Category Archives: 3 Stars

Willams Sonoma Soup of the Day by Kate McMillan

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soup of the day Photobucket A colorful, calendar-style cookbook, Soup of the Day presents 365 recipes—and daily culinary inspiration— for soups and stews to match any season, occasion, or mood. Lavish photographs and a colorful graphic design add visual appeal to these fresh and fabulous recipes celebrating a favorite dish.ENDLESSLY VERSATILE, soup is perfect for any season and every occasion. What better way to capture the essence of spring than by simmering freshly shelled peas and fava beans in a fragrant broth accented by bracing mint and refreshing lemon zest? In summer, a cool gazpacho made by whirling perfectly ripe tomatoes, juicy cucumbers, and vibrant red peppers is fitting for a hot and humid day—no pot necessary! When the air turns brisk, soup nourishes and satisfies like no other dish. In autumn, white beans mingle with sturdy greens in satisfying, peasant-style pots, and starchy squashes and root vegetables blend into silky purées. Winter brings even more soul-warming fare, such as chilis and stews featuring sausages and other hearty meats and thick vegetable soups scented with woodsy herbs.

I have to admit to a weakness for soups.

A major weakness.

A weakness so strong that I started eating pork again (after a 10+ year hiatus) so I could get a tomato based crab soup mixed with a cream based crab soup.

Yeah. It’s like that.

This book drew me like a moth to a flame, lol!

There is only a HB version available for purchase…but I’m currently reading the ebook for review purposes. My God! These color photos makes me want to drool…and buy the hardback.

Also, I’d like to point out that it is currently Winter. I’m so not feeling the spring/summer soups right now.

I’ve completed several soups from this book. The instructions are clear, concise and easy to follow. The color photos are beautiful (and mouthwatering). The soups that I have made have been tasty and filling.

The problem that I had with this book is that – like Williams Sonoma, itself – it is not everyday accessible. A lot of the spices used are expensive and hard to locate. These are not soups that you can throw together using what’s in your (well stocked) pantry. Most of these soups will require a bit of prior planning. A lot of the soups are exotic to the “regular” palate, as well. I can’t see making a lot of these soups for children or a family weeknight dinner. A lot of these soups are more like “special occasion” soups – like using one of the (four) pumpkin soup recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
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Review: Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake

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So here’s the thing.

I’m a Dresdenite. I love me some Dresden Files. It was my first real taste of Urban Fantasy and it is the reason I read so many others in the genre in hopes of finding something just as good. It’s lead me to some good series and to some really, really bad ones as well. Every other UF I’ve read gets measured against the entirety of the Dresden Files, which is probably unfair but pfft, nothing says I have to be fair.

So how does this book compare?

Well, not badly really.

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Quickie: Submission (Various Authors)

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Control the day, surrender the night.

A collection of explicit erotica about the thrill of power games, erotic control and submitting to the passions of a lover.

The pleasure of surrendering to the will of another, or others, is unique. But who is really in control and who calls the shots? From the head games to the heart flutters and the shivers of pleasure on your skin, this collection of explicit erotica explores the fantasies and experience of female sexual submission.

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Review: The Magic of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

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This was an enjoyable read. Nothing spectacular, definitely not five stars for me, but it could have at least been four stars if not for one very annoying component… But more on that later.

The characters – I liked them. Some of the relationships that formed between them seemed a little unbelievable and/or unnatural to me, but it wasn’t so bad as to interfere with my enjoyment of the story. The magic system – interesting, I liked the idea of order versus chaos and all of the rules that went with each side. The world was also interesting to me, I found myself wanting to keep reading so that I could learn more about Recluce and unravel the mysteries surrounding it. The plot was sort of so so.. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading it.. But for most of the book it just sort of meandered along. The plot was advancing, but I had no idea what it was advancing towards. It only really started coming together and wrapping up in the last third or quarter. But like I said – the ride to get there was interesting, I just would have liked some more hints as to what the overall plot was a little earlier on.

