ARC Review: The Cyclone Release by Bruce Overby

Book Details:

Author: Bruce Overby
Release Date: 
15th November 2022
Series:
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Corporate Fiction, Literary Fiction
Format: E-book 
Pages: 254 pages
Publisher: Madville Publishing
Blurb:
It’s the late 90s Internet boom, and Brendon Meagher has just lost his wife Sadie in a freakish car accident at the edge of Silicon Valley. The Cyclone Release follows Brendon as he emerges from tragedy and lands in a pre-IPO start-up that promises astonishing riches. Mo Gramercy, a bright and commanding colleague with her own deep secret, joins Brendon, disrupts his malaise, and takes him as her lover. The characters’ careen toward IPO millions, their secrets suddenly converging, and both are shaken without mercy from bucolic notions of work, life, and impending fortune.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Cyclone Release by Bruce Overby is a definitive page-turning corporate fiction that will blow your mind and leave you wanting to read more works by the author!

This book is a heady mix of engaging prose, a captivating concept and a well-executed story developed around extremely realistic and relatable characterisation. This story pulls you in and takes you to the time when Silicon Valley was not how we see it today and tells the story of Brendon, a man stuck in the crazy turmoil of life whose career is in the field that is tethering over a precarious edge.

Well-written, absorbing and thoroughly interesting as well as intriguing, The Cyclone Release has a lot to offer to its readers and therefore I’d strongly recommend it to all fiction readers, especially those who like exploring corporate fiction and are interested in learning the details about the behind-the-scenes reality of the Silicon Valley.


You can also read this review on:

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Book Review: When We Lost Touch by Susan Kraus

Book Details:

Author: Susan Kraus
Release Date: 
29th October 2022
Series:
Genre: Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Format: E-book 
Pages: 515 pages
Publisher: Flint Hills Publishing
Blurb:
Grace, a family therapist, returns from a cruise to find that life has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Her daughter’s graduate program goes virtual, and her 11-year-old grandson on the spectrum is home 24/7 with school by Zoom. Her best friend, Katrina, contracts the virus early on but isn’t recovering. On top of that, Grace is called to facilitate a COVID grief group, whose members express rage and sadness at the senseless deaths of people they love.
Meanwhile, Molly and Mike forge a long-distance friendship over Zoom. A young couple, Zed and Cherry, finds validation and connection in QAnon. And on another front, Theo, a respiratory therapist, questions the ethics of keeping oxygen-starved patients alive.

When We Lost Touch is contemporary historical fiction set during the first 18 months of a deadly pandemic. Ordinary people lose touch with friends, family, reality, and truth as they’re caught in a war zone where most of the casualties are taken down by friendly fire. Kraus expertly weaves stories that portray life during a pandemic, providing a gripping, nuanced look at political, social, and medical challenges. 

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When We Lost Touch by Susan Kraus is a work of contemporary literary fiction in which the author has explored the toughest time we all had to go through during the endless months that turned into two horrendous years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this book, several stories are told from different point-of-views covering a wide range of emotions and situations that different people had to go through during the pandemic when we all were cooped up inside our houses and the only means of communication was the internet. There is a wide range of emotional aspects covered in this book and it makes it a really interesting and very relatable read.

The writing is good and it can clearly be noticed that the author has drawn upon her extensive experience of being a therapist and working in clinical surroundings. These two factors add a sense of reality to the whole book making it a tremendously relatable read.

I’d recommend this book to all readers of women’s literature and to literary fiction enthusiasts.


You can also read this review on:

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Amazon


ARC Review: Kai’s Healing Smiles by Vivi Anne Hunt

Book Details:

Author: Vivi Anne Hunt
Release Date: 
13th September 2022
Series:
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+
Format: E-book 
Pages: 201 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Silas is mourning the loss of his wife. Every day, he is going through the motions and barely managing to keep the excruciating pain from overtaking his life. There is precisely one ray of sunshine in his days — Kai — the smiley, awkward barista at Starbucks. For some reason, Silas finds comfort being around Kai and soaks up as much light as this sweet boy could give him.

For the short time Kai has worked at Starbucks, he has secretly watched one man from afar, hoping that one day he would notice him back. He looks all mature, business-like, and always sad. One day Kai finally gets the chance to speak to him. And this is where their story begins.
Will Silas be able to let go of the past and start fresh? And will Kai be able to heal the gloomy man with his smiles?

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Kai’s Healing Smiles by Vivi Anne Hunt is a heart-warming romantic story that is full of emotional depth as well as character.

I liked this book from the start because, in spite of having started on a glum note, the author’s writing made this book an easy read and the character development kept me engaged. The plot kept developing well and soon I found myself not wanting to be pulled away from the story.

I liked the plot, the basic concept as well as its execution, the simple yet effective writing and the ups and downs the pacing added to the tension in the book. Overall, it is a lovely romance novel that I’d recommend to all romance genre fans especially readers who enjoy reading LGBTQ+ romance stories.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


ARC Review: Before Dawn by Laura F. Murphy

Book Details:

Author: Laura F. Murphy 
Release Date: 
5th September 2022
Series:
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Format: E-book 
Pages: 271 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Igor Fenenko, a former research scientist, is a scary, scary man. Not only is he a massive bodybuilder with a spider tattooed on his face, he has also been infected with Pestis Manducans — viral cannibalism. Igor tried to resist indulging, but his research specimens smelled so delicious. Who did it hurt, really, to nibble a corpse?
Caught, disgraced, and sent to a ‘rehabilitation’ center, Igor is now forced to live in a government-mandated Containment Center. He spends his days pressing wildflowers, growing blueberries, and doing his best to avoid human meat. More than anything, he wants a cure for the virus
that has ruined his life.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Before Dawn by Laura F. Murphy is a beautifully written contemporary fiction novel about relationships and a person’s journey to come to terms with their own self.

This book had an exceptionally well-written story and was full of emotionally complex as well as mature characters that were multi-layered. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and the protagonist, Max’s, journey to find herself through the curve balls that life throws at her. Another thing that I really liked in this book was the cultural background of the main lead and its significance in the story in forming her character’s belief system and decision-making.

