S=The Romantic Scotland

This post is the proof that I am not ready to give up. I might not be consistent, but I am determined. And I am going to finish all the alphabets

I am writing about today’s alphabets, and rest of the alphabets I will catch up slowly and steadily. Please cheer for me as I fight for my time to write.

“S” is such a common letter that it can represent millions of things. When I started thinking about the places, I thought of writing about Shire from “Lord of the Rings”. I dreamed about it, you know—peaceful expanse of land, greenery, flowing rivers, and hobbit-holes. It is like one of the dream places. But there is something else from “S” which is special for me—Scotland.

This also comes from reading a lot of romance novels. Like Ireland, I know every inch of Scotland. I know there are glens, mountains, standing stones, and their English is a bit different from ours. What else I know about Scotland? That there are times when the ground is covered with purple flowers of heather and that there are castles. I know more about the war between England and Scotland from these romance novels than from my history books. I also know that there is a falconry somewhere in Scotland.

Like Ireland, this is my dream place. Someday, I will visit the Scotland. I don’t know whether I will find the Scotland I read of or not, but I am sure it will be magical still. And, now I realize I did not mention any author here. There are many, actually. But the very first author who introduced me with Scotland is Julie Garwood. She taught me a lot of things about Scotland. Then came Diana Gabaldon with her Outlander series. There have been many more books and authors in between, but these two are the most influential authors for me.


S= Second Chances=Bookish Confession#19

I am running so behind the schedule that I wonder if I will reach Z by 30th April or not. But that’s me– the last minute person. At least I am feeling better (mentally) after all shocks of last week.

For S, I wish to talk about second chances. As I said in my last post, there was a time when I was a romance novel junkie. My tastes have diversified since then, but a good romance is still one of my getaway kind of book. The romances very usually showcase the second-chances. And I do not mean the second chances with other people. I am talking about second chances with the same person.

It might be my personal perception, but again it is a thing that I cannot relate with. You know once a relationship goes sour for one or the other reason, there is this bitterness that comes in, which is quite difficult to forget. I have seen people forgetting those bad moments in real life too, but I just cannot comprehend how the trust develops in such cases.

I guess I have talked about this story earlier. I have a friend who reconciled with her domestically-abusive husband. It has been 3-4 years now I guess. The guy promised to improve, and he did improve(or so my friend tells me). Their life looks happy.

I am so glad for my friend, but at the same time I am perplexed also. Won’t the doubt and fear creep in everytime? I wonder if sleeping in same room with such a person won’t become difficult? I asked my friend this, but she shrugged this off. I guess there is no reply for this curiousity of mine.

But I get this similar niggling feeling when I read about the second chances happening with the same people. I think I am too sceptical, but I have been in that boat once. I decided to walk away rather than take a chance. Perhaps it is just that I am not brave enough! I  have no regrets as such, but this burning curiosity  of knowing how the second chance thing works. How can someone have such strong motivation to forego all the negative things and take a plunge in dark again?



Hey there, readers. I am back again. I missed three-four days again. Power cut was one reason, and second reason was the trip I am leaving for in like 2 hours. I am off to see baby turtles hatching up in a village of Maharashtra. This is the trip I have been planning for past two years.

So, I am catching up on all my posts and scheduling the one for tomorrow. The timer is on.

So, the for I, I want to talk about Instalove or what we know as love at first sight. I am a romantic at heart, or so I like to think. (I can see some people snorting at that, but you have your opinion and let us agree to disagree?!)

But howsoever romantic I might be, I just can’t get into Romeo and Juliet thoughts. I have felt instant connection to people, not necessarily romantic connection, but just like the shadow of connection that could bind us. But nothing as concrete that will force me to follow somebody to the “circles of hell” or that will amke me leave behind family and friends.

In fact, I am the person who believes in falling in love with soul along with the looks (probably soul more than the looks).

And then there is the love of YA which makes them defy everything and makes plans for marriage and life. They are even ready to defy the life. I am not saying that there is no true love or forever love for Young Adults, but then the life is too young to know about all this stuff.

