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AyJay (United Kingdom)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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The Shattered Crown (Steelhaven: Book Two)
The Shattered Crown (Steelhaven: Book Two)
by Richard Ford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.78

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better pacing compared to the first book..., 7 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I did really enjoy this book much more then the first entry in the trilogy [Herald Of The Storm] and was kept interested throughout thanks to he faster pacing, that I will happily buy the concluding entry into the trilogy myself rather then rely on Vine.

True; there are sometimes bog standard elements of the fantasy genre that occur in the plot, but the characters are strong enough that I don't mind. I also think the mix of fantasy, adventure and mystery elements in the plot are nicely balanced, and now I am eager to get to know the rest of the cast a bit more a we find out what happens next in the concluding trilogy entry.


L'Oréal Paris Mega Volume Miss Manga, Black 8.5 ml
L'Oréal Paris Mega Volume Miss Manga, Black 8.5 ml
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye eye..., 6 April 2014
I've never been a lover of L'Oreal makeup in general, and in the past I have thought that their mascaras have really wet formulas which makes them prone to clumping, so their Miss Manga mascara has been a real surprise for me. I love the big, doll eyed look, and this mascara gives my lashes the mega volume, great separation and rich colour to make the look easy to achieve.

I've not experienced flaking or smudging, plus it holds my curl all day and is easy to remove. The volumizing abilities of this are unbeatable, plus the increase of length is good too - and since the brand doesn't promise any added length with this product, I think that this is a great added bonus.

The brush is a regular size with short bristles so I'm not forever hitting my socket line during application. The gimmick for this mascara is the the wand near the tip bends to enable the brush to grab, coat and push every lash out and up (even those little stragglers in the outer corners of the eye). It did take a couple of tries to get used to this feature, but now I think that this gimmick really does help me to achieve my desired look.


Wahoo Fitness RFLKT+ Bike Computer for iPhone 5S, 5C, 5 and 4S
Wahoo Fitness RFLKT+ Bike Computer for iPhone 5S, 5C, 5 and 4S
Price: £98.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not made for the average person on the street..., 6 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I happen to already have one of the recommended apps [Strava Cycling, Wahoo Fitness, MapMyFitness or Cyclemeter] already, so the rather skimpy instructions weren't a problem for me and getting this paired with the app was no real problem; I was good to go and put this to the test in hardly any time...

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I've given tis three stars for is work-ability and robustness; the screen is a good size and I haven't noticed any glare or freezing - the data flows from the phone to the device immediately and is easy to read. As far as I can see the biggest plus is that this is a sturdy device - I've dropped it, but haven't experienced any problems with it since then. Once it is secured on to the handlebars it won't move, which is one of the things most people will be concerned with...

My main issue is that this is overpriced for what it is, and the device doesn't provide anything useful to me that I wouldn't set from using my Strava app on my iPhone - hell when I use a cycle machine I just set one of my music playlists on shuffle and go for it, trusting my app to record the wanted data - I'm no expert or dedicated to cycling, so I just don't feel the need to play around with any gadgets when working on my heath issues/fitness?

So as far as I'm concerned this is just a shiny toy to show of with in front of other people. Maybe more dedicated/expert cycle enthusiasts will find this a bit more useful, but testing this out as an average-person-on-the-street I just failed to be wowed. If this were cheaper I could see the benefit of having the data on a device that within sight, but as it is I'll pass.


Mini Mani Month by Ciate Mini Calendrier Manicure
Mini Mani Month by Ciate Mini Calendrier Manicure

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great item to break down for stocking stuffers..., 3 April 2014
This is a fabulously cute product; it is an advent calendar that, instead of chocolate, is filled with Ciate's bestselling mini Paint Pot nail polishes and textured manicure toppers. As a whole I think that this a great buy, that is very reasonably priced for the range and quality of the products that you are getting. Obviously I like some shades here more then others, but none of the shades in this collection were 'eww' for me and all of them are very wearable. The polish formulas I've tried are smooth to apply and dry pretty quickly. True; they aren't as hard wearing as my preferred OPI, but as I become bored quickly and am likely to change my polish a few times a week it isn't a major issue. Plus it is nice to get to try the Sequins and Caviar Pearls - I wouldn't buy any of the full-sized sets as I wouldn't use them often, so the bottles of these toppers make a fun addition to this collection.

However I do have two niggles, but one of them is probably more down to personal taste. My main issue is that a few of the Paint Pots are close in colour - Ciate have hundreds of pretty polish shades, so it would have been easy to select different-looking polish shades instead of the several close matches we ended up with. My second gripe is that this collection only really needed one bottle of each topper variation, as I think we got too excessive an amount for a product that most people will only use once or twice.

