Restless Hearts: A San Francisco Gold Rush Romance (Gold Rush Romances Book 1) by Mona Ingram

51tFJR-rkmL.jpgRestless Hearts: A San Francisco Gold Rush Romance (Gold Rush Romances Book 1) by Mona Ingram was a book that I picked up from Amazon Kindle courtesy BookBub.

The blurb:

Whoever said the streets were paved with gold must have been dreaming. San Francisco in the gold rush era was an intoxicating mixture of the wealthy and the desperate. How would Sarah fit in?

Determined to prove that she can make it on her own, Sarah poses as a married woman and boards a schooner bound for San Francisco.

Restless and eager to travel, Jamie agrees to set up a branch of his family’s merchant bank in San Francisco.

Each has something to prove but will their desire to succeed derail a blossoming romance?

The story:

The year is 1849.

Sarah Howard, 22, lives in Boston with her parents and younger brother Devon. Her father is a doctor and she wants to become one too, having assisted him in his practice. But her father disapproves. He wants her to get married to the boy he has selected for her. She cannot imagine living the rest of her life in Boston where nothing in the foreseeable future was likely to change. So, when her father is away, she leaves Boston, with her mother’s blessings and boards a ship to sail for San Francisco. She poses as a married woman, as she feels it would be safer that way.

On board the ship, she meets Anna and her daughter Melissa, Lucy, her cabinmate and Jamie Thompson. Jamie has worked in his family’s merchant bank. He is bored of his job as a banker and wants to have a look at the farm his grandfather left him on the Sacromento river. She is attracted to Jamie and slowly she starts loving him.

Once in California, she starts her food business and slowly she becomes successful. Sarah is a helpful person by nature and helps people she meets. Like those on the ship and even those she meets in San Francisco. But what about her, will she stay in San Francisco or would she move to Sacramento to be with Jamie?

My take:

The story is simple and the author seems to have done some research about the time, what with cars, candles and tents. Not to mention the long journey by a ship.

The characters are believable and both the primary and secondary characters are important to keep the story moving.

I really liked this book and will definitely read the next one in the series.



Red Rose dating Agency by Sundari Venkatraman

419yChR3yZL.jpgRed Rose Dating Agency (Romantic Shorts Book 8) is Sundari Venkatraman’s latest book which is available on Kindle Unlimited.

The blurb:

Ahana is not exactly sure of her feelings when the nerdy Sadashiv Prasad lands up at her dating agency, seeking membership. While on the one hand she’s amused at his audacity, his fanatical obsession with finding the ‘ideal’ mate has Ahana climbing up the wall.

When all efforts to find him a date fail miserably Ahana offers to go on a date with him. As expected, the event is a disaster. Luckily for her the winds of love are blowing in her direction as she unexpectedly falls in love with Sahil Pradhan.

Ideally, Ahana’s life should run smoothly from now on. Alas, no! Sadashiv Prasad re-surfaces in her life and what’s even worse, Sahil and Sadashiv seem to know each other. What a tangle!

Will Ahana find happiness with Sahil or is her love doomed forever?

*A shorter version of this story has been published in the anthology called Matches Made in Heaven.

The story:

Ahana runs a dating agency, called the Red Rose Dating Agency, and her business is doing well. One day, she has an unusual client, Sadashiv Prasad, a middle class salesman with a crumpled white shirt and he just manages to converse in English. And Sadashiv has an unusual request, he wants to date through her agency and he also wants that she finds him a date who fits the bill of an ‘Adarsh Bharatiya Nari’.

And Ahana is in a fix. Who can she ask to date him? And then her father suggests that she goes on a date with him.

What will she do?

My take:

I liked the book and the story.

The characters have been developed in detail. The relationship between Ahana and her father has been beautifully depicted.

Overall, a simple story, written in simple English that can be finished in one sitting.

A Twist of Fate by Summerita Rhayne

51c+0lSoAsL.jpgI received the book A Twist of Fate by Summerita Rhayne as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same. This is the second book in the King and the Courtesan series.

The blurb:

“I want to find him. And when I find him, I will destroy him.” 

