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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Book Review: The Name of Red by Beena Khan

The Name of Red (Red #1) by Beena Khan
Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: May 15, 2020
Publisher: Self

A Literary Fiction, contemporary DEBUT novel. 

Recommended for fans of Sense and Sensibility, The Forty Rules of Love, and A Walk To Remember.

Two strangers on the same path.
Survivors. Companions.
They will be each other’s salvation. 

On a rainy, winter night, a mysterious woman in a red dress seeking shelter comes inside the restaurant Kabir was busy working in —primarily the bar— and night after night, drink after drink, she comes back to the same spot. That is where he sees her for the first time.

Hundreds of patrons around her try to speak with her daily, but she dismisses them. It appears she wants to remain in a blissful peace alone with her booze and books. After seeing the mysterious woman reading a book, and because of his shy nature, Kabir gains entrance into her life by anonymously leaving books with notes for her.

The Name of Red is the story of two strangers, two different personalities who meet on a winter, rainy night who challenge each other. They have a connection which blossoms into a friendship due to their fondness of books. But they both have secrets that can bind them together or threaten their newfound relationship forever.

This can be read as a standalone book

The Name of Red is the first book in the Red series by Beena Khan. The beginning was interesting, and the mystery and allure of the lady in red really lured me in. I loved how Kabir used books to get close to her. She quickly became a part of the group. Towards the middle, there was a lot of emphasis on her drinking and it started to get repetitive and frustrating. Red wasn't a likable character, and I found it hard to really feel immersed in her part in the story. Kabir was fantastic though. I liked getting to know their histories and all that has brought them to the present. Nadia and Aryan also have my attention. I can't wait for more from them in upcoming books. For me, the ending came out of nowhere. All this bad happens to these people, and now, here's more bad. Ultimately, I loved the beginning, the middle was okay, but that ending was definitely not for  me. However, I want to read the next books. I grew attached to these characters. 

The Name of Red was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

The restaurant Ferdaus was filled with a buzzing crowd. The smoke around the people twisted and formed curls, illuminated under the bar lights. The atmosphere was a hazy cloud, lingering against their clothes. Several people came in seeking shelter from the pouring rain outside. The customers of the restaurant turned to look at the entrance door bell jingling. They glanced at the large crowd coming as the glass door was pulled open, and they watched as someone new stepped in behind them.

The woman walked into the bar for the first time in the winter rain.
She didn’t have an umbrella on her, her little sleeveless dress ended at her ankles, fully drenched. Her wet dress clinged to her body, showcasing the outlines of her curves. In one hand, she was carrying the skirt of her dress. Suddenly, she let go of her dress, and her long, bare arms moved upwards as she tried to fix her damp hair which had darkened in color due to the rain. The men watched her movements hungrily, their eager faces drawn to her and at the sight of someone new. Their eyes trailed from her face, to her wet body, then back to the movements of her hands entwined in her hair. The men were unsure of the shade of her wet hair. It appeared dark brown, but almost looked black under the restaurant’s lights. It fell past her shoulders, the strands sticking to her face. She attempted to comb through the tangles with her fingertips. Under her arm, she carried a book and a trench coat. It appeared strange she wasn’t wearing the coat when it was pouring outside and freezing.
Men were left mesmerized by her, and she turned heads as she walked by. Something radiated from within her, drawing the men around her in. The women who were with some of these men noticed their gaze on the unfamiliar woman. Now, the women stared at her with jealousy and anger.
Who is she? they wondered.
The woman in red held her head high and waltzed in an effortless manner of someone a decade older. She walked into the bar with an uncommonly confident stride, ignoring all the patrons’ stares. Seemingly oblivious to the rest of the world, she took a seat on one of the bar stools. She was tall, maybe five-foot-seven. Her white heels added to her height, their clicking in sync with the loud music playing in the room. Her red dress was dripping with the rain water as it made small puddles below her. People near her noticed a long, deep scar starting on her left shoulder that went downward hidden behind the soaked fabric of her dress.
The men watched with fascination as she opened a book and bowed her head in it. It looked like she was avoiding the crowd, and she appeared to want to blend in. Though, it was impossible since she’d already caught the attention of her audience by simply standing out in her red dress. She ordered a vodka on the rocks from the bartender who glanced at her with curiosity. He didn’t appear to recognize her since she wasn’t a local. It was as if she didn’t have a care in the world, and she just wanted to live in blissful peace alone with her booze.

Beena Khan is a Literary Fiction Novelist and Poetess. She writes literary fiction and edgy, contemporary romance.

She lives in a suburb in Queens, New York in her apartment. She's 27 years old and from Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. She's an immigrant who moved to New York when she was five years old. She currently holds a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology. She enjoys reading, writing, and netflixing. The Name of Red is her debut novel published at the age of 26.

To learn more about Beena Khan and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram,  and Twitter.

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