Invisible Ties by Nadya AR

Artwork_PB EditableI received Invisible Ties by Nadya AR as a review copy from the publisher and would like to thank them for the same. This book is the story of a girl, Noor Kamal, from Pakistan.

The Blurb:

As Karachi burned in the 1990s, the painfully shy Noor Kamal found refuge in an antique jade mirror she stole from Daisy Kamal, her social butterfly mother. One fateful day, the violence hits home as a motley crew of burglars storm the Kamal residence, killing Joseph, the faithful driver who tried to shield Noor, and kidnapping Daisy.

Traumatized by the turn of events and succumbing to familial pressure, Noor reluctantly agrees to start life afresh in Singapore as the wife of Meekaal Kalim, an investment banker. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Noor finds succour in studying psychotherapy.

Her attempt to heal others brings her close to Ella, her neighbour, and Jake, a handsome American who is struggling to deal with his emotional breakdown. As she tries to exorcise ghosts from the past and break free from the shackles, where will this quest take Noor? Would she be able to liberate herself from her strong cultural values and ties?

A saga of love and longing, against a rich contrasting background, Invisible Ties is sure to appeal to readers.

The story:

Noor Kamal is the daughter of Daisy, a social butterfly and Kamal, who worked overtime for a prominent multinational company and struggled every day to stay afloat. She is fascinated with her mother’s bottle green jade mirror. When she is three, she steals it from her mother creating a secure base for herself. She relies on the mirror to voice her fears and overcome the inadequacies of her childhood. Though her father comes home late in the evening, still he understands her more than her mother who has hired maids to look after Noor. Her mother monitors her activities and the frequency of her conversations with the mirror.

She is particularly close to their driver, Joseph, whom she calls Uncle Joseph. One day, when Noor is on the way back from college with Uncle Joseph and the security guard, there is a planned robbery at their home and her mother is kidnapped.

Her mother’s sister, Aunt Lily, who lives in Malaysia comes calling. She also has a proposal for Noor. She mentions that an eligible bachelor, Meekal Kalim,  who works in a highly reputable investment bank in Singapore, is smitten by Noor’s picture and is a suitable match for Noor. She, being in her early twenties and he, in his thirties.

Noor initially refuses but then agrees to marrying Meekal who leaves Karachi immediately after their wedding and sends for her some days later. She is surprised to see that there is no one to receive her at Singapore but finally takes a cab and goes to Meekal’s home. There her mother-in-law, dominating lady, insists that she call her Aunty Banu. It is then that Noor realises that Meekal had married her to be an unpaid full-time nurse, maid and companion to his mother.

All this while, her jade mirror is with her a witness to all her problems. She decides to take a course in psychotherapy and meets Ella, who works as a real estate agent and they become good friends. Through Ella, she meets Jake, an American who has been cheated by his girlfriend and is now out of job.

My take:

The book has been divided into three parts. The story has been written beautifully and the characters seem to jump out of the pages. The strength of Noor’s character has been portrayed beautifully. The book has detailed descriptions and a lot of Mughal History.

But the end left me wanting for more. Maybe there would be a sequel to the book…..

All  said and done, the book is a must read for its poetic and lyrical language.

 

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Baaz by Anuja Chauhan

51MhckYf3XL._SX325_BO1204203200_-1.jpgThe 70-71 war has been a part of my life even before my birth. My mother would tell me that they were posted in West Bengal near the Indo-Bangladesh border and could hear the tanks move past their house. Jai Bangla, a term used in this book for conjunctivitis got its name because of an outbreak of the disease during the war. So when I heard Anuja Chauhan talk about her new book Baaz, based on the 70-71 war on the radio, I ordered it the very same day. This book is a lot different from her other books.

The Blurb:

Why do they call you Baaz?

‘It means falcon,’ he replies solemnly. ‘Or bird of prey. Because I swoop down on the enemy planes just like a Baaz would.’

Then he grins. The grey eyes sparkle.

‘It’s also short for bastard.’

  1. The USSR-backed India-Mukti Bahini alliance is on the brink of war against the America-aided Pakistani forces. As the Cold War threatens to turn red hot, handsome, laughing Ishaan Faujdaar, a farm boy from Chakkahera, Haryana, is elated to be in the IAF, flying the Gnat, a tiny fighter plane nicknamed ‘Sabre Slayer’ for the devastation it has wrecked in the ranks of Pakistan s F-86 Sabre Squadrons.

