Book review: Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

This book made me so hungry!
Reena loves to bake. She doesn’t particularly love being out of work though, or the fact that her parents are trying to set her up with a husband. Again. Only this time, he lives across the landing from her and the first time she met him (before she knew her parents were intending for her to marry him), she liked him.
Nadim likes a lot of things. Reena, for one. Also, bread. He really likes food.
When Reena’s career hits a snag, she spots a cooking competition that would let her fulfill her dream of becoming a baker. But you need to be a couple to do it. After a night with too much beer, she and Nadim film an entry and send it in. When they get through to the next round, they agree to pretend to be engaged for the duration of competition.

There’s so much food in this book. I kept having to get up to have a snack.
I liked that they discussed the Afro-Indian diaspora and Afro-Indian food in particular. I also liked that, during the course of the book, Reena healed her relationships with her family too.

Overall, this was a tremendously fun book to read. Just expect to need to eat while reading.

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Book review: A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

I’ve really enjoyed every book in this series so far, so when I spotted this on Netgalley I pounced on it immediately.

Colton Wheeler is a very handsome and very famous country and western star. Gretchen Winthrop is human rights lawyer who defends people who are being deported and separated from their families. She’s the grumpy one, he’s the sunshiney one. Opposites attract etc.

I enjoyed this book a lot. Colton’s not my favourite of the bros – that’s Vlad – but he’s fun. It was nice to see how he got his music back when he met his muse. I loved that when the muse took him, he had to ask Gretchen to leave him alone so that he could write!
Gretchen’s past is quite horrible. There were a few times when I wanted to shake her, but it all worked out in the end.

I love this series so much. The blokes are so blokey and realistic. The books are funny too. If you haven’t read any yet, you really should pick one up! You can read my other reviews of the books in the series below.

Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for the review copy.

#1 Book review: The Bromance Book CLub by Lyssa Kay Adams

#2 Book review: Crazy, Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

#3 Book review: Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams (Nerdy genius hero)

#4 Book review: Isn’t it Bromantic by Lyssa Kay Adams (Yay Vlad!)

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Book review: Becoming Crone by Lydia M Hawke

I spotted this on Netgalley and requested it out of sheer curiosity. (‘The Crone Wars’ – how could I resist?!)

Claire has spent her life making herself small and fitting in around her husband and son. But turning sixty coincides with the dawning of her powers.

I enjoyed finding out about Claire’s powers (although, I got a bit impatient with her standing around going ‘what?’ at key moments). The magical aspects were entertaining and interesting. The gargoyle and the wolf-shifter were great side characters. All in all it was really good fun. I liked that she was an older and (arguably) wiser ‘chosen one’.

I will keep an eye out for the rest of the series.

I read an ARC through Netgalley (thank you!). This is my honest review.

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Book Review: The Practice Kiss by Sara Martin (My K-Drama Life Book 1)

I picked this up after reading an article about books influenced by K-Drama. I love K-dramas, but when I watch one, it takes up all my concentration. I’m a bit busy right now, so I figured I’d get a quick K-drama hit by reading this book.
Chloe goes to Korea for a job – which turns out to be a scam. Penniless and drunk, in the rain, she gets spotted by a talent scout and offered a job. She’s cast in a K-drama alongside a handsome actor … who knew her when she was a teenager.
I wanted a quick K-drama hit and that was exactly what I got. I enjoyed reading this book and zipped through it. The only downside was that it didn’t fully end. I think you need to read all three books to get the full story with the happy ending.

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Book review: A Murder of Principal by Saralyn Richards

I bought book this on a whim after seeing it on Twitter (I can’t remember what it referenced – the books by Arthur Hailey, maybe?). It’s been a while since I’ve read a book written in this style. There was a lot of background about school procedures etc, but it was still a murder mystery and it was still compelling. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed reading Arthur Hailey’s detail rich books. I’ll have to go read The Moneychangers again.
There are a lot of POV characters, but the main one is Sally Pearce – school administrator. I usually prefer crime novels with fewer POVs, but honestly, there was enough from each character to keep things ticking along. It made for a more rounded world, too. The book touches on a lot of social factors but remains a murder mystery at its core.
It was a good reminder to me that there are different styles of books and, when done well, they are wonderful. An excellent impulse buy.

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Book review: The Love Arrangement by Ruby Basu

Annika loves her travel-heavy lifestyle. Her world is arranged just the way she wants it to be. Unfortunately, all the travelling and working in remote places isn’t exactly conducive to a long term relationship. But, when she impulsively blurts out to her parents that she has a boy friend … she needs to produce one.
Enter Rav, Annika’s childhood nemesis turned handsome entrepreneur. He needs someone to pretend to be his partner for a business thing. It’s the perfect arrangement. It’s almost a shame it has to end, really…
I enjoyed reading The Love Arrangement. Annika is driven and stubborn. Rav is wonderfully intense. I loved the way the family navigated the Indian and British parts of themselves. I especially liked the way Annika’s siblings tease her. I also liked how their interactions as children led her to think of Rav as this pain-in-the-bum nemesis and for Rav to think of her as aloof and unattainable.

I had a great time reading this book. I received a review copy from the publisher via Netgalley. This is my honest review.

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Book review: Love & Other Dramas by Ronali Collings

Women’s fiction with Sri Lankan protagonists? I am 100% in the target demographic for this book. It’s always nice to see people who look like me in a popular book.
The story follows the lives of Tania, her mother Helen and Tania’s best friend, Priya as they learn to love and discover their sexualities later in life.
Tania is recently divorced and finding her feet again. She’s even gone back to work. But she can’t just slip back into the life she gave up when she got married and had kids. The world has changed and she feel old and out of place in it. Until she rediscovers her passion for dancing.
Helen is widowed and she’s blossoming.
Priya is in her forties, long divorced and generally a hot mess. She’s always been ambitious and she’s just been passed over for a promotion that she knew she deserved.
The women each try to find their own way in this changed world. I enjoyed reading about the ups and downs of trying to get back into work, or learning to love again when you’re older. I also enjoyed the dynamics between the generations – especially the way the roles reversed between mother and daughter.
The descriptions of the food made me so hungry!
I look forward to reading more from this author.
I received an advance review copy through Netgalley. This is my honest review.

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Book review: The Ghost of Ivy Barn by Mark Stay

Having read the first two books in the series, I was excited to read this latest instalment to see what trouble Faye got into (and out of) this time.

This one is a bit less dark than the others, but the threat was very real. I really liked the serial killer witch! The ghost was creepy – as is proper. My favourite thing was probably the flying machine (to say any more would be a spoiler).
I love the bickering witches. The nudist one was very funny. Bertie is adorable as always too.

Once again, it’s a fun adventure. I can’t wait for the next one.

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Book review: Last Victim of the Monsoon Express by Vaseem Khan

This book is described as ‘charming’ and it really is!
Inspector Chopra is on a revived steam train and his ward, the baby elephant Ganesha is travelling with him. An Indian politician is murdered and Chopra has to solve the mystery before the train stops or risk there being a major international incident.
I liked how the history of partition was woven into the story (only where it was relevant). I really appreciated the Poirot-esque murder mystery.
This was a fun short read. I liked the gentle humour in the story, even though Inspector Chopra is a very serious man, his observations are sometimes funny.
I will be checking out the other books in the series.