Tied to Deceit by Neena H Brar

9781775158028Tied_to_deceitcover.jpgI received the book ‘Tied to Deceit’ by Neena H Brar as a review copy from the author. Thank you for the book, Neena. It is a murder mystery set in Sanover, Himachal Pradesh, India in 1974.

The blurb:

On a drizzly August morning, the inhabitants of the hill town of Sanover, Himachal Pradesh, wake up to the shocking news of the murder of the exquisite, secretive, malicious, and thoroughly immoral Devika Singh.

As Superintendent of Police Vishwanath Sharma begins to sift through the hidden secrets of Devika Singh’s life, it becomes evident that everyone who knew her seems to have a clear-cut motive for killing her.

Faced with the investigation of a crime that appears to have as many suspects as there are motives, Vishwanath Sharma probes the sinister web spun around a tangle of lies and deception.

The story:

Dr Rajinder Bhardwaj, owner and head physician at Lifeline Hospital in Sanover, Himachal Pradesh and his wife Gayatri have been married for twenty four years. Though they have kept a façade of happy for the world, but actually Gayatri is aware of her husband’s infidelities and ignores his unfaithfulness. One day, she receives a letter and catches him red handed with the receptionist at the hospital, Devika Singh.

As the couple is childless, his nephew Rudra, the son of his estranged brother, also works in the same hospital and is ambitious and greedy.

One morning, Devika is found murdered in her bed. Though, she is one person nobody likes, but no one ever thought that she would be killed.

SP Vishwanath Sharma is the officer responsible to investigate the murder. As he starts his investigation, one person leads to another and the plot thickens. He and his aide, Rawat go from person to person and from place to place to investigate. There are many suspects and the best part is that all of them have a motive to kill her.

My take:

The story is a murder mystery with one clue leading to another and one suspect leading to another. The characters are realistic and well developed. Though there are many of them, each has a role to play in the story.

The scenes and nature have been described in detail. So also the various settings. The language is simple and easy to follow.  Each chapter begins with a quote which gives an idea of the chapter.

The author has tied up the loose ends well and the book feels complete at the end. The chapters are short. The book moves at a slow pace in the beginning but the pace increases at the end.

A little bit of editing would make the story crisper. As a debut author, to write a book that is 390 pages long with minimal mistakes is an achievement.

Loved the book and am looking forward to more from the author.

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

Book buying links:

Amazon India:  https://www.amazon.in/Tied-Deceit-Neena-H-Brar-ebook/dp/B07CZSVFX7/

Amazon US:  https://www.amazon.com/Tied-Deceit-Neena-H-Brar/dp/1775158039/

Amazon UK:   https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tied-Deceit-Neena-H-Brar-ebook/dp/B07CZSVFX7/


Book Blitz: Mauri by Saiswaroopa Iyer

~ New Release ~
Mauri by Saiswaroopa Iyer

About the Book:

She wanted to kill the man who others called a God.
Love is but an obstacle in her path

With her father’s death shattering her world, Mauri is torn away from everything she had once loved. Anger replacing every emotion within her, she seeks only one thing. To kill her father’s killer. Even if the man is none less than Krishna Vaasudeva, the man who people worshipped as a God! Someone stands in the way, reining in her bitterness when she is the least prepared for it. The Rakshasa Prince Ghatotkacha! But by the time love sprouts within her, Mauri has gone too far in her thirst for vengeance. 

Can Mauri save herself and Ghatotkacha before the consequences of her own actions can destroy both their worlds?