So overall I would recommend buying this set now at this reduced price, as you can always use the bottles you don't want for yourself as stoking stuffers for family and friends next xmas :)


NOCO Genius Smart G1100UK Car Battery Charger
NOCO Genius Smart G1100UK Car Battery Charger
Price: £22.27

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And we're off..., 31 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a wheelchair user I feel much more independent and less achy using my scooter for shopping, dog walking etc. I'd simply become used to the slow charge time of the scooter's battery, and having to hover over the dial to watch for when the battery is nearly fully charged, in order to be able to prevent overcharging. But now as a close family friend is seriously ill with cancer and wishes to borrow the scooter to help him do everyday tasks like I do and with my younger brother facing major surgery and also maybe needing to use the scooter in the near-future, I'd become aware of the slowness and possible safety hazards of my old equipment, so had began to look for a quicker and safer battery and/or charger hat was suitable for the scooter's model just as this product became eligible for review. Choosing this charger was a complete guess, as my scooer is an older, second-hand model that has been given the Pimp My Ride treatment a few times along the way. So Would the gamble pay off?

The good news is that this product is very easy to use, has clear instructions, and comes with various attachments so I was able to try it out straight out of the box. The verdict? I love this and would highly recommend it simply because it charges my scooter in just over half of the time that it takes when using my old equipment, and maybe it's my imagination but the battery seems to hold charge for longer too. The battery charger is also spark proof, and is able to detect and guard against reverse polarity, short circuiting, open circuiting, overheating, overcurrent and overcharging in the battery.

Not only has using this made me more confident using the scooter myself, but I now can also happily loan the scooter to my friend and brother without worrying about the ease of use or their safety with the scooter.


Slim Fast Powder Summer Strawberry - 438 g
Slim Fast Powder Summer Strawberry - 438 g
Price: £3.96

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay for a short-term weight loss option..., 20 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've tried quite a few products in the Slim Fast range over the years and the mix-it-yourself shakes are still my least favourite product in the meal replacement category; the taste is okay and the texture is nice and thick, but I just think that these are the least satisfying and filling option available - I find the ready made shakes and meal-replacement bars are tastier and much more filling.

Whilst I do seem to lose the weight faster then I usually do, as you are meant to follow the Slim Fast plan while exercising, drinking plenty of water and eating other calorie controlled food, it is hard to say what weight loss is actually due to the Slim Fast products alone. The biggest result that I did see was a reduction in water retention and resulting bloat which made me feel lighter, but like I said above, as soon as you stop the meal replacement the results start to undo themselves, so your back to square one.

I've given this three stars as it is a simple plan to follow [2 meal replacements, up to 3 snacks, and 1 600 calorie meal a day], it isn't wildly expensive to try short-term, the ready-made shakes an bars both taste lovely and are filling, and I didn't suffer any ill effects. But whilst I think it is fine for following the Slim Fast plan in the run up to a holiday or special occasion, I don't think this plan is worth following long term; there are plenty of alternative plans that are easy to follow, and that won't end up as costly as the Slim Fast plan would become over prolonged periods.


Kiss Me Once [CD+DVD]
Kiss Me Once [CD+DVD]
Offered by Amore DVD
Price: £9.49

15 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It'll take a heck of a lot more than one kiss to get me to like this..., 17 Mar 2014
This review is from: Kiss Me Once [CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
Kiss Me Once is the twelfth studio album by Kylie Minogue, and is her first album under her new management team [Jay Z's Roc Nation]. Kylie and singer/songwriter Sia Furler are the album's executive producers, whilst individual track contributers include Cutfather, Daniel Davidsen, Mike Del Rio, GoodWill & MGI, The Monsters & The Strangerz and Pharrell Williams.

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I'll not tapdance around things and just be brutally honest - this album is a real disappointment for me. I personally think that all of Kylie's albums since Light Years have been "meh", but there are usually a handful of songs that I've found enjoyable on each one, and with Kylie also changing management just before the bulk of work began on this album, I was expecting at least four decent tracks this time too...

My main issue is the same as it was for her last album [Aphrodite]; there's just not a lot of variety in the style of the lyrics on the album. The tone and content of the songs all fit into one of two themes from beginning to end. They really needed to mix the lyrical content and style up more since the pace of the synth pop music is the same throughout the album - except for Beautiful which was a bit of a slower, quieter pace. Everything flows together too well most of the time; making a lot of individual tracks forgettable in the jumble of loud noise the album becomes.

The other thing that bothered me; Kylie's vocals. She's famous for her sweet, innocent, almost childlike vocals, but at times this effect seems too forced and nasal. It is something that has been getting more noticeable on each album, and now it has reached the point that it has begun to irritate me. Quite a few of the tracks also use a large amount of autotune, which just strips away any personality from the songs.

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A track by track breakdown isn't needed for this review: The whole album is musically monotone - basically it's all about relationships and sex. Kylie herself has only co-wrote one album track [Fine] and one bonus track for the special edition of the album [Sleeping With The Enemy].

