Saturday, December 6, 2014

#101 : From the streets of Kathmandu by Basu Rai : A Review


BOOK TITLE: From The Street of Kathmandu
ISBN: 9789382711407
AUTHOR: Basu Rai
GENRE: Non Fiction
FORMAT:Paper back
REVIEW BY: Shree Janani
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK:  Review Copy from Vitasta Publishing.  Thank you guys!
SUMMARY : A little boy climbs down the stairs and runs out of his house. Most little ones do that. But this little boy has no one to stop him. He does not have a name. He only has the memory of a story his father has told him over and over again, from the time he was just six months old until his dying day, when the child was about four years old. It is the story of his father's love affair with his mother and betrayal.

From the streets of Kathmandu, this is the story of a child who names himself Basu Rai, and who travels the corridors of the world, takes part in the Global March against child labour and arrive finally in the country he identifies as his own—India.

Though Basu has found his country, his quest for family is not over. His search for identity begins with his book which maps the step by step progress of a reticent toddler from a well-to-do family through being a violent street child and a child labourer returning from the jaws of death several times, to his fights to go to school, being school captain and finally at 26, with the telling of his story in a book.

This is an inspirational story which tells about nurturing by a father. It is also a story that tells us here was a case for nurturing by the state, which was completely missing. It, instead, points to the loopholes in the systems in place, the social welfare systems, the education systems and the family systems that the subcontinent so boasts about but in reality, does not exist. It directs us to the vacuum children are often forced to grow up in. To get an enlightened and educated young citizen from nothing is nothing short of a miracle
Having worked with children with a horrible history in terms of upbringing, I can associate with Basu's story.Not all street kids who are placed into a rehabilitation center are as successful as Basu is. This is just not yet another story of an abandoned child. This is a rather inspiring tale of an innocence lost to the devils of the this world which certainly needs a bit more of compassion. 

Abandoned by his mother and left homeless after the death of his father, not even knowing his name, 4 year old innocent and sweet looking kid who names himself Basu Rai (after his parents' surname) survives the streets of Kathmandu, travels all over the world to represent kids bonded by labor and finally lands in Delhi. This story is the detailed account of this innocent child whose innocence is lost, thanks to the society. 

For someone who didn't have a formal education like a normal kid, the writer has come a long way. To put up a novel and narrate a story, be it a tale from imagination or be it an account of life experience, is not an easy task. I would be an oxymoron to point out the flaws of this books - which weren't exactly the unforgivable sort.

The narration was captivating to an extent, the slippages can be overlooked owing to a fact that it was conveying a very important message - A first-hand account of a street smart kid who survived the bad bad world. The language as expected was simple and filled with references of Hindi dialect. 

We do know of the cruelties that a street child is subjected to. Haven't we seen the poor little chai wala boy being bullied by the tea master or haven't we seen the little girl selling coloring books in traffic signals being harassed by commuters. What have we ever done about it? The story asked me that question. I am sure the writer didn't intend for that to happen, but his account of brutality endured by a small kid was so vividly narrated that I felt small in comparison. This book reinforced my sense of gratitude to god that I have a roof over my head, parents who adore me and 3 meals a day.
One thing that thoroughly surprised me is a fact that the writer, in  spite of being closely associated with the Nobel Peace Prize winner Mr.Kalish Sathyarthi, hasn’t taken one bit advantage of him for the publicity of his book. I guess even the publishers should also be given enough credit for not pushing that angle of publicity!

My only disappointment with this book would be the way that the writer ended it. Yes, I do understand the reason why the write might want to provide a luxurious life to children like him, but I feel providing them with education and skills that can make them a successful person is a higher act of morality.
VERDICT: Tear Jerker. Must Read. DOT.

RATING: 4 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Er……that would point to the summary.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback , Kindle

PRICE: Rs.130 (Paperback)


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse

Thursday, December 4, 2014

#100 : Swans Are Fat Too by Michelle Granas: A Review


BOOK TITLE: Swans Are Fat Too
AUTHOR: Michelle Granas
GENRE: Fiction - Romance
FORMAT: Digital
REVIEW BY: Shree Janani
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Requested a review copy and the writer obliged. Thank you Michelle!

