The Bodyguard: A Romantic Suspense Novel by Ruchi Singh

e7803-ruchicoverThe Bodyguard: A Romantic Suspense Novel is Ruchi Singh’s latest book. She has written it all, romance, short stories and now a romantic suspense. This book is available on Kindle Unlimited for free, so grab it.

The blurb:

Someone wants Vikramaditya Seth Jr. dead.

He refuses the Z+ security option offered by the government. With too many variables trust is hard to come by…

Esha Sinha prepares for her first assignment outside of active-army service, oblivious to that fact that she has to baby-sit a man who has no respect for rules or protocol—a man who is headstrong, workaholic and a tenacious flirt. As the attraction between Vikram and Esha simmers and sizzles, another attempt is made on his life.

The killer is resourceful and determined.

The motive is unclear and perplexing.

Will they be able to nab the assassin before he gets to Vikram?

The story:

Vikramaditya Seth Jr. took command of Seth industries after the death of his father. A prodigy, with an exceptional high IQ and command over no less than four languages, he is a brilliant strategist with a far sighted vision. His mother and his ex-wife feel that he is moody, short tempered and over bearing. He is divorced and mistrusts women, but his mother wants him to reconcile with his ex-wife, Urvi, an actress.

Nikhil Mahajan is his security in charge, right hand man, loyal friend, fierce body guard, and dedicated chauffer- all in one. Nikhil and Vikram met years ago on a trek and Vikram had saved his life and Nikhil has been loyal since. He had closed his private investigation agency and joined Vikram.

Major Esha Sinha, NSG trained, Black Cat commando, decorated ex-army officer is a crack-shot with a diploma in clinical psychology. She has two siblings and her family is only interested in her pay check. Once engaged to her colleague, Samar, she has a broken engagement behind her.

Vikram’s life is in danger and he has refused Z+ security. An assassin, with one and only mission – Seth Jr., has been following Vikram for years, watching and waiting and his only hitch is Vikram’s unpredictable routine. He even attempts shooting Vikram at Delhi Golf Club injuring his friend instead. And Esha is there and her actions save Vikram, but she becomes a suspect and is picked up for interrogation.

Then Nikhil appoints Esha as Vikram’s bodyguard in disguise. Vikram has qualms of having a lady bodyguard but for Esha, Vikram is an assignment for two months, a monetary transaction, the financial ticket to her sister’s wedding.

My take:

I loved the plot and the way the author has blended suspense and romance together. Both the elements are well balanced and the story just flows. The characters including secondary characters are well etched. The descriptions of the scenes are detailed. I loved the relationship between Nikhil and Vikram and that between Esha and Nikhil, I loved the way he calls her Xena.

The date, time and place of the scenes are mentioned at the beginning of the chapter and the reader keeps getting more and more involved with ‘What Happens Next?’ The point of view of even the negative character has been given, in italics.

This book is an unputdownable page-turner.

 

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Small is Big: A collection of 100 micro tales by Rafaa Dalvi

95884-smallisbigI received Small is Big: A collection of 100 micro tales by Rafaa Dalvi as a review copy from the author as a part of the blog tour hosted by The Book Club. I am thankful to the author as well as The Book Club for the same. This book is a collection of 100 tales belonging to different genres.

The blurb:

Have you always wanted to read more, but you could never finish that one book?

You kept putting it off, hoping you would find some free time, only to find out that months or even years went by and you saw little progress.

That’s about to change!

With Small is Big, Rafaa Dalvi has created a potpourri of 100 diverse micro tales (140 characters or less) that will provide you a rich experience in easy-to-digest fragments and urge you to read one page after another before you finally finish the book.

And the best part is that there’s a story for everyone, including YOU!
If you’re a romantic at heart, this micro tale is for you-
She kissed his cheek as he smiled back. Nothing had changed much since two decades.
Her husband called her.
She hid the photo in the closet.
If you love happy endings, this micro tale is for you-
You rested on my lap, opened yourself before me and shared your fantasies with me.
Then the stories ended and you turned back into a book.
If you ever had a tough time fitting in, this micro tale is for you-
Nerd. Not anymore. A new college. A new identity.
Math. First lecture. Finished my test first.
Teacher graded me aloud- 20/20. I had failed.
If you are a big fan of word play, this micro tale is for you-
They’re lying in bed.
“You’re the one,” he says; he’s lying.
“I never doubted it,” she says; she’s lying.
They’re lying in bed.
And if you like thrillers, this micro tale is for you-
There were two of us and one vacant position.
He would die for this job and I would kill for it.
No wonder it worked out just fine for me.
In fact, there are 100 such small tales that will have a big impact on you.
My take:

Expressing yourself or your emotions in limited number of words is an art. I always have an added respect for writers of short stores.

