Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review: Killer Moves By Varsha Dixit

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AUTHOR
Varsha Dixit
FORMAT/ GENRE
Kindle Edition / Crime Thriller
ASIN: B07DGKFYBZ
 
 

Now doesn’t this one give you the Goosebumps? Scary!😱
 
 

BLURB

Everyone has a secret. Aisha Khatri has many!

Aisha’s life is seemingly mundane on the surface-she writes for television and takes care of her niece Kiara and her retired father. But when Kiara’s life is threatened during a modeling assignment for the famous Kabir Rana, once a suspect for his wife’s murder, the only way Aisha can save Kiara is by accepting the unique ability she has aggressively resisted all her life.

But Aisha is not the only one with secrets. There are others who have secrets and will kill to keep them. Aisha is determined to protect Kiara even if it means placing herself in the crosshairs of a depraved killer who butchers beautiful girls and leaves them as grotesque displays.

Is Kiara a target of a serial killer or is the killer closer to home-and Aisha’s heart?

Who is Kabir Rana? An elusive and moody fashion photographer burdened with a dark past or a murderer who got away?

How will Aisha save Kiara from a killer who is several steps ahead of an entire city’s police force? When the dead come calling, will Aisha answer?

From the bustling streets of Goa to the beautiful palaces of Sirsa, Killer Moves is a fast-paced, gripping, romantic suspense tale with strong thriller and supernatural elements.
 
 

MY TAKE

Intense, inviting and intriguing, ‘Killer Moves’ has all the ingredients required of a successful crime thriller. The build-up of the suspense surrounding the murder of young women is well planned and has the ability to keep the reader hooked till the end. The guessing game that starts at the start of the book continues till the end and is interspersed with some interesting twists and turns. A sea of emotions find place in the pages of the book, some subtle and others intense and searing. Telepathic communications between the protagonist Aisha and her grandmother’s ‘boyfriend,’ as well as Aisha’s ability to communicate with the spirits, add an element of surprise and interest.

The characters not many, are well developed. While instincts define Aisha who is fiery and strong, rebellion is the hallmark of Kiara. Kabir Rana is an enigma.

Racy and nail- biting, the book is definitely a wonderful and engrossing read that prevents you from keeping it down till you’ve reached ‘THE END’.


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Book Review: Falling In Love With Cupid (A Mytho-fiction Romance Series Book 1)

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AUTHOR: RUBINA RAMESH
FORMAT : KINDLE EDITION
ASIN: B07G6NQD1C

 
 

Though not an ardent fan of romance fiction, I picked up this one. Want to know why? There were two reasons- 1) though a part of a romance series, this one has at its core mythological characters, and I’m partial to the same. 2) It’s from one of my favourite authors. So I had a lot of expectations from this one, and I must admit that Rubina did not disappoint me. In fact I loved every bit of this novel and can’t help wait for the next in the series. That said, here’s my opinion on the book –

The story of Psyche and Cupid though short, wraps within its fold multiple emotions. There is hate, despair, doubt and love. Revenge meant to wreak havoc, ends up in two souls getting entangled. However their path of love is fraught with dangers and difficulties. Will the flame of love burning within them help them overcome the obstacles or will it reduce them to ashes? ………That’s where the suspense lies, and to untangle the mystery you must read the book.

The language, the imagery, and the twists and turns keep you hooked. In fact they draw you into the story, and you can’t help but try step into the shoes of the characters and live their role.

Revenge gone awry is how one can describe ‘Falling in love with Cupid.’
 
 
VERDICT

A light yet intense read one that will ensnare you and not let you stop till you reach the last full-stop.

 
 
To get the blurb go to > Goodreads


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Book Review: Dystopia by Manoj V Jain

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Books!
Spreading light, making lives
Each a lesson leaves behind
But some there are that make you think
Leave a message to take and drink
Digest, absorb and ……….follow.
 
