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Review – Grays Hill by Barbara T. Cerny

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The Blurb

After her father committed suicide rather than face his mounting gambling debts, Oksana Wallingford knows she will have to work in order to keep food on the table and her younger brother, the new baron, in school. When her best friend finds her a position as the nanny of his brother’s children, it is the opportunity Oksana needs. But what she didn’t contend with was Rafe, the recently widowed Duke of Essex and her new employer.

 Oksana and Rafe’s personalities are like oil and water. However, what begins as mutual hate slowly begins to change into something more. But what future can they have when Rafe has sworn off marriage for good?

As the mismatched pair struggles to come to terms with one another, a disaster that throws everything into question strikes them both.

 

I found Grays Hill to be an engaging historical read. Though the overarching theme in the story is the duke’s recovery from the emotional damage he had suffered, effected through his romance with his governess, the story isn’t centered on the two romantic characters but rather embraces all the characters in its fold. They are warm, cheerful and you go happily along for a ride.

At places there is lack of conflict which takes you out of the story and the interest wanes near the end because of that. Interaction between main characters started a little late in the book and ended a bit too early and the last episode along with the spotlight on the villain, in my view, was unnecessary. I enjoyed the middle half thoroughly. The heroine is unusual and takes the stage. But she is depicted so strongly that at one or two points one looks askance at the hero.

I rate it four stars out of five for readability except the last one fourth of it, four stars for concept and world building.

Read it if you’re looking for a historical, entertaining read which is not a typical genre cast.

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Review – Double Jeopardy by Sundari Venkatraman

Blurb

Sanya doesn’t just have trouble, she has double trouble. Twins Arth and Ansh Sharma, are rich, sexy and sinfully handsome – what’s a girl to do?

 Sanya last saw the twins when she was ten years old. Now, all grown up, she has come looking for gentle Arth, the twin she has loved ever since she can remember. But instead, she is confronted with fiery Ansh, who is hell-bent on seducing her. And what’s worse, she can’t seem to stop herself from responding to him.

 As she chases Arth and is chased by Ansh, Sanya finds herself on a crazy roller coaster ride with no way of getting off. How will she deal with these two very different men in her life? Will she be able to convince one twin that she loves the other?

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First the title. I congratulate Sundari on it. It is very intriguing and makes you want to pick up this book.

As in the blurb the story revolves around Sanya’s predicament about two men she knew as boys while growing up. The differing feelings in the past and present have been explored and Sanya is given her perfect ending in the conclusion.

What I liked most about the book is Sundari’s writing. She has a way of wanting you to read more so that you don’t feel that the story is being thrust upon you.

The short length is a drawback because the characters come out too simplistic. The author has wisely desisted from introducing any other conflict between characters. But conversely that makes the characters miss the depth they could have had. I felt too that the epilogue type ending could have been used to add more words to the story.

Throughout, the story stays loyal to its theme. At the end, it comes out a little idealistic as though it’s the author’s depiction of what should or could be the approach of modern India towards the issues discussed. I don’t mean this as a criticism though.

I rate it four stars out of five for readability, three for plot, and three and a half for my takeaway impression. Looking to read more from this author.

Read it for Sundari’s lovely flowing writing and clean cut descriptions.

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