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Hello!! Welcome to my world :) I am a B.E. student and a self declared Bibliophile. Reading has taken its toll on me and now its time I pen something myself ;) Apart from my love for books, I also love sketching, painting, singing and cooking (Well only for the occasional experiments that i make ;)) Of course, now writing top the above list! This blog is a platform for me to share my thoughts. If you like any of my posts, do stop by and leave a comment :)

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Title: All Yours Stranger 
Author: Novoneel Chakraborty
Publisher: Ebury Press
ISBN: 978-8184006858
Number of pages: 264
Price: 175 [INR]


The Blurb:

For those of you who don't know me yet, I'm Rivanah Bannerjee, a Kolkatan trying to find her footing in Mumbai. Even though I’m currently in a relationship with a great guy, I can’t help but miss my ex-boyfriend despite knowing that he cheated on me. But that’s the least of my worries. The stranger has gone missing since the police tried to nab him unsuccessfully. Where is he? What does he want from me? Why did he come into my life in the first place? Will he ever contact me again? These and many more questions continue to torment me every day. I’m desperate for the stranger to come back to me knowing full well that he may destroy me forever. But then that’s the sexiest thing I have ever known about someone.

With every revelation, it seems the truth is far more twisted than Rivanah can imagine. Wickedly plotted, All Yours, Stranger—Novoneel Chakraborty’s gripping follow-up to his hugely popular Marry Me, Stranger—will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page. Book two of the Stranger trilogy.

My Review:

This is the 2nd book of the Stranger Trilogy. Read my review of the first book 'Marry me Stranger' here.

Characters:

       Meet Rivanah Bannerjee, aka Mini, our protagonist, who is a bright young girl from Kolkatta. Working in Mumbai, Rivanah lives with her boy friend Danny. Smart, beautiful, daring and impulsive; that is Rivanah Bannerjee for you.

       Meet 'Stranger' the most intriguing character, who keeps you hooked to the book. Stranger is the person who sends Rivanah all sorts of mysterious clues, helps her when in trouble and threatens and punishes her when she doesn't comply. Sometimes a friend and sometimes a foe, that is 'Stranger' for you.

Plot: 

       The story starts with Rivanah trying to figure out the mystery behind Hiya and coming to a dead end. When she returns to Mumbai, Nitya comes into picture and Rivanah acts the jealous girl friend's role. Things get serious and ugly between Rivanah and Danny when Rivanah's insecurities get better out of her. And to complicate things, Ekansh comes into picture too. 

       Rivanah goes to desperate measures to get the stranger back in her life and when he does come back, there are consequences she has to face. She is again made to do things against her wishes and Rivanah is still hiding all this from Danny. And, hold your breath, for the first time we have a suspect for stranger!!!

Things I liked:

       Mystery is the best part of these 'Stranger' books! The mysterious identity of 'stranger' will keep you glued to the book. The suspense, the clues, the hide and seek game will all make sure you won't put the book down till the end and even then, you will be disappointed because you have to wait till the next book is released to find out what will happen after that shocking end!

       I love how the dots are connected and one by one the clues are put together. Through Rivanah, the story of a confused girl is portrayed who has so many ups and downs in life. She is a loner among friends, hiding secrets she can't share with anyone. The stranger's strange ways, the riddle about Hiya and Ekansh's entry - they all make the story more exciting. The flow of the story is good. It is a fast paced novel which is perfect for the plot.

Things I Disliked:

       For once, I don't have anything to say here. I hated Rivanah sometimes but again that is what made story interesting. I just hate the fact that I have to wait for I don't know how long for the next book.

Verdict:

      Racy, thrilling and enticing - that is how the book is. Once you start reading, you have to read till the end; there is no stopping in between. highly recommended thriller readers :)

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars!

Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Title: Take 2: Second Chance at Happiness 
Author: Ruchi Singh
Publisher: Ruchi Singh
Type: E-book
ASIN: B00TLHD2SK
Edition: 2nd Edition
Number of Pages: 202
Price: 95 [INR]
Genre: Romance


The Blurb:

Priya’s idyllic world turns upside down when she realizes her husband considers her dead weight after stripping her off her inheritance for his ambitions and lavish lifestyle. 

Instantly attracted to Priya, Abhimanyu knows getting involved with a married woman is inviting trouble. But despite common sense, cautions and hesitations, he is drawn to help her. 

Happily ever after has become a myth for Priya and trying to keep the relationship platonic is becoming more and more difficult for Abhimanyu. 