 

 
 

‘Dystopia’ by Manoj V Jain is exactly that. A short read of just 146 pages, this one is an eye-opener. Thought provoking, and one that can leave adults especially those that force their will on their children, feeling guilty, ‘Dystopia’ reveals the damage over protectiveness can have on the young mind. It also reveals how overpowering parents ‘shoo’ away their children from speaking their mind freely. This in turn translates into the child becoming an introvert or hesitating from revealing secrets that are meant only for parents’ ears. At times the child may turn to friends for help. Lack of proper guidance at this stage often spells doom for the child.

The age of dystopia i.e. adolescent years are those when a parent makes or breaks a child for incidentally it is in these years that the child is most fragile and impressionable. Inept handling of their problems can break them, make them cynical and force them to tread a path no parent in their right mind would wish their child to tread.

The story guided by the spirit of Dystopia sees five friends get together after decades. Their talk, their mannerisms, their thoughts all reflect their upbringing and life, and when they talk, discuss and catch up, the spirit of Dystopia rues on their life when they entered his gates, finds reasons and excuses for the flaws in their personality and more often than not, finds the fault hidden in faulty parenting.

 
 

The blurb on Goodreads is just a click away. Want to read it? Click HERE
 
 

Narrated in simple, crisp and lucid language, ‘Dystopia ’once again brings to the fore Author Manoj V Jain’s skill at making a mundane topic truly interesting and engaging. One can’t help but let the brain engage in a debate of sorts while going through the pages, and admire how skillfully the author has his reader engaged in the topic albeit sub consciously.

VERDICT

The book one of the best on parenting, is a must read for all parents especially those with young kids and adolescents.


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Book Review: The Bodyguard by Ruchi Singh

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Format: Kindle Edition
ASIN: B07BD2D9J3

 
 
BLURB

Someone wants Vikramaditya Seth Jr. dead.
He refuses the Z+ security option offered by the government. With too many variables trust is hard to come by…

Esha Sinha prepares for her first assignment outside of active army service, oblivious to the fact that she has to baby-sit a man who has no respect for rules or protocol—a man who is headstrong, workaholic and a tenacious flirt. As the attraction between Vikram and Esha simmers and sizzles, another attempt is made on his life.

The killer is resourceful and determined.
The motive is unclear and perplexing.

Will they be able to nab the assassin before he gets to Vikram?

MY TAKE

A tale of suspense with a twinge of romance, ‘The Bodyguard’ is an example of fine writing, one that has the ability to not only keep the reader hooked but also get involved in trying to sort a mystery, an identity. Cleverly crafted, this is one book you may want to read again after a few days.

Fast paced, the book makes you fall in love with the character of the bodyguard Major Esha Singh a woman of grit and determination who though a lonely soul herself tries to resist the charm of her boss a tenacious flirt.

Written in simple, lucid and crisp language, the story does throw up some surprises in the form of unusual twists. However isn’t that what good thrillers are all about, catching their reader unaware?

Overall a truly enjoyable read with the power to keep you on the edge of your seat, ‘The Bodyguard’ does justice to both the plot and the characters.

WARNING!

Don’t pick it up to read at night. No there’s nothing in there that will scare you out of your wits. It’s just that once you pick it up you may not want to keep it down till you read the last word. Now this could translate into a read deep into the night and being caught sleeping in your work place or over the kitchen counter the next day. 😉 I’m sure you don’t want that. 🙂


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Buy the book @ amazon.in

THE AUTHOR

RUCHI SINGH

View her profile and get a sneak-peak into her writings HERE at Goodreads

BookReview: Into the Great Heart by Kamla K Kapur

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PUBLISHER: Jaico Publishing House
ISBN: 978-93-87944-10-7
FORMATS: Paperback/ Kindle

Buy the book @
Amazon.in (Kindle edition)
Amazon.in (Paperback edition)

 
 

THE BOOK

In a hurry? Then don’t pick up this one.

Why?

This is one book to be relished slowly pondering over each word, each line.

