Friday, November 2, 2012

Review: Tea for Two and a Piece of Cake

Tea for two and a piece of cake Tea for Two and a Piece of Cake by Preeti Shenoy

My very good friend, A, had come down recently, bearing gifts. She gave me a few books, this one amongst them. A few months after her visit, I finally got around to reading this one. Like most books by Indian authors, I found the story line very intriguing. The story is about a plump, not conventially good looking (its the PC word for ugly), girl, Nisha, who out of the blue, finds her dreams turning true. The story follws her life over 8 years, where her dreams shatter and she is forced to pick up the pieces and start all over again.
I have reduced my reading of books written by Indian authors, as I don't find the book actually living up to the expectations set by the introduction on the back. However, I was not really dissapointed with Preeti Shenoy's writing, she writes lucidly, with acceptable grammar and has etched out most of her characters well.

Nisha, has been a neglected only child, who has lost her mother early in life and has also lost her father's attention. This shapes her to be what she is, a woman who is slightly awkward and starved for love and attention. Her life revolves around her work at a small-time travel agency and her colleagues, who while not her friends, provide her with the much needed human contact and acceptance.

Enter: Samir Sharma, the high-flying travel agency director, who seems to have it all. He is good looking, sophisticated and doesn't seem like much of a bad guy. Then follows the case of an opposites attract romance between Samir and Nisha, culminating in marraige. Then the problems start. It seems that Nisha is living in her own bubble, wanting totally different things from her husband, who tolerates her for most part. One day, he finally breaks-up with her, (over the phone!) telling her he is leaving her and their two children for another woman.

 Then, for me, the story takes an intersting turn, with Nisha picking up her life and coming on to her own self. She is helped by Akash, a younger ex-colleague, who has been interested in her all these years. She also gets support from an elderly neighbour, Mrs. Billimora.

The story is good, and I also like the ending. The characters are for most part well etched, however, I failed to connect much with Nisha, not able to understand how she could have lived in her own world for 8 years! How she could have noticed but ignored the fact that her husband did not like or want children and was drifting apart. I do not understand or connect with such woman, but I suppose it must be possible given the plethora of books written about them.

All in all it is a good book, well written, with the author bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion.

I would rate it 3.5/5, reccommending to all who would like to read a good novel about relationships.

Review: The M.D. She Had to Marry

The M.D. She Had To Marry (Conveniently Yours) (Silhouette 1345)The M.D. She Had To Marry (Conveniently Yours) by Christine Rimmer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don't usually read doctor or hospital romances as I find them quote stuffy and boring. However, recently, I have been watching a lot of Grey's Anatomy and thought to find some book's own McDreamy! Alas! this one was not it :(....

The M.D, Logan Severance, is unfortunately the stuffed shirt I wanted to avoid. The woman who HAD to marry him, Lacey Bravo, is an artist with little bit of a "wild reputation" and his ex-fiancee's sister (oh ho). They have 5 wild days together which result in a baby.

The characters were a little flat, with no real chemistry showing thru. As husband and wife, Lacey and Logan seem to have no communication, but a lot of thoughts! He is scared she will leave him, she wants him to accept that he loves her (she obviously knows about it and has been assured by her sister, the ex, that he really does love her) and also accept her lifestyle. There is no heat shown between two very opposite characters, though the author has written a few good love scenes.

The book is written as a continuation of the Bravo Family series. I have not read any of the previous books and felt some background info was missing. The story is a typical Mills and Boon romance, nothing new on the table.

It was an OK read, nothing exciting. Recommended if you like doctor romances.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Its absolute crap! I could barely get thru the first few pages! The writing is sub-standard, Ana, does not need to be coaxed into submissive behaviour.. she is dumb enough to anyways do as she is told. Grey is wierd and he "gasps".. (I've never heard a man gasp.. does it happen?)

Read the first 80 pages or so and abandoned it. I normally don't leave books halfway, but this one is so infuriating.

Anyways, I would not like to give this any stars if possible.

Not reccomended for anyone.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: Second Nature

Second Nature (Celebrity Magazine #1) (Language of Love #30 - Bluebell)Second Nature (Celebrity Magazine #1) by Nora Roberts

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Yet another Nore Roberts book. Words and the story flow effortlessly and it is a quick read. This book is part one of the Celebrity Magazine series. The story is about a reporter who tracks down an elusive writer for her story and they fall in love.

A well-written book, but nothing path-breaking or great. I read it as part of the anthology, Summer Pleasures, and it was as the name suggested a light summer read.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Never Love a Cowboy

Never Love a Cowboy (Rogues in Texas, #2)Never Love a Cowboy by Lorraine Heath

Really liked the book even though most of it was highly predictable. The book was divided into two parts, the first one where Harrison and Jessey go on the great cattle drive, and the second where Harry, who is crippled during the drive finds a way to accept himself with the help of Jessey and his friends, each of whom have a past.

