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Jen.France
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The Dog Listener
The Dog Listener
by Jan Fennell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Four principles to live by - do this for yourself, but more importantly, do this for your dog(s)., 24 May 2015
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This review is from: The Dog Listener (Paperback)
I downloaded this book after reading the reviews. We adopt (rescue) older dogs (10 years and over) and our pack (usually) consists of two large dogs (over 30 kg), two under 10 kg and at the present time a tiny teacup yorkie (2.5kg). So a mixture of not only breeds but size too. With our dogs being older we obviously lose them sooner than we would like and so our pack dynamics change perhaps more often than most doggie packs.
Over the years I have learned a tremendous amount from watching how our pack relates with the other pack members and especially their human leaders, this helped me to become our pack leader - and with this in mind I can honestly say that the principles Jan lays out in this book are incredibly simple, sensible and easy !! And will work with most dogs to make them feel secure and settled in a pack.
The book basically lays out the four principles to be applied to let your dog(s) know that YOU are in charge of the pack welfare, not them. This is not done with force, loud voices or punishment. Without realising it, I had already been carrying out three of the four principles Jan suggests in this book and have now taken up the forth principle “gesture eating” .
Without a doubt dogs are happier when they realise they are not responsible for their human pack member(s), and you can enjoy your dog(s) so much more, and they will be calm and settled. We have never had any problems bringing in a new dog to join our pack, with the dogs already in the pack confident and ready to accept the new dog (or cat) that the (human) alpha leader brings in to join them. And I am talking about rescue dogs, which for the most part have no reason to trust mankind.
Do read this book if you feel that your dog is in charge of you, that you are bowing to his needs all the time. It could turn you and your dog’s life round.
Good luck with your doggie friends :)


Silent Scream: An edge of your seat serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 1)
Silent Scream: An edge of your seat serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 1)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars In a word - BRILLIANT, 21 May 2015
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I downloaded this book after reading the reviews and seeing the length of time on the Amazon best seller list……… I wasn’t disappointed. It’s definitely a cut above the normal police thriller.

DCI Kim Stone is a great character, as you will find out, and so I am not going to go into her complex personality in this review, that would only provide a spoiler for the story. Enough to say, she is certainly not your average DCI!! She manages her team fairly while at the same time pushing them to their limits, the three characters that make up her team are well drawn and you soon get to know them and their idiosyncrasies. The murder she is called in to solve is tied up with a past murder and the plot is full of twists and turns as Kim tries to unravel the clues.

The ending is very exciting and the actions in the very last pages say more about the complicated character of Kim than any words could say. I especially loved that part of the book, the author does not spell anything out, it is left the reader to understand what Kim has done.

As you can read from this review, I am not giving much away, this is such a very good book that it’s enough to say “read this and you will not be disappointed” – a very cleverly written book with realistic characters, warts and all. Can’t wait for book two in the series.


Holy Island: A DCI Ryan Mystery
Holy Island: A DCI Ryan Mystery
Price: £2.56

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptionally good thriller / police whodunit on Lindisfarne island (in Northumberland) - I loved this book., 11 May 2015
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When Anna is asked by the Northumberland Police Department to act as their civilian expert in what seems to be a ritualistic pagan murder, she is undecided about going back to her birth place and home for the first twenty years of her life. Lindisfarne, or as it is also known Holy Island holds only bad memories for her. There will be no joyful family reunion waiting for her with her estranged elder sister Megan determined to keep old quarrels going.

DCI Ryan is already on the island, taking a sabbatical after a particularly harrowing murder investigation that touched him personally. Neither Anna or Ryan could have expected how events would escalate over the short span of five days. Events that tear the close knit community apart.

As I said, the story covers just five days, but my goodness a lot is packed into it. This is the first DCI Ryan book and I am certainly waiting with baited breath for book number two :) The characters of Ryan and his team are well drawn and as for Anna, I felt I knew her personally by the end of the story.

I highly recommend this book to those who like clever thriller / police whodunit books, with likeable and believable characters - A really great read. Well done L J Ross :)


The Rose Girls
The Rose Girls
Price: £3.99

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of three sisters and all that life has to throw at them - a really good book., 3 May 2015
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This review is from: The Rose Girls (Kindle Edition)
This is above all a story of three sisters. The interactions between them and the dynamics between older sister, middle sister and youngest sister……. Having two sisters myself it all rang very true!!

