Book Review: Saved in Sri Lanka by Devika Fernando

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The heroine of Saved in Sri Lanka, Devika Fernando’s latest romance book, is named Sepalika which is Sri Lankan for the Night Flowering Jasmine or Shiuli (which is the name of my website, in case you didn’t notice :P)What better reason to pick up the book then, right? So pick it up I did, and let me tell you that I’m not disappointed at all.

Sepalika turned out to be a feisty woman, courageous enough to pursue a career as a tourist guide due to her interest in the country’s rich history, when most women would be too busy thinking of their complexion. I almost wished she had retorted to her fiancé when he suggested she apply sunscreen and wear a hat “so she doesn’t become too dark” like the other Sri Lankans. Yet I admire her spunk, her willingness to look for a happier future.

Daniel on the other hand, has been portrayed as a history-loving, long-legged Irishman with “polished cheekbones you can cut yourself on”. What draws Sepalika most to him is his Irish accent though, and their common love for world history. Somehow, reading through the first few chapters, I almost wished that I would get a glimpse of some redeemable quality in Daniel and so would Sepalika. When he gave me a glimpse of his chivalrous nature or the mischievous glint in his eye, I was already 5 chapters in, and till then I just had the Irish accent to make do with.

Mahesh, somehow, always felt like a looming shadow. We knew he was there but not quite, his thinking and ideology straight from the dark ages. I’m so relieved that he got what was coming! 😀

The chemistry between Sepalika and Daniel was sizzling yet tender. But will it be a love story against all odds, especially since Sepalika is keeping a secret from Daniel? What happens when Daniel finds out? Well, I’m certainly not telling, am I? 😛

I followed Sepalika as a guide as she travels with her tourists from Colombo to Kandy, Sigiriya to Nuwara Eliya and beyond. The scenic beauty is ethereal making Sri Lanka the topmost destination on my travel bucket list. The vivid descriptions of Sigiriya frescoes or 100 foot Buddha statue in The Golden Temple of Dambulla, the information about Uda Rata Natum and the Vannam dance forms, the local sights and smell and cuisine are enough to entice a traveler. It’s clear that Fernando knows her country of residence inside out and loves it, for the love spills onto her words and made me love Sri Lanka too.

Kudos, Devika, for writing such a sweet yet steamy romance.

 

Buy at :  Amazon

Book Review – Unsettled by Neelima Vinod

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Title : Unsettled

Author : Neelima Vinod

Publisher : Indireads

ISBN : 978-1-927826-07-2

Cover Illustration : Madhiya Qureshi

 

Book Blurb :

The hundred-room house is a rich tapestry of memories and hidden secrets, a dark, forbidding place, rumoured to be haunted by a vengeful Yakshi. Propelled by a desire to save their marriage, Divya and Raghav journey to the haunted mansion in search of the mythical Scrolls of Love.

Written five hundred years ago by the banished court poet Shankara, they are fabled to have the power to heal and reignite lost love. Is this just a legend, or are the couple heading towards a chilling destiny?

 

Review :

Unsettled is a tale of love. True love that makes people face the impossible as well as the dark unrequited love that makes them haunt a place forever.

 

Divya suspects her husband Raghav of cheating on her with his childhood friend. Plagued by vivid dreams and determined to save her marriage, she consults Dr. Ray, a notable therapist suggested by her friend Emily. When he suggests that they visit her village Cherakad in search of the Scrolls of Love which will help bring love back into their marriage, Raghav, though reluctant, agrees. But not all is as easy as it seems. The Scrolls of Love is hidden somewhere in the hundred-roomed Big House and is fiercely guarded by a Yakshi, Thathri. Will they be able to get it or will they fall prey to the Yakshi? Will they be successful in salvaging their marriage? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

 

What captured my interest from the very beginning is the absolutely beautiful lyrical quality of the prose. I enjoyed the narration so much that I just HAD to look up the author’s blog! Each page is a play on emotions, especially the scenes of Thathri and the poet Shankara. The plot is engaging  with two threads running simultaneously, the marriage problems of our contemporary couple and the unrequited love of Thathri. It’s surely a page turner with beautiful verses strewn in between and cliffhanger moments. Both the female characters have been sketched vividly by the author but IMO the male characters would’ve benefited with a li’l more attention.

 

Overall, It’s a short and sweet read, and recommended for anyone who loves beautiful prose. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed. Neelima Vinod is surely an author to watch out for!

 

Disclaimer: Received the e-book from the author in exchange of an honest review.