Natalia Lanska, formidable Polish pianist, is dead. No one is really sorrowing, except maybe her granddaughter Hania, whose own career as a concert artist never took off due to a terrible weight problem. Feeling unwanted, Hania arrives in Warsaw for the funeral hoping for a warm welcome from her relatives. Instead, they saddle her with their appalling children, decamp, and refuse to return. Hania’s situation is at first improved and then complicated when a neighbor--the very correct, very austere descendant of an old Polish family--asks her to proofread an amateur history project. Hania sets to work with a will, and Pan Doctor Prince Konstanty Radzimoyski is surprised when his ideas get more editing than he bargained for. Typing pages of the past, rediscovering her native city, and playing the piano all contribute to taking Hania’s mind off her problems, but can’t change her awareness that the children need help and that her growing attachment to her employer will only give her pain. The summer Hania spends between love, hostility, and the weight of history tests her resourcefulness, but her fresh ideas and readiness to carry on brighten the lives of her new acquaintances. Still, no one, least of all Hania herself, expects that her beautiful qualities will make Konstanty forget her figure and other excess baggage. 

This book contains a history of Poland in a nutshell and is about seeing beyond the conventions

The protagonist, Hania is an "healthy" ex-pianist who arrives in her homeland, Poland to attend the funeral of her Grandmother. Fate has other plans for her for her uncle has left his kids alone in his house thereby forcing Hania to baby sit them. Hania adapts to the situation and takes care of the kids until her uncle returns. Along the way she meets the much eligible bachelor Konstanty who happens to be a doctor by profession. Konstanty is on a project to write some history articles for his sister. He offers Hania the job of editing the articles he wrote for Hania is in search for a temporary job in Warsaw to keep her occupied. They find love in-spite of Hania's Excess Baggage. 

The writer taught me a good bit of Poland's history and architecture through Konstanty's history articles. It is apparent that the writer has done a good research. The whole Hania-Konstanty's courtship was written beautifully. It is very heart warming to read a tale where a man actually falls for a woman for her heart and intellect. Beauty plays more than a vital role in relationship, to look beyond beauty it takes immense maturity.The writer managed to drive home this point. 

The characterization was bang on. I loved Hania's characterization. In Spite of being overweight and clumsy she is confident in subtle ways and handles offensive comments patiently. Her character is an inspiration to people with low self esteem. The other thing that Hania taught me was patience. I don't think I would be as patient as Hania when she handled those kids.

The narration was perfect with an equal balance of emotions. The one thing that I loved was the wry humor.Not many writers attempt that owing to its very nature, but this writer managed to get it right. 

There are a couple of things that could have been handled better - The history articles and Teen pregnancy. The history articles sort of pulled down the narration midway. They could have been accompanied by pictures or may be could have been written in a better way. Teen pregnancy is a rather sensitive issue that needs to be handled with care. They is a huge scope for emotional maneuvering. I felt the writer didn't make good use of that ground. 

A epilogue in the end continuing the subtle romance between Hania and Konstanty could have worked wonders. 

VERDICT: It's worth a read - but only for slow romance lovers. Not for those "instant romance" lovers who can't appreciate the beauty of proper courtship

RATING: 4 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Granas was born in Alaska and lives in Warsaw. In addition to writing novels, she works as a translator, including for UN and EU bodies, past and current presidents and prime ministers, and various Nobel nominees. She is happy to receive friend requests or correspondence.
PRICE: Rs.59.00


