December 30, 2014

Movies I Loved in 2014

Hello and here comes another list.

This year I went to the movies a lot and I watched some seriously awesome movies that made me so very happy, so here is my list of the best of the year, plus a few trailers!

The Pretty One and What If?
Genre: Rom Com, for the most part. 
I loved both of these movies, which starred Zoe Kazan and Jake Johnson, and Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe respectively. 

The Pretty One starts with two identical twin sisters who couldn't be more different but love each other fiercely, one of them is super outgoing and glamorous, while the other is stuck in their home town wearing their mom's old clothes and tending to their father. When they get into an accident together, everyone thinks Laurel (the shy one) is the one who dies, when actually was Audrey (the pretty one of the title), so Laurel takes her place and discovers there was plenty she didn't know about her sister. 

What If? is a friends to lovers kind of deal, and I loved that the characters took the time to get to know each other, it's pretty obvious that they are attracted to each other from the start (though they are both in denial) yet they really do become good friends and respect each other's relationships as they were. It was sweet and I totally bought Dan Radcliffe as a romantic lead, who would have thought Harry Potter had actual game?

Big Hero 6, Penguins of Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon 2 
Genre: Comedy, Animation
I was sitting here trying to figure out what these, my favorite animation movies of the year had in common, and I realized they are all about family, and the many incarnations of it. Plus they were all really funny movies with surprising turns of drama and, in some of them, tragedy. All three movies gave me big warm fuzzies by the end though and I can't recommend them enough. 

If I Stay
Genre: Book Adaptation, Drama, Young Adult
It's no secret that I ADORE this book (though I probably love Where She Went even more) and I think the movie did an great job of capturing all the things that broke my heart wide open when I was reading the book and translating them to the screen. Yes, there were some changes but I didn't mind any of them. Also this is how you make me cry with a movie: you show me the characters and what matters to them, and then let me crumble all on my own when the bad stuff happens... you don't just throw cancer at me and expect me to care *cough*Fault in Out Stars *cough* while I can see and resent the strings you are trying to use to pull at my emotions. 

100 Feet Journey
Genre: Drama, Romance, Foreign-ish 
This movie was so adorable!!! It had food and romance and family and was just such a lovely story about a young indian chef and how he's captivated by French cuisine when his father decides to relocate to France and open a restaurant there after a big tragedy strikes their family - the movie never turns dark and sad, by the way. Absolutely loved it. 

Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of Planet of the Apes and Edge of Tomorrow
Genre: Action, Comedy (Guardians), Drama (Edge of Tomorrow and Planet of the Apes)
I group these three together because of me they are made of similar stuff, these three movies thrilled me and made me enjoy the popcorn experience in the theater. Guardians was super funny, I appreciated shirtless Chris Pratt for the first time EVER and I LOVE Rocket and Groot. 

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was so fast paced and exiting, I loved humans and apes alike (and hated some apes too). 

Lastly Edge of Tomorrow fulfilled so many of my manga/anime loving heart fantasies. I loved the story and how it played out. Probably my favorite Tom Cruise movie since A Few Good Men, he plays the sleazy, kind of cowardly thing so well (yet I didn't hate him) and actually shows some range as he's character changes through out the course of the story. and Emily Blunt, I loved her, probably my favorite female performance of the year. 

The Invisible War
Genre: Documentary. 
The Invisible War was an amazing and brave film about sexual assault and abuse in the US military, it was hard to watch at times, slow in some places but very eye opening. It's not a fun documentary but very worthwhile. 

December 26, 2014

Favorite Books of 2014

Hello my lovelies!!
So, it's time to make lists again and on this occasion I bring you my list of my Most Favorite Books of 2014. 

I have to say the year started very, very promising as I was reading at least one AMAZING book every month but in the second half of the year I hit a slump and a long string of average to meh books. Which was sad. 

