Cover Reveal - Twilight's Temptation by Shilpa Suraj

 






The ace photographer and the supermodel, they should have been a match made in heaven. Instead, they fought like the demons of hell. 

Complicated, surly, and sexy, Manav Apte was probably the only photographer who resented his muse. From the day he’d seen her, there had been no other. Unfortunately, she was the one woman he could never have. 

Passionate, talented, and gorgeous, Diana Severes refused to give the temperamental ass behind the camera the satisfaction of knowing he got under her skin. It was, however, impossible not to notice him or his glowering disapproval that trailed her everywhere she went. 

Their dislike and distrust of each other is legendary in the fashion industry and yet, the sparks that fly when they come together for work are enough to light the sets on fire. 

Will the Golden Girl of India’s fashion scene be able to see beyond his hatred to the love he’s desperately trying to mask? And will the country’s most talented photographer realise that his true talent lies not in what he views through his lens but what he sees through the filter of his heart?


About the Author:


Shilpa Suraj wears many hats - corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.




Contact the Author:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter




Stranger in the Mirror by Sidney Sheldon

                                                     

Stranger in the Mirror is one of the early works of Sidney Sheldon. First published almost fifty years ago, the book tells the story of Toby Temple, a super star stand- up comedian and his love, Jill Temple. Replete with twists and turns coming at regular intervals, the book is undoubtedly a fast paced read and is still relevant even after almost half a decade of it's original release.

The story doesn't have too many characters and is largely about the travails of Toby and Jill, their struggles and ambitions. Born as Josephine, Jill's ambition is to make it big in Hollywood. But the challenges she has to face are enormous. Toby's life is no different either. He also has to go through his own share of  humiliations and ridicule before making it big in the show biz. Clifton Lawrence is Toby's ticket to stardom. 'Stranger in the Mirror' is as much as about Clifton as it is about Toby and Jill.

Toby and Jill aren't entirely likeable characters. This story of greed, lust and passion is an intriguing read. Even after fifty years, this book hasn't become dated, rather it still feels fresh. Shows how great story teller, Sir Sheldon was!

-nikhimenon

Review: Midnight's Star: A contemporary friends to lovers romance by Shilpa Suraj



My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I start my Saturday mornings by reading in bed, and this one made me wish I could be served breakfast in bed and not bother to do anything till I finish it. No wonder, that I finished "Midnight's star" within few hours and I loved it. Just the way I like my romcoms to be, and the reasons I love when Shilpa writes modern-day romances with not-so-perfect people. It is easy to like most of the characters in her book and not just the leads. Whether it is the good friends, support staff at work, or the family; you find a sense of reason, love, and humor in all the interactions. 

 This is a story of a passionate cafe owner and baker girl, Avni, who meets a successful blind author Bharat one of the sad days of her life. Making the best of the meeting and cheering each other, they start talking over desserts and it somehow becomes their thing - this friendship, sharing secrets, and finding comfort from each other's presence. The romance was so well written that it all felt believable. There were no grand gestures but more emphasis on intentions and the consequences of each action. Even the misunderstandings were not dragged but resolved by talking about it. There are some beautiful kisses and more hot scenes , some ending not so well though ;)

The book is a good mix of some drama, some humor, and a lot of love. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series soon.

View all my reviews

Day of the Accident by Nuala Ellwood

 


‘Day of the Accident’ by Nuala Ellwood is the typical, generic crime thriller which revolves around the memory loss of the unreliable female protagonist and the circumstances in which she has got entrapped in. If you are a regular reader of this genre, there are chances that you might find this one as a pretty ordinary work.

So, our protagonist is Margaret Allen, who has had an accident which left her daughter dead and herself in a deep coma. After waking up from coma, she realises that her husband has gone missing and the house which they lived in has been bought by someone else. To make matters worse, she also figures out that her bank balance is also almost empty and she has got just about a few pounds left for her survival. Shattered and Puzzled, Maggie, with the help of her social worker and carer sets out to find out the truth behind this mystery.

To give due credit, I must confess that the author has got a pretty decent premise for the story. The pacing is also fine and the story progresses with a few minor twists happening at regular intervals. The narrative is mostly first person, the only distraction being the portions which appears in the form of the ‘letters written by Elspeth’. At just about 370 pages, the book is a fast read.

