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Reviews Written by
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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LONGKO Multi-functional Electric Anion Hair Straightening Comb Brush , Anion Ceramic Straightener Straightening Brush, Anion instant Magic Silky Straight Hair Styling Brush, Anti Static Anti Scald Detangling Hair Brush,Brush Hair Massager Tool UK (Rose Red)
LONGKO Multi-functional Electric Anion Hair Straightening Comb Brush , Anion Ceramic Straightener Straightening Brush, Anion instant Magic Silky Straight Hair Styling Brush, Anti Static Anti Scald Detangling Hair Brush,Brush Hair Massager Tool UK (Rose Red)
Offered by MICTUNING® Team
Price: £17.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Pink, 30 July 2016
I was delighted to receive this ‘LONGKO Hair Straightener Brush’ for review purposes as it combines hair brushing with straightening and massaging. There is a heating plate which is controlled from the brush handle with 5 settings of 120, 140, 160, 180 and 200 ºC, and in addition to an on/off button the heater automatically switches off after 1 hour.

Heat distribution is uniform and there seems no risk of ‘burns’, though an attached label warns of burning and advises the brush be kept away from children. There are 7 rows of round prongs and 5 rows of flat teeth for straightforward brushing and straightening, plus anions are produced to give smoothness and shine without frizzing.

The brush is 10 inches overall fitted to an electric lead just over 8 feet with 3-pin UK plug. There is a 360 degree rotating connection to avoid snarling of lead. The brush itself is easy to grip and straightforward in use. The ‘LONGKO Hair Straightener Brush’ appears to be a 5-star performer for detangling hair, and for straightening and styling all types of hair from fine and fragile to coarse and curly. Finally - a grand-daughter with medium hair likes the pretty pink colour.


Minds of Winter
Minds of Winter
by Ed O'Loughlin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fact and Fiction, 28 July 2016
This review is from: Minds of Winter (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
At the core of ‘Minds of Winter’ is a chronometer lost with the ships Erebus and Terror of Sir John Franklin’s fateful expedition to find the North West Passage. Years later the device reappears but in altered form as a carriage clock, and author Ed O’Loughlin cleverly introduces scenarios providing clues to its history. His book is fiction but it embraces factual individuals, experiences and places. There are references to both poles with inclusion of well known explorers and their deeds – including Amundsen, Crozier, Ross, Scott, Oates, Meares etc.

The story commences in the North West Territories of Canada with a chance meeting between Nelson Nilson and Fay Morgan, with Nelson seeking his estranged elder brother Bert, and Fay searching for information on her grandfather who disappeared in the Arctic. Bert has left evidence behind that links to the chronometer and also links Nelson and Fay in an alliance to unravel mysteries. They in turn are linked to past polar explorers and to early prospectors and hunters – with narrative that becomes more and more thought-provoking and informative. ‘Minds of Winter’ is well researched and well written, but for me it was too long and it became too complex – and I’m still confused by the ending!


Hair Straightener Brush, Yumiasa Anion Instant Magic Silky Straight Hair Styling, Hair Straightener Straightening Brush Safest Ceramic Fastest Heating Detangling Styling Anti-scald ,Anti Static Ceramic Heating ,Styler at Home (Black)
Hair Straightener Brush, Yumiasa Anion Instant Magic Silky Straight Hair Styling, Hair Straightener Straightening Brush Safest Ceramic Fastest Heating Detangling Styling Anti-scald ,Anti Static Ceramic Heating ,Styler at Home (Black)
Offered by Yumiasa
Price: £36.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Hot Heater, 26 July 2016
I was delighted to receive this ‘Yumiasa Hair Straightener Brush’ for review purposes at a hugely discounted price. I like the way it combines operation as a hair brush and heater with a total of 37 ceramic prongs in place of bristles.

The prongs are heated by what is described as ‘PTC heating elements’ rated 30W which provide fast heating and uniform heat distribution, and it is possible to adjust temperature from 150-230 ºC in 5 stages. There is also what is termed as an ‘Ionic Button’ for additional treatment by emitting negative ions to give smoothness and shine without frizzing.

The brush is 10 ½ inches overall fitted to an electric lead just over 6 feet with 2-pin plug. There is a 360 degree rotating connection to avoid snarling of lead. The brush itself is easy to grip and straightforward in use – as outlined in an accompanying ‘User Manual’. The ‘Yumiasa Hair Straightener Brush’ is a 5-star performer for detangling hair, and for straightening or styling – but a word of warning – it gets really hot.


All Is Not Forgotten
All Is Not Forgotten
by Wendy Walker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £5.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Nauseous Narrator, 26 July 2016
This review is from: All Is Not Forgotten (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The story of ‘All Is Not Forgotten’ commences with descriptions of a particularly brutal and degrading rape of school-girl Jenny, and it then sets out how her parents Charlotte and Tom agree to a form of therapy treatment that can remove the memory of her terrible experience. Tom becomes obsessed with finding the rapist whilst Charlotte is in denial as she attempts to shut out reality of the rape episode. It transpires that Jenny’s treatment is not effective, and some further corrective treatment is required. All is not forgotten!

Reference to drugs for altering memories makes the plot somewhat unique, and the story is well constructed. However I hate the way the narrative is presented. It is Chapter 7. before readers are made aware that it is psychiatrist Dr. Alan Forrester who is narrating the story, and he ends up implausibly giving therapy to not only Jenny but also Tom, Charlette and various others. Forrester starts Chapter 7. by arrogantly describing his credentials, and from then on he pompously punctuates his narrative as he pontificates and expounds his own qualities – the psychiatrist is nauseous.

None of the characters involved are likeable and it will be difficult for most readers to empathize. Forrester’s interaction with patients often seems to be ruled by what benefits him, and in similar vein Tom seeks revenge rather than justice, and Charlotte hides her secrets to protect her social status. It is unpleasant – made worse by the nauseous narrator – and best forgotten!


Wostu Christmas Series "Best" Charm Bracelet with Heart Shape Pendent and Flower Charm for Girls and Women Birthday Party
Wostu Christmas Series "Best" Charm Bracelet with Heart Shape Pendent and Flower Charm for Girls and Women Birthday Party
Offered by Wostu
Price: £39.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Chunky Costume, 26 July 2016
I was pleased to receive this ‘Wostu’ charm bracelet at a hugely discounted price for review purposes. To me it appears as chunky costume jewellery, and though my wife may not be over-impressed it was immediately obvious the bracelet was ideal for a grand-daughter – who absolutely loves it.

The bracelet is of a silvery cord about 7 inches long with 12 charms from ¼ to ½ inch, plus a heart-shaped dangler with red zirconia crystal on one side. It appears well made and robust, and though it may make a charming gift for a little girl it is unlikely to be sufficiently sophisticated for more adult attire.


Tennis Armband Feraco Schmuck Platin ¨¹berzogene Swarovski Elements Zirkonia (CZ) Armband f¨¹r Frauen-Kristallarmband , Lila
Tennis Armband Feraco Schmuck Platin ¨¹berzogene Swarovski Elements Zirkonia (CZ) Armband f¨¹r Frauen-Kristallarmband , Lila
Offered by Bositong
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Delicate and Dainty, 23 July 2016
I was delighted to receive this ‘Feraco’ bracelet for review purposes as unlike many bracelets linking stones, charms etc. which can appear quite heavy looking, this looks delicate – but in fact is very well-made.. It has 38 purple zirconia crystals approx. one eighth of an inch diameter linked together to make a length of 7 inches. The crystals fit snuggly into a double grid of silver (product information states ‘Platinum Plated’, and there is a small clasp that does not detract from the overall dainty appearance. The crystals may be a synthesized material but they look like real gem stones – my wife loves it.


The Kindness of Enemies
The Kindness of Enemies
by Leila Aboulela
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening Experience, 21 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The story of ‘The Kindness of Enemies’ starts in Scotland in 2010 with Natasha, a half Sudanese and half Russian university lecturer and researcher, visiting an actress Muslim mother Malak and her student son Oz as distant descendants of Imam Shamil. Natasha is preparing a learned paper on Imam Shamil who in the mid-nineteenth century was a Muslim leader in the Caucasian War against Russia.

