Book Review: The Fatal Flame

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“Time is a tyrant, words our last and only weapons” Timothy Wilde, April 16, 1854.

By this sentence ends the last book of Timothy Wilde, the brave copper star of New York city. I’ve never ever enjoyed a sequel this much. The characters, the setting, the plot, the language, the writing style, how characters develop and how the city and corruption changes and develops is just brilliant. I can say that I’m in love with Lyndsay Faye for producing such a sequel of Historical Fiction. I’ve never fancied this genre but thanks to Miss Faye, I’m now addicted and proud.

The story wasn’t as strong as book 1 & 2, but it has a conclusion of Timothy’s love life with either Elena or Mercy (no spoilers) and his relationship with his brother Valentine Wilde which wasn’t in good terms for a long time. We also have a conclusion for Silkie Marsh and some of Tammany Hall’s corrupted men.

The story starts with Dunla Duffy, a worker in a factory who is warned of a fire to be set soon and the warning note ends up in the hands of Timothy Wilde. Investigation starts and people get hurt and killed in the way when Valentine Wilde announces his participation as a candidate for Alderman. Alderman Robert Symmes will stop at nothing to prevent him from taking his place, even if that meant killing people. Not to mention that someone is setting his buildings on fire.

That plot is not as important as where the journey of the 2 brothers take us, how they hate each other and quarrel all the time because inside their hearts they love each others and can’t come to admit it. How things end with Elena Boehm, Timothy’s landlady and who has been bedding for a while after Mercy Underhill left him to become a famous writer in London but then shows up at his door.

The final scene/chapter or the end of the book/trilogy was overwhelming. I felt happy and sad at the same time for Timothy. But it was just the perfect ending I could have ever imagined for my beloved Timmy❤

Well done Lyndsay Faye.

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Breakfast at Fume -Duabi

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One of the places that were  on my list to visit and try their food was Fume which has many locations but we chose the one in Menzil Down Town Hotel, so we can later walk to Dubai Mall.

The place is located in the hotel but has a door from the outside facing Sheikh Zayed Boulevard which was from where we came. The restaurant opens at 8 am in the morning and it’s not crowded at that time in the weekend. So quiet and serene. Perfect place to have breakfast in and enjoy some quality time by yourself or with your loved ones.

I didn’t need any of the waiters to help me with the menu because I’ve already decided what to have before landing in Dubai😀 I was following their instagram account and had some dishes in mind.

We ordered the Beach Breakfast and The Arabic Breakfast. Both tasted really good, fresh and delicious. The service was good, quality of food superb and quantity was more than good. Value of money is reasonable considering how expensive Dubai is.

The only thing that we didn’t like is that they don’t have cheese platter or any kind of cheese😦 and that they don’t serve desserts early, not until 12pm. Too bad.

But it was a great experience and we loved it😀

5

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Book Review: #GIRLBOSS

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I really loved this book. It’s what every girl out there need who is struggling with herself, her job and her place in society. The language of this book is so simple and many people can relate to Sophia because she is just a normal girl like us. She isn’t a business graduate, or a multi-millionaire daughter who inherited her family’s wealth. No, she actually doesn’t hold a college degree, and that what makes her a great person. Not that everybody should drop out of school, but this means, that even those who couldn’t beta degree can be successful.

I loved how she didn’t care about what people thought of her and how she looked to others, she was confident of what she is and that what made her what she is right now. Sometimes, we all struggle with ourselves even if we have everything, there’s always this missing thing but she managed to find it at the end and made it big.

The one thing that I didn’t like is that I felt that few things were repeated over and over again in few chapters.

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Serendipity 3-Dubai Festival Mall

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I still remember the moment I stepped inside this beautiful and amazing restaurant in Las Vegas and started taking photos of the beautiful decoration and then the delicious food.

I was really excited when I knew that it opened a branch in Dubai and couldn’t wait to try it. We ordered the ABC Burger & Portobello Mushroom, I actually didn’t notice that it was the same exact order that we had in Las Vegas😛 Guess what? It turned out to be really amazing, and this place has better decoration than the one in LV. We also ordered the artichoke and crab dipping, which turned out to be heavenly delicious, you have to try it when you’re there.

The prices are the same, nothing more nothing less. The service was really good. I loved the experience.

10

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Book Review: Career of Evil

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This is by far the best Cormoran Strike & Robin Ellacot sequel/series. Not because of the crime events or the murders that are happening, oh no! It’s because of the development of the relationship between Robin & Strike. In the first book, they’ve just met, but Strike talks personal when Robin finds him wasted in a pub. In book 2, the reader sense there’s something between the two of them but can’t actually determine if it’s real or from the reader’s imagination. Now, in this book, we find out what’s really going on between them, or maybe some of it. I don’t want to talk about it because I don’t want to have spoilers in my review!

The last page … Oh the last page, kept me on my nerves! How am I supposed to wait for the next book to find out what really happened! That cliffhanger will leave Strike & Robin lovers/fans tensed.

Now, let’s talk about the story. Part of a severed leg ends up in Robin’s hands and a letter that has a song tattooed on Strike’s mother’s body. Who could have know about it? There are 3 men who are most likely to send Strike body parts, one of them is the killer but how can they find out when the police themselves are pushing them away from the investigation.

Through out the story, you get to see how Robin’s character develops when we learn what really happened to her when she was in college and the reason behind her dropping out. Also we find out how Strike really lost his leg and what happened to the rest of the soldiers with him. These incidents affect their judgments and leave them vulnerable.

Now, don’t expect this book to full of events and mysteries in terms of crimes and criminals. I actually found the crime/mystery plot moving kind of slow. This book actually focuses on the relationship between Strike & Robin as I said before.

And I’ve just learned that HBO is teaming with BBC to adapt these series and make them a TV Show. It will be called The Cormoran Strike Mysteries *shake it* Can’t really wait😀

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Book Review: The Gods of Gotham

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This book deserves more than 5 stars … Whatever I’m going to write in this small review rectangle won’t do it justice. The characters, the setting, the buildings, the words and language used, just amazing. This book is a historical fiction and the writer did a great job in doing her research before writing this book.

This is the first sequel of Timothy Wilde adventures. If Timothy was a real life character, I’d marry him without thinking❤ I can’t explain to you how I’m in love with his character, attitude, kindness and cruelty to those who are doing harm to innocent people.

The story falls back in 1845 when a huge fire destroyed many pars of New York and the Potato Famine hitting Ireland and sending the Irish to New York … All these incidents changed the fate of many in NY City and the NYPD was formed to keep its citizens safe.

After being scarred physically and emotionally, Timothy Wilde takes the job as a copper star offered to him by his older brother Valentine. Because it’s the only job he can have after being disfigured. Angry and frustrated n the streets of New York, he meets little Bird who’s all covered in blood … is it hers? Later on ,,, investigation leads to finding 19 dead bodies of young children, hatred letters from the man calling himself The Hand of The God of Gotham. Timothy promises to keep Bird safe and find out who killed those little kids … while trying to find out who really killed those children, Tim learns a dark secret about the woman he loved all his life that will leave him shattered to pieces!

The novel discusses many aspects of that era in New York. Religious, political, romantic, financial, scientific, women’s freedom etc. From what I think, this book can be taught in universities and schools because it’s just amazing. Loved it

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Emirates Literature Festival-Dubai 2016

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I’ve just come back from Dubai where I’ve attended the Emirates Literature Festival for the first time in my life … Where was I? Really! I mean, why haven’t I read or heard about this festival before? Maybe because I was busy with raising Jana? Maybe!

Anyways, I came to know about this festival 3 weeks before it was supposed to start. I got very excited that there were authors that I’m a big fan of would be attending the festival. I got the permission from my husband, asked my aunt to join me and started booking. I booked the same hotel where all the fuzz was happening, Intercontinental Dubai Festival Hotel, which turned out to be a great hotel. And my flight was on Aljazeera (KD 63/-). It was the first time that I flew on Aljazeera, it was ok for a short trip, more importantly their timing is punctual.

