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‘The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.’

 So, I am talking about the dilemma hovering over the gun control issue of America.

Statistical data shows that only during the year 2015 the US has witnessed no less than 370 mass shootings incident, in which about 500 people lost their lives. So, is the US Government responsible for not taking appropriate action to tackle the issue of gun control or is it something that is not under the control of the US Administration and Law Enforcement agencies, first hand.

Now, here it is worthy to know that in America every citizen has a freedom of keeping firearms, and there are approximately 300 million guns in the US, one gun for every man, woman, and child. Many gun owners advocate that they keep firearms as they feel safe. Now, the question that strikes to everyone’s mind is what exactly is US afraid of?

And the answer is – the tragic mass shooting incidents that have shaken up the American soil over the past few years. The possession of lethal arms has increased many folds in the aftermath of these mishaps. These tragic incidents that claimed the lives of near and dear ones have forced many Americans to possess firearms, so that they can protect themselves and their families from the goons and miscreants responsible for creating havoc in their lives.

Though Americans feel safer by possessing firearms, the reality is far away from what exactly the assumptions are. Studies have suggested that people are actually less safe when they have arms as compared to when they don’t. Reason – Because now people are at greater risk of suicides, homicides, domestic violence. Studies have also shown rise in the cases of violence against the police and the law enforcement workers in the US of late, all because of the legal possession of guns by the US citizens.

So, what’s the solution that can keep a check on the possession of lethal arms? Well…this is an easier question to ask the tougher to answer. According to the Executive Director of Texas Gun Sense – an organization pushing for stricter gun control, Ms. Andrea Brauer, a collective momentum should be built by the gun control organizations, the US Government, and the citizens of the states to put pressure on the NRA to change its policies.

But that’s not gonna likely happen in US, under Trump administration. President Trump has taken an aggressive approach in taking immediate action on the pledges he made to the Americans during his election campaign. After taking aggressive stance on immigration process and visa norms, the next drastic action from him could be the reinforcement of the fact that law abiding Americans have the right to carry guns for personal protection, hunting, and for sports. This repeals former President’s Obama’s actions that compromised American rights to legally possess and bear arms and strengthens the NRA’s idealogy of ‘the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.’

A Cozy Christmas Romance

Remember by Joan Carney[yasr_overall_rating]

Remember is very very Christmassy cute and adorable love story to curl up with during the holidays. The author has beautifully captured the vibrancy and liveliness of the festive season. The descriptions are so vivid that it felt like I was watching a Christmas movie. Carney has done a great job in sketching out the characters and making them live and believable. I can easily connect with Gracie, a girl that suffered from memory loss after drowning into a mall fountain. I loved the character of Emmy/Electra, the cat.

I liked Jack who was a complete husband material unlike Todd, a Casanova. But if you ask me who I would prefer then my unabated answer would be Todd. I don’t know but there was something that was quite appealing about his personality. I don’t know if it was a tinge of alpha male dominance or his bitter-love attitude towards his girlfriend.

At some point, I even wanted Gracie choosing Lucas. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and would highly recommend it, especially, if you’re looking for cozy and delightful Christmassy Love Story.

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A Paranormal Romance – Ramatel’s Vow

Ramatel's Vow[yasr_overall_rating]

The book opens with Ramatel getting ready for a deadly combat with demons when a lightning struck behind him and a dainty girl emerged from it. She introduced herself as Clara and Ramatel was told that he has to take care of her.
Things started to steam up between the two. While Clara succumbed to her caretaker’s charms, Ramatel had to resist falling for his chinfon to abide by the rules and vows he had made to himself.
The book is hooking from the first chapter and Crofoot has succeeded in keeping the reader’s attention intact till the end.
The descriptions are vivid and not only the protagonists but all the characters are well fleshed out in this paranormal romance.
The two main characters of the book – angels – Ramatel and Clara both are likeable. Their chemistry was amazing. I loved the sweet romantic talks between the lead pair especially those on the rooftops.

“Do you really watch me undress?” He turned to look at her and she met his eyes.
“Yes,” she replied, although she felt herself blushing as she said it.
“Why?”
She arched her eyebrows and smiled. “Because I like what I see.”

Scene transitions are impeccable. While the love scenes are steamy and erotic the fight sequences are violent and deadly.

The plot is tightly woven and the story is fast paced, however the second half of the book did seem a bit of a drag to me especially the lengthy fight sequences between the angels, demons, and cronies. That said, the paranormal romance novella is a real page turner and an intriguing read with lots of passion, romance, tension, and excitement.

