The Reluctant Debutante by Vibha Batra

51cLWn2qFwL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book, The Reluctant Debutante by Vibha Batra as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Sanya Grewal’s all set to attend Debutante International – the most glamorous social event of the year – when she ends up fracturing her foot.

She can either forget all about her childhood dream or convince her twin sister Tanya to take her place and bask in reflected glory. Alas! Tanya’s so not interested. Besides, she’s got a secret, one that could tarnish her family’s name and nix their debutante dreams.

Very reluctantly, Tanya agrees to help her sister out and zips off to France. Everything seems to be going well when Tanya’s cover gets blown. Will Tanya make her sister’s dream come true, make her father proud, make friends and maybe even find true love? Or will it all blow up in her face?

The story:

Sanya and Tanya the identical twins, but they are like two sides of the same coin. Sanya is tolerant, speaks things that are politically correct, favourite of  and is an ideal girl. And Tanya is just her opposite. Their father loves Sanya but for some reason, he does not like Tanya. Debutante International (DI) is Sanya Grewal’s childhood dream and whenever she speaks about it, Tanya cannot help but make faces.

And Sanya’s dream comes true as she is selected for the Debutante International. Sanya is all set and they are celebrating when Sanya meets with a freak accident and fractures her leg. And then she cajoles and blackmails Tanya to take her place. Tanya, who is nothing like Sanya, except in looks, cannot replace her. But seeing her pleading, she does not have the heart to refuse her.

And Tanya replaces Sanya at the contest. Will she be caught or will she play her sister’s role to perfection?

My take:

The story is simple and sweet and is a perfect read for the beautiful rainy days. The characters are believable and so is the relationship between them. I loved how Tanya talks about her family, especially her aunt. She has nicknames for everyone and not to miss her inner voice, BBC. Some of the conversations are hilarious. Even the secondary characters have a role to play in the story.

An interesting story which I would recommend to everyone.

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.

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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.

Skin Deep by Ajay Monga

51LlstqJpcL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI receive the book Skin Deep by Ajay Monga as a review copy from the publisher, Rupa Publications and am thankful to them for the same. The story is mostly set in Mumbai.

The blurb:

When combined with youth, beauty is a heady concoction. It possesses everyone, and everyone wants to possess it. But can beauty be possessed? A fiery news reporter, Simran went undercover as a contestant in a pageant to expose the dark underbelly of the beauty business. But little did she know that she was being used as a pawn in a much bigger game. A seemingly acquiescent girl, Sania fought against patriarchal forces within her family and community to fulfil her dream of becoming a model. A media baron’s daughter, Sunidhi was at a vantage point in life but she frittered it all away with her entitlement. On the other hand, Shikha, who came from a humble background, used her body as a currency to get ahead. In a world that has commoditized femininity and idealized only one body type, Skin Deep is the story of four girls with diametrically different views about beauty and how their lives get inextricably enmeshed. They all get a rude awakening when a shocking incident reveals how the big bad world of ‘glamour in the buds’ breeds cradle snatchers, who are ready to devour anything. Inspired by true incidents, Skin Deep shines a light on the ugly truth behind the facade of beauty and glamour…

The story:

Twenty five girls, one title, INDIA BEAUTY QUEEN.

How would they get through the days that would lead to the title and who would win?

This story looks deeply into the lives of four girls who are contesting win the title: Simran, Shikha, Sania and Sunidhi.

Simran Thapar is a TV anchor/ news reporter from Mumbai. Her mother lives in New Zealand. She wants to perform a sting operation with the help of her TV Channel, her boyfriend and their boss because she wants to expose the truth behind these contests. Because she hopes to make a mark in investigative journalism someday.

Shikha Azgaonkar from Pune wants to win the title at all costs and is even ready to break the rules. She is the oldest of three sisters and their mother is the sole breadwinner. In order to fulfil all her needs and requirements, she has a boyfriend in every city and she also has Sania.

Sania Ahmed from Aurangabad, belongs to an orthodox Muslim family where girls are not supposed to be outgoing. Her father dotes on her, her mother and younger brother support her, but her older brother and Uncle are against it, so is her Uncle’s son.

Sunidhi Karmakar, 24, is the only daughter of media magnate, Karmakar, the main sponsor of the pageant. She wants to win the contest and tells her father to pull all the strings so that she can win it. Her boyfriend, Jai, covers all her tracks and is always there for her.

My take:

This book uncovers what goes on behind the scenes in the world of glamour. It is divided into two parts, one before and the other after the contest.