Still, there was some awesome to be read and these are my picks, in no particular order except for #1

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins -- I admit I didn't think the author could pull off an awesome book that made up for the super long wait, but I'm happy to say that she did. Isla is probably my favorite out of these girls, I really loved her and her story. 

Season for Temptation by Theresa Romain - the only historical romance to make the cut this year. This book made me laugh so hard! I loved the Julia and James and how they interacted with each other. From the moment they met I was rooting for them, I couldn't help it, they were that sweet. 

Heartbreak Cake by Cindy Arora -This one was a little different from my usual and I was quite surprised by how much I liked it. Indira, our protagonist, starts out in the middle of an affair with her married ex-boss and making a few questionable choices, but in the end she emerges as a strong, independent business woman who finally learns to put herself first. She deals with the fall out of her mistakes and eventually thrives thanks to her true friends and her love of baking.

Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan - This book spoke to me as a little sister and I loved it for it. Josie wasn't always easy to like but I understood her so well with all her idiosyncrasies and quirks. And I really liked her best friend.  

Crossing the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux - This was easily one of the most fun I had with a book this year, I love Jennifer's ice-skating books since I'm such a huge fan of the sport and I think she captures pretty well the whole ambiance and nuances of it all. I like Courtney and I loved reading about pair skating and all that good stuff.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate - Ivan made me cry so hard and gave me so many feels. I connected to him and the other characters so quickly that it felt like something physical as the story unfolded. I loved Ivan and Ruby and their world. 

A Bride's Story by Kaoru Mori - The only manga I read through this year was a doozy, Amir is a 20 year old girl, living in the 1800s in central China, and she's married to a 12 year old boy named Karluk. Their story is very sweet, and I love Amir, she's such a badass hunter and rider and really loves her husband and her new family. 

Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keli - I read this one at the beginning of the year and I'm still thinking of it. It's told from a guy's point of view, is about falling in love and being there for your friends and it's super lovely. Also, lots of nerdy and movie references to go around. Favorite Aussie read of the year.

A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev - Oh, I loved Bollywood Affair so much, the protagonists Milli and Samir stayed with me long after I finished their story, which was complicated, familiar and different at the same time. There were parts that were very sad, and others that made me laugh out loud, a delightful book. 

And my favorite read of the year was: 

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH, it gave me so many feels and as soon as I finished I wanted to read it again. T.C. and Augie have been brothers since they were in the first grade and decided to be brothers rather than friends; their parents jumped on board and years later they are still sticking to it. When they are 14, Ale transfers to their school and quickly bonds with Augie - due to their shared love of musicals - and T.C. falls head over heels for her, yet actually stops to become friends with her and win her. They are so incredibly adorable, I swear. 

I love their other friends and how you get the full scope of their lives, as they navigate high school. They have excellent parents and are great friends to each other, bringing out the best in one another and helping each other to fulfill their dreams. 

So, those are my favorite books I read in 2014, what about you? what's your number one of 2014?

Happy Christmas and see you soon!


December 22, 2014

DNF: Love and Other Theories

Summary (GoodReads)
If you want more, you have to give less.

That’s the secret to dating in high school. By giving as little as they expect to get in return, seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her three best friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free. And it’s all thanks to a few simple rules: don’t commit, don’t be needy, and don’t give away your heart.

So when smoking-hot Nathan Diggs transfers to Lincoln High, it shouldn’t be a big deal. At least that’s what Aubrey tells herself. But Nathan’s new-boy charm, his kindness, and his disarming honesty throw Aubrey off her game and put her in danger of breaking the most important rule of all: Don’t fall in love.

Why DNF?
I don't usually bother with books I don't finish because usually that seems like a waste of time, but I made it a fair ways into the book - about 50% - to see how it turned out, and it made me so angry with the hooking up and 'slut' shaming that I just had to share my fury. 

See, Aubrey and her friends are the pretty, popular girls of their high school, they party hop and hook up and live by these rules they have made up (the theories of the title) about how to handle everything. Their ring-leader is Shelby who, really, is a poor-man's Regina George wannabe, but the way Aubrey and her friends talk about her is like Shelby is the messiah or something, and they do pretty questionable stuff while following her like sheep, and they don't see anything wrong with that. 