When Celeste, the elder sister arrives back at the family rose growing business, and family home, after the mother’s death, she is feeling reserved and unhappy and the tensions run high between the three of them, with Evie and Gertie having secrets of their own.

There is no big plot with this story, but it spins along at a fair enough pace - with day to day problems that fall in the path of the sisters, and there are plenty of heated and passionate disagreements on how the business and family home will go forward now the mother is dead.

It helps if you like roses ! There’s a lot of interesting history and information about roses woven into the story. The ending is a bit predictable but nevertheless enjoyable – and I do love a happy ending.

I chose this book from the four Kindle First's offers. I had never read any of this author’s books before and have to admit that I only picked it because I read in the blurb that she rescues animals…… which we do too, and so I felt an affinity to her. I will certainly explore some of her other books now after reading Rose Girls.


About Last Night
About Last Night
Price: £5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars What would you do in the same circumstances? - a really good read., 1 May 2015
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This review is from: About Last Night (Kindle Edition)
This is a book that gets you thinking – what would I do in the same circumstances. Pip and Steph are best friends – best friends for 30 years, since they were 8 years old in fact. It’s a friendship that’s seen its fair share of life’s ups and downs – Steph is the “sensible” one, married with three boys, she has everything she wants and needs……. But has she really. Pip on the other hand is impulsive and unorganised, a single mother, she lives for her daughter, forever berating herself that she isn’t quite good enough.

The friendship between the two women is tested to the hilt when Stephanie asks Pip to lie to the police on her behalf……… Torn between her friendship and love for Steph and her natural instinct to tell the truth, Pip is torn, and you can’t help but think, what would I do it the same circumstances.

The book has little conversation between its characters – it’s a book that explores feelings through thoughts and actions. But in saying that, I didn’t miss conversation at all, in fact by the end of the book, we know so much about the characters, we could write our own book about them. It means that you really get into the heads of the characters and one thing I especially liked is that throughout the book the author keeps the characters true to themselves.

It’s a little predictable towards the end, but even so that didn’t spoil the story at all for me. All the t’s are crossed and the is dotted – Nice to read a book that doesn’t leave unanswered questions. To sum up, this is a story that explores a friendship and the very different lives of two women and how they choose to deal with things. A good read all round.


Harbour Street (Vera Stanhope Book 6)
Harbour Street (Vera Stanhope Book 6)
Price: £3.59

5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet fishing village - full of secrets. Vera has her work cut out on this one ......... a great read., 26 April 2015
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This is number 6 in the D.I. Vera Stanhope series and I think it's the best so far - and as I have enjoyed them all, that's saying something.
For Kate Dewar life seems to have finally come right - two teenage children Chloe and Ryan, a new relationship with a steady reliable man, the possibility of resurrecting her previous singing stardom and to boot she owns and runs a successful b and b in the small fishing village of Mardle, in Northumberland - life couldn't get much better.......... until the day there is a knock on the door and the police come with news that will break her peaceful life wide open.

Kate has to come to terms with the sad fact that Margaret Krukowski, who lived in the attic apartment at the b and b and was a good friend of Kate and the children, has been stabbed while travelling home by train. Margaret, the gentle refined woman, the woman who helped out at the church and the nearby home for abused women - Who could possibly want her dead. This is a murder that spans a lifetime of secrets and is set to tear the people of Mardle apart.
Vera, with her unorthodox policing, and her team are pitted against a wall of silence - The characters, as usual work well together, Joe the family man and Vera'a favourite member of the team, Holly, very prickly like her name and rather insecure, always trying too hard - and Charlie finally getting over his wife leaving him - all gel together to make a good working team.

I really enjoyed this book, as with most series, it's better to read them in order, as I have done, but in saying that this book stands alone and makes sense without having read the others. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery with great characters.


