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Reviews Written by
Emile Zola reader "Gervaise" (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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AATU Cat Wet Turkey and Goose Cat Food
AATU Cat Wet Turkey and Goose Cat Food
Price: £19.04

2.0 out of 5 stars Appears to be top quality food, but none of my three cats would eat it., 25 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I don’t know if the price information on the Amazon page is correct or not – it appears to be £19.04 for one 85gm pouch, (£22.40/100gm) but this may be for a multipack. The list of ingredients on the back states the following: 97% turkey and goose (includes turkey 50%, turkey broth 30%, goose17%), minerals, sweet potato, carrots, peas, apple, lucerne, chick peas, tomato, tapioca, pear, cranberry, blueberry, mulberry, orange, bilberry, cowberry, glucosamine, chondroitin, parsley, peppermint, spirulina, seaweed, oregano, sage, marjoram, thyme, chamomile, rosehip, yucca, chicory, aniseed, stinging nettle, marigold, fenugreek, cinnamon MSM. Analytical constituents: protein 10.9%, fat 6.4%, crude ash 2.5%, crude fibre 0.6%, moisture 78%, additives per kilo nutritional additives, taurine 1500mg, vitamin D3 200ui/kg, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) 30mg /kg, zinc sulfate monohydrate 15mg, manganese sulfate monohydrate 3mg, calcium iodate anhydrous 0.75mg.

My cats have dry veterinary science diet in the morning and wet food pouches in the evening. I never vary the dried food, but I like to give them a little variety of wet food now and then, so I was happy for them to try this brand. When you first open the pouch, the wet food looks different from other brands we have used. It isn’t awash with jelly or gravy - and doesn’t fall out of the pouch in a big lump. I only received one pack and - because I have three cats - I carefully divided the pouch into thirds. We had been out for the day and were late coming home, so moggy mealtime was a few hours late. The cats were hungry, so I was expecting them to polish it off, but the majority of the food was left in their bowls. Most cats can be notoriously fussy and ours are no exception, but they wouldn’t eat this food even though I gave them no alternative until hours later. I assume that this recipe is made to a high standard of nutritional values – I’d never have thought that a cat food would contain such a long list of fruits and herbs. My three furry testers didn’t like it at all so I can’t award it any more than two stars.


Patisserie de Bain Bath Fancies, Cherries and Berries - 3-Piece Gift Set
Patisserie de Bain Bath Fancies, Cherries and Berries - 3-Piece Gift Set
Price: £10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Like miniature works of art., 21 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I first saw this beautifully boxed set of three bath melts, one word came to mind - exquisite. They look like miniature works of art sitting in their little cup cases with tiny sculptured fruits and berries dusted in sparkles. There is a cherry bakewell, country fruits and a strawberry cupcake in this ‘patisserie’ box, and although the aroma is similar to their cake namesakes, the overall scent is very pleasant. At first, I thought it was a shame watching one of these little gems melting in my bath, but once I was in, I changed my mind. I live in a hard water area but the melts – each one contains almond oil and Shea butter – made the water very soft. Afterwards, my skin felt nicely moisturised and was gently perfumed. The feeling of sheer indulgence and luxury was very nice too!

These products are produced in Haworth, the Yorkshire village where the Bronte sisters lived. The bath melts would make a lovely gift – not only for Bronte devotees – and given the craftsmanship, quality ingredients and pretty packaging, they are also value for money.


Snug Ultrasoft Flat Sheet, Percale, 180 Thread Count - Double, White
Snug Ultrasoft Flat Sheet, Percale, 180 Thread Count - Double, White
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A decent quality sheet, despite the stitch glitch., 20 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The sheet is attractively packaged in silver and white card and looks quite expensive. Although the sheet is only 60/40 cotton/polyester with a thread count of 180 - hotel quality is generally 100% cotton and 400-800tc – it does not feel thin or flimsy. The advantage of polyester/cotton is, of course, that it dries quite quickly - and you do not need to iron it like you do with pure cotton. I line-dried the sheet, and although it wasn’t totally crease-free, after folding and airing, it looked good enough without having to iron it.

