What Women Want? Good Looks or A Good Heart

Do you read romance novels? Have you checked the recently released romance books? If yes, you must have noticed, if not all, most of these romance books have nude male models flaunting their muscles and chests on their front covers. Often tattooed.

If you buy any of these books, there’s a high likelihood the hero suffers from alpha machoism syndrome.

Most of the times, the romance writers get so busy describing the chest, abs, ass, and even penises of their heroes, they lost it for making them believable. Often, the alpha male dominance overshadows the emotional aspects of a man’s heart. Something that any woman loves to explore and understand.

So, today apart from alpha machoism I’ll tell you what are the other things I will love to read about in a male protagonist or look for in any sexy good looking man or what women want

  • His weaknesses
  • The vulnerable side of his personality
  • His failures, and what he has learned from them
  • How he deals with his insecurities
  • His confidence
  • His funny side
  • Love and care he gives to his woman
  • His contribution to the society

These are the things which I look out for in any male protagonist apart from good looks, height, and physique. I won’t say I haven’t found these qualities in any of the alpha male fictional characters. There are some romance writers who have totally mesmerized me through their beauty of writing. But still most of the time, the romantic fiction books are full of sex scenes and the physical description of the males including their genitals it makes me put the book in the DNF category.

Often the description of male cologne is so sense driven, it forces me to ponder have I ever smelled something like this on my husband. Or, do I have a dysfunctional nose. I wonder if any man in real life wears these peculiar fragrances. Yeah, I know what are male colognes, but I can’t categorize them either into musky, leathery, woodsy, earthy, or aquatic. Can anyone come up with a sexy term for sweat admixed body fragrance? If you know a word that explains a man’s real scent, please let me know in the comment section. Because I have just not found the term for that.

Now coming to the looks and facial features. Hazel-green eyes, blue striking gaze, deep brown eyes, almond-shaped eyes, eyes like marbles. If I miss anything here, please tell me.

Then, bulging biceps, chiseled chest, 6-packs abs are the usual whereabouts of any alpha male. The alpha males most of the time either wear worn out jeans which hug their long legs perfectly or formal black suits with red ties, tailored to perfection. Nothing else.

These unrealistic and unbelievable male-character descriptions are the flavor and ingredients of any romantic novel these days. As these types of description allure women readers, use of these cliches has become a norm and a never-ending practice for many romance authors. To some extent, these things are okay and consumable if not very appetizing. But repeatedly serving the same soup to your readers often make them bored and offended. Readers like me look for variations.

We know fictions are most of the time the reflections of reality And in reality, people who fall in love are not always perfect. Likewise, romance novel male protagonists could be vulnerable, disabled, and insecure.

I think the key lies in making fictional male protagonists real and believable. If not always three dimensional. And romance writers need to think about this.

To engage their readers and to increase their readership, they need to create believable male characters with equal flaws and virtues–characters that are not always good looking, their jeans often hang loosely on their butts and their chests are not always chiseled but formless. But, they are confident about their looks, know how to love a woman. They are funny, caring, and are well aware of the purpose of their existence.

In my opinion, these males are damn sexy and appealing than a cold-hearted chiseled chested alpha whose heart has even gone rock hard like his chest and abs.

~MH

Romantic Short Stories: Primal Desires

Hi, Friends!. Love You All. I hope you enjoyed your weekend and now looking forward to a new week. How about starting the new week by reading some romantic short stories. This week’s love short deals with the complex emotion of Lust. Perhaps Love. Perhaps both. You decide 🙂

Title: Primal Desires

“Are you nuts?” Shikha pushed all the stray hairs off her face back into a tight bun. “No way, he’s going to stay with us. Not when you’ll be not home.” She then looked away, glancing at the fresh lilies blooming in the green lawns of their house.

“He’s my childhood buddy. I can’t say no. It’s just a matter of a few days. Once the paperwork is done, he will be off.”

“Can’t you cancel your trip or can’t you book a hotel room for him?”

“Try to understand babes. Raghav is not just a friend. He’s much more than that.”

“I know. He was your emotional support pillar, but things are different now.” She arched her eyebrows as she flipped through the pages of the women’s magazine. “Fine. If you can’t understand, let’s get this straight—I’m not going to stay with a stranger especially when my husband is away.”

“Please sweetheart. I really need this favor from you. Raghav is a cool guy, and he’s not a stranger. You have seen his photographs and even talked to him. Remember, when he called me on the wedding night.” Vikas crawled closer to her  on the couch.

“Yeah, I remember, but that was just a formal call. He just congratulated us. That’s all. The truth is that I don’t know him. I mean if he’s going to stay with me, he will definitely eat, sleep, and do all the things that he does.”

“Of course. How can you stop the person of not doing his daily activities of living?” Vikas cocked a brow.

“So, what does he eat?”

“He’s not that picky. Anything with chicken will do. I will fill the refrigerator with an extra supply of chicken and beer for you two.”

Vikas’ gentle persuasion was flawless, and he finally succeeded in melting the ice of Shikha’s heart. She agreed to let Vikas’ childhood friend Raghav stay at their house for a week while Vikas was off to the US.

***

“Coming…” The doorbell ranged the third time. Shikha ran to the door, wrapping her wet hair in a towel.

“I’m sorry…was in the shower…Please come in,” she said, her faint smile vanishing. Her eyes fixed on a 6 feet tall hunk, an owner of a sculpted body that he hid underneath a white creased shirt and khaki pants, standing next to Vikas.

