Mira by Sudesna Ghosh

I received Mira by Sudesna Ghosh as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Mira wants freedom. She’s been stuck in a bad domestic situation for a few years but she’s finally ready to hit the restart button. When Mira begins a new life, she learns to live for herself. Things get complicated when she finds love in the most unexpected of places.

The story:

Mira was barely out of college when her parents got her married to Anuj, because her father liked the match. She has been a trophy wife for five years hiding her scars and aches behind concealers.

One day, she decides to walk out of Anuj’s home because she cannot tolerate the abuse any longer. And when she reaches her paternal home, he mother understands her plight, but she does not get any support from her father. So she has no choice but to find another shelter….

My take:

Mira is someone we have all met in our lives, at least one, though the abuse may be of a different kind, mental and not physical. And there would be many Anuj’s also, trying to dominate their wives in one way or the other.

The author has portrayed the characters in such a way that they felt realistic and their emotions true. Many of us have also gone through, “who will look after you when we are gone?”, but the way the author has shown Mira’s transformation and her inner strength in the story is just beautiful.

The language is simple and the story is not too long, can be finished in one sitting, but what the story portrays remains for a long, long time.

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

Life after the Confetti: Modern Stories of Love and Marriage Series Box Set by Lily J. Adams

I received an ARC of Life after the Confetti: Modern Stories of Love and Marriage Series Box Set by Lily J. Adams as a member of the author’s review team and I am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Fall madly in love. Get married. Ride off into the sunset with your spouse while confetti is thrown in the air. Live happily ever after.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to go. That’s where most stories end.

But life after the confetti isn’t always everything we imagined…

Pick up your copy of this bundle of modern day stories and follow the extraordinary journeys of five married couples who share friendship and face challenges on the bumpy road to their happily-ever-afters.

Life after the Confetti includes the following five short stories:

1. The Twenty-Five Year Itch

2. Looking for Love: A Secret Life

3. Hidden Desires

4. Adjusting the Sails

5. Building Memories

Is there such a thing as Happily Ever After?

Is there a secret to it?

And what is the cost?

The story:

Five stories in this box set are all a must read. 

The first story is about Anna and John who are celebrating 25 years of marriage and unknown to John, Anna feels that their marriage has lost the spark.  And she feels that John should have an insight as to how she feels. 

The second story is about Leanne and David. Leanna is busy with her work and David is happily helping with the housework and kids. 

The third story is about Nikki and Mark, and how she felt cheated in the marriage when she discovers things about him. 

The fourth story is Jane and Michael, Anna’s neighbours and how they he cared about her.

The final story is about Sarah and Matt, And how they wanted a dream home and were reluctant to talk about finances with each other.

My take:

A collection of five short stories of five couples which can be read as standalones as well. I loved reading them as a series because each one takes off from where the previous one ended. The first three stories are about three best friends and their wives and the fourth and the fifth story also have the characters appearing from the previous books.

I loved the characters, they were realistic and relatable and also the setting.

The author has used simple language to convey how small actions on our behalf can keep our marriage happy. The book made me realise the importance not taking our partners for granted and how communication is very important in marriage.

A must, must read for one and all.

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.

Lost in Lavender by Patricia Kiyono

I received Lost in Lavender by Patricia Kiyono as a review copy from StoryOrigin and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Selina Davison once enjoyed life as a countess, but when tragedy struck, she learned to take care of herself. Thanks to her skill creating hats adorned with realistic silk flowers, she’s built a successful business as a milliner. When a handsome gentleman stumbles into her shop asking for directions, she remembers and yearns for the joy of having someone to share life’s ups and downs.

As the second son of an earl, James Benton could enjoy his social privileges, but the concerns of the gentry hold no interest for him. He’s much happier to be outdoors, tending to his plants, which never judge him. His peerage connections help him secure the position as landscape architect for the winter garden in Highgate, but no one warned him of how complicated the personalities involved would make the job.

A sweet, light Regency romance.

