The Album by Sian Ceinwen

41MhhfBXUrLI received The Album by Sian Ceinwen as a review copy from StoryOrigin and I am thankful to them for the same. This story is set in Chicago and is about Ariana, a private person.

The blurb:

The perfect man. His screaming fans. Can someone who hates the spotlight find love with a rock star?

Ariana isn’t a fan of celebrities, but she is a fan of Cruise Control. The night she attends a charity event with her aunt and meets rock star, Gabriel Knight, sets in motion a rollercoaster ride that is out of her control.

Hiding her struggling self-esteem behind a wall of privacy, Ariana risks it all and joins the group on their first tour as the lead singer’s new sweetheart.

But when she’s suddenly thrust into the wild world of a rock star, the sour taste of the limelight could be their undoing.

Will life in the fast lane ruin Ariana’s chance at true love?

The Album is the first book in the electric Cruise Control romance series. If you like sudden, steamy relationships, taking big risks, and the lives of the rich and famous, then you’ll adore Sian Ceinwen’s debut novel.

The story:

Ariana Chamberlain, 22, finished her business degree and was working as a receptionist for an accounting firm. She loved creative writing and wanted to write a book. One day, accompanying her aunt to a charity event, she saw Cruise Control, a local band that she was a fan of, perform and was introduced by her aunt introduces to Gabriel Knight, the lead singer of the band. One thing led to another and she agreed to accompany the band on a cross country tour much to the shock of her parents and family, because it was out of her character to do so.

Gabriel understood her fear of the celebrity lifestyle and he and the other band members gave her the time and space to maintain her anonymity and get used to the celebrity status.

The band members took her in and made her a part of the group but she was uncomfortable with it all and unable to take it all, she rushed back to Chicago, and did not even reply to their calls and messages.

Now, two years later, she works as a real estate agent and spends her free time with Netflix. As the best worker, she wins and award and comes face to face with Gabriel, the one person she loves, has never stopped thinking of.

My take:

The story is simple and written well. The characters are realistic but I wanted to know more about Gabriel. Ariana’s back story reveals a bit about her. The secondary characters have a part to play and I feel, all the other members of the band deserve a story of their own. The language is simple and the story, though long, is unputdownable. As the story progressed, I felt it was too good to be true and was expecting something to happen. The end was a bit abrupt, but HEA worked for me,

The chapters have been uniquely named and the encore was what I was waiting for (you have to read the book to know what I am talking about).

Though, this is the debut work of the author, I feel, as the series progresses, we would see more of the band and also more of these characters. The names of the songs played by the band also are interesting.

This story revolves around love, friendship, understanding, and mostly, a boy band. Do pick this up if you love boy bands, HEAs or even descriptive romances.

I am waiting for the next book in the series.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-book from STORYORIGIN in exchange of an honest review. i have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

A Barren Heart: What comes after Happily Ever After by Shilpa Suraj

ABarrenHeartWhen I came to know that Shilpa Suraj was coming out with her new book, I just could not wait to get the book in my hands. And I am so grateful to Shilpa and Debdatta for providing me with an ARC of the book, A barren heart: What comes after Happily Ever After.

The blurb:

When having it all isn’t enough…

Aman and Rhea seem to have the perfect marriage. They are madly in love – with each other, with their own careers and the home and life they are building in a quiet Mumbai suburb.

Rhea is a successful interior designer with a thriving business while Aman is a commercial pilot who is at peace with his life, on the ground and in the skies! What could possibly be lacking in their picture-perfect marriage?

A baby.

Like most women, thirty plus Rhea Chakraborty, wants to hold her own flesh and blood in her arms. And Aman too wants the same.

Or does he?

After another unexplained miscarriage that takes a severe emotional, physical, and psychological toll on them, Aman isn’t sure if having a baby will complete them or destroy them.

Suddenly, Rhea and Aman find the fabric of their stable marriage fraying beneath the strain of their failed conceptions. Where once they were a team with a common goal, they now find themselves on opposite sides with shifting goalposts.

A Barren Heart is set in so-called modern India and is the story of the struggle of an affluent, educated couple who are still fighting the shackles of societal indoctrination and expectations and losing each other in the process.

