Posted in Book Reviews

Book review: The Night Ferry by Lotte and Soren Hammer

I can’t thank the Universe enough for helping me make this year a far better productive one, in terms of reading, than the last year. I am not just reading more, I am also reading better. And one of the books I am really happy and proud about reading this year is The Night Ferry.

The Night Ferry

About the book

The story starts with a group of sixteen children and four adults killed when a canal ferry drowns. Konrad Simonson and his team are assigned the investigations of this accident that involves one of their own too, one who was investigating a ghastly murder of her own. As they unravel the mystery, one thing leads to another and Konrad and his team risk everything to make the most stunning discovery.

You can read the full blurb here.

My review

The only thing that didn’t work for me with this book is it’s too small font size. It made the read laborious, in spite of the fact that I didn’t want to put this one down!

Everything about this book is great. It’s got a writing style that’s very new to me, and reading a book that is written in the way this one is was an experience for not just the reader in me, but also the aspiring writer in me.

The story starts with a deluge of information and characters and parallel story tracks, which I wasn’t sure I could handle. But as it progresses, the entire narrative merges into one and hooks you like you didn’t think it could.

Honestly, when I started it, I wasn’t sure if would like it as much as I do now.

The writing style is more narration than dialogues, at least in the first half. But what’s amazing is that it isn’t too descriptive or wordy. Infact, I quite enjoyed this writing style and I am looking at reading at least a couple more from the Konrad Simonsen series. This one, by the way, is the sixth book in the series.

It’s been almost a month since I finished reading this book, and I still remember what I felt about it then. I guess that’s really something to say!

I have been looking to diversify the books I read this year and this one has been an amazing addition.

The numbers

⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 because that font size is 🙆

That said, don’t give up on this one just for the font size. Read it slow, but do read it.

Disclaimer

I received a review copy of this book from the lovely team at Bloomsbury India in exchange of a honest review. The views expressed in the post above are solely my own. There has been no monetary transaction involved.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book review: The Globetrotters by Arefa Tehsin

Going back to a children’s book once in a while is really really conducive to your health. Reading children’s book is that trip down the simplicity and innocence lane that really helps deal with the routine adult life better!

No reason, then, to say no to this book from Penguin India!

About this book

Hudhud and Kila have made life miserable for all his friends. They steal their lunches, and tease them to no ends. To teach him a lesson, he is cursed to change forms as the greatest migratory animals in the world and find answer to the question: What is the answer to all wrongs? You can read the full blurb here.

My review

The Globetrotters is an interesting book when you look at it as a collection of episodes than one whole book.

What works for the book is that it is well-written, well-researched. It is funny in places, and the humor is not forced. True to the blurb, the trip is surreal, full of adventure. The illustrations need a special mention.

What didn’t sit well with me was the direction of the narrative. It doesn’t get boring boring really, but hits a plateau more than once. Several questions bogged me; some of them did have answers, but the answers came over time. Like, why the migratory birds? Over time, as I read the book, I also lost connect to the core premise: of the answer Hudhud was looking for and why he was looking for it.

Eventually, I’ve concluded that if it is narrated with all the right expressions and gestures, as animatedly as it deserves to be told, this wouldn’t just interest children but also teach them quite a bit. Protecting and cherishing the environment for one. (And that makes it a book that adults need to read too!)  Also, I believe that if this is read one chapter at a time, it will really do well to hook the readers and/or the listeners.

Overall, a book well written, but one that needs to be devoured in a certain way to fully enjoy it.

The numbers

⭐⭐⭐.5/5

Disclaimer

I received a review copy of this book from the good folks at Penguin Random House India, in exchange of an honest review. The views expressed herein are solely my own. 

Posted in Book Reviews

Book review: The Right Fit by Daphne Dubios

About the book

The Right Fit
Daphne Dubois
Publication date: April 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

She’s sworn off love, he’s sworn off sex, but together they’ll score the goal of a lifetime.

When Maxine Nicholls discovers her fiancé is cheating, she turns to fast food and nighttime soap operas, but her sister has a plan—unbridled rebound sex with a stranger.