I always use a flat sheet between the duvet and fitted sheet, but if you wanted to use it on the mattress, there’s enough allowance for a generous tuck-in on all sides. The seams were neat, the stitching was straight and secure and, generally, it is a reasonable value sheet. However, I have deducted one star because, on this particular sheet, the quality control check could have been better. The finishing backstitch on one of the corner seams had snagged in the shuttle of the machine, leaving an oily mark on a few bunched stitches. There was also a small dirty mark a couple of inches along the same seam. Both marks came out after washing, and the finishing stitches are not as noticeable, now that the oil mark has gone. It was a small fault in QC, but overall, this is quite a good sheet - and unlike some poly/cotton ones, it felt nicely soft and cool.


Danielle Creations Pink Lollies Pencil Case
Danielle Creations Pink Lollies Pencil Case
Price: £7.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive, practical and very well-made., 12 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an attractive and well-made case. The piping and stitching is neat and secure, and the zip is robust and unlikely to snag (see my final paragraph). I like the eye-catching ‘sticks’ of the lollipop design – the gold coloured strips glint when they catch the light – and the smooth plastic finish is good for wiping clean. The case has a silky lining – perhaps not ideal for storing uncapped biros – and could also be sponged as it has a plastic backing.

Although described as a pencil case - and I would have loved it when I was at school/higher education - I’m using it for makeup. It is almost identical in size to the small cosmetic bag that the company sells, and will fit easily into a daytime handbag. How much it will hold obviously depends on the amount and size of the cosmetics. There was enough room in the case to hold my foundation, concealer, mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, brow colour, lipstick and three brushes.
I would have awarded the case five stars but when I first tried the zip, it was quite stiff to use on the curve. I deliberately pulled it back and forth very roughly half a dozen times, and the zip then glided beautifully, and was none the worse for the brutal handling. A small hiccup perhaps, but one that would have taken seconds to rectify at quality control level. However, this is a lovely pencil case, the quality is very good, there’s plenty of room for writing materials and it would make a very nice gift.


USN Diet Whey Isolean, Strawberry Shortcake - 1 kg
USN Diet Whey Isolean, Strawberry Shortcake - 1 kg
Offered by Colossol Nutrition
Price: £21.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good quality product, but not to my taste., 12 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really, really wanted to like this shake. I was hoping to use it as a meal replacement to lose weight, and I was impressed that it contained ultra-low carbohydrates. I have a very sweet tooth. I like what my partner calls ‘infantile sweets’ - such as foam bananas, pink sugar shrimps - and I’ve never met a cake that I didn’t love. I thought that this strawberry shortcake flavoured drink would be a match made in sweetie heaven.

Using the enclosed scoop, I mixed the powder with 200mls water – the higher level of recommended liquid - and it dissolved quickly and easily, without leaving any residue. The smell was pleasant and the consistency was smooth and light. Initially, I thought that the taste was overly sweet – that’s an all time first for me – but as I drank more, it became quite unpleasant. Apart from it being far too sweet, there was a horrible aftertaste – metallic-chemical - that vanished only after I brushed my teeth. No other reviewer seems to have experienced this, so perhaps it’s just me. I’m wondering if the amalgam fillings in my back teeth caused a reaction.

Unfortunately, this shake wasn’t to my taste. However, it seems to be a good quality product and if I were to try another flavour - perhaps vanilla - it may be less sweet, without the lingering aftertaste.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2016 3:47 PM BST


Nivea SPF 30 Kids Lotion - 200 ml
Nivea SPF 30 Kids Lotion - 200 ml
Price: £4.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With the coloured version, there's less chance of missing areas., 12 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a review of the coloured lotion, spray version of Nivea SPF 30 Kids Lotion 200ml.

I really like this Sun Kids pale green coloured lotion. There is less chance of missing an area of skin on a wriggling, excitable child if you can see exactly where you have sprayed. The colour vanishes as soon as the lotion is smoothed into the skin, so we spray our two youngsters all over before we rub it in.

This SFP 30 lotion has protection against both UVA and UVB rays and is extra water resistant - you can actually see the water running off the skin. The lotion is pleasantly scented and is totally non sticky. It is also very easy to apply, as the consistency isn’t so thick that it drags the skin. Finally, I love the chunky bottle with the moulded grooves – perfectly designed for gripping and spraying a toddler who’s impatient to be off!


Danielle Creations Luminous Collection Cream Pencil Case
Danielle Creations Luminous Collection Cream Pencil Case
Price: £6.91

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a good-looking, quality cosmetic bag., 11 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The first thing I noticed about this case – apart from the colour not being the same as the illustration – was the quality. The stitching looks strong and neat, the zip is robust, and glides smoothly without snagging. The case is cream-coloured, and has a smooth plastic finish, which is ideal for wiping clean. The lining has a silky padding and feels quite plush.

