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C. D. Meetens "cdmeetens" (West Sussex, UK)

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How to Break Up With an Alien (My Alien Romance Book 2)
How to Break Up With an Alien (My Alien Romance Book 2)
Price: £0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first book, 16 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I think I have a bias toward sequels - probably influenced by films. They never seem to live up to their predecessors or expectations.

This book surpasses them.

I loved the first in this series, but I think this one is even better. A sci-fi, mixed in with a healthy dose of thriller, and balanced with a romance that is sweet, but never sickly.

The author keeps you guessing as to whether Ace and Alex will stay together, or the universe will come crashing down as a result of their breakup - and I don't mean metaphorically.

Alex is a joy to follow throughout the story. Her little drops of sarcasm and the amusing turns her mind takes never fail to make me smile. Her thought process during the story deals with very real feelings and situations - go after her dream university or stay close to the boy she loves.

Add to the mix the potential of some unwanted (and unfriendly) alien interest from an ex of Ace's, and you've got tension galore to drive the pace up, and keep this book a page turner.

I can't wait to see what Magan Vernon has in store for us in the third instalment!

Die For Me: Number 1 in series
Die For Me: Number 1 in series
by Amy Plum
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet story, but needs an attack of the editor's scissors, 30 July 2011
Kate Mercier lost both of her parents in a car crash and, wracked with grief, goes to live with her grandparents in Paris. There, she meets Vincent - the most handsome and enigmatic boy she has ever seen.

But Vincent hides a secret - something that could break Kate and Vincent's fledgling relationship apart. Can Kate take a chance and risk her heart again when she knows what Vincent is and the destiny he can't deny?

This is just the sort of book I go for (clearly, as I chose it in the bookshop), but I think I need a flag that shoots up in my mind whenever I see a prologue. A selection of authors seem to see the prologue device as a way to say to the reader: something good is coming; you just need to wait several chapters for it. It happened to me with Fallen and this book followed right in that snail's-pace book's footsteps.

Several times, at the beginning, I almost gave up on the book. It takes ages to go anywhere. When it does start to go somewhere and get interesting, it's only for a moment, and then we're back to drudgery again - following Kate around cafes while she wallows in grief to no good purpose.

Finally, about half-way through, something starts to happen, and then the author keeps up the pace. If I'd started at this point, I might have given the book extra points.

I found it an enjoyable story, although it took me a while to warm to Vincent. His first lines were not particularly endearing, although he seemed to have an explanation for that later, which made me give him a second chance. Kate is understandably vulnerable, and not particularly strong, although this strength builds through the story, until, at the end, she earns her stripes.

There were certain sections that lacked logic (why, if no one wanted her to go wandering through the house, did the housekeeper decide not to bring the tea? And no one ever questions this! I thought the least Kate could do in her defence was bring up that little fact), but the author does weave plot strands into the narrative nicely. There's no villain appearing all of a sudden three chapters away from the end, without so much as a mention before.

The romance is very sweet, but not overdone, and the supporting characters are all given decent reading-time, allowing the reader to get to know them. Both Jules and Ambrose stood out as two of my favourites.

In summary, decent story, good characterisation, nicely plotted (when it got going), and a romance that interweaves the theme of the story - dealing with loss and learning to love again in spite of the risk to your heart.

But it could still do with losing several thousand words.

A Tangle of Magicks (Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson)
A Tangle of Magicks (Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson)
by Stephanie Burgis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Magick and Mayhem in Regency Bath, 30 July 2011
I think Kat Stephenson is the sort of friend I would have loved to have growing up. She gets into all sort of scrapes, but through a mixture of bravery, intelligence, talent, and sheer dumb luck, manages to find a way out. If that way out also happens to involve some hapless friends and acquaintances in a rollercoaster of an adventure, well, that's what comes from knowing Kat.

This book took a little while to get going. I thought it started at an odd place, but the setting made sense much later in the book. Much like the first Kat Stephenson book, A Most Improper Magick, once the book got going (chapter three, for me), I couldn't put it down.

I love Kat's character, her strength, her humour, and her affection for her family, despite their obvious flaws.

The setting of Bath was another plus for me, as, having been there, it was easy to imagine. Also, Bath is so intrinsically Regency that I found it a perfect choice for the historical period of the book.

The plot strands all wove together beautifully, mixed in with some Roman mythology and further insight into the Order of the Guardians.

I can't wait to see what Kat gets up to in installment number three!

A Most Improper Magick
A Most Improper Magick
by Stephanie Burgis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A most improper young lady - thank goodness!, 30 July 2011
This review is from: A Most Improper Magick (Paperback)
"I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed as a boy, and set off to save my family from impending ruin. I made it almost to the end of my front garden..."

Kat Stephenson is headstrong, forthright, and a tom boy in a time of balls, simpering misses, and convenient marriages. Rather than let her eldest sister marry a man old enough to be her father (not to mention the fact he might have murdered his first wife) in order to save the family from financial ruin, she sets out to find another way to save them, and stumbles upon her mother's magic books.

This is a fast-paced ride in Kat's world, filled with adventure, humour, and mayhem.

Kat is a very likeable heroine. Rather than learning ladylike traits, such as sewing and playing the piano, Kat can be found up trees, or crawling under beds. She's a strong character, with a deep sense of family, and a desire to protect her sisters and father. She also has an uncanny way of bringing about minor disasters in a way I'm sure a lot of other girls can relate to.

The plot doesn't let up for a minute. After neatly dealing with necessary backstory, by weaving it into the opening chapters, and setting up the question of whether Kat will save her sister and the family, what quickly follows is an exciting mixture of magic, witches, villains, and highwaymen.