The story:

Rhea Chakraborty belongs to a stereotypical loud family comprising of three siblings, two brothers and a sister, and parents who adored each one of them. They were a chaotic, crazy bunch; loved one another to bits and meddled like mad in each other’s lives by always checking up on the rest of the brood.

Aman Gill’s childhood had passed in confusion, drama and hurt. An only child with a mother who loved Mumbai’s nightlife more than her family and a father who drank himself to death because of it had left Aman with no one but himself to rely on. He lost his father just before his tenth board exams and he became the man of the house, growing up way before his time. He and his mother had nobody else but one another, but they did not seem to know what to do with each other.

Aman met Rhea on his first day in junior college and before he quit the college to jin pilot training, she proposed to him and assured him  that she had her business plan all sorted out and she would support him till he got a job. That was two years ago.

Rhea is an interior designer, runs her own small but successful firm with a tie up with  three leading architects in Mumbai. Capt. Aman Gill, a commercial pilot with a private airline is the love of her life, her rock, the stable foundation to her forever tumultuous world.

Married for two years, they have been trying to have a baby but another unexplained miscarriage takes a severe emotional, physical, and psychological toll on them. Aman is in two minds and Rhea is devastated. But will their marriage survive this disaster??

My take:

Almost all the love stories that we read have a happy ending. Some have an epilogue for the reader to have an idea as to what happens next, but there are few stories that talk about the problems a happy marriage might face. This is one of them.

The author has actually dealt with a very common problem many couples face, the smile that goes missing when one line in a test goes missing.

The characters are realistic and relatable, as are their problems. They have been created and developed beautifully with their flaws, insecurities and strengths. I could feel for Rhea as well as Aman and the problems they were going through and how they both had their own way of dealing with it. I loved their neighbour and friend, Ishita and her understanding nature. I loved the Chakraborty family’s closeness and the understanding between Rhea and her brothers and parents.

The story is simple and the story moves at a fast pace. And the way it has been written, I never felt that I was reading a story, I actually felt that I was a part of their lives and that they were sharing their experiences with me. The book is unputdownable and I really loved the book and am looking to read many more books from the author.

DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

Love.exe: A Sweet Romantic Comedy Making You Fall in Love by Manju Nambiar

LoveExeI received Love.exe: A Sweet Romantic Comedy Making You Fall in Love by Manju Nambiar as a review copy from the BookClub and am thankful to Rubina and . A simple romance, it really leaves a smile on the face of the reader. And just thinking of the story long after I finished it, still makes me smile.

The blurb:

If you are looking for a feel-good heart warming love story with a happy ending, this is your right pick!

Nitya Balakrishnan, a young girl from Kerala had it all planned out. She was going to live a life of her dreams in the United States of America. And she thought she had nailed it, when she was accepted into one of the best universities of the world. But cosmos had other plans and conspired to drop love.exe into her.

He came with a bang and stole her away in a breath. Love was not quite there in her agenda, but her heart wouldn’t hear of it. The human heart has its own little brain with its strange logic that remains elusive to our reasoning. For once, she just let it be, only to realize that there is no undo button.

This coming of age, beautiful tale of love, relationships and dreams would prick your soul, bring a smile to you, and tear up your eyes. A must read!

The story:

Nitya Balakrishnan, 21, is in the final year of Computer Engineering at NIT, Calicut, when she gets admission to the Stanford University class of 2006. She is a topper in her school and college and has big dreams. But, her mother is not very happy and tries to tell her to join the job that she has got at Microsoft in Hyderabad. She resorts to emotional blackmail and her mother relents when her uncle intervenes. Now, her family wants her to meet a boy who lives across the road from her University and marry him, if she likes him.

Enter Ganapaty, the boy his family has chosen for her, the boy who lives right across the road from her university in the US. The only child of his parents, Ganapaty, is in India for some official work and also to take care of his terminally ill father.

Nitya likes him, though she had not liked his mother, and agrees to marry him. But a day after the engagement, Ganapaty goes back to the US. Then his mother suggests that after the wedding, Nitya should shift with them to Chennai and take care of his father with her and go to the US later. And Ganapaty does not counter her.

Nitya, with the support of her family, calls of the wedding, and continues with her Stanford plans. She works hard, makes new friends and lands herself a job in the US.

