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Lizzie (Newtownards Co Down)

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All Because of You
All Because of You
by Melissa Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.90

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SURPRISING!!!, 28 Sep 2008
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This review is from: All Because of You (Paperback)
A lot of books, especially chick lit, can seem very much the same these days. This book by Melissa Hill is a pleasant surprise and very refreshing. I found it recommended on Listmania.

The story starts out enjoyable enough, very readable indeed. Tara Harrington has a very successful and happy life with Glenn, everything she could ever want. Emma, her younger sister, has just found out she is pregnant at the start of the story, but refuses to divulge who the father is. Liz, Tara's friend is having problems adjusting to her new life, and Natalie is finding it hard to keep a man, despite the fact she is stunningly beautiful. And so the background of the story is set.

Melissa drew me into the four women's lives easily, and as the story progressed I found it more and more difficult to put the book down. But, although enjoyable I didn't think it was going to turn out to be so exceptional. Then - the twist, and the book turned into something special, something very clever. I just didn't see it coming. This is what set it apart from many other books that I have read.

Great book. Buy it - read it - enjoy it!

The Butterfly House (MIRA)
The Butterfly House (MIRA)
by M. K. Preston
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB!!!, 27 Aug 2008
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I had never heard of either Marcia Preston or 'The Butterfly House.' I chanced upon it while browsing Amazon's listmania. I was frustrated because I seem to have read a few lemons lately and was desperate for a good read.

What a wonderful piece of storytelling! Within a few pages I was caught up in the story of these four compelling women.

It is a story of love, yet not in the conventional sense of the word, jealously, forgiveness, friendship, and much, much more. I rooted for all of these richly drawn characters from the start, and finished the novel with a tear in my eye, sorry to leave them all behind. I don't really want to go into details of the plot, Amazon's synopsis will tell you all you need to know, but if you're looking for a good read, and not sure what you want, go ahead and buy it. You'll NOT be disappointed.

This book has restored my belief that there are good books out there and I will be looking up other titles by this talented author.

The Choice
The Choice
by Nicholas Sparks
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.96

4.0 out of 5 stars One to curl up with..., 7 Aug 2008
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This review is from: The Choice (Paperback)
I have read quite a few of Nicholas Sparks' novels, and am now confident he will never disappoint. THE CHOICE is yet another moving story by him.

You can be sure I will not give anything away, and anything in this review can be deduced by reading the back cover.

Travis Parker is happy with his life. He doesn't need a serious relationship to make it complete. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite getting off on the wrong foot, she affects him more than any woman he has ever met, and is he determined to get to know her better. And so the scene is set, for Travis, for Gabby and for the future.

As another reviewer said it is a fairly lightweight read. Yet it is more than that. Nicholas Sparks takes two normal people with mostly uneventful lives and takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions along with them. You root for Travis and Gabby, feel what they are going through, and your are kept guessing right to the very last chapter.

The only reason I didn't give it five stars is because I felt the central theme and the way the novel unfolded were maybe just a little too similar to some of his other stories. However this is just a minor point. As I said the story still had me guessing right to the end.

Highly recommended. Thanks again Mr Sparks

Cross Stitch (Outlander, US)
Cross Stitch (Outlander, US)
by Diana Gabaldon
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

21 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars IMPOSSIBLE TO READ!!!, 14 July 2008
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I decided to give this book a go after reading many of the good reviews it got. At over 800 pages I knew the pace could be slow to start but was prepared to give it a chance. However after about 300 pages I just couldn't take anymore.

The pace was plodding at best. For instance, a whole chapter was given over to hunting a wild boar, and in my opinion didn't add anything to the story. The main character, Jamie, wasn't in the least bit appealing, and Claire seemed to relax into life two centuries before her time without too much difficulty.

But for me the worst part was that most of the speech was written in Scottish accents!! I have nothing against the accent. I have Scottish relatives, but it made for very stilted reading. Every other line was filled with talk of wee laddies and wee lassies. We know these people spoke with a Scottish accent. They live in Scotland for heaven's sake. We don't need to read with one. If a book is set in America do we all suddenly start reading with an American twang?

Sorry I just couldn't read it all, and failed to even get halfway through. If this is the first in the series, I would hate to see the sequels.

Please , please, if you're looking for a good time slip novel I would check out Barbara Erskine first.

Otherwise, 'Hoots mon, pass me those bagpipes, ye wee lassie. I'll tak a wee nip we it!!!'
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2009 10:43 AM BST

The Novice: Book 2 of the Black Magician (Black Magician Trilogy)
The Novice: Book 2 of the Black Magician (Black Magician Trilogy)
by Trudi Canavan
Edition: Paperback

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No star!!, 25 Jun 2008
After reading the Magician's Guild, I thought this trilogy showed promise, and promptly bought the Novice and the High Lord. What a let down. This book is nothing short of dire!!