The parts where the girls were around Chiffon - and ex-friend whom Aubrey & Co. froze out when they were all 15 because a guy liked Chiffon and not another girl in their group - made me cringe and killed any chance for me to like them. They were the worst kind of bullies. 

The guy, Nathan, started okay enough but soon morphed into one of Aubrey and Shelby's cronies, following right along with the questionable behavior. 

No, I didn't like any of these girls but I could at least made it to the end if Aubrey (who narrates in first person) had a little internal consistency, or just a back bone, but no, she was just the worst kind of mean you can be: blind-follower-can't-say-no kind of mean. 


December 16, 2014

Book Review: If I like by Corrine Jackson

The Deal: Everyone around Sophie Quinn thinks she's the town slut, having committed the ultimate crime in her small, military town: cheating on her deployed marine boyfriend Carey. Since Carey's deployment, Quinn has put up with all kinds of bullying from her former friends, teachers and even her own father seems more ashamed of her than ever, mentally linking her to her own mother- who ran off on them years before.

But things aren't always what the seem. The truth is that Quinn didn't cheat, she and Carey aren't even together anymore but she is keeping a big secret for him, and taking the fall while he's away. Quinn had even gotten good at dealing with it, being invisible; until Carey goes MIA and the entire town seems to turn on her once again. 

The only respite she gets is when she's at the local V.A. hospital, hanging out with George, an 80 something veteran and former war photographer who encourages Quinn to follow her own passion for photography.

As the days go by without any news of Carey, Quinn's life keeps on turning more and more complicated.

My Thoughts: I didn't love Corrine Jackson's If I Lie, I read it all in one sitting because I wanted to see how it ended but I didn't love it. 

See, a big part of the plot has to do with The Big Misunderstanding trope, and in this case I didn't find said misunderstanding very compelling, and Quinn's reasoning had way too many holes. The person she 'cheated' with was very wishy-washy and I didn't even like him for the most part. 

Carey's secret was problematic, and I can totally see why he wanted to keep it but why he had to drag Quinn into it? that just never made sense to me. It was overly complicated and dramatic. 

I did like Ms. Jackson's narrative, but I didn't enjoy the plot. It's very readable though. 

December 8, 2014

Book Review: Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan

At First Sight: Tyler O'Neal was used to life in the fast lane as a pro-racer in the skiing circuit, but he has not settled into domesticity at his family resort following a bad fall during a race and his teenage daughter move to live with him permanently. 

He still misses racing - perhaps a lot more than he lets on - but he loves his daughter Jess and likes doing what he can to help bring up business for the resort.

What Tyler is none too happy about - at least not lately - is working so close to Brenna Daniels. Not because he doesn't like her, in fact, Brenna is one of his favorite people in the world and his best friend since childhood... which is why it annoys him to work closely to him when he's starting to notice her as more than a friend.

Brenna has been in love with Tyler since they were children, but long ago came to terms with the fact that he sees her as one of the guys and not as a girl. But when they are thrown in together thanks to some scheming by her friends, his mother and daughter, things begin to change. 

Living in the same resort was hard enough, but sharing Tyler's house might send things into overboard. 

Second Glance: Maybe This Christmas was a fun Christmas read. After meeting and seeing both Brenna and Tyler in past books, I was quite eager to get to their stories and it didn't disappoint. 

I really liked that they were really good friends first and foremost and that they both put his daughter first - yet they didn't jump into a relationship just to make Jess happy - and in a way that justified why they were so reluctant to get together (and hadn't before the start of the story): Neither of them wanted to risk their friendship, but it just wasn't enough anymore. 

I appreciate when characters make sense like that. 

Now the book did have some problems, like the drawn out situation with between Brenna and Jess's mother, which for me took to much of the book. Also, the lack of support from Brenna's mother bothered me a bit too.

