-year-old Chanda Maheshwari and thirteen-year-old Veerendra Singh Choudhry are married as per custom. But when the bridegroom runs away immediately after the wedding, the Maheshwari family’s world comes crashing down. They move to Jaipur to begin a new life in the city.
 
Fourteen years later, as a management student in Delhi, Chanda takes up a temporary job at RS Software Pvt. Ltd and finds herself falling head-over-heels for her boss, Ranveer Singh. But, for all her feelings, Chanda is still a married woman. Meanwhile, Ranveer’s secretary, Shikha, is determined to win him for herself. Even though his second-in-command, Abhimanyu, keeps getting in the way, she keeps a steady eye on the main prize. So when Ranveer starts to show an interest in Chanda, Shikha is furious. Back in Jaipur, an astrologer predicts that Chanda’s errant husband will soon make an appearance.
 
A secret childhood marriage, a vindictive secretary and unwelcome cosmic predictions—how much can Chanda deal with? And does anyone care about what she wants? Torn between the man she loves and the claim a missing husband still has on her, will Chanda ever find happiness?
 
Available across all bookstores in India
 
 
It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR


Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author with forty-plus titles to her credit, which have sold more than 1.5 lakh copies around the world. Her books consistently feature in the Top 100 Bestseller Lists on Amazon in both Romance and Asian Drama categories. Her latest romance novels have all been on the #1 Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.
 
As a child, Sundari loved to read books with ‘lived happily ever after’ endings. They were all about good triumphing over evil. As a teenager, her favourite books were romance novels from Mills & Boon. She was fascinated by them, so much so that she began to visualise the stories set in India.
 
Sundari was forty when she began her writing journey, completing the first draft of her first novel in thirty-five days. She has not looked back since.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

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The Runaway Bridegroom by Sundari Venkatraman

51ovJcsxh2L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received a review copy of The Runaway Bridegroom by Sundari Venkatraman from the author and am thankful to her for the same. This book was first published as an ebook in 2014 and has now been published as a paperback by Westland.

The Blurb:

Eight-year-old Chanda Maheshwari and thirteen-year-old Veerendra Singh Choudhry are married as per custom. But when the bridegroom runs away immediately after the wedding, the Maheshwari family’s world comes crashing down. They move to Jaipur to begin a new life in the city.

Fourteen years later, as a management student in Delhi, Chanda takes up a temporary job at RS Software Pvt. Ltd and finds herself falling head-over-heels for her boss, Ranveer Singh. But, for all her feelings, Chanda is still a married woman. Meanwhile, Ranveer’s secretary, Shikha, is determined to win him for herself. Even though his second-in-command, Abhimanyu, keeps getting in the way, she keeps a steady eye on the main prize. So when Ranveer starts to show an interest in Chanda, Shikha is furious. Back in Jaipur, an astrologer predicts that Chanda’s errant husband will soon make an appearance.

A secret childhood marriage, a vindictive secretary and unwelcome cosmic predictions—how much can Chanda deal with? And does anyone care about what she wants? Torn between the man she loves and the claim a missing husband still has on her, will Chanda ever find happiness?

The story:

Chanda, the only daughter of the Mohan and Meera Maheshwari, was married to Veerendra Choudhry, Veera, when she was eight and he, thirteen, only to find out that he ran away. Both the families were heartbroken and the Maheshwaris were forced to leave the neighbourhood, sell off their land and property and shift to Jaipur to start their life afresh. That was fourteen years ago.

Now, the Maheshwaris are well settled, the four sons are well established and Chanda, 22, is a final year student of Bachelor of Management Studies at Delhi. Chanda stays is a hostel and keeps away from letting emotions reach out to her.

One day during her course, they have a guest lecture by the owner of RS Software Pvt Ltd and Chanda goes to attend the same. The person who is invited in 27 year old Ranveer Singh, MD of RS Software Pvt Ltd. He is there to deliver a lecture on setting up and managing a business. At the end of the talk, he proposes to give temporary jobs to four of their students and Chanda is one of them.

And Chanda joins as an intern. Chanda and Rajveer are attracted to each other, but his guilt of leaving his wife and her belief that she is tied to the man she was married to, keeps them for confessing their love to each other. Then there is Shikha, his secretary, who is trying her best to woo him and secure her future with a rich man.