The Pharrell Williams penned and produced I Was Gonna Cancel is the only track that I can say isn't about a relationship in one way or another (he wrote in after she became stressed out and started crying during recording sessions), and even that is nothing more then empty noise as far as I'm concerned. I'm still not sure if Kylie is telling herself, a boyfriend or a friend that they're going to be okay in the over-repetitive Fine - that song could go any way...

Lead single Into The Blue and duet [with Enrique Inglesias] Beautiful are the only two tracks that have proven to be in any way memorable for me - and even then I wouldn't say I'm really keen on them. Heck if the were on any of Kylie's previous albums I'd probably call them filler tracks.

The bonus songs? Mr Presidant is simply awful, which it's repetitive lyrics and Cheryl Cole levels of autotune. Sleeping With The Enemy is a bit better - it didn't wow me, but it is more memorable then the regular album edition tracks, so I think that it has been wasted.

The rest of the album? I've kept listening to everything ever since they leaked to when my CD arrived hoping that the songs will grow on me, but I just forget everything about the other songs within fifteen minutes of listening to them.

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I should have listened to my gut instinct that told me to save my money after being left underwhelmed by the lead single, as there wasn't anything on the album that is anything other than a five minute wonder for me. I'll give my CD to my Kylie-mad work collegue, and won't be rushing to get any future Kylie albums.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2014 2:52 PM BST


Remington AS7055 Big Style
Remington AS7055 Big Style
Price: £34.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One magic wand to dry, style, and curl..., 11 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a brilliant hairstyler in that you're killing two birds with one stone; you're drying your hair and styling it at the same time. A great time saver when you're getting ready for work etc. I've removed a star because the size and weight of the styler made it somewhat awkward for me to get the hang of using it to heat the rollers at first, but now after a bit of practice I've actually come to think that it makes it easier for me to set rollers in my hair in comparison to doing it by hand.

As the rollers hat come with the kit are self-gripping, there is no dent left my hair from a pin. After use the rollers and styler can all be stored safely in the included carry case, so our cats and dogs can’t wonder along and burn their noses.

I love the fact there are more of the larger rollers the most: whenever I haven’t got the time (or effort – I’m lazier with my hair, then with makeup) to use all sizes together for a curly style, I can use a few of the larger ones to create a loose wave and body in my hair.


Pharmavits 100mg Raspberry Ketones Vitamin Supplements - Pack of 60 Capsules
Pharmavits 100mg Raspberry Ketones Vitamin Supplements - Pack of 60 Capsules
Price: £11.04

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No supermodel-body-in-a-pill results here., 9 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'll start the review by getting the main thing out of the way. This isn't a miracle get thin quick product and as soon as you stop taking it, the results that I experienced vanished within several days. I've already tried regular raspberry ketone pills before and these ones worked no better and no worse then the others, giving me no noticeable difference in the results; hardly any extra weight loss, but there was an temporary decrease in water retention.

Any slight hopes of a miracle I harbored disappeared as soon as I learnt that you are recommended to take the pills with healthy meals and regular exercise, so any noticeable weight loss that I may have wanted to chalk up to this is probably most likely down to [drum roll] sensible eating and exercise. To be fair I did seem to lose the weight a teensy bit faster during my course of ketones, but if you are already making healthier life choices it is hard to pin down how much help the pills are actually doing.

The pills DID help with water retention and resulting bloat which made me feel lighter, but like I said above, as soon as you stop taking the pills the results start to undo themselves, so your back to square one. I also noticed that I was less prone to snacking, which was a nice bonus. Would I try this again? Maybe - the pills didn't give me any side effects, they are easy to shallow, don't taste bad, do provide some help, and gave me some added confidence.

If you want a boost for a beach holiday, or if you have a wedding, prom or other special occasion coming up I'd recommend this for increasing your confidence in showing off your figure as they don't have any side effects, but don't expect miracles.


The Emperor's Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne: Book One
The Emperor's Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne: Book One
by Brian Staveley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A promising start..., 6 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I did really enjoy this book and was kept interested from beginning to end by the authors solid characters, despite the sometimes bog standard elements of the genre that occur. I do like the main characters, the mix of fantasy, adventure and mystery in the plot, and I am eager to explore the author's future works. I've removed a star as the book is split between the POV of all three siblings but I felt that I didn't get to really know Adare as much as I wanted as she got the least amount of chapters. Hopefully this imbalance will be sorted out in book two [released in 2015, so we'll have to be patient]

At 500 + pages there was enough for me to really sink my teeth into, but I was still a bit disappointed to reach the end. Also; as the chapters were on the shorter side of things I found that I could fully absorb the plot - when book chapters are too long I can find myself verging on the forgetful side...


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