Archive for the ‘Romance’ Category


That Something Between Them

Review of Her Sister’s Wedding; Jane Ainslie; Decadent Publishing Ebook

– Shana Susan Ninan

From a pretty taut and serious narrative in her debut work, Chai For Beginners, author Jane Ainslie has given us a cute romance fiction – Her Sister’s Wedding. The story is based in Melbourne, Australia, with a dash of Paris included. It is the kind of romantic plot that’s light on the mind, and one that melts away any tensions in the head, just like Mandy’s does as she sips a bubbly to calm her nerves.

Mandy Evans is a journalist and painter who’s waiting to fly to Paris and join art school. Jake Pearson is a gorgeous chef and hotel chain owner who believes himself to be logical and all things in life planned out well.  But love doesn’t give you what you expect. At her sister Charlotte’s wedding, Mandy is the step-in bridesmaid and Jake is the groom’s best man. The two are totally opposite in manner and looks, and she’s not at all like the sophisticated women in his circles. He’s prim and proper; she doesn’t give a damn about her unruly auburn hair. He’s careful with his words; she’s as oblivious to her surroundings as possible. In fact, at their first meeting (when she didn’t recognise Jake the person) she even told Jake that she dislikes the idea of chains of hotels around the globe, and that Jake Pearson’s hotel might just be another McDonald’s!

Jane knows when to raise the readers’ heartbeats, to create flutters in our tummies and when to settle us down, almost with dim lighting in the background. She evokes several feelings in us as we read her work – and that’s coming from me who refuses to read romance fiction, if given a choice.

The newly-fallen-in-love couple find it difficult to take their romance forward as both of them have plans for their near future, with no space for the other in their lives right now. Out comes Dario, Mandy’s best friend, handyman, adviser and fashion guru. When he’s at hand, nothing can go wrong.

Jane’s writing is casual, easy on the eye, with light humour in every page.  And having read the book in the Valentine’s Week, just made it all the more special!

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Rating: 4.3/10 (4 votes cast)

Hunt for The Great Mogul

Review of The Great Mogul; Rajeev Jacob; Lancer Books 2013; Rs 450; pp 222

– Tiya Joshi

Set in the 1700’s and the present day, the story is about an Indian diamond, The Great Mogul, bigger than the Kohinoor, its disappearance and the fortunes and misfortunes of the people whose lives are woven around it and the modern day couple who’s trying to trace its history.

The book starts with the laments of a British poetess on her impending wedding estranged from her lover. Very abruptly, the next chapter the reader is subjected to the thoughts of a man who is being taken for execution for thievery in India – tied and hung upside down and hence is being forced to a view of horses’ “manhood” from where he is tied. Definitely not what I would call a compelling start of a book.

It requires quite an effort to read past the first 10 or so pages of the book. Each chapter of the book is small and either told by a character or a third person. This frequent jumps hinders it from being a smooth read. The writing style definitely needs a taut editing and one just has to flip to the end of the book to the epilogue to realise that.

A commendable aspect is that the writer managed to incorporate many of the major historical south Indian cities and areas into the plot.



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Rating: 5.3/10 (15 votes cast)

Opposites Attract, Love Happens

Review of Bound to Love; Sally Clements; Embrace Books 2011; pp 218

– Shana Susan Ninan

A feisty and impulsive redhead. A self-reliant, matter-of-fact, security expert. A kidnapping and a museum heist. Sally Clements, who mixes crime and romance, weaves a quick read, full of suspense and fun in Bound to Love, set in England and France.

Both Tempest and Jake act the way they do as a result of their fathers’ deaths. Jake’s father took the bullet for a stranger without thinking of his wife and son back home. And so, Jake deplores people who act on instincts, without thinking of the consequences. On the other hand, Tempest’s father was robbed and attacked on a street, and left to die there. She feels that if someone, anyone at all, were to help him he would have been alive today. Tempest never wastes a chance to help anyone, not even a stranger.

When Paul, Jake’s buddy and partner decides to get even with Jake, Tempest, a.k.a. Red as Jake calls her, falls into the thick of things. What follows is a series of events, intriguing and interesting. The two run around to stop the heist and to restore calm. In the process, falling in love. Clements writes with passion, often letting images float into readers’ minds without interrupting the flow of reading.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Blown Away by Love

Review of Love Hurts, Love Heals; Sundeep Tibrewal; APK Publishers 2012; Rs 195; pp 154

– By Shinjana Mukherjee

Love is perhaps the most talked about and yet the least understood of all human emotions. The more one tries to explore its profundities, the more one gets entangled into its subliminal layers. In this book, Love Hurts, Love Heals, Sundeep Tibrewal explores and explicates the many subtleties of love that come along with different relationships.