But in the end, like I said, it was a fun read. I enjoyed seeing Sean and Jackson and their partners around, and seeing the dynamics of the family from another perspective. And I really liked Jess. As far as book moppets go, she was very nice. 

Bottom Line: I do recommend Maybe This Christmas as a cozy Christmas read, it's breezy and fun and I liked the people involved. Plus, it has a wonderful wintery feel to it.  I only kind of wish the author would do a book about the sheriff guy because he sounded really sweet. 

November 25, 2014

Book Review: In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

At First Sight: Emmaline Neal moved to Manningsport, after her longtime boyfriend left her for a fitness guru; and over the course of two years she has remade her life. She loves her house, her dog and her job as one of three police officers in town.

But when the invitation to said ex-boyfriend wedding arrives, Emmaline starts to scramble for a date, mostly because, since her parents and her ex's parents are friends, she can't decline the invite and she doesn't want to be the loser who shows up without a date. 

Everyone in town tells her to ask Jack Holland, who has being the "Friend-Date" down to an art, and often escorts all type of female acquaintances and friends to events, just because he's a nice guy. 

Emma doesn't want to ask him though, since she has a rather big crush on him; and because she doesn't want to be a burden since she knows Jack has plenty on his plate. 

A couple of months before, Jack rescued four teenagers that drove over a safety rail and fell into a lake, which had the whole town touting him as a hero, much to his discomfort. And now he struggles with PTSD and guilt over the fact that one of the kids -the driver - is still in the hospital in a coma. 

So Jack could really use a few days out of Manningsport and the wedding seems as good an excuse as any, so he agrees to go with Emma.

Second Glance: I have this thing with Kristan Higgins' books. I really enjoy her writing and her style and she has this almost unparalleled ability to suck me into a story. 

Form the moment I started to read In Your Dreams I was hooked, I wanted to keep reading because I found Emmaline likable and Jack was a really nice guy -typically the type of guy I really root for in Romance- but then I hit the wall I hit each and every time I read a Higgins' book: her parents showed up. 

See, I don't know what it is or why she does it, but Higgins often writes these seriously awful parents into her stories, usually they a) take the heroine for granted, b) compare her unfavorably to her siblings or c) humiliate her often just because they are crappy parents I guess. Or all of the above. In this case it was all of the above.  

But whatever, I expected that to a point.

Where this book broke for me, though, was with Jack. He has a knight in shinning armor complex a mile wide, which is amply exemplified by his relationship with his ex-wife, Hadley, who decided to show up back in town after she put him into debt, cheated and lied to him during their brief marriage.

Even though he doesn't like her, Jack often goes out of his way to be nice and "rescue" his ex from the various scrapes she gets herself into, never really stopping her firmly as she continues to interfere in his life. Hell, at one point he cancels a date with Emma to go have diner with Hadley and her sister, just because the sister was in town. And late in the book he says some really mean things to Emma, never apologizing properly and never groveling. 

Yet, by the end, he just throws a ring at her and it's all good. 

I really wanted Emma to assert herself more and a lot earlier than she does. She often just rolls over and takes it. Accepting half-assed apologies from Jack and her parents. I wanted some confrontation, and I don't think it's just my latin blood speaking on that regard. I wanted Emma to say "Look, you made me feel really bad!" and for Jack to say something other than "Ooopsie!" which is what his "apology" amounted to. 

Also, I haven't spoken much of it because I found those parts really boring, but a lot of the book is dedicated to Emma's ex Nick and the woman he dumped her for, Naomi. They were both awful, awful characters with no other reason for being that humiliating Emma and acting like that woman from the Biggest Loser times a thousand.

Bottom Line: As I said, I give massive props to Kristan Higgins for being such a good writer, she has mad chops in that regard. But her character building invariably infuriates me at one point or another during her books, and In Your Dreams is no exception, which sucks because I really liked Emmaline for the most part, and I liked her sister Angela a lot but, as a whole, the book was both maddening and underwhelming. 