And her office has a new senior employee, Ganapaty……

My take:

The story is simple and has been written in a language that is easy to understand. Nitya is the typical girl next door, belongs to a simple, conservative family and respects her parents. The relationship between Nitya and her parents has been described beautifully. Ganapaty’s character left me wanting for more. His relationship with his family and also other members of his family seemed a little incomplete, but maybe that’s how it is meant to be, like men, secretive (no offence meant).

The conversations between the characters were my highpoint of the story. Be it between Nitya and her mother, Andy and Nitya or for that matter Ganapaty and Nitya. When Ganapaty meets Nitya and asks on a scale of 1 to 10, her thoughts about the things was the best. Nitya’s heart to heart conversation with her father made me cry.

The story has a lot of things, family relationships, humour, arranged marriage, romance, friendship, happiness, sadness, surprise and the best part is the twist in the tale.

I just could not keep the book down, I loved the pace and the descriptions. The author has described love like the setup of a computer programme, something that was very unique to the book.

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

 

Love in the Spotlight by Laura Burton

litsI received the book Love in the Spotlight by Laura Burton as a review copy from BookSprout and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Faking a relationship on reality TV is harder than you think.

Melissa Jones

I applied to be on my favourite TV show,  The Love Trials, as a joke.  I never expected to get chosen.

I mean, come on! I’m single, for one thing. It’s a couples game. 

And yet, here I am. In a Scottish castle––no less––and about to make a fool of myself on national television.

The producers say they’re going to match me up with a total stranger. We need to fool the other couples––and the British public––that we are totally legit. Easy enough, right?
The prize money will help me quit working for my lousy boss and start up my own business.  My ticket to getting out of my tiny village and move to London! I just have to make sure I don’t mess this up. And at no point, can I actually fall for the guy. Oh no. True love is off the table. 

Love in the Spotlight is a single-narrative rom-com based in the United Kingdom. With lots of laugh-out-loud mishaps, hidden agendas,  unexpected twists and a boatload of swoon-worthy romance.  Ever wanted to know what it’s like to meet the man of your dreams on a reality TV show? Scroll up and one-click now.

Author note: Love in the Spotlight is a steamy-clean romantic comedy with all of the sizzle but no sex or offensive language. 

The story:

Twenty eight year old Melissa Jones lost her parents in a helicopter crash and moved from one foster home to another till and her best friend and room-mate, Elsie, could be old enough to live independently. Now, she works as an assistant to an events manager. As a dare from her best friend, Mel applies as a contestant in the 20th season of her favourite reality TV show, Love Trials. She applies because she knows that she will be rejected as she does not have a boyfriend. But to her surprise, she is selected.  She decides that if she wins, she would move to London and set up her own planning business. And she reaches the Scottish Castle, the venue for the show and meets Ronan, a total stranger, who is going to be her fake boyfriend for the show. All she has to do is pretend that she is head over heels in love with Ronan.

Ronan is an only child who was raised by a single mother. He is here for a purpose, he needs his half of the prize money urgently and desperate times call for desperate measures.

Ronan is attractive but Melissa cannot have a crush on this guy as both of them are in the game for the prize money involved. And she cannot ignore the fact that he has the right personality for her.

My take:

This is the first book that I have read from this author and I am sure I will read more of her books.

The story has been written in first person from Melissa’s point of view. The characters have been developed in such a way that we got know them little by little as the story proceeded. I really wanted to know a bit more about both of them. The conversation between the characters is realistic and I could actually visualize some of the scenes.

And the reality show ensured that I could not keep the book down as I really wanted to know what happened next.

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

 

Seeking Love by Devika Fernando

51XnDoTaL-LSeeking Love by Devika Fernando is a sweet romance set in a small town in USA.

The blurb:

A small-town girl with a tragic past – an English billionaire with a secret – an old ranch that brings them together

When a handsome and infuriating stranger from England finds his way to the small American town Misty Springs and turns everyone’s lives upside down, Abigail is forced to question everything she’s ever believed in. Despite her reluctance, Thomas wiggles his way into her heart. Sparks fly, and nothing will ever be the same again. But just when she may have found true happiness, a secret threatens to destroy everything.