In the meanwhile, her parents consult an astrologer who tells them that Veera is somewhere around Chanda. They meet Veera’s parents in an effort to find him but he is not in his village also.

Chanda is called back home by her parents. She is not happy and wants to annul her marriage so that she is free to marry Ranveer and Ranveer goes to his village to seek divorce so that he is free to marry Chanda.

But Chanda finds Veera’s father at home…….

My take:

Though I had loved the book when I had read it in 2014, I loved reading the book all over again and got reintroduced to the well developed and realistic characters. There is this thing about love stories, you can read them again and again if they are well written, and this one sure is.

The story is simple and has been written and edited well. The language and the flow are good. I especially loved it that the families were fully involved in the story. The relationship between the Maheshwari siblings has been depicted very nicely. The author has depicted the feelings of the characters and I loved the way of messaging between Ranveer and Chanda using the office LAN.

Highly recommended.

DISLAIMER: I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for a honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

The light in blackout by Farah Naqvi

31PJMNVEz+L._BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book, The light in blackout by Farah Naqvi, as a review copy from Author’s Channel and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Alizah’s wonderful childhood that revolved around waking up to the sound of chirping birds, playing under the trees with siblings and friends, watching rabbits run, listening to fairy tales under a moonlit sky is suddenly turned upside down by the knock of an unexpected visitor. She is left shattered by strange shocks and jerks in her body gripped by the cruel paws of epilepsy. This sudden turbulence in her life makes her weak, vulnerable, anxious and unsure of herself, where she finds her future bleak. She struggles with her health condition as she enters college. While her best friend Meera who is all set to soar high, clearing her medical entrance, is pulled down by her own family.

Alizah is determined to chase her career dreams and stand by her best friend when she needs her the most. Will she be strong enough to do it? Will she be able to embrace true love when she finds it in Sahil?

A simple, honest and inspiring story of Alizah will take you on a ride to childhood innocence, family ties, the spark of growing up years, enduring hardship with a smile and finding love in troubled times.

The story:

Alizah, 9, lives with her family in Lucknow. She has a happy childhood and her sister, Amna,14, and brother, Arish ,12, dote on her. She has a best friend, Meera, who lives near her house. Though not an excellent student, she does well in studies and is liked by her teachers. Things are happy happy until she has seizures one day when she is 13. Her parents, siblings and friends try to hide the episode and the illness from her until she has a seizure in school and one of her classmates tells her what happened. And what follows is what her family dreads, Alizah stressed out and scared. This continues until her graduation. Then with the correct treatment, we see a butterfly come out from the cocoon.

During her postgraduation, she meets Sahil, who falls in love with her, but she is unable to commit because of health reasons.

What happens next………..

My take:

The book starts with a prologue which kept me guessing and I had to start the book as soon as I finished it. The author has described Aliza’s life in details from her happy childhood, her traumatic middle years, her happy days and her stressful days.

The book describes through the story, about how people are apprehensive about epilepsy and how wrongly placed their apprehensions are.

The characters are relatable and described well. The author has stressed on the value of relationships- both within the family and outside of it. The book has been written well, but I feel good editing and crisper format would make the book more likable. The language is simple and the detailed story just flows from one page to next.

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

In Conversation with the Stars by Anupama Chopra

51dE-jK84xL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_I received the book In Conversation with the Stars by Anupama Chopra as a review copy from the publisher and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

In Conversation with the Stars is an extraordinary collection of curated interviews with some of the key figures of Hindi cinema. The artists discuss the art and craft of films on the Film Companion platform. In each of the interactions, film critic Anupama Chopra deep dives into what makes an artist— from Shah Rukh Khan to Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma to Priyanka Chopra—tick, providing a window into the people behind the larger-than-life persona. Through wide-ranging and in-depth discussions that make for a rich reading experience, these conversations also reveal how each of them grapple with both success and failure, and what it really means to be in the spotlight. This is a sparkling look into the lives and work of some of the most glittering stars of Indian cinema.

My take:

Anupama Chopra is a film journalist turned film critic who has a website Film Companion. This book is a collection of transcripts of interviews that Anupama Chopra had done with the stars. So once I started reading the book, it took me some time to get the feel of the book. And then I felt that these interviews were being conducted before me and I was one of the audiences. Another way to make the book interesting was to see a bit of the interview on the website and then start reading it.

