Sunday, June 29, 2014

#73 : When The Tide Turned by ML Eaton : A Review


BOOK TITLE: When The Tide Turned



GENRE: Fiction - Mystery


FORMAT:  Paperback

SERIES / STANDALONE: Series # 2 (Mysterious Marsh Series)

REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Our friend and the writer Marion sent us copies in exchange for honest reviews.

It is August 1976 and an oppressive heat hangs over Romney Marsh in the South East corner of England. 

Soon after the birth of her daughter, Hazel Dawkins, a young lawyer, is unexpectedly asked to return to work. No sooner has she agreed than she discovers that a dark force threatens both her family and her country; and before long, the past and present intertwine in a rising tide of horrifying events. 

Haunted by terrifying images, she knows that she must uncover secrets from the past if she is to avert a catastrophe that will destroy all that she holds dear. 

What draws her to the painting depicting a sudden storm at sea on a night in 1803 as Napoleon prepares to invade England? 

What is the secret of the man pegged down to die on the incoming tide? 

As Hazel seeks the answers to these questions she faces evil and intrigue, her life and that of her baby daughter threatened at every turn.
The book opens with a quote from Julius Ceaser on Tides & affair of men. That combined with the summary and the picture in page 2 gave me an idea what to expect in the second edition of Mysterious Marsh series. Our protagonist, Hazel Dawkins is back again, this time with her newborn baby Jessica to solve yet another “Legal Mystery”. This time it only got better than the previous book. 

So what did I expect? I expected beautiful writing, logical story and some beautiful history for I knew what to expect after reading the first book in the series. To state that the book lived up to my expectations would be an understatement. The book truly delivered more than what I expected. The story line was logical, well woven and had quite a number of surprising twists. In fact towards the climax the story line turned so racy that I ignored the growling of my tummy for it was lunch time.

Initially the history of the painting and Hazel’s dreams (or premonitions?!) seemed vague but as the story line progressed all that history about Rye & the painting made a lot of sense. 

Two things that I truly loved about the book were – The writing style & the characterisation. The writer has this beautiful typical British style of describing things (Duh me! She is a Brit after all!). I fear not many people will appreciate this style of writing for people these days appreciate the “Instant” kind of writing sans the description about even the smallest detail.  The writer has a great sense of describing things. Her experience in legal practice is much evident in her writing. 

The characterisation deserves a special mention. The protagonist, Hazel is portrayed with such a depth that she inspires me to be a strong person.  At times writers tend to get carried away so much so that the characterisation is so unrealistically ideal. Thankfully the characters in this book were nowhere near that state. 

My only weeny tiny bit of complaint would be the story line of Mark in the beginning which I felt was a bit out of league. 

To sum it up, “When the tide turned”  is beautifully written compulsive read which got me all hooked!

VERDICT: Must read! It’s “THE PERFECT” mystery! 

RATING: 4 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Retired from legal practice and semi-retired from holistic therapy - although she still teaches Reiki and other workshops - Marion lives close to the sea in the beautiful East Sussex countryside with a long-suffering husband, a lazy saluki and an urge to write into the small hours.


PRICE: Rs.99 (Kindle)


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse


Monday, June 23, 2014

#72 : The Emperor's riddles by Satyarth Nayak : A Review

BOOK TITLE: The Emperor’s Riddles

ISBN: 9789381506455

AUTHOR: Satyarth Nayak

GENRE: Fiction - Mystery


FORMAT: Paperback


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: This review is a part of the Readers Cosmos Book Review. For details log on to

Carrying quotes from India's best selling mystery writers on its cover, this new mystery thriller, described by Hindustan Times as 'a gripping tale of intrigue', has already made it to several Top 10 Bestseller charts.

More terrifying than the savage murder of historian Ram Mathur on the ghats of Ganga, are the questions that follow. Desperate for answers, Sia turns to esoteric writer & friend Om Patnaik. But what begins as a hunt for the killer, becomes an extraordinary trail of riddles strewn across the country, that must end at the gates of an enigma.

An ancient enigma so powerful that even gods would kill for it!!!

In another time and space, rules an Emperor who plays with phenomenal forces that make him supreme…who faces these very forces when they threaten the survival of the human race. An Emperor who must ultimately pay homage to the enigma…

As Patnaik and Sia race from one riddle to another, towards a royal secret that has remained alive for centuries….will the final truth, save them or destroy them forever?

