Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Best Product IKEA ever sold

Nope it's not the very chio and hacker-friendly Expedit, though that comes a close 2nd.

The Best Product IKEA has is that huge metal serving bowl it sells, BLANDA BLANK.

It's awesome for my tiny kitchen. I use it as a mixing bowl for my cakes and cookies, salad bowl and a soup tureen. Even used it to hold my rinsed ingredients.

Best S$9.90 I ever spent.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Unbelievable ?  EXTREMELY. 5/5. Just look at the protagonists' names, Theodosia (Daisy) Devreaux and Alexander Romanov Markov.

Alex is a descendant of the Romanov dynasty (yes, and from Tsar Nicholas II's fragile son's line) and a known circus folk. Daisy remained a 26 yo virgin while her mother was a frivolous nymphomaniac who was already bedding guys younger than her daughter before she died.

Problem with some of the famous romance authors is that they tend to stick to a certain formula that they become known for (other than the known requisite that all male protagonists are damaged in one way or another/ inscrutable, charismatic characters/ handsome weirdos).

For Susan Elizabeth Phillips, the female protagonist tends to be a pretty lady who is misunderstood by the people around her, especially the guy who she will fall in love with. But don't worry by the end of the book, everyone will love her. Always. And the guy would be very emotionally damaged but becomes cured by her love, though SEP outdid herself this time with one who is more damaged than the usual. (1) his parents died in a train accident when he was 2 years old, (2) he was raised by an uncle who camouflaged his pedophilia by whipping his nephew, (3) rescued by Daisy's father  when he was 8 yo. Daisy's dad was conveniently a diplomat to Russia who has a weird obsession with Russians and of course, this guy, to a point he makes him marry his daughter to continue the Romanov line. this despite he does not think much of her than as a brood mare. Give the man Father of the Year award!(4) Alex is now a professor of art at a college, but he is fantastically rich due to his own Russian art collection and consultancy work with biggest museums in the country, and he is helping his other benefactor by running his circus for 6 months after the latter died. WTF?

So he drags Daisy after their impromptu marriage to the circus, where of course she had to suffer a lot of trials and tribulations ala SEP style, e.g. being framed as a thief, being tortured by sundry circus animals, being burnt by stupid Alex, getting knocked up by stupid Alex who realized that he really loved her after he burnt her (S&M). And even though she doesn't like animals, and they her, somehow she developed a rapport with a tiger, a gorilla and a baby elephant who has weird olfactory fetish. Villains other than Alex, are a misguided teenage girl who has a crush on Alex, and the sexy circus owner's widow who has an obsession with Alex's circusfolk lineage and his sexual prowess, so much so that she turned from love to hatred when he denied her.

The main point is... don't think too hard when reading this book (especially TRY NOT to draw comparisons with SEP's other book "call me irresistible"), just appreciate the span of SEP's imagination when writing this book. I spent quite a lot of time rolling my eyes, but I have to admit it was an entertaining read. I also think the book should be renamed as "obsession" given the number of strange obsessive characters there are in this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Believability - 0/5 (see above); Romance factor - 3/5; Readability - 4/5 (fairly entertaining, too much about animals and annoying side characters); Yummyness of male protagonist (YMP) - 3/5 (handsome art professor who is a descendant of Russian royalty with amber eyes like a freaking tiger. Unbelievable!!! Dislike MCPs).

This year's resolution

I was too ambitious. I wanted to read 1000 books. Bit excessive even though I can speed read.

I decided to reduce to 366 books and to review at least 50% of them.

Since the genre I read is mostly slam bam wham thank you Ma'am, I will stick to my old modus operandi ranking system for romance books:

Unbelievable - how imaginative the author was.
Romance factor - how much rapport I assess that the two protagonists have.
Engaging? - how interesting the book was?
Yum factor - how hot I think the
Best line in the book (new).

Other genres will just contain 1 to 5 stars, with 1 being the worst, 5 as "my god, if you don't read it, you will die with regret".

Mr Bear says that like all good online reviewers, I must state how many pages are in each book and when it is published. I must rely on his expert opinion, as he likes to refer to online reviews before selecting a book.


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