‘Into the Great Heart’ is a lyrical biography that has at its heart Guru Nanak and Guru Angad alias Bhai Lehna. It is as its name suggests, a journey into the heart of one of the greatest Gurus of all times. Narrated mainly in Bhai Buddha’s words, this book the second in the Sikh Saga Series, carries forward the stories of Guru Nanak and his favourite minstrel Bhai Mardana, from the first volume. It also introduces the reader to the second Sikh Guru, Guru Angad and gives us an insight into his personality, love and devotion towards Guru Nanank and the events that unfold before he is declared the successor to Nanakji.

Written in simple, crisp and lucid language like the shabads composed by Guru Nanakji, the book gives us an in-depth insight into his life, thoughts and teachings. Pivotal to this narrative are some forgotten or should I say generally overlooked female luminaries like Mata Sulakhni (Guru Nanak’s wife) , Bebe Nanaki (his sister), Khivi (Bhai Lehna aka Guru Angad’s wife), and Amro. It also brings to light another interesting character in Bhai Mardana’s granddaughter Aziza a spirited girl who driven by a devotion to Baba Nanak and his teachings, yearns to learn all that happen in the Baba’s dera. She yearns for a freedom that is not hers to be thanks to her conservative mother, yet remains determined to live life on her terms without toppling the harmony of either her house nor Society. These female characters play a crucial role in the Guru’s life, his influence on his followers, the tensions he encounters at home and the path of self- reliance he advocates. All-in-all this is one book that transports the reader into a whole new world, a world where spirituality does not call for renunciation, a world where the voice of the woman is not stifled, a world where selfless dedication to mankind triumphs over family.

The book along with imparting some truly meaningful life-lessons also sheds light on some important aspects/ customs of the Sikh community like their spirit of service to humanity, the langars (community kitchen) they conduct, etc. Reading the free flowing shabads of Guru Nanak shared here, and understanding their meaning makes one yearn to know more of the Sikh Guru and his teachings. One can also feel a sense of calm descent upon the mind as one goes through the pages of the book.

The characters are well developed with their virtues and vices finding space within the pages of the book, thus making it easy for the reader to resonate with their emotions, their frustrations, their fears, their joy. The book wraps within it a sea of emotions some subtle and some not so subtle.There are also some heart wrenching moments as well as some joyous ones.

The pace is perfect and the style of narration I must admit, had me hooked. The book is in every aspect engaging, interesting and informative.

VERDICT

A perfect read for those who love to drown in a lyrical read as well as for those going through a tumultuous period in life.

A collector’s delight, this one offers food for thought, and also works as a guide for the soul that’s lost in the wilderness dark.


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Book Review ~ Hounds of Shiva by Preetha Rajah Kannan

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TITLE: The Hounds of Shiva
AUTHOR: Preetha Rajah Kannan
PUBLISHER: Jaico Publishing House
ISBN: 9789387944114

BLURB

As its mahout goaded the mammoth royal elephant to the open space where Navukkarasu was held, the beast trumpeted in fury, knocking down walls and ornamental arches in wanton aggression. The earth shook under its tread and the crowd surged back in fear.

Navukkarasu fearlessly stood his ground asserting, “The Cosmic Dancer who wears a garment of elephant hide will protect me.”

The animal charged forward – only to stop short before the saint. In an instant, all aggression leached out of the beast. As docile as a lamb, the elephant circumambulated Navukkarasu, clumsily fell to its knees, and raised its trunk in homage to him. Lumbering to its feet, it then carefully backed away from its intended victim.

Hounds of Shiva is a treasure house of tales with impassioned, heroic acts of sacrifice, devotion and service in the lives and times of the Nayanmars – the sixty-three Shaivite saints who were exemplars of bhakti. Kannappa gouges out his eye to heal Shiva’s wound; Punitavati renounces her youth and beauty to follow the Lord as an emaciated ghoul; Siruthondar sacrifices his own son at Shiva’s command; Iyarpahai gifts his beloved wife to another man; Samandhar raises a boy from the dead; Poosal builds an intricate Shiva temple in his heart.

But the book’s hero is Lord Shiva, who assumes myriad disguises to sport with his devotees, blessing and testing them. Filled with astounding miracles, Hounds of Shiva is an untold tale of the Blue-throated Lord and a feast for the mind and soul.

MY TAKE

A journey into the lives of some of the greatest Shiva Bhakts, ‘The Hounds of Shiva’ is both interesting and enlightening. The stories 37 in all, introduce us to a bhakti of very high order in simple, crisp and lucid language. The glossary at the end of the book is a ready reckoner of sorts and makes the read easy to comprehend and appreciate.

Short and crisp, the stories move from that of one Nayanmar- Shaivite Saint – to another with ease. While each story gives us an insight into the level of love that that particular Saint has towards Lord Shiva and the extent the said person could go to, to keep his faith in the Lord intact, the penance and sacrifice he / she could undertake to attain salvation at the lotus feet of the Lord, it also enlightens us to the fact that the life of Saints is anything but easy and that nothing can be attained via shortcuts. The road to salvation is tricky and dangerous. It takes its toll in the form of renunciation or extreme suffering. So the life of the blessed one is not exactly something that mere mortals need be jealous of. They suffer; they strive and earn their reward after undertaking a journey arduous without a sigh, and undergoe untold miseries with a smile on the face and the ‘Om Namaha Shivaya’ mantra on the lips.

Though the blurb mentions Shiva as the book’s Hero, I personally felt that the Lord was just an instrument to define and extol the virtues of the Shaivite Saints and that it is they who are the true Heroes. Had it not been for their unwavering faith in the Lord, they would never have undergone the extreme trials and tribulations required of them, with a stoic attitude.

Another thing that struck me was the level of understanding each story brings out, between the family members of each of these Saints. It goes without saying that in a way these Saints were able to heed their calling and follow their heart without an iota of doubt or misgiving, because they had the unstinting support of their family be it their parents or spouse.

TAKEAWAY

Gems of knowledge in the form of snippets nestled in a box within each chapter. These gems can pertain to anything from the significance or history of a particular temple, a text, a special day or even a cult. They are truly ‘delectable’ (read knowledge enhancing).

VERDICT

An easy read, yet one that needs to be read without a hurry in order to imbibe the essence which is true bhakti.


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Book Review ~Sitanshu (Guardians of the Blue Lotus -2) by Anita Shirodkar

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THE BOOK
 


 
 
BLURB
 

As the divine Blue Lotus Indivara sprouts an ominous red petal, its guardians must do everything in their power to protect it and their kingdom. Aryavir and Sitanshu march to the border of Kalipura for a bloody showdown with the Chandraketu King Divyendu. It seems as if the Kamal Akshi Army with its peerless long-haired Kesakuta warriors cannot lose a war, but the wily enemies of Kamalkund have diabolical plans that are not written in any rule book. Thanks to the evil machinations of the Mayakari Queen Tamasi and wily King Kratu, Aryavir and Sitanshu are facing the battle of their lives.

With hidden ancient secrets that are known only to the revered Maheshwari Masters, the mythological Old World is about to be plunged into intrigue and danger its denizens could never have imagined. Powerful kings face mortality, relationships are tested to their breaking point and the Great War of Sompur will bring completely unexpected repercussions.

Written with the classic Indian ethos, Sitanshu, the second part of the Guardians of the Blue Lotus Trilogy, pays homage to India’s magnificent mythological heritage and takes the reader on a journey into the heart of human passions.
 
 

MY TAKE
 

Mesmerizing cover design and an interesting blurb combined with a wonderful prequel that goes by the title ‘Áryavir,’ beckons the mythological fiction buff to pick up ‘Sitanshu’ and I must admit that this one is a notch up compared to its prequel.

Picking up from where Áryavir’ ( Read my review of the book here) ends, ‘Sitanshu’ takes the reader on a ride far different from its prequel. Interesting and captivating there is a lot of action, there are intriguing paranormal sightings and a one of its kind encounter with the mythological Maheshwari Masters. Palace intrigues combined with startling revelations test relationships. Greed gets the better of good sense and love blossoms in unexpected quarters. Amidst all the action we get to know some interesting characters, see the birth of a new star and witness a positive change in equations as far as relationships are concerned. Little Eashwari with her intuitive powers puzzles all who come into contact with her and plays a pivotal role in taking the story forward. As one moves forward along a path ( read) full of twists and turns, one can’t but help admire the author’s skill at keeping her reader/s hooked. Relationships fail, new ones are built. Secrets are revealed, characters as well as readers are taken by surprise. The brave survive, deceit takes a beating. The foundation stone for a new and final part of the trilogy is laid.

The characters, again a huge cast, are well developed. One can actually visualize them and perhaps even live them out as one encounters them. There are some like little Easwari, Eshan and Lakshya who bring a smile to your face, and then others like Tamasi, Kratu, Divyendu, Drisana and Nyka who by their thoughts and actions leave you gritting your teeth. There are people like Queen Mother Chandrabha and Urmasi who leave you confused and wondering and then there are people like Sitanshu and Reva whom you can understand without going too deep into their mind. In short this is one story where you get a glimpse of all shades of human character and all types of human emotions.

Pace is racy, language is simple, crisp and lucid and the style is apt.
 
 

VERDICT

A book that’s sure to keep the reader hooked and guessing.


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Authored by Anita Shirodkar and published by AuthorsUpFront the book is available @ amazon.in

Book Blitz ~ Killer Moves by Varsha Dixit

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Killer Moves
by
Varsha Dixit



Blurb
Everyone has a secret. Aisha Khatri has many! 


Aisha’s life is seemingly mundane on the surface-she writes for television and takes care of her niece Kiara and her retired father. But when Kiara’s life is threatened during a modeling assignment for the famous Kabir Rana, once a suspect for his wife’s murder, the only way Aisha can save Kiara is by accepting the unique ability she has aggressively resisted all her life. 


But Aisha is not the only one with secrets. There are others who have secrets and will kill to keep them. Aisha is determined to protect Kiara even if it means placing herself in the crosshairs of a depraved killer who butchers beautiful girls and leaves them as grotesque displays. 


Is Kiara a target of a serial killer or is the killer closer to home-and Aisha’s heart? 


Who is Kabir Rana? An elusive and moody fashion photographer burdened with a dark past or a murderer who got away? 


How will Aisha save Kiara from a killer who is several steps ahead of an entire city’s police force? When the dead come calling, will Aisha answer? 


From the bustling streets of Goa to the beautiful palaces of Sirsa, Killer Moves is a fast-paced, gripping, romantic suspense tale with strong thriller and supernatural elements. 

Grab your copy @


About the author


Varsha Dixit, the best selling author of six successful contemporary romance books. Her debut book, Right Fit Wrong Shoe was a national bestseller for the year 2010. Varsha was a part of the Indian Television Industry and worked as an assistant director and online editor. She considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman.Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.
You can stalk her @

                  

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Book Review: MATSYA: The First Avatar (DASHAVATAR Book 1)

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TITLE: MATSYA: The First Avatar (DASHAVATAR Book 1)
AUTHOR: Sundari Venkataraman
PUBLISHER: Flaming Sun (Indie published)
GENRE: Mythological Fiction (Children’s Literature)
ASIN: B07BDN1Q87
FORMAT: Kindle Edition
 
 

 
 

BLURB
 

Lord Brahma is highly disturbed when the four vedas are stolen from him the moment he goes to sleep at the end of the kalpa. It’s Asura Hayagriva who’s gotten away with the sacred scriptures.

Lord Vishnu offers to go to the creator’s rescue and takes the guise of Matsya, the fish.

King Satyavrath lands up with a tiny gold fish when he’s offering prayers to the Sun God one morning. Is the fish all that it appears to be?

How can Satyavrath help the fish?

Read more to find out the reason for Lord Vishnu taking the avatar on earth as Matsya.
 
