Book Review: The Story Of Us by Dani Atkins

Imagine This: Scrap that. How on earth could you imagine this?

Imagine reconciling with your childhood sweetheart and reigniting your relationship after London broke you two apart. Now you two are heading for marriage. Marriage your whole town has labelled perfect, marriage your best friends are willing to be bridesmaids without resentment, marriage your mother stolen by dementia and your dad quitting his job to take care of her approves of.

Then on your hen night, everything is robbed from you. Almost.

The accident hits you hard, you almost died but for a dashing American text-book hero-kind who pulled you out of the car seconds before it lit up the night sky in flames. Though you died internally after surviving only to discover tragedy has already befallen.

Now days to your wedding, the fine American gentleman that saved your life can’t get out of your mind and can’t stop stopping by your workplace to find out how you are faring. Of course you love your boyfriend. Very much. But is your heart telling you what your head isn’t: Bang the American, Bang The American, Bang The American?

Or perhaps, you are just mistaking, you think, as you cast your gaze down on your wedding ring, then look away into the skies in reminiscence of the tragic almost-near-death experience that binds you to this American.

It’s your heart doing all the talking not your head. But clearly, happily-ever-after never existed with the princess being ridden into the sun by two gallants. Make a decision. It’s barely seventy-two hours to your wedding.

Emma’s dilemma summed up for your delight.

I liked this book.

A wonderful story-line. I wanted to rip it open the moment I read the blurb. And I did. My reactions: OMG (at the beginning), Hell (in the middle), Ohh (during the end). So Girl gets accident and decides which man she has to spend the rest of her life with: her fiancĂ© or her knight in shining armour. It’s even a hard decision considering the time she’s taken to know both men. Trust me, if you were in her position, you’d have just wanted to blow up in that car. A star to the story-line.── ★

The premise of this book was lovely––is lovely. I just love how Dani Atkins paints out the whole accident, so vivid the reader is just at the edge of their seat right at the start of the book. Who wouldn’t want that in a book? I hardly comment on the premise of a book. So you should know is really worth it (considering how I always don’t go on and on in my reviews. Ha!). A star to the premise.── ★★

You would love the main characters of this tale. From Emma, the lovely main character who you would all sympathize with and just worry why one earth she’d have to endure such a terrible accident, a terrible loss, and decide which man she wants to spend the rest of her life with (too!). As if she hasn’t had enough of her plate. You would also love Richard, the childhood sweetheart who just won’t bugger off. And Jack, the fine American gentleman who’s always ‘right behind’ our heroine in case she falls on her butt, sitting on a sharp rock, and gets an awful bruise (Really, there were other worst situations in the book, I just didn’t want to get away without bringing this up). A star to these characters.── ★★★

The presentation of this work, was… off the chart! Who would have known the title was so chosen appropriately as you read lots of books that have titles you just go with. Dani Atkins’ blend of the present and the past in this title had a unifying union (really, the tautology is allowed) effect to the plot that yoked all the missing pieces in a beautiful ending that could rival the ending of lots of romantic-comedies. A star to presentation and the beautiful ending.── ★★★★

I loved this book. But, I wish I ‘loved, loved’ it. I wish there were lots of complications and I wish the supporting characters were fleshed enough to win my hearts too––they were good, but could have been best.

So my rating: I wanted to plaster on this book the four-star stamp. But for such a beautiful ending which gave me lots of gasps and hangovers even hours after closing it, I’d give it the four-point-five star stamp (4.5/5).

Dani Atkins’ amazing latest is available on Amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a book that is this moving for their Christmas. Anyone who wants a book leaving them with warmth even after days of reading it this wintry season, should get this.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.


Book Review: The Summer Without You by Karen Swan

Imagine This: A pause. That’s all it takes to bring your eleven year fruitful relationship with your super-hot adrenalin junky boyfriend to a halt.

His reason?

He needs to put some distance between you two so you could fall in love all over again and move from the routine both of your lives have become.
But should it be so?

Aren’t you having the best time of your life with him? For crying out loud, you guys were supposed to get engaged then married the next month. This can’t be happening, you keep telling yourself. But he leaves for the airport. And you are left with no option than to go shoot a friend’s wedding in New York.