In the tussle between ethics, fears and desires... will Priya embrace a second chance at happiness?

My Review:

Characters:

       Meet Priya, a fierce, beautiful and independent young lady from Delhi who is the protagonist of the story. Priya is a software engineer who loves her job. A damsel in distress and yet a fierce lady who doesn't go down without a fight; that is Priya Mathur for you.

       Meet Abhimanyu Malhotra, aka Abhi, is very successful at the age of 28 and is an eligible bachelor. Hot and dashing, he has many girls falling for him but his heart skips a beat whenever he meets Priya. An awesome cook, a gentle soul, the knight without shining armor (wink) and a dependable friend; that is Abhi for you.

Plot:

       When Abhi sees Priya at the pub, for him it is love at first sight. He hadn't felt this strongly for anyone in his entire life but when he finds out that Priya is married, his heart is crushed. Though he convinces himself that it was nothing more than an instant attraction and he would stay away from her, Priya's thoughts and her face keep invading his mind.

       Torn from the news of her husband Sameer cheating on her, the last thing Priya want is attention from another male. When Sameer asks for a divorce, Priya is not ready for it. All she wants is to get back with him somehow and stay away from Abhimanyu. Or at least that is what she thinks.

       But when destiny throws them together, their resolves waver. So close, yet so far, they fight the attraction that they feel for each other. Priya, haunted by her past, isn't ready to place her trust on anyone again. Does that mean she will never be able to trust Abhi? Will she be able to look past her troubled past and listen to her heart? Will she be able to take the second chance at happiness that life has given her?

Things I Liked:

       The story is narrated from both Priya and Abhi's view point, making it all more interesting. The narration is smooth and the language easy to read.

       I liked the way the characters are portrayed. Priya, though troubled and broken, has a fierceness and a streak of self esteem that makes the readers like her instantly. Abhi, with is chivalry and magnificent culinary skills, doesn't take long to leave an impression either. Aditi and Rahul's banters, their loyalty to their friends and Komal's bubbly ways all make the story more fun to read.

       I also like the court scene and Priya's curt and precise answers and of course the slap and the epic tagline ;) (Oh! I am not giving out anything more)

Things I Disliked:

       I wish there was little more about Aditi and Rahul or at least what would happen to them in the end. A few minor typos were there but nothing major to put off the reader.

Verdict:

       For a debut author, Ruchi has done a great job. Take 2 is a light and breezy read that you will love. Pick it up if you are a romance lover. You won't regret it!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!!

Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Name: Scandalous Housewives: Mumbai 
Author: Madhuri Banerjee
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
ISBN: 978-8129131140
Number of Pages: 264
Price: 265[INR]
Genre: Romance


The Blurb:

Meet women from Sapphire Towers, a residential high-rise Mumbai where life is lost to a clockwork routine. Although everything appears calm on the outside, there are those housewives who yearn for change and joys in their mundane life. One gets into a forbidden relationship following an irresistible lust, another gets addicted to kinky sex and ends up in misery, yet another woman falls in love with a young man, a friend of her own son and one more lady is holding within a secret that could probably put an end to her marriage. One ominous day, an anonymous email comes in to the inboxes of all Sapphire Towers residents and leads to unimaginable consequences! Discover what happens to the dilemmas of these women in this unputdownable novel.

My Review:

Characters:

       Meet Gita, a very talented young woman, but frustrated mother of two young girls who is stuck in a unhappy marriage with a husband who doesn't love her, parent-in-laws who reprimand her for anything and everything she does and a brother-in-law whom she is drawn to greatly! Her life is spent in bringing up her two little angels and trying hard to please everyone is the family.

       Meet Sarita, mother of two teenagers, stuck with stingy parent-in-laws, husband who adores her and children who refuse to listen to her. Lazy cook who hates doing the household chores, she believes in giving kids freedom and keeping broad mind while bringing them up.

       Meet Natasha, once a super model, now a housewife and mother of a rebelling 14 year old girl! Natasha feels suffocated with her husband Vikram, who seems to have temper problem and abuses her and a daughter never listens to her!

       Meet Aarti, a career oriented woman who travels constantly, thanks to the support she receives from her parent-in-laws and loving husband Amit but she carries a guilt that she couldn't shake off! As much as she loves Amit, she couldn't help but feel unhappy in her romance-less marriage!