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

#99 : A Scandalous Proposition by M.M.George : A Review


BOOK TITLE: A Scandalous Proposition
ISBN: 1927826039
AUTHOR: M.M.George
GENRE: Fiction - Romance
FORMAT: Digital
REVIEW BY: Shree Janani
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review Copy from Indireads in exchange for an honest review. Thank you guys!
SUMMARY: “What is your price, Mira?”
“You’ll never be able to afford it!”
Feisty, small-town girl Mira Talwar is just finding her feet in Delhi when she encounters the hottest bachelor in the country, Ranbir Dewan. The sparks flying between them sizzle with sexual tension, but when Ranbir puts a scandalous proposition before her, she turns him down spiritedly.
However, they have to work together to engineer a happy ending for their siblings, who have fallen madly in love but are too afraid to tell their respective families. The plan they cook up throws them more and more into each other’s company.
Can Mira overlook Ranbir’s indecent proposal and give love a chance?
A hot tempered sharp mouthed spicy middle class girl and a suave classy millionaire - throw both characters together in an Indian setting and La! you have a spicy romance. 
Ranbir, our super hot protagonist is this well mannered cultured guy on the outside but is quite the opposite.Being a millionaire, he is this Alpha male who can't take no for an answer. Sparks fly when he first meets Mira, our "just landed from a small town" girl. He comes up with a scandalous proposition to bed Mira "to get her out of his system". He obviously knows suggesting that to Mira would be akin to go searching his own doom. 
Mira, who is also attracted to Ranbir tries to keep her emotions in check for she has a fair idea that the mutual attraction is merely physical. Fate has other plans for her when she is forced to live under the same roof as Ranbir and his family. 
The narrative was racy and laced with humor. The tirade between Ranbir and Mira has me in splits. But then the writer has overused those traditional cheesy romantic clinches which ended up eclipsing the well written characters and dialog. This is certainly not the book for people who like serious romance. This book is akin to that instant coffee which gives you a zing and a jolt. Nothing beautiful about the romance or the relationship between characters.
The one thing that ticked me off is the overuse of clinches and the lack of a proper reasoning for Ranbir's commitment phobia. 
VERDICT: Pick up this book if you prefer some instant spicy and humors romance. Not for the classic romance Lovers
RATING: 3 on 5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mimmy Jain lives in London with her husband. For the moment. Never too hot on planning, she lives in the now, here, this. Fate, or God as most of us know it, has plans and they usually win over her most carefully conceived travel routes in life, so she decided early on to go with the flow.
Mimmy was a journalist in New Delhi and has worked with mainstream publications such as The Economic Times, The Financial Express, Mint, Down To Earth and The Times of India. Editing has always been her first love and, in 2003, when she’d got high enough up on the ladder to be pushing paper more than actually editing, she quit full-time journalism to set up her own editorial consultancy, Age of Aquarius. Since her move to London in 2010, in pursuit of a PhD for her husband, Saachi, she has been editing articles for academic journals published by Taylor & Francis.
Mimmy turned novelist recently. Well, she was always writing, as this blog proves. But now she’s got a new avatar, M M George. M M George’s first e-romance, A Scandalous Proposition, was published recently by, a hot new website for South Asian romance. And her second romance is half-way to finding its happy ending. More on that later!
PRICE: $3.49


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse

Monday, December 1, 2014

#98 : Butterfly Season By Natasha Ahmed : A Review


BOOK TITLE: Butterfly Season
AUTHOR: Natasha Ahmed
GENRE: Fiction - Romance
FORMAT: Digital
REVIEW BY: Shree Janani
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review Copy from Indireads in exchange for an honest review. Thank you guys for the book!
SUMMARY : On her first holiday in six years, Rumi is expecting to relax and unwind. But when she is set up by her long-time friend, she doesn’t shy away from the possibilities. Ahad, a charming, independent, self-made man, captures her imagination, drawing her away from her disapproving sister, Juveria.

Faced with sizzling chemistry and a meeting of the minds, Ahad and Rumi find themselves deep in a relationship that moves forward with growing intensity. But as her desire for the self-assured Ahad grows, Rumi struggles with a decision that will impact the rest of her life.
Confronted by her scandalized sister, a forbidding uncle and a society that frowns on pre-marital intimacy, Rumi has to decide whether to shed her middle-class sensibilities, turning her back on her family, or return to her secluded existence as an unmarried woman in Pakistan.

We follow Rumi from rainy London to a sweltering Karachi, as she tries to take control of her own destiny
A story about/set in my warring neighbor country - Pakistan never fails to pique my interest. After all, Pakistan was supposed to be a part of my own country and from what I have read and heard our cultures aren't different, yet there is subtle difference. To me, that subtle difference is beautiful. The writer has woven her story around the cultural mindset of the Pakistani culture. 

The story opens with the protagonists Rumi and Ahad having a friendly banter about Karachi along with Rumi's friends Mahira and her husband. Mahira is apparently trying to set up Rumi with Ahad, just like a normal best friend would. Love eventually blossoms between them, but that have a huge price owing to the so called perception of culture by certain narrow minded individuals.Do they find themselves? Read the story to know that!

Being from India I could relate to the though process and culture that initially binds our protagonist. It is no big secret that the concept of dating is still frowned upon from the society that I come from. The writer has beautifully portrayed Rumi's initial hesitation to get into a physical relationship. At one point in the story I could relate so much to Rumi's character for I also live amongst people with the same thought process in spite of being educated. Not that there is anything wrong with that line of thought. For example, pre-marital sex is a taboo. This stigma according to me was created so that women wouldn't be exploited by men who simply lusted after them. Every taboo/rule that a society imposes, according to me has a logical reason which is seldom thought upon.But at times flouting these rules for a wholesome good shouldn't be labeled as being rebellious. 
The characterization was perfect. It is evident that the writer is a big fan of Rumi. The writer also managed to convey all emotions perfectly. I could almost imagine the expressions of Rumi! 
The language with simple though few native Urdu words were infused in the story to make it sound a bit more realistic. 
VERDICT: Nice Light Feel Happy read!
RATING: 4 on 5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Natasha Ahmed is a pen name. In real life, Natasha is a graphic designer, a businesswoman and occasionally writes art and book reviews for publications within Pakistan. 