Written in the first person narrative, the book, from its very onset lets us have a thorough look at the author’s personal outlook about love and romance. It forms a fascinating prologue and allows us to look forward to what lies next. In the ensuing chapters, the author gives detailed descriptions of meeting his ‘special someone’ Neha, replete with accounts of a typical arranged marriage, that is rich in Indian traditions and customs. As two completely unknown individuals meet and warm up to each other, it makes the reader ponder over the sheer magic that Destiny is, and how, by means of often serendipitous turn of events, it brings together two souls who are made for each other. How Sundeep and Neha overcome their initial hesitation and helplessly fall for each other through their conversations, gestures and expressions of growing love has been portrayed beautifully, as the reader realizes that Sundeep has indeed poured out the inmost feelings of his heart in this semi-autobiographical piece of work.

Their days of courtship before and after their engagement, followed by their wedding, not only make the reader dreamy but also establish the closeness that the couple gradually developed. What makes it appealing henceforth is how the love between Sundeep and Neha mature into a beautiful marital bond, which not only dwells on the rosy and mushy aspects of love but can be a real strength during tough times. Through various turning points in their family as well as professional life, they realise that they complement and thus, complete each other.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

The Sweetness of Love, Tasted

About the book
At least once a person comes into your life and changes you for the rest of your whole life, just like a potter who takes sand, gives it a proper shape and moulds it with fire. After that, it’s not possible for it to return to its natural form… LOVE IS JUST LIKE THAT.

Journey of Two Hearts!: Will be Cherished Forever is a true love story of protagonist Anuj and the bird of his desires Pakhi. They made a milestone in their innocent and unforgettable love story.

“Sweetness of love you can taste, after wetting your lips with tears.”
When the world was sleeping those love birds were making the golden nest of love.

In the love there was passion, care and dedication for each other. Holding hands, strong feelings and just love, they always walked together. Anuj was always ready to do anything for her. He was a guy of surprises.

Unexpectedly what happened when the bird of desires said, “I can’t be with you Anuj, please leave me forever.”

Why did she turn from that path?
What happened that night which changed everything and broke the golden nest of love?

All promises broke… is a JOURNEY OF TWO HEARTS… few promises gone undone. However, as Anuj promised that at every memorable moment, he would be there to give her surprises… then why did he cry a lot for her?
A true tale… where love was there, but not more than sacrifices…

About the Author
Anuj Tiwari works with a prominent IT company. He lives in Mumbai and works with NGO’s over the weekends. “I have tasted the water of many fountains,” He avows. “Some were sweet, and some sour.” Journey of Two Hearts!: Will be Cherished Forever is his debut novel.

Anuj Tiwari is a motivational speaker as well after learning from life now, he delivers the voice from his heart very easily and simply to the youth. He is a youth icon with his very simple and effective thoughts. He says, “Don’t scale your perfection in the middle; sometimes your last card decides the winner.” He is one of the youngest authors from Bareilly. He visits colleges, universities, and talks to youth as he believes, “One day we all have to sleep forever, so let’s work till the day we breathe.” His motivational quotes are appreciated by many great people. He can be contacted at,,,

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Rating: 8.3/10 (6 votes cast)

Falling in Love; Falling in Trouble

About the book

To Err is Human… Agreed. Humans commit mistakes, but then what would you call a girl who is prone to committing errors all the time? Who attracts problems like a magnet & gets caught in a whirlwind of adventures?

Yes you would call her Malini Dixit, a synonym for utter confusion and chaos.

To Err is Human is a story about this simple Marathi girl from Pune dreaming to make it big someday in the magical city of mumbai. She is witty, funny, vivacious and utterly charming. Dealing with her mother who is obsessed to get her married is not her only worry. She merely arrives in Mumbai and finds herself surrounded by eccentric bosses and weird clients. And if that was not enough she lands up getting herself abducted by gangsters. Thanks to her loving friends and crazy landlord who support her throughout. You find yourself relating to her woes and everyday incidents as she unfolds one adventure after another sinking herself in trouble more deep than she can manage to get out of. Yet it allows us to catch a glimpse of her true self.

Her dream is endangered when one day she commits a gross mistake. A die hard romantic at heart she hastes to fall in love & trusts Anuj with her dream. This single error turns her life upside down.

Working at her dream job, Malini realizes that her co-workers are not her friends.  It’s a dog eat dog world and everyone wants to climb the ladder of success—even if they step on co-workers like rungs on this ladder. It is Manoj her colleague who unquestioningly stands with her throughout.

But is it too late for Malini to make amendments? Would Malini achieve her dreams? Would life be divine enough to forgive her? Find out in this rib cracking funny escapade where every girl finds herself relating to Malini, living her life and dreaming her dreams. Her witty charm will keep the pages turning.

About the author

Born and brought up in Mumbai, Swarupa Chavan did her schooling from Mary Immaculate Girls high school and graduated from Jai Hind College. She is a science graduate with majors in Physics. She pursued Computer Programming, Packaging Technology and MBA in Materials. She currently works as Deputy General Manager with a leading Agro Chemical Manufacturing Company.

Writing has been something she had always been passionate about and wanted to do so for quite some time. She gave wings to her dreams and penned down her first novel.  She is inspired by the great works of a number of authors and is an avid reader. Apart from reading and writing she loves to travel and explore new places.