Book Link:
Read an Excerpt:
aim! But that sorry-looking insult to all weapons is not going to take you very
jumped out of her skin. The man who had found her out was a complete stranger.
A closer look at him told her he was a Rakshasa. Her first instinct was to make
a run towards the exit. It would be only a matter of time before this Rakshasa
would go and tell Ghatotkacha. Then it struck her that she had never seen this
man in Ghatotkacha’s team! Who was he?
secret is safe with me, little one!” He beamed. The broken canine on his upper
jaw could not be missed. He took her arm but she shook him off. “Alright!
Remember girl, I am your well-wisher.”
don’t even know who you are!” Mauri backed away.
who can protect you from…,” he smirked and pointed to the gap between the two
ornate pillars close to where she was hiding, “them”
peered through the gap. She could count up to six guards furiously searching
for the culprit who had dared strike Krishna Vaasudeva. The foolhardy nature of
her attempt struck her now. How had she even dreamt of escaping the heavily
guarded palace after doing what she’d done?
with me.” He held her arm. “If you want to escape without being seen, that is.”
His voice assumed a lower note. “And if you want to get another chance at your
and still guided by her frustration, Mauri followed him towards a secluded
section of the vast palace garden. When she left the place a good couple of
hours later, her mind reeled at the task before her. It was too much, what the
Rakshasa had asked of her. But she could not have afforded to be caught by the
palace guards. Possibly she could have lied about her aim going wrong when she
was trying to get some fruit. The news would still have travelled to Dhatri,
though, and who knew how she would react? On the other hand, the prospects that
this Rakshasa promised, though at great risk, seemed more welcome. Mauri
continued to walk in a daze, aimless and unmindful of the maze of paths. A
shrill cry calling out to her brought her back to this world.
Where on earth did you disappear?!” Nandini ran up to her, and not very far
behind was Dhatri!
the first time, Mauri found herself tongue-tied, at a loss for explanations.
“I…I came with Ghatotkacha. I lost my way.”
“Any guard
would have guided you out of this place.” Dhatri’s voice had traces of
annoyance. “And why did you not even inform us before leaving?” She sighed as
Mauri slipped back into silence again. “I found us a caravan headed eastward.
Let us quickly take leave of our hosts and start this afternoon.”
followed her without a word. She needed to be in Dhatri’s good books.
“Mahadevi…after going back to Kamarupa, can I live with you?”
saw Dhatri halt in her steps and look visibly delighted. She heard Nandini
squeal with joy. Neither had a clue of what was going on in her mind.
they left Indraprastha later in the day, Mauri looked back at the glorious
looking arch receding into the distance. She had not taken leave of
Ghatotkacha. It would have been nice to see him just one more time!
About the Author:
Formerly an analyst with a Venture capital firm, Saiswaroopa currently writes Puranic fiction, with a focus on lesser known heroines of Ancient India. Mauri is her third work of fiction after Abhaya and Avishi. Her interests include Carnatic Music, Philosophy, History and Literature of India. She won a state level gold medal from TTD in rendering Annamacharya Kritis. She holds an MBA from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.
Contact the Author:


Driven by Desire by Shilpa Suraj

webp.net-compress-image_1527227806I received Shilpa Suraj’s latest book Driven by Desire as a review copy from the author. This book is the story of Max and Krish set in Hyderabad, India.

This is a 434 paged book available on the Juggernaut app which can be read on the phone and the best part is that once downloaded, the book can be read offline.

The blurb (from Juggernaut):

An ace vintage car restorer and a pharmaceutical tycoon, Maxine and Krish have nothing in common. A chance encounter puts their lives on a collision course and a stubborn and steady attraction begins to bloom. Wanting each other is easy, it’s happy ever after that’s the problem…

The story:

Thirty three year old Krish Mehra, CEO of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the country, Life Industries, lives in Hyderabad with his two brothers, Chirag, 31and Aditya, 22 and younger sister, Pooja, 13. Having lost their parents ten years ago in a car crash, the four of them had fought for the right to stay together and refused any offers of help. They had formed a wall against the sea of relatives who had clamoured to take on their life at their parents’ deaths.

A workaholic, Krish has not taken a moment to think about his likes and dislikes for ten years. He is arrogant, annoying and grouchy but his love and devotion for his family shines through it all. Home, family and responsibilities are his priorities. He is father-mother-brother rolled into one for his little sister.

He is the rational, responsible, mature one, the one who always did the right thing. He guarded his privacy ferociously even as a child and only his mother was capable of coaxing him to give out his deepest secrets. After her passing, his desire to keep his thoughts and feelings deeply buried within became a necessity.

One day when Krish is at home, a bag of bones falls on him from the tree in their house. And the bag of bones is Max, Aditya’s friend from guitar class. And he calls her ‘Peter Pan’ and she thinks that he is the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. And he ends up in the hospital, place that he hates.