She works in a small office at home, not far from Sea View, Karachi. From a tiny window, she can see the Arabian Sea sparkling in the distance, and small fishing boats trawl up and down the water throughout the day. When she’s not writing books, she’s dreaming of setting sail towards the horizon and never looking back. Great adventure, she believes, starts with great daring.

Butterfly Season is her first novella, though not, she hopes, her last.
PRICE: Rs.213

Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse

Monday, November 24, 2014

#97 : Delhi at Dark by Ram Vignesh : A Review


BOOK TITLE: Delhi At Dark

ISBN: 9789383562251

AUTHOR: Ram Vignesh

GENRE: Fiction – Thriller


FORMAT: Paperback


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Goodreads giveaway program

SUMMARY : A moonlight killer abducts women, kills them, and leaves their corpse at his next abduction site. His killing spree brings two daring detectives together, Jay Mithra and Asra Khan. His queer methods, ciphered cartoon names, and unsystematic choice of victims demand the best crime scene investigator, Amar Rathore. These three childhood friends work on the case with meddlesome media and bureaucratic superiors repelling them. Their hunt unravels dark secrets, obsessed policemen and more dead people. Can they stop the self-improvising villain, who haunts Delhi at dark?

Gruesome murder and kidnapping – Just seems like the kind of book that I would read. Astonishingly it took me ages to finish this book in spite of the book belonging to one of my favourite genre. Of course I used to have a rather packed schedule when I reading this book. This book was supposed to be that perfect distraction that I needed, somehow the book quite didn’t manage to accomplish that.  

The plot was not really air right. It had its share of loop holes. Given that the writer isn’t exactly a pro, plot loopholes can be overlooked as they were minor (I don’t want to go about mentioning it considering that I might have to give away the plot ).

The characters were shallow. Normally, a mystery set up offers a wide scope to play with characterization. Often mystery writers tend to experiment with the antagonist of the book. Unfortunately, our writer decided to play mellow when it came to the antagonist. Though he kept that suspense element alive till the end, the “end” seemed rather abrupt for me. In sense, the killer on loose didn’t really have a deep characterization.

The writing lacked the finesse that is required by plot with a gory murder scene to send a chill down the spine.  The victims were portrayed nothing short of objects. More importantly, the motivation to kill – Our antagonist wasn’t really convincing with his motives. However the writing was clean in terms of language and sentences.

In short, the book isn’t what the summary promises.

VERDICT: Can be Missed

RATING: 3 on 5 (Only and only for the efforts and language)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ram Vignesh is an Indian writer. He got published at an age of twenty(20), which made him one of the youngest Indian writers. His genres ranges from romance fictions to psychological thrillers. 

He was born in Madurai, where he did his schooling. He moved on to do his engineering in Chennai. He is currently working for Infosys.

‘The Book’ was his debut novel. It was published by Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd in the year 2012. His second novel is a psychological thriller titled "Delhi at Dark", published in the year 2013 by the same publishing house. He has started writing his third novel, which will be a sports drama.

PRICE: Rs.180 (Paperback)


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse

Thursday, November 20, 2014

#96 : Boticelli's Bastard by Stephen Maitland Lewis : A Review & Giveaway!

BOOK TITLE: Botticelli’s Bastard

AUTHOR: Stephen Maitland - Lewis

GENRE: Fiction – Historical/Paranormal


FORMAT: Paperback


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review Copy as a part of Italy Book Tours

SUMMARY : Art restorer Giovanni Fabrizzi is haunted by an unsigned renaissance portrait. Obsessed to learn the truth of its origin, he becomes increasingly convinced the painting could be the work of one of history’s greatest artists, which if true, would catapult its value to the stratosphere. But in learning of the painting’s past, he is faced with a dilemma. He believes the portrait was stolen during the greatest art heist in history—the Nazi plunder of European artwork. If true and a surviving relative of the painting’s rightful owner were still alive, Giovanni, in all good conscience, would have to give up the potential masterpiece. His obsession with the portrait puts a strain on his new marriage, and his son thinks his father has lost his mind for believing an unremarkable, unsigned painting could be worth anyone’s attention. Regardless, Giovanni persists in his quest of discovery and exposes far more truth than he ever wanted to know.


