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Reviews Written by
laineyf "widnes" (warwickshire)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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The Drowning Guard: A Novel of the Ottoman Empire
The Drowning Guard: A Novel of the Ottoman Empire
by Linda Lafferty
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Ottoman Opulence.................................., 28 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I thought that 'The Drowning Guard: A Novel of the Ottoman Empire' by Linda Lafferty was an absorbing, exciting, passionate read, and one which I thoroughly enjoyed! It has romance, war, rebellion, murder, - all the ingredients for a compulsive page-turner, which is something I love! The description contained within the book is perfect - I could actually 'see' the palaces, the splendour and magnificence of Istanbul, smell the scent of jasmine, feel the undercurrent of passion bubbling away in Esma Sultans' meetings with Ivan Postivich, who is 'The Drowning Guard' of the title. I was fascinated by the description of the harem and its' inhabitants, their lifestyle, and Esma Sultans protection of them. She (Esma Sultan) is a very complex personality, with murders staining her soul, poisoning her lifeblood, but I found myself supporting her against her brother, the Sultan, and his despotic and cruel regime. Things are not as they seem, and unseen enemies cause mayhem for Ivan Postivich, who at first glance seems a slightly unlikely hero, but I ended up fully supporting him and wanting him to outwit his enemies. I found myself being captivated by this story, enjoyed every word, and am happy to recommend this book to all. I loved it!!


Hama Diary Case for Apple iPhone 5C - Lime
Hama Diary Case for Apple iPhone 5C - Lime
Price: £10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Total protection for my iphone 5C!!, 27 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This item arrived today, and I am thrilled with it! It is a gorgeous, lime green colour, which is what first attracted me to it, and it provides total protection for my iPhone 5c! The artificial leather case is strong and sturdy, the iPhone fits it perfectly, and there are compartments for credit/debit cards etc, so that, when out and about, I can fit all I need into the case, instead of having it all separately! The design of the case means that my iPhone won't get scratched or the screen damaged in any way, which is extremely useful. The case closes with a magnetic catch on the flap, which secures it. The case just flips open, giving you instant access to your phone whenever you need it. I'm really happy with this, as even when in my bag, my phone is liable to become scratched, or knocked about, and with this secure little case, it is now totally protected. Plus which, the colour is beautiful, and I am the envy of my friends! Very happy to recommend this Hama Diary Case for Apple IPhone 5C - it's great!!


TOFKA Toffee Vodka
TOFKA Toffee Vodka
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Yummy Tofka Toffee Vodka..............., 27 Feb. 2015
This review is from: TOFKA Toffee Vodka (Grocery)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Well, this Tofka Toffee Vodka arrived just in time for my husbands' birthday celebrations, so we decided to play a family game of Shot Roulette, using the Toffee Vodka for the shots! First of all, it looks gorgeous in the bottle - shimmery and glistening, and when you shake the bottle, it forms lovely patterns which we all thought was really clever! It tastes yummy - I wouldn't think it could be drunk in quantity, as it is sweet and could be a little sickly I think, but it was perfect for our game, and would be a lovely treat for yourself! I do see how it could be used as a dessert topping - it's definitely sweet enough - but obviously, adults only! It could also be used in a smoothie, with banana I think, so I'm going to give that a try - but again, adults only! The item arrived extremely well packaged, inside a container inside a box, inside a bigger box, so no danger of breakage.
I think that this Tofka Toffee Vodka is a clever way of marketing the drink - the appearance alone is intriguing and attractive, and it tastes great! Very happy to recommend this