The path beckons. Can you solve The Emperor’s Riddles?

The Summary sounded just my kind of book – A perfect mystery with history. Alas! The book exceeded my expectations. I’ve read quite a number of books by Indian wannabe Dan Browns who have just ended up giving me a good migraine. Maybe that lowered my expectations over books involving history and professor.

It is apparent that the writer was inspired Dan Brown, but he didn’t let the inspiration change his originality. Or to put it simply, he was just inspired and didn’t try to imitate Dan Brown like others.

The story is about a secret society of guardians (The Nine) founded by an Emperor (Read the book to know which one) to protect a wealth of knowledge, which when fallen into wrong hands can be used to destruct the mankind.  Ram Mathur, A part of that society is murdered. A mysterious mail lands in his daughter’s inbox. His daughter along with Ram Mathur’s friend Patnaik embarks on a journey to solve the murder of her father. And thereby beings the tale of Nine and a thrilling journey filled with brain whacking riddles.

The writer deserves a big applause for his riddles. They were simply brilliant and thoroughly logical.  It’s very apparent that the writer has done a good research on the Buddhist structures and teachings.

The plot was well woven with rather unpredictable twists.  I’ve never witnessed a modern Indian writer weave a plot so cohesively filled with true suspense. The dual story line ( that of present – Sia   and of “The Emperor” ) contributed a lot to the suspense element.

My only wee bit complaint would be the story of “the emperor” was a bit over done that the reader would be left disorient if he/she didn’t concentrate a lot on the book.

The writing was simple and crisp. The riddles certainly deserve a special mention. It’s not an easy task to frame 9 riddles which have that true suspense element and are logical.

It’s safe to say that Indian literary world has found another brilliant and true mystery writer – A rarity amongst writers who make money writing trash life changing “love” stories (Pun intended)

In short, this was one brilliant, perfect and well written mystery book!

VERDICT: Must read! When Chetan Bagat can sell, this one surely deserves to sell like The Da Vinci Code.

RATING: 4.5 on 5

Satyarth Nayak is an author, script-writer & journalist based in Delhi. Holding a Masters Degree in English Literature from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, writing has always been a prolific passion. His short story ‘Eve’ won the prestigious British Council Writers Circle Prize in 2006. In 2011, two of his stories ‘Music and Lyrics’ and ‘The Opportunity’ were selected for the celebrated Chicken Soup for the Soul series. As a TV journalist, he has worked with premier news channels like NDTV and CNN-IBN. Working for CNN-IBN as a Health Correspondent, he was felicitated with the SAARC Heal Honour for Excellence in Health Broadcasting Award in 2008.

His newly released debut thriller ''The Emperor’s Riddles'' is a tribute to his uncanny interest in the esoteric. This is his first full length novel.


PRICE: Rs. 173


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse

Monday, June 16, 2014

#71 : Whole Latte Love by Rachelle Ayala : A Review

BOOK TITLE: Whole Latte Love

ISBN: 1497588146

AUTHOR: Rachelle Ayala

GENRE: Fiction - Romance


FORMAT: Digital


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review Copy as a part of b00k3reviews tours


Investment banking intern Carina Chen doesn’t need any distractions—especially the sexy, guitar-playing barista she rooms with for the summer. Free spirit Dylan Jewell appreciates the delightful universe of women who vie for his attention. His goal in life is to do good, make happy coffee, and help the homeless.

When Carina moves in, she insists on rules of conduct to quell her instant attraction to Dylan. But when her boss asks her to turn Dylan into a businessman, she can’t think of a reason not to take advantage of his hospitality. Their chemistry is white hot, but Dylan refuses to play Carina’s game, unable to understand how he can fall in love with a woman who puts profits in front of people. When Carina realizes Dylan isn’t budging, she risks all to gain a single night with him. Will her gambit backfire or will Dylan discover Carina’s true heart before she runs away with his? 

Set in Berkeley, California, Whole Latte Love is an opposites-attract romance mixing bluesy rock music, hot, steamy love scenes, and financial shenanigans.


Yet another Romance novel! Looks like I’m catching up with all the romance that I’ve missed over the years.

Our protagonist Carina, is an intern from a conservative Asian background. She is this typical good girl who ultimately falls for the superhot flirt bartender Dylan with a hidden face and a burdening past.

The story is about the progression of their relationship under some compelling circumstances. In short without giving away the plot, this story is about how a relationship can be ruined or saved based on one’s understanding or perspective of love of their life.