Coming to the negatives, the story suffers from logical issues at multiple places. It’s difficult to understand why no-one else in the village apart from Barbara manages to identify Maggie and tell her what actually happened in the first place. The character of Sean is so poorly written that it’s quite unlikely that anyone would empathise with his plight. Frankly speaking, the protagonist Maggie is not a likeable character, either. Even by the end of the story, I couldn’t really fathom why she shouldn’t be blamed for what really happened to Elsepeth. The lesser said about the antagonist, the better! The climax is a big let down with a flat beaten to death twist taking away whatever excitement the reader has left in the story.

On the whole, ‘Day of the Accident’ is a pretty average read.

-nikhimenon

The Rumour by Lesley Cara

 


Lesley Kara's debut novel, 'The rumour' is the kind of book which tries too hard to be your generic fast paced thriller. The story is set in a fictional idyllic beach town, Flinstead, some where in England. There is a rumour slowly gaining momentum in the town about a rehabilitated child killer residing in the town albeit with a different identity. Our protagonist ,Jo turns out to be the one who has inadvertently set the rumour-mills burning and she along with her partner, Michael have to set things straight and find out the truth behind this rumour,if any. The book also try to delve upon themes including child abuse, bullying, rehabilitation, the effects of rumour mongering in the lives of innocent people to name a few.

The book is packaged like a generic thriller with twists and turns happening at regular intervals. But to be very frank, this one didn't work for me as a thriller. Though I totally understand the writer's intention behind choosing a theme and premise like this, the way it has been narrated, leaves a lot to be desired. The occasional twists are quite predictable and even the final reveal is pretty generic, in my opinion. Michael ends up being a caricature and Jo is quite a bit plastic character. All the supporting characters are pretty under developed ( we never get to empathize with any of them) and quite often the reader doesn't care whether it is Kay or Karen who is there in a particular scene. Having said that, I must also confess that the book worked for me in an emotional level at times. The narrative is too slow for a thriller and nothing much really happens for the major portion of the story. Infact, it would have been far better if the writer had tried to narrate the emotional journey of Jo and Sally rather than trying to make it an half-baked thriller. 

On the whole , I rate this book as an average thriller. 

-nikhimenon  

Release Day Blitz - Bovine Tricks by Seelie Kay


 


About the Book:

Lady Annabelle Trask is missing. Unfortunately, MISix doesn’t know if they’re looking for a woman, a cow, or something in between!

Is it real or is it fantasy? That’s the question MISix Agent Mathilda Honoria Spencer struggles with on her latest assignment. Tasked with discovering the whereabouts of Lady Annabelle Trask, Tillie is thrust into the world of Hucows and other human animals. It’s a world that raises serious questions about sexual fetishes, intentional physical enhancements, and even pornography, but in the end, Tillie has only one mission—to rescue and return Lady Annabelle to the Queen. However, as she and her partner, Agent Abdul Ali, attempt to find Lady Annabelle and keep her out of the clutches of terrorists bent on destroying the monarchy, they must also wrestle with their feelings for each other. Can they draw the line between their duty to the Crown and their relationship with one another? Or must they embark on separate paths to continue to serve the Queen?


Book Links:
Goodreads * XtasyBooks



Read an Excerpt from Bovine Tricks

Tillie’s face reddened. Suddenly, she felt quite queasy. She started to speak, but her superior held up his hand. 

“There’s more. This is a human-animal auction. It is not limited to Hucows. There will be Hupigs, Huhorses, and maybe even, Husheep. Fortunately, you are to focus on the cows. That is where we believe Lady Annabelle will be found.”

Tillie gazed at him. “What if she isn’t there? What if she has changed…er, species?”

“I suggest you cross that bridge when you come to it.”

“And what am I to do if I find Lady Annabelle? How do I extract her?”

“You purchase her at the auction. You have been given sufficient funds to bid up to one million Euros.”

Tillie’s eyes grew wide. “Criminy. That much?” 

Lord Ryder nodded. “These cows are well-trained and well-treated. The females are pampered—weekly manicures, hair treatments, and such. A happy cow is a happy milker, as they say.”

Tillie’s eyes widened. “Lady Annabelle could be there willingly? She is not necessarily a captive, forced be a Hucow?”

“Exactly. And that is our dilemma. While the Queen hopes that she is there willingly, several factors are at play. Lady Annabelle may have freely joined a farm to become a Hucow, or she may just have danced on the wild side and somehow wound up at auction. In the alternative, she may have been kidnapped and forced to become a Hucow, or she may have been forced and now enjoys the lifestyle. There are all sorts of reasons she could be there and all sorts of reasons she prefers to stay. Our only mission is to get her out.”

Tillie frowned. “Why would they put her up for auction? Isn’t that a way to get rid of unproductive or uncooperative cows?”