A fiction with some paranormal activity and a bit of history thrown in is a rather explosive combination. The paranormal activity delivers packs the punches, while the history tends to either amplify or soften the impact. This book could as well fit this category rather well.

Art restorer, Fabrizzi stumbles upon an enchanting painting from his dad’s inheritance while searching for the perfect gift for his acquaintance’s nephew. The painting “claims” that it has painted by the famous painter Sandro Botticelli - The supernatural element that packed that punch effortlessly. The history of ownership of this painting is quite “scandalous” – Thereby amplifying the punch that the supernatural element packed. Readers would be inclined to question as to how the history of owner ship of an unsigned painting could possibly create a stir. Link it with holocaust and Herr Hitler. Anything will create a stir. Thrown in infidelity and a family reunion with a long-lost doddering uncle and la – a nice spiced up fiction ready to be devoured by a true fiction lover.

Loosing that trite writing isn’t easy. The narration has to be compelling and the story line should be able to accommodate such a compulsive. The writer seems to have nailed both the story and the narration. Needless to say, his style of writing is just apt for such a story.

Portraying complex emotions of holocaust survivors is a herculean task. Writing about a major man-made disaster without having a first-hand experience adds more difficulty to the already difficult task. This writer has aced that part of the story. It is rather obvious that the writer has conducted considerable research on the Hitler era and the on various paintings.

The characterisation was perfect. Fabrizzi’s character progression is remarkable. The Italian lineage simply adds charm. After all, who can resist good old dramatic Italians.  The count’s (the painting’s) character which can be tricky to portray has been handled rather exceptionally.  
The romance thread of the plot could have been written better. It lacked that conviction of a jilted husband who discovers his newly wed wife having illicit affair.

The painting on the cover is worth a mention. The subject of the painting looks highly egoistic just as portrayed in the book. The book was packaged perfectly – a good quality paperback as much as the story in itself.

To sum it up, the book is a perfect fiction packaged well.

VERDICT: Try reading it. It’s almost perfect.

RATING:4 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen Maitland-Lewis is an award-winning author, a British attorney, and a former international investment banker. He held senior positions in the City of London, Kuwait, and on Wall Street before moving to California in 1991. He owned a luxury hotel and a world-renowned restaurant and was also the Director of Marketing of a Los Angeles daily newspaper. Maitland-Lewis is a jazz aficionado and a Board Trustee of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York. A member of PEN and the Author’s Guild, Maitland-Lewis is also on the Executive Committee of the International Mystery Writers Festival.

His novel Hero on Three Continents received numerous accolades, and Emeralds Never Fade won the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction and the 2011 Written Arts Award for Best Fiction. His novel Ambition was a 2013 USA Best Book Awards and 2014 International Book Awards finalist and won first place for General Fiction in the 2013 Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards. Maitland-Lewis and his wife, Joni Berry, divide their time between their homes in Beverly Hills and New Orleans


PRICE: Rs.375 (Kindle)


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse

Friday, October 24, 2014

#95 : The Echoes of Love by Hannah Fielding : A Review


BOOK TITLE: The Echoes of Love

ISBN: 0992671833

AUTHOR: Hannah Fielding

GENRE: Fiction – Romance


FORMAT: Paper back


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: The writer sent us a review copy in exchange for  a honest review

SUMMARY : Set against the breathtaking beauty of Italy, The Echoes of Love is a passionate, heart-breaking romance to ignite the senses and rekindle your belief in the power of love. Seduction, passion and secrets... Venetia Aston-Montagu has escaped to Venice to work in her godmother's architectural practice, putting a lost love behind her. For the past ten years she has built a fortress around her heart, only to find the walls tumbling down one night of the carnival when she is rescued from masked assailants by an enigmatic stranger, Paolo Barone. Drawn to the powerfully seductive Paolo, despite warnings of his Don Juan reputation and rumours that he keeps a mistress, Venetia can't help being caught up in the smouldering passion that ignites between them. When she finds herself assigned to a project at his magnificent home deep in the Tuscan countryside, Venetia not only faces a beautiful young rival but also a sinister count and dark forces in the shadows, determined to come between them. Can Venetia trust that love will triumph, even over her own demons? Or will Paolo's carefully guarded, devastating secret tear them apart forever?


