Bougainvillea Anywhere, Everywhere by Rakhi Sunil Kumar

51Om0hakpAL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI picked up Bougainvillea Anywhere, Everywhere by Rakhi Sunil Kumar from the LiFi stall at the World Book Fair in Delhi in January 2019. It is a story of second chances set in Delhi.

The blurb:

Love stories like Bougainvillea need no special circumstances to blossom, no special weather to shine, and no special soil to grow. They are found at every corner of the neighborhood, each with a faint fragrance of its own and sweet emotions, which every heart wishes to cherish! Rakhi Sunil Kumar’s second fiction ‘Bougainvillea’ is one such a story of neighborhood, soft and emotional, exploring love tangled in the maze of insecurities.

The story:

Megha Pandit, aka Gungun, and Ishaan were best friends, family friends and next-door neighbours when they all lived in Delhi at Rambaug, a society of working and retired defence personnel, and then one day, Gungun’s father got transferred to Kashmir and her family left Rambaug.

In 2005, thirteen years later, Ishaan and Gungun meet again at a friend’s party. She works in a space research company at Bangalore and is in Delhi to attend her cousin’s wedding and he is just enjoying himself. Ad they part after realising what they feel for each other, but he does not confess his love for her as he thinks she is engaged to Ambar.

Then in 2015, Ishaan has come from Texas with his friend and colleague, Chitra, to   Mumbai to attend a meeting and he sees her name in the list of presenters. And at the same meeting she sees his name in the same list.

My take:

A simple story of finding love and not recognising it till the time is right. This story has been written in simple English and moves back and forth between the present and the past. It was a little difficult for me to imagine someone driving a Fiat in 2015. The characters have been developed well and are easily relatable and realistic. The conversations between the characters are relatable. Editing could have been better. The book is fast paced and can be finished in one sitting.



Silent Love: Hearts & Hots #3 by Ruchi Singh

51d6269ZRaL.jpgI picked up Silent Love: Hearts & Hots #3 by Ruchi Singh from the Kindle Unlimited library. It  is a romantic short story from ‘Hearts & Hots’ story collection.

The blurb:

Slated to become the next CM of his state, Arjun’s life is cruising in the right direction until she barges into his car. No matter how hard he tries, he is unable to keep her out of his thoughts. Every ambition now seems meaningless and every relationship worthless.
Will he be able to suppress the yearning and the desires she ignites in him?

Note: This is a standalone story from the previously published ‘Hearts & Hots’ collection.

The story:

Arjun Pratap Singh, the Chief Ministerial candidate of Samaj Vikas Party and the son in law of the party leader, has been on the road for past three weeks canvassing for the party. And he finds a girl who has taken refuge from people trying to hurt her, in his car. So he takes her home and asks his daima to take care of her.

And his wife comes to know of it and throws a fit.

My take:

The story, though short, conveys the emotions of the well developed characters. The language is simple and the story is fast paced.

Looking for more such stories from the author.

The Chai Shop in Singapore by Surabhi Sahu

51fvVpyGIDL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI picked up Surabhi Sahu’s The Chai Shop in Singapore from the LiFi stall at the World Book Fair in Delhi in January 2019. It is the story of Rekha that moves back and forth between Delhi and Singapore.

The blurb:

The Chai Shop is an endearing story of a charming young Indian girl, Rekha, born to a middle-class baniya joint family in Delhi. Blithe yet docile, Rekha, is getting ready to relocate to the U.S after an arranged marriage. But fate has other plans. Rekha gets estranged from her relatives after she falls in love with Anupam, a handsome, ambitious young man and elopes with him to Singapore after a secret marriage. Their love blossoms in this beautiful, enthralling land.

The story:

Twenty four year old Rekha Agarwal, the elder child in an ordinary, respectable Baniya family in Delhi, is subject to criticism and bad behaviour at the hands of her grandmother and aunt, though her parents treat her well. Jassi, Jasvinder is her neighbour and chief alibi. As a second year student of Business Economics, she meets Anupam Garg, an alumnus of their institute and even lands up a job in his firm in Singapore. But because of her family circumstances, is unable to commit to joining the job because her family wants her to marry a rich divorcee who lives in the US. And Anupam suggests a way out. He asks her to marry him and move to Singapore.

In Singapore, life is a bed of roses, until….

Then Rekha decides to stand up for herself and with the help of Mukta, her husband Sameer- one of the key financiers, Vasanthi and Kumar, an entrepreneur who acts as a part-time accountant, she opens a tea shop in Singapore.

My take:

The cover is an instant pick-me up.

The book has been written in first person from the point of view of Rekha. The narration is such that I felt that I was with Rekha seeing everything. The characters have been created in great detail and are realistic. I loved the way the author has described relationships between the characters, be it Mukta and Rekha, Rekha and her mother or even Vasanthi and Rekha.