Flanked by his buddies Raks, a MiG-21 Fighter; Maddy, a transport pilot who flies a Caribou; and fellow Gnatties Jana, Gana and Mana, Shaanu has nothing on his mind but glory and adventure– until he encounters Tehmina Dadyseth, famed bathing beauty and sister of a dead fauji, who makes him question the very concept of nationalism and whose eyes fill with disillusioned scorn whenever people wax eloquent about patriotism and war…

Pulsating with love, laughter and courage, Baaz is Anuja Chauhan’s tribute to our men in uniform.

The story:

1957: Chakkahera, Haryana.

Ten year old Ishaan Faujdaar, Shaanu, lives with his step-father and five younger siblings in Chakkahera, a small town in Haryana. He loves his siblings and they hero worship him. His special bond with his mother used to make his step-father feel excluded.

Shaanu loves to take risks by jumping over wells and by standing on a railway line and jumping off it just as the train arrives. He loves the feeling of his heart going ‘dhookk-dhookk-dhookkk’. It is during one of these adventures that his maternal grandfather tells him, “Never do dangerous things except for a very, very good reason”.  And if he becomes a pilot and flies a plane, he would get that feeling.

1968: Jodhpur, Rajasthan

20 year old Ishaan gets selected as a flying cadet at Air Force Flying College, Jodhpur. The instructor is Hosannah Carvalho for whom everything should be ‘Baaz-ke- Maaphik’. He meets Rakesh Aggarwal (Raka) and Madan Subbiah (Maddy), elite NDA corps sharing a very special bond and both belong to privileged backgrounds. After a few initial hiccups, the three become inseparable and Shaanu becomes a Gnat pilot; Raka flies the MiG and Maddy flies the Caribou in the Indian Air Force. This story then moves around the three of them and their friendship.

Tehmina Dadyseth, Tinka, the daughter of General Ardisher Dadyseth, is a student at Miranda House Delhi. Having lost her brother, a soldier at the border, to a war, she hates wars and does not want to do anything with it. Her father wants her to get married to a nice Parsi boy. She does not want to get married but study photography and human rights. So she runs away from her college in Delhi and buys two tickets at the New Delhi railway station, one for a bus to Udaipur and one for a train to Bombay. The trio of Shaanu, Raka and Maddy is given the job to check the train at the Jodhpur station and they find her. He helps her run away.

1971: Kalaiganga,

An airbase in Eastern India, Kalaigangaa is where our trio is posted and waiting for the war to begin. Raka is married and the entire group enjoys their evenings at the club. Shaanu charms the ladies, married and unmarried alike because of his frank friendly spirit, good natured way of talking and listening. One day he hears people talking about a new soap ad and the model, and he immediately recognizes Tinka as soon as he sees the ad.

His family is coming to him at the base and Tinka is travelling to Calcutta on the same train, in the same coach. So they meet and instantly recognize each other. What follows is their meeting, their squabbles, he wants war and she does not want it and then their falling in love with each other but not confessing it.

The war begins, the boys get busy, Tinka becomes sad and the situation gets tense.

My take:

The characters are relatable and develop beautifully as the story moves along. The supporting characters also have a major role to play in the story be it Raka and Maddy or Jana, Gana, Mana and even the family members. The relationship between the characters has been beautifully described, be it the camaraderie between the boys or Shaanu and Tinka. The book has everything: sibling love, jealousy, romance, war, family drama and action.

The language is simple and easy to follow. The book is peppered with Hindi and Haryanvi words (some of these I could not follow) but the use of Hinglish, or English interspersed with Hindi words makes the book more enjoyable. The words have been spelt in the way they are pronounced by the characters like pilot is spelt ‘piellut’. I loved when Shaanu says Ordinary hip burn when he hears the word Audrey Hepburn and also when he calls Tinka Tell-me-na. Their instructor is Kuch Bhi Carvahlo and Tinka’s aunt, Kainaz is Kung Fui. The dialogues are funny and descriptions too. The chapters are long, maybe because the story required them to be.

The book has been well researched; I actually had to look up the internet once to see when the first Air Force Day was celebrated. The way she has described the flying scenes is commendable. She has described the lives of the Air Force pilots in detail.

Initially, it took me some time to get a hang of the book, but 25 pages later, I was into the book and just could not keep it down, I really wanted to know ‘What happens next?’

The descriptions are detailed and it was easy for me to visualize the scenes. The freesia ad reminded me of the liril ad and the swimming pool scene reminded me of the scene from Nana Patekar in Prahaar. The mention of Lucky dip took me back to my childhood days.

What disappointed me was the end of the book. We, the readers, deserve better after reading 400 odd pages of the book. Though, I cannot find fault with her writing and these pages were not a torture, but still the end was too abrupt and not what was expected of the book. Things can end on a positive note.

Anuja, could you change the end for us please.

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.