This is one book that can be read in any order, I started with Ranveer Singh, and then went on to read Abhishek Bachchan and so on. The best part of the book is that the questions are not repetitive (I had once done interviews of authors on my blog and preparing the questions was the toughest part, and I did end up repeating them). And the other is the flow of the conversation. There are photographs which make the interview more interesting.

Her background makes it easy to approach the stars and also helps in the comfort levels between her and the stars. Not to mention her experience in the industry.

Overall, I found this book to be interesting and easy to read.

 

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

Everglow: A romance by Nandita Bose

51rVCHDITFL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received Everglow: A romance by Nandita Bose as a review copy from the publisher and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

When her father’s unexpected death renders Disha homeless, she is brought to Kolkata by her father’s best friend, to live with them. Home is now a rambling joint family where there are more young men than Disha has even known in all her life. A far cry from the simplicity of her life back in Hamirpur, Disha sets about trying to fit in with the rhythms of this household and its members. And then she meets the second son and star of the family—Siddhant. Sid is the lead guitarist of the rock band, Derozio Dreams, and when he discovers that Disha is a classically trained vocalist, he brings her to his band to enhance their fusion repertoire. Music becomes their meeting ground and with Sid involving himself in her initiation into the band, they draw closer, to the chagrin of some family members, especially his mother, who thinks Disha, the outsider, has transgressed. When Disha’s elder sister wants her to come back to Hamirpur to be seen as a prospective bride for her husband’s cousin, Disha’s fate hangs by a slender thread. Will the promise of love and the music that Disha and Sid make together triumph over all odds?

The story:

Disha Ray Chaudhury was five when her father left his flourishing business in Kolkata to his friend Amulya Banerjee and moved to his ancestral village, Hamirpur, as the pollution in the city was not good for his wife’s Asthma. And that is where Disha stayed and learnt music. During and after completing her education, she helped him in the business he had set up in Hamirpur. Until his sudden death, when she is forced to move to Kolkata, to her guardian, Amulya Banerjee’s home. Amulya, his brother’s and their families live together as one big family and Disha is welcomed there by everyone but Amulya’s wife, Karen, a British lady.

Amulya has three sons and two daughters. The eldest son and daughter are married. The second son, Siddhant, Sid, works with his father and brothers in the family business and also has a rock band, Derozio Dreams with four friends. Sid’s younger brother, Jatin, Joe, is protective of her and his cousins also treat her as family. She helps around in the house and one day, Sid hears her singing in her room and asks her to join the band.

Music brings them closer and everyone, except Disha, realises that Sid considers her more than his protegee. And Disha also realises that she loves him, but there is Monica, the girl Sid is supposed to marry.

My take:

When I read the blurb, I felt that it would be about a little girl brought to Kolkata from Hamirpur by her father’s friend and she grows up in the household and then Sid comes back from his college or from where he stays and works.

The cover is so beautiful, that I was drawn into the book from there itself. The story has been written beautifully in first person from the point of view of Disha. The past and the present have been woven well and not once did I get confused. The characters, plenty of them, all the cousins, the uncles and aunts and the fellow members of the band have been developed in a way that I could find them relatable. As the story moves back and forth between the past and the present, the characters also start developing and some back stories of the characters are visible. Though, I would have loved to know more about both Disha and Sid’s pasts and also how the band came to be.

The joint family system has been portrayed in detail and shows the ups and downs that actually come with it, and at the end, a family is always a family. I could understand Sid’s mother’s insecurity. The relationship between Sid and his sister Nina has been described beautifully. She has portrayed the relationship between Disha and Sid delicately and the conversations between them are so natural and real. I was rooting for Disha and Sid through the story. The easy camaraderie and understanding between all the friends/ band members has been captured beautifully.

The language is simple and the story just flows from one page to another. Once I got into the third chapter of the story, I was hooked as to what would happen next. The author knowledge of music, comes out beautifully in the book and also how she takes us into behind-the-scenes of a rock band and a rock show. She has even subtly mentioned a few social issues. Each chapter, including the name of the book, is the name of a rock song.

A must read for everyone, whether you love music or not. This is one book that I will cherish and there are some portions in the book which will read again and again.

An excellent read. I really loved this book and finished reading it and completing the review in four hours flat.

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