But this is exemplary, less than 140 words.

Stories so short that you read a tale, introspect it and then move on to the next. That’s what I did, read them, tasted them and digested them. And one more thing, I have actually bookmarked the ones that I liked, so that I can read them again and again.

The author has touched upon various emotions like love, satire, crime, suspense….. also the tales have been arranged alphabetically. Some are cute and some are sad. To tell you the truth, there were some I did not understand. There were some that I could relate to, Zoom being one of them (I know all of you would…)

Some tales made me think, what would happen next?

A must read!

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 Historian and the Hunter by Zeenat Mahal

the_historian_and_the_hunter__new_.jpgThe Historian and the Hunter by Zeenat Mahal is the latest book by the author. I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy from her.  When I read the name of the story, I felt that the male lead would be the hunter and the female lead, the historian. But what I did not know that both  would be girls and twin sisters.

The Blurb:

Laila and Shirin are ordinary girls living in the old city of Lahore just like millions of others…except they live in the red-light district area, and they’re identical twins. Also they hunt monsters no-one knows exist…okay so, maybe not quite like millions of other girls…

The story:

They have telepathy, or the twin thing.

They are opposites. But, they are identical twins, born into a family that kills monsters.

Laila and Shirin lost their parents when they were young and all they have as family is Emir pehalwan, Madam Ara and the Begum. Their parents were the first Hunters to have been killed in centuries, 15 years ago and their great aunt, the Begum says that the monsters have been showing up since then. Emir is their foster father in everyway except a formal declaration. They had been practically raised by Madam Ara, who was their solace and escape from Council duties. Begum, the Supreme Seat of the Secret Council of Lahore, which had thirteen members, men and women of different ages and backgrounds to maintain a balance.

Shirin Mirza never took Laila’s work seriously nor did she respect the work of the historian. Laila knows Shirin loves her and fears losing her. Shirin had her Saiban and Laila had her books.

Shirin is outdoorsy and physical and Laila, a scholar and a recluse. One is a historian, a bookworm, reads diaries and spends most of her time in a library. Shirin is Saiyyad, the Hunter of the Secret Council- an organization sworn to protect the vulnerable, hunts for Nau-Guzzahs, churails, jinns, demons and monsters. She is the hunter. She calls Emir, her Saiban.

Laila isn’t brave, she prefers books and solitude. She is afraid of people and that is the reason she stayed with books in underground rooms. She reads about werewolves, shamanism and alchemy. She loves stories, books are her world and that is how she learned about the Words of Power. Her curiosity and devotion had led to much discovery. By the time she was 10, Laila knew all the secret passageways of the city. She has been dreaming of the wolf for the past three years.

Nothing trumps the Historian, her twin sister is the Hunter. Her foster father is her Saiban and her foster mother is the madam who manages the eyes and ears of the Council.

A new Council member, an archeologist, Shahmeer Sikander is surprised that he has been selected though he lacks the ancestry and pedigree the Council usually look for.

Sardar Rustam Ali Khan, nephew of an old friend of Emir, is the leader of his clan. He is introduced by the Begum as one of the secret weapons of The Council.

My take:

I have usually associated Zeenat Mahal with romantic stories but this one is different. The story is interesting, and begins with Saiyyad hunting for a Nau-Guzzah. And then there are council meetings and secret passage ways. There are doors and keys. There are some diaries hidden by Lockwood from the Council. And then there is also the story of Ranjeet Singh.

There is a story within the story, which moves in parallel to the main story and both the stories are linked. But neither story overshadows the other.

The language is simple, it would have been more meaningful if the author had given the meanings of terms like saiban, Nau-guzzah and other terms which are not so commonly used.

Though the story moves slowly in the beginning, it gains momentum as it progresses and then the book becomes unputdownable.

The characters of Laila and Shirin have been developed very well. But I found myself wanting to know more about Shahmeer and Rustam.