Overall I was really impressed with the depth and the emotional maturity that was explored in this book and would strongly recommend it to all women literature and contemporary fiction readers.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Book Review: Starstruck And Swindled In Paradise by A.H. Nazzareno

Book Details:

Author: A.H. Nazzareno
Release Date: 
1st June 2022
Series:
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Short Story, Humour
Format: E-book 
Pages: 42 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
A discontent and disillusioned author embarks on a road trip to the desert paradise of Las Vegas, teeming with oddball characters. Starstruck And Swindled In Paradise is a fictional short story about a flawed man attempting to reinvent himself while experiencing an unforgettable adventure.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Starstruck And Swindled In Paradise by A.H. Nazzareno is a short story about an author’s (mis)adventures that will tickle your funny bones.

I enjoyed reading this book because it was engaging, fun and light-hearted. I liked the writing and the characterisation and I found the author’s sense of humour to be really good. It is a short and well-written book that I’d recommend to all contemporary humour readers. Also, if you are a writer then you’ll definitely enjoy this book.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Audiobook Review: A Dog Of Many Names by Douglas Green

Author: Douglas Green (Director of The Hiding Place)
Narrator: Kelly McNair
Release Date: 3rd January 2021
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Coming-Of-Age
Series: 
Format: Audiobook
Length: 4 hours and 17 minutes
Publisher: Circuit Breaker Books
Blurb:
Born a runt, Rascal is destined to be an underdog. Despite what looked like an unbreakable bond with the daughter of the family who bred her, Rascal’s devotion is discarded when the mother loses her job, forcing the family into a financial crisis. Bitter and resentful toward a dog they can no longer afford to keep and who was never really wanted, the family throws out the young dog like garbage. Driven out to the country and left roadside, Rascal has nothing but a few pieces of kibble to help her survive the night.

Abandoned and alone, Rascal must learn to fend for herself and embark on a harsh and dangerous journey through wolf terrain in the mountain wilderness of Northern California. Along the way, she meets new families and strangers and is given many names. But will she ever settle with one family and one name? A Dog of Many Names is a courageous story of survival, seen through the eyes of a scared and desperate dog who just wants to love, be loved, and be given one last name.

REVIEW

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Dog Of Many Names by Douglas Green is an inspiring yet gut-wrenching story of a dog who is abandoned and has to fend of herself until she meets new people and families and her journey to find herself and a new home continues.

This book elicited so many emotions in me that at one point it got very, very triggering for me. But I had to get through it as I wanted to know what happens with the story of the beautiful dog that Rascal is. Being an animal activist and someone who actively engages in the rescue missions for cats, I am well aware how people abandon their pets and leave them away from home not caring a lick about what they would do or how they’d survive. So it was deeply disturbing for me to read about it but I appreciated the author’s honesty because these are facts of life and have to be told to people so that they understand that doing so is not only wrong but also inhumane!

Coming to the book – the writing is great and had a very nice flow and the plot was crafted very carefully. Although it was a difficult read because of the concept and my close relation with the rescuing of animals, I am glad that I read this book. It is very informative and agonisingly real and I honestly think it is a must-read.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Book Review: Where Will We Go? by Emily Craig

Book Details:

Author: Emily Craig
Release Date: 
15th December 2021
Genre: New Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Travel
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 226 pages
Publisher: New Degree Press
Blurb:
Two years of marriage ruined by one drunken mistake.
Lucy’s story is not yet over. In the sequel Where Will We Go?, Lucy Berry is faced with new challenges that will both excite and challenge her. Newly divorced from her high school sweetheart David, she is plunged into a new world where David is now engaged to his mistress while she has to navigate a life after love and heartbreak.

Just when Lucy is feeling unworthy of happiness, a silver lining presents itself. She lands her dream job as a travel writer. Follow aspiring author Lucy as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery with her best friends by her side. Witness as she blissfully immerses herself in French culture while hitting all of Paris’ hot spots for her new job. Laugh along while she helps throw an epic murder mystery birthday bash. Most of all, join Lucy as she transforms her self-doubt to self-love, ending a tragic year with the surprise of her life.
Will Lucy finally leave David in the past or will he continue to haunt her dreams?

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Where Will We Go? by Emily Craig is a new Women’s Fiction, New Adult, Contemporary fiction novel that is both, quick to read and easy to love.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot because the writing had a very good flow. The characterisation was good and the settings were absolutely brilliant. I loved that the author used the backdrop of Paris in this book because I love that place (actually I may be kind of obsessed with it – just a little bit *wink*) so when I read the blurb I knew it from the start that Iw as gonna love this book and I was not at all disappointed!

The author did a great job with a seemingly simple plot and turned it into something really special. Even though this is a sequel to another book, I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything as the author has explained the story of the first book in the preface, so I really appreciated it (And would like to thank author Craig for it.)

I would strongly recommend this book to New Adult and Women’s Contemporary Fiction readers. And also to those readers who like reading about travelling and especially if you are a Francophile (like me) you will love this book!


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Book Review: Falling For The Competition by Jen Smith

Book Details:

Author: Jen Smith
Release Date: 
6th December 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 295 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
It’s going to be the best summer ever for ambitious, overachieving Quinn. A huge history buff, not only has she landed her dream job interning in the archives department of the local castle, but her best friend will be working there too.
However, Quinn isn’t the only one to be working in Archives this summer; Quinn’s academic rival, Patrick, is sharing her office in Muniments. They’re competing for the Letter of Recommendation (singular) from the research historian that Quinn needs to get her dream future placement.

Their emotionally-loaded and competitive rivalry turns into a reluctant friendship, as they spend every day working together in silence (and sharing the occasional Twix). Until the Re-Enactors arrive. Between Patrick and Harry – the Golden Knight of the jousting team – Quinn’s carefully planned summer is thrown into complete disarray. Meanwhile, her best friend’s relationship may look perfect on the outside, but Quinn is starting to realise that there’s more going on than there seems.

Although Quinn is determined and single minded about planning every detail of her sparkling future, she comes to discover that the best things in life are the spontaneous ones – and that some people are more important than any Letter of Recommendation (singular) could ever be.

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Falling For The Competition by Jen Smith is a new un-put-down-able YA romance.

This book is well-written with a great plot that kept me engaged right from the first page to the very last one. I was able to relate to the characters, both the main ones as well as the secondary ones, and was able to form a strong connection with the main lead, Quinn. This book is as interesting as it is entertaining. There wasn’t a single chapter where I felt bored or unfocused and that was a blessing as most YA books tend to do it (at least to me.) So I am really thankful tot eh author for great pacing and tremendous tension throughout the book.