Raghav never looked that sexy in the snaps. Perhaps, that were the entire old ones I saw. He’s a grown up man now. A man with bulging biceps and tattoos. No wonder why he didn’t marry until now. Perhaps, he is a player. A man who always plays with women takes them to his bed but never gets involved in a relationship.

Anyways, who the fuck cares. He’s not going to stay here for any longer. It’s just a matter of seven days. All I need is to feed him good food, take him around the city, talk to him politely while he finishes his work in the town, and finally leaves the house.

Shikha assured herself that Raghav’s visit was not going to make any difference to her life as she arranged the table for lunch. However, she couldn’t stop herself looking at Raghav, devouring his intoxicating appeal.

That evening, Vikas left for the US leaving his wife alone in the company of his old childhood friend for a complete one week.

***

One evening…

“So what do you do?”

“Me. nothing. Just cooking, sleeping, watching TV that’s all.”

“You don’t have any hobby?”

“I never thought about it.”

“Never thought about it?” He chuckled. The sound of his snicker sent shivers of excitement all through her spine. And, boy, those vivid brown eyes, sexy enough to disturb all the sleeping butterflies in her stomach.

“I mean…Yeah…I used to make soft toys for kids when I was young. I mean it was long before getting married.”

“For kids?”

“For kids of the maids who would work in our society.”

“I see, and you used to gift them?”

“Yeah. Right.”

“That’s pretty adorable. I mean who the damn cares about these things.” His lips set in a grim line as he looked down the carpet of the living room. The air was heavy. There was this constant sound of raindrops falling on the tin roofing of the backyard. He looked sad, vulnerable, almost on the edge of shedding tears.

Vikas told her that Raghav was the son of a woman who used to work as a housemaid in their palatial residence. It was Vikas’s parents who helped Raghav’s mom to get him educated.

For a moment, she thought of going close to him and putting her hand on his, but she restrained. Restrained her from looking at him. Teardrops slid from the corner of her eyes. She couldn’t understand why she felt that way. A few days with this man and her world had changed. She never felt the intense magnetism towards any man she felt for Raghav.

“What do you do?” She broke the ensuing stillness of the rainy evening.

“I make sculptures?”

“Sculptures? You’re a sculptor?”

“Yeah…You guessed it right.”

“Interesting. So what do you sculpt?”

“Anything. I mean anything that fascinates me.”

“And, things that don’t fascinate you. Do you still sculpt them?”

“It depends. If I have to do it for a client. I once sculpted a fat businessman with fairly big mustaches, and I got sixty thousand bucks for that.”

“OK. Deal. You will make my sculpture, and because I’m not that fascinating, I’ll pay you for that.” She smiled.

“Who says you’re not fascinating?” He chortled.

His words electrified Shikha’s entire being. Hot desires grew from inside, making her cheeks blush. She cast her eyes downward, no words escaping from her mouth.

***

“Can’t you sit still…I’m shaping the features. And, please brush that hair away from your face.” Raghav’s voice was soft yet commanding enough to make Shikha’s heart race.

“No, no, not that…Oh, okay, just let me do it for you.”

As he came close, his body warmth floated around her. The brush of his fingers, all clay on them, on his forehead, and a shiver ran down her spine. Butterflies fluttered harder. Almost ready to tear her stomach. Her heart thumped even harder making it difficult for her to breathe. A choking feeling couldn’t let her inhale oxygen. All, she could inhale was the musky fragrance of his cologne as he stood just an inch away from her. His broad chest exposed in a blue vest, sweat drops traveling from his temple to his Adam’s apples before touching down the chisels of his gorgeous chest.

Oh! God! I want to breathe, and this man is not letting me do that. I will die if he doesn’t go away in another 10 seconds.

“I’m sorry. I can’t do this.” She pushed Raghav in his chest and scurried past him, darting out of the outhouse.

Romantic Short Stories: Primal Desires, www.mariyamhasnain.com

“What’s wrong with you? It’s half done. Just a matter of few more hours.”

“I can’t sit still for that long. It’s okay. Just leave me alone. Just go.”

She could sense his presence behind her.

“Can’t sit for long or you can’t have me near you?”

His words pounded her heart, shattering it into pieces with each piece saying – yes you’re the one I ever longed for.

“Why are you here? Finish your damn paperwork and leave. Please go away.” She smoldered as she wiped her tears.

“Shikha…”

His low husky voice. Her name on his tongue worked like an aphrodisiac, igniting the fire more intense than ever before.

“Are you falling for me?”

She didn’t reply, tears making her vision blurry, her heart sinking, her lungs laboring for air.

“Aw, shucks, I can’t believe this.”

With that, he turned his back. And the next moment, he was gone out of her room.

20 minutes passed by

Perhaps, 30

Probably, an hour

“Raghav…” She cried like a kid as she searched for him everywhere in the house.

“Raghav. Where are you?”

“I’m here.” He came out of the guestroom, hauling his suitcase behind him.

“You can’t go away. Can’t leave me like this.”

“What do you want from me?” He came closer and looked in her eyes. “It’s lust Shikha, nothing else.”

“It’s not lust. If it were, I would not have wept that night when I saw tears in your eyes. Your presence, your nearness, your touch bring a hurricane of feelings. Feeling unknown to me. Feelings I’ve never had before. Feelings I want to melt into, fade into, dissolve into finishing my entire being. Being with you is like putting me on fire and asking you to leave is like letting that fire burn me.”

