book review kiss and tell nistula hebbar

Book Review: Kiss & Tell by Nistula Hebbar

I wanted to read this book for a while now. Thanks to its good looking cover art and catchy blurb for making me curious to know more about the story.

I was a bit apprehensive because in my experience books, even a book with a boring story line, these days comes with a catchy cover art & the blurb.

I wasn’t expecting ‘Kiss & Tell by Nistula Hebbar’ to be any different than some of the previous ones I have read in the genre. You know, once bitten, twice shy, applies to the books too. 😉

But I kept encountering the book at the library so I decided to go for it after ignoring it a couple of times. It was like this book was calling me.

Let’s see how the story turned out….

Genre: Contemporary Romance. Chick-Lit.

Main Characters: Janaki Rao, Vishnu Singh.

‘Kiss & Tell By Nistula Hebbar’ ~~ Synopsis: 

Janaki is a twenty something political journalist. While working on an assignment, comes in contact with a bureaucrat, Vishnu Singh.

Both seem to like each other instantly, but are a bit hesitant to make a move, Janaki more so than Vishnu.

Janaki’s hesitation is a product of her almost break-up with her college sweetheart. A relationship that’s falling apart around Janaki and she didn’t want to acknowledge that. Now this new person, Vishnu walks into her life and she’s not sure.

Since there’s an unmistakable chemistry between them, Vishnu asks Janaki out. Janaki agrees, all the time telling herself that it’s not a date. But soon it’s apparent that it is one.

Soon the inevitable happens; Janaki’s boyfriend breaks up with her officially. It’s inevitable, she knows it and she does care, but not enough as the relationship wasn’t working for some time and they both knew it.

And then there’s Vishnu, whose dominating her thoughts more than she likes to admit to herself. If Janaki had thought it’d be easy dating an older man, it quickly turns out she’s wrong. Vishnu has his own set of rules on how he’ll run his love life (read: make her run after him).

He’s tempted, but not ready to make many changes in his life due to Janaki’s presence in it. As he too got burned in love eons ago and is having difficulty deciding how should he move with the new reality?

Partly due to his ex, whose marriage is falling apart and she seems interested in starting a relationship with him.

He’s not sure if he wants his ex in his life again. Thought, he’d like to help his ex. Janaki is the one on his mind more than anyone else. But he’s not ready to give her too much power over him. 

All’s well in Janaki and Vishnu’s budding love affair, until Janaki gets a new assignment that involves investigating Vishnu’s boss. She can’t tell or ask Vishnu about his superior. She’s also aware he’s quite loyal to his boss and may react badly if he found out about her assignment.

She feels awful about the whole affair, but decides not to mix personal with her business life. It’s work and not as if she has some personal agenda against his boss.

But her new assignment does have the potential to create some disturbance in their relationship that’s already under attack from Vishnu’s mother and his ex-girlfriend.


After Almost Single, I found another chick-lit that’s worth the time! I liked Janaki’s character and it’s good to know she doesn’t instantly turns someone ‘clumsy or doormat’ to get the guy she falls for.

Sadly, I don’t think Vishnu is a “good catch.” But if compared to reality than a man who’s ready to negotiate terms is good enough to at least consider.

As the story progresses, I began to hate Vishnu sometimes, due to his tactless handling of his love affair with Janaki that he believes “might lead somewhere.”

I hated him for entertaining his ex and asking Janaki to commit while he refuses to play by the same rules. Typical romance novel hero, reminded me of Mills & Boon storyline a few times. But the story of ‘Kiss & Tell’ seems more realistic.

Janaki’s character, strong, independent and courageous, enough not to allow Vishnu to run her life as per his rules.

I liked her character more, when she tells Vishnu without mincing words that she’d like to keep healthy distant from his snooty mother after getting married.

I didn’t like the kissing and love making scenes; the story is good enough without them. These scenes are only destroying the smooth flow of the reading, maybe, because the author’s hesitant to write those scenes.

Anyway, still a good book with a good story. I would love to read something new by Ms. Nistula Hebbar.

Hit or Miss: Hit.

Ratings: 3.5stars/5.

Buy: Amazon

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