Enjoyed reading the story.

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

 

 

Juni Dagger: Murders in Meraupatnam by Arjun Chandra Kathpalia

51aRsKAIadL._SX354_BO1_204_203_200_.jpgI received the book Juni Dagger: Murders in Meraupatnam by Arjun Chandra Kathpalia as a review copy. I would like to thank the publisher for the book. The book is a mystery and has been written by a sixteen year old boy.

The blurb:

When the residents of Meraupatnam’s posh Dormeth Lane start getting picked off by mysterious snipers, the mayor has no choice but to call in the celebrated detective Juni Dagger. With the aid of his assistant, Monroe and a stranger-turned-ally, Cameron, Dagger must trace the links between the murders and find the mastermind, a mysterious man who goes by the name Veron.

Interspersed with his sleuthing, are Dagger’s culinary adventures, which often throw up clues to his case. Soon, Dagger discovers that Veron is now targeting him and his desire to be rid of the detective can only be matched by Dagger’s desire to enjoy a good meal (or two or three!).

Perfect for readers who like their mystery with a generous side of comedy, Juni Dagger is sure to leave you wanting more, both from the detective, and your meals.

The story:

27 year old Juni Dagger is an investigator, and one of world’s best detectives. When the small, sleepy town of Meraupatnam in the Indian sub-continent witnesses serial sniper killings and the police are not able to even start digging the case, Juni is pressed into the case by the Mayor of the town. Juni does not have an assistant, he prefers to take and drop assistants with cases, is more of a lone wolf and does not prefer attachment of any sort. He likes to take things easy, he is in no hurry to plunge into the case. He loves food and does not believe in coincidences.

When Juni reaches Meraupatnam he meets eccentric Mr Crow, a widely acclaimed cards player and defeats him. Then he meets the Mayor who briefs him on the case and assigns a local person, Monroe, as his assistant. At the first instance, Juni asks Monroe to get him food. Monroe thinks he is an extremely eccentric and whimsical person.

They try to decipher the clues, the deaths continue and sometimes they foil the plans. During one of these episodes, he meets Cameron, a Ninja and a trained assassin to kill and make it look like an accident, who uses Ninja equipment like a shruiken. As they have the same plan they decide to work together.

Time progresses, clues come, clues go, and suddenly one day, Juni has a Eureka moment and suddenly everything starts falling into place like a jigsaw puzzle

My take:

The story is a murder mystery plot set in a small town setting. The author has created the characters with a lot of details and the characters were realistic and also relatable. The author has described the town of Meraupatnam in detail and I was actually looking for a town of the same name on the internet. It was only then I realized that the town is a figment of the author’s imagination.

The language is simple and the humour is palpable. The author has used the plot of a murder mystery with all the possible elements like suspense, secret codes, clues, snipers, letters, riddles and twists and turns.

Once I was 20 pages into the book, it was very difficult for me to keep the book down. The book is fast paced.

All through the book, I never felt that the book was the debut work of a teenager.

A must read for everyone.

DISCLAIMER: I received the book as a review copy from the publisher. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

The Laundry Girl by Yamini Pustake Bhalerao

the_laundry_girl_300_rgb_1501123577_380x570.jpgI received The Laundry Girl by Yamini Pustake Bhalerao as a review copy from the author. The debut novel of the author is an ebook exclusive to Juggernautapp and website. I have read her previous book, Operation Superstar, which was a collection of short stories on the Juggernaut App.

This book is the story of Indira, a girl who heads a detective agency. Her team comprises of Spence, a hacker; Nadia, a chartered accountant; Laxmi, an ex-assistant of a private detective and Bhavesh, the go-to person for anything and everything. Bhavesh was her first partner and we had met him in Operation Superstar, the first book.

The Blurb:

Indira can make your worst and most embarrassing problems go away. She is a fixer, private investigator, thief and lethal street fighter rolled into one deadly package. She is pressured by a very powerful client to take up a case she doesn’t want to. The very case has lead to her involvement in the death of three people.

And now that she is the next target of a dangerous assassin, it turns out that only she can help herself. Can The Laundry Girl overcome the demons of her own past as a convict, and come out alive at the end of this case? Or will this case lead to her end?