Plot:

     'Scandalous housewives: Mumbai' revolves around 4 housewives - Gita, Sarita, Natasha and Aarti, each of whom is fighting their own demons. These 4 friends, who call themselves 'Lovey Ladies' meet often in the park of Sapphire Towers where they reside and gossip about their life. Though they share the basic stuffs and pretend to be closest of friends, each one of them has a secret that they have hidden and are reluctant to share. 

       What happens when are stuck in a marriage where there is no love? What happens if your husband stops paying attention to you and then suddenly, someone else does that? What happens when there is something vital missing in your wedded life? Apparently, you do adultery. That is what these lovely ladies do when they reach a point where life seems beyond bearable! And these events turn their life 360 degrees when someone finds out their truths and threatens to tell everyone about it! Their faith, friendship and love, everything is put to test at this juncture of life, where each one has their own bag of guilt to deal with!

Things I Liked:

       I liked the way Madhuri has handled so many delicate things in this books. The story of a family that suppresses woman from following her heart and expecting her to be just a housewife who does all the chores, the issues parents face while bringing up their children, the bedroom secrets, the choices that women are forced to make to keep the family intact, friendship and romance. All these elements and much more are handled with ease by the author. 

       I liked the way chapters ended with a hint about something that is about to happen, something that we need to look out for. It just made the book all more interesting and unputdownable. I liked the narration and the language used by the author. I liked her absolute hold on the story and how every twists and turns are thought out meticulously. Most of all, I liked the ending where she didn't leave our protagonists sinking in the standards created by the society!

Things I didn't Like:

      The cover of the book doesn't do justice to the brilliant story! And there were a few places where the story turned too filmy. Apart from that, the book was a great read.

Verdict:

       If you are one of those people who point a finger against those who break the norms and follow their heart, don't even bother picking up the book and then commenting on it. But if you someone with an open mind, go for it. This book is a brilliant read and definitely a page turner. This is the first book I have read of Madhuri and I loved it. Looking forward to read more books from her.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars!

Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

       Today we have Shilpa Suraj, author of two brilliant Romance novels, who is capable of spinning magic through her words and bringing characters alive through her writing. Her eloquent articulations, her ability to paint vivid images and her sense of humor are just few of the many things that will keep the readers hooked to her novels. I am glad to have got an opportunity to interview her on my blog.




Hi Shilpa,
            Welcome to Escape Reality – A Book Lover’s Paradise. I am glad to have you here on my blog today. First of all, congratulations on the success of your books – 'The Girl He Left Behind' and 'Rescued by Love'.

 Hi Swathi. It’s a pleasure to be hosted on your blog today. Thank you for the congratulatory wishes and hope you’ll enjoy all my future books as well. 


Please tell us something about yourself.

I’m a very simple person. I love family, friends, reading, writing, dancing, good food and my dog who is also a member of my family. (That list is not in any particular order) I’ve also recently discovered Zumba which is my latest obsession. My version of heaven is being allowed to stay tucked away in a little corner with a good book, either reading or writing one.


 ‘The Girl He Left Behind’ is one of the finest debut novels I have read so far. How did you come up with the idea?  What prompted you into writing?

I’ve always wanted to write. I’ve had stories spinning in my head, especially the story of The Girl He Left Behind, for years but with working full time, I never got around to actually writing. Then I got married and my husband announced that he was going to Chennai on a six month work sojourn. In all my newly-wed enthusiasm, I decided to take a sabbatical from work and follow him so we could spend quality time together. Only once I got there, I realised he was crazy busy with work and I was just crazy bored. So I opened up the laptop, started typing and haven’t stopped since!


       (I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but I am super glad you took the decision to follow him to Chennai and then started to write)

Lt Col Arjun Rathore, the protagonist of your 2nd novel ‘Rescued by Love’ has stolen the hearts of many readers (I am one of them too!) and so did Ryan Mathur. Are these characters just a figment of your imagination or are they inspired by any real life person?

They’re completely a figment of my imagination. If either Ryan or Arjun existed in real life, I’d keep them for myself and refuse to share them with the world! J


If you have to pick one favourite character which you like the most from either of the books, then who will it be and why?

       Oh that’s a tough one! I know everyone loves Arjun but I think Ryan has a special place in my heart. I love his bruised and battered heart that beats so powerfully for Sia and Sia alone. Also, Ryan’s lived in my head a lot longer than anyone else has! J


Are you satisfied by the response you have received from the readers so far for your books?

       I am thrilled with the response both the books have got from readers. People have written into me with such lovely feedback and kind words. The first time a reader wrote to me saying they loved my book, I squealed so loudly I sent my dog running for cover. As you can see, he isn’t exactly the fiercest guard dog.
I hope the books continue to entertain everyone and reach an even wider audience in the coming months.