I mean I have seen people divorcing after 30 years of married life, I have known a Lesbian who came out at the age of 50, and I have met the people who married at the age of 18 just after the school.  So, there is no right and wrong in that terms perhaps, but I have never seen someone not having any faults. Nobody is perfect, and nothing remains same forever, not even love.

So, instalove might seem romantic to someone, but to me, it is stupid. Romeo and Juliet is not a romance, but plain craziness, a question mark on the word love. There is a quote in the book Eleanor and Park which I quoted in my Review too. There is this conversation from the novel again:

“Romeo and Juliet are just two rich kids who’ve always gotten every little thing they want. And now, they think they want each other.”

“They’re in love…” Mr. Stessman said, clutching his heart.

“They don’t even know each other.”

“It was love at first sight.”

“It was ‘Oh my God, he’s so cute’ at first sight… it’s Shakespeare making fun of love.”

There is nothing called Instalove. Love has to be built, nurtured, and developed. There is an instant connection, and there will be many in anybody’s life, but not every connection translate into love or romance. Some are not even worth exploring.

I guess, despite being the romance reader, I  am the kind of a practical romantic.

Dancing with Demons: A Book Club Review

Changing the house is such a pain. If you forget to change one of your delivery address, your book will go to your past house, which is now someone else’s home, and then you have to retrace your steps to find that one book. That’s what I had to do to reach this book. After 10 days of dithering and follow-up of the courier office I finally got the book to read.

I would not have selected this book, but then I saw the cover which said “Soon to be made into Bollywood movie”. And I was hooked. I mean I don’t want to watch the movie first and then read the book. That’s the most boring thing to do in the world.

My decision was right or wrong I can’t say as in all honesty, the book was okay types. Not too good, not too bad. Like that mild coffee that could wake you up, but then that’s its only purpose. The book is okay. I have heard many people telling me that they were riveted by the book; I wasn’t, but then I wasn’t bored either.


Nidhie Sharma
Karan Pratap Singh is on the brink of winning the Amateur Boxing Championship, when in a moment, he loses it all. His fall from glory seems fuelled by ruthless arrogance and an out-of-control anger management problem. That, however is just symptomatic of a deeper issue. Buried under layers of his fractured subconscious lies a childhood secret he cannot come to terms with.
Sonia Kapoor is a beautiful, volatile young woman with a secret that torments her at night but a secret that she feels no guilt for.
When fate throws Karan and Sonia together in Mumbai, their personal demons and pasts collide and stir up trouble in their fragile and uncertain present. But, is redemption possible without forgiveness?
Dancing with Demons is a fast-paced action drama of love, loss and resurrection.
Grab your copy @
What I liked

1) Boxing Background: There are many books which explore sports, but this was my first book which explored boxing as the sport. I am not a boxing person, but then the book took me to those rings and made me see the passion of boxing from the authors’ eyes. I guess this was the best thing for me in the book.

2) Fast Pace: The book is quite fast-paced. It zooms on without giving you time to get bored. That was another good point about the book. I felt I was on a mild adventure ride.

What I didn’t like

1) Universal StoryTelling Style: I sometimes feel I just should give up. This style is not going to appeal me, at least not in Indian authors. The book started off beautifully without any head-jumps, and then by third chapter it became jumble of head-jumps. I was left wondering why the author decided Universal POV style.

2) Lack of Chemistry: The book lacks chemistry. Everything happens or is read in the eyes. The two protagonist do not talk to each other much in the book, yet they end up falling in love with each. Not only that, they wait for each other too when one is going through difficult times.  If I ever encountered a person whose past I don’t know, I would probably like to talk first. The chemistry, if there, is not developed in the book.

3) Meh Suspense: I cannot reveal it as that will spoil the book for you, but the suspense of the story did not really grip me. The author maintained the suspense about the story for a long time, which in my opinion, was not really needed. The suspense did not add anything to the story except for some pretty words and sentences. (I guess that was the purpose.)
Overall Opinion

As I said, the book was okay for me. I won’t read it again, that’s sure, but while reading, it transported me to the boxing world. Probably it wasn’t my cup of tea because all my friends have LOVED the book (Yes, loved in capitals). Sometime it happens, right? You cannot feel what others are feeling for the book.

