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Lifeplan Agnus Castus Vegicaps 500mg 60 Tablets
Lifeplan Agnus Castus Vegicaps 500mg 60 Tablets

4.0 out of 5 stars Taken to Shorten Menstruation, 10 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Unlike most women I took this tablet to shorten my period, which previously took up half of the month or more.

I found that I needed to give the treatment time to work - 3 months, I'd say.

The results once this time had passed were that my period shortened by somewhere between 5 and 7 days (except for a blip in the middle of winter, which may have been due to stress). My PMS symptoms also changed, with a reduction in tender breasts, a little less abdominal cramping and a change from a depressive mood to an agressive one (not severely so, intensity of both was very low at around 2/10).

I also found that my period would be very heavy indeed for one day!

On another note, I'm very pleased that there is a vegan version of this product!

Very good product, and if there was a vegan version of the 1,000mg dose then I'd try that.

Dr.Hauschka Volume Mascara Black 10ml
Dr.Hauschka Volume Mascara Black 10ml

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has Good and Bad Points, 10 Jun. 2013
Before I bought this product I looked online for information. It's expensive, but it also seems to be the only ethical mascara worth using.

Personally, I liked this product. It feels fine, I don't get any itching like others have described. And although a tube is very expensive, you get quite a lot in it so the value for money equals roughly to other eco-friendly mascaras.

On the downside, I recognise that it's a lot of money to invest in a product that may not be useable to some people and which is of a nature that you may not be able to take back to the shop. I think there should be a mini version for people to use as a try-before-you-buy product.

Although there is a 'non-volume' and a 'volume' version of this product, I found that the volume version performs the same as regular mascaras. I haven't tried the non-volume version and based on the ferformance of this one, I wouldn't bother.

So all in all, I like it, but I recognise the potential reluctance many women might feel buying their first tube.

Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure
Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure
by Robert de Board
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.51

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me laugh with delight!, 27 Dec. 2011
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It's not very often I find myself laughing with delight, as opposed to hilarity, but I did with several lines at the start of this book. There's a realism in this book that we don't see in WitW. Although WitW has a soft, whimsical quality to it, the characters have a very 'real' way of acting which stands up to de Board's deeper explanations. Fantastic work, and by the way: it's well-worth buying Wind in the Willows to read beforehand.

Toad was a wonderful choice of character for this venture of a book - I only wish Mr de Board had written one for Badger as well! The little bits of insight we get into Ratty, Moley and Badger act as tasters and contrasts to the majority of the book, which tells of Toad's sessions with Heron.

The final scene in WitW has Toad give one last performance because he knows he has to give it up for his own good: he sings a song to a semi-circle of empty chairs. And then he becomes a reformed amphibian. But that didn't quite ring true for me. In Counselling for Toads, he gives a 'last performance' of sorts: he tells Heron his life story, and this way of having Toad perform one last time feels a lot more authentic.

Wind in the Willows (Templar Classics) (Templar Classics: Ingpen)
Wind in the Willows (Templar Classics) (Templar Classics: Ingpen)
by Kenneth Grahame
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soft-focus prose, spot-on psychology, 27 Dec. 2011
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I read this in order to prepare myself for a rather more obscure book called 'Counselling for Toads', in which Toad of Toad Hall is sent to counselling because his attention-seeking lifestyle has finally ground him into the doldums.

Although this book is quite whimsical in many ways, the characterisation is fantastic - Toad's attraction to motor cars is pretty much on a par with a drug abuser's addiction. As is Badger's pride and sometimes over-assertive behaviour, and the dynamic between timid Mole and practical Rat.

The only bit that doesn't quite make sense is how easily Toad gives up on his natural sense of showmanship at the end. It doesn't feel quite right, perhaps because the reasons why Toad does it couldn't really be covered in such a pretty, soft-focus book.

If it's any help, he does have a 'last performance' in Counselling for Toads, and that feels a lot more realistic!

Anyway, Wind in the Willows is very pretty. I recommend!

Girl in Translation
Girl in Translation
by Jean Kwok
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, but slightly too perfect, 20 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Girl in Translation (Paperback)
It seems pretty clear to me that this story has been written by a woman who has lived most of the life of her main character. I've no doubt she has embellished parts of it for the sake of storytelling, but overall there's something very *real* about the poverty Ah-Kim endures and the obsessive diligence with which she applies to her work.

Overall I very much enjoyed this story. It's just that parts of it feel a little bit plastic, a bit like how Hollywood would like this story to be. At one point for example, Ah-Kim is accused by her teachers of cheating because she keeps on getting perfect marks. They invite her to a classroom and have her stand at the front of the class. They ask her questions in each of their subjects. She gets all the answers right and at the end, gets a standing ovation.

While I've no doubt any half-decent set of teachers would be very impressed with this, there's something a little bit artificial about the idea.

Overall though, the atmosphere of this story is worth the read.

Beauty's Punishment: Number 2 in series (Sleeping Beauty)
Beauty's Punishment: Number 2 in series (Sleeping Beauty)
by A.N. Roquelaure
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sleeping Beauty roughs it, 20 Sept. 2011
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The general wisdom is that middle books of trilogies tend to be the worst. Perhaps this is because the writer has already wowed the reader with an introduction to the story concept and the climax of the story is still some way away, leaving the reader in a bit of a lull which also just happens to include lots of details they're going to have to know in order for the conclusion to make any sense.

However, Beauty's Punishment is a pretty good middle book! It has a few reservations but the author gets away with them.

Beauty's arrival in the Village marks a big change from her time at the Palace: it's rougher, tougher and more everyday (in a very S&M kind of a way). Beauty finds a lot more depth of love for slavehood in herself and it is this gradual realisation that forms the stock of this book.

We also see more characters introduced into the story as Tristan begins to narrate to us.

The main problem, I feel, with Anne Rice's writing is that she gives the male characters (in this book at least, and the first in the trilogy) a flowery style of prose - just as she does with the female characters. I'm in two minds about how bad a problem this is: half of the point of the Sleeping Beauty trilogy is to read the *very* pretty prose. Perhaps there's wiggle room for her to have delved into the more primal observations of her male characters, but in this book they still feel a bit, well, flowery.

I'm half-way through Beauty's Release now and the problem appears to have been cleared up. The main male character in Release is more primal, dirtier and really doesn't mince his words! What can I say, I love him already.

It's also nice to get a break from Beauty in Beauty's Punishment, lovely girl though she is. Tristan offers a bit of a contrast, although perhaps not quite enough. Like I said, his own point of view is quite rosy.

The Village sounds like a fabulous place, although I was expecting to see a bit more roughness in the daily lives of the slaves. As it happens, both our main protagonists in this book of the trilogy fall into the possession of rather well-to-do Masters, so we don't generally see the full extent of how base the Village can get.

I like the twist at the end of this book and have been very much enjoying its continuation in Beauty's Release so far.

Cutting Loose: An Adult's Guide to Coming to Terms with Your Parents
Cutting Loose: An Adult's Guide to Coming to Terms with Your Parents
by Howard Halpern
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of Valuable Insights, 20 Sept. 2011
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This is an almost excellent book for those who feel they suffered abuse at the hands of their parents, as I did. The general approach of the book is to look at the relationships between offspring and parents, and at the human-ness of both which leads to so many of the problems in the parenting relationship.

The word 'abuse' isn't mentioned once, as far as I remember - and I was looking out for it. Again, this fits in with the author's approach to the subject: that we are all humans who sometimes make mistakes. Pretty bad mistakes, pretty avoidable mistakes sometimes. But nobody is a purely vindictive, 'abusive' individual. There is always a rationale behind it that makes the action understandable.

By the time I finished this book there were all kinds of different elements of my relationship with my parents that I wanted to re-think. I haven't changed my position about them much, but I do have the benefit of foresight now, and can continue in my relationship with them with a more lucid idea of what's going on.

The only let-down with Cutting Loose is that the author reveals he is a parent. More specifically, in the final chapter he implores the reader not to disown their parents because that would be very painful for the parents. I feel that this amounts to a level of self-disclosure I didn't really want or need, and advice/guidance where I didn't really want it. I think that if the offspring needs to make a clean break, it is important that they do for their own self-preservation.

That said, I will repeat that the insights I got from the book made reading it very much worthwhile.

Emma Enslaved (Nexus)
Emma Enslaved (Nexus)
by Hilary James
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas, needs more craftsmanship, 20 Sept. 2011
I should start by pointing out that I am pleased with the service provided by the seller for this item. I received this book as a freebie. The seller was late sending me my ordered book due to a technical problem so sent me Emma Enslaved by way of apology.

However, as far as the story itself goes, I have to admit I'm quite disappointed.

The general outline of this story, which is in fact a sequel: Emma, having been trained in slavery and servitude, lives a double life. It is primarily Emma's life as a slave that we read about. The book has an episodic quality, each chapter telling us of a different encounter with Emma's domme, Ursula.

This premise is not presented in the most creative or exciting way. Overall I feel that Emma Enslaved is not a finished work. It needs to be rewritten with better characterisation and more variety of descriptions.

A case in point: Emma has long since been fitted with a cleverly-designed chastity belt that prevents her from pleasuring herself in any way and at first, the presence of this device promises an interesting twist to the story. But sadly it's not to be: the author doesn't make best use of prose and her occasional referral to the belt gives a perfect example. She often describes Emma's attitude to the belt as frustrating but 'exciting', and that one word, exciting, occurs again... and again... and again. We hear precious little about other feelings that Emma may have about the belt: does she feel secure in it? Does she feel that it's her special secret? Is she in the habit of playing with the chains the way many women play with a lock of hair? We don't hear much (if any) of this. Just the mindless repetition of exciting... exciting... exciting. I wouldn't mind so much - and perhaps wouldn't have noticed the repetition - if the author had even opened a thesaurus and looked for synonyms for 'exciting'.

Also: some pretty clever BDSM ideas become two-dimentional under the author's lack of writing skill. And then there's the head-hopping (jarring shifts of point-of-view), clunky attempts at upping the tension and cardboard cut-out, simplistic characters... it all weakens the story.

Even a bland story might have been more readable had the characters really drawn me in, but they don't. We do see scant references to Emma's normal life - her husband and lover, her home - but these fail to give us any clues as to Emma's personality, much less make her easy to connect with. Around a third of the way into the book Ursula takes Emma on an extended trip to Morocco, where Emma is subjected to a very surprising change in status quo (I won't say what just in case you still want to read this book). Emma approaches this situation by (apparently) thinking lots of questions all in one go: 'Who is this person?' 'What is that?' 'Where's Ursula?'. I say 'apparently' because this may instead be the author trying to pique the reader's sense of anticipation. But it's so clunky! Tthe way it's presented, Emma suddenly appears rather thick. The answers to the questions she asks are already rather too evident for her to sound quite so baffled. While I hadn't thought Emma was stupid, I hadn't previously read anything to disabuse me of this notion.

All of which amounts to some pretty poor characterisation.

I'm about a third of the way into the book and frankly, don't feel like finishing.

I am also reading Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy. While this has its faults (mainly in the first and second books), the rich elegance of the prose is far prettier to read. And Sarah Veitch's Different Strokes, which has no-nonsense prose and a strong sense that the author knows exactly what she's writing about. Honestly, if you're looking for a kinky story I'd go for one of those two rather than Emma Enslaved.

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