Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Silent Prayer: A Prayer Series I

Ahsan, S. (2013). A silent prayer: a prayer series I
     Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, LLC.

Adult / Romance
Winner in Romance category at 2014 Los Angeles Book Festival, 2014 Paris Book Festival, 2014 Hollywood Book Festival, and Honorable Mentions in 2014 New York Book Festival

I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads

I generally don't post full reviews of adult books I have read, and I mostly avoid reading romances, so when Samreen Ahsan approached me to review her book, my initial response was hesitant, to say the least. 

Great writer that she is, Sam piqued my curiosity with her premise and description of her book and persuaded me to read it, and I am so glad that I did. Ahsan has found a unique blend of ingredients that are both relevant to the times and bigger than the here and now.  Be prepared to be left thinking -- and frustrated by the unanswered questions and crazy cliffhanger ending. (Fortunately, book two A Prayer Heeded, is already out and in my TBR pile! I am hopeful that there is a whole bunch of tying-up of loose ends.) I am okay with cliffhangers, but I needed something resolved and was left wanting.

Through the relationship that develops between Rania, our protagonist, and Adam, readers are shown the complexities of navigating different cultures and belief systems.  As if that's not interesting enough, there are sprinkles of the paranormal that hint at a higher level of spirituality than most experience.  Ahsan has a real flair for storytelling and definitely knows how to hook a reader. So you may be wondering why I gave this a 3.5 and not a 5.

Aside from the lack of any resolutions being given, the relationship between Rania and Adam is riddled with red flags -- manipulation, domination, obsession, subservience - indicating an unhealthy, borderline dangerous relationship. It was very hard for me to want this relationship to work, and given Rania's past and issues with intimacy, if Rania were my friend, I'd tell her to end it and run away fast; only Divine intervention would be an excuse for her to give Adam a chance.

Readers are only given small glimpses of the paranormal (Divine?) element in book one, but I feel like that's going to be a door flung wide open, taking the story in a new direction in book two.  THIS is what I'm really anticipating will be the game changer that takes this series to a five star one.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a page turner but don't mind waiting for a second book to get their justifications, clarifications, and hopefully, a little mystification!!

Adult books by nature are going to have content that puts them in that category, and there is a great deal of sexual tension, references to sex and sexual abuse, and a bit of innuendo, but no sexual activity. But, with the exception of the liberal use of the "F-bomb," (which really didn't fit, especially coming from Rania), the book is clean. 

Thank you to the author for providing me a free eCopy of the book in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give.

Barnes & Noble

Chapters Indigo 


Read more about the author, Samreen Ahsan, on her website, on Goodreads, or on Twitter.


  1. This is a lovely, honest, insightful review - and I am SO APPRECIATIVE of that. I feel like we writers are often so hesitant to be even a little bit critical (with good reason, unfortunately) that many of the reviews I read are surface-y and extremely positive. Funny enough, the honest criticism in your review makes me want to read the book MORE, not less! Thank you for posting this :)

    1. Thank you so much, Liz! You have no idea how much it means to hear that. Sam, the author of this one, is great and was very receptive. I am hoping that book 2 has me singing nothing but praise.
      Sometimes it's very hard to be honest, especially when an author has asked for your review. I have the utmost respect for anyone who actually writes a book and jumps through all the hoops to find readers, so I try to find the positive. I am glad you are going to read the book, and I'd love to hear your perspective.
      Again, thanks for taking a minute to let me know your thoughts. Made my day!

  2. Thank you so much both of you :) Kristine, I really appreciate it.