Things don’t happen as you think it would. You end up in the Hamptons, being heartsick from loneliness sharing a ginormous property with roommates who to be frank, if you still had your entire sense intact you wouldn’t have decided to crush with for half a year.

This pause is putting a strain on what’s left of you and your boyfriend. You can’t get a hold of him when you call because he says so. He’s out there, hiking all over Asia, spending time in monasteries, being hot, shaving his hair bald, and growing a goatee… when all you do is to mop around wearing his clothes everywhere (in replace of a swimsuit!!).

Of course you too can have fun like he is doing, doesn’t matter how reserved you are. You can have the time of your life this summer and leave your ol’ uptight British self where it doesn’t belong in the Hamptons and paaartaaay(!!) as well as work.

But what with your roommate having problems of their own? What with neighbours being electrocuted and boyfriends being clubbed to death? What with the fear of Sandy rearing its head across shores again and the staunch campaign of preventive measures you are a part of? What with the hot thirtyish guy you can’t get out of your mind because… you might be attracted to him, or possibly, frightened of him?

Rowena Tipton’s life summed up for your delight.

OK. So maybe summer is over, to hell with summer reads! Who wants to be in the Hamptons at this time of the year anyway with the northeasterners approaching shores? But you can’t let 2014 pass away without reading this book! Chances are Karen Swan would release a new, kicking Summer read 2015 and you’d regret you didn’t get a hold of this!

I enjoyed the storyline. Girl hauls over to the Hamptons leaving London for the summer since her boyfriend pressed the pause button on their relationship, Girl decides she’d have the time of her life without him and make the most of this summer like he is doing, cue in roommates with complicated lives, women who fart and blow their noses all over their faces in yoga poses, neighbours who litter seashores and a new chin-length haircut (the first time in her life!). 
You have the bomb in your lap, flip pages cautiously. Fab storyline.── ★

Rowena Tipton is a must-read character. Too much soul you’d love to befriend a Brit (who has cleaner teeth albeit). Sweet, beautiful and well-developed. You would love her for her penchant to take on the problems of others and help them go through it all. You would love her for sucking at every selfie photo (like every other normal person out there). Oh, her curiosity gives this book the suspense it has. And sometimes, you would just love her for her need to show her boyfriend the dress she wore a night before through Skype cam when someone is being clubbed to death below her window.── ★★

The other characters were also, hmm, ah-mazing!!! There’s Bobbi, the loud, professionally ambitious roommate who always, always wants a selfie moment and is always dragging our lead to a glamorous event! There’s Humphrey, who dropped medicine for waiting at events and shagging every other girl, every other night (no talent wasted there). There’s Greg, the workaholic roommate who’s having a traitorous affair this summer. You would also love Florence, the Town leader of some sorts, spearheading the seed bombing campaign. Melodie, the yoga instructor loved for her melodiously soothing voice and her high flexibility to stay in complex yoga poses for minutes. There’s also Ted, the dark, hot thirtyish guy who won’t stop staring at our lead. Matt, the jackass boyfriend who would leave his girlfriend on her own the whole of summer (because people cannot really cheat in four months… except Rowena!). Lots of other characters I haven’t mentioned for you’d have to quit reading this review and stop procrastinating! A star to all these characters who made this book memorable(––this word has a more scintillating effect when read the French way)! ── ★★★

Humor, check. Suspense: It’s just so, so, hard to still love an author who keeps you on the edge of your seat for over 300 hundred pages. I ate this book up in two days! And I wouldn’t even show that much interest in a cupcake! (Yes, there’s more to life than cupcakes!).── ★★★★

Super-fantabulous ending! Applause, applause, can’t wait for Karen Swan’s next. Because I’d eat anything non-fattening that offers that much excitement (P.S: My persisting food imagery throughout this review might be because I’ve starved for hours––but didn’t realize––in my quest to finish up this book!)── ★★★★★ 

Karen Swan’s fabulous summer read, The Summer Without You, is available on Amazon. While you are at reminiscing your lost summer days, you can also get all of Karen’s Christmassy books to jet-start the excitement to your holiday season! (Would probably get mine also if they do not take a decade to get to this country! In that case, can’t wait for 2024, woo-hoo!)

I recommend this book to anyone who loves their chick-lit sunny, breath-taking (I mean it! Keep your inhaler nearby for the suspense!) and anyone who just wants anything to arm themselves with in case their spouses, partners call a pause on their relationship to go hiking around Asia.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads. (And never on shitty Amazon, because I won’t axe part of this review for nothing!)

