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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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.

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Princess Sia by Kou Zoya

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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

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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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Book Review – Desire Comes of Age by Ashley Pullen

This is a very well written book that has depth and is quite intense. The most important aspect of Pullen’s writing is that it has irony that is hard to achieve and rare to find.

The book explores the emotions and insecurities of a girl who was born in a brothel and was taken away from her mother at the tender age of 5. Later, she was groomed to learn the etiquette of high society only to serve the pleasure seekers. At the age of 18, she was pushed into the deep dark world of sex slavery where she tried to explore her sexuality through each lesson she was taught to please her clients.

The books is full of raw emotions and it takes a talented writer to instill so much in a short book like this but the author has done a great job in keeping the reader engaged through the entire read. Lastly, the story ends at a note that almost indicates the beginning of another story, and I’m all set to read the next installment of the series.

My Rating for Desire Comes of Age is 5 bold stars!!!

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Black Magic Man

black-magic-man
Black Magic Man by Ju Ephraime

Black Magic Man is a story of a happily married couple and how their life turns upside down just because of the entry of a Black Magic Man.

Lange and Rupert are happily married and living a peaceful life on the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia. Unknown of the threat looming over their heads, one day Lange was eyed by a black magic man. Despite being warned by his master in the past, Jean Louise (the black magic man) couldn’t control his intense urges of making Lange his sex slave. Not able to control his carnal desires, he starts pursuing her and makes her life unbearable by forcing her into something that leaves her agonized, both mentally and physically.  Lange realizes that her dignity and womanhood have been violated by a black magic man and decides to fight back the monster out of her life.

The book is written in third person POV and offers a quick and interesting read. To me, Black Magic Man was a real surprise as it doesn’t have any blood sucking vampires or werewolves like other books of the paranormal genre but a black magic man that is far more dangerous and creepier than any blood sucking demon.

The book is a detailed read exploring the cultures of the Caribbean as well as offers readers a glimpse of a bit of Indian culture. Not exactly an erotica but a flawlessly written romantic story, Black Magic Man is a real page turner and an intriguing book about love, lust, and the victory of good over evil.

My rating for Black Magic Man will be 5 bold golden stars!!!

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Temporarily in Love by Lou Kennedy

Temporarily in Love: a romantic comedy novellaTemporarily in Love: a romantic comedy novella by Lou Kennedy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Temporarily in Love is a chick-lit romance novella with loads of humor and indeed falls in the genre of romantic comedy. I loved the way it started. Jovie, a young woman, no job, no home, no money, and a recent breakup with her boyfriend ends up vacationing in Vegas with her best friend and brother. Tempted by a prize winning contest for couples, she ends up marrying Alex, a handsome fellow traveler.
Things begin from here and sparks fly as their fake relationship transforms into a caring and loving bond over the course of their 4 week stay at a plush hotel in Vegas.
It was a cozy, lighthearted, fun read though I was expecting a bit more romance between the lead pair. A little more steamy sequences and passionate kisses could have acted as a cherry on top for this delightful read.
I really enjoyed the character of Jovie and her interactions with her pseudo husband Alex. I did love the sequences when Jo was making fun of other lovebirds and her own brother Wills and his wife Jen looking from afar dancing and giggling in each other’s arms at various locations while their stay at the hotel where the prize winning contest was going on.
The story is well written, and Kennedy succeeded in keeping the readers’ attention intact till the end. The humor, the comedy, and the romance everything was just awesome. I really loved reading it.

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Book Review – French Restoration by Sara Claridge

French restoration is a story of wealthy kids and family secrets blended into a tonic of love and steamy romance. Chantal, an interior designer by profession, weaves a fragile world around her to keep herself away from her bleak past. She takes up the charge of remodeling the antique French country house to restore its antiquity and keep it safe from the wealthy desires of American Hotelier Alex Kirkwood. But during the course of restoring the ancient Chateau in the outskirts of Paris, she unknowingly succumbs to Alex’s manly charms. Alex also couldn’t resist himself falling for a 27-year-old French beauty who makes him weak in his knees every time he sees or thinks of her. What started as a mere physical attraction to simmer down the boiling desires between the two individuals, transforms into an undying feeling of love, and Chantal struggles hard to keep her past destroy, Alex’s social repute.