For me, book was a pleasurable one time read. It could have been so much more (there’s a lot of potential there), but it isn’t. For now, it is the story of the boxer who is trying to redeem himself.

Three Stars
The Book Club introduces Nidhie Sharma and asked a few questions, the details of which can be found on the link. I liked that she is a filmmaker and a novelist and she is able to juggle between the two arts of storytelling. She described her book as the following:
‘Dancing with Demons’ is a gripping romance drama set against the backdrop of combat sports in India. It is the story of two fallen souls who must vanquish their inner demons to become the people they were destined to be. When the story begins, Karan Pratap Singh, an  angst-ridden boxer and the mysterious and volatile Sonia Kapoor are angry and emotionally damaged by their pasts and when fate throws them together in Mumbai, their personal demons and pasts collide and stir trouble in their fragile and uncertain present. “It was some night. Thunder and lightning playing, chasing one another like two furtive, carefree lovers, oblivious to the havoc they were wrecking. Sonia put her hand out of the window as the bus started to hurtle down the highway, to Mumbai. A sliver of lightning fell on the trees just ahead of them, setting a normal bush on fire. Then thunder roared again… Perhaps this was an appropriate setting for what was to follow…two tumultuous lives on a head-on collision course.”
This book explores if redemption is possible without forgiveness and also delves into the depth and unsaid connection that Karan and Sonia have with each other. In fact, Sonia’s poems in the novel throw light not only on self-love and forgiveness but also on the passionate and intense relationship that these two anti-heroes share.
“I know I’m not easy to love
On somedays there’s no God above
And maybe it’s a messed up world
Into which we have been hurled
And maybe I remind you of you
So Love yourself darling, to love me too”
Overcoming one’s limitations or demons is essential in order to fulfill one’s true potential. That is the real core of this story. The good thing is, millions of people find a way to battle and overcome their inner demons. So there is hope for everyone and ‘Dancing with Demons’ is about that hope. It’s about the light at the end of the tunnel.
This novel is a fast-paced story of love, loss and resurrection for both Karan and Sonia.  
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An Autograph for Anjali– The Book Review

An Autograph for Anjali by Sundari Venkatraman


An autography for Anjali

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Jayant Mathur is found murdered in his bed, shot at point-blank range with his own revolver. Though she’s extremely disturbed by his death, Jayant’s wife Anjali is way more upset about something else. Who stands to gain by killing the multi-millionaire businessman?

Parth Bhardwaj is a friend and neighbour of the Mathurs. Parth is an author who goes by a pseudonym. He appears more than a friend to Anjali; while he’s also on good terms with her son Arjun who lives and studies in the UK. What role does he play in Anjali’s life? Jayant’s relatives are curious to know.

Jayant’s brother-in-law Rana is convinced that Parth and Anjali are the murderers. But Inspector Phadke has his own doubts about this theory. In comes Samrat, the private detective who appears as quiet as a mouse. Will he be able to find the murderer?

Will Anjali find happiness and peace?

I picked this book from Amazon on one of my purchasing frenzy. My reasons for buying  was simple– I know the author, saw the promotion of the book and liked its premise. I have read Sundari’s previous work too but did not enjoy it much. However, this was an interesting read. I personally feel that as an author, her voice in the story has matured, and she has become bolder in the exploration of subjects. Although I still believe that there is a long way for her to go, but she does seem to have found her voice.

I finished it in a single read and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the story. The book is pure romance, with a bit of mystery thrown into it. What I loved  was the non-preachy way it was treated with. The author remained in the character and avoided judging them on her own.

