Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Kiran Manral - All Aboard

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Kiran Manral serves up this frothy holiday romance with panache.

Rhea has just been jilted at the alter by Samir.  Her fiance bailed out and ran off with a young thing, leaving her heartbroken and tending to the mundane jobs like cancellataions and refunds.

Rhea's aunt,  Rina has also been ditched.  She was to go on a Mediterranean cruise with her friend who fell sick at the last minute.   Rhea was the best choice to fill in the gap.  This is why Rhea and Rina are now on a lovely cruise through the Mediterranean sea.

On the cruise, Rhea barely gets time to cry over her stalled wedding and broken heart.  Rina Maasi has run into an ex-student of hers, Kamal Shahni.  Rhea finds herself torn between indulging in a sinful holiday romance and also trying not do anything too silly on a rebound from Samir.

What can poor Rhea do? Everywhere she turns she runs into the delectable Kamal.  Kamal does not seem too immunie to Rhea's charms either.

This is a typical romance, a light read.  There are plenty of lovely descriptions of the beautiful places that the cruise takes Rhea through.  Also there is a bit of intrigue in the book to spice things up.

The characters are interesting, Rhea, Kamal, Rina, Naina, Sonia, John, are all well etched.  The story does not stray around much and keeps to its path.

It is a perfect holiday/travel/beach/romance read.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Zeenat Mahal - Haveli

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Chandani was abandoned by her father as a baby and brought up by her aristocratic grandmother after her mother's death.  She is confined to indoors, being home schooled.  Most of her time she is being trained in social graces by her grandmother.  She feels stifled by all this.

Luckily there is the handsome widower Kunwar Rohail Khanzada.  She has been in love with him forever and intends to make him hers, by hook or by crook.  Kunwar is completely oblivious to her, but she is sure she can wear down his defences.  She is beautiful and young.

Just then Taimur enters the picture. Chandani hates him instantly.  He is handsome, she admits, but such arrogance!  They spat with each other and he seems intent on putting her down everytime they have an encounter.  To her horror, everyone around them seems to think Taimur is perfect husband material for her.  She flings away the engagement ring with which the Grandmother, that interfering Broad, tries to announce the engagement between Taimur and her.

Her father turns up again from London, trying to ingratiate himself with the family again.  He has in his tow a most delicious man of perfect manners.  He seems interested in setting up a match between his daughter and this man of his choice.

Zeenat is overcome with emotions at the return of her father.  She is not oblivious to the animosity between him and her grandmother. She realizes that she has to choose between the two men who are vying for her affection.  

Haveli is the perfect light romantic read.  It is witty, well-plotted and well-written.  It had a slightly slow first chapter, after which it did not lag at any point.  There is no meandering, no posturing, no pretending to be anything but a good read.



Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Rachel Renee Russell - Dork Diaries: Drama Queen

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Published by Alladin Paperbacks

Nikki Maxwell is a 14-year-old girl not too sure about herself.  She goes to Westchester Country Day, a private school that her Dad provides bug-exterminating services to.  He has arranged for a scholarship for her.  

She is surrounded by children from a privileged background.  Because of this, she feels like an outcast. The most popular girl in school, Mckenzie Hollister usually singles her out for ridicule. 

She has two best friends, Chloe and Zoey.  In their little world together they are happy.  Nikki has a crush on Brandon Roberts.  He is a certified school hottie.  Even Mckenzie has a crush on him. 

Nikki loves writing about her day to day activities in this diary. The references to her teachers and friends are not always complimentary.  Which is why she is devastated when she loses her diary.  Uh Oh! The password to the online advice column that she writes is also in the diary.

This is a calamity of the first order. Will Nikki survive it?  Will she ever get close to Brandon? Will she ever be rid of Mckenzie?

The book is peppered with sweet illustrations and texts.  It is a perfect read if you want to get into the mind of an early teen.