So far you have written 2 romance novels which were both well received by the readers. When can we expect the third book? Tell us something about your next project?

I currently have two books that are in varying stages of completion. One’s a contemporary romance and the other a romantic thriller. I don’t have a fixed date for when either will be out as there are a lot of variables when it comes to traditional publishing and not many of them in my control. I will, however, keep everyone posted on both books when I have concrete news to share.


Is there any particular style of writing you prefer? Would you be sticking to the ‘Romance’ genre (not that we are complaining!) or is there any other genre you are interested to write in?

I think no matter what genre I dabble in, a strong romance will always be at the core of it. I love reading romance and writing it is just effortless pleasure. I doubt I’ll ever stray too far from it.


You mentioned that you started reading at a very young age. Who is (are) your all time favourite author(s) and which is your favourite book?

My favourite authors are Nalini Singh, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas and Suzanne Brockmann and my all-time favourite book is Nalini Singh’s Heart of Obsidian (Psy Changeling Series) Kaleb, the hero in that book, is to die for!


What do you have to say to your readers and to the aspiring authors who are reading this interview?

To my readers, thank you for all the love you’ve shown me and my books so far. Do reach out and tell me what you think of the books. I’d love to hear from you!
To aspiring authors, write with both your heart and head. Write the story you want to tell. The one that spins in your head like a broken film reel. Write a story you would love to read. The rest will, God willing, fall into place.


Thank you so much Shilpa. It was fun talking with you. Wish you all the best for your upcoming books. 


         You can stalk Shilpa Suraj @

                  

Until the next post,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Monday, 20 July 2015

Name: The Seventh Cup 
Author: Nitesh Jai
Publisher: Cyberwit.net
Type: E-book
ASIN: B00S9WRDIS
Number of Pages: 302
Price: 186 [INR]
Genre: Mystery


The Blurb:

       A man drinks exactly seven cups of coffee everyday in the same restaurant and believes in Mind Transportation. Two newly married Swiss detective agents arrive and begin a shocking tale of love, friendship, betrayal and death. From the colorful coasts of Goa, India to the enchanting backdrop of Zurich,Switzerland, the mystery of Verona Schmidt baffles everyone. With shocking twits and turns in every chapter, The Seventh Cup might just have the addictive flavor to stir the readers mind...may be forever !!!

My Review:

Plot:

       Verona Schmidt, a history student, suddenly disappears from Switzerland without any trace. It has been 8 months since her disappearance but the CIDS has no clue about what happened to her. When detective Susanne and her husband Thomas takes up the case, slowly the mystery begins to unravel as one by one the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place. But watch out! Because the final clue of this mystery will leave you completely shocked!

Things that Worked:

       I liked the set up; the way the story has another story within. Avinash's book, the story set in Goa, the clues that lead the detectives towards the criminal and then the climax which was even more shocking! The author has cooked up a perfect mystery to keep the reader engaged. The language used is simple and easy to read. The pace is normal and the narration enticing.

       I also liked the theory of 'Attraction' and the way it has been explained in this book. It does make a lot of sense. The amount of research that has been done is impressive. 

Things that didn't Work:

       The beginning!! I had to put some effort to keep reading. The story takes a lot of time to build up and there are chances that the reader might not continue with it. The story picks up pace only once it reaches the middle and I felt it was a little late! But once the reader reaches this part, the book becomes unputdownable.

Verdict:

       If you like reading mystery novels, this book might prove as an interesting red. Just have the patience in the beginning and let the story develop and you will enjoy the rest.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars!

This Tour is Hosted by 






Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Title: Mr. Imperfect Series (Complete Collection) 

Author: Aditi Chopra
Publisher: Createspace Independent
                 Publishing Platform
Type: E-book
ASIN: B00PMH4750
Number of Pages: 190
Price: 250 [INR]


The Blurb:

Three intriguing women, Three Imperfect men, Three fascinating stories! 


House of Love 

Real estate agent Nikki Desai has a rule of not dating her clients. When she hosts an open house on a cold Dallas afternoon, she didn’t know what was in store for her. Much like Dallas’ unexpected weather, Karan Malhotra, a business consultant, walks into her life and challenges every belief she holds close to her heart. Karan manages to cajole Nikki, but is she making a mistake in breaking her rule by dating Karan? 

Arranged Marriage 

Arranged marriage - where love happens after marriage or does it? 