What I loved

  • The first thing I loved about the book was the well-developed characters. I liked that characters had their backstories and that they were 3 dimensional in nature.
  • The second thing that I enjoyed was the pacing of the story. So many times the story fails because of the pacing, especially the story which has both romance and suspense as the feature of the story. But the Book has the right pace to keep the readers interested in the story.
What I did not like


  • The head hopping is there in the novel. I think I am developing an allergy to the head-hopping thing.
  • There were a few “suspended belief” moments where my belief had to be too stretched to get into the scenes of the story.
  • The third thing which I think was seriously lacking in the novel was the setting. The author has nailed the party scene and everything, but then she has skimmed over the settings. For the author who has the rich Indian land as the background, there was no connection with the location. I think that connection would have made the story more authentic.

Overall View

Overall the book is an interesting one-time read. It is a pleasant time pass read. I might not read it again and again(maybe, once more), but it is perfect read after a heavy day of work.

Overall Rating

Three Stars

Sweet Revenge: A book review (with the dash of new year and rich boyfriends)

Hello, dear readers. The long forgotten blog writer is back. Happy New Year to all of you, although I am one month late. I am very excited to start the new year and the posting once again. This January marked the beginning of many new things. The list of good news first:

1) For the first time since coming to Mumbai, there were events which made me feel that I can belong here. It is so amazing to feel that a city is ready to love you back, especially after it had shown a lot of nakhras (For my English readers, showing nakhras means sort of acting like a snob here!)

2) I turned 31 years old in January, and I have a feeling that this year is going to be the beautiful year.

3) I have been working on the new blog(remember, I talked about it?) design and all.

4) I finally purchased my DSLR camera.

5) And now, I am posting my first review of the book that is long past the date I promised to review (Sorry, but I was way too busy in organizing and celebrating things. I really did not expect everything to happen in just two months, but it did. Honestly I feel that I haven’t slept for like past two months.)

Sweet Revenge 


Olivier Lafont 



If revenge was a dish best served cold, then French Adonis Guy Leguerec knew exactly what to serve treacherous and desirable Eve Watson… 
Seven years after Louisiana, where Eve devastated his heart and ruthlessly wiped out his future, Guy finds her in Boston opening her first art showing. Now a wealthy and powerful shipping magnate, Guy lures Eve into his trap of seduction and opulence, intent on one thing only: getting revenge for her crimes. 
When American artist Eve Watson sees the only man she ever loved enter the art gallery, and re-enter her life, she feels helpless terror and frenzied desire. Seven years ago Guy Leguerec had seduced her heart, exploited her body, and then discarded her. Against her better judgment she accepts his invitation, and once again they spiral into a maelstrom of irresistible passion, divinely rampant sex, and the brutal politics of unknown intentions… 
Violently sundered by their volatile misconceptions, Eve flees Boston in emotional tatters, and Guy grudgingly lets her vanish, his revenge thwarted. 
But destiny has planned otherwise: Eve has taken an art job in Paris, ignorant of the fact that the company is one of many subsidiary businesses belonging to Guy. Flung together again in an even more precarious position, Eve and Guy must war with each other and themselves, and confront seven years of misapprehension and malign manipulation. Greed, family vendetta, and deception have eaten away at the intimacy they once shared — 
But is the truth enough to save their desperate, shipwrecked love? 
 Review and Thoughts
My first thought on picking up the book was who designed the cover for the book? The cover looks like the cover shot of the erotica contest! Not that I have anything against erotica, but the cover and the book should somewhat matched. No? I took the book when it came to book club because it was the romance, and secondly because my friends have already told me about it.

The book did not disappoint me at all. It’s a simple story of a guy meets a girl, a misunderstanding happens, and then they separate. They meet again when the hero wants to take his revenge and the passion rekindles. I know, you are thinking it is the same old story. It really is, but then that’s mostly what romance is. What sets this book apart is its engaging pace and the portrayal of the character. I will put it as a one time read which will remind you of why you love the romance reading.

My Favourite bits

1) Rich guy: Every story with a rich guy who falls in love with a normal woman should be a winner. Because it gives story such a dreamy quality.

2) Romance: The romance was the best part of the book. So many books keep on showing flighty heroines with a little penchant for romance and all. But the romance had the power to keep me invested in the story.