AmiGami Butterfly and Heart Punch
AmiGami Butterfly and Heart Punch
Price: £15.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique creations for your child...................................., 26 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We already have the Tropical Bird and Beach House AmiGami set, so when I saw this Butterfly and Heart Punch, I knew that it would be a very welcome addition for my granddaughter, Gabriella's collection. I was right, and she absolutely loves it! The set comes in a see-through pack, containing a pink plastic butterfly shape, that can then be decorated and adorned in any way your child chooses! The pack contains a special heart punch, so that you can punch out decorative heart shapes, 6 jewel pins for attaching shapes to the butterfly,30 different colourful paper parts, 70 re-usable stickers, and a curling tool, to create lots of beautiful, curling paper shapes to make your butterfly unique. The AmiGami toys are something that Gabriella never tires of - she can make any type of creation that she likes, it is up to her. These toys are perfect, as there is no 'right or wrong' way of doing them - any way is good. They allow your child to express creativity and inventiveness, keep them stimulated, are safe to use, and, as in our case, can be played with over and over again. I love to watch the concentration and delight on my granddaughters face as she creates a thing of beauty, something that is uniquely hers. Very highly recommended.


The Lives of Women
The Lives of Women
by Christine Dwyer Hickey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

3.0 out of 5 stars I struggled......................, 25 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Lives of Women (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have to tell the truth and say that I struggled with 'The Lives of Women' by Christine Dwyer Hickey. I wanted to like it, and I did, but not enough I'm afraid. I found my attention wandering, and I struggled to maintain interest. Elaine lives in her neighbourhood along with her 'there-but-not-there' father and her dissatisfied mother. They lived amongst other dissatisfied women, and men who may as well have been invisible. There is the usual gossip, the usual rivalries, that exist in any community. Then Serena and her daughter Patty move into the area They are Americans, and their way of living is much different to the resident. For a start, they are more open about themselves, they socialise, they give the other women a focus for their dissatisfaction with their everyday lives. Agatha, one of Elaine's friends, is blind, but probably sees things clearer than anyone else, I thought. When Elaine is 16, something tragic happens, which has immediate, and far-reaching repercussions on all involved. As the tragic events unfold, very slowly, I found myself wishing the final denouement would hurry up, that we would get to the actual crux of the matter, and then, when it came, it was quite summarily dismissed, I felt. I didn't connect with any of the characters, didn't really get a feel for the book at all, I'm afraid. I'm just not sure that I 'got it' - that I was able to appreciate the book - and if that is the case, then the fault is clearly mine.


Igenix IG3118 Steam Iron in Green and White with Stainless Steel Soleplate, 1800 Watt
Igenix IG3118 Steam Iron in Green and White with Stainless Steel Soleplate, 1800 Watt
Price: £17.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Does the job beautifully................, 24 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great little basic steam iron! It's compact, lightweight, and an attractive shade of green/white. It comes with a steam/spray button, which is very useful, and is very easy to use. It has a good size water tank (270mls) and has an 1800 watt power rating, which is very good. It is corded, with a 2 metre power cord, which gives plenty of room for manoeuvre! There is a temperature ready light, a safety cut-out feature which is a great, useful feature, a built-in water filter, AND it has a 2 year guarantee. As for performance, it irons clothes beautifully, which is, after all, why I wanted it! I had no problems using it, it has a non-stick stainless steel soleplate, so it is easy to clean, which is an added bonus I think. All in all, a great little iron at a very competitive price, which does the job beautifully. Recommended.


Lost & Found
Lost & Found
by Brooke Davis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, sad, touching, emotional................I loved it!!, 22 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Lost & Found (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'Lost and Found' by Brooke Davis tells the story of Millie Bird, a 7 year old girl with red, curly hair, and an insatiable need to ask questions. Millie's Dad has died, and Millie's Mum takes her shopping, stands her near the underwear racks (Ginormous underwear!) and tells her that she'll be back. Only she isn't. She doesn't come back. This is the story of what happens to Millie after this life-changing moment. She meets up with Karl, the 87 year old Touch Typist man, who lost his wife, his love, Evie, and is left reflecting on growing old, waiting to die, and the things he did and didn't do, chances he did and didn't take, things he should, and should not have done. Millie also meets Agatha Pantha, who is 82, and since the death of her husband, Ron, a virtual recluse, never leaving the house, living by ritual, yelling to anyone and anything, and again, like Karl, just waiting. Millie knows that they are ALL going to die - everyone is - and she has no hesitation in telling any and everyone of this fact. As their lives, and their stories, interlink, they each have a massive effect on the other. Just because you are old, doesn't mean it's over - or at least, it shouldn't do. Just because you are young, doesn't mean you don't understand things. 'Lost and Found' is a truly insightful, moving story that I absolutely loved. It made me think, made me look at MY life, and it also moved me very much. It's funny, sad, touching, emotional, and just lovely. I loved it. Highly recommended.


