HER SECRET HUSBAND
(Marriages Made in Heaven Book #3)
The Maheshwaris are back, a little secretly this time!
What do you do if you find a man who looks like chocolate, speaks like warm syrup, looks at you like you were the most precious cake ever created, and he can bake too? You marry him, even if in secret.
Ruma Malhotra falls head over heels and a little more in love with Lakshman Maheshwari, but her parents insist that she marry a rich businessman of their choice. When Ruma's only option is to marry Lakshman in secret, she is left torn between her love for her parents and her passion for Lakshman. Is a secret marriage the solution or will it lead the way to a public disappointment?
Lakshman Maheshwari falls in love with Ruma Malhotra the first time he sets his eyes on her in Ranveer's office. Will he agree to marry Ruma in secret even if it means betraying his parents?
Psst... Those who have read THE MALHOTRA BRIDE might be happy to reconnect with Sunita & Akshay Malhotra in this one.
*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.
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Read an excerpt from #HSH
âWhatâs up?â he asked, trying to keep the situation light.
She winked at him. âShouldnât I be asking that question?â she asked, looking pointedly down at his lower body.
Reacting to her flirtation, his manhood immediately sprang to action, making Lakshman swear. âCut that out, Ruma,â he growled, sidestepping her as she wouldâve wrapped her arms around him. âI need a shower,â he insisted, not meeting her eyes. He went into the bathroom and locked himself in. The place smelled of Ruma. Cursing, Lakshman stood under the cold shower to tame his libido. She looked like she meant business. How could he convince her to wait till they got married? He dried himself with the towel that was on a rack, glaring at the mirror. He needed a shave. But no, they werenât going to make love, so it didnât really matter. Just then he realised that he would have to step out in the towel as his clothes were in the wardrobe. Swearing again, Lakshman walked into the bedroom.
âLaki,â called out Ruma, eyeing him avidly. Fascinated, she got up from the bed and walked up to him. He appeared like a Greek God with his chiselled body that was still damp from the shower.
She stood close to him and raised her left hand to caress his rough cheek. Her right hand was hooked into his towel as if she was going to pull it off him any second. Lakshman clamped his hand on hers, his fingers holding the towel firmly. âNo!â
âHuh?!â She looked deeply into his eyes, her brown gaze like melted cocoa, inviting him to make love to her. Her mouth was pouted deliciously, glistening wetly, begging for a kiss. Lakshman groaned deep in his throat, letting go of her hand to wrap his arms around her. He placed his lips on hers, sucking her upper lip. She tasted as sweet as honey, driving him crazy. His right hand moved down the curve of her hip to touch a thigh. He traced the curve, working his way under her nightshirt to encounter her bare bottom.
âRuma.â He deliberately removed his hands off her and raised his head to look at her.
She stared back at him with slumberous eyes. âWhat?â A small frown puckered her forehead.
âWeâll make love after we get married,â he declared.
âWhat if I donât agree?â
âIâll have to beg, right?â he grinned weakly. âPlease, my love. You know your parents wonât agree to a marriage between us. Doesnât it make sense to wait until after the event?â
âWhat if I want you desperately?â She nuzzled his neck, her teeth taking a sharp nip.
Lakshman groaned again, his arms crushing her to his chest. âDo you love me or just lust after my body?â
âCanât I do both?â
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About the author
Her Secret Husband is the tenth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #3 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India. Book #1 of the series is The Smitten Husband & Book #2 is His Drunken Wife. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom, The Madras Affair and An Autograph for Anjaliâall romances. She also has a collection of romantic shorts called Matches Made in Heaven; and a collection of human interest stories called Tales of Sunshine. All of Sundari Venkatramanâs books are on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK, Canada & Australia under both #romance & #drama categories.
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"Who Killed Little Johnny Gill?" is a crime drama that takes us into the Victorian times in 1888, in the city of Bradford, England. Young John Gill has been murdered in a most dastardly manner, his body hacked up, and his organs displaced, in a method eerily similar to the London murders committed by Jack the Ripper.
But is this the work of Jack the Ripper, or a copycat murderer? Kathryn McMaster takes us on a heart wrenching journey as she puts together clues and hints at what might have happened. She takes you skillfully into the street where the events take place, and you experience the tension and sorrow surrounding the crime.
