BLOG TOUR ~ MOTI ON THE WATER by Leylah Attar

A Greek family. An Indian family. A summer wedding on the Aegean coast…

Today we are delighted to be on tour with MOTI ON THE WATER,
a magnificent summer read from New York Times bestselling author
Leylah Attar and we don’t have one, but THREE 5-star reviews to share with you!

Meet Moti Ferreira—spectacularly jinxed from the day she’s born.

Saddled with an eccentric mother, she stumbles upon the one man who holds the key to her freedom—the best man at her cousin’s upcoming wedding.

All Moti has to do is overcome her fear of water, board a yacht to the Greek Isles, seduce the dreamy Nikos Manolas, and survive two weeks at sea with her oddball family.

The only obstacle Moti doesn’t see coming is Alexandros Veronis, the onboard chef and star witness to her awkward mishaps. He transforms onions into chocolate and aroma into nostalgia. Day by day, his alchemy works its magic on Moti. But she’s not the only one falling under his spell. Everyone has a secret, growing round and ripe at Chef Alex’s table. When the masks fall off, they spill out one by one, and everything blows up in their faces.

Now Moti’s truth is exposed, and worse, she’s hooked on more than Alex’s midnight snacks. But this time, screwing up could be the best thing she’s ever done…

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EXCERPT

© 2019 Leylah Attar
All rights reserved.

It was as if the Greek gods had orchestrated a cosmic game, put me in the center of it, and placed bets on what I would do.

This is who you’re supposed to be with,said Zeus and Hera, holding up a marble bust of Nikos. These two head honchos of Greek mythology threw their son off the top of Mount Olympus because they didn’t like the way he looked. You didn’t want to incur their wrath.

Aphrodite, Goddess of love, clapped her hands.Ah, but what you really wantto do right now is kiss Alex, don’t you? You really have to watch this gal pal. It was her husband who’d been thrown off Mount Olympus, so if it’s happily-ever-after that you’re gunning for, proceed with caution.

Always listen to your mother, Hestia piped in. She was the goddess of family and domesticity. She deserved a lot of kudos. Not many of the gods practiced what they preached, but Hestia stuck to her guns, and probably listened to her mother. Hence, she remained a virgin.

Dionysus, the Greek deity of wine and ecstasy, raised his glass. Pffft. Eat, kiss, and be merry! Pirates once seized him, thinking he was too incapacitated to fight back. Dionysus filled their ship with vines and turned them into dolphins. Moral of the story? Don’t mess with a Greek god even when he’s drunk. Also, he gave the kind of advice you could really get on board with.

Reviewed by Donna on behalf of KFF

Moti Ferreira is a 24-year-old born to Indian parents. She lives with her overbearing mother Dolly, and the poor lass was doomed from the day she was born. She thinks she’s found the key to freedom when she meets the best man of her cousin’s soon to be husband. Moti is to board a yacht around the Greek Isles but she must conquer her fear of swimming as well as seduce Nikos and cope with her eccentric family for a whole two weeks. No easy task as you read on and discover how crazy her family actually are. However, she never visions a complication in the form of Alexandros Veronis, the onboard chef who witnesses a lot of Moti mishaps. Moti starts to fall under his spell-like cooking superpowers, and then secrets abound around all of the guests on the yacht.

Two cultures brought together in this hilarious romantic comedy. I particularly loved the journey they embarked on around the Greek islands. Having just come back from Crete myself, I understood “yamas” and what the drink ouzo was. Also, how hospitable the Greeks are with their generosity. This book had me laughing-out-loud and the visions the funny scenes conjured up had me smiling all the way through. It has swoon-worthy moments with the delicious Alex, and a scene with Naani made me erupt into a full belly laugh. I couldn’t stop thinking about poor Moti though. The disasters which followed her, and how Alex showed her a whole new world instead of the clouded vision Moti’s mum had shrouded her in.

‘I wasn’t afraid of dying. I was afraid of dying without living.’ 

The character development is amazing, each one of them bringing something special to the story. Let’s not forget that this is about Moti and told predominantly from her point of view. There are twists and turns which left me open-mouthed when I discovered all the hidden secrets. It’s such a refreshing and well-written book. I was sucked straight into a yacht where I meet the crew members and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know everyone aboard. A fantastic holiday read I highly recommend, it has everything from comedy, lightheartedness to romance. And a bit of a message one should take note of is how we live our lives. We don’t always get what we want when we try to keep others happy. This is the first time I’ve read Ms Attar’s work and was pleasantly surprised and absolutely loved her penmanship. Very well-deserved 5-stars and I would have given more if I could have.

“Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you find it. And when you do, you want to pause and relish it forever.”

 

Reviewed by Anna on behalf of KFF

This latest offering by Leylah is quite different from her usual style but is also the most entertaining and hilarious read I have had for a long time.

Moti Ferreira at twenty-four is still single and has not met her soul mate yet. She was raised to believe that that man has three thumbs and has to marry him or else something bad will happen. Moti’s mother is a control freak drama queen and all she does is try to remind Moti of her duty to marry the right man. When Moti becomes the maid of honour at her cousin Isabelle’s wedding and finds out that the best man Nikos looks like her perfect match along comes Alex the chef who creates the most delectable mouth-watering dishes she ever tasted and he is as tasty as his creations too. What’s not to like eh but what about Nikos who is supposed to be the one written in the stars for Moti?

“Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you find it. And when you do, you want to pause it and relish it forever.” 