The second part of the story gives the book some depth. Most historicals would have ended with the female protagonist happily accepting the physical shortcomings and the characters living happily together, all in the space of a few pages. Heath gets into the depth of feelings felt by Harry, showing him as an unsufferable idiot who is angry at the world and himself. She traces the entire journey from him being unable to accept his disability to showing anger, depression and finally acceptance.

The characters are well etched out, both of them staying true to their pschye laid out intially itself. I liked the way all the other characters were shaped as well and am looking forward to read Kit's book as well. I have jumped the series, not reading the first part of the series, which I may also read.

All in all, once the book picked up some pace, I really liked it and you will too if you are a fan of Western Historicals.

I would rate it 3.5/5

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review: Strange Bedpersons

Strange BedpersonsStrange Bedpersons by Jennifer Crusie

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This book is an early Jennifer Cruise novel and is different from her recent works. The plot is slightly formulaic and predictable. The dialogue however is witty and the humor elements make the story interesting. Tess is a feminist do-gooder and Nick is a career oriented lawyer. They are extreme opposites in everything and as it always does in world of romance, opposites attract. What follows is a lot of adjustment and growing up for both the characters. I found the chemistry between the two primary characters a little weak but that was obvious as she spent most of the book cataloguing his faults and he spent most of the book trying to turn her into what he likes. However, the other characters in the book were well sketched out and fun. The ending however was very predictable.

All in all a light read, a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Bet Me

Bet MeBet Me by Jennifer Crusie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I so so so loved this one! Its a light chick-lit, with loads of humor and BFFs and a sassy heroine. Perfect for a lazy summer afternoon. This book proves again why Jennifer Cruise is on my auto-read list.
The story is about Min, a big - boned, healthy (F-A-T) girl and Cal, a gorgeous god! They meet because of a bet and then fight attraction all the way. The story was very filmy (a la bollywood) with music and food and voices in the head shouting THIS ONE!. Its almost like a family flick with friends, mothers, fathers and nephews running around the story!

The dialogue is amazing and all the characters are a little wacky, but so real! Its a must-read for chick-lit lovers. I want to read Liza's story, I hope Jennifer Cruise writes it soon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Twelve Sharp

Twelve Sharp (Stephanie Plum, #12)Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read Stephanie Plum after a looong time.. and Looved it! absolutely Loved it! Ranger and Stephanie sizzle through the book.. Ranger is toooooo HOT!. Even though the story is similar to the other Plum books, the fact that I was reading one after a long time made it great.

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Review: The Mistress of Spices

Book: The Mistress of Spices by

The Mistress of Spices

Review: Having seen parts of the movie, I was curious to read the book. The book, written in first person, starts off with the protagonist, Tilo, explaining about her life before she became a spice mistress. She goes on about how she was born special, amassed wealth, became a pirate queen, spoke to serpents and then swam to an island to learn to become a spice mistress. Whew!

The major part of the book concentrates on how Tilo, as a spice mistress is supposed to help Indians (yes, only Indians, as at one place it is clearly said that others have their own people to help) wherever she lands. Tilo lands in USA! Surprise! Surprise! The book goes on and on about the problems faced by the Indian community in the US, about the eternal tug of war between your roots and the culture where you currently reside and about Tilo's lust for an American.

A large part of the book focuses on Tilo's 'love' for an American, who she is first attracted to as he is wearing nice clothes! Also, there is a lot of focus on spice mistress rules; thou shall never leave your store, thou shall live like an old woman, thou shall
not get too involved, thou shall never touch another person.. and on and on.. There is no explanation though of why these rules exist.

What I didn't like about the book was - Tilo. She is portrayed as a very very flawed character who is proud, rebellious, a know-it-all and not really a nice person. She tries to rationalize all the times she breaks rules by the 'it's not for me, its for others' logic. The author was probably trying to show that all of us have a dark side, but i think she went a little overboard, making Tilo thoroughly unlikeable. What I also don't understand is the fairytale type thought process, where despite of all her flaws, everyone loves Tilo a lot and forgives her everything! This really does not happen.

All in all a not so great read with its long-winding prose, but others might enjoy the book as it talks about the "exotic Indian culture"

Rating: 1.5/5

Review: Matilda

MatildaMatilda by Roald Dahl

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first Roald Dahl book I have read and I completely regret not reading his books when I was much much younger (Deprived childhood!). While there are some books which you enjoy whatever your age when you are reading them, Matilda, for me, was not one of them. I have seen the movie of course, but reading the book was very different. The movie seems more politically correct.