 

MY TAKE
 
 

Retold in simple, crisp language, this one on the first avatar of Mahavishnu, has all the elements required to make a read enjoyable, engaging and informative. Apart from putting across the reason for the birth of the Matsyavtar, the book also delves into the intricacies associated with the various yugas, the cycle of birth; apocalypse and extinction of life on earth every thousands of years and the emergence of a new dawn. It offers hope of destruction of evil forces and sends out a strong message that eventually good prevails.

The pace is perfect and the style does justice to the story. I loved the way the author has portrayed the growth of a small fish into one of monstrous proportion, and the final revelation of its true form towards the end. It’s sure to awe and garner interest among the little ones. And before I give my verdict I must add that the opening scene of Brahma being dead tired and yearning for a ‘short’ nap as well as Asura Hayagriva waiting to pounce on that unknown something that could possibly fall off from Devaloka ( Read ‘Brahma’) made me truly curious. I could not but help live Hayagriva’s anxiety. The Author does have a way of riveting you to your seat till you finish her book.

This one though a short read of just 38 pages, speaks volumes of the research that has gone into its creation.

 
 
VERDICT
 
 
A riveting one narrating a mythological story in a language and style that’s sure to hook readers both young and old alike, I’m giving this one a 👌 5.
 
 


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BOOK REVIEW: TRUST ME NOT

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TITLE: Trust Me Not
AUTHOR: Ankita Verma Datta
PUBLISHER: Jaico Publishing House
GENRE: Fiction ( Socio-Political Thriller)
ISBN: 9789386348944)
 
 

THE BOOK
 
 

 
 
BLURB
 
 
Rising corporate star Reeva Rai is offered a prestigious position in a top-notch PR agency. It is the opportunity of a lifetime. But working with Enigmatic Billionaire Kunaal Kabi was not going to be easy. Even as she develops feelings for him, she is determined to prove herself.

But when an activist friend turns to her for help with a real-estate scam, Reeva has to make a high-stakes choice. Can she retain the credibility of her prominent clients while helping hundreds save their homes? As she digs deeper to find solutions, a nefarious scheme unravels with unexpected connections. A no-holds-barred race ensues, blood is drawn and Reeva is trapped in the eye of a political thunderstorm. If she succeeds, powerful people will have much to answer.
 
 
MY TAKE
 
 
Intricate, engaging and cleverly crafted, ‘Trust Me Not’ has the power to keep the reader guessing till the end. Though a Socio- Political piece of fiction, the book does throw up a few relevant questions and nudges the reader to think. It brings out the grey side of the human character well, and at the same time gives us a hint of a blooming romance, one that is not smooth as a fresh jar of skippy. Sinister plans, shady deals and their execution are narrated with a finesse that makes one look forward to see the resultant impact with the eagerness of a kid curious to know whether the radio hides within its cabinet people whose voices are heard on tuning a station.

The twists, the turns and the climax lay bare the battles, the intricacies, and the agenda of the triumvirate made up of the political, the corporate and the media world. The complexities of relationships built and those ruined are brought out well.

The author has done a fine job as far as characterization is concerned. All the characters right from the protagonist to those that make just a passing appearance in the story, are well developed helping the reader easily relate to them, their style, mannerisms and thought process. This in turn translates to a feeling akin to direct involvement in the story, which I believe is essential for the same to be a resounding success.

Language plays an instrumental role in the success of a narrative. It is that conveyance which reaches a story/ plot to its destination the reader. If the conveyance sputters, it is bound to fail before it reaches the destination, even if it does reach, it will have offended/ put off its occupants by the harrowing experience. But, I’m glad the conveyance here was well-oiled, smooth and comfortable, offering a joyous ride (read).

The pace gave no room for the escape of a yawn, or the wish to stretch and shriek. It was perfect.

So what is that one thing/ things if any, that did not work for me?

Answer – A love triangle.

I felt it could be done away with. It was like that sixth finger that serves no purpose yet sticks out as odd.
 
 
VERDICT
 
 
A truly enjoyable read, one that’s sure to keep the reader hooked from the first word till the very end.
 
 


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I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Buy the book @ amazon.in