I would highly recommend this book to all YA and romance readers.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


ARC Review: Below Torrential Hill by Jonathan Koven

Book Details:

Author: Jonathan Koven
Release Date: 
3rd December 2021
Genre: Coming Of Age, Contemporary Fiction, Magic Realism
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 190 pages
Publisher: Electric Eclectic
Blurb:
It’s Christmas, and strange occurrences are plaguing the small town of Torrential Hill: a supernatural comet, undead insects, exploding streetlights, and a presence luring people into the woods. But when the mother of Tristen—a wistful, fatherless sixteen-year-old boy—hears voices from the kitchen sink, all he can think of is running away.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Below Torrential Hill by Jonathan Koven is a well-written coming of age contemporary tale that is full of intrigue and surreal appeal.

I liked reading this book mostly because the story had a great flow and the pacing kept me glued to the pages until the end. I was able to relate and connect to the main character, Tristan, and really enjoyed reading about his journey. The writing is good, the story is great and the execution is amazing. The suspense in the story ran high throughout the pages and I enjoyed the surrealness of the supernatural elements that took the story to an entirely another level.

I highly recommend this book to all readers because this book has something to offer to all its readers. And I can’t think of a better novella to recommend reading so close to Christmas!


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


Amazon


Audiobook Review: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Author: Liane Moriarty
Release Date: 14th September 2021
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Adult, Contemporary
Series: 
Format: Audiobook
Length: 18 hours
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Blurb:
The Delaney family love one another dearly―it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . .
If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?
This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.
The Delaney family is a communal foundation. Stan and Joy are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killer on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are they so miserable?

The four Delaney children―Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke―were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups. Well, that depends on how you define success. No one in the family can really tell you what Troy does, but based on his fancy car and expensive apartment, he seems to do it very well, even if he blew up his perfect marriage. Logan is happy with his routine as a community college professor, but his family finds it easier to communicate with his lovely girlfriend than him. Amy, the eldest, can’t seem to hold down a job or even a lease, but leave it to Brooke, the baby of the family, to be the rock-steady one who is married with a new solo physiotherapy practice . . . which will take off any day now.
One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door. She says she chose their house because it looked the friendliest. And since Savannah is bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend, the Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.
Later, everyone will wonder what exactly went on in that household after Savannah entered their lives that night. Because now Joy is missing, no one knows where Savannah is, and the Delaneys are reexamining their parents’ marriage and their shared family history with fresh, frightened eyes.

REVIEW

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was so perfect… till the last 4 hours ruined it entirely!

I love Liane Moriarty’s books because she is an excellent writer who can create genre-defying plots and build super amazing and realistic as hell characters. In fact, whenever I take a fiction writing class, I always ask my students to read any of her books to study her characteristics and notice the techniques she uses. And this book was no different, at least on the character front. 

The characters in this book are near perfect and they are what brings so much life into this (almost) amazing story. The only thing that totally ruined it was the ending… and the flimsy motivations… and the superficial stakes. 

Why, Liane? Why?

I feel so outrageously angry that the author botched up the ending for no more reason than a stupid girl’s hunger. I mean WTAF!! I get it she was being starved, but shouldn’t Savannah take revenge from her mother who starved her? Or her father who was partially responsible? Or her big-time brother who never took her seriously? 

Why the hell does a person take such a meticulously planned revenge on someone whom she visited only for a brief period in a day 20 years ago? I mean… seriously????

You can also read this review on Goodreads

ARC Review: Cenotaphs by Rich Marcello

Book Details:

Author: Rich Marcello
Release Date: 26th July 2021
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Slice-Of-Life, Literary Fiction, Romance
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 200 pages
Publisher: Moonshine Cove Publishing
Blurb:
AFTER A CHANCE MEETING, AN OLD MAN AND A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN CHART AN UNCONVENTIONAL PATH FORWARD.
When Ben Sanna, a contemplative retiree with a penchant for helping people, and Samantha Beckett, a secretive New York City hedge fund manager, meet by chance in a small Vermont town, they enter into a tenuous relationship. Over several weeks, Samantha and Ben open their pasts inch by inch, sift through their futures consciously, and come to terms with the strength and depth of their bond. A meditation on redemption told in alternating chapters of musings and scenes, Cenotaphs is about platonic love; the ways we close ourselves off in reaction to pain and what happens when we open ourselves up again; and the deep, painful legacy of loss.

Book Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Watch this review on my YouTube channel

Cenotaphs by Rich Marcello is a beautifully written book about platonic love. It is an unusual love story about a retiree and a girl who is decades younger than him.

The characterisation was brilliant and helped me feel a strong connection to the main characters, Ben and Samantha. The writing was great and complimented the story beautifully. The concept is unique and engaging and the execution of the plot was flawless.

I’d highly suggest this book to all readers, especially those who like a well-written love story that goes way beyond the normal conventions and explores the depth of characters’ emotions.


You can also read this review on:


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Amazon


YouTube


Book Review: Banshee And The Sperm Whale by Jake Camp

Author: Jake Camp
Release Date: 16th February 2021
Genre: Literary Fiction, Philosophical, Satire, Dark Humour
Format: E-book 
Pages: 254 pages
Publisher: Pski’s Porch Publishing
Blurb:
A sunset wedding in Kona. An ugly secret discovered on an iPhone. Experimental philosophical marriage counseling. Time travel. Diver Neurons and Angel Neurons separated by Sea and Sky. Banshee and the Sperm Whale takes the reader on a journey into the unconscious mind of Martin, a biracial chef from Denver who suffers from a particular kind of overabundance. Along the way, a modern allegory unfolds, and everyday notions about self-knowledge, the nature of good and evil, and possibility of finding meaning and spiritual significance in the face of inexorable uncertainty are turned inside out.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Banshee And The Sperm Whale by Jake Camp is a beautiful book full of deep and colourful ideas and concepts.

I absolutely loved this book because the author skillfully dissected a wide range of emotions. This book was so different from other contemporary literary fiction reads that I was overwhelmed with the joy of having found this gem of a book! I am truly grateful to the author for writing this brilliant book and letting his readers experience the dual nature of reality.

This book has a beautifully complex plot along with a well-written story that is highlighted by profound and introspective satire and an array of multi-layered characters. What else can you possibly ask for?

I’d recommend this book to all readers. This book is a must-read!

You can also read this review on Goodreads.