It was about half-way through the book that I realized this was based on a true-story and is a fictionalized account of the true murder of a young boy in Bradford, England, based on documents and trial transcripts.
As we delve deeper into the story, we find out that John was last seen in the company of one William Barrett, whose movements and actions on the day of and in the days following the murder are suspicious. Many in the city believe in his innocence, and without going into details to avoid spoilers, the big question is:
Is William Barrett innocent?
Whether you know how the trial ended, or were surprised by it as I was, this book will take you on a journey you will not easily forget.
Kudos to McMaster!
Buy it on Amazon
I came upon this book without knowing anything about the plot, thinking it would be an easy, fun read. It would be a dynamic between two sisters, possible jealousy, possible sibling rivalry. So I picked it up and began to read it. And boy, Kyla Stone has a way with words! In the short read of 45 pages, she has packed character development, character arc, dialogue, setting, foreshadowing, and a satisfying end.
The opening scene with flies is gut-wrenching, because it foreshadows something sinister. The relationship of Emmalyn with her new boyfriend is sweet. He seems like a clueless slob, but appears to love her, and is the only real relationship she has. Then comes Emmalyn’s family, in the midst of a challenging time, and the reader longs to know what is happening. We know it is something ominous and creepy, and the author hints at the issue.
I particularly liked the way Stone dealt with the relationship between the sisters: genuine and intense. The scene about Ava, the little sister, destroying Emmalyn’s school project without remorse, but with delight, lasted with me a long time. We know no one is inherently bad. But why does Ava behave in that manner? Is she acting out? Is she just seeking attention?
And then comes the hard truth. You know it is happening. You know what it must be. And when it happens, you want to cry for the family.
Stone has knitted a story highlighting harsh reality with raw intensity that was at times difficult to digest, but rendered me incapable of putting it down.
Buy it here.
by Emily Giffin
A family drama with tragedy, forgiveness and acceptance
First Comes Love is a story of two sisters struggling to make sense of their lives at the fifteenth anniversary of their brother’s tragic death in a car accident. Rosie, the spunky, extroverted sister is now a school teacher who has lost the love of her life and now lives with her best friend, a guy. Nearing forty, she had decided to use a sperm bank to conceive a child, and her quest is to find an appropriate donor. Meredith is the reserved control-freak actress-turned-lawyer married her brother’s best friend out of a feeling of obligation. Her quest is difficult to define; throughout the book, she’s trying to decide if she really loves her husband.
The family is torn apart due to the tragedy and the parents are divorced; Meredith has bought the family home, which ties her further to the past.
The two sisters have an unusually tumultuous relationship; most sisters I know (and my own) are really good friends. But tragedy has distanced them further. There is a passing mention of their relationship before the tragedy, but even that was hair-pulling and ‘won’t-share-my-necklace’ type of drama. At the end of the book, after painful secrets come out and each defines her own priorities, they come to an equilibrium of understanding.
The characters are deeply flawed: Rosie is self-indulgent and bossy without many redeeming qualities, something any protagonist needs to be relatable. Meredith is the jealous type who can’t find anything good about her sister or her own life. I didn’t like either character, but was compelled to complete the story.
The novel delves into the concepts of survivor’s guilt, forgiveness, jealousy, and the ultimate desire to follow your heart. The characters may not be likeable, but the story is well-written and riveting.
Buy it on Amazon.
A romance with a powerful social message!
The book starts with Sangita, the empowered, successful head of an NGO that works to improve the lives of battered and homeless women. We are introduced to her supporting and loving husband Gautam, an American.
As the story unfolds, we find out about Sangita’s past. She is born to an orthodox South Indian family and married off at the age of nineteen. We find out about her abusive husband, his sudden death while driving drunk, and the impossible demands and blame her family places on Sangita and her little boy. Young Sangita falls head over heels with Gautam while working as a receptionist in a hospital,. But she has been brought up to follow the norms of her conservative society and finds it difficult to accept Gautam’s affection.
Gautam is born to an American father and Indian mother, and lives with his grandparents in India, teaching at a local university. Having grown up in the US, he does not understand the traditions and taboos a young widow with a child faces.
