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Reviews Written by
C. Browne (UK)
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Poppy
Poppy
Price: £2.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, 2 Jun. 2016
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This review is from: Poppy (Kindle Edition)
Once again, Clarissa Johal has demonstrated that you don't need a cast of thousands, or multiple subplots, or exotic locations to write a compelling novel. All you need is a good story, razor-sharp prose, and the ability to create dramatic conflict between believable characters. I'm a fan of Clarissa Johal's work and I think this is her best to date. The character of Poppy herself is immensely likeable and I enjoyed her banter with the enigmatic Dante. Their dialogue was handled with all the expertise I have come to expect from this author and there were touches of humour that made me burst out laughing.
The novel is beautifully crafted and there isn't an unnecessary word or phrase to be found, while the rhythm of the prose makes it so easy to read. The tension builds up nicely throughout the narrative and the author gives the reader every reason to fear for the safety of both the living characters and those in the spirit world who need Poppy's help.
There was only one thing I didn't like about this novel: the ending. It happened too soon. More of the same, please, author!


Memoir of an Iraqi Woman Doctor
Memoir of an Iraqi Woman Doctor
by Saniha Amin Zaki
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.53

5.0 out of 5 stars A rich and fascinating memoir., 14 May 2016
The book's blurb provides the reader with an excellent description of the story but the narrative itself is far richer and more detailed. This isn't merely a memoir but also a fascinating historical record of turbulent times. The accounts of ordinary people are always more interesting than official records and I highly recommend this book to anyone with a passion for modern history and an interest in the changing status of women. It is also enlightening to see the tensions between the West and the Middle East through the eyes of someone from the Arab world, and, as a Brit, I enjoyed reading about life in wartime England. The author has had a full and productive life and travelled widely and her descriptions of the places she visited are beautifully written. There are many typos in the book that need to be addressed but I have overlooked that and given the book five stars because I really enjoyed it and was disappointed when I reached the end. I would love to read more about the life and times of Saniha Amin Zaki.


A Quirk Of Destiny
A Quirk Of Destiny
Price: £3.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent science-based fiction., 5 May 2016
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When fiction is used as a vehicle to convey truth, it can deliver a powerful message. The message behind A Quirk of Destiny is that GM food is mad science at its most destructive. The book's content reminded me of '48 Hours later' while the style is like 'Day of the Triffids', and at the heart of the narrative is a kind of zombie apocalypse caused by GM animal feed. I can't think of a better reason why people would become zombies or mutants than by eating animals that have been fed genetically modified food. Anyone who wants to debunk this premise should first read the authentic evidence provided at the end of the book by the author. As a government scientist with many years of experience, Catherine Greenall knows what she is talking about. Nature is already doing the job perfectly and needs no modification by mankind. If the world population is growing faster than our ability to feed it, then cutting out the amount of food we waste coupled with a plant-based diet seems an entirely logical solution. GM food is an apocalypse waiting to happen and we need more intelligent works of fiction like this to highlight the dangers and stupidity of tampering with Nature in this way.


French Tart (Naughty Ladies of Nice Book 1)
French Tart (Naughty Ladies of Nice Book 1)
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-crafted saucy romp., 31 Mar. 2016
I'm all in favour of erotic romance being written by women, especially when they are good writers like Sloane Taylor, because the female characters tend to be more realistic. They assert themselves and enjoy their sexuality to the full, which is just as it should be. Sloane Taylor's saucy romp is great fun but it's also a well-crafted and well-written novelette, aided by humorous elements and an exotic location. The dialogue is always natural and the erotic exchanges are described with skill and flair. This is not a genre I would normally read. I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review and am grateful for the opportunity to try a small but tasty slice of this particular author's body of work.


Loving Again
Loving Again
Price: £3.98

5.0 out of 5 stars A very satisfying read, 7 Jan. 2016
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This review is from: Loving Again (Kindle Edition)
Having really enjoyed debut novella 'Her Name', I looked forward to reading more from the same author and 'Loving Again' did not disappoint. It is a more mature work in both content and style than 'Her Name' and the author handles the narrative with confidence and skill. The erotic passages are well done, the dialogue is natural and the characters very likeable. I applaud the author for the subtle social commentary she has woven into the story; it isn't intrusive but adds depth to the narrative. With any work of fiction the question is always, do I want to follow these characters to the end of the book? In this case I certainly did. I found it a very satisfying read. A well-crafted work with no plot holes or loose ends, there is also a little touch near the end that adds some magic to the story. I hope we don't have to wait too long for the next book.


Chique Concentrated Cologne Spray 100ml
Chique Concentrated Cologne Spray 100ml
Offered by KrystalDirect
Price: £11.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Great value and smells great, 6 Dec. 2015
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I was so pleased to be able to get this again. One of my favourite perfumes. I was not disappointed.


The Island
The Island

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and intriguing., 25 Nov. 2015
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This review is from: The Island (Kindle Edition)
Having read 'Voices' and 'Struck' by the same author, I seized the opportunity to get a copy of 'The Island' when a free download became available. Likeable protagonist Emma goes to the private island that belonged to her late grandmother, intending to get it ready for sale. However, she soon finds a hidden cave and answers to the island's dark past are revealed.
Using her clean, contemporary style of writing, Clarissa Johal creates a bleak, cold, and lonely setting for the unfolding story and there is a sense of unease from the start.
The difficulties encountered by Emma made me want to climb into the novel and help her. Making readers care about people who don't actually exist is one of the skills an author must possess. In 'The Island' this is facilitated by the dialogue which is very natural - and I think this is one of Clarissa Johal's strengths as a writer.
The nature of the two demons wasn't what I expected and they intrigued me to the extent that I never felt the outcome was predictable and so I had to keep reading.
'The Island' has good story value and I could see it being made into a movie. I wonder if the author has considered turning her book into a screenplay?
Because I enjoyed this well-written novel and could find no fault with it, I am giving it five stars.


Covenant
Covenant
Price: £2.10

4.0 out of 5 stars A book for lovers of myth and magic., 21 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Covenant (Kindle Edition)
The quality of Derek Thompson's writing is astonishing. Beautiful prose and excellent world-building combine to create a work of fiction that is serious, intelligent, and profound. The book is clearly aimed at a specific audience, one that will appreciate the way esoteric material is woven into the fabric of the story. Such an audience will be happy with a narrative that is slower in pace than modern readers have come to expect. This slow pacing is the only reason why I have given it four stars rather than five.


Still Standing: The Savage Years
Still Standing: The Savage Years
by Paul O'Grady
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I loved Paul's first two books and, 1 Nov. 2015
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I loved Paul's first two books and, although I found his third book slightly less of a page turner - I don't know why - I still enjoyed it very much. If he writes a fourth book I will read it too. What a lovely human being he is and what an amazing life he is leading!


American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot
American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot
by Craig Ferguson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed this book on Kindle, 1 Nov. 2015
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book on Kindle. Didn't know much about Craig Ferguson before because he's big in the States but not the UK. This paperback copy I bought for a Scottish friend who is bound to like it even more than I did. It's funny and insightful. A page turner.


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