“You’re my friend’s wife Shikha, and I can’t break that trust. You understand. I can’t break that trust.” His grip hardened on her shoulders as he tried not to reveal his vulnerable side. The side he kept hidden from her, feelings that were burning him too, inside out.

“Don’t hurt me if you can’t love me.” She shoved his hands off her shoulders and turned around. “You should be gone when I come out.” And, she rushed to her bedroom, not wanting to see him leave.

Again, she could sense him standing behind her. His hand on her waist made its way under her shirt, pleasure bubbles forming inside her skin. His touch on her flat belly sparked thousands of volts of electric current. She closed her eyes to dissolve, to melt, to finish in the heat that dissipated from his body. Her head tilted backward, her lips parting in anticipation.

The touch of their lips kindled a fire. A fire that ignited both the bodies. Flames ready to burn them alive, turn them into ashes, a heap of slag, had they not extinguished them, doused them, smothered them succumbing to their primal desires. Love, Lust, Whatever.

***

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Romantic Short Stories: A Flight of Stairs

Howdy Friends! It’s Monday and I’m here with yet another love flash from my hidden treasure of romantic short stories.

Title: A Flight of Stairs

With that last tattoo, of a dragon, done on my forearm, I was all set for my first-ever concert as a singing pop star of the town. My long-cherished dream would come true. Never in my whole life, had I missed a single night when I didn’t dream of singing in front of a huge crowd of fans.

And, I nailed it. My latest album hit the top 10 Asian-American songs of the month. Though I was no stranger to facing the media glare, performing in front of a live audience gave me goose bumps just like we get before exams or job interviews.

I was running late, so I scrambled towards the elevator, got inside, and touched the 0 button.

“Shit.”

In haste, I couldn’t work out that the lift was going upstairs. A couple minutes of ride from 5th floor to 27th floor seemed like an irritating, never-ending journey. A journey that takes you away from your destination.

The elevator reached the top floor, and a man entered inside. Worried about reaching the concert venue on time, I threw an irritating stare towards him.

Cleanly shaven with a tangle of wayward brown curls pushed back on his head, he either took a decent amount of time to set his hair or got out of the bed without even brushing a hand on his head. Whatever it was, he looked damn gorgeous in a black suit that hugged his broad-shouldered tall frame perfectly.

A little distraction seemed like a flight to heaven, and I enjoyed the ride downstairs with the man who took my breath away.

His cologne tantalized my senses and filled my brain with all the naughty thoughts.

What if I was marooned on an island with this handsome stranger? How about getting stuck in this elevator with this gorgeous man?

Hey, relax Ritika. You’ve to perform in a couple of minutes.

Restraining my thoughts, I stopped ogling him and fixed my stare to the floor of the elevator.

I took a deep breath to stop the flickering butterflies flocking hard against my ribs and closed my eyes to slow down my thumping heartbeat.

Darkness.

Yeah, it’s good. I’m feeling much better.

With that, I open my eyes.

Have I opened my eyes?

Holy shit!

I never thought the wish I made two seconds ago would become true.

Yes, we had got stuck in the elevator.

“Oh! No.” A deep cry escaped my throat.

“Are you in a hurry Miss?” His commanding voice filled the stranded elevator.

Irritation and anger replaced the burning desires.

“It’s because of you, I’m in this situation.”

“I’m sorry? Because of me?”

“Have you not pressed the button, I would have reached the ground earlier.”

“If you were going downstairs why did you catch it at first place?”

“Oh! Please. Don’t you argue with me like an attorney?”

“What, if I’m the one?” He chortled.

Romantic Short Stories: A Flight of Stairs

“Aw! Shucks. I hate lawyers and never in my wildest dreams I thought I would get stuck in the elevator with a conservative attorney?” I bit my lips in frustration.

“Conservative attorney?” His eyes gleamed like two shiny marbles in the thin light of his smartphone. A brief smirk tugged the corners of his lips, flaunting a set of deep dimples as he looked me in the eyes.

“So what do you do?” His gaze smoothly shifted from my face to my exposed skin covered with tattoos of insects, birds, and animals.

“I’m a rock star.”

Before he could make any assumptions about my character or behavior, I proudly introduced myself.

“Rockstar? The one who sings and dances maniacally.”

“Excuse me, Mister.” Heat escalated through me, and I knew, all of it was not anger.

“Oh…I’m sorry.” He smirked again. But, this time there was something in his eyes that made me blush.

He came close and stood across from me. His hand roamed through my narrow waist as he pulled me close.

Anticipating his next move, I closed my eyes and my head tilted backward, almost instantaneously.

A brush of his lips at the corner of my mouth and the stranded elevator breathed to life. It got illuminated and started moving down. He released me from his grip, and we occupied opposite corners.

Mute.

Embarrassed.

Restless.

Within minutes, we reached the ground. Coming out of the lift, he escorted me till my waiting cab, the concert organizers arranged for me.

“I think I need to see you again. How about a dinner? Tonight at eight?”

“That’s cool.” I readily agreed. “Why don’t you come with me now?”

“Umm…Let me reschedule the meeting I have with my clients, and I will follow you in my car.” He chuckled as he touched some buttons on his smartphone before putting it closer to his ear.

****

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Want to download some of my FREE romantic short stories – Click Here

~MH

Camouflage: A Romance Set in the City of Bangkok

Happy Monday Folks. Guess what. Today, I’m sharing with you a tiny excerpt from my novel Camouflage.