As one of Toronto’s hottest players, Antony Laurent tallies scores on and off the ice, but when the chiseled defense man hits a slump, rumors of a trade to the minor league send him to ambush a managers meeting at a posh club.

That night a chance encounter ends up as an unforgettable evening of passion. But Maxine and Antony are about to discover a game of casual hook ups can lead to something neither one of them thought they deserved—the right fit.

My review

A reader’s impression of a book is set within the first 10-15 pages of the book’s beginning. It really is important that the book scores a goal here (pun fully intended!) for even if the reader may continue to read after that, it’ll only be half-hearted.

The Right Fit definitely scores here. The beginning is one of the best I’ve read in a while, the characters, especially Maxine’s, more relatable than any I’ve read of in a while. And Antony’s broken English is so adorable! I was happy to see that the author has let this trait of her French/Greek hero stay, than make him a master of all trades.

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The story deals with body shaming (Carmine has some really great advice to dish out, something that we already know but don’t remember when we need to) and the burden of guilt. It talks about how how getting judgemental of a person, a situation clouds all reason and we end up making decisions we don’t want to or don’t need to.
This point, the story drives in absolutely successfully.

The story is planned well, with bits that that don’t let it become a clichéd. However, there are parts that probably could’ve been avoided or kept shorter, because the story sort of starts dragging in the second half.

Like it’s name, this one pretty much is a right fit to the expectations of romance readers.

Buying links

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Author bio

Daphne Dubois writes contemporary romance and believes the right book at the right time can make all the difference. When she’s not putting her characters in compromising positions (ahem), she works as a registered nurse. A member of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia, she lives in Eastern Canada, the most romantic place in the world. You can also find her writing for teens as B.R. Myers.

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Disclaimer

I received a e-copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange of an honest review. The views expressed above are my own. This did not involve any monetary transactions.

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Posted in Book Blitz

Book blitz: Shopping for a CEO’s Honeymoon by Julia Kent

I’ll take a romantic comedy any day, really. And this one’s made it to the list! As I write this, I am buying the first two books in this series. What’s more is they look like really short reads, which means I can squeeze them in on a busy day! 

Shopping for a CEO’s Honeymoon
Julia Kent
(Shopping for a Billionaire #14)
Publication date: July 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

He says we never had a proper honeymoon.

So, instead, he’s giving me… a prepper honeymoon?

Who knew billionaire preppers were a thing?

I guess I’m about to find out.

Julia Kent’s New York Times bestselling romantic comedy series continues in Shopping for a CEO’s Honeymoon as Andrew and Amanda settle in to married life… and so much more.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

Amanda

It’s Monday.

Our home looks like the set for Extreme Home Makeover, except there’s no bus to move and all of the workmen act like I’m invisible as I wander downstairs after waking up naked in an empty bed.

I throw on clothes and am down the stairs when I spot my husband.

“What is going on?” I ask Andrew, who is huddled over blueprints with some guy who looks like he runs a union hall in South Boston. Tight eyes, distrustful look, goatee, and an intensity that makes it clear you want him on your side.

Andrew breaks away, kisses my cheek, and gives me a saucy half grin. “Just like you wanted. Here we go.”

“Here we go what? We barely talked about what we wanted!”

“We did,” he says, suddenly defensive. “In bed,” he whispers.

“What I want in bed has nothing to do with tile colors and three-season sunrooms!” Isay.

Loudly.

“The guys aren’t working on anything like that,” he hisses as a few workmen suppress smiles. “We’re putting in new backup systems.”

“Backups for what?”

“Power outages. Acts of God. Hurricanes. Bomb cyclones that leave six feet of snow.”

I snort. “What, no alien contingency plan? Got a blueprint for a universal extraterrestrial language translator in there?”

Andrew reddens and avoids eye contact.

I frown. “Andrew?” I grab his arm and pull him aside, his muscles tense. “What are you doing? This isn’t how I envisioned remodeling and spending our honeymoon. For one, we didn’t have sex that second time this morning.”

He looks at the clock. “It’s only 7:53. Plenty of time for that.” He grabs me at the waist and pulls me close, trying to divert me with a kiss.

It works.