Book Review: A Nest For Lalita by Ken Langer

Author: Ken Langer
Release Date: 25th October 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, World Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 318
Publisher: Dryad Press
Blurb:
MEENA KAUL is riding high in her position as director of Behera House, a safe haven in India for women who have survived domestic violence. But when the stock market crashes, Behera House loses its funding to expand. The right-wing Hindu Democratic Party (HDP), seeing an opportunity to win women’s votes before a national election, steps in with a multimillion-dollar grant. While Meena is reluctant to accept the offer, it is the only way for the project to proceed. Her worst fears come to pass when the HDP wins the election and begins to chip away at a hundred years of progress on women’s rights.


Meanwhile, Simon Bliss, America’s foremost “green” architect, who had been commissioned to design the new facility, falls for the alluring Meena and is drawn into the perilous world of Indian politics. In his attempt to loosen the HDP’s grip on Meena and win her affection, Simon takes on reactionary politicians, shady priests, and crooked businessmen. In the process, he comes face to face with disturbing truths about his past, while Meena finds herself trapped in ways she never could have expected. A Nest for Lalita is a tale of passion and murder against the backdrop of an ancient country trying to find its identity in a fast-changing world.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Nest For Lalita by Ken Langer is a good story full of complex themes and backdrops and woven into an intricate as well as engaging plot.

When I started reading this book, I was a little sceptical because I am usually uncomfortable with books written by foreign authors writing about India after having spent a couple of weeks or months here, believing they understand everything about India. The problem is not their understanding or their warped perception but the wrongful presentation of a culture and country that they do not fully comprehend which in turn goes a long way in giving birth to many misconceptions about the country and the people living here. But thankfully, this book wasn’t like that, or at least not in that particular sense. It was more about the story of an individual rather than a social commentary of the clogged roads.

I liked the story as it was very engaging and made for a nice read. Many things mentioned in the story may not necessarily be correct, but fiction is forgiving that way and so are fiction readers. Anyway, if you like reading about other culture and a different way of life, then this book would make for a good read.

You can also read this review on:

Goodreads & Amazon

Book Review: An Indelible Day by Cairo Marques

Author: Cairo Marques
Release Date: 23 July 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 25 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
The story accompanies a single day of John C., a man of about thirty. In this short passage of time he has three dialogues with three different people. These dialogues, certainly, have shaped his day and, likely, will exist within him eternally.

Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

An Indelible Day by Cairo Marques is a very unique and fresh take on the various facades we put on for different parts we play in our life. What makes this story even more interesting is that this book tells the story of the main character through a single day.

The writing was good for the most part and the characterisation was good (it had depth and layers) and the story, overall, was very interesting. Given that this book takes less than half an hour to read (a lot less actually,) it would be perfect for anyone looking for a quick engaging read.

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: SUPERBU Homecoming: The emotional story of a family and their dog by Debarshi Kanjilal

Author: Debarshi Kanjilal
Release Date: 15th August 2020
Genre: Contemporary
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 117 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
You cried with Hachiko. You got spooked and then laughed it off with Scooby Doo. And you fell in love with John Grogan’s incorrigible Marley. But you have yet to meet a dog quite like Super Bu ♥. After years of arguments on the matter, the Bera family has finally decided to bring home a dog.✓ Ajay has wanted a dog since he was a child. He has fantasized about every version of his future life around them.
✓ His brother, Arun, would love to get a dog as much but doesn’t mind not having to clean up after one.
✓ Ajit, their father, also wants to get a dog. He just wants to feel the love of a dog again, like he used to when he was a child.
✓ Barnali, Ajit’s wife, loathes the idea of having a dog in the house. She spent her childhood praying for only one thing, that she shouldn’t get married into a family that has dogs. And until now, she got her wish. But now, Ajay has finally worn out his mother’s resilience and the Beras are bringing home a dog. Will this be the homecoming that the dog or the family had anticipated?
Read now and find out.

P.S. This is not a children’s book or a fairy tale. This novella is not all about fun, or that fuzzy feeling you get from stories about dogs. It is a dramatic story of a family who brought home a dog. If you are looking for a book that’ll keep you continuously smiling through the antics of an adorable puppy, this is perhaps not the book for you.
So, now that you know what not to expect, let’s talk about what you can expect from this book. Have you or someone you know ever felt like something is missing in your life and getting a dog could help you fill a void? Did you, or an acquaintance of yours, end up actually getting that dog? Did you and your dog figure out how to navigate through life together? This is the story of that dog, or a dog like that one. But more importantly, this is the story of that version of you, or that acquaintance of yours, who decided to act and bring home that dog, or of people like you who went through similar experiences in life.
★ If you have ever felt like you needed to be loved a little more than you are, I hope that this story tells you exactly how to find that love.
★ Some early readers said, “This is a book about poop, the pooper, and the poop cleaners, but it is about much more.”
★ A significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go toward funding the Buzoland project. The Buzoland project is a personal endeavor of the author of this book to create a home, not a shelter, for stray and abandoned dogs in India. The goal is to give these homeless dogs the same love and care that one would give a purebred dog.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Superbu: Homecoming by Debarshi Kanjilal is a beautiful book about the journey of the main characters as new dog-parents. It not only had a lot to offer to those who’ve gone through similar experiences but also for those who want to have a pet or wish they had one and plan for it someday.

The writing in the book is good which was, of course, why I rated this book so highly. The story had a very nice flow and I am looking forward to reading more books by the author in the future.

Being a cat-mom of over 8 house-cats and another 10 outside-cats, I was able to relate to this book a lot. It managed to tug on my heartstrings and, therefore, I’d definitely recommend it to everyone.

You can also read this review on 

Also check out author Debarshi Lal’s other posts on TRB:

Book Review: The Billionaire’s Secret by Ravina Hillard

Author: Ravina Hilliard
Release Date: 22nd May 2020
Genre: Romantic-thriller
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 170
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications
Blurb: Serena Aisling has made it to the top as a high-powered executive all on her own merit. No thanks to her millionaire father who’d abandoned her at birth to be raised single-handedly by her mother. She has come a long way, so she’ll be damned if she allows him to have a hand in her career by dangling the CEO position of the Mäkelä Group in her face.

