book review no escape from love reet singh

Book Review: No Escape from Love by Reet Singh

My quest to find the elusive – The One of the Indian Romance scene continues. I have decided to play a little safe after the ‘Scorpio Superstar’ debacle.

So I picked another book from a previously published Mills and Boon author.

Let’s find out if it’s any better…

Genre: Contemporary Indian Romance.

Main Characters: Mohini Kapoor, Aalok Ahuja.

‘No Escape from Love by Reet Singh’ ~~ Synopsis:

After a tragedy strikes, Mohini runs away to hide in her ancestral home in the countryside. There she lives in peace in a big house and runs a small business with the help of the local women.

One day she finds a stranger in her house and fears that someone from her or rather her husband’s past has caught up with the intention to harm.

As it turns out her brother permitted a friend of his to live there as he thought Mohini would not be at home.

That’s Mohini’s plan, but her plan changed at the last moment. Now she’s stuck with a stranger in her house. A stranger refuses to tell her the exact reason behind his arrival.

Aalok is lying low after a photo shoot went wrong. Mohini’s brother knows the truth. But he’s not sure how much he could or should tell his hostess who runs hot and cold at a minutes’ notice.

Why bother her with his troubles, as he’s leaving anyways in a couple of days.

Review:

I have used the term ‘Romance’ loosely for this story. There’s no story. My biggest complaint is ‘No Escape from Love’ is not a Romance at all. The author takes a complicated theme and fails to do justice to it. It’s not a woman’s fiction, it doesn’t fall neatly into the Romance category and it certainly is not erotica.

I’m grumbling about the erotica part because it seems the author has mixed up the genres and has tried to build chemistry and love between the characters solely based on sex. That, dear author happens in the Erotic Romance genre and not in Romance novels.

In Romance genre, first you build up the chemistry and later decide to add or leave sex. But the chemistry between the characters, in any case, is a must have ingredient which should be present even if you’re writing a sweet romance.

The band of these authors are calling these unromantic, underdeveloped, unhinged and unemotional stories ‘Hot Romance’.

The only question that crosses my mind after reading these non-romance books is: Have they ever read even a single Romance book in their life? Forget reading ‘Hot’ Romance as their stories are giving away impression that they don’t read the books in the genre at all.

You cannot be an avid reader of Romance genre and not know how its format and theme follows. But I doubt avid readers make good storytellers as just like any other craft, writing requires practice too.

Not much sorry to break their delusions of grandeur that their books are not even qualified to be classified as sweet romance, leave alone what is called ‘Hot Romance’.

‘No Escape from Love’ has exactly the same problems as its contemporary ‘Destiny’s Girl’. It’s a small mercy that it doesn’t fall in the category of the ‘Scorpio Superstar’.

The author has wasted no time on useless things like character or scene development. There’s too much telling and not enough showing of anything. How can I forget my pet peeve that almost all Indie Indian authors have been following like some crazy ritual – the exclamation point?

What’s with them anyway? It’s as if no one ever taught them not to use the exclamation point generously even if your book is 50000 words or so long.

At first I got the impression that Ms. Singh’s writing isn’t suffering from this syndrome – would have been a small mercy. But soon I was proved wrong when they started raining.

It seems they are justified, yet they could have been killed in the editing phrase by means of explaining (read: showing) the scenes and choosing strong yet simple words instead.

 “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.” ~~ Terry Pratchett

The Chemistry:

There’s no chemistry between the characters. How could there be when they are so flat? That reminds me until the characters explained what they was happening, I couldn’t even tell what was happening in the first chapter, introduction is that boring.

Why I expected anything here I don’t know. Everything is happening at a breakneck speed, which seem to be trademark of Indian Indie authors and it’s failing to impress or build an interesting story. Who is going to develop the characters and the scenes?

The first half of this unhinged unemotional story line takes place within 24 hour timeline. That alone makes it unbelievable.

That brings us to the writing style, which by no means is pedestrian, but that doesn’t mean it’s smooth and interesting. It isn’t. The writing style is flat and tedious.

Then there’s an issue of weird use of words for example ‘boy-toy’. Since Mohini is 25 and Aalok in his early thirties, I don’t even know why the author made Mohini use the word. It’s so out of context. By no means, Aalok would have been Mohini’s ‘boy-toy’ if they took their weird affair further.   

This is not the only time I have found weird and dated use of words that made the reading even more boring. An editor needed desperately.

If these authors cannot afford editor then why, oh, why they are not wasting any of their time learning basic editing and most certainly creative writing! In the age of Google it’s not that difficult.

I would love to know exactly the kind of Romance novels these new Indie Indian authors are reading or have read. Is it the influence of some dated writing style they read or it’s just their own writing that’s dated?

I have been wondering if these so-called Romance authors (Indie Indian mostly) have even invested a few hours of their life reading Romance novels as their writings and storytelling leave a lot to be desired and corrected with a red pen.

Their writing style is not refreshing like some Indie authors and they are failing to even the imitate age old romance formula.

Once upon a time, a popular traditional publisher did an awesome job of choosing authors and maybe that’s the reason why the contest to find new Indian Romance authors is ‘six feet under’. It’s difficult to survive in a competitive market like Romance selling crap to Romance readers.

Also, the Indian Indie authors for some reason seem obsessed with exploring the ‘abuse’ theme in Romance and are again failing miserably to do either the theme or Romance genre justice. Why pick a theme you have no idea how to handle? Such themes need delicate handling and I don’t have to write it down.

I also understand to some extent why Bella Andre wroteThe Look of Love like it’s written. Because reading about abuse in Romance doesn’t make for a romantic read when neither character gets any sort of closure.

Not getting a closure is too close to reality and Romance isn’t a place for exploring reality – its escape from reality and not the other way around.

That made me question: if ‘No Escape from Love’ is a cheap imitation of The Look of Love? If it is, then it’s another failure.  

Hit or Miss: Dull.

Ratings: -1star/5.

Buy:   Amazon.com    |     Amazon.in  

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Priyanka Sharma

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