“Not necessarily. Some farms simply raise and train Hucows, then sell them. Given their going rate, it is a lucrative business. A great way to supplement the income from a regular farm. Human cows bring much more lucre than actual farm-raised cows.”

Tillie sighed. “For just one day, I would like to forget that there is a whole lot of people engaged in activities that far surpass my imagination.”

Lord Ryder’s mouth curved up into a wry smile. “Then we would be out of a job.”


About Seelie Kay:

Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink.

Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.

When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine. 

Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Seelie on the Web:
Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Author's Amazon Page




The Perfect Wife by J.P Delaney

 

Anthony Capella's 'The Girl Before' was kind of an okayish read for me. So, I picked up this book with mixed expectations and after finishing the read, I am left with pretty much similar feelings.

Tim Scott, the brain behind Scott Robotics has just lost his beloved wife Abbie to an accident. The loving husband that he is, he cannot get over her memories and decides to create a robot (cobot) which looks just like her. The robot  has Artificial Intelligence and it can also think and behave like Abbie Scott. Dany is Tim's Autistic son and has his own share of issues. However, the cobot Abbie soon realises that something is just not right and Tim is hiding something from her. Will Abbie-the cobot be able to unravel the mysteries revolving around Tim Scott is what the plot is all about.

The book has got a pretty novel and interesting premise. The writing is quite fast paced and manages to hold the reader's attention. The book does touches upon issues like Artifical Intelligence, parenting and issues faced by Austic children (full marks for it).The premise is fresh and innovative. There are twists happening and regular intervals but the problem is as the plot unfolds, the twists become far and few in between. The constant shifts between the past and the present becomes irritating after a point and often confuses the reader. At 400+ pages, the book is quite overlong and becomes monotonous after a point.The climactic suspense was quite predictable.

On the whole, I am giving this one a 2.75 out of 5.

-nikhimenon

Review: The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

The Happy Ever After Playlist The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book does not just have Playlist in its name but actually, each chapter has a song dedicated to it, let me share the playlist first [ thanks to the readers who collated it on YT & Spotify :)

  

I am not a pet person but if a huge dog adopts a human in the opening chapter, chances are I will love the book, and I LOVED this one. 

There's text flirting , tricking ( or begging) for a date , first meet butterflies and so many surprises in the first quarter of the book that I was hooked to this one immediately. Its sweet , hilarious , kind and all sort of warm feels in most of the chapters. 

Sloan is neither the impulsive type, not the one to shy away from a potential lover even with her baggage. She is strong enough to attempt to sort her past feelings before taking a chance with this musician man , owner of the before mentioned dog and someone who also happens to be her savior in her unhappy days. It was so amazing to see her coming out of her shell and picking her life once again. 

Jason is almost the perfect man for a rom-com, if only he had not messed up in the second half  of the book [ which I will come to in just a bit ]. He is kind, funny, patient , he writes & sings his own songs, owns the most adorable fun dog and has a really awesome family & family home. The way he adores Sloan and convinces her to take a chance on him was one of the best chapters of this book. 

But after all this, the way he treats his love life and without considering the hurt, decides on his own to cut off Sloan from his life , I am no fan , frankly, of this part. I absolutely dislike this behave by any fictional character who takes sole decisions and rather than to be logical and true to their heart, decide to live in pain before someone or fate brings them together again. 

Thank goodness for amazing friends, support system and kind strangers who help these fools to patch up. And Sloan has really great friends in Kristen & Josh [ I just read that they are the leads from author's first book - the Friend Zone , also the first book in this universe ]

Overall this was a really enjoyable quick weekend read. I heard the first few chapters in audiobook and later switched to kindle version and I enjoyed it both ways. Do give this book a chance and also to the playlist [ which is just too beautiful ] 


Book Blitz Pack - The Long Road Home by Sapna Bhog

 


Losing the boy she loved nearly destroyed MEHAK KHANNA. But letting him in a second time can be more dangerous for her. Rishi Sehgal has left a steady stream of broken hearts in his wake and if Mehak is not careful then she may just end up becoming the next victim of his dashing charisma. But Rishi is everywhere with his charm, his wit, and that devastating smile. Now Mehak has to fight a daily battle to not fall for him again.
RISHI SEHGAL has never forgotten Mehak, the girl who broke his heart when he was very young. Thanks to her, he has his rules—no relationships, no staying the night, and no promises. But all his hard rules fly right out of the window when Mehak returns into his life. Now Rishi has to decide if he can open his heart to Mehak a second time. 

