#BlogTour #Review : The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke @rararesources @victoriacooke10

Hello readers! Today is my stop during the blog tours for The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Many thanks to Rachel for sending me invites and to author for proving wonderful e-copy of this book as a part of the blog tour, in exchange for an honest review.
Please check out book details and my review in this post. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway.


The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke
Publication Date :
February 9th 2017
Publisher : HQ Digital
Read Date : February 8th 2019
Genre : Chick Lit / Women’s Fic / Romantic Comedy
Pages : 198
Stars : 4.5/5

Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta’s and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.

That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!

Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.

If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…

Purchase Link – getBook.at/TheSecrettoFallinginLove

Imagine yourself without technology.
No Phone, no laptop, no tabs (not even Kindle), no emails and social medias.
Life like in 1980 without any fancy gadgets. Pen and paper and postcards.
Honestly it would be fine for us readers, we can still escape in paperbacks and libraries. 😉

The Secret to Falling in Love revolved around Melissa’s life and her life changing challenge of living without phone and internet and finding love in old-fashioned way. It was about friendship, love, family, and technology how it impacts our life and takes us far from reality and how little time without it can change life.

Tech syndrome is not limited to teens and young. We all are addicted to it and so 35-year-old Mellisa. She was successful journalist and had good pay for living city and party life. What she didn’t have was a love, a partner with whom she could grow and spent rest of her life. But she was dependable on not-so-trustworthy dating apps to find a trustworthy man.

When her article on impact of technology get published in magazine, her boss challenge her to go phoneless, technology-less for a month and write her experience for the next article. For Melissa it was like celebrating moment turning into commiseration. Now the fun was how was she going to do it?

For a person whose life was surrounded by insta, tweeter, facebook, dating apps, emails and online shopping, it looked quiet daunting. She was amazing lady. I expected her whining a lot for the unfairness but she surprised me there. I liked her determination and how she accepted her Boss’s challenge on living life like 1980s in 2017 for a month, which forced her to find her date I old fashioned way. She moved on quite nicely and managed her life wonderfully without her phone. The development that whole tech free month brought in her life was tremendous.

Characterization was great. I enjoyed reading all secondary characters specially Melissa’s best friends Amanda and Gemma. There was little mystery behind Gemma’s action that added extra spice to Mellissa’s complicated life. The way Amanda protected Melissa and gave the best friendly advice made me wish to have a friend like her. Simon’s wisdom, Dee’s cruel bossy nature, ostentatious and showy Joseph, gentlemanly easy going Scott, a lovely elder sister and meddling matchmaker mom were fun to read. They all felt realistic, someone you might know in real world.

Best part of the book was– Melissa’ dating disasters and her experience with virtual free reality and pros and cons of technology she experienced in her refreshing voice was charm of the book. I loved how she narrated things she noticed- city tour, random people in coffee shop, people she met that she wouldn’t have if she had been glued to her phone all the time. Along with her it made me wonder how much we miss the real world by being around the virtual pretense of social medias.

At around 50% of the book, we got to know the real reason behind Joseph taking Melissa on date which made it made it pretty clear who Melissa would want to spend her life with. So you can say it was little bit predictable and felt little early but there were some turns and surprises in second half that I couldn’t see coming.

This was second book by Victoria Cooke I read and I can easily say she has a knack for transporting readers right into setting of the book. The transition from city life of Manchester, girls’ night out, a day to-day hustle bustle in first half to picturesque mountainous beauty of Ardnamurchan peninsula, Scotland in second half was flawless. I loved to this part of the book which was the turning point of the story. It was wonderful to see the tranquilizing effect of this place on Melissa and how it changed her life for good.

The happy ending left me smiling. It was one of the book you would like discuss in group reading and also would like to take on your vacation which can motivate you to go technology free and enjoy the scenery, new culture and people around. And one of good Valentine’s Day gift as it gives a hope of finding true love in old fashioned way.

My only issue was, even though the book was short, it took me longer to finish this book. And it was predictable.

Overall, it was lighthearted, relatable, refreshing chick lit that I recommend to fans of this genre.

 Author Bio:

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

Social Media Links –

Instagram ➡ https://www.instagram.com/victoriacookewriter

Facebook ➡ https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaCookeAuthor

Giveaway – Win an ARC of The Secret to Falling in Love and a box of Belgian Truffles (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Rafflecopter Link ➡  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494196/?

What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book already or any book Victoria Cooke before?
Are going to add it to your TBR?

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#CoverReveal : The Butcher Book Series by #SianBClaven

Hello Readers! Today I’m glad to be part of double cover reveal of The Butcher book series by Sian Claven, organized by Shalini @Digital Reads Blog Tours.