 

Book Blitz: The Untold story by Ridhi Drolia

 

Print Length: 109 pages
Publication Date: June 26, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Romance

 

 

Love comes in different forms. But in all its forms, it comes with various challenges. Only those who can combat those challenges are true lovers.The Untold Story is the tale of Vihaan and Riaa. Vihaan falls for Riaa’s charms at first sight and brings to her life crazy adventures and madness. They soon emerge as two hearts with one soul and their intimate fantasies begin to unravel in exotic places.

Their bond experience more downs than ups. These unexpected twists and turns bring Vihaan and Riaa closer and their romantic tale turn into one of lifetime bonding.

The story takes a drastic turn after the lovely couple is blessed with a baby boy. It should be a joyous moment, but instead, haunting memories of Vihaan’s own childhood break out as a fresh wound in his mind.

Read the novel to know what could make a father unhappy in the happiest moment of his life and how he combats his fear.

It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR


In the author’s own words:
“The passion of writing is deep rooted in my blood.
After completing my Global Business Management certification from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, I joined hands with a few of my friends to start my first venture.
Post my stint with the venture, I engaged myself in my lovely family life and now I present to you the author in me.”
 
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Spotlight: The Royal Roommate by P.G. Van

 

THE ROYAL ROOMMATE
by
P.G.Van
 

 

 
Blurb
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.
 
Grab your copy @
 
 

 

 

 

About the author

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.G. Van

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.G. Van lives in San Francisco and she published her first novel, Destiny Decides… in October 2015 and cannot stop writing. She loves to spend time with family and is a strong believer of retail therapy (mostly shops for boots and purses!!). She enjoys giving her readers an escape to the world of love and romance.

 

 

 

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Book Blitz: The Last man she’d love by Summerita Rhayne

 

Print Length: 128 pages
Publication Date: September 24, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Romantic Comedy

 

 

When best laid plans fall apart…Lyna is all set to marry a movie mogul, when she finds his pregnant ex at her office, begging her to break the engagement and keep her name out of it. Forced to take her flirtatious boss Guy’s help, she sets about to break the engagement. But now she’s pulled into deeper involvement with Guy.

One trouble leads to another!

She agrees to visit his palatial country house, posing as his fiancée and is drawn into the family and their antics. Sorting out who’s who takes time. A stringent grandfather, an ambitious mother, a frustrated half brother are only the beginning!

Attraction makes things complicated

Propinquity with someone as charming and attractive as Guy doesn’t help. But Guy himself is as much of a puzzle as ever. Is he the playboy she thinks him or is there someone else beneath the sardonic pose? Will she ever find out?

Will she break her heart in the process?

It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR


Summerita Rhayne writes contemporary and historical romance with lots of emotional conflict. She first got published in 2013 and has won contests with prestigious publishers such as Harlequin and Harper Collins India. Her pet belief is, if the inspiration is strong enough, the story characters will find a way to make the writer pen them down, even when writing time is in short supply. When cerebrally confronted with the sizzling interaction of two Alpha characters, the only way to get peace is write their book!
At heart, she’s a family person and even though she loves her medical teaching profession, she happily becomes a homemaker when not at work. She loves winding down with music, romcoms and cricket (strictly watching only).
 
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Book Blitz: Snowbound by Oliver Lafont

 

Print Length: 339 pages
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Young Adult Adventure/Fantasy

 

 

Christmas is dying.The last Santa Claus had triplets who each inherited a portion of his father’s power, and that split is now tearing apart the soul of Christmas.

Niccolo Vecchio, the eldest, has fortified the North Pole into a citadel of ice and metal.

Santini, the middle brother, is in hiding somewhere in the Mediterranean.

The youngest brother, Niccolo Piccolo, is raising legions to reclaim his inheritance.

Two of the triplets will have to renounce their claim in the next forty-eight hours, or this Christmas will be the last one ever.

And it’s up to Adam, underachieving teenager sub-ordinaire, and his brand new jock bully Zach to make that happen…

It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR


Olivier Lafont is a French author, screenplay writer, and actor. His novel ‘Warrior’ was published by Penguin Random House, and was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize. He has just released his new contemporary romance novel ‘Sweet Revenge’ exclusively on Kindle. ‘Purgatory: The Gun of God’ is a fantasy novelette published in South Africa.
Lafont has written a number of feature film scripts before. The first film he wrote opened at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win seven awards at film festivals worldwide.
As an actor Lafont has acted in Hollywood and Indian films, in TV serials, and in over 80 television commercials. He acted in ‘3 Idiots’, one of India’s all-time blockbuster hits, the critically-acclaimed ‘Guzaarish’, and the Lifetime film ‘Baby Sellers’, amongst other films.
Lafont graduated with two degrees in acting and writing from Colgate University, USA, with academic distinction.

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