Setting: Thailand

Cast and Characters: Asian and American

Genre: Umm, Not sure

OK, I’m not able to decide the genre of the book as it stretches from being a romantic suspense to a psychological thriller. But, one thing I can assure you, that if you love reading romance books with lots and lots of intrigue, suspense, twists, thrills, and cliffhangers, this book is for you.

Warning #1: It’s a fast-paced romance with action happening at each paragraph. Don’t blame me if it keeps you biting your nails and at the edge of your seat all the time.

Warning #2: The book has adult content and strong language. 18+

See what reviewers are saying about Camouflage

“A great combination of love and intrigue. Highly recommended to fans of romantic suspense.” ~ Annie Arcane, author of Hartbroken Series

“I’ll just say that this unusual little novel captivated me and kept me up half the night reading.” ~ Page LaRue

“Everything about this book was a page turner.” ~ J. Saman, author of Start Again series

“Hasnain weaves a complex mystery with many layers to peel away as you go. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a good mystery with a splash of romance to spice things up.” ~ Melissa Copeland, author of Solitary

An Excerpt from Camouflage

Camouflage, www.mariyamhasnain.comI longed for her touch, her kiss, her affection and found myself slipping into a state from which I never recovered.

My heart ached as I realized Sheina was miles away from me. I never believed in love, and now I couldn’t stop myself falling in love. For a moment, I forgot all the physical trauma and mental conflicts and savored the feel of falling for a girl whom I’d known for only a couple of months.

It was nothing more than just a physical attraction and I never acknowledged her growing affection towards me. She was always there even when I behaved rudely and ignored her.

I felt ashamed and apologetic for not treating her the way she deserved to be.

“You are my princess, darling though I’m not a prince,” I mumbled under my breath.

What’s this happening to me? Why I’m feeling so drawn to her? How can I be mentally unstable and physically frail but still feeling so healthy and energetic?

Is this what is called love? If it is I’m in love. I’m in love with Sheina. I can’t imagine my life without her. I miss you Sheina, please come back to me.

Playing my favorite song – Patience from Guns’ n Roses – Shed a tear ’cause I’m missin’ you, on my cell phone, I wallowed in that sweet pain that I’d been experiencing since she had left me alone in the tranquility of her living room.

I need to tell her how much I love her, let her come and I’ll never let her go. I’ll enclose her in my arms forever and ever till the end of this world.

I groggily walked up to the closet. An M-shaped gold pendant, secured neatly through the pins onto the red velvety floor of the jewelry box, shone brightly.

This is the only lifeless object in this entire world that I can never buy, and now I want to give it to Sheina, the woman I love the most after my mom. She is the one who deserves my mom’s keepsake.

I came back to the recliner and allowed my memories to flow freely. As I put my ear buds on, relaxing on the recliner, old reminiscences flooded my mind.

It was a usual day for me. Glaring the cursor for an hour or so, I was about to type the first sentence when the penetrating sound of the doorbell hampered the flow of creative juices.

 “Who the heck has come now?” I felt irritated but managed to walk down the stairs to get the door.

A Thai girl in her early twenties was standing on the doorstep. My anger and irritation faded away seeing the pretty face at my door. For a moment, I found myself lost in her distinct Siamese charms. She was smiling vibrantly displaying the spontaneity of her personality.

“Hi! I’m Sheina. I’ve moved next door. Sorry to bother you but my bathroom shower knob has got jammed. I’ve called the community plumber, but I think they’d take some time. I’ve to report to work in an hour and I was wondering if you could help me out?” She maintained eye contact with me.

An expression of nervousness on her cute, typically Asian face and the requesting glint in her slanting eyes compelled me to go with her.

“This way please.” She led me to her flat. There were heavy cartons of goods and packed furniture pieces lying on the tiled flooring of the tiny living room.

We made our way to the shower room. I tried to rotate the shower knob, but it didn’t move.

“Have you got a wrench?” I asked her.

“Oh…I’m afraid I don’t,” she replied.

“Fine, I’ll get mine.” I reached my flat and quickly located the wrench in the tool box.

A slight pressure on the wrench rotated the knob, and it started working. Drizzles of cold water started pouring on my T-shirt, and I stepped aside to avoid the droplets of water.

“Oh! It started working.” She smiled jubilantly.

I came out of the bathroom.

“Thank you so much, Mr…I didn’t ask your name.”

“Mark, Mark Statler,” I replied, walking in between the scattered cartons of packed goods.

“Thanks again Mark, see you in the evening.” Hearing my name in her sensuously soft and soothing voice compelled me to look back, and I gazed at her prettiness wearing a goodbye smile on my face.

After that, she started dropping in every now and again, most of the time in need of something, and I helped her readily, unaware that one day I would succumb to her Thai charms and would yearn for her just like the parched sands of the dessert yearn for rain.

We started spending quality time with each other. I cherished her company, and we struck the chord pretty well talking about our hobbies and interests, during which I got a chance to know more about her.

She had a deep passion for helping the orphans and that was the only reason she moved from SuanPhueng to Bangkok when she got an offer to work as a coordinator at the MalaiDek Orphanage located in the Phaya Thai district.

The charity organization had provided shelter, food, and education to more than thirteen-thousand kids from various districts of Thailand, most of them had lost their parents to the deadly hands of AIDS than to any other cause of death. Sheina was involved with the fund-raising event management program.

 I was pleasantly surprised to find a friend in Sheina, one who shared her passion for helping the poor and needy with me. We were not polls apart, but our characteristics and natures were almost opposite, and I believed that’s what I liked most about her.