“We’ve got the geothermal heat unit figured out, and when we redo the gutter system and the roof, in addition to the solar panels, we’ve got an evaporation system set up for clean water collection. Storage is next,” he says to me.

“All that in the first hour of work?” I’m stunned.

“I’m efficient. Two weeks of my focused attention is like five years of a normal human
being’s time.”

“Efficient and humble. I love that in a man.”

“You’d better, because you’re stuck with me forever.”

“Is that a threat or a promise?”

I get a pat on the ass in response.

 

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

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Posted in Book Blitz

Book reveal: Betrothed by Christina Bauer

The only reason I’ve come back to reading books from the fantasy genre is because I want to see how innovative people can get with characters and situations and plots. Hope this one fares well too!

Betrothed
Christina Bauer
(Angelbound Origins, #1.5)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: January 30th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

***An action-packed novella from Prince Lincoln’s point of view***

When it comes to fighting demons, Prince Lincoln is the greatest warrior in the history of his people, the thrax. Now Lincoln faces his hardest fight yet…and it’snot on a traditional battlefield.

Lincoln wants nothing more than to marry Myla Lewis, the part-demon girl who has captured his heart. However, an evil thrax noble—the powerful Earl of Acca—is prepared to do anything to stop Lincoln and Myla from having a future.

But Lincoln won’t give up on his Myla. Ever.

To fight Aldred, Lincoln works to create a different kind of marriage—an Alliance of the lesser thrax houses against Acca. Sadly, just as Lincoln starts to makes some progress, the nobles who’ve joined his Alliance begin to vanish. Is Aldred behind the disappearances, or is someone else vying for power? When Lincoln discovers the truth, it upends his entire world, threatening his future with Myla in ways no one could ever have imagined.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

 

Author Bio:

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA withher husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book review: A Morsel of Different Shades by S K Sanyal

My goal for 2018 was to diversify my TBR in terms of the authors and genres I read. AMODS sounded really different from everything I’d so far and I decided to go and ahead and experiment with this one.

About the book

This book is about Sumitra Ghosal who came all the way from Bankura in West Bengal to join the education service in the recently formed Bundeli state. In a teaching career that spanned more than three decades from 1956 to 1990, Sumitra was a spectator to women teachers’ of all kinds. She saw their complicated lives and the means they used to simplify them. Holding on to her principles on her way to becoming the principal eventually, Sumitra does all she can to better the education system in the areas where is posted, while staying away from the evil that pollutes the sanctity of a system she holds sacred.

My review

Saying that this book was a successful experiment wouldn’t be entirely wrong. It most certainly diversified my TBR in terms of the type of books I read.

This one focuses more on the narration than dialogue. Dialogues are sparse, and most of the story is told in description. Like a third person account.

I’d say that this book came across more as Sumitra’s biography, or maybe an essay on Sumitra’s career and the difficulties she faced.

The book is nice. Interesting too. I’d call this a significant achievement because the time of the book is very monotonous. As are the characters.

Most characters that Sumitra encounters in her journey have compromised on their morals in one way or another. Almost of these episodes sound very similar to each other. She does meet a few people who haven’t but the former easily overwhelm the latter.

The book also becomes a heavy read because of the heavy narration.

And yet, I was intrigued to know what happens next. How does Sumitra fare in her journey? I know this sounds ironical and weird too, but this book is as relaxing as it is heavy.

My rating

⭐⭐⭐.5/5

Disclaimer

I received a e-copy of this book from the publishers, Cinnamon Teal, courtesy The Book Club, in exchange for an honest review. The views published herein are my own; there has been no monetary compensation involved.

Posted in Cover Reveals

Cover reveal: Bombay Heights by Adite Banerjie

 

 

Bombay Heights
by
 
Blurb
 
Small town girl Sanjana Kale wants a fresh start in Mumbai. A challenging job and some much needed distance from her ludicrously over-protective family could get her life under control.


Forced to team up with video game designer Ashwin Deo, who is too attractive for his own good, she finds life becoming a whole lot more complicated when he turns out to be her new neighbour. How can she maintain a professional distance with this charming troublemaker who believes in getting up close and personal?


