Book Review: The Corner Office

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Title: The Corner Office

Author: Katerina Baker

Page: 180 pages

Plot: Tara Johnson’s sacrifices are about to pay off: a senior executive at thirty-five at a Fortune 500 company, she’s one of the two finalists in line for a Managing Director position. Unfortunately, her rival of fifteen years, the charming, infuriating Richard Boyd, is just as qualified, and unlike her, he’s willing to cross pretty much every line to get what he wants.

Of all the things Tara stored in the attic to make it to the top, it’s her personal life she misses the most. That is, until she starts a steamy affair with sex god Aidan, her direct report. Interoffice relationships with a subordinate can mean the end of a career, and when Richard finds out, it’s the perfect opportunity to take his high-heeled nemesis out, especially since he’s still nursing a grudge against Tara for rejecting him years ago.

But Tara’s increasingly domineering lover has his own dark secrets, endangering more than just her career. As her liaison spirals out of control, salvation will come from the man she always thought she hated, and perhaps the only one to truly understand

Thoughts:  ‘Corner Office’ is a contemporary romance novel revolving mainly around Tara Johnson, a thirty five year old, ambitious senior executive, running for the position of a Managing Director at a Fortune 500 company. She has given it her all, ignored her personal life and relationships to reach where she is. But she is not the only one aspiring to be the Managing Director. Richard Boyd, a fellow senior executive, a rival of Tara’s since fifteen years is ready to give it all to become the MD. He is a charmer and he pretty much gets whoever, whatever he wants with much ease. The rivalry and the constant bickering between Tara and Richard is quite a lot of fun to read. Tara has always been a rule abider until the day Adian, joins her team and she gets into a steamy affair with him. This is against the office policy and the story picks up from here on.

Tara’s character is much likable from the beginning itself. I like her go getter spirit, the way she is focused yet when it comes to her mother she leaves everything behind and attends to her needs, even the tiniest ones and the way she inspires her fellow women employees at Women’s Network. Richard’s character is the one that you will strongly dislike at the beginning but fall in love with towards the end. Adian’s behavior was a bit ambiguous and hence the course of his actions was not justified well. His character seemed to change drastically in a short time. I really didn’t understand why such a strong person like Tara did not put him in his place sooner. Towards the end I really wanted to know who gets the corner office and how. Hopefully there will be sequel.

The story is narrated from Tara’s point of view. The writing is smooth and apart from the romance, the premise also offers a lot of corporate politics, stalking, blackmailing, etc. I quite liked the book. It was a quick read. I wish the author good luck for her book release and I definitely look forward to reading more books from her.

Ratings: 3.5/5

PS: The book releases on 23rd June, 2017.  I would like to thank the author and the publication for sending me the ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Mary Poser

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Title: Mary Poser: Butterflies and white lies as Bollywood Comes to Nashville

Author: Angel A.

Pages: 478 pages

Plot: The recipe for a warm and humorous story…

In a modest bowl of Nashville, gently place a girl who is Country music, Bible belt, and a Steakhouse foodie.

Then add a surprise portion of exotic and handsome Anglo Indian, who is a passionate Bollywood director, vegetarian and Hindu.

Stir vigorously on a bed of intense attraction.

At first, the ingredients will seem to clash and separate.

Keep stirring…

Include a dollop of jealous boyfriend and a meddling mother.

Splash in a serving of fun and mischievous friends. Keep stirring…

Add a dash of crazy aunt and a minister father to keep the flavors working together.

Sprinkle in even more complicated family members to taste.

Cook on high emotions.

The secret ingredient that cuts through the sweetness is a final layer of shocking revelation that adds a surprising depth of flavor.

Finish with a twist of ‘Oh My God! Is she really going to do that?’.

Serve as tasty bite-size chapters in a novel dish of mayhem and madness with a side of Country music and Bollywood dancing.

Thoughts:  This book had me at the mention of Bollywood. I had to pick it up and find out an American’s perception about it. Mary Poser is plotted in Nashville, also known as the Bible belt.

Mary’s family is a traditional Christan family, making her an ideal daughter even if she has to let go off her dreams. Mary attends a Film Festival with her friends one night and meets this dashing Indian film director, Simha. Both are drawn towards each other and connect instantaneously. Bam! Mary’s conscious reminds her that she cannot fall in love with a non Christian man but her heart says otherwise. And the turmoil begins… With on and off communication and a lot of drama, Mary and Simha try to find their way in and out of this situation.

The plot seemed promising but the writing failed to live up to the mark. The characterization demanded more strength. The religiousness and at times racism came across more strongly than the love story. I couldn’t connect with Mary’s character since it didn’t seem realistic. Her choices in life were appalling and seemed too extreme. I enjoyed Mary’s and Simha’s love story in bits and pieces. The fact that for most of the book Mary was dating another guy she wasn’t in love with, diluted the love story.  What I really liked was Rumi’s quote references made at the beginning of each chapter. I loved the end with the butterflies in it.  To wrap it up, this was a mediocre book with mediocre plot and weak characterization.

Ratings: 2.5/5

PS: – Thanks to author for sending me a copy of this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

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Book Review: Finding the Angel

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Title:  Finding the Angel

Author: Rubina Ramesh

Pages: 139 pages

Plot: All She wanted was love…
Shefali is a die-hard romantic. Having lost her parents at a very tender age, she is in search of a place which she can call home. Her passion for Art lands her a job as an art curator to the famous artifacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. When she meets the scion, Aryan Ranaut, she feels that her dream might come true until…
All He wanted was to trust…
Living the life of a modern day Prince is no easy task for the young and dashing Aryan Ranaut. Having lost his father to a rapacious woman, Aryan has severe trust issues. But upon meeting Shefali, he feels he could let down his guard. Until…
All They need is to find The Angel…
Just as Aryan realizes his love for Shefali, one of the most precious artifacts, The Angel, goes missing from the Ranaut collection. All fingers point towards Shefali—more so because she leaves the palace without telling anyone on the very night of the theft.
Finding the Angel is a story where duty clashes with love and lack of trust overrides passion. Under these circumstances, can The Angel bring the star-crossed lovers together?

Thoughts:  “Finding the Angel” is a novel by Rubina Ramesh, the founding member of The Book Club. And there was no chance that I would miss reading this book.

‘The Angel’ mentioned in the title is a rare artifact that goes missing from the Ranuat Dynasty home and the entire plot revolves around finding it, with a passionate love story between a love stuck art curator and an arrogant prince running parallel. Shefali is an art curator by profession who has lost her parents at an early age. She is a person driven by love. A modern day prince, Aryan Ranuat is a charming, womanizer who is arrogant and has major trust issues due to his father. Both are damaged in their own ways. The flames spark between them from the minute they meet but as fate has it they can’t be together, neither can they be apart.

The passion shared between the leads clearly comes across to the reader. I loved how courageous and bold Shefali’s character was. More than the suspense the love story made an impact on me. The book was correctly paced with no pointless descriptions. It was crisp and to the point. The narration manoeuvred between past and the present. I wouldn’t say that the transition was seamless. It was confusing at few points but after reading a bit more the time of incidence taking place became clear.

I loved the story and I personally think that it would make a great Bollywood movie. Once I started the book, it was very difficult to put it aside. I would recommend this book those on the watch out for a royal love story with a suspense angle to it.

Ratings: 4/5

PS: – Thanks to TBC for sending a copy of the book for an honest review.

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Book Review: A Way Back Into Love

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TitleA Way Back Into Love (Love, #1)

Author:  Veronica Thatcher

Pages: 372 pages

Plot: Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love…well, that makes everything complicated. And when you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned.

Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life gets turned upside-down when she realizes she’s in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home…to the man she left behind?

Thoughts: I picked this book up since I wanted to read something very light and breezy. This book was definitely that. The story revolves around Emily Stevens and Derek Thrope who are best friends since the first day of school. With time their bond blossoms and so does their feelings for each other. But they dread to confess their feelings for each other in order to preserve their friendship. With one drunken night and lots of misunderstandings Emily moves out of town and Derek ends up with Emily’s mean half sister, Emma. But this is all in the past. Emily is back in Frenso for her surgical internship and she has to face Derek again.

The story is quite predictable but is still fun to read it. The plot was based in present with constant flashbacks from the past. A lot of incidences in the hospital reminded me of the series Grey’s Anatomy. But maybe it’s just me.

The narration is from a third person’s perspective throughout the book. I felt that the narration from both Emily’s and Derek’s POV would have added a flavor, making it easy for the reader to sympathize with the duo. For me the highlight was the relationship that Emily and Derek shared. I loved how they rebounded immediately after Emily’s return inspite of so much hurt and history.

This is a love story that clearly states that confessions at the right time are very important and life may not offer second chances to everybody. This is the first book in the series and I will recommend this book to whoever is looking to read a light, quick love story.

Ratings: 3/5

Buy links: Paperback – http://www.amazon.in/Way-Back- Into-Love/dp/1946641170/
eBooks – https://www.amazon.in/dp/B06WRR5FN3

PS: – Thanks to b00k r3vi3w Tours for sending a copy of the book for an honest review.

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Book Review: By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

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Title:  By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

Author:  Paulo Coelho

Pages: 208 pages

Plot: Rarely does adolescent love reach its full potential, but what happens when two young lovers reunite after eleven years? Time has transformed Pilar into a strong and independent woman, while her devoted childhood friend has grown into a handsome and charismatic spiritual leader. She has learned well how to bury her feelings . . . and he has turned to religion as a refuge from his raging inner conflicts.

Now they are together once again, embarking on a journey fraught with difficulties, as long-buried demons of blame and resentment resurface after more than a decade. But in a small village in the French Pyrenees, by the waters of the River Piedra, a most special relationship will be reexamined in the dazzling light of some of life’s biggest questions.

Favorite Quote: “Life takes us by surprise and orders us to move toward the unknown -even when we don’t want to and when we think we don’t need to.”

Thoughts:  By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is a tale of spiritual journey of love, sufferings and relationships. Just like most of the Paulo Coelho books, this book too projects things which have a greater meaning in life.

Pilar our protagonist is an independent woman whose expectations from life are getting a job, marrying having kids and living a normal life. Until she meets her childhood love who is a spiritual leader, who sees the world with a different perspective. He has the power to heal the pain and his destiny is to serve the world.

The narration of the book is very poetic and dreamy; the words pierce right through your soul making it a surreal reading experience. The story is average but the mystical narration makes up for it. I love that God is believed to be a female figure. I did miss out on a lot of Catholic references made in the book since I don’t understand Catholicism much but I could quite connect with the explanation of accepting, loving, surrendering, suffering and losing.

I would recommend this book to all those who are firstly Paulo Coelho fans and secondly interested in a well narrated story.

Ratings: 3.5/5

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Book review: Maybe Someday

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Title:  Maybe Someday

Author:  Colleen Hoover

 Pages: 385 pages

Plot: Contains exclusive content: songs from Griffin Peterson
Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….

Maybe someday…

Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal…

Favorite Quote: “Sometimes in life, we need a few bad days in order to keep the good ones in perspective.”

Thoughts:  Maybe Someday is a refreshing tale of loving, loosing and betrayals. I have become a huge Colleen Hoover fan and with each book I fall more and more in love with her writing. Her characterization is so relatable and well carved that anyone can easily empathize with the protagonists. I specially love the books where the story is being narrated from two different perspectives. I just feel it is easier to understand both the characters well.

This book’s narration switched between Sydney and Ridge’s POV. Sydney is a twenty-four year old music student, with dreams. Her character is very likeable from the beginning. She has very strong morals and I love the way she lives by what she believes in. Ridge is a guy who anyone can fall for easily. He has a big heart and is immensely loyal. I love the way they connect so easily over music and more in spite of all the backlogs they carry. My favorite parts of the book are when Sydney and Ridge are working on music together and their conversations after. Their romance is unordinary, slow build but very intense. My heart went out for both of them every time they had heartache.

The narration is compelling and the story sucked me in, right from the first word. This is one book that will make you want to devour the entire story in one go and make you regret reading it so quickly. I would also like to mention that a special album is curated by Griffin Peterson for all the songs mentioned in the book. I am soon going to download it and I am sure I am going to love them.

I would recommend this book to those looking for an unusually intense tale of love.

Ratings: 4.5/5

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Book Review: Hello, Agnieszka! (Between Two Worlds #2)

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Title:  Hello, Agnieszka! (Between Two Worlds #2)

Author:  E. Journey

 Pages: 275 pages

Plot: A raw tale of early love, rivalry and betrayal.
A passion for music. Her oldest son’s suicide attempt forces Agnieszka to reveal a past she has kept from her children. A young Agnieszka discovers a passion for music upon hearing her grand-aunt Jola, a concert pianist in Poland, give a recital. Jola hones her talent and feeds her dreams of becoming a concert pianist.
Shattered dreams. But real-world problems, thorny relations with a mother tied to her roots and betrayal by lusty Aunt Jola a shatter her dreams.
A 70s love story. Young Agnieszka finds love that renews her hopes for happiness. Sadly, it ends, cut short by forces outside anyone’s control. Sustained by music and memories of her first love, Agnieszka grows and gets a second chance at happiness.

What happens when you have to disclose the past that you were trying to bury to protect your children? Hello, Agnieska the second book in Between Two Worlds series is all about the buried past re-routing itself into the present. In the last book, Hello, My love we see the ups and downs in Elise & Gerg’s relationship. The second book picks up from where we left, but the difference is that the protagonist of this book is Elise’s mother, Agnieska.

Agnieska is forced to reveal her past to her children when her eldest son, Peter tries to commit suicide out of depression and is diagnosed with a genetic disease.   The book takes us through Agniseka’s rough childhood, her tough relationship with her mother. She finds herself drawn to becoming a pianist when she hears her aunt Jola play and playing the piano becomes her only comfort through her rough days.

The story is poignant and churns a lot of emotions in the reader. Agnieska comes across as a very strong character, making her and inspiration for turning around things in life. She is an epitome of strength and determination. The narration is evocative and I loved this book much more than the first one.

This book is a tale about heartbreaks, rough childhood, loving and losing, hitting the rock bottom and learning to rise again.

Rating: 4.5/5

PS: – Thanks to the author for sending a copy of the book for an honest review.

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Book Review: Hello, My Love! (Between Two Worlds #1)

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Title:  Hello, My Love! (Between Two Worlds #1)

Author:  E. Journey

Pages: 330 pages

Plot: A modern-day pastiche of Jane Austen novels. Elise is a bright, beautiful law student, focused on a career and distrustful of men. She butts heads with Greg, an alpha male haunted by past relationships.
Heartache and the specter of revenge. Unable to deny their feelings, they spend a night together. A jilted fiancée exacts revenge and forces them to face who they are and what they really want.
A love tale of this day. A delicious romance with a literary slant and spiced with a twist of whodunit, this escapist fare also takes us into the inner life (thoughts, hopes, and doubts) of the main protagonists as they contend with realities that often face couples in compelling relationships—revenge of a jilted lover, past relationships, abortion, career choices, reactions of friends and relatives.