Want to read more, download Free sample chapters of Camouflage

Happy Reading!

~MH

Second Chances in Love – My Work In Progress, A Sneak Peak

Do you like reading Second Chances in Love. If yes, my next book is for you.

I have just written the first chapter, and sharing it with you. However, it’s not a complete chapter, but a tiny excerpt.

Hope you like it. The book is yet not titled, so I’m not writing the title here.

Untitled (Work In Progress)

Self-pride washed over me as I stood in front of the Shanbagh Palace. The magnificent building boasted months of hard work and labor me and my team put in renovating the old monument, and now it was ready to host its first wedding.

I bought Shanbagh two months after returning to my hometown of Awadh from Mumbai where I studied and worked in an IT Firm. Scars of failed relationship would have broken me apart had I not known of my pregnancy.

“Momma, we’re getting late for school.” Pari’s thin voice pulled me out of my thoughts.

“Yeah, I’m coming dear.” I wiped my eyes and descended the porch stairs to reach my baby doll.

Dropping my daughter school and then coming back to Shanbagh to carry out renovation activities had been my routine for the past one year. No ifs and buts. But, that day was different because Shanbagh was going to host its first wedding after facing decades of neglect and abandonment.

If everything goes by the plan, the old harbor will regain its glory while we can have a dependable source of income.

I didn’t buy Shanbagh just to convert it into a wedding house but because of the connection, I felt with the old harbor. The strength and positivity the massive building reflected had carved an everlasting impression. I used to visit the ancient house of the Nawabs of Awadh during my childhood and teen years. One of my aunts married a Nawab, and they used to live there. They had a large family of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews.

My summers were always full of activities, playing in the green lush lawns of the palace with kids of my age, sons and daughters of my aunt’s extended family.

Years passed. The old ones died. The young ones migrated to big cities. And, the building grew old with no one to take care of the ancient memories. Memories that filled the rustic air of the Shanbagh Palace.

I walked out of my office to reach the green lawns of the building where folks were busy decorating the altar. Several white-clothed golden ribbon chairs graced the front garden, morning sun beaming over the dewy petals of bushes and shrub.

Second Chances in Love: A Sneak Peak of My Work In Progress, www.mariyamhasnain.comEverything’s so green and fresh.

Hey, what’s this? I felt the feathery sensation on my open toe ballerinas only to find a white furry cat purring next to me on the ground.

“Oh! Baby.” I picked up the cute cat and caressed her in my arms.

“Maggie.” A thick voice echoed in the fragrant morning air, and the cat jumped out of my lap and ran down the walkway.

“Hey stop! Stop there! It’s not safe.” The poor cat was going to touch the electric circuit when I grabbed her but lost my balance in saving the cat’s life. A generous splatter of water, and the next moment I was in the water pond.

“Can I help you.” A deep voice again hit my senses bringing me back to present. A strong hand stretched for me. I looked up. The owner of the hand had the same set of light brown eyes.

“How are you?” He asked as he pulled me out of the water.

“How come you are here?” My voice shook. I avoided his stare on my wet clothes clinging to the curves of my body.

“I should be asking this, shouldn’t I?” The teasing sound of his snickers brought a surge of heat. It was like my cold body had been put on fire. I hated his voice, his eyes, his smile because it reminds me of someone who broke my heart who cheated on me.

“What do you want now?”

“Well, It seems I was misinformed about the palace being renovated into a wedding house. I think I should’ve done my homework before dropping in. Anyways, gotta go now.”

“You aren’t misinformed, Mister. Shanbagh Palace is accepting clients for weddings and other family get-togethers.”

“Is it? Can I meet someone who can provide me with the details.”

“Yeah, of course, please go straight and take left. There’s a front office. You can get the details from there.”

“Thanks, Pink.” As he called me Pink, I couldn’t stop myself looking into his eyes. My heart galloped, it pounded against my chest. It felt as if someone had dug out a deep buried desire within me.

“I need to look out for my cat first. Thanks for saving her.”

“It’s okay.” My voice wobbled in my throat as I collected myself together and turned my back to him.

****End of the Excerpt

Do you think it’s hooking. Do you think you can take a chance on reading further? If yes, I would love your words of appreciations. If not, please tell me where I can improve. I’m open to changes to make the beginning more enticing to my readers.

Please leave your reply in the comment section below.

~MH

Romantic Short Stories: Love Me Baby

Hey folks! It’s Monday and guess what. Today, I’m not posting a flash but an excerpt from my sweet romantic novelette – Love Me Baby. This short story is my favorite of all the romantic short stories or love flashes I’ve written till now.

Hope you like it!

An Excerpt From Love Me Baby

I reached the studio on time. As I noticed the black gleaming sedan standing in the parking alley, my eyes gleamed with joy.

“Oh… So he’s early today,” I murmured, and a tingle of blush washed over my cheeks. I located an empty spot and squeezed my Nissan in between two giant SUVs. Stepping out of the car, I made my way to the exit. My heart thumped harder against my chest. It raced at the greatest speed.

What’s this happening? Guys tried hard to seduce me but I flipped them off. I broke up several times, but I never cried on my failed relationships. Why I’m so nervy and euphoric? I quizzed myself.

Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t realize when I reached the main entrance of the Alan’s Photography studio. I raised my head and glanced at his name.

“Alan,” I whispered his name under my breath, and his vibrantly stunning image flashed in front of my eyes.

It’s just one night, but it seems as if it’s been centuries since I last met him.