November 16, 2014

Book Review: The Governess Club: Sara by Ellie Macdonald

The Deal: Sara Collins is shy and yearns for a quiet life as a vicar's wife, only she can't tell anyone that as she is one of the founding members of the Governess Club. She doesn't love teaching as her friends do, but is willing to do anything she can to help them fulfill their dreams. 

Nathan Grant is an ambitious young politician, who decided to spend some time in the countryside after his political career was derailed a bit, and it's then that the two met. 

Nathan is adventurous and a bit wild, traits that should usually frighten Sara but instead call to her own wild side, the side of her that was suppressed by her overbearing mother when she was younger and that now longs to break free. 

My Thoughts: Sarah's story short and for the most part sweet. She is an interesting character torn between her inner life and her outward persona, which she kind of hates a bit; but she was quite likable most of the time, which is good since this is a very character driven story. 

Nathan was okay, but I never felt like I fully got to know him and a lot of things about him were left pretty much in the air. He could also be a real jerk sometimes. 

The story works beautifully when they are together, though it can feel slow at times. And I'm not sure I loved the ending, but over all it was a good read. 

November 5, 2014

Review and Giveaway: A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Devi (Book Tour)

At First Sight: Mili Rathod has been married for as long as she can remember, to a man she hasn't seen since said wedding 20 years ago when she was only 4 years old. And there is no sign that she will be seeing her husband any time soon, but at least being married has given her certain opportunities that would have escaped her otherwise, like going to University and then to study abroad to America, all in the effort to become a well-educated modern wife.

Samir Rathod worked hard to become one of Bollywood's most successful directors, and enjoys living the high life and dating beautiful actresses. However, under that public persona lies a man who would do anything for his family. 

So when Samir's brother Virat finds out that he's still married to Mili, Samir decides he's going to fix this for his brother, hunting down the elusive bride and getting her to sign an annulment, so Virat can keep his life - and his new family - intact.

Once in Michigan, and after meeting Mili under less than auspicious circumstances, all of Samir's plans start to turn upside down, as Mili doesn't turn out to be like anything he imagined. She's smart, kind and beautiful, and before he knows what's going on, he finds himself stepping into Mili's life unable to tell her who he really is. 

Second Glance: There are many words I could use to describe A Bollywood Affair. For one is compulsively readable - once I started I couldn't and I didn't want to put it down! - and its sweet, and the characters are truly unforgettable. 

I kept thinking about Samir and Mili over and over, wondering how their story would unfold, and eager to get back to them. Both of them are very complex individuals. Samir is full of guilt and fear and is a bit damaged, but that doesn't stop him from being a good son and a good brother and generally a very decent human being. He has had lots of darkness in his life, but he is not a dark character.

Mili is stuck between two words and forever in a holding pattern, it seems. She wants to move forward, to start her life, but she can't until her husband comes to claim her; yet she has taken the time in between to make something of herself and take care of her grandmother as best she can and always willing to open her heart to new people. 

They were very interesting and I enjoyed being in their heads. The secondary characters were a little bit less well drawn - with the exception of Virat and his and Samir's mother Lata who seemed more fully formed - but since the story was centrally about the time Samir and Mili spend together I was totally fine with that. 

Even the setting was very interesting - most of the story takes place in Michigan with a little on Mumbai, and there is lots of references to Bollywood and the business, though they don't over power the story -and the food!! Oh, they talk about food so  much in this book.