Written in Moti’s point of view, this colourful tapestry of Greek and Indian cultures combined make this book the perfect summer holiday read. Light-hearted with flirty funny banters, mishaps galore and characters that will make you laugh and cry, Alex and Moti’s story is a breath of fresh air from the dark and dramatic books I have read lately. This very well written book not only successfully combines the drama in family relationships but also gives you a deeper insight into Greek and Indian culture. Although this is meant to be light-hearted there are some moments between mother and daughter, sister and sister, husband and wife, cousin and cousin dialogues that touched me deeply. I couldn’t have asked for a more well-balanced storyline that not only entertains but is also informative, a story that makes you giggle and cry happy tears. I highly recommend this book!

 

Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse at KFF

Minutes into Moti on the Water and I was laughing so much I could hardly breathe! And there’s no let-up. It’s a constant, making this welcome offering a book you truly need to read. Attar has proved to be an extremely versatile writer. Painfully funny one-liners, snappy comebacks and her shedding insight into Indian culture with flair, I found beyond refreshing. There’s no doubt her straying away from suspenseful romantic fiction has worked to a tee but that being said, she still kept this reader guessing what calamities were around the corner and what would be the outcome of them.

Every unimaginable scenario happens when a Greek family get together with Moti’s folk, becoming a challenge for this adorable lass in more ways than one! Throw a luxurious cruise into the mix set in the crystalline waters of the Aegean Sea, and what you’ve got is a story that’s impossible to put down. This read spoilt me to bits. Having travelled to the islands where they went brought back many happy memories. And the mealtimes. Goodness me, I laughed until I cried. The fish heads, eyes and tails…deary me, I live on a Mediterranean island, so seeing dishes like Moti had in front of her isn’t new for me. But to her horror, they were there staring her in the face!

‘You can serve it, Chef Alexandros, but I don’t have to eat it.’ 

I can only describe Moti as a beautiful walking disaster. If it’s going to happen to someone, it’s her on the receiving end all-the-damn-time! Her lack of confidence doesn’t stop her though. Totally blaming her mum, Dolly who she’s taking care of for putting her down, I’d have loved to tell this whimsical woman to take a good look at her amazing daughter’s qualities. On the other hand, Naani, Moti’s grandmother, is lovely. You’ll see why I thought she had no idea what was going on around her but don’t be fooled, her cognitive skills are sharper than mine and that’s saying something!

“Your turn will come too. And when it does, don’t listen to anything but your heart.” 

Moti had already met Nikos, her cousin’s future husband’s best man at a pre-wedding do and over the moon that he’s onboard. Now here’s a character and a half. Flirtatious, wealthy and rockin’ a hot bod to boot; more importantly, he’s fancy-free. Not surprisingly, he caught Moti’s attention straight away! Was this the only reason she was attracted to him? Ahh, just wait and see…I nearly choked with laughter when it was pointed out. This guy worried me and seeing as Moti has an innocence about her, I prayed she wasn’t going to be another notch on his bedpost.

“You and I are going to have a lot of fun on this trip,” 

Alex. Chef extraordinaire, the alchemist of everything food, the guy with the man bun is flippin’ gorgeous and about to titillate Moti’s taste buds with his cuisine. How else are his sauces…oops, I meant his sorcery of delights going to affect Moti, you may ask? Not telling but do get ready for mouthwatering recipes that’ll probably have you wiping dribble on your sleeves. Okay, so I fell hard for him. That blinkin’ eyebrow he kept lifting while observing Moti simply got the better of me. And, to top the lot, he’s a really delightful person even if he rubbed Moti up the wrong way most of the time.

‘It’s your fault, Alex. Your cooking is messing with our brains.’ 

Now then, there is nothing, I mean nothing like a good shocker or two to get you all worked up. Well, when you know what hits the fan, I was like, ‘what the freakin’ heck!’ Secrets were hidden so well that I’m still reeling from the effect of what would change the entire feel of the story.

‘I wanted to shield Moti from the entire world, to keep her safe and happy and carefree.’. 

Joseph uncle. Out of all Moti’s relations, I had a soft spot for him and don’t get me wrong because they’ve all got something special character-wise. I honestly felt sorry for the poor man but was so pleased to see him put his foot down when he did. Nonetheless, this is Moti’s story through and through. Yes, the families are entangled, and yes, I slept well after working out the meaning of their lives.

“The stars weren’t the same without you tonight.” 

Attar’s delivered a flawless first-person narrative in past tense and brilliantly developed personality traits for all the players’ perfect imperfections and by the way, the ship ahoy vocabulary is spot on.

‘No gangway or footbridge to board this baby. Never in my life had I played it so cool while simultaneously freaking out.’ 

This romance is so addictive it should come with a ‘hold onto your emotions’ warning. And get this! The sweet cherry topping I never expected and what made my day was when Alex stepped in and told it from his point of view towards the end. So, five stars it is, but this rating seems so mean when my enjoyment was a ten out of ten! From now on, I will never underestimate the powers of a starfish, the powers of forgiveness, or the powers of love. Bravo!

“…And my name is not Mo-te,” I said to the rest of them. “It’s Mo-thi.”.

 

Meet Leylah

Leylah Attar is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Best Selling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She is the recipient of the 2017 Indie Reader Discovery Award for fiction. Her books, which include Mists of The Serengeti, The Paper Swan, 53 Letters for My Lover (#1) and From His Lips (a 53 Letters novella #1.5), have been published in nine languages.

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