Review : Shadowed Promise by Sunanda Chatterjee

Review  Shadowed Promise
Shadowed Promise

​At the cusp of political victory, Sameer faces increasing gun violence and death threats leading to an FBI investigation. But his greatest challenge comes when a shadow from Moyna’s past threatens to destroy their future.

What hope do they have with the media hungering for a scandal?

A story of friendship, redemption, and forgiveness, “Shadowed Promise” is a journey from blind faith to triumphant love.

SHADOWED PROMISE
From riots in Bombay to the riches of Beverly hills…
by
Sunanda Chatterjee
 
Blurb
 
Moyna’s cousin panted at the doorway, heavy with child. “Who did this to you?” her father shouted. And Moyna knew that somehow she would be blamed for this unspeakable shame on the family. Her aunt blamed her for all the tragedies, from the death of Moyna’s own parents to the riots in Bombay. But, as her cousin lay dying of stab wounds, Moyna promised to protect the baby.
 
In a panic, eighteen-year-old Moyna made a hasty decision that would return to haunt her years later. 
 
Bullied as a child, Sameer wants to make the world a safer place.  He has spurned a cushy career in his father’s law firm for public service. Sameer is drawn to the mysterious Moyna when they meet in Los Angeles. The attraction seems mutual, but Moyna remains cautious and secretive about her past, insulating herself from love to protect others from her unlucky curse.
 
At the cusp of political victory, Sameer faces increasing gun violence and death threats leading to an FBI investigation. But his greatest challenge comes when a shadow from Moyna’s past threatens to destroy their future.
 
What hope do they have with the media hungering for a scandal?
 
A story of friendship, redemption, and forgiveness, “Shadowed Promise” is a journey from blind faith to triumphant love.
Review 

Moyna, a teenager when we meet her lives with her uncle and aunt in Bombay. An accident claims her parents’ lives and that becomes the reason why Moyna gets called the root of all evil. Her aunt leaves no chance to mentally abuse her for any bad experience that anyone near Moyna faces. While growing up, this constant abuse that she is the root of all evil gets engraved in young Moyna’s impressionable mind and she guards herself too closely, never letting anyone near her.

Tania, the only person who loves Moyna, comes home pregnant and it is from here that the story actually kicks off. The Bombay riots following the demolition of Babri Masjid start off around the same time. A violent group attacks the family as they climb into the taxi to take Tania who is in labor now to the hospital. Gruesome scenes depicting the fear and hatred in people’s minds are clearly narrated by Sunanda Chatterjee in this book Shadowed Promise.

On an impulse, Moyna promises Tania that she will look after the baby boy Avinash.

Her aunt, true to her abusive nature, puts the blame of Tania’s death on Moyna and asks her to leave their home before her black shadow affects the new born Avi. Owing to her brilliant performance in her SATs, Moyna gets a fully sponsored admission to University in Los Angeles. She meets Lupe and Aaron who become best friends and the family she never had.

Sameer, the son of a successful lawyer who once immigrated from India is intrigued by Moyna as she reminds him of someone he met during Holi on one of his vacations. Sameer pursues Moyna and tries to unravel the mystery that surrounds her. While Moyna is also attracted to Sameer, she fears the curse and maintains her distance from him.

She pursues her dreams of becoming a lawyer and fulfilling her cousin Tania’s dream. The promise that she once made in a hospital to her dying cousin haunts her as does Sameer who is hell bent on being in her life.

What will happen to her love life? Does she become the lawyer she wanted to be? Will she ever meet Avi? Will her relationship with her aunt ever improve?

Shadowed Promise is the story of a young girl who tries hard to cope with her past and keep on living. Even though mentally abused and wounded, Moyna is a loving girl, one who understands the pain of another human being. Whether or not the curse is true and how she manages to live in spite of the curveballs life throws at her forms an inspiring story.

The characters created by Sunanda Chatterjee in Shadowed Promise are very real and believable. The narration is clear and lucid, the book makes for a fast paced interesting read.

Read an excerpt of #Shadowed Promise here:

Sameer chased after Moyna as she opened the side-door to the stairwell. When the door nearly swung shut, he stuck in his foot and opened it again. She had already reached the landing, so he took the stairs two at a time. “Moyna, I wanted to say congratulations!”
Her face glowed in the cardinal and gold graduation gown. A low pony swung below the cap, the tassels of which hung at her cheek. She looked happy. She smiled at him, for a moment, without holding back. Her smile was dazzling in its brilliance. Why didn’t she smile more?
She said, “Was that all you wanted?”
He grinned. You have no idea what I want! “I was thinking… now that you’ve graduated, maybe we can take this to the next level.”
She stared at him. “Sameer, I have a lot of baggage. There are things about my past… I can never tell you.”
“I don’t care about the past. I want to know if there’s any hope of a future for us.”
She sighed, a sorrowful, regretful sigh that turned his heart cold, as if she had slapped him on his face. She would never let him into her heart. But she said, “You’ll never be satisfied with what I can offer.”
You’ve offered me nothing before! He put his arm around her waist and pulled her close. “As long as you’re giving me all you can offer. Moyna, you have no idea what you make me feel. Just be with me. With time, you’ll trust me enough to let me into that wonderful heart of yours.”
She stared with those hypnotic eyes. Her lip trembled a little. And he had no doubt she felt the same way. He drew her closer, held her face, and pressed his lips to hers, as her cap fell to the floor.
Her lips felt petal soft against his, her arms on his back felt like chains from which he never wanted freedom. His hands roved over her neck and back and came to rest on her hips. The smell of her perfume, her breath, the feel of her skin against his, intoxicated him.
Above and below them, footsteps of students echoed in the stairwell. He hungered for breath, but couldn’t let go. She seemed to melt in his arms as she clung to him, teasing his hair, and raking his back.
When she pulled away, he wondered what year it was.
She was panting.
He watched his reflection dance in her eyes and it felt so right. That’s all he wanted. Her image in his eyes, and his in hers. Nothing else mattered. “I … I think I’m in love with you.”
He felt her stiffen as she took a step back. Did I say something wrong? Her expression was inexplicable. Her lips trembled, her eyes moistened, and it seemed that every fiber of her body wanted to be with him.
And yet he heard her saying, “I can’t do this!” She turned away and darted down the corridor toward her room.
He chased after her and grabbed her wrist. “I don’t understand. Is there someone else?”
She whirled around to face him, eyes wild with panic. “What? Yes. Yes, there’s someone else!”
She tried to wrench her hand free, but he tightened his grip. “Who? Karan? How come I’ve never met him?”
She stopped struggling. “You’ll never understand. Please, Sameer, I can’t be with you. Walk away from me. For your own good. It’s best for both of us.”
“I don’t believe it.” He jabbed his finger at the stairwell. “Just a minute ago you were kissing me. Tell me it meant nothing to you!”
“Stop!”
He saw a sparkle of tears in her eyes and his face softened. “Moyna, look into my eyes and tell me you don’t love me.”
She didn’t say anything. He wrapped her into a powerful embrace and kissed her, tasting the tears on her cheeks. He shivered as her hands snaked below his arms and ran up his back, hooking around his shoulders; she clung to him, and their bodies molded into each other.
He felt the warmth of her breath, her skin, and her flesh, and knew he never wanted to be with anyone else. After a moment’s hesitation, she kissed him back, sending his head spinning.
He lifted her off her feet with ease and pinned her against the wall. She wrapped her arms around his neck and nipped at his lips, as his hand found her breast. Control was out of the question. The fire of that raw desire burnt any logic he had left. He wanted her as much as she wanted him.
And then she struggled out of his embrace. A sharp pain pierced through his numbed consciousness when she stamped on his shoe with her three inch heel. He winced and hopped on one foot.
Panting, she glared at him and scrubbed her mouth. Then she pushed against him with both her hands, her eyes brimming with angry tears. “You arrogant, presumptuous, selfish bastard! Just because you’ve never been refused anything in your life, you think you can go about taking what’s not yours.”
Confused, he frowned and took a step toward her as she backed into the wall. “But you’re mine, Moyna!”
She gave a scornful laugh. “Your wealth means nothing to me. Your beauty means nothing to me. You’ll never be like Karan. Karan was brave, noble and selfless. You’re nothing!”
Sameer stepped back, his mind in turmoil. She hates me. Her dalliance with him had been a farce. The last three years had been a lie. He rubbed his forehead, stunned. “Wh…”
She yelled in a shaking voice, “Do you hear me? You mean nothing to me! Leave me alone.”
He clenched his fists, turned on his heel, and walked away, his steps booming in the quiet corridor, as his future with her vanished into oblivion.
Grab your copy of Shadowed Promise @
 
Amazon USA | Amazon India | Amazon UK

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About the author
 

Freelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee completed her graduate studies in Los Angeles, where she is a practicing pathologist. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. When she’s not at the microscope making diagnoses, she loves to write fiction. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same.
 
Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com. 
She grew up in Bhilai, India, and lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. In her free time, she paints, reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches TV crime dramas.
 
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Writing to me is therapy, it frightens and comforts at the same time. Liberates like nothing else. A book in my own name is a dream, but a bigger dream would be to write something that haunts the reader even after the last page is turned and the book is shut. I enjoy reading and music, spending time with family whilst battling my social awkwardness.

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