To make matters worse, her ex tries to manipulate her loved ones to work his way back into her life. Hysterical siblings, a cantankerous client, an ex who will not take no for an answer, and a blow hot blow cold neighbour… Sanjana is sleepless in the City of Dreams! Can she do what Ashwin dares her to–create a few ripples even if it upsets her family?


Adite Banerjie is a published author and screenwriter.
 
Adite Banerjie discovered the wonderful world of books at an early age which sparked her interest in writing. After a fulfilling and exciting career as a business journalist she turned her attention to fiction.
 
Three of her books have been published by Harlequin/Harper Collins India. She is now committed to being an indie author.
 
She also writes screenplays and in 2017 one of her scripts made it to the semi-finals of the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowships.
 
When she is not grappling with her current work-in-progress, she enjoys spending time with her husband and watching back-to-back movies.
 
She loves to connect with her readers and writers. .
 
Twitter: @adite
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Posted in Book Reviews

Book review: Killer Moves by Varsha Dixit

For me, it is a good story if I want to sit up at night to finish it. A lot of Varsha’s previous work had left me so impressed that I didn’t wait for a minute before signing up for this blog tour!

screenshot_20180713-210525184540927.png

About the book

Aisha Khatri is fiercely protective of her father and her niece, Kiara, after she lost the rest of her family. She gives up the one dream she’d had so that she could take care of her family.

When Kiara goes to Goa for a modelling assignment with Kabir Rana-acclaimed photographer and suspected murderer-life puts Aisha in a situation where she not only gets to fulfil a part of her dream but also use the one power she has and never wants to use.

My review

It took me 8 hours to read this book and every minute, every single second was definitely worth it.

Varsha writes humor and sarcasm as well as she writes romance. (Go read Only Wheat, Not White if you haven’t already!) The same goes for this story too.

His life was a cracked mirror in an empty house—it could reflect light but owned no light of its own.

The characters are well-defined. Aisha, especially, comes off as the most well written character. The killer too. Varsha’s minimal description of the killer’s personality everytime is enough to send that proverbial chill down your spine.

The best part, it isn’t just one twist. The story will surprise you in the most expected as well as unexpected ways.

The chemistry between Aisha and Kabir is also one of the highlights of this story. Well-written and the perfect combination of the clichéd and new.

“You are a tourist too?” Aisha prodded.

“I’m here for work.” He replied after a few seconds.

“Oh! What do you do?” Aisha moved closer.

“Lie.”

Aisha paused. Now, that’s honest.

“I make people look beautiful and then others use that contrived beauty to sell things. So, like I said, I lie!”

The only place where I thought this book could have been done better is the editing. There are too many typos to go unnoticed.

However, the only downside is that the Grammar Nazi in me was slightly disappointed. The well-paced story makes up for a lot of it.

The numbers

⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Disclaimer

Thank you to the super efficient, The Book Club, and the author, Varsha Dixit, for giving me a copy of this book.

I received a Kindle copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. The views expressed herein are my own and there has been no monetary transaction involved.

Posted in Cover Reveals

Cover Reveal: The Witch’s Tower by Tamara Grantham



I love fan fictions! It is amazing and enlightening to see how somebody can use one idea as the base and spin out something entirely original from it. I fell in love with The Witch’s Tower as soon as I read the blurb and I cannot, cannot wait for the book to release in March next year. Meanwhile, here’s a look at the cover of what sounds like a brilliant book!

The Witch’s Tower
Tamara Grantham
(Twisted Ever After, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 11th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Gothel is a witch. Punished for the actions of her mother, her choice is simple: either she stands guard over Princess Rapunzel—or she dies. But just because a choice is easy doesn’t mean it’s pleasant. Protecting Rapunzel means watching as the princess lays trapped in a tower, bedridden by hair that is so long and heavy it’s slowly driving her insane. Gothel’s life has become one of imprisonment and solitude as well—until a prince and his handsome squire appear at the tower.