When Serena’s company coincidentally assigns her to spearhead a revolutionizing project run by the same corporation, she ends up working alongside the innovator himself—tech guru, Matias Mäkelä. The savvy, self-made millionaire is moody, ill-tempered, arrogant, and a giant thorn in her side, yet she can’t deny that he’s irresistibly handsome and stunningly
delicious.
A malicious traitor very close to Matias is divulging company secrets, and they must work together to uncover and shut them down before it’s too late.
When Serena uncovers the culprit, fearing Matias will not believe her, she keeps the discovery to herself and acts on her own, landing herself in hot waters with Matias. Waters so hot and flaming that she ends up tangled in his sheets, intoxicated with a desire that threatens to engulf her in an uncontrollable fireball of ecstatic delights.
As untold discoveries, secrets, and schemes unravel, Serena and Matias find themselves on a wild and unending tide of colliding together before being ripped apart again.
Will their feelings for each other be enough to survive the diabolical intrigue that threatens their very lives? Or will they crash and burn?

Book Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Billionaire’s Secret by Ravina Hillard is a contemporary romance thriller with good action, nice plot and some decent steamy bits.

Lately, I’ve been exploring the romance genre a bit, aside from my usual gothic dark reads and the contrast is refreshing to me as a reader as well as a writer. This book had good writing and that was the main reason I was drawn to it. The plot is a bit full of cliches and common tropes of the genre, but as I always say, when done well, even the common tropes become interesting.

I liked the cast of characters in this book. I rooted for both, Serena as well as Matias, and was glad that I read this book. I’d definitely recommend it to romance readers and to those people who like to read lighter thrillers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Sweeny Sisters by Lian Dolan

Author: Lian Dolan 
Release Date: 28th April 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Family & Relationships
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 304
Publisher: William Morrow 
Blurb:
Angels…
Death Stalkers…
ReaAn accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA that combines the wit of Jonathan Tropper with the heart of Susan Wiggs.
Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart.

Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.
But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister. 
When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.
Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?
By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Sweeny Sisters by Lian Dolan is a spectacular contemporary read which has a lot to offer to its readers. It is funny, heart-warming, emotional at times and conveys the strength of a bond of sisters in such a beautiful way that it is hard not to like this book.

Although this book was fiction, it did a pretty good job of convincing me otherwise. The characters felt so real and full of life and the story was so fresh and good that I wanted to believe it all to be true. And that is the best way an author can indulge a reader! The book was well-written and I loved the cover image of the book. The concept was good and the story-line very engaging.

I loved every bit of it and would recommend it to all contemporary fiction reads and anyone who likes reading about family and relationships in general.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and NetGalley

Book Review: The Billionaire Needs a Bodyguard by Ravina Hilliard

Author: Ravina Hilliard
Release Date: 4th February 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction
Series: 
Format: E-book
Pages: 185
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications Ltd
Blurb: Alexandra “Lex” Granger is a private security consultant who has to go undercover to protect billionaire businessman Michael Thornton, pretending to be an escort. Michael does not think he needs a bodyguard, despite the death threats he has received from protesters against his takeover of a Danish company, but he does need protection against the predatory wife of the Danish ambassador. Lex knows that this assignment is dangerous, made more so because her client does not even know that he is being protected. 

 She doesn’t know that he thinks she is a con-artist a gold-digger who takes rich men for everything that she can get. As sparks fly, and the attraction between the two go stronger, they face a deadly danger from an unknown assailant.
Lex and Mike embark on a turbulent affair in the beautiful city of Copenhagen, with Mike realising that there is much more to the sexy seductress, her bewildering vulnerability evoking unfettered passion and feelings that he has never experienced before. Lex realises that she has committed the ultimate folly, that of falling in love with a man who despises her. Will she overcome the dangers to Michael to her breaking heart?

Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Billionaire Needs a Bodyguard by Ravina Hilliard is an adult contemporary romance fiction full of steamy sexual tension between the leads and sprinkled with light thrills and chills. It’s not my usual go-to genre, but it made for a good distraction from my normal picks.

Although the book wasn’t an overly thrilling read, it made for a nice entertainer. The story was good and interesting and the idea of the female being the undercover bodyguard appealed to me the most about its plot. The characters were not very relatable but then I was not expecting them to be (I rarely expect it from romances, unless they’ve been written by the big authors who are good at what they do.) The writing though was good and that’s what made me read this book in the first place.

I’d recommend this book to romance and new adult genre readers and to those looking for a new entertaining read.


You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Were We Awake by L.M. Brown

Author: L.M. Brown
Release Date: 25th November 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Short Story Collection, Family, Relationships
Series: 
Format: E-book
Pages: 215
Publisher: Fomite
Blurb:
In each story of this collection, events make the characters understand that their world is not as it seemed.

In Hidden, the discovery of an affair between her father and aunt is only the start of finding hidden secrets for Hazel.
What it Means to Be Empty-Handed is narrated by a fourteen–year-old daughter of an alcoholic. Her denial and elaborate imagination starts to disintegrate when she lies to the wrong person.
In Crashing, a middle-aged woman lives a life of servitude until she hits teenage boy with her car.
A thirty-year-old murder takes its toll on the victim’s family in Walking A Country Road.
The stories are set in Boston and Ireland.

REVIEW

★★★★

A collection of exceptionally narrated and well-plotted short stories that depict the complexities of life. Each and every story felt complete and was very different from each other in respect of plots as well as their implications, yet the theme somewhat remained centric to the multi-faceted and emotionally taxing life one has to plough through no matter how much they wish otherwise.

I enjoyed reading all the stories as they were all well-written. This is my second book by the author (the first being Treading The Uneven Road The characterisation was flawless and I was able to relate to each and every central character in this collection. The pacing was good and I found the stories very realistic.

I’d recommend this collection to all the readers who want to take a break from their usual genres and try something new and refreshing.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Latecomers by Rich Marcello

Author: Rich Marcello
Release Date: 15 January 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Family, Relationships
Series: 
Format: E-book
Pages: 294
Publisher: Moonshine Cove Publishing
Blurb:
AN AGING COUPLE AND THEIR CLOSEST FRIENDS PIECE TOGETHER A LIFE-CHANGING PLAN FROM AN OTHERWORLDLY TEXT.
Maggie and Charlie Latecomer, at the beginning of the last third of their lives, love each other but are conflicted over what it means to age well in a youth-oriented society. Forced into early retirement and with grown children in distant cities, they’ve settled into a curbed routine, leaving Charlie restless and longing for more
When the Latecomers and their friends discover a mystical book of indecipherable logographs, the corporeal world and preternatural world intertwine. They set off on a restorative journey to uncover the secrets of the book that pits them against a potent corporate foe in a struggle for the hearts and minds of woman and men the world over.
A treatise on aging, health, wisdom, and love couched in an adventure, The Latecomers will make readers question the nature of deep relationships and the fabric of modern society.

