Hi guys, I’m back! After what has been the longest break I took on this blog. It’s been so long in-fact that in this post I am wrapping up my March reads, when we are almost at the end of the second quarter of the year!
But I hope you bear with me, because this is the only way I can share these books, as I have no time or patience for catching up on individual book reviews of so many books here on the blog (I do review them all on goodreads and amazon). And I really do want to share these books with you guys. So a wrap up it is!
As far as the reason for my absence / super long break, that’s a whole different post in itself. So I don’t want it to overtake this post which should be all about the books I read in March.
So without further ado, let’s get on with it, shall we?
Books I Read in March 2020
I read 5 books in March – a thriller, a memoir, and three romances. Of which one was a historical romance, the other one was based on a fantasy fairy tale, and the third one was a darker romance.
Brave Not Perfect
I first heard of this author on a podcast, where they were talking about inspiring women leaders. And found her story intriguing enough to check her out.
I mean here was this person, who at 33, was brave enough to run for Congress when the odds were stacked against her, faced crushing defeat, and yet did not give up. She instead found another avenue through which she brought about widespread positive change in the society – by starting the non-profit – Girls Who Code .
It was a story I was interested in knowing more about, and a person I was curious to hear more from. So when I came across this book by her – Brave, Not Perfect, I picked it up immediately.
And I’m glad I did, because it was an interesting read. Not path-breaking like Lean In or We Should All Be Feminists. But still an inspiring story, by another woman who chose to be brave instead of perfect.
VERDICT : I recommend it!
When A Scot Ties the Knot
This is the third (and final) book in the historical romance series I started in January – Castles Ever After. And my personal favorite of the series too!
In fact this was one of the best romances I’ve read in recent times, and Captain Logan Mackenzie is one of the dreamiest book boyfriends I’ve come across. The kind of hero who is by himself enough reason to pick up the book. Any book.
But then there’s Maddie, the heroine who – in-spite of being very self aware of her limitations – is one smart, sassy, and witty lass! I adored her almost as much as Captain Mackenzie – which says a WHOLE LOT.
And the romance.. ah it was perfect, and everything I hoped for – sweet, sexy, swoony, and.. funny! So much so that I couldn’t contain the giggles. And I am not even the overly giggly sort.
VERDICT: Definitely recommend!
An Anonymous Girl
This was my thriller pick of the month, and I really enjoyed it.
I especially loved the premise (read it here), and the narration hooked me right from the very beginning. So much so that I felt that I couldn’t get through the book fast enough, because I just constantly needed to know what happened next.
My only grouse was with how the story wrapped up, which I’ve to admit wasn’t bad, objectively speaking anyway. It’s just that I personally found it a little underwhelming, and not authentic to the character (especially to the villian). It would have been so much better if the author duo had spent more time crafting a more interesting & twisty conclusion.
VERDICT: I still recommend it! In-spite of the underwhelming end.
A Change of Heart
If you’ve followed my reviews in the past, you know that Sonali Dev is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve absolutely loved all the books I’ve read by her. All of them were 5 star reads for me. Until this one.
I simple couldn’t connect with this one. Even though objectively I could appreciate the good story-telling and characterization etc. It just wasn’t for me, for more reasons than one.
For starters, this story was a little too dark and intense for my taste, especially for a romance. And it had a crime / mystery component which, though done well, took me out of the main (love) story. Mostly because of the intermittent inclusion of the villain’s and the police inspector’s POV. I guess without those additional POVs, I would have been just fine with a mystery component.
And then there was some foreshadowing (?!) of another love story that will take center stage in the author’s next book. Which I usually don’t mind. But I don’t like it when it takes me away from the main romantic track of the current book.
Most importantly though, I simply couldn’t connect with the characters and their story enough. I mean I cared more about what was happening with Riya & Vikram (the lead duo from The Bollywood Bride) who made an appearance in this book!
But if the things I mentioned above do not bother you, and you do like intense, relatively dark romances, then this might be just the book for you.
VERDICT: Not a must read!
Of Curses & Kisses
This one is Sandhya Menon’s latest. It’s marketed as a Beauty & The Beast retelling.. set in an elite boarding school amidst the beautiful snow capped mountains of Colorado, featuring star crossed lovers, Indian royalty, British aristocrats, a scheme of revenge, and.. a centuries old curse!! All of which honestly gave me more than enough reasons to pick this book up. And after having read it, I’ve to tell you that the author did not disappoint.
Though I’ve to say this is not a true Beauty & The Beast retelling. In-fact the author has made this story uniquely her own, with only a sprinkling of Beauty & The Beast. Not that I am complaining, because Sandhya Menon’s Beauty not only has agency, but is pretty much the one driving the story forward.
That being said, there are elements of the story that can be considered slow going, full of cliches, and you can figure out who the ‘villian’ of the story is right from the time they show up on the page, even though the official reveal is at the end.
But you know what? None of it bothered me in the least. And I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe I was too wrapped up in the love story or maybe I’m just easy to please. Either way, I focused on the central love story, which was a slow burn romance between two star crossed lovers – and I was very happy with how that played out.
So I’d definitely recommend this book. Even if you’ve never tried anything by the author, pick this one up. It’s the first of a series, so you don’t need to catch up with her other contemporary books first, which belong to an entirely different universe.
Oh and definitely go with the audiobook if you can. I heard this story on audio, and it was FANTASTIC. In-fact in this particular case, I have a feeling that the format has greatly influenced my overall feelings about the book. I was so wrapped up in the narration that I did not feel like the story lagged at places, which so many others felt like it did.
So trust me when I tell you that the narrator has done a FABULOUS job. In-fact even if you have read the story, and are looking to re-read it, revisit the story on audio – it’s a TREAT.
VERDICT: Definitely recommend!
That’s all from my end folks. I’d love to hear from you.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Which books did you read in these past few months? Have you been reading at all? I’ve to admit that after March, I fell into a reading slump of sorts, which I’m just now recovering from. Hope you guys had a better reading year so far.
P.S. I missed you all. I am so glad to be back on here!