Let’s talk about the festival … I arrived on the evening of Thursday 10th of March 2016. Didn’t book any sessions for this day. The whole celebrations and fun started on Friday afternoon. I went down there around 12pm where people were queueing for their favourite authors to sign their books, others enjoying their time chatting together, some people enjoying books shopping in the area (They set a book store inside the hotel selling the books of the authors attending the festival-WHSmith), and kids enjoying the activities prepared for them. The atmosphere was just amazing.

My session was supposed to start at 1:30pm, I arrived a bit early & got to know a very nice old lady from the UK where we enjoyed our time chatting together about books, authors and life. She was so sweet, we even sat together when the session started and commented on few things. The first session was about Under Cornwall’s Spell where authors Liz Fenwick & Jenny Colgan talked about their love for this particular place in England. I loved this session a lot, both authors were nice, funny and kind. They shared their experiences and talked about their characters. They also mentioned how it’s very difficult to write about the place you’re living in trying to make it sound nice when it’s totally the opposite. After the session, I asked to take a photo with both of them and they were adorable. Just look at the photos😀 I was really looking forward for meeting Jenny Colgan, such a nice lady. Later, they signed my books yeeepppeeeee.

The next session, took place at 3:30 pm in a bigger hall. Ofcourse, it needed a huge space to hold the audience/fans of the one and only Mr. Michael Dobbs who has worked with Margaret Tatcher and writing the political books/series House of Cards. This session was mind opening to the political lives of politicians and how it’s not easy to be a politician. The difficulties they face in real life, writing about it and continuing to write about it. Mr. Dobbs talked about it all, and how his book series were picked to become a TV show. He also mentioned that he’s working on season 5 right now. Oh, and that funny joke about Donald Trump hahaha:) After the session, I went to stand in the line for him to sign my book, he did with a bonus photo and a huge smile from him😀 Oh such a nice man.

I was able to attend only 2 sessions, but I was determined to make it on time at night to meet the famous author from my country Kuwait Saud Alsanousi. He makes me feel proud, saying that this great author is from my hometown. I reached the hotel at 9:30pm after having dinner outdoors, and saw chatting with some people, I went immediately to my room, got my book and came back downstairs for him to sign my copy of his great book. He was really nice and adorable, and I loved what he write on my book😀

It was the loveliest weekend ever, I loved every minute spent in the festival. I’ll make sure nshallah to attend the festival every year:)

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Book Review: Seven For A Secret

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Wow … Just wow😀 It took me a week to finish this book, not because it was boring or anything but because I had to travel and run some errands that’s why I couldn’t finish sooner. I actually couldn’t put it down, it was very interesting and unique in its own way. To tell you the truth, I haven’t read the 1st sequel, I felt lost regarding the characters backgrounds but I managed to move on with the story because it’s not related to the first sequel somehow.

Meet the Wilde brothers, star coppers who are trying their best to clean New York from corruption, slavery and other criminal acts, but how can they do that when the people they work with are the ones ruining the city and breaking the law.

I loved Timothy’s character, he’s so adorable and vulnerable in his own way. Sensitive and tough at the same time, trying his best to save the city and its citizens. Inters his crazy brother Valentine, who’s older than him and a little bit lunatic (exaggeration), his character is funny and witty, just adorable. They both try to save the lives of Black-White woman and her nephew.

The plot was written in a very clever way, the beginning, the climax and the ending were really unpredictable at all. I didn’t see that coming. And regarding the characters and the confusion the reader is left with, totally awesome. Leaving the reader to decide who is this character!? (No Spoilers).

Won’t be my last book for Lindsay Faye …. Looking forward to reading all her books😀

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Healthy Additions @MakiRest

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Last week, I’ve been invited to Maki Restaurant-Burj Jassem branch to try their latest additions to their menu and they are very healthy and delicious additions.

We were seated and introduced to the menu and what we will be trying and we also saw few new dishes that we wanted to try.

We met the chef that explained the names of the dishes and that most of them will contain Red rice:)

The dessert is still not on the menu, they’re still trying few things with it but it was really amazing.

Under each picture, I’ll write my opinion of each dish and it ingredients.

Chaine Fores Haze Salad

Ingredients: Red quinoa, carrot, frisse, cress shish green, white radish, cherry tomato, avocado, truffles & special dressing.