Trade Winds (Choc Lit) (Kinross Series Book 1)
Trade Winds (Choc Lit) (Kinross Series Book 1)
Price: £2.69

4.0 out of 5 stars A love affair that crosses three countries, Scotland, Sweden and China., 19 April 2015
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It's 1732 and Killain Kincross is banished to Sweden from his homeland of Scotland by his grandfather, banished for something he didn't actually do. Once in Sweden he meets the independent Jess Van Sandt who is fighting her own battles of being a young woman controlled by her stepfather. Then, woven around a long sea journey to China an unlikely love affair begins, fraught with obstacles and problems.

So, this is the usual boy meets girl scenario, and to be together they have to overcome among other things, the interference of Killain's cousin. As another reviewer mentioned, the story line is rather predictable, but that said, the story moves along at an interesting enough pace and the characters of Killain and Jess are well drawn and likeable.

I suppose if I were to sum up the book I would say an enjoyable enough read but rather tame. But perhaps I just enjoy more cliff hangers and twists and turns in my books.


Games People Play
Games People Play
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Three different perspectives given to us from three generations - grandmother, ex wife and daughter.........., 13 April 2015
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This review is from: Games People Play (Kindle Edition)
The book is written from the perspective of three women - three generations - grandmother, mother and daughter - they are tied together by Ivan, son, ex husband and father to the three women. I always enjoy books giving different insights into the same situation, as seen by different people of different ages, this book did not disappoint. The story covers the ups and downs of life based around a tennis club. I know nothing about tennis and so it was a bit of learning curve - but it never gets "tennis" boring, and the tennis bits are only really a small part of the book. The book explores cancer, being suspected of a serious crime, husbands going off the rails and the woes of a promising tennis career going pear shape. So there are plenty of subjects covered, sensitively and seen from the three different slants of the women. The ending is an epilogue six months on from the main part of the book and I felt a bit put out by that, as if I had missed part of the story.

I have loved all of the Louise Voss books I have read so far, and have given them five stars - this one I did enjoy too, but not quite as much as the others, which is why I gave it 4 stars.


Vax S86-SF-CC Steam Fresh Combi Classic 10-in-1 Handheld and Steam Mop
Vax S86-SF-CC Steam Fresh Combi Classic 10-in-1 Handheld and Steam Mop
Price: £64.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value - does what it says it does., 11 April 2015
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This is the first steam mop we have had and now I don't know how we managed without it !!! It was delivered quickly (by UPS) and considering we live in France the postage was very reasonable at £7 and that included the postage for a pack of 8 spare cloths that we purchased at the same time. The mop is very easily assembled, within a few minutes. The water tank is easily removed for filling and lasts long enough to do our bathroom, kitchen, lobby, and dining room floors before needing a refill. The microfibre floor cloth fits snugly underneath the mop bottom, by a kind of Velcro backing. The mop comes with one floor cloth but I ordered a spare pack of 8 cloths at the same time, and it is necessary to have spare cloths so some can be in the wash, so I recommend buying a pack of spare cloths at the same time.

The mop is ready for use more or less as soon as you turn it on, a green light shows it is ready to use and the trigger is pressed in short bursts to clean without over wetting the floor. I especially like the way that the mop can get along the edges of the floor and into corners - it really does a good job and so quickly. The hand held part is ideal for cleaning grout between tiles in the kitchen and bathroom and as we live in a very hard water area, the way it can remove scale from around taps and other difficult areas to reach, needs to be seen to be believed. I haven't used it on windows yet or the hob - but so far I am more than pleased with it.

For the price this is excellent value and I do recommend it - it's no bother to use and cuts down cleaning time.


Vax Genuine Total Home 8x Velcro Microfibre Multi-Colour Cleaning Pads
Vax Genuine Total Home 8x Velcro Microfibre Multi-Colour Cleaning Pads
Price: £19.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality - perfect fit for the Vax steam mop., 11 April 2015
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I ordered these at the same time as we ordered our Vax stream mop. The quality of these microfibre cloths is really excellent. They are thick and will obviously wear very well. Four colours, two of each, and they even come with a wash bag :) They have a kind of sticky Velcro backing that sticks easily to the bottom of the stream mop. If you are buying a Vax stream mop I recommend that you buy a pack of these cloths - giving you plenty of spare cloths while others are in the wash. Really very pleased with them. The delivery was quick too, even though they came to France.


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