The story:

Selina Davison is a milliner who started her business from the widow’s dowry that she received when her husband and mother-in-law passed away in an accident. The only child of her parents, she had learnt sewing from her mother who was a seamstress. Being a countess, she used to sew as a hobby, but after she had to leave the mansion, she used it to keep herself afloat. She manages to make her ends meet and lives frugally. She makes hats with beautiful handmade flowers and these hats are quite liked by the fashionable ladies.

James Benton, the second son of an Earl, is a horticulturist and wants to be a landscape architect, much to the disappointment of his parents. So when he gets a chance to build a winter garden for a wealthy patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, he takes it and ends up in Highgate. He has an awful sense of direction. One day, when he is on the way to meet his client, he loses his way and Selina helps him.

My take:

I picked up this Regency romance after many years and really loved reading it.

The characters have been described beautifully and the feel of those old days has been beautifully portrayed by mentions of trunks, firewood, candles and even sinks on trunks. Though the story moves at a comfortable pace, but the suspense kept me glued till I finished the book.

I loved the descriptions of the people, places and scenes and also the conversations between the characters.

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

Falling for you by Katie Carver

I received Falling for you by Katie Carver as a review copy from StoryOrigin and I am thankful to them for the same. This book is a small town romance set in Cedar Grove.

The blurb:

When love walks through the door, you can only hope your heart is ready.

Charlotte loves her life just the way it is, but as the leaves begin to change, she misses the noisy crowd that filled her library during the warm, summer days. When a handsome stranger comes to town, his presence in Cedar Grove is a welcome distraction. Will she find that the changing season brought her the one thing she didn’t realize she was missing?

Since Mitch has never had a place to call home, he’s the perfect candidate for his job and the temporary assignment in Cedar Grove. After joining the town book club that’s led by a pretty librarian, he begins to feel more at home than any place he’s ever been. When Mitch’s true reason for coming to Cedar Grove is discovered, he must figure out a way to show Charlotte that his love for her isn’t just temporary.

A Seasonally Sweet Novella Series: Fall

The story:

Charlotte has lived in Cedar Grove, a small town, all her life. She was two when she lost her mother and she is very close to her father, who works as a foreman at a local factory. She is a librarian and knows everyone by name, especially those who were regulars at the library. She loves being a librarian and is sad after the summer holidays end and the library becomes empty, so she plans more activities.

The library has a book club that meets every Tuesday and there are only four members including Charlotte herself. One book club evening, they see a newcomer come and ask whether he could join them and so Mitch also becomes a member of the book club.

Mitch, a loner since his childhood, works for a company and evaluates plant efficiency and recommends solutions. So he is sent to Cedar Grove to evaluate Charlotte’s father’s plant. To keep himself occupied, he ends up at the book club as they are offering free snacks.

Charlotte and Mitch become friends till they realise that he is the assessor who is not wanted by the people of Cedar Grove. And that he is there for a short time.

My take:

I loved the story and the characters, both primary and the secondary characters. They have been described well and their back stories are well written and give an idea about their reservations. The feelings of both the characters have been described in detail. I loved the book club characters, they were a mismatch but gelled well together.  

I loved the small town feel of the book and the warmth exuded by the characters.

This book is a quick read that can be finished in one sitting.

I loved the book and plan to read more books by the author.

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 Offer: Billion Brown Business Book 1) by Tanny Cie

I received The Offer: Billion Brown Business Book 1) by Tanny Cie as a review copy from StoryOrigin. This is the first book in the series.

The story:

Recently divorced Chelsea Diggins has no faith in men, especially rich ones. One thing she has learned from her divorce is never to rely on a man for anything. She needs money to take care of her mother’s medical bills and her house rent, so she works two obs. One day, she gets to work as an attendant on a private jet as the original attendant could not make it. The perks are great- she gets to spend a night in Dubai.

And on the flight, she meets Michael Brown, CEO of Brown Enterprises, a self-made billionaire- and he is everything she wants to avoid. And then he meets her in the hotel bar and offers her a glasses of champagne.

My take:

This is the first book of the series, this is a short story that ends in a cliffhanger.

The characters are realistic and I loved Chelsea’s answers. I am looking forward to reading the next book of the series to see where it goes.

I finished it in one sitting and enjoyed it.

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.

Prospects Rebound by Ira M

I picked up Prospects Rebound by Ira M from the Kindle Unlimited library.