Charulata wants revenge. She seeks to spill the blood of the man who ruined her. He married her and left her after one night. The diktats of her society declare only one place suitable for the woman rejected and deserted by her husband – the abode of the concubines. Charulata faces ruin and lives and breathes for one purpose…the only purpose keeping her alive. How to track Deva – and kill him.

Deva knows he had earned the wrath of this woman. Embittered and devastated, he’s a wounded lion hunting his enemies. Regrets and softer feelings are long gone from his life. He encounters Charulata with all the arrogance of his forebears. Yet the fire of hate is mixed with the fire of attraction between them. Rage and passion have become inseparable…
A Twist of Fate follows the entwining fortunes of Charu and Deva in the post Vedic ancient India. Greed, treachery, and deception feature highly in this story of royal suspense. Can love have a hope of surviving amid such intrigues?

To be a courtesan in ancient India was a fate far worse than slavery. This is the second book written on the theme by the author. Also read Against The Tide, the story of the royal concubine.

The story:

Tikandas and Leelavati are like any other parents. They want their only daughter, Charulata, to be happy. Charu is the younger of the two siblings, she has an older brother Shayamdas, who is married. Charu is multi-talented, cultured in arts, proficient in written language, fine player of veena, unmatched in dance and keeps accounts better than her brother. At the behest of the local purohit, Tikandas, fixes her marriage to a merchant’s son from a neighbouring town. He is happy for his daughter, his favourite child, but he tells his wife that in case he finds the groom unworthy of his daughter, he would send the groom back.

In the meantime, at the groom’s camp, on the day of the wedding, the groom’s father is in a fix. His son, the groom, has hurt his eye and he needs a replacement for the wedding. And he finds Deva, who is running away from the guards who suspect that he has stolen the royal ring, as the replacement.

And thus, Deva and Charu get married. The very next day, the groom’s father wants to take the bride home, and Deva has to leave the scene and he does so after writing to Charu.

And Charu is outcast, loses her parents and is thrown out of home by her brother. She ends up in a brothel. She is determined to seek revenge.

Will she be able to take her revenge?

My take:

The story is set in ancient India, the setting and the descriptions ensure that. So do the language and the characters. The cover is beautiful and so apt.

Charulata’s character has been developed in detail, she can speak her mind at a time when women are not very liberated. She is well educated and she is intelligent. the secondary characters are important and play major roles in the story. There are characters from the previous book in the series.

The descriptions of scenes are detailed and the scenes can be easily picturised. Language used in simple but there are words which are in a dialect which would be more appreciated if a vocabulary can be added to the book.

This book has all the components, love, romance, independence, treachery, impersonation and revenge.

I loved the book and finished it in one day. I feel there is another one in the pipeline….

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.

I am the 10th: A modern, historical fiction (Navruts Book 1) by D R Downer

51rQpadj83LI am the 10th: A modern, historical fiction (Navruts Book 1) is a book that D R Downer wrote. I picked it up from the Kindle Unlimited Library.

The blurb:

Based in modern times, ‘I Am The 10th’ is the story of one of the oldest, and arguably the mightiest cults that originated in India during the 3rd century BC. It’s a journey that will take you to the Mahabharata era, through 300 BC, and back. Witness the biggest and the deadliest battle ever in the history of mankind that could well spell the end of humanity and the end of this world. Experience the might of the ancient Shastras and Astras, like Naag Pash, Brahma Kavach, and Narayan Astra.

The story:

Sarah lives in Delhi with her husband, Kunal. The couple celebrates their second anniversary and the next morning Sarah finds herself at an unknown place with unknown people.

What happens next? Read on……

My take:

This book is a fast paced thriller that moves from New Delhi to the US and then back to India. The pivot of the story is Sarah, around whom the other characters  revolve. There are good people and there are bad people. There are characters from the 3rd Century BC. Some characters are fictional and some are historical. And some are mythological.

The book is a mixture of time travel, fiction, mythology and history. The characters have been described in detail, the history is well researched and the scenes are described in detail.

The next book, once it is released, would help complete the story.


Vanished: A mysterious love story by Esha Pandey

81BDbkHabML._AC_UL436_Vanished: A mysterious love story by Esha Pandey is a fifteen page story. This book is available in the Kindle Unlimited library.

