GROOMNAPPED: The title doesn’t leave much to imagination – or does it? You’re in for a surprise here, believe me. I loved the almost cocky confidence and humour this story exudes.
BEAUTY IS BUT SKIN DEEP: Know the saying about the ugly duckling growing into a beautiful swan? This is sort of what happens with Simi in this heart-warming story. She had beauty lurking inside her for all those years, but it takes a few shocks and the help of Cupid to make her realize it. Can I throw another fitting saying at you? Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder!
AN ARRANGED MATCH: I saw this one coming, but that made the tale no less satisfying. The author sure knows how to write a sensual steamy scene that gets the reader all hot and bothered. And as usual, I loved both the heroine and the hero instantly.
RED ROSE DATING AGENCY: Oh, another pleasant surprise. I really like the characterization in this, and the hidden messages peppering the plot. Well done, Ms. Venkatraman, well done!
CHAHTI HOON TUMHE: I had been waiting for the author to delve into the endless possibilities of Bollywood, and with this short story she has done so in a wonderful way. I had sensed danger coming, but not in the way it finally came. Nice twist! And I also loved it that the heroine and not the hero is the movie star in this!
SOUL MATES: The author deftly manages to weave several generations and several love stories into a few words – words with a meaning that runs deep and rings true. I know about traditions in Asia / India and shouldn’t have been shocked, but I was nevertheless.
MADEINHEAVEN.COM: I have a very mixed attitude towards online dating and matchmaking, but this story was a treat to read. Once again, a surprise is in store for you. And now excuse me while I brainstorm a plan to set up a matchmaking website and attract millions to it… ;-)
RAHAT MILI: Totally hadn’t seen this one coming. With its almost paranormal touch, it wound its way straight into my heart. I think this is my favourite story of the anthology. I can see the potential for a whole novel in here. Ms. Venkatraman, if you read this, please take the hint. ;-)
REEMA’S MATCHMAKERS: I love stories revolving around second chances, and this one is no exception. I could picture the characters in my head, and I applaud the author’s daring for writing about them. They sure deserved the happy end they got!
THE RELUCTANT BRIDE: I had expected something else from the title, but what the author came up with was a pleasant and entertaining surprise. I was rooting for both of them at the same time, and loved the mix of sweet and sassy and sexy.
SHWETA KA SWAYAMVAR: If I hadn’t already picked a favourite, then this would be my choice. Loved the witty, thoroughly entertaining and imaginable story. When do we get to see it on TV? ;-)
PAPPA’S GIRL: Nicely written. Full of energy and dynamics. I like the role the father played in this story.
LOVE MATCH FOR VELAN: The last story of the anthology definitely makes it into my Top 3. I love the mythological flair to it, and although the story seemed quite predictable, it had me enraptured and longing for more. I’m beginning to think the author should try her hand at historical romance…