The blurb:

Once family friends, then marriage prospects, now forced to share a room…

Shanaya Singh and Ranbir Sharma run into each other at off-site as both are trying to get away from their annoying roommates. Circumstances force them to share a room. Sparks fly, their past begins to trump their presence as they fall for each other.

Will they let go of the past and give love a second chance?

Presenting another romantic short from the author of “A Marriage of Arrangements” and “Sway With Me”

“Prospects Rebound” is first in the “Rebound” series of standalone passionate romance short stories. This has some mature content. Readers’ discretion is advised.

The story:

Shanaya Singh and Ranbir Sharma had met each other as prospective life partners when Ranbir had refused to marry Shanaya, even though their parents were friends.

Now, four years later, they meet each other at a resort, where both their companies have organised an off-site.

Not being able to stay in their allotted rooms, Shanaya asks the reception to give her a room and she is fortunate to get the last available room, only to be requested by Ranbir to allow him to share it with her.

My take:

A cute story of childhood friends meeting under unexpected circumstances after a disastrous meeting four years ago. Realistic characters and conversations were the high point of the story. I felt more editing would make the story crisp.

A fast paced, short read.  

One evening in December by Sudesna Ghosh

One evening in December by Sudesna Ghosh is the third book of Neel and Gita’s story that I picked up from the Kindle Unlimited Library.

The blurb:

It’s Christmas Eve and Gita has a special evening planned for her parents and sister. Neel will be there too. The evening starts with a note of warmth and hope and ends with a special surprise. And of course, there’s the dose of drama that Gita had expected.
This short story is the third and final one in Gita and Neel’s journey.

My take:

A cute ending to a nice series. I loved Neel and how he supports Gita despite all that she is going through because of her family. I loved the Christmassy feel to the story. The end was the best.

Book Blitz: Nargis and other short stories by Hermit Pen

About The Book

The book is a collection of 8 short stories, each unique and different from others, covering various facets of life, inspired by real-life characters and incidents.

The stories address contemporary social issues like loneliness, binge dating, domestic abuse, social media addiction, celebrity worship, and also contemporary environmental issues like pollution, dwindling water resources, declining fertility rate, chemical warfare, etc. 

The stories also attempt to illustrate the pain and wounds of contemporary political issues like lynching, conflicts, refugees, etc

All the characters seem very familiar and we can easily relate to them.

 

Book Purchase Links

Amazon
India
 | Amazon
USA

 

 

Book Excerpt

 

Nargis

It is 2030 and most of the water on earth is polluted.

 

In the beginning, it was industrial pollution that rendered most of the water beyond human usage, and then the water wars that followed resulted in the extensive use of chemical and biological weapons, which further left the remaining water sources toxic.

 

In less than 10 years, water had become the currency, and owners of non-toxic water source the new age kings, with their own militias, protecting their wells and supply chain.

 

Water trading was the most lucrative business now.

 

Namita

 

Namita had stopped thinking about resistance or confrontation long back. Domestic abuse and sometimes physical abuse had become part of life for her. She had accepted it. It was no secret either. Most people around her knew. It’s difficult to hide the scars, especially the physical ones. 

 

Lybched

 

Since that fateful day, he had wished for only two things. To meet the family of the boy he had killed and the people who had killed his brother. 

 

He couldn’t make up his mind as to what will give him the closure he needed. 

 

The atonement of his sin or revenge. Guilt and vengeance had been consuming him.

 

Neha

 

All she could manage was “Why are you good to me Shoeb? Why do you still stick around when everyone else has given up on me, and now you brought my child to me”.

 

Neha could not control anymore, tears started rolling down her cheeks. 

 

Shoeb softly spoke almost in a whisper to Neha “We have taken him out of the shelter and legally adopted him. We will raise him as our own now”

 

Banaras

 

He had plans of getting married next year. An arranged marriage. His parents in Hyderabad had already selected the bride for him. He knew nothing about the girl and was not interested to know either. He believed that arranged marriage will ensure that his parents will be taken care of in their old age, which was his prime responsibility, being the only son, as has been repeatedly hammered into his head, by the society, since childhood.