REVIEW

★★★★

The Latecomers by Rich Marcello is a very profound, enriching and meaningful read about an ageing couple, which makes the reader question about a lot of things including one’s purpose in life. But more importantly, it shows us, beautifully and quite truthfully, how life goes on beyond one’s retirement and how we are destined to fulfil our purpose in life irrespective of our age.

It is a beautifully written book, with lyrical prose and with utmost sensitivity on a topic which many people avoid to even acknowledge. This book makes you think hard about your life, it’s valued and, as I said before, one’s purpose. It has a beautiful message wrapped in complex layers of philosophy made entertaining with a sprinkle of magical mystery.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes to read on subjects related to philosophy and life’s purpose. Also, people in their middle-ages and above are sure to relate to this book on a much deeper level.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: 11th June 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance Fiction
SeriesHot & Hammered (Book #1)
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 400
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Blurb:
A brand new romantic comedy from New York Times bestseller Tessa Bailey!
Georgette Castle’s family runs the best home renovation business in town, but she picked balloons instead of blueprints and they haven’t taken her seriously since. Frankly, she’s over it. Georgie loves planning children’s birthday parties and making people laugh, just not at her own expense. She’s determined to fix herself up into a Woman of the World… whatever that means.
Phase one: new framework for her business (a website from this decade, perhaps?)
Phase two: a gut-reno on her wardrobe (fyi, leggings are pants.)
Phase three: updates to her exterior (do people still wax?)
Phase four: put herself on the market (and stop crushing on Travis Ford!)
Living her best life means facing the truth: Georgie hasn’t been on a date since, well, ever. Nobody’s asking the town clown out for a night of hot sex, that’s for sure. Maybe if people think she’s having a steamy love affair, they’ll acknowledge she’s not just the “little sister” who paints faces for a living. And who better to help demolish that image than the resident sports star and tabloid favorite?
Travis Ford was major league baseball’s hottest rookie when an injury ended his career. Now he’s flipping houses to keep busy and trying to forget his glory days. But he can’t even cross the street without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there’s Georgie, his best friend’s sister, who is not a kid anymore. When she proposes a wild scheme—that they pretend to date, to shock her family and help him land a new job—he agrees. What’s the harm? It’s not like it’s real. But the girl Travis used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman and there’s nothing fake about how much he wants her…

REVIEW

★★★+1/2

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey is a quirky and fun read that was a rather quick read and also pretty enjoyable. Even though the story was full of over-used romance tropes and cliche moments, the characterisation felt vibrant and fresh which totally made up for both these flaws.

The writing was good and it was one of the things I liked the most about the book. The pacing was great as the things moved quickly and made this book a quick 1-2 day read which seems reasonable to me.

I’d recommend this book to all the romance genre lovers and to those who are looking for a light, fun read to take a break from their normal reading lists.

This review is also available on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Those Days In Delhi by Yashodhara Lal

Author: Yashodhara Lal
Release Date: 10th August 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series:
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 304
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Blurb:
Delhi in the Nineties. And this time, it’s going to be Gudia’s summer. So what if she’s the quintessential awkward middle child? So what if it seems like everything – from the hair sprouting on her legs to teachers making her life miserable – is conspiring against her? She’s taking matters into her own hands, and there’s no way that she’s going to fail. After all, there are three things Gudia is obsessed with – Basketball, the Boy with the American accent…and Winning. But in her desire to win this campaign of middle-school one-upmanship and conceal her plummeting grades, Gudia might just lose all that’s important to her – including herself. Best-selling author Yashodhara Lal is back with this funny, bittersweet and entirely relatable story about growing up; of that summer of innocence, when the world was simpler, and even our problems seemed sweeter.

REVIEW

★★★★

To sum it up in a single sentence, Those Days In Delhi by Yashodhara Lal is a feel-good contemporary read with an interesting story and an equally interesting cast of characters. It was a pretty quick read, mostly because of the well-written prose and also due to the fact that the book was so darn engaging. A really good book that shouldn’t be missed by anyone, especially those who belong to the legendary era of the ’80s and ’90s.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Nameless Book: Everyone Has A Story by Deepthi Ayyagari

Author: Deepthi Ayyagari
Release Date: 30th October 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Short Story Collection
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 76
Publisher: WordBuzz Publishing
Blurb:
Everyone has a story. These are stories about people like you and me, about relationships, love and life. Stories that will make you laugh, cry, and feel deeply about. Some of them, you will not forget for a long time to come…

REVIEW

★★★★

Nameless Book by Deepthi Ayyagari is a collection of short stories that explore the broad themes of emotions and life intermingled with witty narration making it a breezy read. It was a very quick and refreshing read as the author did not burden the reader with the needless sentimental baggage of characters keeping her narrative as well as characterisation light yet eventful.

Ass the stories are full of life and essence and I enjoyed them all very much. I was able to read this book in less than an hour and would highly recommend it to those readers who are looking for a quick fix that they can read in their work-break or commute. Honestly, any person who enjoys reading will have a great time reading this book so I recommend it to everyone.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Brinda -The Extraordinary Story of An Indian Girl (Femme Fatale) by Deepthi Ayyagari

Author: Deepthi Ayyagari
Release Date: 20th May 2019
Genre: Women Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 144
Publisher: 
Blurb:
‘Brinda’ will draw you in bit-by-bit to experience an extraordinary story; for there will always be secret-lives we will never know about, but are free to glimpse through the ‘reel’.
This is Brinda’s story–she was thrown into the local MLA’s house for servitude by the intertwining of her poor family’s greed and a quirk of fate. As she began a new chapter in her life with great anticipation of a financially secure future, fate held darker challenges for her to overcome.
The MLA’s son, Virender, was prying on her blossoming youth. She knew she was sought, and she knew she was bought. As Payal, her only friend in the palatial bungalow plotted her escape, she was not sure if she should go–they both knew some dark and tightly held secrets of the house, and she knew the implications of an escape for herself, and more so, for Payal.
Will Brinda leave or stay on to be exploited? Knowing what could shape out of even the slightest slip, will Brinda take the plunge, or will she resign herself to her fate and wait for what’s in store?
In this intriguing plot filled with choosing between two equally hazardous courses, what does Brinda choose? And what will be the outcome of that choice?
WHAT SHOULD BE ONE’S STAND WHEN DOOM AWAITS IN THE ONLY TWO DIRECTIONS TO TAKE?

