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: KARTIKEYA-THE DESTROYER’S SON

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Author: Anuja Chandramouli

Genre: Mythological Fiction

Published by: Rupa Publications

Number of pages: 230 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The publishers Rupa Publications provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I was happy to read and review this book as I enjoy reading mythology, especially Hindu mythology. Also, it made a refreshing change from the recent novels that I have read.

The story is about Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. I had never given much thought about Kartikeya, till date, as Hindu mythology has such a vast plethora of stories.

The story describes the circumstances of his conception and birth and how it was prophesised that he would bring about the end of Soorapadma, thereby bringing victory to the Devas.

The story depicts Kartikeya’s childhood and how he goes to win the war against Soorapadma. This war, has been provoked by none other than Lord Indra! Kartikeya goes off to war on his mount, the peacock Chitrabahn. He meets and falls in love with Indra’s daughter Devasena only to lose her.

We also read about Ganesha’s conception and birth and his equation with his parents and bonding with his brother Kartikeya.

What is noteworthy about the story is that the author has depicted these gods and goddesses as beings with normal human traits. Lord Shiva and Parvati have been wonderfully portrayed as a much in love but a bickering couple and Indra as a wily player of games. I particularly loved the explanation of how the river Ganga remains twined in Lord Shiva’s hair!

Do read the book if you enjoy reading mythology. I recommend it to readers as enjoyable, interesting and informative.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anuja Chandramouli is a bestselling Indian author and New Age Indian classicist. She is also a student of classical dance and a practitioner of yoga.

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: FLYING WITHOUT WINGS

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Author: Rishabh Puri

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: HarperCollins

Number of pages: 193 pages

My Rating: 4/5

This is a modern day fairy tale, a Cinderella story which left me moved. Milli Bajwa is a simple girl working at Chandigarh airport struggling with family problems and to make ends meet. Karan Singhania is young, handsome and wealthy but has terrible health woes.

Their lives collide over a dating app and they start communicating with each other. They share a common love for literature and fall in love over the course of many beautiful texts. They do finally meet but is their love strong enough to overcome the hurdles of both their lives? Can Milli sort out her financial and family problems? Can Karan recover?

Flying Without Wings is a love story in the truest sense and I recommend it to all readers.

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: GREAT TEXTPECTATIONS

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Author: Ruchi Vadehra

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Rupa Publications

Number of pages: 225 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The publishers Rupa Publications provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The story is extremely contemporary and relevant in these times, as these days many relationships start and flourish virtually.

Amaya Kapoor is a single, attractive woman in her thirties living in Delhi. She works at Amaya Books which is owned by her family. Amaya is successful in her work but she has a dream of opening a bookstore that will be unique and different from other bookstores. She is also a fitness enthusiast.

While playing Scrabble online, she meets Rohan, who lives in Mumbai. Amaya and Rohan start to chat while playing the game. Slowly, but surely, they start to chat more and more frequently while in their professional lives, both of them are very ambitious and busy.

Amaya feels extremely comfortable and compatible with Rohan, even though she has never met him in person. Finally, they are able to meet when Amaya visits Mumbai for work.

Sparks fly even when they meet in person and from there, Amaya and Rohan are in a relationship that cannot be defined, as both of them live in different cities and Rohan is commitment phobic.

So of course the question raised in the story is whether Amaya and Rohan do manage to get together, overcoming various hurdles. The reader needs to read the book to find out.

I definitely recommend “Great Textpectations” to readers as it is a frothy, interesting and extremely enjoyable read. The story and the characters are all extremely progressive and modern.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This is Ruchi Vadehra’s first book. She belongs to a family of writers and lives with her husband, children and family in New Delhi.

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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