She can be contacted at

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Rating: 7.5/10 (14 votes cast)

Finding India; Finding Love

About The Novel

Pinjar at one level is a love story and at another it is Maan’s struggle to get that perfect India. Honest, aggressive yet sensitive minister Maan meets a naïve, sweet yet gritty Geetanjali and all equations start changing. Taking off from rural India, Pinjar is a murky story of conflicts and issues we address in our day to day lives. Pinjar is a story a damsel in distress who meets her knight in shining armor. Maan is a powerful man who has long left his village but his one visit back to the village changes his life forever. Love happens in the most unexpected surroundings.

Pinjar is the story of breaking the social cage. Pinjar is also a story of a couple who passionately stay in their little cage of Love.

About the author:

Writing is a deep rooted passion for Paulami. With a love for English Literature and Indian writings in English, she took up writing as a habit. Scribbling was a need throughout her girlhood. Writing in college magazines and Pujo Souvenirs got her sweet recognition among her peers and canteen mates. This journey carried on with The Shillong Times and Guwahati Shillong Plus of the Times of India, in a brief stint as feature writer.

Born in Shillong, with schooling at Loreto Convent, and an English Honors from St Edmunds College she came down to Kolkata. A post graduate in comparative literature from Jadavpur University she dreams in English and thinks in Hindi. Her writings are a blend of colloquial Hindi and English. She has an ardent attachment to the world of ‘love’ ‘ishq’ and ‘pyar’. Paulami views the characters from different angles uses close-ups or mid long shots and switches to long shots and combines them together. She uses her imagination to interpret ‘Man’ and ‘his’ relations.

Though she is into television media research, she tries to find rainbows in the stern looking mathematical figures. Paulami seems to be committed but not a Feminist. Readers may find a taste of writings of generation next in her works.

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Rating: 9.7/10 (11 votes cast)

He Loved Her, but Left Her. He Loved Her, but was Left by Her. He Loved Her, but She Didn’t.

Review of Three Times Loser…. Love Never Dies; Akash Verma; Shrishti Publications; pp 264; Rs 100

– Shana Susan Ninan

Alok Mathur loved Megha, but he left her. Alok loved Mandira, but she left him for a bright career in the U.S. Alok loved Shonali, but her feelings for him were not those ending in love. Three Times Loser…. is Akash Verma’s second book, and just like the first one, has love and sacrifice as the main themes. Written mostly in flashback, Verma takes us through Alok’s live in four neat sections, each detailed nicely. All the three women influenced his life, took advantage of his humility and selfless nature. And years after they lost touch with him, the women have still not reconciled to their current situations.

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Rating: 7.2/10 (6 votes cast)

“In reality, Any Woman Who Wants To Have A Meaningful Life Must Find Herself First”

Jane Ainslie, debut author of Chai for Beginners, talks to IBR about her experience in writing, her love for In and of course about people and relationships. Jane lives in Australia and has travelled to and within India several times.

IBR: First, the obvious one – why choose India as a major backdrop for your story?

Jane Ainslie: The contrast between life in Australia and life in India provides Sita, the main character, with an opportunity to see her life from a different point of view. It makes her question her own values and beliefs as she witnesses a culture completely different from her own. Of course, India is far more spiritual in outlook than Australia; so as that is a central theme for Chai for Beginners, it was a fitting backdrop to her story. On a personal note, I love India. I think it is one of the most amazing, wonderful countries on earth so I was thrilled not only to be able to write about India, but also to be published in India, with an Indian readership.

IBR: Who does Sita Sinclair represent?

Ainslie: Any woman who has searched for meaning in her life. It’s so easy to assume that having a husband, children, a great job, a huge house, etc. will fulfill you, but in reality I think any woman who wants to have a meaningful life must find herself first.

IBR: The characters in the book are diverse and yet they have gelled fine in the story.  How did you manage to weave them into the plot so well?

Ainslie: Sydney, and in fact most of Australia, is very multi-cultural so in everyday life most Australians know lots of people from lots of different backgrounds. Sydney is quite a progressive city as well and different lifestyles are well tolerated there. Weaving a diverse mix of characters was easy, because that’s what living in Sydney was like for me.

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Rating: 5.7/10 (7 votes cast)

Destined To Fall In Love

Review of Anything Else But Love; Ankita Chadha; Cedar Books 2011; pp 304; Rs 175

– Shana Susan Ninan

For a longish book, the plot of Anything Else But Love moves along at an okay speed. Ankita Chadha, at 22, has done well with her second novel. She is currently pursuing MBA in Human Resources. Anything Else But Love starts with Shewali Singh running away from a wedding scene. The book then takes us to her past, where she has recently moved to Bangalore to head a project. Back home in Mohali, her parents and sister, Sonnel miss her much.

Shewali’s life is quite simple and she herself, plain. Work seems to what drives her, with no intention of getting hitched soon. Avi Malhotra, on the other hand, is a total flirt and a happy-go-lucky fella, with a cute Playboy-like smile and honey-filled words that would make any girl – or woman, at times – swoon for him. He calls himself the Avi, and goes on to make Shewali’s life miserable with harmless fights and loud pranks. But the fact that he starts the relationship on a bet shocks Shewali, leaving her to doubt his love!

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Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)