Bottom Line: I can't recommend A Bollywood Affair enough. It really grabbed me from the start and I was sad to see it end - I kind of wanted to spend more time with Samir and Mili - but it was very satisfying. And you know what? It did have a very Bollywood-esque feel to it, thanks to the turns that the story took, and I mean that in a best posible way.
starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite 

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes


This review is part of the A Bollywood Affair Blog Tour @ Tasty Book Tours. For the rest of the tour stops go here.  And to enter the giveaway, just proceed bellow:

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A Bollywood Affair (Excerpt)

Samir heard a loud crash. He ran to the open stairwell and leaned over the railing. Some sort of crazy creature with the wildest mass of jet-black curls was dusting herself off and trying to grab a fluorescent yellow bike from a jumbled heap. Was she stealing it? In her rush to pry it free she stumbled backward and her eyes met his. Something in the way she looked at him set alarm bells gonging in his head. His eyes swept from her panicked stance to the low-hanging balcony. Had she jumped? Damn it.

“Hey! Wait a minute. Are you Malvika?” he yelled at her.

Her eyes widened to huge saucers, as if he’d accused her of something truly heinous. Was she crazy? She had to be because before he knew what to do next she yanked the bike free, hopped on it, and took off as if he were some sort of gangster chasing her with a gun.

He ran down the stairs, taking almost the entire flight in one leap, and saw her desperately peddling away from him. The rickety piece of shit she was riding wobbled and teetered, looking even more unstable than she did. She turned around and gave him another terrified glance. What was wrong with the woman? Just as she was about to turn away again the bike’s handle jerked at the most awkward angle as if it had a mind of its own and she went hurtling into a tree at the end of the street.

“Holy shit!” He ran to her.

By the time he got to her she was lying on her back, her butt pushed up against the tree trunk, her legs flipped over her head like some sort of contortionist yoga guru and the bike intertwined with her folded body. Through the tangle of hair, limbs, and fluorescent metal he heard a sob and a squeak.

“Hello? Are you all right?” Leaning over, he lifted a long spiral lock off her face. It bounced against his palm, soft as silk.

One huge, almond-shaped eye focused on him.

“Teh thik to ho?” he repeated in Hindi. He had no idea why he’d spoken it or why he had used that rural dialect he now used only with his mother, but it just slipped out.

The tangled-up, upside-down mess of a girl, looking at him from behind her legs, literally brightened. There was just no other way to describe it. Her one exposed eye lit up like a firework in a midnight sky. He pushed more hair off her face, almost desperate to see the rest of that smile.

“You can speak Hindi,” she said, her surprisingly husky voice so filled with delight that sensation sparkled across his skin.

For one moment the almost physical force of her smile and the uninhibited joy in her voice stole his ability to speak.

She squinted those impossibly bright eyes at him. “Sorry, is that the only line you know?”

“What? No, of course not. I know lots of lines.” Wow, that must be the stupidest thing he’d ever said in his life.

She smiled again.

He gave his head a shake and forced his attention on her mangled situation instead of that smile. As carefully as he could he pulled the bike off her. “Can you move?”

She bit down on her lip and tried to push herself up. But instead of her body moving, her face contorted with pain and tears pooled in her eyes.

He dropped down to his knees next to her. “I’m sorry. Here, let me help you.” He ignored the absurd shiver of anticipation that kicked in his gut as he reached for her.

No man had ever touched Mili like that. Ridhi’s ridiculously handsome brother wrapped his arms around her and tried to ease her into a sitting position. Pain shot through her back, her legs, through parts of her body she wasn’t even aware she possessed, and all she could think about was the warm bulges of his arms pressing into her skin. So this was what a man’s touch felt like.

Yuck. She was an awful pervert. You’re a married woman, she reminded herself.

But then he gave her another tug and she forgot her own name. Pain buzzed like a million bees in her head. She tried to be brave but she couldn’t stifle the yelp that escaped her.

“Shh. It’s okay. Let me look at that.” He propped her up against his chest and reached out to inspect her ankle. His face faded and blurred and then came back into focus. His skin was almost European light and his hair was the darkest burnt gold. If he hadn’t spoken Hindi the way he had, she might have mistaken him for a local.

He touched her ankle and she was sure something exploded inside it. She sucked in a breath and her head lolled back onto his chest. A very bad English word she had heard only in films rumbled in his chest beneath her head, which suddenly weighed a ton. Her stomach lurched. She heard a pathetic whimper. It had to be her. He didn’t look like the whimpering type.