The blurb:

Ram vanishes into thin air one fine night and leaves Sunila gasping for breath. Will she survive? Will she ever find out what happened to Ram? Where has he vanished?

My take:

At the beginning, it looks simple, a story about a woman whose partner had gone missing one day while he had gone to get milk.

The characters are well developed and realistic. The story is fast paced and moves back and forth between the past and the present.

I would really love to read a longer version of this book as to how they met and what next?



The Arrangement by P G Van

51K26XOpcvLI picked up P G Van’s latest book, The Arrangement from the Kindle Unlimited Library.

The Blurb:

Niha could not deal with the not-so-glamorous side of the movie industry anymore and decides to run away from it all. Where does she end up? In a small town where she crashes her car, causing a lot of damage to the town.

The accident is a blessing in disguise, allowing her to stay out of the limelight. To avoid the media attention and her past life, she needs to make an arrangement with a man who looks at her as if he despises the very sight of her.

Mahen wants to build his ancestral town into the next big economic hub and is upset when a rash driver crashes a car into a newly constructed building, setting it on fire. He wants to cut his losses and wants her out of his town, but she doesn’t want to leave. He agrees to let her stay for a month, only as a temporary arrangement.

An arrangement that was supposed to last a short time turns into something else when sparks fly between Niha and Mahen. Niha may have run away from her past, but she cannot hide from it. When Mahen finds out who she really is, will the new arrangement last?
Note: The Arrangement is a Stand-alone, Passionate, Contemporary romance.

The Story:

Niharika Ratnam, Niha to her family and Harika to the world, is an actress. She is fed up of being manipulated by her mother, who wants Niha to live her dream, the dream which she could not fulfil because Niha was born.

In an attempt to move as far as away as possible from her manipulating mother, and from meeting a prospective producer, Niha runs away from her home. She drives fast and ends up meeting with an accident. Once she regains consciousness, she finds herself in a hospital in an unknown place with strangers around her. There is a lady constable who wants to arrest her because she has burnt down a newly constructed building to ashes.

But she is saved by Mahendra Rayadu, the owner of the building, who had saves her from the crash. And he takes her home, where he stays with his grandmother, Naani, with the intent to send her home after she tells him her who she is and where she lives.

Taking this as an opportunity to stay away from home, Niha hides her reality from them and says that she has nobody that she can go to. Mahen gives her one month to stay in his house and keep Naani happy, as this is what he considers payment for the loss he has incurred. But he gives her a warning, that he would be observing her closely.

They keep crossing each other’s paths and are attracted to each other. But what will happen after she reveals her identity to him?

My take:

A simple sweet story about two people who meet and are slowly drawn to each other. The characters are realistic and relatable and I loved the way the relationships between them have been depicted. The book has friendship, love, romance, and above all grandchild- grandparent love.

The narration is simple and fast paced and the language is simple. I finished the book in two sittings.

The secondary characters also have been given a lot of space in the story. I am hoping that the author actually writes three more books in the series, the stories of other characters like Radha, Urmila and Deepa.


20 Year School Reunion by Alka Dimri Saklani

51Lu3Dk6MAL.jpg20 Year School Reunion by Alka Dimri Saklani is a short read that I had borrowed from the Kindle Unlimited Library.

The blurb:

A trip to the past cannot change the memories. But it can change the way we look at those memories.

At the threshold of her thirties, Neerja is still struggling with self-acceptance issues. The roots of her insecurities lay in her school days, so she is in dilemma whether to attend her 20-year school reunion or not.

Against her better judgement Neerja braces herself to face the past and visits her school. But all her strength fades away the moment she sees Vraj; the single source of her best and worst memories.

Will this reunion give Neerja the closure she seeks or will it push her deeper into the layers of past?

Poignant and nostalgic, 20 Year School Reunion, is a story of love, friendship, forgiveness but over and above all, self-acceptance.

My take:

We never had a school reunion, but have met friends off and on after school. And what with WhatsApp, we have started keeping in touch with each other. But I am sure, if we have such a reunion, there would be many revelations. The author has narrated the story beautifully making me want to ask my school friends, “How about a reunion?”

The characters are realistic and their feelings are relatable. There are certain things that brought out memories. School friendships are real and they are the best and that is what the author tells us.

So how about calling up our school friends and planning a reunion.