Nivea Q10 Look and Feel Beautiful Skincare Collection
Nivea Q10 Look and Feel Beautiful Skincare Collection
Price: £15.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Rich, Nourishing and Moisturising.............Perfect!!, 21 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First of all, this Nivea collection comes in a lovely little carry-case, in a white leather-type material, which I really like. After finishing the products, the bag could be re-used, so I'm happy with that. Nivea is a brand that I use, know and trust, so I know that the products contained in this collection will be of really good quality, safe and non-damaging to my skin. The products in the bag are Nivea Q10 Plus, and consist of Anti-wrinkle day cream SPF 15, Age-Defying Hand Cream, and Firming Body Lotion. I am a mature lady, and these products are perfect for me, as obviously, my skin has changed, and my hands in particular are showing signs of wear! All of these products are perfect for me - the day cream is rich and moisturising, absorbed easily by the skin, and leaving my skin feeling nourished. The firming body lotion sinks into the skin, leaving it enriched and moisturised, and the hand cream is rich and helps the flexibility of the skin, as well as helping to improve the signs of aging, as do all the products in this collection. I'm very happy with this Nivea Q10 Look and Feel Beautiful Skincare Collection, and happily recommend it to those who can benefit from it.


AmiGami DHG93 Tropical Bird & Beach House
AmiGami DHG93 Tropical Bird & Beach House
Price: £15.56

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative, inventive, enjoyable toy.............................., 21 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This item has been tried and tested by my little Gabriella, aged 8, and she was completely captivated by it! It comes in a see-through pack, and contains a plastic bird shape and a house shape, and sheets of stickers, paper decorations, jewel pins, and a curling tool. The curling tool makes spirals out of the paper, and creates lovely decorations for tails etc., which can then be attached to the plastic parts using the jewel pins. There are 70 re-usable stickers, which are very easy to apply, and the scope for using the imagination is endless! The design created is entirely up to the user - you don't need to follow a template - and the results are beautiful. I think that this toy could be enjoyed by boys equally as much as girls, and I enjoyed playing with it myself! It's fun, it's creative, and it allows your child to use their imagination to create bright, colourful, inventive design. Highly recommended.


This is the Life
This is the Life
by Alex Shearer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I wish there were 10 stars................but it still wouldn't be enough......................., 21 Feb. 2015
This review is from: This is the Life (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It is just past midnight, and I have just finished reading 'This is the Life' by Alex Shearer. I started reading it earlier this evening, and, as I became drawn into the book, knew that I would not be putting it down until I had finished it. It is heart-achingly, beautifully written. There are so many poignancies, so many tear-inducing moments - and yet much love, and laughter too. It is the story of two brothers, one of whom has an incurable brain tumour, and the last days that they share together. The memories of childhood that only they have, the experiences that only they share, the triumphs, the tragedies, the highs and of course, the lows. As the inevitable draws ever closer, my heart was breaking. This book isn't maudlin though, it's not self-pitying, it's not dark and dramatic. What it is, is life-affirming. It is the bond that not even death can break. It is the realisation that 'This is the Life' - the only one we have, the only one we get, and that there is no way to do it over again, so we better make the most of it. The fact that the author writes from experience - his brother became ill suddenly, and died - struck a chord with me, and I am full of admiration and respect for the way that he has written such a positive book after such a heart-breaking, life changing event.
If there were 10 stars, it still wouldn't be enough. I loved this book, wholeheartedly recommend it, and it will be finding it's place on my favourites shelf.


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