The questionable bits

1) Rags to riches: I have no problem with the heroes who are rich and fall for normal woman, but I do raise my eyebrows when I read that a character rose to such heights in the span of one year, without any stock market or initial investment or godfather. Maybe there are people like this, but I refuse to believe such people exist because otherwise what am I doing in my life? And no, business is not the magic word to be that successful.

2) Wide-eyed misunderstanding: I know that is not really questionable, but why don’t people talk to each other before judging others? I mean I could see at the first place itself what is wrong with their relationship, so why couldn’t they. (Again if I am being honest, I have done that too, but that doesn’t mean I won’t get frustrated at the hero and heroine).

3) Predictability: This is not really a bad thing as sometime one needs predictability of story. Sometimes, the warm predictability is like a lover’s embrace after a weary day. But then at the end of the read, when you are analysing what you read, you feel like you have been served the same dish with a different name (or as they call same wine in different bottle, but since I am a teetotaller, my examples are going to be a bit different.)

3) The Cover: I know it has been prepared by an artist, and I actually like her other work. But I don’t know why she chose this particular image for the novel. I mean it is like she wanted it to look more tantalizing than the real story itself and did not feel that the book in itself will be sufficient to attract readers. I know I am being harsh, but that cover looks like vampire sucking someone’s ears, or a person ready to whisper naughty bits in the ears. I really don’t understand what the artist is trying to depict here!

Overall view

It’s a book which is definitely worth a one-time read. The characters of the story might not stay with me for a long time, but it is a book which gave me a comfort on a cold night. I read it, and I smiled and dreamed. That makes it a worthy romance book in my opinion.
(Please don’t judge it by its cover, and oh, I like the author’s face. He could have acted as the model for the cover. Maybe.)

My rating for the book

Three Stars
Final Thoughts

There’s a thing I have always wondered: do people really want to marry and fall in love with rich men? I personally think that if I am not dreaming and I really get a chance to be with someone very rich, I will take 50 steps backwards. I know that the wealth does not define the worth in any way, but then I think I am afraid of truly wealthy people, like they are stuff made of glitter. They might shine from distance but once you are near, you can see the unevenness and roughness which comes with the application of glitter. I really don’t know any rich people (I know only normal people.), yet I have this strong notion that the lifestyle of rich will never suit me.

This is my secret confession of tonight. I will leave you to soothe your eyes with the amazing pic of the author (I have kept it large enough so that all the readers can enjoy that as well. ;-)). See you soon with another post.

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About The Author 
Olivier Lafont is a French author, screenplay writer, and actor. His novel ‘Warrior’ was published by Penguin Random House, and was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize. He has just released his new contemporary romance novel ‘Sweet Revenge’ exclusively on Kindle. ‘Purgatory: The Gun of God’ is a fantasy novelette published in South Africa.

Lafont has written a number of feature film scripts before. The first film he wrote opened at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win seven awards at film festivals worldwide.

As an actor Lafont has acted in Hollywood and Indian films, in TV serials, and in over 80 television commercials. He acted in ‘3 Idiots’, one of India’s all-time blockbuster hits, the critically-acclaimed ‘Guzaarish’, and the Lifetime film ‘Baby Sellers’, amongst other films.

Lafont graduated with two degrees in acting and writing from Colgate University, USA, with academic distinction.


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Wheat, Not White– A Book Club Review

Only Wheat Not White 
Varsha Dixit 

It feels weird to be in a reading slump– to not be able to concentrate on reading, forget about writing. I attribute all this to change of city. I don’t know why but everything makes me feel like I am an alien here, a foreigner (I am not! I am in the same country and in a city where there are many good things happening). I spent my time moping around over the fact and listening to foreign-travel songs. And then I realized how stupid I was being.

I was not going to pick up this book. When the mail for the book came, I passed it on. But then Rubina said that she can personally guarantee that the book is well-edited and well-written. I needed something to come out of my stupid mood swings, and hence I picked up this book. Before I write the summary for the book and elaborate its beauty, let me tell you it was a perfect book to get out of the slump– not too heavy–a beautifully written romance.