However, what destroyed their relationship the first time will once again test their love. Will they survive a second test, especially with Mehak’s life on the line? Will Rishi and Mehak learn that true love is worth fighting for?


Goodreads

Book Trailer:



Meet Rishi Sehgal from The Long Road Home


Naughty, charming, fun, and full of life, there’s a reason why RISHI SEHGAL is known as the heart wrecker. And of course that has to do with the steady stream of broken hearts he’s left in his wake. After having his heart crushed at a very young age, he’s never wanted to commit to any woman. But all that changes once he runs into Mehak Khanna. She’s the only woman who ever made his heart beat and the more he spends time with her, he learns that maybe his perception of the past is far different from hers.

Now Rishi has the huge task to convince Mehak to put the past behind and take a chance on him again.



About the Author:
Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers. So do give her a shout on


Sapna on the Web:
Twitter * Facebook * Instagram



#BookBlitz : The Maharaja's Fake Fiancée by Alisha Kay

A scandal-averse Maharaja.
A free-spirited actress.
What do you get when you throw them together and add a fake engagement to the mix? 
Either a match made-in-heaven or a royal disaster...


Nivy Sharma knows exactly what she needs - the freedom to be herself and follow her passion. Guess what she doesn’t need? A tailor-made husband.

When her meddlesome mother tries to throw her into the arms of a mom-approved suitor, Nivy runs the other way. 

Right into the arms of the man who shattered her heart.

His Highness Veerendra Singh can recognize a pain-in-the-ass when he sees it. Especially when it falls into his arms.

Even if said pain-in-the-ass has legs that go on forever and lush lips that just beg to be kissed, Veer vows to run the other way. As he did once before...

But, when the marriage-minded princess of Tejpur sets her sights on him, Veer runs back into Nivy’s arms to propose a fake engagement.

When 'fake' starts to feel very real, Nivy and Veer have to decide what is important… long-held prejudices or the chance for a life with the only person they've ever loved.

Will this be their second chance at love or will their broken past ruin their hope for a shared future?

Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Releasing 10th March! PREORDER Today!

Read an Excerpt from The Maharaja's Fake Fiancée


His Highness Veerendra Singh looked at the girl lying unconscious in his arms and his heart skipped a beat. Once, he had dreamed of just such a moment, when Nivy would swoon into his arms and he’d rescue her from a monster. He wondered if he’d stepped into a time machine and travelled backwards, because the last time he had seen that lovely face had been five years ago. Nivy had since scraped the dust of Devgarh off her heels and never looked back.
“Veer, what did you do to her?”
He looked into the accusing eyes of his sister and scowled.
“I didn’t do anything.”
“Zombie’s your dog, and if he scares someone to death, that’s your fault,” she argued.
Veer looked at the unconscious girl critically, and then he looked at his sister.
“She doesn’t look dead,” he said with a straight face.
“That’s Nivy, you dolt. I’m surprised you didn’t recognise her, considering how you watch every movie of hers from the first row.”
Veer shook his head at the utter lack of respect and wondered if he could get away with dunking her in the palace pond. Probably not, he thought regretfully. 
Sisters were a cross one had to bear with a smile, especially if one was the head of a respectable royal family. Even if he was sorely tempted to land Jessie a swift kick in the butt, he would grit his teeth and ignore the brat, for he didn’t like to distress his mother. 
Meanwhile, Nivy moaned softly, and to Veer’s horror, the sound went straight to his groin. To make matters worse, he realised where his hands had landed when she fell into his arms. The left one was directly under her breast, and the right one was on her curvy butt. He was aware of a sudden need to clench his fingers.
Veer took in a deep breath and tried to channel his thoughts into less lewd directions, but her citrusy scent invaded his senses. As he stared at Nivy, her lips parted and she moaned again. There was a tiny mole on her upper lip that simply begged for a closer inspection. 
Jessie cleared her throat.
“I don’t think she needs mouth-to-mouth,” she said, dryly.
Veer realised that he had been bending over Nivy’s prone body. Damn that trouble-making mole!
He jerked his head back, and nodded to the butler hovering discreetly.
“Munshi Ji, please bring us a chair,” he said, with a glare at his sister. 
“No, wait! You need to take her to my room,” squeaked Jessie.
Veer looked at her suspiciously. His sister had that look on her face which she got when she was up to something.
Also, why was Nivy not waking up?
As if on cue, she moaned again, and Veer gritted his teeth. He needed to drop this inviting little bundle right now, before he embarrassed himself.
“A chair will do, Jessie.”
His sister put her hands on her hips.
“And which medical university did you graduate from, Your Highness? Stop playing doctor and just carry Nivy to my room, if you please,” she snapped.
 Veer rolled his eyes.
“What’s going on, Veer? Is that Nivy? What happened to her?”
Veer stifled a groan, as he turned to his mother who had just walked out of the ballroom where she had been wooing some miserly royals into loosening their purse strings.
“Yes, that’s Nivy, Ma,” said Jessie
“And what is she doing in Veer’s arms?”
Veer opened his mouth to explain, but his pest of a sister beat him to it.
“He was just carrying her upstairs to my room.”
“You can’t expect me to carry her up three flights of stairs, Jessie. Unless you really want my spine to telescope. Is that your grand plan?”
Jessie drew in a sharp breath and stared at him in horror.
“Veer! Did you just call Nivy fat?”
An icy voice echoed her question.
“Yes. Did you?”
Veer looked down, right into a pair of furious brown eyes. Thickly lashed and luminous. But, furious.