What I particularly liked about the book is that Kat doesn't simply go along with the path set out for her She opts to handle things in her own inimitable fashion, and refuses to be pushed into filling the role various characters want her to fill. When she does accept assistance, it's very much on her own terms.

When I heard about a series of books set in Regency England and involving magick (two of my favourite things), my hopes rose. I'm pleased to say my anticipation was justified.

Love Never Dies (2CD+DVD Special Edition)
Love Never Dies (2CD+DVD Special Edition)
Price: £21.75

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic soundtrack and fascinating DVD, 7 Mar 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This soundtrack grows on me everytime I hear it, and it is fast becoming a favourite.

The varying music styles enhance the story being told - particularly those that evoke vaudeville and the turn of the century. The intriguing tune of "Beautiful" isn't beautiful in the melodious sense of the world, but its very difference in the notes chosen make it beautiful in a strange and haunting way. The lovely harmonies and polite social graces covering up the truthful undertones of "Dear Old Friend" give at once an amusing and hummable song. "'Til I Hear You Sing" is an amazing ballad, and sung with such strength and emotion by Ramin Karimloo. My absolute favourite song on this album is the rock-opera style "The Beauty Underneath". The Phantom's entrance (not for the audience, but for Christine) is punctuated by the strong melody of "Beneath a Moonless Sky", which pervades the entire score. The "Coney Island Waltz" makes me think of carousels at old fairgrounds, but gradually changes to something more sinister, reminding us of who is behind Coney Island in "Love Never Dies".

While there are links to the original "The Phantom of the Opera", "Love Never Dies" can and does stand on its own.

There have been varying opinions on the soundtrack (and on the show), but I think it is like a lot of great music - music that endures - in that it is not always the first listen that traps you, but rather its ability to steal into your soul without you realising its growing effect. As someone who is fast getting hooked, I can't praise this soundtrack high enough.

The DVD includes interviews with Sierra Bogess (Christine), Ramin Karimloo (The Phantom), and Summer Strallen (Meg) for the cast, along with the director, lyricist, the creative team, and, naturally, Andrew Lloyd Webber. There are some fascinating moments, particularly those when you're taken behind the scenes to see the set taking shape.

Wicked Lovely
Wicked Lovely
by Melissa Marr
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books!, 1 Feb 2010
This review is from: Wicked Lovely (Paperback)
"Wicked Lovely" tells the story of Ash, who has seen faeries all her life - and they are not the sweet little things from Disney cartoons either. Unfortunately for Ash, she attracts the notice of the court fey (their king, no less), and her life is no longer her own, but that doesn't mean she's going to submit without a fight.

I love Melissa Marr's writing style; it's so easy to read, and completely draws you in. From the very first introduction of Ash, the character is three-dimensional and easy to care about and understand.

I found the plot intriguing, because, clearly the reader is led along a certain path, but the path doesn't go in a direction you can predict.

I thought it kept pace throughout - so much so that I couldn't put it down until I finished it.

Fallen: Book 1 of the Fallen Series
Fallen: Book 1 of the Fallen Series
by Lauren Kate
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Great beginning - disappointed in the rest, 1 Feb 2010
I had high hopes for this book. I read the prologue in a bookstore, and was instantly hooked. I should have begun reading chapter one, then perhaps I wouldn't have been so hasty in my purchase.

The story premise was good, the hooks there for the reader - lots of questions, and very few answers.

However, it took so long to get anywhere. There seemed an inordinate amount of description as to where the heroine was, why she was there, and who she was with, before the slightest thing happened, and then, after that, you were waiting again an inordindate amount of time before something else happened. I feel it could have been severely condensed, and it then would have made a better book.

I realise there is another book coming out that follows on from this one, and I am intrigued with the points/questions raised in "Fallen", but not enough to attempt to read it. It was a struggle enough to get through this one, which is such a shame, as I believe, at its heart, there is a good story desperately trying to get out.

Dancing On Ice with Torvill & Dean  [DVD] [2006]
Dancing On Ice with Torvill & Dean [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Phillip Schofield
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: £9.75

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice memento, but far too short, 3 April 2006
I loved this show, and was really pleased when I heard ITV were releasing a DVD of it. I thought I could see a large selection of the dances I had loved, and watch through all the Torvill and Dean routines, which began the programme each week.
I was wrong.
The "Dancing on Ice" section of the DVD is only 86 minutes long - not much time to fit in 8 weeks worth of programmes that were over an hour each. They have selected a few dances (and I mean a few) to show in their entirety. Otherwise, the dances are merely clips of every dance that week set to anonymous music.
The Torvill and Dean routines are mostly clips as well - a medley, again set to anonymous music. In their entirety are "Let Me Entertain You", and "Bolero". In addition to these, the DVD does contain the entire "Viva Las Vegas" sequence, but not to the same version of the music that was used on the show, so it doesn't quite work.
What is nice is that you relive some of the drama of the show, see great behind-the-scenes interviews, as well as a new interview from Torvill and Dean filmed after the show finished. Also, Bonnie's Bolero, filmed at the dress rehearsal, is included, and is wonderful to watch!
The quality is superb, and the DVD is grouped into sections, making it easier to find what you are looking for, although it still progresses in the order of the show.
As a special feature, the DVD includes "Fire and Ice" - a really beautiful performance by Torvill and Dean previously available on VHS video. While I'm happy to have this, I really feel ITV should have used the 50 minutes "Fire and Ice" takes up to give us more of "Dancing on Ice".
In summary, a great memento of a wonderful show - definitely worth buying. However, just don't expect too much, because, in my opinion, a lot of what made the show wonderful is missing.

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