Although this is described as a pencil case on the Amazon page, the attached label correctly states that it’s a small cosmetic bag. Depending on the amount of cosmetics you use, it’s a good size for carrying in your handbag, or for taking on a weekend away. It was large enough to hold my foundation, corrector, mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow and lipstick. I like this good-looking cosmetic bag and - because of the quality - I expect it to last for years.


Bad Soldier: Danny Black Thriller 4
Bad Soldier: Danny Black Thriller 4
by Chris Ryan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining but brutal read., 6 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the first book by Chris Ryan that I’ve read so I wasn’t familiar with Danny Black, the main protagonist, who features in previous books. I was, however, able to follow events in this book – a complete tale in itself - without knowing what had gone before.

We first meet the SAS unit of Danny, Spud, Caitlin and Tony at a NATO base in Sicily. They are to board a chopper that will take them to a Royal Navy survey ship in the Med. Their orders are to intercept two terrorists hiding amongst a boat crowded with refugees fleeing an IS controlled war zone. I had a problem with the first 21 pages of this book and nearly consigned it to the bin. I thought the writing was poor - insults spoken by one of the characters were dated - “face like a robber’s dog”, and “Forget it, s***-for-brains”- and his racist, snide outbursts didn’t seem credible. Would a member of one of the world’s most elite fighting forces really behave like a petulant teenaged yob? However, that small section aside, the remainder of the book was a decent enough read, and I liked how Ryan managed to convey detailed information about methods and weaponry without excessive details.

The characters are believable – though I hope there aren’t too many in the British Forces with a nature like one particular person in this book. The action was exciting, but at times, a little too brutal for my taste. The plot is topical and credible - apart from a sub-plot. There are thinly veiled references to certain members of the Royal Family which some readers may find offensive. The only criticism I have – apart from the very beginning with the team – is the storyline involving Danny’s family. I didn’t find this very believable.
This is not a bad read - it’s action-packed - and if you have the stomach for graphic violence - (on paper anyway), you’ll enjoy this book.


A Divided Spy (Thomas Kell Spy Thriller, Book 3)
A Divided Spy (Thomas Kell Spy Thriller, Book 3)
by Charles Cumming
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a newcomer to Charles Cumming's novels - and I'm hooked!, 5 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I hadn’t read the previous two books in the Thomas Kell trilogy, and although I’d advise reading them in order, it’s not essential because the references to previous events are well explained. There are two interwoven stories within the plot, both are equally exciting and the climax is genuinely nail biting. The scenes take place between fashionable brasseries in Brussels, clandestine meetings in London and there’s a rather sad and awkward courtship set in an Asda store in Brighton.

I like Cumming’s style of writing - fairly short chapters, well-defined believable characters, and it’s not the usual formulaic spy novel. He captures the small details so well that you can see the dingy bedsit, the run-down housing estate or the clandestine meeting at a tube station in vivid detail. The book is packed with suspense and intrigue – it’s hard to know whom to trust among your colleagues, let alone the informant you’ve turned. Thomas Kell is not the usual irresistibly handsome, witty and debonair fictional spy – and I liked him very much because of it. In some ways he is very ordinary, and perhaps this is quite true to life.

This is an exciting read and I think it’s a realistic portrayal of the life of a spy – lots of hanging about where not much happens, and then events take over very quickly and unexpectedly. I really enjoyed it.


Rapesco ECO A4 Pivot Clip File, Assorted Colours - Pack of 5
Rapesco ECO A4 Pivot Clip File, Assorted Colours - Pack of 5
Price: £10.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Quick and easy to secure paperwork., 5 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I’d never used pivot clip files before and to be honest, I didn’t know how they worked. Well, it couldn’t have been simpler or quicker – just raise the clip on the spine of the file, insert the papers, then lower it to secure the contents. Paperwork is held firmly and safely whether it’s one sheet of paper, or twenty-one – I tested it using printer paper. The files are flexible, and have a smooth surface should you wish to attach sticky labels. However, you can see documents through the opaque coloured plastic, so you may not want to use labels. The files are also 100% biodegradable and given the choice, I would always opt for products that don’t sit in landfill for ever.

These files are ideal for college/office/commercial use, and they are also good for domestic use. I’m in the middle of a massive sort-out of paperwork at home, and I’m finding them invaluable. I am impressed by how robust they are, and how easy it is to use them.


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