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Start Over

Start Over by J. Saman[yasr_overall_rating]

Start Over is a sweet romantic story of Luke and Ivy. Ivy is a strong young woman passionate about work and career. Her life takes her to past when she meets Luke at a friend’s engagement party. Luke is the same man who she’d spent a night ten years ago. Though just a one-night stand, Luke and Ivy can’t stifle the flames of love and the passion that ignited between the two of them ten years ago. They soon realize that they’re very much in love with each other and can’t live apart. But since Ivy has career commitments and has to leave for Boston Luke has to keep himself away from falling for Ivy because of his own set of insecurities and dilemmas.

I liked reading Start Over. It’s a kind of romance that any romance reader would love to curl up with on a cold rainy day. The characters are strong and well-fleshed out. I liked the conversations between the two main characters and also between several other supportive characters. I liked both Luke and Ivy though Claire became my favorite because of her sportive and spontaneous personality that adds more fun and humor to the story.

There are times when the conversations get quiet lengthy and the writing shows a bit lack of a narrative. But that’s my personal opinion as I love reading more and more details about the settings, the weather, noises, and sounds, instead of fully devouring the dialogues.

That said, Start Over has all the ingredients of a perfect romance novel that would appeal to contemporary romance readers of all age groups.

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Seasons of Love and War

Book Review – Seasons of Love and War by Brenda Ashworth Berry

Seasons of Love and War by Brenda Ashworth Berry[yasr_overall_rating]

Emotional is what I would say about Seasons of Love and War. Beth Ann and Kaylob are childhood sweethearts and are very much in love even as young adults. The young lovers are inseparable until the Vietnam War when Kaylob decides to return to the war voluntarily.

The book is a true portrayal of the plight of a young lady whose fiancé gone missing and is declared dead. She has to go on with life but she finds herself trapped in a mesh of emotional breakdowns, nightmares, auditory and visual hallucinations about her missing boyfriend. She never accepts that Kaylob is gone never to come back.

While she struggles to carry on with her life keeping herself busy in her Broadway career, Blake Tanner, her friend since high school, shines as a ray of hope.

Though it’s a well written, well structured and professionally edited book, the characters seemed underdeveloped and appeared somewhat flat to me. I even wanted to read about Beth Ann’s successful career as a dancer and singer and wanted to see her evolve as an independent woman instead of having flings with Blake and even willing to sleep with her childhood friend Frankie, but that didn’t happen.

That said, the book is an easy read and is flawless when it comes to technicalities including editing and structuring and would appeal to anyone who wants to read a well written well structured historical romance set in the era of crisis and war.

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Fat to Fit – Amir Khan’s Dramatic Body Transformation

If you’re an Amir Khan fan, you  must have seen his body transformation video. The video about his weight gain and weight loss has been going viral since its release. Facebook and every other social media site are having recordings where the actor is flaunting his pot belly. The most interesting thing in the videos is you’ll see Amir binging on foods like samosas and vada pav to gain weight. While the first half is this, the second half of the video shows the star involved in a rigorous exercise and weight training to return to his six-pack body figure.

So, why did Amir Khan go through such a dramatic body transformation? The answer is – for his upcoming movie Dangal. A film where he plays the role of Mahavir Singh Phogat, father of wrestler Geeta Phogat. Geeta is the India’s first ever gold medalist in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Amir dismissed using bodysuit for his character and accepted the challenge of going into the skin of his character.

“When you put on weight, it affects your breathing and body language. That naturally reflects on your performance. You cannot get that from a bodysuit,” he said.

The actor admits he’d a gala time while putting on weight as he could eat all of his favorite foods. “I ate everything that I was not supposed to eat otherwise. I had samosa, vada pav, chocolate, cakes, brownies… I indulged in everything. Then when I had to lose the weight, I had a very different diet of 25 gm of upma and papaya. After gym, a glass of protein shake,” said the actor.

However the superstar found the weight loss program very difficult to follow. Amir in his own words described his strict weigh loss regime highly unhealthy and strictly advises everyone not to try that at home.

PS: Dangal will hit the screens on December 21.

Legacy by Wilde Blue Sky

legacyI read quite a lot of steamy mushy romance of late, so Legacy came as a fresh breeze, though it’s not a breeze at all. The book takes the readers to the post-war Germany. It starts with the year 1945 and ends in the year 1999. So much so, in a short book like this is something that only a talented writer can do. Wilde has done full justice in portraying the aftermath of World War II.

When it comes to the fiction element, the book is an alternate history, a history that is far away from what we all know and that is if Hitler left an heir.