☆•.¸(*•.¸(´*•.¸(*•.*♕*.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.•☆
✯••✯ ✰ Cover Reveal ✰ ✯••✯ 
☆¸.•*(¸.•*(¸.•*(¸.•*♕*•.¸)`*•.)`*•.¸)*•.¸☆

The Butcher Book Series
Tatum & Kallista

Book 1 : Tatum (Available on Amazon) -> viewbook.at/tatum

Book 2 : Kallista (Available on Amazon) -> viewbook.at/kallista 

Get your copies today!!!

So beautiful! I loved them.

What do you think about the covers and books?
Are you going to add it to your TBR?

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A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2) by Roshani Chokshi

Publication Date: March 28th 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Read Date: December 27th 2018
Genre: High Fantasy / YA / Romance
Pages: 367
Stars: 5/5

She is the princess of Bharata–captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

It seems like a foolproof plan–until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength and wits at every turn. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Adventure, passion, and vibrant storytelling, A Crown of Wishes is a story you won’t soon forget!

A crown of Wishes, sequel of The star touched Queen was beautiful mesmerizing tale of Gauri and Vikarm. It revolved around Gauri and Vikram- their struggle in their kingdom, deepest desire, fear, and love story- and The Tournament of Wishes. It was set some time later the story of first book, telling what happened in Gauri’s life after she left to rescue her soldiers from enemy kingdom and what happened to Vikram ones his fate was decided by Dharmaraj.

Gauri was strong character, different from all YA fantasy I ever read . She was prepared for all the battles life thrown in her path, she wore her kohl and cosmetics as armor, but nothing prepared her to fight the magic she denied to believe in. She was smart, fierce, strong willed, hard core princess but beneath that hard shell was a soft golden heart that beat for her kingdom Bharat, her loved ones and people of Bharat. Her situation in Bharat was complex and struggling. Playing games with her brother was hard, it was like winning one step by taking two steps back. It made me admire her for relentlessness and pity her for worst luck at the same time. She was true Jewel of the book.

Vikram called the fox prince of Ujjain. He was not good with swords but was sly, clever, amazing with word and riddles. What he lacked in physical strength he made up with clever mind. He was witty and lively character. He was not most handsome and swoon worthy prince but his words and actions made him most adorable. And that garden of Gauri’s dream he created at the end! He just stole my heart for that. His fight for making others see his potential was fruitful in the end. I loved everything about him.

Aasha had poisonous touch but was sweet and innocent girl. Her curiosity, desire to have human feeling, and helping others made her strong character and contestant in tournament of wishes.

If author has not marked impression by first book ‘The Star-touched Queen’ then she definitely will in this book. This book was far better and more impressive than the first one. Flowery poetical writing, imaginative world, creative characters and action packed adventure was perfectly balanced and written flawlessly. One liners and quotes, dialogues were mind-blowing. Wearing cosmetic as weapon! And that descriptive purpose of applying kohl, powder and lipstick was just wow.

The story was first person narrative from Gauri and Vikram’s perspective. It started with Gauri’s death sentence day in enemy’s kingdom, how her own kingdom betrayed her, thrown her to enemy’s prison cell and how Vikram got the magical invitation for tournament that could grant a wish.

Desire to get the throne of their own kingdom and freedom to rule fairly brought these two together. Warfare, battle skill of Gauri and scholarly cunning mind of Vikram started the magical adventure that took them through the streets of the otherworld to enchanting palace of Lord of Wealth. Clever prince and fierce princess created irresistible tale.

Story was divided in three parts. Part one was about getting invitation to tournament of wishes, intro of characters, and reaching to Lord Kubera’s palace. Part two was the game and three was the results of game. The game was heart of the book. Enchanting palace, mesmerizing details of its garden, halls and otherworldly people, story telling birds were imaginative and magical to read. Solving the riddles of Lord Kubera, getting keys to immortality, fighting Vishkanyas, serpent king and the nameless was thrilling. I was surprised by a small part of story based on old and famous Vikram and Vetala tales. Like pishacha in first book Vetala gave refreshing touch to story.

I liked Gauri’s strong bond towards her best friend Nalini, her love for throne and people of Bharat, her hatred for her lying manipulative brother and king of Bharat and some cherished memories of Maya. Vikram’s bond with his father was unique, I equally liked Vikram’s story- his hatred toward corrupt council, his desire to rule fairly to his people and designing new structure in his kingdom. It all intrigued me see how far they will go to win the game and what they will do with their wishes. Feast of fear was horrible and it showed what they have gone through and how they gained power over their deepest fear.

