Unsettled: The Search for Love and Meaning

Unsettled Cover

Author’s Name: Neelima Vinod

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I am trying to read more of Indian authors these days. This novella is a step towards that goal. I must say I was tantalized by reading the blurb of the book. I have read a lot of Vampire stories, but never a one set in India. One of the major reason I selected this book was because it showed the paranormal in Indian settings.

Synopsis

Unsettled is a story which mixes past and present. In present Divya’s marriage is crumbling all around her. To salvage her relationship, she goes to a marriage counselor, Dr. Ray, who tells her that solution to her problem lies in the old haunted house of her childhood, whose story still lingers in her dreams. He convinces Raghav and Divya to go to that house, where the legend says that the scroll of love is hidden.

That’s how we move to the story of Tathri, a Yakshi or a vampire seductress who haunts the house and guards those scrolls. As the pages pass, we encounter different faces of Tathri– a lonely woman searching for love, a scorned woman trying to find her lover in words, a daughter worrying her mother, and a female yearning for companionship.

What I liked

Language of the book: This book is so lyrical that without reading the author’s bio, I knew that it’s written by a poet. I won’t say that the book is perfect in every aspect, but then the words are so engrossing that one won’t be too hard-pressed to notice the problems.

I loved many parts of the book, but my absolute favorite was the description of broken marriage in the beginning.

The couple hadn’t said the D word yet. She had written the word down on pieces of paper (then crumpled it up, too schoolgirlish), typed it into an email (then deleted it, in case he forwarded it to Anu), texted it into her mobile (but it looked ridiculous in the confines of the smaller-than-her-palm screen).

Another sentence which stayed in my mind long after finishing the book was

He had read somewhere that when you fall out of love with your spouse, you fall out of love with your house too.

Tathri: I know Yakshis are legends, but until I read the book, I wasn’t aware about the beliefs regarding them. But as I read through the pages, I could see her in a sari, trying to seduce the males to fulfill her needs. The character, in itself, is interesting, and the author’s treatment of her is superb.

What irked me

Loose threads of the story: Even though the story is intriguing, there were a few portions which left me feeling unsatisfied. They were hinted at, but not closed by the end. Like Dr. Ray. I wanted to know what was he, and who he really was, but what I get in the end was only a hint of what he could be! Similarly Tathri’s death in past was left open. I never could really get what made her a Yakshi.

Fast forwarded confrontations:  This might not be everybody’s complaints, but I felt that the scenes between Raghav and Tathri happened too fast. I didn’t get the time to savor their closeness. Even the proximity between Divya and Raghav felt a bit rushed towards the ending.

Overall Opinion

This book could have been better if the plot was tightened a bit, but despite this flaw, it’s a treat to read because of the language and feelings poured in the words. Its words has power to transport a reader into an absolutely different world.

Ratings

Three Stars

 

By My Choice- An Erotic Romance Novella

By My Choice

 

 

Author’s Name: Christine Blackthorn

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Sometimes, one comes across a book just by chance. I saw this little novella promoted somewhere, downloaded it when it was free,  and read it in one of my free hour. I didn’t have much high hopes from it because it said it was a vampire romance, but knowing Christine Blackthorn as an author I decided to give it a try. By the time, I reached the ending, I was at the end of my seat. It’s that good a book.

Synopsis

I thought about writing my own synopsis, but GoodReads’ synopsis does explain the story
 best.

Jennifer Ashton has spent her whole life in one Supernatural court or the other but the realities of what this means are only brought home to her when her best friend is forced to sell her to a vampire, and not any vampire, but one she knows well. Caught in the double betrayal of friendship and love she needs to decide what her life is going to be.

Jennifer is a financial manager, her control over every aspect of her own life complete. She does not allow anything to upset her rationality, no emotion, no sensation, no desire. The only weakness she has accepted is her unlimited loyalty to her best friend, the friend who betrays her by selling her to a competitor. She joins her new master in Paris where she begins to realise that he has as little choice as she does. Can she accept that by giving up everything, by giving him everything, they might both regain their lives?

What I liked

1) Focus on friendship:  There are very few novels which actually manage to keep a childhood friendship between a man and woman true and pure. This story explores the depth of friendship and shows the pain of the betrayal by the best guy friend. The best part was that they remain friends throughout. They don’t go together, not even to try.

2) The World: The world in this book is quite different and very fascinating. Though much of this world is shown in background, it’s still an intriguing world.

What irked me

Three little spelling mistakes: Though they are minute and can be easily missed, they stayed with me because I was reading it on mobile which has smaller screen and more focus. There’s saying my mom used to tell me: Even a small black dot is seen clearly on a perfect white paper. Same is the case with this book I guess.

Overall Opinion

A power-packed vampire story. This book will be a treat to anybody who loves supernatural romance. It has plot which will leave you thirsting for more.

Ratings

Five Stars