But that does not mean that he has seen the back of her already. He goes to Sheridan’s as he wants to get his father’s car, his father’s pride and joy restored as he feels that it would help his sister find her way back. And Brian Sheridan, the owner of the garage tells him that he looks after the garage and the day to day business but the vintage arm of the business is looked after by his manager who also decides whether they would take up a project or not. And the manager turns out to be Maxine Sheridan, Max, a twenty four year old automobile engineer from RMIT. He thinks that she is too young to take up this responsibility. But Max has lived and breathed cars since she was 10, has grown up tinkering with her father’s collection of vintage cars and has worked in the best garages in Australia on both new and vintage cars.

But still he insists that she inspects the car and when he sees, in her, the same love for his father’s car that his father carried right till the end, he has a change of heart and tells Max that she can do it.

And the attraction begins. He tells her that there cannot be an ‘us’. She tells him that she is courting him and he tells her not to let the weight of his life rob the colour from hers. They decide to explore this thing between them for a month

My take:

I loved the story. It has elements of sibling love, teenage woes, romance, and also parental love.The characters have been etched beautifully and intricately and are realistic and relatable. I loved Krish and the way he took on the responsibility of his family without a frown of his face. His family is his world and nothing and no one comes before them and no one was going to tear his family apart. Not everyone does it. And Maxine, she is everything that Krish is not, a breath of fresh air in the story, countering Krish. All the characters have important roles in the story be it, Aditya, Chirag and Brian or even Pooja for that matter. I loved Pooja and the relationship she shares with Max, growing up in a household full of men. Max’s relationship with her father has been beautifully depicted.

The scenes have been described in detail. The language is simple and the story just flows and before you know it, you reach the end of the book and are eagerly waiting to see whether there is a story of the other Mehra siblings. This book made me laugh, made me cry and I felt I was there sitting in the Mehra household and the story was unfurling right in front of me.

This book is recommended to lovers of romance as well as those who want to read a good book of fiction. I promise that it would leave a smile on your face.

Well done Shilpa. I hope there are sequels to this book with the stories of Chirag, Aditya and little Pooja.

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.



Lolita by Rubina Ramesh

51bm6QnrCWL.jpgI received the book Lolita by Rubina Ramesh as a review copy from the author. Thank you Rubina for the book.

The Blurb:

Love or stardom? Was there even a doubt what Lolita wanted?

But what Lolita wanted and what she got were two different things. When the notoriety that came along with fame was too much for her to bear, she seeks refuge in the luscious green Panchgani.

Advait Rana was a workaholic and a single dad. Balancing the two roles was not easy. The guilt of neglecting his ten-year-old motherless daughter made him decide to become a better father than he was. He takes a leave and heads toward Panchgani, little knowing that fate had other plans.

A chance accident changes their lives forever.

Born in simplicity, shunned for her ambition by her family, and shamed for her choice in men, Lolita was everything Advait wanted to avoid–for his and his daughter’s sake. Little did he know that it was this attitude that made him a target of the diva of the silver screen.
For Lolita was born to win over hearts.

The story:

Lalita Subramanium Iyer, the only child of her loving parents, lives in the small town of Kumbakonam in Southern India, where her father is a local school teacher. Theirs is an orthodox Tamil family and almost all their relatives live in the same locality.  The only flaw that she has is to do something big. So when Sandy Behl from Bollywood offers her a role in one of his movies, she goes against her parents’ wishes and moves to Mumbai with Sandy. She is disowned by her parents. And in the big bad world of Bollywood, simple, small town Lalita becomes the Bollywood diva, Lolita.

After being in the limelight for five years, Lolita is past caring. So when she is labelled a as a home breaker and Sandy tells her to move to his farmhouse in Panchgani and come back after the media cooled down, she agrees. She hates solitude as it takes her to her happier days and then to the part when she had chosen this life.

A few days in Panchgani, Lolita is out for a walk when she is almost run over by a car. And the poor driver ends up getting hurt in the process.


Advait Rana, a web developer, is coming back to his farmhouse where his ten year old daughter, Simone, is waiting for him along with his younger sister, Aachal. A workaholic, Advait works to provide his daughter a better future. She is his reason for living and he does not want money to be a constraint as it was when his late wife was unwell.

Advait wants to spend every minute of his holiday with his daughter but Lolita comes in and to ward off the media, she calls him her fiancé.

Advait does not know what he is to her-a vacation romance? She wants this love because it isn’t a barter.

What happens next????

My take:

What a story! I just could not stop till a reached the end. And the cover, its hot.

The characters are so real and relatable and their relationships have been beautifully described. Be it Aachal and Advait or Advait and Simone. I loved Simone’s relationship with Lolita the most.

The descriptions of the scenes have been written in such detail that I could picturise the scenes. Some scenes made me laugh and in some scenes, I literally was crying.

The language is simple and the story moves at a fast pace.

The author has beautifully portrayed that what we see is not the actual truth and all bad girls are not bad, it is the circumstances that make us good or bad.

Looking forward to 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.


Falling for Him by P G Van

51c30OUNzgL.jpgI borrowed Falling for Him by P G Van from Kindle Unlimited. It is the story of a celebrity and his photographer.

The Blurb:

Ariya Dev enjoys being a freelance photojournalist. She takes up an assignment as a Celebrity Photographer when her best friend asks her as a favor. She wasn’t thrilled to work with celebrities who were typically arrogant, but she was up for a challenge. She has been in the broadcast industry long enough to know what to do and who to avoid.

Veer Thakur is the celebrity animal doctor also known as ‘The Hot Beast Lover’ with a huge fan following and the looks to make a living as a model. His love for the animal kingdom and the passion for what he does made him famous, but he has less than two years before he has to drop everything to take over his father’s multi-million-dollar businesses.
Falling in love is inevitable when you meet the right person. Follow Ariya and Veer’s story to find out how their lives meld together in this sweet and touching story of a complete stranger becoming a vital part of one’s life.

The story:

Ariya Dev, a freelance photojournalist, lives with her elder sister Siri and her mother. She is excited about her latest photography assignment in the Amazon rainforests. Her goal is to get the veterinary doctor a million followers on Facebook in two weeks and she also has to publish a story about him. As Stefan, her best friend from college is the producer of the TV show, she has agreed for old times sake

He is Veer Thakur, celebrity animal doctor, single heir to a multimillion dollar company, who chose to be an animal doctor. He is working in the background with his father for the past couple of years and would go back to business when he turns 30.

She is here for still photography and to do a story about the animal doctor, an internet celebrity whose popularity is growing every day, and does not want to mix professional and personal life. Having made this mistake once, she makes a mental note to keep a distance. But…..

My take:

The cover is beautiful. I loved the story and its twists and turns. The characters are relatable and lovable, not only the main ones but also the secondary characters. The relationship between the sisters has been described beautifully and I loved the easy camaraderie between them. The friendship between Ariya and Stefan has been portrayed very well. The chemistry between Veer and Ariya is electric.

The descriptions are detailed and the scenes could be easily visualized. The book is fast paced and unputdownable. I loved it when Ariya sees Veer for the first time galloping on the horse and she is going click-click-click.

A must must read.



True Liars by Isha Inamdar

51V7nGlZyvL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI picked up True Liars by Isha Inamdar from the Harper Collins store at the Worl Book Fair 2018 in January because the cover as well as the blog intrigued me.

The blurb:

The aspiring deejay NJ Anjana lives with her best friend Harsh and his boyfriend Sam in Mumbai. When Harsh has to go to Phalodi, his hometown in Rajasthan, for his sister s wedding, he asks NJ to tag along, posing as his girlfriend. She agrees happily. At the wedding, though, she meets Rudra, Harsh s elder brother, and the two are powerfully attracted to each other. One thing leads to another and they kiss, only to break away bitterly. But NJ will not let Harsh’s secret out. Weddings, vows, secrets, lies of course, things get complicated. When Rudra is in Mumbai next, he finds that NJ is missing and no one knows where she is. Where could she have gone? Why are there rumours that she is dead? Will Rudra move on from the guilt and sadness that envelop him, or will he uncover the truth behind these mysteries? A big fat desi romance for those who stir a little darkness into their love potions.

The story:

Anjana lived with her parents in Nashik, where her father is a motorman in the railways. She wanted to be a deejay and her parents are offended by her choice of career. Anjana, NJ, 24, moved to Mumbai from Nasik to try her luck as a deejay and met Harsh at a Christmas party where she had played the introductory piece in December 2009. They hit it off well and she now shares the flat with Harsh and his boyfriend, Sameer. The three of them are best friends.

The story starts in November 2010. Harsh’s sister, Kaavya is getting married and for the wedding, Harsh has to go to his family home in Phalodi, Rajasthan. To save himself from wedding proposals, he asks NJ to act as his pretend girlfriend and she agrees for her best friend’s sake.

At the airport, they are received by Rudra, Harsh’s elder brother. Rudra does not trust girls. He had fallen in love when he was 22, she left him 2 years later and since the last three years, he has been brooding. Rudra never lets his guard down.

NJ realizes that Rudra evokes strong feelings in her. And Rudra also is attracted to her, but he thinks that she is a gold digger and her brother’s girlfriend, so he tries to stay aloof from her. He also decides to expose NJ’s reality to Harsh.

She bonds well with Harsh’s family members, especially Kaavya. On the day of the wedding, NJ goes back to Mumbai and six days later they realize that she is missing and untraceable.

My take:

The prologue sets the tone for the book. Then the book starts sixteen days earlier and you go back to the timeline of events. The language is simple and easy to understand. The chapters are short and that adds to the pace of the book.

The story flows smoothly initially, with the dates at the beginning of the chapters and the reader can easily follow the timeline of events. And then suddenly some part drags towards the end the end is a bit abrupt.  But all in all loved the story.

The characters are well developed and realistic. Loved the friendship between NJ and Harsh and the relationship between the siblings. Though the story has been narrated in third person, the feelings of the characters have been described in detail.

The scenes as well as the places have been described in detail. The customs of Rajasthan including the traditional dress has been described in detail, I felt that I was actually seeing the wedding preliminaries right before my eyes.

I was left wanting for more, maybe there is a sequel ……


The Marriage Contract by PG Van

51So5iNmJrL._SX260_.jpgThe Marriage Contract by PG Van is one of the latest books by the author that I have read recently having borrowed it from Kindle Unlimited.

The Blurb:

Kari had no plans for a marriage of convenience when she walked into a meeting with the President of the Kennedy Group of Companies, but it was the only option she was left with after a business deal her father had with the Kennedy Group.

Blake was only looking to expand his empire and wasn’t interested in marriage or a fake wife, but what she had to offer was promising enough for him to give in to her demands.

A strictly business-only contract turns into something else, and when Kari and Blake become more than business partners, she finds out he has a heart filled with secrets and darkness. Does she back out of the contract or go for more?

The story:

Karina Vora, 27, is an engineer but not a geek and has a master’s in business and finance. Her father is the CEO and President of their company, Vora Group of Hotels and decides it’s time to retire. So her mother tells him to sell it all so that he can retire. The deal has a good payout and they want her to get married to get her payout buts she wants to manage the hotels and is angry with him for entering into a contract. According to the contract, Vora group of hotels would be a part or the Kennedy group of Companies and her father wants her to sign the contact. Kari is off to see Mr Kennedy to discuss the matter.

Blake Kennedy, the CEO and President of the Kennedy group of companies, has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford and an advanced degree in business management. Half Indian, he lost his mother at birth, grew up with nannies and feels that his father blames him for his mother not being with them. Sean is his best friend and CFO of the company. He joined his dad seven years ago.

Kari meets Blake and tells him that she is there to meet his dad and it turns out that he is the one who is heading the group. She tells him that she would not sign the deal till he agrees to her terms. She also tells him that her software programme, the one that she is working on, is not a part of the deal. He wants a part of her software and she tells him to marry her as that is the only way to finalise the contract and for him to have a piece of her software. And that the marriage is just another contract. She tells him that they would get married on paper, her funds would be released and she would give Blake a certain percentage of her software company.

My take:

The cover is an instant Pick-Me -Up.

I loved the characters. Kari has a spirit; we have to give her that. Blake is smart. I loved the relationship Kari shares with her cousin Dev and his wife. The compassionate side of Blake has been described well. The story is simple and the language is easily understandable. The scenes have been described in detail. Loved the story and the flow. The story keeps the reader glued.