Relationship between Gauri and Vikram was bittersweet. Enemy-turned-lover worked perfectly in this book. I enjoyed conversation between them. In most of the stories prince saves the princess but here it was opposite. Gauri saved Vikram so many times in the book and yet there was no ego hurt or arrogance in both character. This made book different from other in this genre. Tournament of wishes gave both characters freedom and taught many other things. Working together in game brought out best in them. They surely will be on top of OTP list.

Climax was surprising. I didn’t expect all that happened to Vikram and Gauri. Aasha was also surprising element. End was beautiful. Those last few chapters were sweet.

Overall, it was full package of mystery, adventure, action, tales, myth, and romance that I recommend to all YA fantasy lover.

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Buy link: Amazon.com

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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

Publication Date: June 6th 2017
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton (Penguin Random House India)
Read Date: October 30th 2018
Genre: Literary Fiction / Indian Culture and politics / Contemporary
Pages: 464

Stars: 3.5/5

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Synopsis

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on a journey of many years-the story spooling outwards from the cramped neighbourhoods of Old Delhi into the burgeoning new metropolis and beyond, to the Valley of Kashmir and the forests of Central India, where war is peace and peace is war, and where, from time to time, ‘normalcy’ is declared.

Anjum, who used to be Aftab, unrolls a threadbare carpet in a city graveyard that she calls home. A baby appears quite suddenly on a pavement, a little after midnight, in a crib of litter. The enigmatic S. Tilottama is as much of a presence as she is an absence in the lives of the three men who loved her.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is at once an aching love story and a decisive remonstration. It is told in a whisper, in a shout, through tears and sometimes with a laugh. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, mended by love-and by hope. For this reason, they are as steely as they are fragile, and they never surrender. This ravishing, magnificent book reinvents what a novel can do and can be. And it demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy’s storytelling gifts.


reviews

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness was story of shattered characters telling their shattered life story and trying to live in this shattered world with support of hope and companionship. It was basically a fiction story based in India and written around political, social, religious, and regional issues of India with critical view point

what i liked

It was my first book by Arundhati Roy and won’t be the last. I have heard about this author but after reading this book I now know she is fearless writer who writes around the true facts with blunt row truth that not all can digest. I really appreciate her writing, style and the way she portrayed the controversies of India through these stories. What I loved most about the book was plot insights in following stories that will change the perspective of readers.

First story revolved around the life of a Hijara (a eunuch), Anjum who was Aftab before. I loved this story more than any other in the book. If book was written only for Anjum minus all the other small and big stories, I would have given it full star. Book started wonderfully with Anjum raising the question ‘how all hijaras are buried, who says the prayer and how the overall funeral procession take place for them?’ no one has seen this procession and so she decides to form one at the graveyard, and turn into ‘Jannat guest house’. But before that she told her life story at khwabgah, her childhood and her relation with her parents and family, how she came to live in Kwabgah and her life there with history and culture of Delhi.

The view point of a hijara in this book totally changed my perspective. It showed close view on – how they feel, how they go through hormonal and physical challenges and how the surrounding world and politics affects them, the criticism and hurtful comments and treatments they face. It gave the deeper insight on hijara’ life in India. It was written with the magician’s spell that bound me to the story. Characters were so realistic that one could easily put themselves in their shoe and have the whole new perspective.

Author has woven life of Anjum and the tragic events of era – India-Pakistan separation, post effects of separation, 1984 events attack at Golden Temple, death of Indira Gandhi, Demolition of the Babri Masjid, Hindu-Muslim riots, 9/11 attack… In short all tragic affairs from freedom struggle to current affairs and controversies- seamlessly with depth of emotions.

Then came the story of Tilo and her three lovers (Musa, Biplab aka Garson Hobart, Naga). It was lot confusing– first there was a question who Tilo actually loved, if she didn’t love Naga then why she married him, why she came to live as tenant at Garson’s building and then why she went to Kashmir and what happened there – but as I read more I got grip in her story. 

It takes readers from streets of Delhi to valley of Kashmir. What looked like love affair in the beginning turned out to be tragic blood stained account of life in Kashmir. Author raised lot of questions through this story- Who are the real terrorist and who the real heroes in Kashmir are, how people actually lived there and how their life ended and for what, what torture people- either innocent or guilty- go through and if this war of Kashmir with whole other India is ever going to end. Most horrible of all was Amrik Singh, senseless murders and tortures he executed and how that changed Tilo’s life. There was so many things scattered in this story that I don’t how to put it all into words but it will be easy for those who are aware of all affairs related to Kashmir.