Dylan’s characterisation was beautiful. I almost felt like reading a true story. His character had so much of substance that it almost felt that the writer based his character on some real life person.

On contrast, Carina’s characterisation lacked that multitude.She seemed so predictable. Since when women became predictable?!

The writing was beautiful and the story kept me hooked. Though there were certain parts which I felt were a bit of a drag. In spite of being hooked, at times the story turned truly predictable. I’m not really sure if that is how a romance novel is supposed to be for I’m a true mystery and thriller girl who loves the twists and turns.

There were few steamy scenes but they were quite well written and seemed aesthetic enough for a non-romance reader. Looks like I ought to shed that “non-romance reader” tag, for I can confidently say I’ve sampled few really good romance novels which obviously includes this book too!

Overall, Whole Latte Love is a well written and beautifully packaged simple love story that certainly deserves attention.

VERDICT:  Why not? It’s a light read!

RATING: 4 on 5

Rachelle Ayala is the author of dramatic fiction crossing genres and boundaries featuring strong but flawed characters. She writes emotionally challenging stories and is not afraid of controversial topics. However, she is an optimist and laces her stories with romance and hope.

Visit her at: Website: Blog: http://www.rachelleayala.comor follow @AyalaRachelle on Twitter.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Digital & Paperback

PRICE:Rs. 648 (Paperback)


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

#70 : Twelve Hours of Temptation by Shoma Narayanan : A Review

BOOK TITLE: Twelve Hours of Temptation

ISBN: 9780373207558

AUTHOR: Shoma Narayanan

GENRE: Fiction - Romance




REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy in exchange for a honest review from PR Pundit.

The best mistake of his life? Being chained to her desk is not how copywriter Melissa D'Cruz envisaged spending the night before her first major awards ceremony. No Cinderella moment for this award nominee--instead she's facing a night of deadlines! But Melissa is determined to get to the event...she just has to work out how....

New boss Samir Razdan catches Melissa burning the midnight oil and offers to drive her to the event himself. But the minute they set off Samir knows he's in trouble--because being this close to Melissa is already driving him crazy, and they've got twelve torturous hours of temptation ahead...


Romance has never been my cup of tea at all. I’ve hardly read a handful of romance novels. Harlequin , Mills & Boons have never interested me for some odd reason. When we got a review request by PRPundit, I decided why not? It’s high time I read something that actually classifies as Romance.

I’m just glad that I did break my no romance stand, for I wouldn’t have discovered this beautiful book. I’ve read plenty of books that claimed to have a romantic angle but ended up being pure obscene.  Thankfully this book was nothing like that.

Our protagonist, just like any other average woman, falls for her boss (Samir) post her break up with her Boyfriend. After all, she hasn’t been with anyone as charming after that Aussie Boyfriend.  As like any other man, Samir is portrayed as a male who typically muddles up things. Their relationship goes kaput, courtesy a stupid and the most widely used real life trick played by Samir (Intrigued?! Guessed it? Read the book! I am not giving out spoilers!).

The writer has a beautiful way with words. The writing was clean sans any obscenity or eroticism which is commonly found these days in the so called romance novels. The story line is beautifully woven around the two characters. The characterisation was sensible and seemed truly practical. It was just like reading a true love story.

Emotions are a vital component of a true romance. The writer had done a good job with making her characters emote.

One thing that certainly deserves a mention is the cover - it looks beautiful. I loved the vintage car and the beautiful pink shades on it.
My only weeny tiny bit of complaint would, the story ended on the thoroughly positive note. It’s like “And….They lived Happily Ever After!” It’s not that I’m against happy endings for a romance novel, just that things don’t happen that way in real life always. Nevertheless it does feel good to read such beautiful and clean romance.

Overall, the book was a beautiful read. I’m glad that I simply didn’t look it over as just another one of those mushy romance novels. This book is a brilliant example of clean and beautiful romance.

VERDICT: Go for it! Beautifully written book that certainly deserves a read.
RATING: 4.5 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shoma started reading romances at the age of eleven, borrowing them from neighbours so that her parents didn’t find out. At that time the thought of writing one herself never entered her head. But a couple of years ago Shoma took up writing and was amazed at how much she enjoyed it. Now she works grimly at her banking job through the week, and tries to balance writing with household chores during weekends. Her family has been unfailingly supportive of her latest hobby.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE : Paperback & Digital


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse