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Reviews Written by
Secret Romance Junkie "GM" (Calgary, Alberta Canada)

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Monk's Cloth for Today: 9 Fun and Easy Designs for Today's Home
Monk's Cloth for Today: 9 Fun and Easy Designs for Today's Home
by Trice Boerens
Edition: Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 65.04

4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful patterns, needs an errata, March 14 2015
I've made two patterns out of this book so far. One was fine, the other was riddled with small errors. I would consider myself fairly experienced at this craft, so the errors did not prevent me from making the pattern. However, I had to very carefully examine the photograph of the completed blanket in order to figure out what the pattern was supposed to show.

Both patterns I have done are shown on the back cover. I do not remember encountering any errors in the one shown in the large picture - the blue medallions with yellow trim. The one shown in the lower right corner was the one with errors. There are errors in both the written instructions and in the actual pattern diagram. If you intend to use that pattern, proceed with caution and use the photograph as an additional guide. I have not examined any of the other patterns closely enough to determine if they have errors.

Norpro 3245 Grip Ez Pastry Blender
Norpro 3245 Grip Ez Pastry Blender
Price: CDN$ 7.30
20 used & new from CDN$ 7.30

2.0 out of 5 stars weak blades, Jan. 2 2015
I was so excited when I spotted this in the store. Finally, a nice heavy pastry cutter that won't bend when I use it. Boy, was I wrong. It did OK on shortening/lard but completely collapsed when I tried to cut butter out of the fridge. It wasn't frozen, only chilled, and the blades just folded. My old cheap cutter held up much better. Guess I wasted my money.

Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder, Large
Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder, Large
Price: CDN$ 100.74
9 used & new from CDN$ 100.74

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I needed, Nov. 7 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've wound about 1/2 dozen skeins so far, and I'm very happy. The unit was easy to attach to a table. The wooden clamp seems to hold secure without damaging anything. It expands to a nice circumference to accommodate large skeins but also handles smaller skeins just as well. The spinning action is smooth and virtually silent.

I paired this with the Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal Yarn/fibre/Wool/String Ball Winder. The two work very well together and allow me to tame very large skeins into manageable, neat balls.

True: 11 (New Species)
True: 11 (New Species)
Price: CDN$ 7.82

5.0 out of 5 stars True to form, Dec 10 2013
Ms. Dohner just keeps geting better and better. Each book is richer and more complex than the one before. Each book shows growth in her skills as an author and in the world she is building.

I have to admit I was disappointed when I learned which new species this book was about. I wanted a story for Flame or Brass. Boy was I wrong. I still want their stories, but this was altogether satisfying.

The author's blog says Darkness is next. I can hardly wait! He's such a tortured soul.

Silver Storm (Rakes & Rebels Book 1)
Silver Storm (Rakes & Rebels Book 1)
Price: CDN$ 0.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nasty Womanizing Hero!, March 16 2013
UPDATE: I did eventually finish this book. My opinion of the book did not change in the last 30%.

I usually don't write reviews until I finish the book but I'm not sure I can force myself to finish this one.

The writing style is polished and I have not found any glaring errors. That isn't the problem. For me, the main problem is the characters. I don't like either of them. Devon is silly, selfish, stupid and often mean. She treats Andre terribly. I would have dumped her off the ship after her first outburst, when he saved her from being raped. Andre is no prize either. I don't like my heros to be selfish, cold, womanizing jerks. He took her virginity, scammed her marriage to her childhood sweetheart and then essentially forces her to be his mistress and abandons her. Most of the secondary characters are equally unlikable.

My other issue is with the lack of historical accuracy in terms of the morals and actions of the characters. The story may be set during the 1780's, but the characters sure don't act that way. Azalea, for instance, who jumps every man that crosses her path and yet still professes to love her Issac, who accepts this and still marries her?!? Or how Nick, puts an 18 year old Devon, alone in a closed carriage with a 32 year old womanizing bachelor. This simply doesn't match the morality of the period.

I'm 70% through the book and I've given up hoping it will get better. It's a romance so I know they'll end up together in the end but frankly, I don't care how they get there. I can't believe I wasted $1 on the Kindle version of this. There are quite a number of poor reviews of this book on the .com site, and I wish I had paid more attention to them before I purchased this. I was convinced by the number of 5 star reviews to give it a chance.

Cuisinart CCP-10C Electric Cookie Press
Cuisinart CCP-10C Electric Cookie Press
Offered by Lusso Vida
3 used & new from CDN$ 39.88

2.0 out of 5 stars I returned it!, March 16 2013
This is the third cookie cookie press I've owned and it is definately the worst of the three. There are several ways in which I rank this one below the others:

Power: although my other two were battery operated and this uses AC power, this one is the least powerful of the three. It would certainly struggle with stiffer doughs, as it barely managed the soft one I was working with. I also prefer not to have the power cord as it gets in the way.

Shape Plates: there is a good selection of shape plates but the openings are quite small on most of them. This is simply not sensible as the dough cannot be pushed through the smaller holes consistently. Luckily I saved the plates from my other machines and they are interchangable.

Cleanup: the pusher plate has grooves on the top that catch the excess dough when you pull the plate back up to reload. I had to use a pointy knife to dig the dough out each time.

To be fair, I've only tried this unit for the one recipe (soft shortbread) but I was disappointed with the performance of this task. Since this almost the only thing I use it for, I don't think I can use it. Admittedly, I bought the other two a while ago, but this one was also the most expensive.

What I Did For a Duke: Pennyroyal Green Series
What I Did For a Duke: Pennyroyal Green Series
by Julie Anne Long
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.87
57 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars funny, sensual, just lovely, March 11 2013
This author has a very witty way with words. I found myself laughing out loud at several points in the book. It did not, however, take away from the the romance, which was equally well done. Where this book lost points for me was in the setting. There was a lot of inaccuracy in the use of titles. The descriptions of those aspects that set the time and place were weak. The author is a good enough storyteller, however, that I was able to still enjoy the book in spite of these things.

The story opens with the Duke finding Ian Eversea in bed with his fiancee. Rather than shooting him, he forces him to climb back out the window, naked. He then plots to avenge himself by ruining Ian's young, innocent sister Genevieve.

Genevieve's heart has been broken. Her lifelong friend has decided to propose to another woman. It is in this state of mind that she meets the Duke (Alex) when he comes to stay for a house party. She tries her hardest to avoid him but he's always there by her side.

As they come to know each other, they both realize that still waters run deep. They also discover an unexpected, passionate attraction between them. I would rate the heat level in this book about 3/5. Very sensual, nothing graphic but not too purple, either. This is book five in an eight book series. Although there are references to what has happened before, it did not take away from the story for me.

Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane Book 5)
Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane Book 5)
Offered by Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars simply delicious, Feb. 28 2013
Ms. Hoytt delivers once again with this fifth installment in the Maiden Lane series. In this book we get to know Godric St. John, who was introduced in the first book of the series as a frend of Lord Caire. His estranged wife, Megs, has returned to London to avenge the death of the man she loved. Megs is the sister of Griffen, from the second book. If you haven't already guessed, it is better to read these books in order. Each one does stand alone, but they are richer when read together.

Megs (Margaret) was pregnant by her fiance, Roger, when he was killed by the Ghost of St. Giles. Or so she was told. Since Godric is the Ghost of St. Giles, he knows it isn't true. He hasn't seen his wife since their wedding. She retired to the country to have the baby, but miscarried. Now she's in London because she wants another chance at having a baby. Godric is still mourning the death of his first wife, Clara, and a real marriage with Megs is he last thing he wants. He needs her to return to the country so he can continue his work as the ghost.

Ms. Hoyt weaves a lovely tale as these two grieving soles learn to heal and to love again. I appreciate this author's writing style immensely. There are no long, drawn out misunderstandings and no endless mental dithering. The love scenes are sensual and explicit but never crude. I am looking forward to the story of the Duke of Wakefield.

Enemies and Playmates
Enemies and Playmates
Price: CDN$ 0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars good but disturbing, Jan. 1 2013
I thought several times about quitting this book but I did stick it out to the end. It wasn't because the story was bad or wasn't well written, it was because the subject matter was dark and disturbing. This was more suspense than romance, although Jesse and Lauren do get their HEA in the end. The story was well written with good plot and character developement. I did feel that the character of Alex (the abusive father) was overdone. He was a sociopath, not just your garden variety abuser.

Lauren meets Jesse in a bar and then finds out that Jesse has been working for her father. She tries to pull away but they are strongly drawn to each other. Alex repeatedly tries to seperate them or use one of them against the other. He wants Jesse to do work for him that is illegal and he is willing to use his daughter as a lever.

Throughout the book we are on a painful journey with Lauren as she tries to find the courage to get away from her dangerous father. Only toward the end does she fully realize just how dangerous he is. The character of Lauren's mother gives insight into the helpless mindset of the truely abused.

Although this book was difficult to read, it was worthwhile.

Eternal Vows - Book 1 (The Ruby Ring Saga)
Eternal Vows - Book 1 (The Ruby Ring Saga)
Price: CDN$ 0.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not great, Jan. 1 2013
This book just wasn't as good as I was hoping for. First of all, there are a fair number of really annoying editing problems. For instance, the vows for one of them say cling unto, instead of cleave unto. Or how about the Cardashian court becoming the Kardashian court. Did we move it to New Jersey!?

I had to give stars for the plot. I thought the premise was original and interesting. With better writing, this could have been quite a good book. Unfortunately, the writing was quite juvenile. These were people in their mid to late twenties that spoke like teenagers. Oh, maybe we are in New Jersey. There were also a number of plot points that were just too convenient. The immortals that were hunting them could find them anywhere, except when the plot required them to have a bit of time, then suddenly the immortals couldn't find them at all. How convenient.

The book is only told from one character's point of view. Unfortunately, she's fairly whiney. On the one hand, she isn't nearly as upset as one would expect at finding herself in another dimension. On the other hand, she's overly annoyed because the guy she "fake" marries is "too controlling". She comes across as a bit shallow. I would have liked to see her character develop more. Instead, we read about same issues over and over, with no real change.

Also, be warned, this is only half the story. It ends rather abruptly in the middle of the action. You have to buy the second book to find out what happens to these characters.

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