The story revolves around a super smart, gifted little girl, Matilda, who is stuck with highly unimaginative, almost dumb parents. They don't understand or encourage her in any form. While I understand from an adult's perspective, that children mostly see things as black and white, but Matilda punishing her parents for scolding her seems highly excessive and aggressive! Most of the book revolves around her "punishing/getting back" the unfair headmistress, Ms Trunchbull, or her parents and her love for Ms Honey, the best teacher who not only encourages her but in the end adops her as well.

While, Ms Trunchbull is the worst teacher unimaginable, almost the human version of the wicked witch, is Matilda, the gifted child any better? As adults, such books make it clear to us the evolving of our own thought processes and how we start accepting "greys" in our characters and lives.

Anyways, it is a perfectly delightful book for kids, though I am not happy about the punishing of parents as it goes completely against my Indian heritage, where children are supposed to respect/obey their parents no matter what (atleast till they are teenagers and get too rebellious ;))

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Review: The Untamed Bride

The Untamed Bride (Black Cobra Quartet #1)The Untamed Bride by Stephanie Laurens

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The book is the first in the Black Cobra Series. It has characters from the Cynster and Bastion series coming in. While it was good to read about the stories of the side-characters from other series and follow-up on characters of the older series, the book itself was very O.K.

The story of the Untamed Bride is the same, a group of officers with the East India Company, posted in India are summoned by the Governor to stop the menance of the Black Cobra, a cult which has terrorized the country and the Englishment residing there. The guys figure out in the first few pages itself who is the lynchpin, which obviously is a well-known member of the British Aristrocacy (coz to eliminate an Indian dacoit during the Raj would not merit a series after all). The series revolves around how these four officers plan to bring this guy to justice and find true love on the way (of course! what did you think this was about?).

As I read more books by Stephanie Laurens, I find them increasingly formulaic, even the writing is stale and repetitive. The themes are the same and the books are seeming increasingly verbous. I can safely skip over a few pages every now and then and be assured that I dont miss anything important to the story line. Its almost like the afternoon soaps!
I doubt I will be reading the remaining series.

*Read if you have not got enough of the Bastion or Cynster books.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: Love, Come to Me

Love, Come to MeLove, Come to Me by Lisa Kleypas

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Well, it was uncomplicated. Typical romance written in the 80s and early 90s, when books mainly revolved around the dashing, smart, rich alpha male. There is nothing really special

I really liked it because it took me to a time when I used to gorge on these.. happy and carefree days, when i could read, dream for sometime and move on to the next one :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: See Jane Score (Chinooks Hockey #2)

See Jane Score (Chinooks Hockey Team, #2)See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I started reading this book as soon as I finished Simply Irresistible, the first book in the Chinooks Hockey Team series. I was hoping to find some of the same characters making a reappearance in a more meaty role. However, this book takes you forward a few years, where the two hockey players mentioned in Simply Irresistible have retired. The book has a good hero, but his character is not given much depth. I know that he has good manners and is worried about his injury. But that is it! However, I loved the chemistry between Jane and Luc, and the dialogue was very witty and loads of fun.

One common theme I noticed between both the Hockey series books was that both heroines have low slef esteem. Jane has a self confessed "Napolean Complex" and sabotages her own relationships.

Anyways, all in all, a very easy read, good for a fun few hours.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Year, New Challenges

Well, its 2012! (I know its already been 3 months, but I am going to pretend I wrote this in Jan, so please, indulge me!) 2011 went pretty well in terms of books, I completed almost all the challenges which I took and also tried to keep up with the reviews. One challenge I did not even touch though was the Shakespeare Challenge. This is personally very sad for me as I started off the exciting blogging and reviewing adventure mainly due to this challenge. However, its another year!

I read more than a 100 books last year and most of it was thanks to my e-reader and the vast collection of books available on the net. This year, I very optimistically upped my total books read number to 125 a year, and obviously, my subconsious felt the pressure and immediately made me slow down my reads. Anyways, this year, my focus is the same, to diversify my reading and get in some classics into the mix as well.

Here's to another great year of reading and reviewing!

Review: Simply Irresistible (Chinooks Hockey #1)

Simply Irresistible (Chinooks Hockey Team, #1)Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didnt like it to start of with. I kept feeling like hitting Gorgeanne on the head and shouting at her to get a life! But, things get better, she does get hold of things and turns out to be ok.

Its a classic love at first sight (almost) kind of story. I never get these type of stories but, it has been known to happen :).

My advice, you will be bored for the first few chapters, hate both the characters, but, stick with it, you will not regret it.

I liked the second half so much, i picked up the second book in the series immediately!

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