The story:

Abigail Jones was ten and her sister, eleven, when their father left them and their mother at Misty Springs, a small town in America. And Grandma Harris took them in hiring their mother as a housekeeper. Abigail was seventeen when her mother died and her sister went away to live with their father in the city and Grandma Harris became the only family she had.

Now at 27, Abigail collected everything that the people of Misty Springs, a small town in America, had once treasured and did not need anymore and sold at her shop, The Little Shop of Everything. To her, even man-made things had a life and even everything artificial had a story to tell. And then Grandma Harris passed away leaving her alone.

One day, an Englishman comes to her shop looking for a garage and helpful Abigail takes him to a mechanic. He is Thomas Parker who is at Misty Springs for some work and she takes him as a house guest.

But then, she comes to know who he really is….

My take:

A sweet, small town romance, this book has a warm, small town feel to it. Everyone helps everyone and everyone knows everyone. I loved the characters and the warmth they exuded. Abigail’s shop is a paradise, I would really love to visit it someday and listen to her stories. I loved the book and want to read the next in the series.

 

Locked in by Iris Darshi

51xOGKBC7KL._SY346_I picked up Locked in by Iris Darshi from the Kindle Unlimited Library because I liked the cover. This book is the story of Jiya and Dev.

The blurb:

Two hurt hearts, one locked room and a panic attack…Sometimes you have to be locked in to see you never wanted to escape…

Jiya is raised to be a perfect lady, she’s taught to obey, even if it is her husband asking for a divorce, after promising to love her forever. It’s okay. She’s fine. She just wants to sign papers with dignity and end it all civilly.

Dev is pissed. For five years, he worshiped the ground Jiya walked on. And what did he get for it? Loneliness and heartache. And while he wants to punch the wall, his beautiful wife is sitting demurely signing papers.

Fate intervenes in the form of two best friends, by locking them in the very room in which they signed their divorce.

What happens when two people who never stopped loving each other are forced to confront their mistakes?

The story:

Jiya and Dev met while they were doing their MBA and got married the second they finished their MBA.

Now, three years later, Dev is a poor start-up founder and she is an investment banker. And they have been fighting and arguing for the past two years.

Jiya feels that they are hardly a match, she being a boring career woman whose most exotic hobby is her flowerpots and he is an adventurous man who surfs, climbs rocks and used to laugh easily.

And now they are heading towards a divorce, which is being handled by his lawyer cum best friend Vardhan and Rohini, her best friend and lawyer.

Will this mean that five years of love, a defiant house wedding, three years of marriage and all silly dreams are over??

My take:

A short and simple story which has been written from the point of view of both the characters. Their emotions have been described beautifully.

As I was reading the book, I really wanted to know what would happen next and I finished the book in one sitting.

A Christmas Conspiracy by Reet Singh

41WEntQQVzLA Christmas Conspiracy by Reet Singh is one book I picked up from the Kindle Unlimited library and enjoyed.

The blurb:

Christmas has never been more complicated!

Goldie Gill works in a recruiting firm in Toronto and has had it with his mother’s single-minded desire to see him married off to a nice girl. Goldie has no wish to find himself a nice girl – he is perfectly happy living the life and hanging out with his cat, Billy.

It takes a chance encounter with a dusky, doe-eyed, scatter-brained beauty, just before Christmas, for Goldie to seriously reconsider his plans. But then, he learns that his meeting with the girl isn’t a happy coincidence – somebody has been meddling.

What is the conspiracy and how is Goldie going to get to the bottom of it considering that the girl has disappeared?

The story:

Goldie Gill, 32, works in a recruiting firm in Toronto and never bases his judgement on appearances at all but looks at work credentials and biodata followed by character references. And his mother, wants him to get married and is always on the lookout for a possible candidate which includes browsing dating sites. And he feels that he is perfectly capable of finding himself a partner if he needed one.

So when he is home for Christmas and when his mother mentions the word Marriage, he walks off to a café which sells horrible coffee to stay away from home. There, he meets a girl who is as irritated by the prospect of meeting a boy for matrimonial purpose as him.

My take:

This story is set in Toronto, Canada and is very warm and nice.

I loved Goldie’s mom the most and how she sets him up.

The language is simple and the story is fast paced.