 

Lipsticks

 

The night was beautiful, a bit cold though to be sitting in the balcony in only a t-shirt, this had been her ritual, night after night. 

 

The silence at this time of the night is addictive. It calms the volatile souls and tames the inner demons. 

 

TikTok

 

Finally, she read out Waheed’s post aloud “I respectfully decline The Smith Award, which is considered no less than Noble prize, awarded to me for my thesis “Impact of Social Media on the Psyche of Celebrities”, due to the sad and unfortunate demise of a subject during the course of an experiment.”

 

Oh Syria!

 

Qasim, on the other hand, was sad, very sad. He had this foreboding that his days on his homeland were numbered and he won’t be able to return, ever. 

 

This was the home of his ancestors. Their graves were here. His father used to tell him that for centuries his family had lived in this town. 

 

 

About The Author

 

 

The author Mr. Hermit Pen is a regular contributor to short stories and articles for various anthologies, magazines, and own blog. 

 

Mr. Hermit Pen is a Business Consultant by profession with a degree in Engineering and an MBA. He is well-traveled, having spent half of his life outside India; he is presently based in Gurgaon, India.

 

He is a movie buff, music connoisseur, and a cricket fanatic.  He also closely follows politics and current affairs. He is a vocal advocate of education, human rights, and equality, and he occasionally dabble in social activism.

 

At the cusp of reinventing himself once again, Mr. Hermit Pen with all humility showcases his debut book, Nargis.

 

Catch up with Hermit Pen On

 

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The Cheeseburst arranged marriage by Prisha Lalwani

I picked up The Cheeseburst arranged marriage by Prisha Lalwani from the Kindle Unlimited Library at the recommendation of a fellow blogger.

The blurb:

Long gone are the ‘trends’ of having an arranged marriage, even in India. But set in 2010, in the cities of Varanasi & Noida, India, The Cheeseburst Arranged Marriage is like listening to your bestie’s love story. The book mimics how your best friend would narrate all the little details, all her assessments of the situation, how she finds things funny, and uses all her sarcasm and wit to make it a super interesting tale!

Ira was a charming girl, but overweight. Manav was a guy-next-door. They were polar opposites, one effervescent girl and the other, a quiet guy! They were destined to get married, but were they destined to fall in love? While cheese does make everything better, will it help build a path that leads to Ira’s heart? Read the story knitted with love; sprinkled with cheese; inspired by the author’s own life, to get all the answers.

The story:

Ira, from Varanasi, lives in Noida and is a psychologist in an MNC. She is twenty four and of ‘marriageable age’. So when she manages to reach home on Diwali, her parents propose that she meets Manav, an MBA working in Chandigarh. Manav and Ira are opposites, both in nature and their thought process, yet they get engaged.

And we travel with them through their courtship….

My take:

At the outset, the author has clarified as the story of her courtship ten years ago, and that was all that this book was about.  Her pictures make it all the more interesting.

I, too, had an arranged marriage, and there were moments in the book which took me back to my courtship days, though we met only once.

She has created life-like characters with realistic conversations. The story has been written in a simple language and is funny at times. The author has described the emotions well and also the scenes. It has been written in such a way that I felt that Ira was narrating the story to me.

One Night in November by Sudesna Ghosh

I picked up One Night in November by Sudesna Ghosh from the Kindle Unlimited Library. This book is a short sequel to One night in October by the same author.

The blurb:

This short story is the sequel to One Day in October.

Gita is 40+ and in love. She’s found the sweetest man – who cares about age and all that?
Life has changed in the last 6 weeks but her relationship with her parents remains unchanged.
But then there’s a long night of darkness.

Will there be light in the morning?

The story:

Twenty one days after Gita met Neel in a movie theatre and twenty one days of happiness, Gita is again at crossroads, what with her parents’ expectations of her.

My take:

I had been waiting for the sequel to One day in October ever since I finished reading that book. This story takes up from where the previous one ended and explores Gita’s relationship with her parents and Neel further.

This book is a short and quick read and reflects emotions like love, happiness, responsibility and helplessness. I could feel for Gita who had sacrifices her happiness for her family who were selfish enough to taunt her.