Oh, forgot my rating: Obviously a five-star book (5/5)


Book Review: A Husband's Confession by Zoe Miller.

Imagine this: Your life could be described as perfect. You have an adorable husband who you’ve been married to for twenty-years––very happily-married. Two kids who are amazing at school and at home. And as if that’s not enough, there’s a successful bakery which you manage with your husband as chief baker. Your life has seen successful balance for over ten years and there can be no reason you can say you are not content.

Over the other side of the picture lies your brother-in-law and his amazing wife who he’s also been married to for quite as long as you have been married with one beautiful daughter to flourish their union. You could have called them happily-married once, but lately things have gone a bit rocky in their relationship with your brother-in-law losing his job and growing sulky every passing day.

You see, there’s competition between you two couples and this rivalry has existed since the wee years of your husband. There’s rivalry over which couple is more successful, which couple has a more stable financial backing, which couple has the greatest kids.

For over a year, you two couples have never met as a family to celebrate any holiday. Beneath the smiles at the dining table there’s way too much tension that could snap the face of a Botoxed Real Housewife.

Then one Saturday night, a dinner is proposed by your brother-in-law. You and your husband feel reluctant to go considering the bad blood. But you decide to just get over it over and done with.

But oblivious to you two, the events taking place during this dinner and after would completely turn your life from paradise to hell. And in just one week you would lose everything (––be prepared for it, I mean, everything!––) you’ve come to love and call your own

That’s when Ali’s story begins and possibly ends.


Did I freaking love this book and would be yelling at you to go bang on the glass windows of a bookshop near you threatening if they do not have a copy they might as well not open the shop that day? Yes, yes, I would.

(I had to tuck myself in a corner at my faculty’s lecture theatre in order to read hundred pages a day of this delight so no one bothers me!) What the hell is up with this book story-line? Perfection beyond reasoning. I ah-dored it! So Girl and Husband living happily-married, Husband’s Brother and Wife in a rut of late, there’s envy in the picture, loads of secrets away before your life gets shattered, one Saturday night––one day of hell. Who knew a family dinner could be so damaging? A huge star to this story-line.── ★

(Stocked with wheat bread and bottled water, I devoured this book in four days) The main characters, oh, fuck me, were stunning! It’s hard to read a book focusing on four mains who are well-developed and bear resemblance to real-life persons it isn’t hard relating (or not) to them–––most authors can’t achieve this! You find yourself splitting between the couples who should get more of your love or more of your rage, or sometimes, making this distinction between the individual characters. Ali was amazing, my favourite! You would completely revere her for her soft exterior yet the warrior living inside of her as she struggles to get her family, her life, her career, her emotions under control! Jo, the brother-in-law’s wife, also my favourite! Loved for her sophistication, her poise even in the threatening times that promise to wreck her life and marriage. Max, Ali’s husband, you women would stab at his name declaring this is the kind of man you would (have) want(ed) to get married to. Finn, the brother-in-law, who would gain your hatred for most part of the novel thanks to the level of asshole Zoe Miller portrayed him to be. Unbelievable main characters. A star to all four.── ★★

(At one point I was nodding, at a point I was nodding too much, at another point I just had to close this book, close my eyes for some seconds and wonder why everything was just so right) Isn’t it amazing when you read women’s fiction that talks about issues that are timeless? Infidelity, sibling-rivalry! I have never read a book that portrays infidelity the way Ms. Miller does it in this title. Do not roll your eyes, this isn’t another book where the main character’s life shatters after finding her husband in bed with a woman with boobs as ginormous as size ten feet (where the hell do I get my comparisons from??) . It goes to show there’s more to infidelity than authors can go on and on yapping about. And you have never read a book with sibling-rivalry leading to couple-rivalry that is this amazing! Star, star, star!── ★★★

The other characters in this book, were marvellous! From Debbie, the woman from Max's childhood Ali has been threatened of for ages. Jessica, Ali’s daughter keeping secrets of her own, far from the perfect daughter everyone assumes she is. Tom, Ali’s young son who’s the coolest boy you could ever have for a son. Grace, Jo and Finn’s daughter, having a background that would shock the reader.── ★★★★