“Shh, sweetheart. Try to breathe. There, in, then out.” His breath collected in her ear. His voice had an almost magically soothing vibration to it. He slipped a cell phone out of his pocket. “Is there anyone I can call? We need to get you to a hospital.”

At least that’s what Mili thought he said, because her ears were making funny ringing sounds. She leaned back into his wall-like chest and tried to focus on his face, which started spinning along with the fading and the blurring. “Snow Health Center is around the corner. I can walk.”

“Right,” he said. “Or why don’t you ride your bike?”

She was about to smile, but he made an angry growling sound and scooped her up in his arms. How could a flesh-and-blood body be so hard? Like tightly packed sand, but with life. The buzzing in her ears was a din now and she had to fight to keep her eyes open. He jogged across the parking lot to a very shiny action-film-style car.

“I’m going to put you in the backseat, okay?”

She nodded. As long as he kept talking to her in that soothing voice of his, she didn’t care what else he did. “Your car is yellow,” she said. “Just like my bike.”

He grinned and laid her down on the backseat of the roofless car so slowly, so very gently, she felt like she was made of spun sugar. Her ankle hit the seat and she felt like a sledgehammer on an anvil. She dug her fingers into his arm to keep from screaming. He didn’t pull away. He just kept talking in that magical voice until finally he faded out. The last thing Mili remembered was asking him to put her bike in the rack. No, the last thing she remembered was his smile when she asked him to do it.

Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in twenty years—not since she was promised to him at the age of four. Yet marriage has allowed Mili a freedom rarely given to girls in her village. Her grandmother has even allowed her to leave India and study in America for eight months, all to make her the perfect modern wife. Which is exactly what Mili longs to be—if her husband would just come and claim her.

Bollywood’s favorite director, Samir Rathod, has come to Michigan to secure a divorce for his older brother. Persuading a naïve village girl to sign the papers should be easy for someone with Samir’s tabloid-famous charm. But Mili is neither a fool nor a gold-digger. Open-hearted yet complex, she’s trying to reconcile her independence with cherished traditions. And before he can stop himself, Samir is immersed in Mili’s life—cooking her dal and rotis, escorting her to her roommate’s elaborate Indian wedding, and wondering where his loyalties and happiness lie.

Heartfelt, witty, and thoroughly engaging, Sonali Dev’s debut is both a vivid exploration of modern India and a deeply honest story of love, in all its diversity.

Advance Praise for A Bollywood Affair:

“Sonali Dev is a fresh new voice in romance. A child bride who’s all grown up, a sexy Bollywood director, and deeply-felt emotions that will keep readers turning the pages. A Bollywood Affair has it all.” –Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times Bestseller

“Deeply romantic and emotional, with characters I fell in love with, A Bollywood Affair is simply unputdownable. It’s sexy, it’s dramatic, but most of all, it’s a sweet, hot love story that made me sigh and smile and want to read it all over again as soon as I turned the last page.” -Nalini Singh, New York Times Bestseller

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Sonali Dev’s first literary work was a play about mistaken identities performed at her neighborhood Diwali extravaganza in Mumbai. She was eight years old. Despite this early success, Sonali spent the next few decades getting degrees in architecture and writing, migrating across the globe, and starting a family while writing for magazines and websites.

With the advent of her first gray hair her mad love for telling stories returned full force, and she now combines it with her insights into Indian culture to conjure up stories that make a mad tangle with her life as supermom, domestic goddess, and world traveler.

Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog.

Find Sonali Here: Website | Facebook Twitter | Goodreads

October 29, 2014

Book Review: A Night of No Return by Sarah Morgan

The Deal:  Emma Gray is a professional and takes lots of pride in her work, which is why she finds herself driving in the snow to reach her boss, Lucas Jackson, and deliver to him some important documents her forgot and that he will need for his upcoming trip. Sure, she's supposed to be off the clock but the documents are too important to be trusted to anyone else.