Written in third person limited point of view, the story is well plotted with rich prose and ornamented vocabulary usage. Intermittent twists and turns kept me intrigued and at the same time passionate sexual encounters between the lead characters made me re-read those steamy sequences just to feel the heat developing between the two. I loved the characters, especially, Alessandro’s alpha male image of a dominating boss and at the same time of a caring lover who wants Chantal back in his life at any cost.

I really liked the fascinating cover of the book and the well structured story line; however, there were times when I felt disconnected. I think it is because the usage of some of the French words and sentences that aren’t translated into English. Had the author put up a glossary or simply added the English translation within brackets, it would have been an easier read for me

My Rating of French Restoration would be no less than 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review – Finished by Anne Holster

I love reading romance novels and this book is yet another addition in the list of my all time favorite romance books. Finished kept me hooked till its end. Young couples, beaches, parties, and just sheer fun, a colorful book that deals with the feelings of millennial generation to which Jess, Jill, and many of other young characters of the story belong to. The book does have a bit of thrill that kept me intrigued and its romance element kept me entertained. I really liked the writing style of the author and the flow of the book from one chapter to another.

The characters are pretty entertaining and at the same time each one has its own set of problems to deal with. The book beautifully captures the emotions and feelings of each of its characters. I really like the female protagonist and her best friend Jill. The conversation between the two was quite interesting and often left me laughing silently as I flip through the pages.

Finn, the male protagonist however at times gave me a bad taste but as the novel progresses his transformation from a reckless and spoiled youngster to a caring lover exploring and understanding the universal emotion of love was something that made his character appealing and vividly clear in my mind. The only thing that bothered me was the title of the book – Finished. Though derived from the name of male protagonist, Finished sounds something like a book dealing with action, gore, or destruction rather than a fun-filled colorful romantic story that has a sweet and happy ending. All in all, Finished is a cozy fun read for a lazy weekend.

I would give Finished a 4 out of 5 stars.

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Stories of Life – Rukhsat, The Departure

I recently read a beautiful book named Rukhsat – The Departure by Sujit Banerjee. I really loved the book and here is my take on the book

fiction stories
Front Cover

Rukhsat- The Depatures is a collection of 26 short stories, each story depicting a particular character and portraying some of the untouched aspects of human psyche. Each story touches a subject that is sensitive yet least discussed and considered to be taboo or better to be kept hidden under the closets of human mind. The book explores some of the hidden truths of homosexuality and child sex abuse, besides offering readers a trip to those solitary roads of lives that many of us have just heard about but never visited. The darkness of the stories sometimes left me pondering how difficult it is to keep my feet into the shoes of any of those 26 characters that are beautifully expressed in the book.

It’s one of the best books that I’ve read so far. Beautifully written and immaculately expressed, author has done full justice to each of the story. Each story is not more than 3 to 4 pages in length, offers a quick read yet carves a great impression on its reader’s mind and soul. The tales are short and crisp, and it’s really an art to express and convey so much in so less words. Some are interconnected and some standalone, the stories are intriguing and kept me glued till the end of each of them, yet at the end of each of it, I wanted more and flipped pages to read the next, next, and so on.

fiction stories
My Copy of the Book

The only thing that bothered me at some places was the unfair ending of some of the stories. It left me wandering what would happen next, for instance, in the story named Qamar – The Letterbox, I couldn’t understand the ending. Had the length been extended to some more pages explaining a bit of detail, it would have been better to grasp what the tale was all about?

Ornamented words, rich vocabulary usage in the prose, and immaculate expression of thoughts make this book an awesome literary read for any short story lover like me. Looking forward to reading more great books like this by the author.

My overall rating for the book is 4 out of 5. Do have a look of the book by clicking the link below:

Rukhsat – The Departure by Sujit Banerjee