REVIEW

★★★★

Brinda -The Extraordinary Story of An Indian Girl (Femme Fatale) by Deepthi Ayyagari is a beautifully written and well-plotted story about a girl named Brinda who has to go through a lot before emerging as a much stronger variant of herself. This story was both, compelling as well as endearing.

The writing, as I mentioned, was good, the characterisation was on point and the story was paced evenly, overall making it a strong read. This is my 3rd book by the author and so far the best one by her, so I was very glad I read this book.

What I loved most about this book was that it offers something that our society needs desperately these days – women empowerment without the pretention of feminism. I have nothing against feminists and feminism whatsoever, but I do have a problem with pseudo-feminists who, by the masses, corrupt the entire movement altogether. I believe in an egalitarian society so I am always in favour of women empowerment and this book is all about showcasing the strength of women. And that is where it scores the brownie points. All this while keeping in mind that the book didn’t feel like it was written with any kind of agenda in mind.

I’d recommend this book to all women’s fiction readers and to everyone who enjoys reading contemporary fiction in general. This book would also make a good read for both feminists as well as the feminazis 😉

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Choices We Make by Karma Brown

Author: Karma Brown
Release Date: 12th July 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 316
Publisher: Mira
Blurb:
Hannah and Kate became friends in the fifth grade, when Hannah hit a boy for looking up Kate’s skirt with a mirror. While they’ve been close as sisters ever since, Hannah can’t help but feel envious of the little family Kate and her husband, David, have created—complete with two perfect little girls.She and Ben have been trying for years to have a baby, so when they receive the news that she will likely never get pregnant, Hannah’s heartbreak is overwhelming. But just as they begin to tentatively explore the other options, it’s Kate’s turn to do the rescuing. Not only does she offer to be Hannah’s surrogate, but Kate is willing to use her own eggs to do so.Full of renewed hope, excitement and gratitude, these two families embark on an incredible journey toward parenthood…until a devastating tragedy puts everything these women have worked toward at risk of falling apart. Poignant and refreshingly honest, The Choices We Make is a powerful tale of two mothers, one incredible friendship and the risks we take to make our dreams come true.

Review

★★★★+1/2

The Choices We Make by Karma Brown is a beautiful, heart-warming and very memorable read about friendships, husband-wife relationships and the unpredictability of life.

This book is one of those books that always stays with the reader. I believe Contemporary Women’s Fiction as a genre has a lot of potential and when the books in this genre are paired with excellent writing, a strong and unyielding plotline and powerful and believable characters, they transform into magic. This book had all these things and so much more. I loved the dialogues in this book a lot because they were good and as a result, each and every conversation felt real. For me, this was the strongest aspect fo this book.

The second best thing about this book was the writing – clean, crisp and clear. As a result, the book felt like a very easy and quick read (something that I always appreciate.) The writing had a very smooth air about it and flowed beautifully complementing this beautiful story. The pacing was spot-on and the tension perfect.

I was totally blown away when the main turning point of the story came; I was left gasping for breath, literally. I did not expect it and it totally broke my heart. It took me a while to digest what actually happened and all the while I kept wishing for it to somehow get undone, but then when it did not, I found myself struggling to grasp what was actually happening just like the characters in the novel. I mean, one thing you know you love a character and then the next thing you know something very bad has happened to them and you totally did not see it coming (I’m remembering Ned Stark’s execution in the first book itself… god! it still hurts!) After having read a lot of books you come to a point where hardly anything surprises you. But this book made me feel emotions I forgot having felt for a long time. This book made me feel like a first time reader who got involved in a book so much that even after having finished the book I am not able to forget the characters.

I’m cutting back 1/2 a star because the author left me sleepless for a couple of nights with such a tragic ending (I hate you for it, Karma Brown, but I love you for writing this book!) I’m sure as hell reading other books by the author. And I’d recommend it to all the readers who have a hunger for really good stories but won’t mind reading about issues related to surrogacy or pregnancy.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and NetGalley

Book Review: The Year Of Oceans by Sean Anderson

Author: Sean Anderson
Release Date: 12th February 2018
Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 324
Publisher: Riversong Books
Blurb:
Hugo Larson is a retired accountant living in North Seattle. Having recently lost the person most important to him, he attempts to make a life for himself in spite of that gaping absence. While he spends his time swimming, gardening, and accomplishing the mundane tasks of everyday life, he also has several important relationships to manage. Adrian is Hugo’s caring but foolish son, a young man desperately in need of career guidance. Hugo’s brother, Martin, brims with positive energy and a life many would envy: a kind wife, an illustrious teaching career, and a darling granddaughter—but at the implications of retiring. Then there is Paul, a serene next-door neighbor and friend who is haunted by his own loss, who goes on adventures with Hugo through the city. Despite all this, Hugo faces the heaviness of existence, confronts towering questions, embraces and then pushes away those close to him. Through the course of one year, he faces his past, struggles with the present, and questions the future.
What waits for Hugo at the end of that year?

Review

★★★★

The Year Of Oceans by Sean Anderson is a sensitive book about dealing with loss, the overpowering and omnipresent grief that ensues and about individual growth. It was a very likeable read, albeit being on the heavier side of the spectrum.

It was very interesting to read about Hugo, the protagonist, and seeing his journey for an entire year after the loss of his beloved. Many times I found myself feeling a wide spectrum of emotions that the protagonist goes through – sadness, frustration, loneliness, disdain and emptiness. But as the book progresses, the author artfully shows the growth of the main lead in a way that felt very real and relatable.

I loved the writing of the author as it complimented the story well. The story had a good flow to it and I was able to navigate through it easily. I liked the story from start to end, and in spite of an unexpected ending, I felt it was very apt for the book.

The best part about this book, though, was that the subject of death and the grief that one has to cope with afterwards (which is a very tricky one) was handled, to my pleasant surprise, quite skillfully with the much-needed delicateness and subtlety. It was a bit hard for me to read this book as the subject of loss, personally, is agonising for me to handle, but I’m glad that the author respected a person’s sense of loss, in general, and worked gracefully around it, touching on the nerves only as required.