My steps took me to Alan’s cabin, and what I saw through the slanting window blinds melted my brain and shook me, soul.

Romantic Short Stories: Love Me Baby, www.mariyamhasnain.comJealousy and disappointment ran through my nerves, and a tinge of melancholy swept over my soul. I turned around and dashed out through the main exit, gasping for breath. I fell apart seeing Pixie in Alan’s arms. I left the studio and drove myself off from North Hollywood to reach my home in Downtown LA.

I pulled up in the parking zone of my commune and rushed to my flat on the fourth floor wiping at my eyes. I opened the door with my keys and straightaway headed to the sleeping room. Dropping myself on the bed, I buried my face in the pillow. Michelle laid on the adjacent bed, listening to music on her iPod. She instantly got up and wobbled my shoulder.

“Hey. What happened?” she asked.

“He loves that blond. I’m going back to Phoenix, to my mom. I need her.” I raised my head from the pillow and pushed my drooping body to a sitting position.

“How do you know he doesn’t love you? Did he tell you that?” she quizzed me again.

“I saw them hugging,” I replied, tears rolling down my cheeks.

“It could be a friendly embrace… a platonic one as he met her after a long while. She was off to the Bahamas, wasn’t she?” Michele said placing a comforting hand on my shoulder.

“I don’t know. It could be, but I can’t imagine any other woman in his arms. What if he doesn’t love me and loves that blond? I don’t want to bear the pain of unrequited unfulfilled love. I’m going away from him… so I can forget him and move on with my life.” Michelle couldn’t utter a word on my stern determination of leaving LA and going back to Phoenix.

I logged into my laptop and booked the next immediate flight to Phoenix. Packing my stuff into the giant suitcase, I was ready for my journey to my homeland. As I pictured myself hugging my mom and crying out my inner weakness and emotional turmoil on her shoulder, I felt calm and composed. The triumph of seeing my mom after so many months overshadowed the pain of heartbreak. I hugged Michelle and kissed her slippery cheeks before wishing her goodbye and came out of my apartment to hop onto my waiting taxicab.

****End of the Excerpt

Want to read the full story, download Free sample chapters of Love Me Baby

~MH

Romantic Short Stories: Locked Memories

Howdy Friends! It’s Monday and I’m here with yet another love flash from my hidden treasure of romantic short stories.

This week’s flash is about Love and Forgiveness. Hope you like it.

Title: Locked Memories

The alarm went off at four in the morning, and the doorbell rang.

I groped for my mobile phone on the bedside table and swiped the screen to switch off the alarm.

The deafening sound of the doorbell again penetrated my ears.

“Who could it be?”

I rolled over the bed, put my sleepers, and rose to my feet.

The doorbell rang again.

“Who the hell is this?” I muttered. The hall was dimly lit. A thin beam of light strained out through the cream shade of the night lamp. I staggered to my feet and made my way to the front door of the house and peeked into the eye hole.

It was dark in the porch.

“Who’s this?” I asked. My voice wobbled. I struggled to fight the sudden fear creeping around me.

No answer.

Panic pooled into my gut as I debated with my mind whether to open the door or not.

Instead of fully releasing the door, I used the door chain and peeked out. A whiff of wet soil entered my nostrils. Raindrops pattered on the tin roofing of the dimly lit porch.

Romantic Short Stories: Locked Memories, www.mariyamhasnain.comNothing was visible in the dim light that came from the street lamp except a shadow. A man stood at the entrance, a cowboy hat on his head. He wore an overcoat.

“Who’s this?” I mustered the courage to ask again though couldn’t control the shakiness of my voice.

“It’s me.” A deep husky voice broke the stillness of the rainy morning.

It sounded familiar. I perhaps heard it somewhere, some place. I didn’t know. I couldn’t recall.

Irritation drank all my fear and anxiety. My voice hardened. Angrily, I asked, “Me who? Do you have a name?”

And the shadow walked in front of me. He stood across from me, behind the safety chain.

A bright white light enveloped the darkness as he lit the torch and pointed it towards his face.

“Shawn? Is it you?” Anger, apprehension, hatred all together cluttered my brain seizing my thinking power. My tongue couldn’t form a single word. I went mute, lifeless, a frozen mess of bone and flesh.

“Can you let me in?” His words hit my ears bringing me back to my senses.

“How could you? It’s been ten years.”

“I want you, Diana. I want my life back. I’ve repented a lot on my mistake.”

He kindled the feelings I once had for him. My hand roamed over the lock disengaging the safety chain and pushing the door wider for him.

Did you like what you read? If you did, don’t forget to share.

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~MH

Romantic Short Stories: A Smile To Remember

Another Monday, another love short from my immense pool of short romantic stories.

This week’s short story is inspired from Nicholas Sparks’ famous novel which was also adapted into a movie – A Walk To Remember. Hope you like it.

Title: A Smile To Remember

Her love was like a rose—fragrant and soft.

She was a geek. No fashion sense, no girlie stuff. I sometimes hated her lack of social skills. Even though we studied together since kindergarten, I never cared for her. She tried to talk, but I never got involved even in the small talks she started during our bus rides to school.

It was during the Spring Festival when we came close. We were preparing for the festival, and me and Zoobie were in the same team. I had to visit her house often to prepare for the skit we had to do during the spring fest.

Together, we practiced for the drama. She always wore a green-colored cardigan, to school, at home, and  wherever she went. I and my friends often ridiculed her dressing sense.

