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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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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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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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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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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Don’t Break My Heart – Episode 22

“Good Night Jay…Take care…” I said. He waved with his back at me and was gone.

I felt terrible as I rested on my comforter…I thought about Jay and what Shikha told me about him that he was a wonderful person. I did agree with her that Jay was a great man yet I didn’t find myself attracted towards him as was he. Then, I thought about Rajeev and felt goose bumps all over my body as my eyes played a film of our last passionate encounter.

Inconspicuous images of 2 handsome men kept on flashing in my eyes as sleep took over me, and I slumbered.

I didn’t hear from Rajeev on the weekend or over the next week. Waiting for the next Friday when Rajeev and I had a date, I completely devoted myself to books and assignments. Things were going good as I got good grades in the class tests.

It was Friday and I was happy that I was going to see Rajeev in the evening after a long and tiring week. My housemates were away, so I had the whole house for me. I leisurely spend the afternoon watching T.V., cooking my favorite lunch, and then taking a hot shower. Wind was blowing hard; I stood next to the window of my bedroom admiring the scenery of the rainy city. I loved rains, and in Bangalore it rained almost every day.

Watching the lush green landscapes of the residential layout, I realized that it was almost evening. I got myself dressed with a little makeup on and started waiting for Rajeev. The clock pins almost touched 8 o’clock, and I assumed that Rajeev might’ve forgotten the date or as usual got busy in something.

“How could he do this to me…he kept me waiting the entire evening without even bothering to call me over the entire week. I really don’t understand him. What type of guy is he?” I felt irritated. Loneliness sliced me within. Changing to my nightwear, I picked up the novel I was reading. I tried to lose myself into the imaginary world of the book, but my thoughts had gone astray since I’d not seen Rajeev and started to miss him badly.

At around 12 midnight, my cell phone chimed. Half somnolent, I picked up the mobile and checked the text. There was a message from Rajeev.
“Sorry Baby…I couldn’t make it for today evening…got busy in something…”

Annoyed I was so upon his irresponsible attitude that I didn’t bother replying and put the mobile on silent.

The next day, I had a lot of pending work to finish that lined up during the week. I was out since morning and when I reached home with grocery bags in my hands, I found a post-it note on the main door of my house.

“Hey Ruchi…My apologies for letting you down last night, but I want to cheer you up by taking you out tonight. I’ll be at your place at 6. If you’re still mad at me and don’t want to hang out with me, you don’t need to answer your door – Rajeev.”

Reading the note, my eyes instantaneously moved towards the wall clock. It was 5 o’clock, I still have time to get ready. I murmured to myself, but the next moment my mind traversed in a different direction. “Why should I believe him? Why should I let him make me fool again? I’m not going with him anywhere even if he comes on time, something that I least expected from him.” The anger and disappointment of the previous night took over me, and I ran to the kitchen stomping my feet to unpack the groceries.

I was arranging the eatables in the refrigerator with failed attempts of keeping him away of my thoughts but his images were just not ready to leave me alone. His thick dark hair, deep brown huge eyes, his tanned skin and his chiseled chest accentuated by his broad shoulders couldn’t avow me to think anything but him. I looked at my wristwatch.

I still had half an hour. Battling with ambivalent emotions of love and anger, I finally won over the situation, and decided that I would go with him.
I rushed to the washroom, and touched my makeup, a bit of mascara, thin eyeliner, a coat of lip gloss, and I was all set for my date with Rajeev.

Expecting him to be a no show again, I was sitting on the couch turning the pages of the Vogue that Tina bought a day before just when the door bell rang. It was sharp 6 o’clock. My heart thumped as I was judged wrong on my assumptions about him, none other than but by myself.

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