Only one object can cut Rapunzel’s hair and end the curse: a pair of magical shears. But the shears are guarded by the most terrifying witches in the land, who also happen to be Gothel’s aunts. As Gothel and the prince’s squire, Raj Talmund, work to form a plan, she finds herself more and more drawn to the mysterious young man from the Outerlands. Unfortunately, his destiny is far more dangerous than she wants to admit: to save a princess, he must kill the witch who’s been forced to guard her.

THE WITCH’S TOWER is the first in an inspired new series of fairy-tale retellings from award-winning fantasy author Tamara Grantham.

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Author Bio:

Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon with over 200 five-star reviews.

Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Lamar University. She has been a featured speaker at multiple writing conferences, and she has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.

Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks–which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds–and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made. You can find her online at http://www.TamaraGrantham.com.

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Posted in Book Blitz

Book blitz: Just Jenny by Sandra Owens

I can’t ever outgrow good romances. (Please note that the emphasis is on good.)

This one sounds promising to make it to my list of comfort reads. Amongst other things, I am excited to read about Blue Ridge Valley and how it lends to the story. (Mountain romances, country romances are my thing.)

Head on read more about Just Jenny and I hope you are as excited as me.

Just Jenny
Sandra Owens
Publication date: June 27th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The small mountain town of Blue Ridge Valley is the home of three best friends, Jenny, Autumn, and Savannah. Each woman believes she has her life perfectly planned, but there is a saying in the mountains… If everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

In Just Jenny, Jenny Nance has a plan—save enough money to tour the world. The desire to traipse the globe is a dream she once shared with her twin sister. Jenny made a deathbed promise to her sister that she would go to all the places they had fantasized visiting together. Nothing will entice her to break her vow to Natalie, not even the sexy new Blue Ridge Valley police chief . . . No matter how attracted she is to him.

Dylan Conrad left the Chicago Police Department to accept the position as Chief of Police in Blue Ridge Valley. Burned out and haunted by a tragedy of his own, he needs to get away from the memories tormenting him. He’s hoping to find peace in the small mountain town, but the quirky residents, an infamous moonshiner, an errant prized bull, and a feisty redhead by the name of Jenny weren’t quite what he had in mind.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

We’d just ordered our drinks when Dylan Conrad walked into the lounge. He paused in the entryway, his gaze scanning the room. The man was so freaking hot. At seeing me, he smiled, making my heart thump in my chest.

“Mind if I join you?” he said, coming to a stop behind the empty chair at our table for four. “Unless you’re expecting someone.”

That was said to me. “Nope. Have a seat, Chief.” I had a sudden fantasy of playing cop and criminal with him, me being the bad guy and him having to frisk me. I hoped my cheeks weren’t as red as they felt. He sat next to me, and I caught a whiff of man and something spicy. I also hoped I didn’t start drooling.

His eyes danced with amusement. “Introduce me to your friends, Red.”

Oh. Right. I was sitting here staring at him like an idiot, and now I knew for sure my face was beet red. “Ahem, this is my best friend, Autumn Archer, and her soon-to-be husband, Brian Stratton. Guys, this is Dylan Conrad, Blue Ridge Valley’s new police chief.”

“Welcome to Blue Ridge Valley,” Autumn said. “I’ve heard great things about you.”

Dylan sat back in his chair. “Oh?”

I kicked her under the table. That devilish gleam in her eyes meant she was up to no good.

“Yep. You have really pretty eyes, by the way. Jenn said they were the color of Tennessee whiskey, and she’s right.”

I kicked her again. Harder.

Dylan turned those beautiful eyes on me. “You been talking about me, Red?”

Author Bio:

A best selling, award winning author, Sandra Owens lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her family and friends often question her sanity, but have ceased being surprised by what she might get up to next. She’s jumped out of a plane, flown in an aerobatic plane while the pilot performed death-defying stunts, has flown Air Combat (two fighter planes dogfighting, pretending to shoot at each other with laser guns), and rode a Harley motorcycle for years. She regrets nothing.

A member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll, Sandra is a 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist for her contemporary romance, CRAZY FOR HER. In addition to her contemporary romantic suspense novels, she writes Regency stories.

You can connect with Sandra on Twitter @SandyOwens1 and Facebook at SandraOwens.94043. Her website is: http://www.sandra-owens.com

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