At the end story took full circle back to graveyard with the story of Miss Jabeen the second. It was all thought-provoking and jaw-dropping. This book was very different from any book I have ever read.

why not 5 stars

As much as I appreciated writing, plot insights, I didn’t like its terrible slow pace and lengthy paragraphs and chapters. It took me a month to finish this books and I could see why so many readers has abandoned this book. I also thought to put it down for some time and start something else.

Main reason was uneven sequence of the story and some peripheral stories related to main story caused the distraction that drove me off the track as well as confused me at many points. It made me stop reading and think where this is going and what this piece had to do with the story or character, at places it felt like adding more words than focusing on real story.

Second, I didn’t enjoyed reading about Tilo’s story as much as Anjum’s. She was emotionless and I honestly didn’t get why she hated her mother.

In short, boring and dragging at places.

conclusion

Overall, it was insightful, thought-provoking fiction story based in India and written around political, social, religious, and regional issues of India with critical view point. But it is not for all reader, specifically not for those who are not aware of Indian affairs or those who doesn’t like to hear anything against India.


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Author: Arundhati Roy

Buy Link: Amazon.in / Amazon.com


What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book already or any book by this author? Which one is your favorite?
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Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

watching-glass-shatter

Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

Publication Date: October 8th 2017
Read Date: November 17th 2018
Genre: Fiction / Family Drama / Mystery
Pages: 278

Stars: 5/5

5 star

Synopsis

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.
Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.
We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits.
You can see sample chapters and descriptions at: https://jamesjcudney.com/
You can purchase at: http://mybook.to/WGS
reviews

Watching Glass Shatter was Family drama and full of secrets surrounding the Glass family telling the story of each Glass sons, their secrets, and their bond with each other.

Foundation of 40 years of marriage was shaken by heartbreaking secret that was revealed in letter, on the death of Ben (Benjamin) Glass that made Olivia Glass to get into depth of the secret. In solving the mystery of the letter Olivia decided to spend time time with her five sons that got her into more shocking secrets raised lot of questions. Some secrets devastated her, some made her furious, some made her question her bonding with her sons and some brought change in her own nature. It taught Olivia lot of things, being more humble and accepting the newer perspective, coping with loss and the most important of them was accepting the past, gaining the strength to accept the content of the letter Ben left behind.

Though I was familiar with author and his writing, have read many reviews of this book nothing could have prepared me for the exquisite, unique writing style. Book was steady pace, written in third person narrative telling the story of each Glass family members separately in each chapter titled by characters’ name that made it easy to follow characters separately without confusing reader.

It was character driven book with lots of characters in it. Story was focused mainly on 6 characters- Olivia, Teddy, Matt, Zach, Caleb and Ethan. Author did a fabulous job in narrating all of them with detailed description. They all were different from each other.

We get to know about Ben through the memory of Olivia and her sons that told their relationship with Ben and how great father and husband he was.

Olivia was old fashioned, controlling, arrogant mother that distant her sons from her. Both her daughter-in-law disliked her for this nature and so I but as story progressed she grew on me and I ended up liking her. Loved her development in the story, how she handled the problems in each of her son’s life and the way she brought change in herself. Diane, Olivia’s sister was side character but held important place in Glass family’s heart. I like her most in the book. She was loving and strong support of the family. I loved the way she kept them all together.

I didn’t like the extravagant lifestyle of Matt and Margaret and the way he kept pushing himself. Teddy and Sarah were another couple I didn’t like much. Teddy was closed shell and didn’t acted maturely being the eldest of all and though Sarah’s intention was good, like Olivia, I didn’t appreciate her approach. Caleb-Jack were my favorite characters. Jack was funny and the way he was introduced to Olivia was hilarious. Ethan-Emma were innocent of all and another favorite characters. They were the only one who didn’t keep secrets for years. All characters found solution to their problems at the end while it saddened me to read about Ethan and the way his story ended.

This book tells about the family values, importance of sticking together during ups and downs, accepting differences and forgiving each other no matter what. The secrets, twist and turns were shocking unpredictable that hooked me till the end of the book. I couldn’t guess who Ben addressed in his letters. I loved Olivia’s decision and Rowena’s confession. The book ended nicely, it was sad but satisfactory end.

Overall, it was captivating, addicting, emotional and juicy family drama with exquisite writing and quirky characters that I recommend o all fiction readers.


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Author: James J. Cudney

 Buy Link: Amazon.in / Amazon.com

*** Note: I downloaded free e-book via Amazon Kindle. ***

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