(At a point in this book, I couldn’t stand it anymore, “Bread, bread! I need more bread!”) The suspense in this book was gripping. Very, very gripping I sat in different positions in the not-so-comfy chairs in the auditorium. Wondering how one writer could break all the rules of Women’s fiction and provide something totally different from the norm! If I had succumbed to the suspense brought about as a result of the writing technique (current day→flashback→current day) I would have keeled over before I even thought of writing this review. Talking of the beautiful writing, should I say this book was set in moments that took and shook the world (World Cups, 9/11) giving this book more girth and making it all so relatable and real to the reader? Marvellous.── ★★★★★

Oh, and the romance… J── ★★★★★

So it’s obvious this book gets a… frigging… six over five stars!! (6/5)

I would never put Zoe Miller as one of my favourite writers, because she’d forever be the woman who changed my perception of women’s fiction and threw away all the rules to pen this masterpiece. (I am very British––a strict fan of conventions).

A Husband’s Confession is available on amazon. If you miss it I’d have to club you.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves writers who break all the rules yet emerge very successful, anyone who wants a title about infidelity portrayed so differently it boggles the mind, anyone who wants to be reaching for the Kleenex to wipe away the sweat from their foreheads. This might be the best book I ever read this year!

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads!


Book Review: The Shaman And The Mafia by Elizabeth Upton

Imagine This: You used to be a nun, hiding your voluptuous curves in the drab outfit. So now that you are no more a nun, still heading a drug centre which has all freaks and junkies trooping in every minute, you have every right to flaunt your curves, right? Know about sex, about men, gain some sexual experience, spend some time with a man intimately, right? But for some reason, carnal desires be damned, you are working your ass off to get a degree in family law and already have your hands full combatting drugs, drug lords and shady cops who can think of nothing but having their way with you.

Then your partner in battling drug crimes dies.

His brother, an FBI agent with a thirst to revenge whoever mutilated his brother is introduced into his life along with his sexy assistant. Instantly, the attraction between you and him (the brother) is, um, nothing you’ve experienced before. Soon, you two are shagging. And the sex is, um, nothing you could have experienced before.

Perhaps you two could write your happy ending. But, what with mafia looming in at every corner, bullets being shot at everyone, a serial killer who won’t stop till he gets in your pants, your boyfriend’s increasing need to get his brother’s killer behind bars which eventually leads to less time spent by you two, what with everybody’s life in danger? And most importantly, what with you curious about how sex with other men would feel like?

Marietta’s hellish life summed up for your delight.

I enjoyed reading this book.

Nun de-nuns, Nun devotes her life to fighting drug crimes in her locality, Nun makes an encounter with hot brother of her dead friend, nun wonders if she should explore her sexual freedom before she ties the knot. Lovely storyline. And with crime and danger lurking at every corner, what more do you need? A star to the storyline.── ★

I love that this book touches on themes which aren’t new but queer: Spiritual Healing. I don’t think I have ever read a women’s fiction title that explored the supernatural world of a shaman and his healing techniques in the form of visions and dreams. It opens the reader to a whole new dimension in which souls must be purified, spirits of death must be driven out and troubled minds find rest. Amazing input in a story filled with mystery and suspense.── ★★

The characters in this book were also interesting to read about. From the main, 
Marietta the nun whose karate classes did come in handy (and who you don’t have to be a previous nun before you could relate to her!). Raymond, the FBI Director boyfriend who knew the best date you could ever take a girl is over the skyline of New York City. Jerry Young, the sexy, Casanova assistant to Raymond who’s emotionally detached and troubled by past incidents. Barney, the P.I who’s hunting skills couldn’t be as good as his culinary skills. Gina, Marietta’s friend who is always around in times when our lead needs some advice (about sex, clothes, men and relationships).── ★★★

The suspense in this title was, um, very suspenseful. I loved how Elizabeth Upton made this crime novel as fast-paced as watching a CSI episode (Miami, not New York!).── ★★★★*

Now, I loved this book. Had a very emotional ending that shocked me. But I would have ‘loved, loved’ it if the blurb wasn’t packed with too much spoilers.

So my rating: 4.5 stars/5

Elizabeth Upton’s suspenseful latest is available on Amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves their Women’s Fiction packed with crime, suspense, and anyone who is curious about nunnery and dating an FBI agent.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.