The main protagonist Peter Fritsch is an orphan raised by his grandparents. Peter’s portrayal of a mentally and emotionally weak person and then his transformation to a strong-willed aggressive Right Wing Speaker is vivid and realistic. All the characters including Michael, Kurt, and Wolfgang seem realistic and have strong presence throughout the entire read. Character development is strong and vivid, something that I always look for in a book.

I liked the conversations between various characters especially the conversation about women that takes place between Michael and Peter. I  loved the subtle fragrance of romance with the appearance of Ola, a young female left-wing journalist.

I did want to read more about Ola and Peter’s blooming relationship and wanted to see it mature over a period of time, but the book ended on a tragic note.

That said, Legacy is a detailed and well-written book set in the Post-war Germany. I highly recommended this book to all alternate history lovers out there.

[yasr_overall_rating]

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Princess Sia by Kou Zoya

Princess Sia[yasr_overall_rating size=”large”]

Princess Sia is a story of a young princess of the Kingdom of Inwia in West Africa who happens to be the epitome of beauty. Sia’s beauty is divine and people from far and wide just wish they could see the beautiful princess. As Sia grows older, she realizes that her charms are alluring, and soon her feelings of self admiration transforms into arrogance and egotism.

When she reaches the age of 16, his father, the king of Inwia decides to marry her off to a suitable boy, but Sia so arrogant and adamant doesn’t find any suitor to meet her expectations. She wants to marry a man who is extraordinary, a special person who possesses all the qualities of a heavenly prince, a man who can match her personality. In her quest of finding a suitable suitor, she marries a beast who comes under the disguise of what appears to be the most handsome and the skilled man to Sia.

Sia’s struggle starts from here as she finds herself trapped into a vicious game of the wild beast that holds her captive in a small hut in the midst of the bushes of the wild forest, guarded by a five-headed monstrous rooster.

Now, there’s only one man who can save her from the treacherous beast, a man who she insulted in the past.

Princess Sia is a sweet romantic short story or more appropriately a fairy tale that would definitely appeal to the teen and young adult readers of romance and fantasy. The language is simple and the writing flows smoothly. Written in third person point of view, the book captured my interest from the very beginning because of its simplicity and purity. The dialogues are well written and blend uniformly with the rich content of the prose.
And, at the end like all other fairy tales, Princess Sia does communicate a moral that indeed inner beauty is supreme and one should never disregard kindness and compassion.

I would give Princess Sia 4 out of 5 stars.

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Book Review – Bound by Steel by Connie Lafortune

bound by steel[yasr_overall_rating size=”large”]

Wow!!! That was the first word that escaped out of my mouth as I touched the end of the book. The book seriously took me to a fantasy land. I really wonder if men like Ryker Steel exist in reality. He was so perfect in everything… I mean everything 😉 that it took me hard time not to fantasize about him. The author describes the characters so well that it creates live images of various characters in readers mind.

Now, coming to the story, Ryker rescues Lyra when her car crashes down during a bizarre snowstorm. Ryker brings her home and takes care of her as she recovers from the accidental trauma. While staying at the cabin, Lyra soon discovers that she can’t leave the place on her own wish. She has to embrace the truth that now her life is in charge of the owner of the cabin, i.e, her rescuer, Mr. Ryker Steel.

During the course of her stay at the cabin, Lyra finds herself lost in the masculine charms of her rescuer. Captivated by Ryker’s tough personality and the alpha male dominance, Lyra soon realizes that Ryker is the one who she always wanted in bed not her previous boyfriend Gage.

She lusted a man who held her captive but why couldn’t she just leave the cabin, that’s the suspense. And, not only that, there is hell lot of twists, turns, and complexities that ultimately take the readers on a roller coaster ride.

Ryker’s and Lyra’s chemistry was sizzling. Not only the steamy sequences but their conversations were equally passionate and sexy, especially, their dirty pillow talks.

All in all, Bound by Steel is a book that has everything in it. It has thrill, suspense, drama, romance, sex and lots of it that it will satiate all your hunger and desires.

The story is told in alternate POVs and that’s the best thing about it because it let me get into the skin of the characters and allowed me to feel what they are exactly thinking and doing.

Besides the steamy sequences that made me turn pages one after another, the twisted tale of lovers, their lovers, their friends, and their lovers, kept me on the edge of my seat all the time, and it was pretty frustrating when I’d to stop reading to follow through my daily routine. Needless to mention, Bound by Steel kept me coming back till I finished it.

Lastly, I highly recommend this book to all those who are looking for a sexy romance novel with lots of intrigue and plot twists to curl up with.

My Rating for Bound by Steel would be 5 steaming stars!!!

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