The descriptions are detailed and it was easy to picturise many of the scenes and places. The author seems to have a detailed knowledge of astrology.

Though the story moves back and forth between the past and the present and between Singapore and Delhi, I never felt confused. There are many back stories in the book that come out, but still they do not change the main story of the book. The only thing this book requires is better editing, which would make the book better, the story is beautiful, and this needs to come out better.


Snakes in the Meadows by Ayaz Kohli

41wFjzmlAVL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book Snakes in the Meadows by Ayaz Kohli as a review copy from the publisher Rupa Publications and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Jammu and Kashmir, 1987. In the hilly village of Pathri Aali, where legends appear true, Aslam and Ashwar, two young lovers, dream of marriage and of good things of life. But that is not to be. Unable to cope, Aslam leaves Pathri Aali forever. Years later, as men migrate to Saudi Arabia for employment, Pathri Aali is populated mostly by women and children. Soon they realize the mujahedeen, who guise themselves as their liberators, are the worst perpetrators, and misery seems inescapable. Ashwar refuses to be cowed down by this reign of terror and is determined not to let it devastate the once-peaceful village. The only one she can bank on is Aslam—and she calls out to him across the distance of time and space, to return and live up to the legends of their village. Snakes in the meadows is a saga of the onset of militancy, and the suffering and the resilience of Pir Panjal—the ‘and’ of Jammu and Kashmir.

My take:

The author has portrayed the story of Kashmir before and during militancy and talked about what the people of the beautiful state have gone through. He has also talked about militancy and how it all came about. But between all that there is a love story of Aslam and Ashwar, a love story in which Aslam cannot come to terms with a lot of things that are happening in life and runs away to Mumbai. There is also the story of people moving to Saudi Arabia to earn money for their families.

Written in a simple language, this tale is soul stirring and touches somewhere deep.

I loved the book and am looking forward to more books from the author.

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.



About that Summer by Sudha Nair

51CNVsB9uuL.jpgI received the book About that Summer by Sudha Nair as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the is the third book in the Menon Women series, but can be read as a standalone too. This story is also set in Bangalore.

The blurb:

A sweet and spicy summer story sure to put a smile on your face…

Meet Ria – All of 20, a mature, strong, independent young woman. Neha’s daughter, now all grown up from the little girl in pigtails, we met in The Wedding Tamasha & Priyamvada and Co. She’s looking forward to an uneventful, lazy summer back home from college – but will her wish come true?

Sid is recovering from a nasty break-up. He wants to get away from all the negativity back home, and decides a family vacation is just what he needs. Or is it?

Then, of course, there’s Neha – Ria’s mother. A widow, an entrepreneur, a teacher, and a mother, among other things, this gutsy fireball of an achiever is confident and ready to take on a whole lot more. Will the universe continue to conspire to keep her and Prithvi apart?

Summer sparks fly! Romance is in the air…

But will the drama of the jealous ex-lover, the scheming starlet, the backstabber, the resentful childhood friend, be too much for our quirky, yet very close-knit Menon family?

Will Ria find the storybook romance she’s been missing all of her life?

Will Sid be able to overcome the ghosts of his past, and claim the girl of his dreams?

>>>Read this fun, breezy, and light tale to find out – with lots of happy glimpses into the lives of characters from the prequels and the further unfolding of lives of the Menon sisters, Shweta and Neha.

The story:

Ria had lost her father to a massive cardiac arrest when she was thirteen. She now lives with her mother, Neha and is very close to her grandparents and her aunt, Shweta. Not to mention Prithvi, their neighbour whom she loves like she used to love her father. Prithvi had gifted her Pompom, a dog, for her thirteenth birthday and Pom is a family member too. She is studying in college at Pune and looks forward to spending her summer vacations with her mother and Prithvi.

But that is not to be. Neha has invited guests over just the day after Ria came home for summer vacations and Prithvi is busy getting his home in Kerala renovated. Neha’s guests are her school friend, Sushma, of whom Ria had never heard of and her daughter Tanya, a model who had enrolled for one of Neha’s acting workshop.

Sushma and Tanya arrive and Sidharth, Sid, Sushma’s son, accompanies them to Bangalore as he has to appear for an interview. And Ria takes an instant dislike to Tanya, because she does not like Pom and also to Sid because he looks too sure of himself.

Ria enjoys reading and watching movies as solitary activities and is happier keeping to herself. She has only one friend in college, Alisha and the girls have done their third year internship with a design firm prepare a report for their submission.

Sid works for a marketing research company in Mumbai and wants a job change. His ex-girlfriend Gayatri Gopalakrishnan, Gigi, Tanya’s best friend’s sister, left him six months ago but now wants to come back. And he does not want to go back.