The story:

The book begins with Yamini on a case of the CEO of a company, Trista Pharmaceuticals, who is being blackmailed by his PA. She solves the case with the help of her team in a fast-track mode. But little does she know that the case would almost cost her her life.

My take:

It is an interesting book which showcases the journey of the detective. Her past, her family and why she is what she is. 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 was so caught up with the book that I was reading the book till 4am even though I had to get up at 530am the next day to go to work and actually had to have a cup of strong black coffee to take me through the day.

Initially, I thought, the case is over, now she would move on to the next one, so this is also a collection of short stories like the previous one, but little did I know that what I was about to read next would keep me glued till the end.

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 Royal Roommate by P.G.Van

5c815-img_2700I received The Royal Roommate by P.G.Van as a review copy from the author. I thought that this book would be a romance but what I did not expect was the fast paced action that came with the love story.

The blurb (from Goodreads):

My purpose in life is to protect you…

Sid is Army strong and sinfully sexy. He is tasked to investigate a woman suspected of having connections with a rebel group. The style of investigation was not his choice, and he is asked to move in as the roommate of the person of interest, Amy.

Amy was thrilled to start her internship in San Francisco and wasn’t expecting a man with rock-solid abs as her roommate. The moment she laid eyes on him, she knew he was bad news.

The attraction was undeniable and they both wondered how long they could hold on to their resolve. Sid didn’t want to sleep with a suspect even if she was wildly beautiful and sexy. Amy wasn’t interested in a fling.

Just when Sid is about close his investigation and declare Amy’s innocence, he finds out something about her that changes everything. She becomes the most important person in his life.

The story:

Amy is excited to move to San Francisco for her law internship in a prestigious law firm. This is the first time that she is going to stay away from home. She loves her little brother, Aaron and her parents. Her mother is the cautious parent and her dad gives her and her brother the extra freedom that they needed to balance the mama bear love. Her mother calls both Amy and her father ‘top-of-the-line-snobs’, but the father and daughter say that they just have high standards for everything.

She has a year of college left and wants to start her law practice in her home town. She wants to do more than make money, she wants people she cares about to get justice and to be the one to fight for the farmers in her home town.

Once she reaches San Francisco, she checks into her accommodation and finds that her roommate is yet to arrive. Having requested for a girl, she is surprised to find a handsome young man at the door saying that he is her roommate.

Her roommate is Sid, an undercover cop on an emergency order to investigate the lady who has dropped an injured person to a hospital. And Amy is the suspect as she had picked an injured person on the highway and taken him to the hospital. His gut feeling says that she is innocent but he can leave no margin for error, because it is his duty to protect the swan and that he will do at all costs.

He is attracted to her and she, to him, but he cannot afford to be involved with the person of interest in his investigation, so he concentrates on being a good roommate.

He knows next to nothing about her and she has no expectations of him and allows him to be his real self.

But as his investigation is coming to an end, something about her pops up and he knows that he cannot leave her alone.

My take:

The book was unputdownable for me, what with the pace of the book. I also felt that Amy was innocent but as the sequences come up, I was doubtful. The book has a little bit of everything spies, jammers, secret tunnels, romance and bugs.

The characters have been developed in a way that I could easily picturise them.

The language is simple and the story has been beautifully plotted.

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 Perfect Murder by Ruskin Bond

51KG1LCYAtL.jpgI received The Perfect murder and other stories by Ruskin Bond as a review copy from the publisher, Rupa publications and I would like to them for the same. The book is a collection of eight stories by famous authors like Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, WW Jacobs and Edgar Allan Poe. There is one by Ruskin Bond.

The blurb:

In that dim corner of the cafe was planned the perfect murder. Paul had long since realized that the affair was not so easy of accomplishment as he had so airily suggested. For the thing must be done without violence, without clues, without trace.

Is the perfect murder ever possible? Find out, in this collection of stories where plenty of mysterious and strange crimes occur. Featuring some of the best writers of this genre, from Arthur Conan Doyle and Wilkie Collins to Edgar Allen Poe and Ruskin Bond, these stories will keep the reader hooked as they try to guess the motives, alibis and identity of the murderer. Baffling and exciting, this book is for those who enjoy pitting brains against some of the most accomplished writers of mystery stories.

My take:

The book is ideal one to be read on a cold winter afternoon with a big mug of coffee.

Thank you Rupa for making us revisit the stories.

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.