Natasha has had to face up to what it is like to be a Muslim in the West and even changed her name to hide her background. Author Leila Aboulela explains how after 9/11 Muslims attempt to dissolve into the mainstream, and how children seek anonymity and distance themselves from their more openly religious parents. Natasha’s identity problems are increased when Oz is arrested on suspicion of being some form of terrorist.

Interwoven with her relationships with Malak and Oz, is Natasha’s historical study of the life and times of Imam Shamil and she describes his attempts to protect his people and to uphold their Islamic traditions. This is set against fears of radicalisation and jihad in 2010 as viewed and experienced by Natasha. The link between the present and the mid- nineteenth century may be somewhat tenuous but ‘The Kindness of Enemies’ is an enlightening read with Imam Shamil presented as a devout Muslim freedom fighter, but exposing differences on what he understood as jihad and the Islamic fanaticism of today.


The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown: the second Baby Ganesh investigation (Baby Ganesh Agency)
The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown: the second Baby Ganesh investigation (Baby Ganesh Agency)
by Vaseem Khan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Dialogue, 20 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This lighthearted private investigator story is the second starring retired police detective Chopra and his intelligent elephant Ganesh who is excellent at surveillance. The setting is Mumbai where the British crown jewels have been on display, but in spite of great security there is a robbery and the crown with the Koh-i-Noor diamond is stolen. This happens embarrassingly whist Chopra is visiting the display, but he is just the man to crack the case.

A friend is framed for the theft and corruption is rife. A host of individuals, good and bad, are encountered and narrative cleverly exposes the Indian way of life with many homilies introduced by author Vaseem Khan. It is the dialogue that makes ‘The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown’ so enchanting and delightful. Chopra and Ganesh are wonderful characters, as is Chopra’s wife Poppy, and in addition to the jewel heist there are other cases and incidents to give a 5-star entertaining read.


Whisky Stones Cubes - 8 Reusable Stainless Steel Cooling Rocks + Storage Pouch - Whiskey Ice Cubes Will Gently Cool Your Drinks Without Diluting Them
Whisky Stones Cubes - 8 Reusable Stainless Steel Cooling Rocks + Storage Pouch - Whiskey Ice Cubes Will Gently Cool Your Drinks Without Diluting Them
Offered by DearDeal
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Cool Cubes, 20 July 2016
These whisky stones arrived for review purposes just in time for the hottest day of the year on 19 July. There are 8 ‘stones’ of stainless steel and a set of tongs in a plastic container size 6½ x 4½ x 1¼ inches so take up little room in the freezer. The offer on Amazon is accompanied by lengthy description but the product itself is in a plain cardboard box with no writing or illustrations – rendering it unsuitable for giving as a gift.

In practical terms the stones do everything that ice cubes do – but without diluting the drink. This is a big plus for me as I repeatedly have to stipulate ‘no ice’, and yet I want to keep my drink cool. They are somewhat bigger than ice cubes from my freezer tray but OK with tumblers. The set of stones would be more likely to be used if there were more of them, but they are cheap enough to buy extra. They will look ‘cool’ at a party.


Santic Women's 3D Padded Cycling Shorts Breathale Bicycle Shorts Black L
Santic Women's 3D Padded Cycling Shorts Breathale Bicycle Shorts Black L
Offered by Santic Sports
Price: £31.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Shorts, 15 July 2016
The material of these ‘Santic Women’s Cycling Shorts’ is 80% polyamide and 20% spandex which is durable and lightweight, and it is breathable to keep you dry. The padded panels in the seat is of an anti-bacterial spongy material for comfort, and it fits neatly. The shorts are well shaped with an elasticated waist band, and the stitching lies flat. It is impossible to find fault with the sample I received for review purposes, but prospective purchasers should note the warning about Asian sizes being smaller than UK. My choice of ‘Large’ is perfect for a ‘Medium’ sized daughter.


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