The language is simple and easily understandable and the story is fast paced.

Initially, the author introduces the main characters and then the story begins. The characters have been etched in detail and it was easy to imagine them.

Initially, on the road leading up to the contest, things were predictable and simple, but once we reach the post contest phase, the story is on a rollercoaster with unpredictable twists and turns.

But somewhere, there are a few loose ends. I really wanted to know as to what happened to Jai? And more about the relationship between Gaurav and Sania.

Read with caution, once you are done with page 60, you will not be able to put it down.

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.

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 Laundry Girl 2.0 by Yamini Pustake Bhalerao

LAUNDARY-2.0_72_RGB- (1).jpgI received The Laundry Girl 2.0 by Yamini Pustake Bhalerao as a review copy from the author. This an ebook exclusive to Juggernaut App and website. I have read the first book in the Laundry Girl Series and was expecting twists and turns and she did not disappoint me.

The Blurb:

Since last two years, the Laundry Girl has been living an inconspicuous life. But when the man she loves comes calling for help, Indira Sanyal agrees to come out of her retirement. Little does she know that this comeback is going to drag her into the sinister world of sex slavery… Whether she is ready to wade through this morally deprived and ominous realm is not the question now, it is whether she will make it out alive or not.

The story:

The book begins with Jatin waiting for Indira in Vienna to help in a case concerning the organisation he is working for. And as soon as she arrives, the reader is a roller-coaster.

My take:

The story is interesting and has a lot of twists and turns. Some characters from the previous book are there and then there are new characters relating to the case in this book. Indira takes us to Europe where she has been assigned the case. The scenes have been described in detail and could be picturised easily. Some scenes were hair-raising and could feel the goose bumps.

The book has been written in simple english and the characters have been created with a lot of effort. The book is fast paced and has been beautifully written.

I enjoyed the book immensely.

And am eagerly awaiting the next one in the series…..

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.

 

The last love letter by Kulpreet Yadav

51nx2Rh57KL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_I received the book The last love letter by Kulpreet Yadav as a review copy from the publisher, Rupa Publications and would like to thank them for the same.

The blurb:

CAN YOU FORGET YOUR TRUE LOVE?

Akash is devastated when his wife Nisha dies of cancer, leaving him all alone to raise their four year- old daughter, Sara. He finds it impossible to deal with the void in his life, and coping with the demands of being a single parent makes the situation worse. The crisis affects his professional life as well, which, too, takes an unexpected turn.

Subah is a painter who started hating men ever since she was dumped by her boyfriend for another woman. She runs an NGO that helps women whose lives have been ruined by abusive men.

When Akash meets Subah their lives change forever, but Akash is ridden with guilt as he finds himself getting closer to Subah. Can he be in love with two women at the same time? The Last Love Letter explores the contours of broken relationships and the meaning of commitment in modern India. The book discovers that love is neither about control nor surrender but a blessing that can only be experienced by listening to the heart.

The story:

Aakash lost his wife, Nisha, to cancer one year ago and is holding on to her memories and last letter she wrote to him. He is a good father and takes care of his daughter, five year old, Sara. But, Nisha’s death has taken a toll on his work, he is unable to concentrate on his work. His book, Mr Raichand, gives him a six months paid leave to take care of himself and Sara and come back rejuvenated.

Subah is a painter, who also runs an NGO for women, does not like men due to her personal experiences. It is at one of her exhibitions that Aakash visits with Sara on their way to breakfast, that she meets Aakash. She does not like him and he thinks that she is crazy.

As luck would have it, Aakash’s best friend Rohit suggests that Aakash try his hand at doing some work related to his field on line. As luck would have it, Subah is his first client. And slowly things start moving in the right direction.

But Aakash is still attached to Nisha and Subah hates men.

My take:

The cover is beautiful and an instant pick me up. And the characters, they are beautiful too. Their names are so appropriate, Nisha, the night and Subah, the morning. And Sara makes the whole story seem so real. I loved the book and the way the author has developed the realistic characters and portrayed their feelings. The secondary characters also have important parts to play in the story.

The author has developed the story slowly, and by the time the I was on the 50th page, I was hooked to the story. There is love, friendship, trust and romance in the story.

The relationships between the characters have been portrayed well. I loved the relationship Aakash and Rohit share also that between Aakash and Sara and that between Aakash and his mother. The relationship between Subah and Bala has been depicted beautifully.

The story touched me deeply and I was thinking about it for a long time after I kept the book down.

Highly recommended, please keep a box of tissues handy.

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.