As days gone by, I realized I was spending my time more on things that didn’t make any sense. Like making fun of nerdy students whenever they walked past us, doing crazy stuff like betting who could ride the bike with hands up, all kinds of adventure stuff you know.

As I slowly got along with Zoobie, I found out she was the one I always wanted to be with. Calm and composed. She had a positive outlook towards everything.
According to her, everything was possible. Be it getting good grades in
the exams or getting selected in a medical school.

We hung out together, and; I fell in love with her. I still remember the way she blushed when I expressed my love to her. Her  cheeks flushed red with the most vibrant color of pink when she said she loved me too.

We finished school, and I went abroad to study Medicine, leaving Zoobie alone. I never wanted to leave her but couldn’t  gather the courage to say no to my dad—who had Hitler’s genes in his DNA. Just kidding 🙂

I and Zoobie exchanged letters for one year, and  then her letters stopped coming. I called her, and she told me she wanted to go with the wind. She wanted to be free. Free from a long-distanced relationship. Free from me. She wanted to call it quits.

I couldn’t bear the pain of heartbreak and failed my final semester exams. As a result, my Dad summoned me an ultimatum that if I ever wanted to return home, I should have my medical degree with me. I pictured my mom’s helplessness, her dewy eyes when she wished me a goodbye on the airport. I devoted myself to studies.

Though I lost all charms of life after Zoobie dumped me, I loved my mother. I completed the program and returned home after five years with a degree. A piece of paper my father could show to his filthily rich friends.

***

Romantic Short Stories: A Smile To Remember, www.mariyamhasnain.comAs soon as I reached my town, old reminiscences flooded my mind.
Everything reminded me of her. The narrow trails, the vast fields, the
rain, the rainbow sneaking behind the sun.

I reached home. My mom was happy and so was I, but at some corner of my heart, I missed Zoobie.  I missed her fragrant smile, her touch, her lips. I just missed everything about her.

“How’s Zoobie Mom. Is she still here? I mean, has she married.” I stammered as I acted casual on the dinner table.

I saw tears forming in my mom’s eyes. My dad left the table, his food untouched. I couldn’t understand.

“What’s wrong with you guys? Is everything fine.” Apprehension, panic, anxiousness cluttered my brain.

I looked at my mom.

“What’s the matter, mom?”

“She left us.”

“Left us?”

“I’m sorry. We couldn’t tell you about this.”

“About what?”I ran out of my plush residence and sprinted in the direction of Zoobie’s house.

Her house looked the same as before, but there was an emptiness in the
surrounding. The vibrancy, the warmth I used to feel when I visited her house before was missing.

I knocked the door and impatiently waited for the response.

Her father opened the door.

“Oh, Mr. Ahmari. How can I help you?”

“Is Zoobie home?” I asked.

The same expression of grief on his face, but the dew of Mr. Shersi’s eyes was even more prominent than what I saw in my mom’s eyes. He left the door open, turned his back to me, and trudged inside the house.

I entered the house. My eyes darted around. I wanted to see her. See her
smiling at me. The smile that used to be my strength, smile I missed the
most during my stay in London.

“I’m really sorry Sir, but I really want to meet her. Is she there?” I impatiently requested him.

“I understand, but this isn’t her home any longer.”

“Oh. She’s got married. Can I get her number or address? I want to congratulate her. It’s quite a time.”

“Yeah, quite a time. Four years since she left us for her heavenly abode.”

“What?” Someone sucked all blood out of me. “How? I mean what happened to her?”

“She  died of cancer, a peculiar type that didn’t cause any symptoms only mild fevers on and off. I got to know about the disease when the blood investigations came positive for leukemia.”

My feet froze to the ground. Within a fraction of a second, my whole body wilted. I couldn’t stand and drop down on the foray chair.

“That’s why she broke my heart. Oh, God. I couldn’t understand her love.”

****

Did you like what your read? If you did, don’t forget to share.

Want to download some free romantic short stories – Click Here.

~MH

Romantic Short Stories, Week #6, The Road to Salvation

A big Hi! to all my awesome readers. I hope you had a blast over the weekend, and here comes another Monday. Jump start the week with this beautiful love story of lost mates from my immense pool of romantic short stories.

There’s a subtle touch of paranormal in this love short.

Remember Twilight?

This is the first time I’ve written something that’s beyond this world. I hope you like reading this as much as I liked writing.

Week #6

Title: The Road to Salvation

The forest reeked of wet grass and vegetation. Trees swayed in the gusty wind. Norma ran through the woods. She didn’t understand what made her run. All she could remember that she was asleep in her room. And then all of a sudden, someone carried her on his shoulder and laid her on the wet grass.

When she opened her eyes, she found herself gazing at the moonlit sky. She felt frail, each bone of her body asking refuge, pestering her to lie down. The coldness of the dewy grass made her shiver. The wind blew hard. She felt like as if her body was slowly transforming into rock ice, her feet freezing. She pushed herself to a sitting position. Her eyes darted around, early morning sun rays seeping in through the dense foliage.

She stood up and ran until she noticed a lake. The stream glistened under the golden sun. On the edge, there was a boy, with his back to her, teetering on the rough edge of the river like a pendulum swinging freely from a fixed point.

“Hey! Careful lest you’d fall.” A barely audible whisper escaped Norma’s throat.

The boy turned around. A frail smile swam on his dry lips. As Norma neared him, she noticed the boy’s pale skin sparkle with thousands of stars.

“Aren’t you afraid of falling into the freezing water and dying or that was your idea of having water fun?”

“Living without you is like death.”