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Quickie: Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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People with parental issues should stay away. It’s full of bad parents who are forcing themselves on their traumatized adult kids – with overtones of the kids should just forgive all the crappy parenting (or lack thereof) simply because the parents are now “better.” Fuck that.

The ending was exactly what I was fearing. Everyone resolved all their mommy and daddy issues and became a happy family.

Those of us with families know that family issues don’t just get resolved like that. I was kinda annoyed with how easy it was for the HEA for everyone.

The beginning was rather funny but as more asshole parents and family members showed up, I stopped having so much fun.

But I did love Nina. She was great.

So. The book was ok. A lot more fun for other people than for me. I think I can see this one going to my mom.

I keep asking myself why I gave this three stars. Maybe I should lower the rating? hmmmm….

Review: The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach

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Imagine spending your entire life devoted to the creation of one thing, just one item.

Your every moment spent hunched over, toiling away on it every single day. Every aspect of your life, your wife and children, all are dedicated to this one single endeavor. Your town, your nation, your entire planet geared towards this undertaking.

And when you’re done, when you’ve completed this lifelong task, you give the item to your son to sell. The money he makes from that sale go towards his own lifelong quest to do the same thing you’ve done and create his own lifetime-spent masterpiece.

And this goes on for untold generations. Never changing, never varying, never getting easier. Day in and day out, toiling away the hours and devoting an entire life to a single item.

All in the name of your God-Emperor, for what you create is for his glory and happiness.

The item in question? The one you and your ancestors for generations have each spent entire lifetimes creating? What magnificent masterpiece could ever require such a devotion of each persons entire existence?

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Review: Faking It by Jennifer Crusie

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Meet the Goodnights, a respectable family who have run a respectable art gallery for generations. There’s Gwen, the matriarch who sedates herself with double-crostics and double vodkas, Eve the oldest daughter who has a slight identity problem (she has two), and Nadine, the granddaughter who’s ready to follow in the family footsteps as soon as she can find a set that isn’t leading off a cliff. Holding everyone together is Matilda, the youngest daughter, who’s inherited the secret locked down in the basement of the Goodnight Gallery, the secret that she’s willing to do almost anything to keep, including break into a house in the dead of night to steal back her past.

Meet the Dempseys, or at least meet Davy, a reformed con man who’s just been ripped off for a cool three million by his financial manager, who then gallantly turned it over to Clea Lewis, the most beautiful sociopath Davy ever slept with. Davy wants the money back, but more than that he’ll do anything to keep Clea from winning, including break into her house in the dead of night to steal back his future.

One collision in a closet later, Tilda and Davy reluctantly join forces to combat Clea, suspicious art collectors, a disgruntled heir, and an exasperated hitman, all the while coping with a mutant dachshund, a juke box stuck in the sixties, questionable sex, a painting of three evil fisherman closing in on a dyspeptic tuna, multiple personalities, miscellaneous Goodnights and Dempseys, and the growing realization that they can’t turn their backs on the people they were meant to be…or the people they were born to love.

Faking It: What has reality ever done for you?

This book…was very “meh” for me. The characters never clicked for me – and I don’t think I laughed until page 214. I can’t say the book was bad…it was just ok.

The beginning was rather busy and…felt rather crowded. I wasn’t sure who was who and what was what. Tilda was great and I liked her…but I didn’t feel very much for her. To be honest, I felt a little disappointed in Davy. One of the things I’ve liked the most about Crusie’s books were the depth she gave to her characters…but I didn’t feel as if I got that depth with Davy. Just about everyone felt a little cardboardish to me, to be honest.

Then there’s the issue of the bad sex. Tilda and Davy have really bad sex a couple of times…and it was rather excruciating to read. I guess it showed how much they really were attracted to each other that they kept trying…but*shrug* I guess…

I did enjoy the ending…with the exception of Clea. I hated her in the first book Welcome to Temptation and I hated her in this one, too.

I can’t complain about this book. It…just didn’t do anything for me. But it was entertaining (more so in some parts than in others) and I finished it – which says something. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more ok with abandoning books that I hate. I think my favorite person in the book was Ford…but he doesn’t say much.

3 mehs out of 5