Almost 600 pages of nothing. There is no story. Nothing of any consequence happens. Characters are wooden and lacking spark. I don't understand how so many people have rated it so highly. There are much better books out there. It is so bad I can't even bring myself to read the High Lord, because I no longer care what happens. Most boring of all was Lord Dannyl's so called travels and adventures trying to dig up information about the High Lord. It just went on and on and on.

Having said all that. Some people obviously enjoyed the book. However, I for one am sending all three to the charity shop.

Soooooo boring!

Redeeming Love
Redeeming Love
by Francine Rivers
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Tender and Moving. One of the best., 25 Jun 2008
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This review is from: Redeeming Love (Paperback)
I found this book on Amazon while browsing the Listmania. After reading such complimentary reviews, I decided to take a chance on it. I was not disappointed.

The story is set in the 1850s during the Californian Gold Rush. Michael Hosea is a farmer who falls in love with a prostitute called Angel. Michael lives a simple life and is a God-fearing man. When he meets Angel, her life has just fallen to new depths.

The book is a retelling of the prophet Hosea from the Bible. However, even if you are not religious don't let this put you off. If you like romance, you will love it. It is exquisitely written and the story beautiful. It is not only a story of redeeming love, but unconditional love too.

I don't normally read books a second time. They have to be exceptional for me to consider it. But this one is a keeper, and once finished, will leave you with a warm glow inside you.

Do not hesitate. It is a simple tale, but one of the best.

Twilight (Twilight Saga)
Twilight (Twilight Saga)
by Stephenie Meyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.95

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny!!, 24 May 2008
Although this book is primarily aimed at the YA market, this 37 year old loved it!

I like the fact it is written in the first person so that you instantly know everything the main character - Bella - is thinking. Bella is endearing, if not a little naive. Edward is aloof, beautiful and extremely dangerous, but she cannot stay away from him.

Much of the book, particularly the first half contains of a lot of dialogue between the two of them, and is filled with tension. Especially look out for the scene set in the wood. Amazingly well written. I hung on their every word.

But there is much more to the book than this, and Edward fights to prove his love for Bella as the story moves towards its thrilling end.

A rare treat.

Deeper Still
Deeper Still

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNING!, 9 Sep 2007
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This review is from: Deeper Still (Audio CD)
I had never heard of Beth Nielsen Chapman until I saw her on the last ever episode of the 'Heaven and Earth' show. I warmed to her personality immediately and the way she seemed to have emerged from tragedy in her life with nothing but love for God and life itself.

After hearing her sing I decided to chance buying one of her cds and I have to say it was definitely one of my better decisions. Not knowing which one to try I took pot luck and purchased 'Deeper Still'.

This is a gorgeous album with many influences: country, folk, easy listening, gospel. And yet it has a style all its own, with lyrics which stir the emotions and at times bring tears to the eyes.

It is a rare thing to love an entire album, but here Beth has succeeded in doing just that. I will definitely be purchasing further cds.

Its is difficult to have a favourite track but 'World of hurt', 'Every December Sky' and 'Feathers, Bones and Shells' stand out.

Give yourself a treat and relax to this album.

Innocent Traitor
Innocent Traitor
by Alison Weir
Edition: Hardcover

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST BUY!!!!, 29 Jan 2007
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This review is from: Innocent Traitor (Hardcover)
This is a beautiful novel detailing the tragic life of one of the most compelling women in English history, the Lady Jane Grey. It tells the whole story of her life from her birth right through her nine day reign to her untimely death. It is written mainly through the eyes of all the people in her life who shaped her fate. We see events told through her parents, her nurse, the Duke of Northumberland, Queen Mary to name but a few, yet most of the story comes from Jane herself.

I was a little unsure at the start as I don't normally like books written in the present tense, although the author's high standard of writing soon won me round, and I realized how instrumental this was in building up the tension towards the end. My heart was actually pounding in my chest in the end scenes as I got lost in the drama of the moment.

Fans of historical fiction will love it.

Congratulations Ms Weir on a wonderful story, made all the more poignant because it is true.

The Bridges Of Madison County [1995] [DVD]
The Bridges Of Madison County [1995] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Clint Eastwood
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: 6.59

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECTION!!, 15 Aug 2006
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This is quite simply one of the best films I have ever seen. Definitely up among my top five ever. The quality of the acting from Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood is just faultless. They look so good together on screen, it is hard to believe they are only acting. You can literally feel the intensity of the characters' love for each other and the heartbreaking decison they have to face, to either stay together and be true to themselves, or separate and go back to their individual lives, and therefore put the feelings of others before their own happiness.

I agree with the previous reviewer, in that it is one of those rare movies that is actually better than the book. I have watched it many times, with the kleenex at the ready of course. It is simply perfect for a wet Sunday afternoon.

If you love weepies, you will adore this.

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