Meet the Author:

Alisha Kay is a Delhi based writer, who writes romances set in India.
She doesn’t hold with the concept of damsel-in-distress, which is why her heroines are spunky women with a sharp tongue and the ability to rescue themselves. Her heroes are hot men who are woke enough to find that independence irresistible. 
The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancée is Alisha’s first book.

Instagram * Twitter







Fake Slackers: By Mu Gua Huang


My love affair with the Chinese web novels started when I watched a drama and found that it was based on a webnovel. And so, I fell into this rabbit hole called Danmei literature, especially the Chinese M/M romance webnovels. While it is easier to love these stories, most of the novels lack a good translation, and so never finding their intended international audience. While searching for interesting webnovels, I came across the site Chaleuria which hosts some amazing books. One of the most entertaining webnovel I have read(twice) last year was Fake slackers

Author: Mu Gua Huang

Original Publisher: JJWXC.

Translator: Jury

Illustrator: Lina Ngo 

My Rating: 4/5

 After class placements were decided, the school’s two infamous ‘problem youth’ not only shared the same class but the same desk. They’re clearly good at studies but pretend to be slackers. Faking their own lack of knowledge, from head to toe, they just keep meandering further down the path towards academic oblivion. Have you heard the grapevine about the two older students who always fight over the last place in class? This story is a serious comedy about the little matters of growing up and learning about yourself.



The story is of two boys -Xie Ye & He Zhao who were infamous as Tyrants of East & West wing of the respectively in their first year. In the second year, it so happens that both the lowest performers of the school are placed in the same class and end up sharing the last bench in the class. From their first meeting ( which happens outside the school) to the last scene of the book which follows these two to college, the book is a laugh riot. One is aloof & appears hot-tempered though silently follows his overconfident & shameless deskmate in his misadventures. 

From the earlier part of the story itself, it is clear that both of them are actually having a very high IQ and are capable of being topper not just in the school but perhaps the whole city. Still, for reasons of their own, unknown to even each other they compete to be at the lowest rank. They do not cheat, do not disturb others as long as their sleep & games are not bothered, and apart from their low scores, are almost model students. They both are the undisputed kings in an online game that has battles fought on skills in Chinese, English , Maths etc. The gaming part and the users on the game make for a really funny sub-plot. 

Gradually other students in the class, instead of being scared of their old reputation, start liking and protecting them not just from their scores but also to keep their relationship secret from the school, fearing it will not be good for their reputation. I did not know whether to laugh or cry at their homeroom teacher's efforts to make them learn something and improve their scores. And then once more they totally made their teachers cry when they decide to quit acting and show their true colors. Between these two milestones, is a journey of discovery, care, love, and weird blunders.

It is a sweet and really hilarious situation that these boys and the class find themselves in over the period of two years leading to admission in college. But along this romance, there is a deeper plot of friendship, family, loyalty, and guilt from some choices that others make for us. 

I loved every single character from this class and almost felt sad when the book ended the first time. I re-read the book last month because I really needed that dose of laughter that this story guarantees. Pick it up for good fun and you will not be disappointed. The book has a lot of kisses and fluff scenes and a few graphic sex scenes too, so if that is not your preferred genre, do skip [ those scenes, not the book I hope ;) ] 

Though I read the story partially on the site, You can now buy the ebook from the site or on the kindle store. Chaleuria is a fully licensed novel site for your Boys Love/danmei/yaoi fix. I recommend the site as I found the translations really good to read.

Cover Reveal - Twilight's Temptation by Shilpa Suraj

  The ace photographer and the supermodel, they should have been a match made in heaven. Instead, they fought like the demons of hell.  Comp...