With the help of her sister-in-law, her son, and Gautam’s grandparents, Sangita finds the will to overcome parental pressure and establish her authority to finally free herself form the societal chains that bind her.
With strong and well fleshed out characters, an interesting plotline, vivid imagery and a satisfying conclusion, Sundari Venkatraman takes us on a romantic journey, which leaves us smiling in the end.
Until I Met Her by Natalie Barelli
Before Emma Fern meets Beatrice Hodgson-Greene, she is a sweet, happy, and easy going store owner in a reasonably happy marriage.
Enter Beatrice, a best-selling author of crime fiction, who comes to Emma with an offer: Beatrice needs someone to be ‘the author’ of her yet to be published novel, because it is of a different genre. Emma has unfulfilled literary ambitions, and finds the offer impossible to refuse.
As they begin their imbalanced and bumpy ‘friendship’, things take a turn for the worse, and you find yourself rooting for poor Emma, as she takes decision after self-destructive decision, in a journey of shocking discoveries and unexpected turns.
I enjoy a good psychological thriller, and Natalie Barelli’s Until I met Her didn’t fail to entertain. In fact, instead of going out for a jog, I found myself glued to the exercise bike at home, with the iPad in my hands, waiting for the next mind-boggling twist.
A fast paced, interesing read.
Clean Break by Abby Vegas
A Clean Break is, at its heart, a romance with elements of suspense. It is the story of a down-on-her-luck, used-to-be-rich girl Lane, who is trying to get a clean break and start over. She may have lost everything, but her greatest asset is her personality.
When she loses her deposit for an apartment in New York and must live in the basement of a suspicious Russian-mafia-type organization, she has no choice but to accept her fate. But Lane is such a spunky, strong, impulsive, loving young woman with a quirky sense of humor, that I fell in love with her character from the first page.
Viktor is everything Lane should avoid: devastatingly handsome, with a quaint accent and startling blue eyes, numerous tattoos, and a past he prefers to hide. But he keeps showing up when she needs him. He seems like a really good guy at heart. Hurting, just like her. But he also seems linked to the Russian mafia, and her only friend warns her not to get too close to him. But their attraction is irresistible.
What I like most about the book is Ms Vegas’s ‘voice’. For a debut novel, Ms Vegas has such a great voice, that it almost seems she’s talking from experience, about herself. In addition, her descriptions of places and people are vivid and enriching. The character arc is well built for all the characters, including Lane’s boss, eventually leading to a satisfying end.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was rooting for Lane all the way!
A Mother's Secret by Renita D'Silva
A Mother’s Secret is a sweeping saga that weaves the lives of three women seamlessly, drawing the reader into the story with breathtaking imagery. As we delve deeper into the secrets, deceit, and heartbreak, D’Silva reveals the story bit by tantalizing bit, and unfolds a tapestry of richly textured characters with flaws and strengths, and we find ourselves cheering for each in turn until the satisfying end.
The three main characters are Jaya, who is mourning the loss of her baby and her mother, Durga, who blames herself for her parents' accident, and Kali, who loses the love of her childhood sweetheart because of family drama.
But my favorite was Kali, whose deception has a childlike innocence, whose pride is fragile, and whose love for life is triumphant.
Another evocative book by Renita D’Silva. A must read!
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Jhumpa Lahiri's lilting prose paints a pretty picture, but the melancholy can get to you. Many of her characters are maladjusted, sad, Bengali immigrants, not even trying to fit in, and their children are often confused and sadder still. But she writes beautifully! In this book, she explores the lives to two second-generation Indian immigrants as they weave their way through life in America, then Europe and Thailand. Interesting read!
I read this book during a long flight, and couldn't put it down. I loved the way Kimberly McCreight describes the angst of a grieving mother, and her grit as she finds out more and more truths about her daughter's secret life. Having a teenaged daughter myself, the book spoke to me. It is so important in thie day and age to keep in touch with your kids. Keep the conversations going. What's going on in their lives. How are they coping with the stresses of school. What's their social life. All these are addressed in Reconstructing Amelia.
All opinions on the books listed here are my own.