The first line of the summary was just about enough for me to fall for the book. I admit! I am shamelessly attracted to anything Italian – be it the culture or the food. Watching too much of TLC channel left me bewitched and besotted with Italian city so much so that visiting Italy at least once in this life time has become top in my “things to do before I die” list. Also, having worked with Italians professionally, I quite enjoy their culture. 

I had set obnoxiously high standards for this book just because the story was set in Italy. But when the book landed on my door step I did chastise myself for being a hopeless “Italian Romantic”. I almost dreaded that I would come to regret my decision of picking up this book for the book was quite heavy to begin with. It has been ages since I read 400 odd pages paperback copy. Books these days are no longer than 350 pages.  But when I finished reading the book I was truly happy for not missing such a beautiful book.

To start with, the book cover was beautiful. The eye mask and the title of the book is glossily embossed in black against a beautiful cream background thus giving it a rich texture.

Our protagonist, Venetia is a restoration specialist with a traumatic past. The love of her life “left” her and she lost their love child in a freak accident. She escapes from the clutches of her traumatic past and her strict father by moving to Venice to work for her godmother in her architect firm. For some odd reason, Zia (the god mother) reminds me of Meryl Streep from the movie The Devil Wears a Prada. Venetia falls in love with Paolo, the handsome Italian who again has his own share of traumatic past. So do they actually find each other? Obviously yes, they do. But what matters is the narration of the “how”.

The narration was bang on. Italy was described so beautifully that with pages that I turned, my desperation to visit that country increased exponentially. To make matters worse the story was written so beautifully. The beauty of courtship narrated against a back drop of a romantic city is indeed an intoxicating combination. Being a late (like horribly late) bloomer in discovering Love & Romance Literature, this story ended up leaving me with a fluttering heart and a flipping stomach!

The characterisation was perfect and realistic. Due to this, the emotions that the writer tried to convey were eerily realistic. I felt like I was living in the middle of the story. Till date only one book
(or a series maybe….) had managed to do that to me. No prizes for guessing which book.

My only weeny tiny qualm though would be that there was a bit of drag in story – The book would have been better off without that “evil witch girl” in play. And of course, the climax was predictable, though I can’t really put my finger on why I was able to predict it in spites of a gripping tale with very minimal loophole in the plot.

To sum it up, this story is akin to the perfect coffee served in a traditional fashion. Such books are hard to come by in the age of Vending machine quality quicke romance (er….may be like the slurry liquid that my work place’s vending machine serves me in the name of coffee?!)

VERDICT: This book is strictly for people who love to read literature and beautiful romances. If you can’t admire the beauty of courtship and true romance don’t dare touch this book.

RATING: 4.9 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: (In her own words!)
I grew up in a rambling house overlooking the Mediterranean. My earliest memories are of listening, enchanted, to fairy stories at the knee of my half-French half-Italian governess Zula. When I was seven we came to an agreement: for each story she told me, I would invent and relate one of my own. That is how my love for story-telling began.

Later, at a convent school, while French nuns endeavoured to teach me grammar, literature and maths, I took to day-dreaming and wrote short romantic stories to satisfy the needs of a fertile imagination. Having no inhibitions, I circulated them around the class, which made me very popular among my peers and less so with the nuns.

After I graduated with a BA in French literature, my international nomadic years commenced. I lived mainly in Switzerland, France and England, where I had friends and family, and during holidays I travelled to Mediterranean countries like Italy, Greece and Spain.

I met my husband in London at a drinks party: it was love at first sight, just like in the romance books that were my constant companions. He brought me to his large Georgian rectory in Kent, surrounded by grounds and forests. After my children were born, between being a mother and running a property business, there was little time for day dreaming, let alone writing. 

Then, once my children had flown the nest, I decided after so many years of yearning to write, write, write it was time to dust off the old manuscripts I’d been tinkering with for a lifetime. 

Today, I am living the dream: I write full time, splitting my time between my homes in Kent and in the South of France, where I dream up romances overlooking breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.

My first novel, Burning Embers, is a vivid, evocative love story set against the backdrop of tempestuous and wild Kenya of the 1970s, reviewed by one newspaper as ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’. My new novel, The Echoes of Love, is a story of passion, betrayal and intrigue set in the romantic and mysterious city of Venice and the beautiful landscape of Tuscany

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Kindle,Hardcover & Paperback

PRICE: Rs.99 (Kindle)


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse