BOOK REVIEW: SEDUCTIVE AFFAIR

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Author: Rishabh Puri

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Srishti Publishers

Number of pages: 173 pages

My Rating: 4/5

This is a charming and totally believable love story.

Prisha is a young girl who has landed her first job at an established news publication, The New Delhi Chronicle. She has just broken up with her fiancé and is determined to be successful in her career. She meets a handsome colleague Rajesh whom she feels drawn to but he appears to be extremely uncomfortable around her.

An opportunity comes Prisha’s way when her boss Priya sends her to Bengaluru to cover a business conference with none other than Rajesh.

While covering the business conference, Rajesh is on the inside track on a scoop. While helping him get the scoop, Prisha and Rajesh not only become friends but they also find themselves being drawn to each other.

Will Prisha and Rajesh find true love in each other? Will they be successful in getting their exciting news story? Do read the book to find out.

I recommend this book to all readers of romance fiction.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rishabh Puri is an entrepreneur who finds time to indulge in his passion for writing fiction. He can be followed on Facebook as AuthorRishabhPuri and on Instagram @officialrishabhpuri

BOOK REVIEW: A CAGE OF DESIRES

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Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Penguin Books

Number of pages: 216 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The author Shuchi Singh Kalra generously provided me with a copy of her book.

The story is realistic in the sense that it reflects the plight of most Indian women today. They are expected to put aside their own thoughts and feelings and follow the wishes of their husbands and in-laws.

Renu is such a woman, a housewife who toils from morning to night taking care of her two children and cranky father-in-law. Her husband Dev, who lives in another city for work purposes, is distant and withdrawn from her.

However, Renu has a secret: she is the bestselling author of erotic novels written under the pen name Maya! Though she has earned a lot of fame and wealth through her novels, she dare not reveal her identity to the world out of fear of offending her husband and father-in-law.

The family takes on a new tenant, a single man named Arjun. Renu finds herself drawn to him and slowly enters into a relationship with him as she is extremely unhappy and lonely.

A lot of changes take place in Renu’s life and in her relationship with both the men, i.e. Arjun and Dev. It transpires that both the men are concealing things from her.

Will Renu finally take on the identity of Maya before the world? Does she find the peace and happiness that she craves?

I recommend “A Cage of Desires” to readers as a modern story that beautifully depicts a woman’s struggle to find her true self.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shuchi Singh Kalra is a freelance writer and is also the author of two previous novels. She can be followed on Twitter on her handle @shuchikalra

BOOK REVIEW: LOVESTRUCK

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Author: Prasupta Roy

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Half Baked Beans

Number of pages: 130 pages

My Rating: 2.5/5

MY REVIEW: I have received a review copy of “Lovestruck” from the author in exchange for an honest review.

At the outset I would like to apologise for my negative comments on this book as it is not my intention to hurt anyone. But I am merely sharing my thoughts on this story.

The story is littered with various grammatical errors that made me cringe every time I came across them. But the worst grammatical error was “the Pandora’s box”. I do not mean to sound like the grammar police but I have always understood that the article “the” is never used before a proper noun. I was especially unhappy with these errors as the author is supposedly an English teacher.

Coming to the story, Kaatyaani lives in Chennai and is married to Hemant. She used to be a teacher but gave that up when she got married as Hemant didn’t want her “going for a job”.

Hemant comes across as an extremely unpleasant character in the story. Though they are unable to have a child, Hemant refuses to get himself tested for infertility.

Kaatyaani is living an extremely unhappy life when on impulse she accepts a stranger’s friend request on Facebook. She starts to chat with Siddharth, i.e. the stranger over Messenger. Slowly, they grow attached and start to meet. The inevitable happens and they fall in love.

Life takes a turn when Hemant gets a new job in Bangalore. Kaatyaani decides to end her relationship with Siddharth and stay married to Hemant. However, their marriage worsens until Hemant informs her that he is getting married next month!

This took me by surprise as I was not aware that polygamy is legal in India, i.e. can Hemant get married when he is still married to Kaatyaani? Hemant then sends her the divorce document as his fiancée wished that Kaatyaani signs the divorce papers before they marry. Kaatyaani has to simply sign in a few places and send the document back to Hemant and just like that, they are divorced!

After this speedy divorce, Kaatyaani moves back to Chennai and starts working in a school. She tries hard to contact Siddharth but cannot find him. This again sounds strange that she only tries his mobile number but not any kind of social media or e-mail, when it was through Facebook that she met him in the first place!

I will avoid revealing the ending of the book as someone might want to read it. This is merely my opinion on the story and of course a reader might actually enjoy it and have a contrary opinion. A little editing and some research on the Hindu Marriage Act and divorce laws would certainly have helped to make the story better!

BOOK REVIEW: WEDDING PICKLE: FULL OF SPICE!

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Author: Neha Sharma

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by:

Number of pages: 263 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The author Neha Sharma was kind enough to send me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed reading this book as it beautifully depicts the problems faced by young women in India today when they have to go through an arranged marriage.

Avni is a young woman living in Delhi, who loves her work and her independence. She is pressured by her parents to “meet” this great guy from Norway, Ansh.

Avni meets Ansh and finds him nice enough but at first she is unable to have romantic feelings about him. However, she does get engaged to him and all the engagement and wedding planning starts to take place. Still, Avni is afraid of losing her independence.

Every person in India can relate to the descriptions given about the chaos that takes place whenever there is a family function.

Does Avni finally marry Ansh? Is she able to overcome her fears and commit to him? As I cannot give away the plot, everyone will have to read the book to find out.

I recommend this book to readers as it is a realistic and relatable story. The book “Wedding Pickle” can be ordered on Amazon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Neha Sharma is a writer and blogger who resides in Norway. She can be followed on Instagram @novelistneha

CUPID IS STUPID!

r_gjmogbI will state this at the risk of becoming extremely unpopular: I hate Valentine’s Day! But before you all raise your eyebrows at me and start to judge me, let me explain why.

What is the 14th of February? It’s just a day in the calendar. The 14th of February means that we are halfway through the month of February, it being a 28-day (or 29) month. Since when has the 14th of February acquired this cult status of being the day to celebrate love?

I can still feel myself being judged by anyone who is reading my post. There are now speculations going on about the state of my marriage. Let me assure everyone that my marriage is perfectly normal and by normal, I mean that just like any other marriage, it has its ups and downs.

Any sane person who has been married for a few years knows that it is impossible to sustain a heightened state of romance in a marriage. At the end of the day marriage is about compromise, adjustment, mutual respect and an understanding of each other’s likes, dislikes and requirements. If we have to add children into the bargain, then marriage is about raising the children together and yes, arguing over them from time to time.

May I ask, where does Valentine’s Day come into the picture? I have friends who want us to go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day. If it falls in the middle of the week, like it does this year, how does one plan an elaborate dinner in the midst of our busy lives and schedules?

How did the concept of Valentine’s Day come about? Who is Cupid? To get satisfactory answers to my queries, I did what any person does these days, i.e. I searched online!

My research told me that the 14th of February is a Christian feast day honouring one or two early Christian saints called Valentinus. There are stories that say that Saint Valentine was imprisoned for performing wedding ceremonies for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. There is another story that says that Saint Valentine restored the sight of the blind daughter of his judge and before his execution wrote her a letter saying, “Your Valentine” as a farewell.

The 14th of February first became associated with romantic love in the 14th century in Europe. In 18th century England, it became an occasion when lovers expressed their love for each other by sending each other flowers, confectionary and cards that became known as Valentines.

Who was Cupid? In Greek mythology, he was known as Eros and in Roman mythology, he was known as Cupid. He was considered to be the god of love and it was said that his arrows would pierce the hearts of his victims, causing them to fall deeply in love. How did Cupid become one of the symbols of Valentine’s Day is a question that my research could not answer!

When I was a child, I was aware of the existence of Valentine’s Day as a day where people in love exchanged cards, flowers and chocolates. As a teen it was something to giggle, blush and tease friends about.

But since the last several years, I have observed that this day and the build-up to it is acquiring proportions that border on the ridiculous! You cannot escape it: about 2 or 3 weeks prior to the 14th of February, you can see pictures and promotions based on this theme! Be it social media like Facebook and Instagram or the print media like newspapers and magazines and even the mass media like radio and television channels, everyone is talking about and promoting Valentine’s Day.

I have seen and received messages about promotions in various restaurants, cafes and even beauty salons in the city. Are there actually women who go to the salon to get groomed for Valentine’s Day? Judging from the number of promotional schemes in existence, I’m guessing that there must be.

Doesn’t this put partners in a marriage or a relationship under tremendous pressure to perform? If everyone asks each other about their Valentine Day plans and you say that you have none, do people start questioning the solidity of your marriage or relationship? Are people pressured into going for that Valentine Day makeover or into buying flowers or gifts or into booking a table in a café or restaurant?

I am ending my post by asking whether people need a Valentine’s Day to profess their love for each other. Can’t love be shown by actions and that too, not on a particular day but on a daily basis?

I hope that I have not angered or upset people with this post. I have merely expressed my views and I’m sure that many people have differing opinions or views. I am glad if people get a chance to make money on this day but at the same time, I am saddened by the fact that Valentine’s Day has become nothing but a crass commercial money-making business.

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