Ishan, a NRI from Dallas, Texas visits his home country, India and gets entangled in his parents’ plan to get him married. Sonali is a simple girl from a small town called Meerut and has no desire to leave India. However, she reluctantly agrees to marry Ishan. But when she settles with him in a foreign country, she is completely lost and homesick. 

Will Sonali find love in a conventionally arranged marriage? 

Love Tango 

Maya Sarin is sensuous and enterprising. She runs a dance school in the suburb of Dallas. Tahir Ali is an aspiring author who owns a Mediterranean restaurant in the area. When his regular dancer bails out on him, he rushes in Maya as a replacement. Maya is the inspiration that he had been longing for; she feeds his creative soul. 
Do they have any future together? Explore their passion and intrigue in Love Tango.

My Review:

       Mr. Imperfect Series by Aditi Chopra is a romance novel consisting of three different yet connected stories. The stories are set in Dallas, Texas. The stories, though independent, are linked together through the characters, which gives a sense of continuation to each story.

       The first story in this series is 'House of Love'. It is a story of a real estate agent who is an ambitious, career oriented woman - Nikki Desai. She is a real estate agent. She works day and night, climbing the ladder of success but what she really wants to hear is her dad's words of appreciation. Her world suddenly starts changing when Karan enters her life. He is the perfect partner every girl dreams of having. With his charms, he is sure to win every reader's and of course Nikki's heart. The way this story started was something I liked very much :D 

       The second story, 'Arranged Marriage', is about a simple Indian girl Sonali, who finds herself married to the NRI guy Ishan. Everything happened so soon and before she knows, she is in an unknown country with her husband, whom she barely knows. Ishan's little gestures to win Sonali's heart and his sweet nature are again something that will win over reader's heart. I liked the turn of events as Sonali slowly tries to adjust to the new life, shedding her insecurities, emerging as a confident woman. The emotions of a bride in a foreign land are expressed so aptly by the author.

       The final story, 'Love Tango' is about Maya, who is suffering from loneliness. She is a friend of Nikki and Sonali and as much as she loves their company, she can't help but feel lonely when she sees them with their husbands. I loved Maya from the start who runs a dance school. And it was a treat when she found that someone special in Tahir. But Maya is hurt from a troubled past and it is difficult for her to let go of it and trust Tahir completely. How will Tahir convince her? You have to read this novel to find out more about it.

       Though it says 'Mr. Imperfect' series, I did find all the three male protagonists perfect in their own imperfect ways. The language used is simple and easy to read. I liked the little glimpse of Dallas that I got through this book. But the stories ended too soon. I wish there was more to read! This book is recommended for those who are looking for light romance.


My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


This Tour is Hosted by 






Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Name: Black, Grey & White 
Author: Santosh Avvannavar, Santosh Biradar
Publishers: Hoffen
ISBN: 978-9383701110
Number of Pages: 138
Price: 225 [INR]


The Blurb:

       This book gifts its readers five fantastic short stories that has a common aim - to spread awareness about AIDS. It is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against AIDS and show their solidarity for HIV positive people. The book is an eye opener for anyone who wish to see the wave of positive change in society. Everyone including the brave hearts Savita, Chintu, Mithali has the right to live with their head held high without fear of social ostracization. Life does not have to be like this. The time is ripe to act now with one's sense and sensibility. Break the myths. Come, be the change!

My Review:

       This book is all about the most dreaded and misunderstood disease - AIDS. The book consists of 5 short stories, each of which strive to create some awareness. The most sensitive topic like AIDS is handled with so much dignity in these stories. 

       The first story - Shahid - The Martyr deals with the myths associated with this disease. It also has a touch of mystery which makes the story more interesting. I liked how the story progresses as Lalitha puts all the clues together. This was one of the very well written stories.

       The next three stories deal with issues faced by the victims - their social status, their humiliation, their worries and their life in general. Chintu's story tugs at your heart strings while Savita's dedication and determination will leave you awe struck and as per Mithali, the protagonist of the third story, well I was just shocked! Each story manages to rise a different emotion in the reader's mind.

         The fifth and the last story is an adaption from the holy bible. This was another story that I enjoyed reading.


       All stories are different in that they deal with different emotions yet they are similar; their goal is to spread awareness. I must say the authors have succeeded in this to a great extent. Simple and dignified way of dealing with such a controversial topic. A good read!

My Rating3.5/5 Stars!

PS: This book was sent to me by the author but the views expressed are my own.

Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

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