The Blurb

What if the one you completely love is the one you simply can’t! Twenty-six-year-old Eila Sood moves to America to mend fences with her estranged older sister, Sheela. Eila and the rest of the family in India had cut off ties with Sheela after she married Steve Jacobs, ‘out of caste, and out of color’. Elia soon realizes that Sheela’s marriage is on the rocks. To help pay Sheela’s household bills, Eila takes a second job at an afternoon strip club. When she crosses paths with the owner, the handsome Brett Wright or ‘blue-eyed ogre’ as Elia calls him, he both infuriates and fascinates her. Brett turns out to be her reluctant and unquestionably sarcastic knight in shining armor. As Eila and Brett spend more time together their desire for each other builds. However, when Brett discovers the true reason for Eila’s refusal he storms out of her life, accusing her of being a prejudiced coward. Will Eila find the courage to break stereotypes and embrace her love? Will Brett find solace in the arms of his ex-girlfriend Cate? Will Sheela and Steve divorce? All of these questions and more are answered in Varsha Dixit’s latest and humorous and steamy love story.
The book is the story about Eila who has traveled to US in order to act as a peacemaker between her parents and her sister .  Her sister, Sheela, married a white man which had severed her ties to the family. Eila has come to US in order to help Sheila reconcile with her parents. But all is not well in US. Sheela’s married life is not the same, and Eila ends up (working in a strip club) falling in love with an American. The story is how both Sheela and Eila comes to term with the fact that the color does not decide the person, but the nature does.

Although the book is mentioned as a steamy romance, it is just a love story. I did not find much “steam” into it, so don’t be afraid of diving into the book because of that.

What I liked:

A perfect blend of American-ness and Indian-ness:  I think this is the biggest weakness of the Indian novel. The novels either end up losing the Indian values and beauty while writing in English, or everything is so much explained that a reader gets bored reading about all the things they know. This novel did nothing of the sorts.  The story had perfect balance between the two cultures. She neither ignored the American culture, nor did the author explained or justified the Indian culture. That probably was the biggest USP for me.

Romance: The story kept true to the nature of the characters and has a romance which made me “feel” the love being developed along with the feeling the connection in first sight. It is not a racy novel, but then there still that aroma of romance and “touchy” feels to make one realize that we are reading about a different culture.

What I did not like

Some Plot Points: There is a point which indicates that the company that hired Eila is reducing the number of hours, and I was left wondering what kind of company hires a person and reduces their hours instantly. Probably that is how recession was in US, because my industry never saw such drastic effect in a day. In our case, it was the slow buildup of the recession things, and there were no recruitment at all. But that as a plot point rankled me a bit.

Overall Opinion:

It definitely is a book worth reading. Beautiful language, amazing chemistry and interesting weaving of the two cultures adds to the beauty of the story. A perfect read!

Four Stars

Thoughts after reading the book:

The subject of an Indian women falling in love in a foreign country with a white man has intrigued me quite a lot. This has nothing to do with the color and even the country, but more about the openness of the culture. I know there are many Indian women and girls who are forward and are open in dating, but till date there is a section of female population of the country who truly are quite subdued when it comes to the sexual desires or simply dating.

And when it comes to western culture, men are perceived as someone who are quite promiscuous (I know this is not true in every case, but still the perceptions are not always true).

It makes me wonder about the courage it will take for these women to shed their inhibitions and date such western men. Same way, it will take huge amount of understanding on the male’s part as well to fight with the preconceived notion of the women. And the signals– I think it will be so difficult for them to translate those signals as well for both males and females.

I have seen this problem occurring in case when both male and female are from the same country, but the female has lived in a reserved environment.

And when families are involved– it turns into a battle on both the fronts. The book did justice to this fact, but I was left wondering for a long time how difficult it is to shed the inhibitions and to trust someone. I probably won’t have that courage(but then I have not even fallen in love with such a person yet!) Probably that is why it is said that the love transcends boundary. Having that kind of affair and developing that kind of trust will be too difficult.

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