“What?”

“You don’t remember anything, do you?”

“Who are you?”

“I’m not apart from you. We’re bound together.”

“Don’t trick me. I know there are bullies, on loose, tricking girls to fall prey, but I’m not going to give you a chance.”

She turned around and what’s that – the boy was standing in front of her. She turned around to face the river and again saw the same form.

She couldn’t work out whether it was a mere delusion or reality.

Vague images floated around her head. Voices, she often heard in her dreams, echoed in her ears. Her head ached with the most traumatic kind of pain. She felt herself transitioning back into the past.

Romantic Short Stories, Week #6, The Road to Salvation, www.mariyamhasnain.com“No matter how many bodies your soul inhabits, it will yearn for its mate. You’ll keep on reincarnating until you’re united with me. The path to salvation goes through several cycles of birth and rebirth until the soul achieves its pure self. You’ll never be free from the sufferings neither do I until our souls achieve their goals.”

Norma’s headache subsided. Faint memories flooded her mind, memories of her previous life.

“I can’t bear this pain anymore.” Her eyes glistened as she recalled the traumatic end of their relationship. They had to pay the price of being in love within the same clan. A sin, regarded as incest by the community.

The lightning struck the couple as they united. The whirlwind carried the twin souls to their ultimate abode, leading to the state of being free.

*****End*****

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~MH

Romantic Short Stories, Week #5, It’s Never Too Late

A big Hi to all romance lovers out there. It’s Monday again folks but keep the blues away. Feel romantic, feel inspired with yet another flash from a pool of short romantic stories.

Today’s flash is all about love, loss, and hope.

Week #5

Title: It’s Never Too Late

She would sit on the bench at the bus stop. The same stop from where I used to catch my bus to my workplace, a computer hardware repair shop.

Gracefully dressed in a flowery dress, with her burgundy-dyed hair tied in a neat bun, an umbrella in one hand and a book in other, was she waiting for the bus?

No. I could say that because I had observed her one whole day.

It was Sunday evening. I visited the bus stop out of curiosity, to see if she was there or not. And she was there.

People came and went, but she didn’t go anywhere, just kept on sitting there.

The sun played hide-and-seek with the clouds, and a few moments later it started raining heavily. I couldn’t see her umbrella. Perhaps she forgot to bring it that day, but luckily, I had mine.

Crossing the road, I reached the bench. She smiled at me.

“Hello, miss.” I sat next to her, covering both of us under my umbrella.

“Radha. You can call me by my name.”

I hesitated to call her by name.

“Oh. Don’t mind. This is the problem with this young generation. I have a niece of your age, and she calls me by my name.”

“Oh, okay, Radha. So, how are you?”

“I’m fine, young boy. Can’t you see—healthy like a horse.” A toothless grin wrinkled the corners of her eyes.

“Where do you live?” short romantic stories, www.mariyamhasnain.comI asked, looking at her while she drifted her stare from my face to the rain-swept road. Water droplets played pitter-patter on the flimsy tin roofing of the bus stop as the evening crowd thinned and people ran to shelters.

“Just a couple of blocks away, down the road.” She gestured towards the left side.

“Great. I see you here every day. You aren’t planning to go somewhere, are you? I probably can help you. I have a bus timetable handy, on my mobile phone. Do you mind sharing with me where you want to go, and I can tell you which number bus goes to which place.”

“Oh, son, I’m waiting for someone.”

“Waiting for someone? Who, and how long are you going to wait?” I asked, looking at the almost deserted road.

“Till the sun goes down. He promised me he’ll come with the moon.”

“Come with the moon?” I couldn’t understand, and shot another question. “Do you wait here every day?”

“Yeah.”

The comforting tone of her voice piqued my curiosity.

“How long have you been waiting?”

“For the past forty years.” She cleared her throat.

I couldn’t ask anything else. We sat there for a while in silence, gazing at the wet road.

The rain subsided. I requested for the old woman to keep my umbrella, and promised her that I would take it back the next day.

On my way home, inconspicuous thoughts about the old woman and the person she was waiting for clustered my mind.

“Excuse me.”

I heard a male voice, footsteps approaching. I turned around and noticed an old man walking in my direction. He stopped at a hand’s distance from me.

Head covered in a leather flat cap, wearing a raincoat, he smiled, looking at me.

“Hello! Young man. Can I walk with you a couple of steps?”

“Oh yeah. Sure, of course.”

For a moment, I hesitated, but then started walking along with him.

After talking about inconsequential things like where I live, and what I do, he asked, “So, what did Radha tell you?”

“You know her?” A thousand volts of electric current hit me like a thunderbolt.

“Yeah. I used to love her. In fact, I still love her.”

“Oh, so she was waiting for you?”

“No.”

“Then?”

“She was waiting for my brother, whom she loved, but he cheated on her, and married another woman, rich and spoiled, who later cheated on him. They divorced after a few years of their marriage. He regretted cheating on Radha, and couldn’t muster the courage to face her. He couldn’t face the reality of life, and killed himself by overdosing on his antidepressants a couple of years after his divorce. The coward.”

“And you?” I smirked.

He inhaled a deep breath and blew out slowly. “A coward too. I could never express my feelings to her, just kept on seeing her from afar.”

“Cowards never confess their weaknesses to others. Perhaps you waited for the right time. Perhaps now is the time.”

“Yes, you’re right. It’s never too late.”

And with that, he turned back and left the street. I stood there, smiling, hearing his thumping steps of triumph.

~End~

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