Lucas Jackson is a wealthy architect and a demanding boss, and there is one night a year when all he wants it's to be left alone. It was bad enough that he had to shoo away a surprise party (and publicly break it off with the 'girlfriend' in turn), and now he has his secretary showing up.

As they get snowed in for the night, one thing leads to another and before the night is through they have had sex all over the place. Emma is ready to quit - though she likes her job just fine and it's very good- but Lucas isn't so inclined.

But before anything can happen, they find themselves in business trip together, staying way too close for comfort.

My Thoughts: You know what? Once again, I really got into Night of No Return. Lucas is often annoying and autocratic, Emma often over reacts but they are pretty likable all in all and the writing just pulls you in from the story.

I do recommend it, it's not long at all but the characters feel developed and though the story is a bit predictable, it was fun to read.

October 16, 2014

Book Review: Season for Surrender by Theresa Romain

At First Sight: Louisa Oliver knows she was lucky, she survived her first London season and a broken engagement with her reputation intact - even though her erstwhile fiancé is now her brother in law, happily married to Louisa's sister Julia - but she's also in a bit of a rut.

She's not happy rusticating in the countryside with her big, loving family; and she doesn't want to keep being a third-wheel in her sister's marriage, and she also wants to have a bit of adventure... so when she's invited to the infamous Christmas house party of one Lord Xavier, Louisa agrees to go even though she holds Xavier accountable for the scandal that surrounded her family, what with the broken engagement and all.

What she doesn't know is that Alexander Edgewere, Lord Xavier has placed a bet on her: he has to convince Louisa to come to the party and stay for the duration. And he is not happy about it. Xavier finds Louisa quite charming and he likes her, but he has never backed down from a bet before and he's not about to. 

Second Glance: I was excited to read Season for Surrender after having enjoyed Season for Temptation, and the book started well enough. I liked getting to know Lord Xavier he is complex and more than just a rake reformed - In fact, I don't think he's much of a rake at all, he just runs with that image people have on him.

We get a fair bit of his inner monologue and that was interesting.

I grew to like Louisa as well but I just didn't click with her the way I did with Julia. She's more stand-offish, which is weird considering we are following her point of view. But she has a good heart and wits and quite a bit of a back bone, which I admired.

The story itself is very simple, as it spans the two weeks of the house party. I did have a problem with the villain who was cartoonish and silly, and really why no one hit him sooner?

Bottom Line: Season for Surrender was still a good read and I want to read the next book in the series soon! I just didn't love it as much as I hoped I would .

October 9, 2014

A Little Bit of House Keeping...

Hello my lovelies!

I know I've been very quiet lately, with very sporadic reviews and comments and visits to friendly blogs. 

I'll admit that I'm not in the best of head spaces right now, about a month ago my dog, Rocco passed away, and I just haven't felt like myself since then. It's the first time in 20 years I don't have a dog and it feels like I'm missing a limb or like there is a dog-shaped hole in my heart. 

It has been an adjustment, and I've been very mopey and listless and stuff (though, on the other hand, at least I finally vegged out enough to watch all of Once upon a time's Season 3 Back 9, which I had put off for ages). 

So, yeah that's why I've been quiet, and not much fun, I have lots of ideas of post I wanna write (like why I hate Frankenstein MD and on Green Gables Fables, and why I loved If I Stay), not to mention those Listmaniac posts I totally should have written by now,  but it's just not happening. 

I'm slowly muddling my way though some books, it's very hard for me to focus lately, sadly, and Rocco was the one that kept me company when I read late at night and now I have no Rocco, so it throws me off. 

Aside from that, Chrome is being very weird and full of pup ups, so right now I'm using Opera mainly, which is not ideal since every time I try to comment on Blogger, it eats up my replies until I give up and stop trying. Sorry about that. 

Now I think I'll go watch some MLP, maybe some Pinkie Pie will cheer me up.