A wonderful book for a debut novel that I’d recommend to everyone and anyone who can handle reading about loss, grief and pain related to a close one’s death.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Spencer’s Risk by Andy Greenhalgh

Author: Andy Greenhalgh
Release Date: 17th April 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Dark Comedy
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 185
Publisher:
Blurb:
SPENCER’S RISK is a dark comic novel. Burnt out and broke, university Drama lecturer Spencer Leyton is a compulsive gambler, estranged from his wife and children and driving his career over a cliff. His some-time friend Justin invites him to a high-stakes poker game. (‘Justin could sell snow to the Eskimos – literally. For some months he had sold cocaine to the Inuit community in Copenhagen’.) The game ends with Spencer owing £10,000 to Paula Malone, the head of a criminal gang.
At work, Spencer is sexually obsessed with a wealthy and glamourous student called Eva. She commits plagiarism,
an offence usually punished by expulsion, but bribes him with £3000 to keep quiet about it. Spencer has inside information about a football game, so he bets the £3000 on it, and that is when things really start to go wrong…
Eva demands the leading role in the College Showcase Production, with disastrous results. (‘Eva was not wearing the costume she had worn in the Dress Rehearsal. Eva was wearing a sporran. And very little else’)
Paula’s deadline runs out. It looks like curtains for Spencer Leyton…

Review

★★★★

Spencer’s Risk by Andy Greenhalgh is a delightful and enjoyable new contemporary read with lots of dark humour highlighted by sarcastic undertones.

It was a very enjoyable book and I had a good time reading it. The characterization was good which was a big plus given the entire story heavily depended on the main protagonist, Spencer. He was very believable and pretty relatable. Even though he landed up in extreme situations, I was able to relate to his worries and dilemmas and hence, was able to connect to him easily.

The writing was clean and good and the author’s clever sense of humour shone through the entire book nicely. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a light and refreshing contemporary book.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Kaitlin’s Mooring by Carey V. Azzara

Author: Carey V. Azzara
Release Date: 3rd July 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Romance
Series:  
Edition: E-book
Pages: 208
Publisher: Glass Spider Publishing
Blurb:
Nothing is more horrific than losing a child, nothing more joyous than the birth of one. When grief intertwines with joy, it throws the Deveau family into turmoil.

Pregnant twenty-year-old Kaitlin Deveau leaves Boston University in a hurry when Henry, her grandfather, calls from Maine with devastating news. Bereft of hope, Kaitlin’s son, Christopher, becomes a life preserver, keeping the family buoyant. Henry, now Chris’s only male role model, teaches him lessons he uses throughout life. In the end, Chris and his adopted sister, Susan, must save their parents from the fate that took his grandparents–but the outcome is uncertain.

Review

★★★★

Kaitlin’s Mooring by Carey V. Azzara is a beautiful story about relationships and family.

This book was surprisingly good and I savoured reading every minute of it. The overall story was a feast and the writing was pretty good and the characters strong and believable. The character’s inner conflicts seemed real and they complemented the carefully woven tale very well. The beginning was slow but built up steadily and the ending proved to be apt.

Except for a few minor pacing issues, I enjoyed the book thoroughly. I’d recommend it to all contemporary fiction readers and to those readers who want to explore new authors and books.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Super Me by Jessica Dazzo

Author: Jessica Dazzo
Release Date: 20th July 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal
Series: Super Series (Book #1)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 327
Publisher:
Blurb:
What does it mean when your mind goes rogue and starts making stuff up? For example, if you were to hear the radio talk to you—say your name and tell you to do something… that couldn’t be a good sign, right? Or when everyone keeps saying your ex-crush’s name in random conversation when you’re just really trying to get over the jerk because he’s actually terrible? Not good.
Seventeen-year-old Faye Aldright has never quite fit in, but when she starts hearing and seeing things all wrong, it makes life so much harder. Faye knows she’s the cause of all of the intense, awkward, and sometimes explosive misunderstandings with her mom, best friend, and the new boy who she definitely hates. She knows it’s all in her mind and that for some reason, it’s turned against her. It’s trying to ruin her life. She just has to figure out how to fight the crazy in order to get her life back on track–in order to find out what’s really going on in her little town, because something supernatural is definitely going on.
But how do you fight your mind? And what kind of person has their own mind as their nemesis?

Review

★★★★

Super Me by Jessica Dazzo is a refreshing new YA paranormal novel that is hard to put down once you get into the story.

Initially, it took me a while to get into the story, but once I was in, it was hard not to read and finish it off in one sitting. The story is complex, in a good way, and engaging. The writing is good and makes the book an easy and quick read. The characters believable and the setting fitting to the tone of the overall plotline. So, on the whole, it was a complete package and I enjoyed reading it. But what really set this book apart from the others in the genre is the emotional believability of the protagonist’s internal (as well as external) conflicts. I was able to connect with Faye and felt deeply for her. Other characters were also developed well and, hence, the ending proved to be emotionally exhausting yet rewarding at the same time.

If you’re into paranormal and supernatural fiction, then you must check out this book.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: For The Lover Of Stories by Charlie Avinash Nicholas

Author: Charlie Avinash Nicholas
Release Date: 20th April 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Cross-Genre – Poetry Collection & Short-Stories,
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 316
Publisher:
Blurb:
Dear you,Welcome to my double feature. “For the Lover of Stories” contains two of my books:

1) “Sanity’s War” is an anthology of interlaced short stories and narrative poems. It depicts epic battles between kingdoms, against nightmarish forces, and within broken souls.

2) “Strange: And Other Accounts From the Taboo War” is a novella of short tales, poetry, and letters. It deals with the Unsung Heroes’ battles against the Grim Reaper’s strange sons.

Review

★★+1/2

For The Lover Of Stories by Charlie Avinash Nicholas is a cross-genre contemporary fiction that is an unusual and somewhat interesting collection of poems (mostly narrative), short stories and epistolary texts and overall it was an okay read.

The writing was okay, not great but not bad either, and the content of each and every chapter was also okay, but because of the different types of texts, I felt a bit disconnected from the book. The tone of the book, which was basically dark and war-based, some literal some metaphorical, was something I liked, but the real problem was that I wasn’t able to relate to any of the characters in any of the texts. Microfiction is tricky and I wasn’t overly impressed by author’s brevity in this book (which is actually a combined version of two books.)

If you like reading cross-genre fiction and won’t mind trying out both poetry and microfiction by a new author then you can go for this one, though I can’t say for sure if you might like it or not.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon