Tag Archives: romance

To Date Or Not To Date

There was a blog by Rosemarie Urquico on “Date a girl who reads” that created ripples. That was a response to Charles Warnke’s “You should date an illiterate girl”.

 

Since I was almost facing a “writer’s block” and couldn’t think of a blog idea, I thought, why not jot points for people who wish to date. So we can take a look at pros and cons of dating people who are well read, vs. others who disregard books.

Let’s begin with the cons. (No, I’m not a pessimist. I just want the negative out of the way.)
•    A person who loves to read and write would know just too well when you are lying.

•    They would be your grammar police when you least expect them to be.

•    They would be more crazier than you –speaking like Shakespeare, imagining likeRowling, reciting like Keats, talking about Gainman and what have you!

•    They will be master storytellers telling you off. They would have their expectations running high –thanks to all romantic/mystery novels they would’ve gulped by now.

•    They would be gaining more limelight, than you, amongst your peers. And sometimes more weight, sitting around with books as their sole companions.

•    They might, sometimes, be too engrossed in a book to pay attention to you. And sometimes they might end up paying more attention to details than expected.

•    They might lose their cool and snap at you, just because the protagonist behaved like an ……..
And now for the pros:

•    Cost

One of the most important of all factors. (Yes, let’s be practical.) Dating a person who reads implies an inexpensive affair. Books nowadays do cost a lot. Unless they are from some of the Indian publishers who save on the paper quality and offer books for like a mere Rs. 100!
Getting him/her a library card would go easy on your mind and pocket. And also relieve you of thinking, “What should I gift him/her now!?”
Dating a person who does not read implies there is greater cost involved. Imagine the kind of shopping some people indulge in – guys and their electronic gadgets; and girls with their (bare) clothing. Oh this is much more expensive!!!

 

•    Conversation abilities

Hands down I think a well read person can engage you in intellectual conversation, over a person who absolutely scorns books and newspapers. A well read person adds value to your knowledge bank. He/she can help you spin fantastic stories, and dwell in a world of goblins and fairies when you need some cheering.

•    Personality
A person who reads would be wise. (Let’s just say so for conversation sake.) He/she would be more composed and mannered than a person who doesn’t. He/she will understand that failure doesn’t mean the end of the world. A sequel can be written and life will move on. Success will follow. After all, you are the lead of your life story.

•    World of fantasy
There can be so much to talk about, so much to imagine, so much to fantasize about, with a person who reads, (and reads good stuff) over a person who can’t even make decent stories to save his/her life.

•    Priorities
Well…at times his/her books would gain priority over you. But it’s better than indulging in mindless banter with a person who knows not much. True you will be given all the attention and pampering by a person who doesn’t care much for books, but is that of any value when there is no growth, individually or together. If you crave for intellectual challenges, be prepared to not indulge in any with the person who cares not for the written word.

•     Simple living. High thinking.
Apart from the fact that this is Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, it is quite relevant in life. The person gobbles up words like a hungry reader is sure to find pleasures in simple things in life. A flower, the rainbow, the first drop of rain, a butterfly, a coloring book, colors, stationary, anything that brings in a smile instantly without any effort. He/she would inspire you more than life itself, someday!

 

•    Life

Life will no longer be bland with a person who reads. Imagine adventures, treasure hunts, fantasy world stories. You might end up having weird (in a nice way) kids with weirder tastes and observation powers. Growing old with that person would be so much easier and fun. It’s true when they say, marry a person who you can talk to, because when you are old, it’s only good conversations that keep you going. He/she would recite KeatsWordsworthShakespeare,WhitmanWilde with much ease when you wish to hear a few words of love.

•    Other factors
It’s better to have you partner check out books than check out other people when with you. And who doesn’t make mistakes? We all are human after all. At least you can expect a well-worded apology in case you partner goofs up at some place.

All the places that you cannot afford to visit can be imagined and improvised in the company of a partner who utilizes his/her creative abilities to the hilt. He/she will lend you a listening ear. Always. Because, he/she knows how to give someone their undivided concentration.

He/she would know when to get serious and when not. He/she would appreciate your passion just like their’s.

So you see…there are too many pros of dating a well-read person. So go ahead, find yourself a…

good book and begin reading. NOW!

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Book Review of “OOPS! I fell in love! just by chance…” By Harsh Snehanshu

OOPS! ‘I fell in love! just by chance…

By Harsh Snehanshu

Well with almost every other student (from an engineering college, MBA college, or just about any college) writing a book/novel, it becomes very difficult for readers to make a wise choice. Reading, after all, isn’t like surfing the idiot box. Bad books leave a very bad after taste, in the brain.

Thankfully so, Harsh Snehanshu’s debut novel – Oops I fell in love – just by chance saved me the misery of shunning the work of “young Indian writers” yet again.

The book is more of a love story. A cute one.

A young chap from Indore, Kanav Bajaj gets admission at IIT Delhi to pursue engineering. A geek in some ways, his heart skips a beat when he first comes across Tanya, a gorgeous and smart Delhi girl. Opposites attract. And how!!!

How his life changes after falling in ‘love’ with this LSR girl is really cute and readable. (Wow! I’ve said “cute” twice already!! So unlike me.)

The story is quite humorous and the writing quite fresh.

The characters of Aryan, Anuj, Sameer, Tanya and of course Kanav are very diverse and unique. Readers will surely be able to connect with the protagonists and the situations. The use of local jargon, the mentions of technology and social media platforms makes this a very relatable read. Things that happen on campus can never be forgotten. From rising peer pressures to emotions to parental concerns to misunderstandings, the book captures it all beautifully.

It is a very simple tale of new/first love and things connected with it. But the writing style makes it quite entertaining and enjoyable.

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Book Review of “Shadow of Your Smile” By Mary Higgins Clark

The Shadow of Your Smile

By Mary Higgins Clark

A well crafted novel by Mary Higgins Clark. But I don’t really know whether it is “bestseller” material.
I found it pretty mediocre.

Seems like the author has a fixed formula or a style of portraying her characters.

The story is about an independent young pediatrician Monica Farrell, her entitlement to a fortune she isn’t aware of, her links to a nun, the murder of a relative, some unscrupulous businessmen, greedy relatives, star crossed lovers, a detective, a bit of flying romance with an overall conservative setting – averaging to a typical thriller set in its own pace. 

And it’s weird how the title has no relevance to the plot!

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Book Review of “THE OTHER SIDE OF 30″ by R. Y. Swint

THE OTHER SIDE OF 30

- R. Y. Swint

This is one fine read. It is the story of a certain Sebrina Cooper whose life is a bit of a mess after having broken up with her boyfriend – A U.S. Marine Corps recruiter, Curtis. While Curtis moves on in life, Sebrina feels at a loss.

She’s a single lady, on the other side of 30, with an army career and she’s been a good girl all this while. playing by the rules, doing what is “right”. But things aren’t looking any brighter any more, and thus she decides to take things in her hands and regain control of her life. And now that she is willing to take second chances, she’s ready to risk it all.

She decides to treat herself on her birthday. She walks in to a mall to be greeted by Andra-Lyn, a makeup artist at the MAC counter. A quick-makeover and Sebrina looks like a star.

The two become friends, meet regularly, hang out and share their stories. However, one of these friends has not been very truthful and her secret, if revealed, will destroy their friendship.

Also, Curtis runs into her again at the Military Entrance Processing Station and is overwhelmed with her beauty. Curtis sees an opportunity to have her back in his life, but he has one problem, his fiancé. What route Curtis and Sebrina opt for is for you to find out.

You do feel connected with the characters and the emotions portrayed. You might even hate Sebrina at a certain point in the book. It’s a female’s pov all throughout. And a different one at that.

This book makes you look beyond “right” and “wrong”. Sometimes what we think is “right” may not be so. And we would never know what we end up deciding until we are in a particular situation. Getting judgmental about others is not a wise thing to do. And the book intends to promote that thought.

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Book Review of “Three Fates” By Nora Roberts

Three Fates

By Nora Roberts

 

I’d have to say that this is amongst the finest suspense-thriller-romance-humor work of Nora Roberts. Not to forget “girl power”.

The story highlights the life and adventures of the female heroines (of course) in quest of bringing back their family heirloom.

When Lusitania was sinking, after being attacked by a German torpedo, a small time thief – Felix Greenfield was stealing one of the Three Fates statues from the cabin of a certain Henry W. Wyley.

(The Fates were a triad, “each with a specific task. Clotho, who spins the thread of life, Lachesis, who measures it, and Atropus, who cuts that thread and ends it. None could function alone. A thread might be spun, but endlessly and without purpose or its natural course. [For] without the spinning, there’s nothing to measure, nothing to cut…three parts…one purpose.”)

When Felix realizes he is in danger of going down with the town, he pockets his loot and escapes. On being rescued, he settles in Ireland; raises a family; and mends his way to become a better man.

Now Felix’s descendants, the three siblings – Malachi, Gideon, and Rebecca Sullivan possess the heirloom. They decide to acquire the other two statues to complete the triad before selling the Three Fates for a good fortune. But as fate has it, Anita Waye, a black widow, seduces Malachi – sleeps with him and runs away with the statue.

The Sullivans wow to get it back and so begins their quest. Traveling from Ireland to Helsinki, Prague, and New York they meet many a people, some who help them – while some who pledge to do anything to obtain the Three Fates, esp. the greedy, scheming Anita.

The trio sticks together to avoid getting killed before they can accomplish their mission. But how they do it and what all they undergo is what you have to read.

Fans of Nora Roberts are sure to love this fast-paced adventurous romantic thriller.

The characters have been etched to perfection and the plot is gripping. The dialogues are lively and memorable. You might feel the whole talk about fate and free will is stretched a bit too much but I feel it is readable.

This tale of luck, love, fate, suspense, legend, destiny, and a whole gamut of thrill is sure to impress you. This one is a winner all the way!

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Book Review of “At First Sight” By Nicholas Sparks

At First Sight

By Nicholas Sparks

 

This is a sequel of Sparks’ earlier book – True Believer, which introduced to us the lovely pair – Lexie Darnell of Boone Creek, NC and Jeremy Marsh of New York City. But if you’ve not read True Believer, don’t stop. Give this a read. The first few pages do summarize the previous book pretty well. The readers get to know about the happenings of the last five years in the life of Jeremy Marsh and Lexie Darnell.

Jeremy is a freelance writer who takes it on him to expose forgeries and scams. He initially came to NC to investigate mysterious lights in a graveyard in Boone Creek. He visited the local library for his research which is where he met Lexie (the librarian). And of course, they fell in love.

After a whirlwind courtship, one night of sexual bliss and Lexie’s revelation a bit later that she is pregnant, Jeremy proposes marriage. And his life changes from that day forward.

This book begins with Jeremy moving to Boone to be with Lexie (his fiancé now).

Lexie has inhibitions of letting Jeremy stay with her before marriage, thanks to the gossip-mongers around who create unnecessary trouble and interference in their lives. They undergo the whole gamut of finding, buying, and renovating a new house; planning the wedding; having a baby.

He faces a writer’s block –and is unable to meet deadlines from his editor on a column and feature stories. Lexie is more engrossed with the wedding and the baby.
Jeremy thinks he is not yet ready to be a parent. He shows a lot of doubt and is skeptic about his capabilities as a father. The emotions and feelings Jeremy undergoes are brilliantly composed by the author.

Soon the newlyweds face the hardships of being in a relation. They even hit a road block in their relationship where communication is almost lost. Life changes drastically. Jeremy’s career is hanging by a thread, so is his life, he feels. Amidst the entire trauma that they both endure, Lexie still stands by him as a constant support.

The couple understands and realizes the joys and pains of being in a relationship. They have a lot of issues to resolve before they can move on. Do they do it? Pick up the book to find out. All I can say is that you will surely be surprised at the end of it.

 

It is a bit clichéd in certain ways. Falling in love at first sight; undergoing the emotions of a relationship; coming out stronger; supporting your partner when it is most needed; etc. but none-the-less, it is a story well told. The setting and the characters are interesting and “they touch the cords of your heart”. Portraying human emotions (love, betrayal, tragedy, new beginnings) brilliantly, Sparks has cast his magic once again.

 

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Book Review of “Bad Moon Rising” By Sherrilyn Kenyon

Bad Moon Rising

By Sherrilyn Kenyon

 

Bad Moon Rising, the seventeenth book in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s phenomenally popular Dark Hunter paranormal romance series, seems like a bit of a disappointment penned by an ace writer like Sherrilyn Kenyon. Her earlier books had a mystic sense of anticipation which now seems to have completely fizzled out.

Her earlier books were full of intense passion, twists in mythology, heavy on lust, heroic deeds. This one lacks intensity and depth. No new developments, neither an interesting plot. And no intense romance as expected. Also the timeline is a bit vague.

A major section of the book is a rehash of the past, now seen in a different light and with a different view point.

The main focus being – Fang Kattalakis (were-wolf) is in love with Aimee (were-bear) and they are willing to fight the world to be together. The problem is that they belong to different rival clans. Their efforts to unite are touching – brining in some drama, action and romance.

And someone out there is setting up Fang for multiple murders. Then there is Thorn and the hell-chasers. Quite a bit of unrelated and random events all forced into a story. Fang with his secrets and Aimee with hers bring a certain flavor but not really up to the mark. Even the climax is a bit rushed into.

 

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Book Review of “Eleven On Top” By Janet Evanovich

Eleven On Top

By Janet Evanovich

 

Another hilarious madcap adventure of Stephanie Plum that is absolutely entertaining, snappy and engaging.

Given Stephanie’s job as a bounty hunter, she feels she has been through a “hell-lot” – of course who could stand being spat on, cursed, shot, stalked, fire-bombed, chased/attacked by dogs, and even rolled in garbage for long? So Stephanie tries her hand at other “normal” jobs- like working in a button factory; at the dry cleaners; even at a fast food restaurant – only to be fired before the end of her first day on the job. Surprised? Not me! I knew she was capable of inexplicable feats!

Ranger offers her a position in his office Rangeman but cannot stop her stalker who seems to have risen from his grave to make place for Stephanie in there. She keeps receiving threat notes while her cars keep exploding and people keep getting injured.

Did I mention that Steph is living with her “on-n-off” boyfriend Joe Morelli? Yeah, they are together in this one – along with her flirty way with Ranger. So the love triangle lives.

But the real danger seems to trace Stephanie anywhere anyhow, every time.

Ranger, Joe and Steph are also on the look-out for four Trenton men who have disappeared with their cars on the same day. The mystery is taut and gripping. It will keep you guessing till the end.

Talking about the rich cast – Ranger is his usual self – the hot, bad boy. Joe, the hot cop, seems to be the quieter one in this book. It feels like Steph is taking advantage of both the men while they willingly let her do so.

Steph’s previous job as a bounty hunter is now taken over by Lula (her best friend, an ex-hooker) who seems to be keeping Steph busy with her worries.

Also, Steph’s sister Valerie is about to walk down the aisle and Steph is expected to be dressed in a weird vegetable dress and play the cello – an instrument she claims to know how to play (without having seen one in her life!) Steph decides to go on a sugar detox turning into a sex-hungry maniac somewhere in the middle. And you thought this one couldn’t get any hilarious!

Oh, and Grandma Mazur (the eighty year old teenager) and her fight with Grandma Bella end up having a fight in the funeral parlor (of course!)

Janet Evanovich does churn up hilarious mystery novels and “Eleven on Top” is no less. The laughter just doesn’t stop at any point. The plot is full of twists and turns and exploding cars and criminals on the rise and flirtatious moves and silly fights. There are some instances that look lifted from the previous ten books but none-the-less it is worth a read.

 

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Book Review of “Sundays At Tiffany’s” By James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Sundays At Tiffany’s

By James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

 

What happens when an ace detective-based-thriller/murder mystery writer teams up with an author who writes for children? A mediocre novella that looks, feels and reads like a love story with very typical characters and plots.

James Patterson fans who love Alex Cross might be a bit disappointed with this one.

The story is about Jane Margaux, a lonely little eight-year-old girl and her imaginary friend Michael. Jane’s mother Vivienne is a successful Broadway Theatre producer with time only for her production and social gatherings. Jane’s father is busy vacationing with his new wife and only visits Jane to bring in more disappointment. Given this setting, who wouldn’t have an imaginary friend to be by their side through thick and thin?

Michael is about 30 years old, witty, funny and handsome and Jane’s only support.

But he bids her a sad adieu on her ninth birthday with a thought that she would forget him.

Twenty three years down the line, Jane is seen as a successful producer about to turn one of her musicals into a movie. The play (Thank Heaven) is dedicated to her imaginary friend Michael.

Vivienne, the controlling mom, tries to dictate terms for the movie and Jane’s handsome actor boyfriend Hugh McGrath is using her to grab the lead role. When Jane denies him the part, her forever messy life is further distraught.

She wishes to have Michael back in her life, desperately! She visits one of her favorite childhood haunts in New York City only to see a man resemble Michael. But he disappears as quickly. Was it her imagination or is Michael for real?

Sunday At Tiffany’s is a fast fluff read, not remarkable. Yes, relatable in some instances but highly stereotypical in some. It is a bit of cheesy romantic novel with a nice twist in the end.

I felt that the authors could’ve worked a bit more on the detailing though.

Jane (as a kid and an adult) is likeable, so is Michael. Jane’s insecurities and self-discovery have been well etched.

This book somewhat reminded me of The Velveteen Rabbit, where the boy’s love makes the rabbit real. Charbonnet’s fantasy and Patterson’s mystery prowess unite for some light entertainment.

 

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Book Review of “Skin Trade” By Laurell K. Hamilton

Skin Trade

By Laurell K. Hamilton

 

Hamilton delivers paranormal romance thrillers exceedingly well.

The book kicks off on a fantastic note and lures you into reading it till the very end without any breaks. The story takes Anita to Vegas in the quest of the vampire serial killer, Vittorio. Edward makes a cameo along with Bernardo and Olaf. But sadly, not much of the sensuous Jean-Claude and Jason to munch on. And there is a new beau in Anita’s life by the end of the novel.

Anita is seen doing her Federal Marshal job and investigating a crime scene. There is no “over-the-top” stress on emotional bonds or relationships in this one. It is a fine balance between Anita’s professional front and her personal life.

Anita always wants to do the right thing. Her vampiric strength, unexplainable psychic powers, her strength and her strong shield that can control at least five different breeds of were, her power to feed off people’s anger/arousal, her fascination for weapons and fictional laws about vampire crimes are all enthralling. Hamilton delivers optimum substance in this one for sure, injecting fantasy to the otherwise mundane lives of the characters with ample of twists.

But there are some discrepancies – what happened to Paula Chu, the first suspect? Also, the new powers given to Anita by Belle Morte are not revealed.

All said and done, the central idea of the novel (absolute power corrupts completely) is delivered effortlessly by the author leading her readers to think about the consequences of gaining extreme powers and its aftermath on life.

 

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