Sid’s sensitive and friendly nature brings Sid and Ria close and Ria starts falling I love with him, but Tanya’s interferes with everything that concerns Sid and tells Ria that it is nothing but a holiday fling for Sid.

And then…….

My take:

I loved the story and the way it has been narrated. There are two love stories in one. The characters have been developed in detail and I could actually relate to them. I loved the part when Ria would compare certain acts to the books she had read. Most of the characters had roles to play in the story be it the jealous ex-girlfriend or the other members of the Menon family. the relationships between the characters have been described beautifully, I actually loved how Ria and Prithvi got along so well with each other. The scenes have been described in detail and the conversations between the characters have been described in detail and I actually loved them. My favourite part of the book was when Ria is sitting on the stairs and crying and Sid is telling her stories.
I could go on and on, but then this would spoil the book for you.

Overall, a well written book. The language is simple and the story is fast paced and enjoyable.
Which Menon girl is next……

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

My Perfect Fake Boyfriend by Sudesna Ghosh

41-z5wMWMfL.jpgI received the book My Perfect Fake Boyfriend by Sudesna Ghosh as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same. This book is the story of 35 year old single woman, Sushmita Ray.

The blurb:

Sush is a 30 plus single woman. She’s dealing with negative body image after her last boyfriend dumped her for gaining weight. Single and not ready to mingle, her parents put her in a tough spot when they ask her to come to a cousin’s wedding with a romantic partner – even if it’s a fake romantic partner. Sush is sick of relatives asking her intrusive questions about her singlehood since she’s past ‘marriageable age’ so she decides to make her parents happy and get the nosy relatives off her back this once.
Sush hasn’t spent any time with men after the fat shaming ex left her, so she can only think of the last man she interacted with – Arjun Chatterjee.

When she asks Arjun to be her fake boyfriend for a few days, he agrees immediately. They spend quality time together, making Sush wonder why she was stupid enough to let this amazing man get away earlier.

After some family drama, Sush and Arjun find themselves on a two-day getaway near the city. At The Village, Sush is apprehensive about being close to Arjun because she is constantly worried about her dimpled thighs and bulging stomach. And Arjun Chatterjee is smart, handsome and perfect in every way so she doesn’t feel confident enough when she’s with him.

And then there’s a nasty surprise waiting for them.

Even in the midst of craziness, Sush realises that her fake boyfriend is too good to be true. So now what?

The story:

Thirty five year old single girl Sushmita Ray is in a soup. Her mother’s favourite sister’s son is getting married and Sush has to accompany her parents to all the four function which would be held in a five star hotel. But that is not all, as she has crossed the marriageable age and there would be nosy relatives, her mother suggests that she bring a boyfriend to the wedding to keep the relatives off her back.

What would Sush do? She does not have a boyfriend since she broke up. And so her friend suggests that she call up Arjun Chatterjee, from their Mumbai branch, to pose as her fake boyfriend, because she had gone on two dates with him and they would be comfortable around each other. And much to her surprise, Arjun agrees.

And she is attracted to him and even confesses to loving him, but….

Don’t worry Arjun is already in love with her and that is why he agreed to in the first place. It is something else.

My take:

I love Sudesna’s characters mainly because they are to realistic that we meet similar people in our daily lives. In this book too, the characters are realistic and relatable. I could actually feel for Sushmita, what with the pressure from her parents and relatives. Arjun is so ideal that I kept praying, I hope there is a happy ending. The author has described the feelings of both the characters. The language is simple and the story is fast paced.

I finished this book in one sitting. A perfect book after a hectic day.

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

We shall meet again by Jisha Rajesh

318hdCI5OuL.jpgI picked up Jisha Rajesh’s book We shall meet again from the Kindle Unlimited Library.

The blurb:

‘Love will never let us part’ Going through a tough time in life, Sanjana tries to find solace in the memories of her childhood sweetheart Akshay. While groping in the dark, she meets him again after a long interlude; only to discover that he is married. Rendered heart – broken, she decides to bid him adieu forever. But fate makes them cross each other’s path time and again. Soon, she unveils the tears behind his smile. Join the odyssey of Akki and Sanju, on the path where love and friendship play hide and seek with them.’

The story:

Sanjana Krishnan, Sanju, and Akshay R Nai, Akki, are neighbours and best friends during their stay in Delhi when they are both in school. And then Sanju’s father is transferred to Ahmedabad and Akki’s father is also transferred out and they lose touch with each other. Sanju’s parents want her to get married and she is scared because of a bitter experience. So, she has an altercation with her parents and takes up a job in Mumbai. And it is in Mumbai that meets Akki again and has to put her feelings away as he has a two year old daughter Minnu.

My take:

A simple story with realistic and relatable characters, this book has been written in an easily understandable English, though a little editing would help.

But that aside, this book makes a happy one sitting read.