Hello, My Love is the first book in ‘Between Two Worlds’ series by author E.Journey.  It is a modern day romance novel which progresses to become a whodunit towards the end.Elise and Greg are our main leads. Elise is a 23 year old, quick witted law student, with a mind of her own. Greg is a 32 year old online business billionaire with a reputation of a playboy. Greg is also a client and friend of Elise’s father who frequently visits dinner parties at Harvelson residence.  Greg fell for Elise the moment he laid his eyes upon her. Over the years they develop a friendship and a comfort level. Both of them feel for each other but neither of them admits to it until two days before Greg’s wedding with Lori, a beautiful, seductive gold digger. The story picks up from here on.

The narration is from a third person’s perspective, making it easy for the reader to understand each character with ease. The story is fast paced and narrated over the years. It begins with friendship turned into passion and eventually into love. It is interesting to see the characters grow over the years.

This book is a contemporary modern day romance tale with light mystery, betrayal and a happy ending.

Ratings: 3.5/5

PS: – Thanks to the author for sending a copy of the book for an honest review.

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Book Review: Norwegian Wood

 

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Title:  Norwegian Wood

Author: Haruki Murakami

Pages: 389 pages

Plot: Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

A poignant story of one college student’s romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love.

Favorite Quote: Letters are just pieces of paper, burn them and what stays in your heart will stay; keep them, and what vanishes will vanish.

I had heard a lot about this book and I finally picked it up. Let me start by telling you that this is one of the most melancholic book I have every read in my life. The story is nothing extraordinary infact it is quite predictable. But what really makes it interesting is the writing. It just flows like poetry.

Toru, is the protagonist and the book is narrated from his point of view. He is a sensitive guy who understands people and sees them for who they really are. But he can’t open up about his personal life to anyone. At times I felt he is not ready to accept his problems himself.  Naoko is a beautiful, fragile, depressed girl, who is trying to recover after witnessing suicide of her childhood boyfriend/ best friend and her elder sister.  She has never been normal ever since. Reiko, wise, broken woman who is scared to step out in the outside world and is happy in her world created at the sanatorium. And finally Midori who has seen more hurt than she deserves at her age. She is a survivor, fiercely independent and outspoken.

The ending was left to interpretation. Spoiler Alert: – I would have assumed that Toru committed suicide too and he is reaching out to Midori to rescue him if it was not for the beginning where the story is narrated by him 20 years from that time. I believe in happy endings and I chose to believe that the cycle of action of committing suicide and people reacting to it by being depressed and committing suicide themselves was finally broken.

The best part about the book is that the experiences and the journey of life that we see from Toru’s view. I would recommend this book to whoever is up for an emotionally traumatic read.

Ratings: 3.5/5

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Book Review: The One

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Title:  The One (The Selection #3)

Author: Kiera Cass

Pages: 323 pages

Plot: The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

Favorite Quote: “Leave it to you to find beauty in something others would say ruins a day.”

This is the final (third book) in the Selection trilogy. You can read my reviews for The Selection here and for The Elite here. This book carries on the story right where the previous book ended. ‘The One’ embarks the growth in America’s character. She holds on to her beliefs and values even though she goofs up majorly. No mistakes made by her can overshadow the strength of her character. She shines through the book for the stand she takes. Maxon finally learns to trust. He lets down his guard, opens up like never before and starts sharing his thoughts and feelings. The development of America’s and Maxon’s characters was the highlight for me. Their relationship matures and deepens with passing time, and it becomes evidently visible that they are made for each other.

Rebels had been a part of the plot since the beginning. The earlier two books did mention the rebels, but this book throws a better insight at their purpose. The twist of the rebels makes the book interesting and breaks the monotony of the selection.

The flow of the story is quite unsurprising but as far as the series finale is concerned, I am quite content with the way things turn out in the end. I would defiantly recommend this book to those who have read the first two parts and are contemplating on reading the third one.

Ratings: 3.5/5

PS: I loved the covers of all the books. They were one of the reasons why I choose to read this series in the first place. 😉