Verdict: Now this one was really good, loved how it was presented inside a bowl as a forest with fog & mist. The taste was dreamy and superb. Highly Recommended.

Jawi Maki

Ingredients: Tempura Prawn, avocado, topped with shredded ebi, umi wrap, rocket served with Maki special sauce.

Verdict: This one will be my IT maki platter. Loved everything about it. The combination of the ingredients were really amazing. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Nadia Maki & Akagome Mowaffak Maki

Verdict: Both dishes were ok. Not wow, but acceptable.

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Akagume Smoked Kung Pao Salmon Steak

Ingredients: Smoked salmon steak served with red rice, asparagus, green chili, truffles, carrots, boo chou, spinach, pinenut, coriander, portabello mushrooms with black truffle oil.

Verdict: DELICIOUSNESS. This dish from the picture tells everything. Salmon and Prawn were my favourite. Loved both of them. The marination of the shrimp was really yummy.

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Agakome Prawn Tepenyaki

Ingredients: Brown teppen served with red rice, asparagus, green chili, truffles, carrots, boo choy, spinach, pine nut, portabello mushrooms with black truffles oil.

Verdict: MY FAVOURITE. Same as the salmon above. Highly recommended.

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Black Rice Seafood Risotto

Ingredients: Prawn, scallop, black cod, asparagus, onion, garlic, shiso cress, black truffles oil with risotto black rice.

Verdict: Loved the texture of this dish, how creamy and blackish it was. Moist and goes straight to you tummy. The variety of seafood was really great, not just prawn and fish, so many other kinds were presentable as you can see. It needed more salt which was adjustable. Recommended.

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Momo Crumble

Ingredients: Raspberry, cranberry, peach and other things (not sure)

Verdict: AMAZZZZING. The mixture of the above fruits was beyond my expectations. Loved it and it was served really hot, so the ice cream melted above everything and the delightful spoon had everything that we wanted to put inside our tummy😀

This has to be added to the menu.

Thank you @MakiRest❤

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Book Review: The Ex

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I was really looking forward for this book. Can’t say I’m disappointed but at the end, you come to figure out that the story is overused. We’ve seen it in movies and other books but in a different way. Don’t want to ruin it for you or write any spoilers, but it was okay.

The writing style was easy, reading pace was fast because I wanted to know who really did it! It was a page turner. If you’re into lawyers, cases, courtrooms, judges, evidence and stuff like that then this book is good for you. Giving it 3 or 3.5 stars doesn’t mean it’s bad, no actually it was good but needed something extra special to make it wow.

Olivia Randall, a successful lawyer comes to the rescue of her Ex whom she ruined his life 20 years ago. Jackson Harris is charged with 3 murders, one of the victims is a famous New Yorker and a very popular name in the media after the Penn Station shooting.

Loved Olivia’s character, I saw something of her character in me. She dislikes routine and boredom and tries to break her routine by ruining the people very close to her. Now Jackson’s character was very hard to comprehend, it looked unreal because I don’t know you can find men like that anymore in our world but maybe there are.

This is my first reading for Alafair Burke and won’t be the last.

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Book Review: Thirteen Ways of Looking

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A book consisting of a novella and other short stories? How boring can that be? I really don’t like short stories because I always feel that you cannot get attached to a character or a plot. But this book proved me wrong. I laughed a lot and got frustrated a lot … such a funny and amazing book.

The author takes us in a journey of faith, religion, self-esteem, exploration of the soul and how we can live with each others in peace never minding neither our race nor religion.

The novella (short story) is a bout a retired judge who became very old, lost his power and became dependant on others to help in his daily life. He used to have the power/control over people now it’s the other way around. It takes about his last day in life, before he dies. The humour in this short story was really amusing, i loved the authors description of everything, how the previous generations see things now in modern life and how everything has changed to something not quiet bad or good.

The next story was very short … I didn’t relate to it that much because I felt it was useless.

Sh’khol was really amazing … loved how the author showed the overwhelming love of a mother to her child that it made him lose confidence or not know how to deal with things on his own … an accident happens and then the mother realises that it’s time for her to give her child space and let him explore the world even when he’s handicapped.

The last one is one that made me frustrated. It talks about a woman who was brutally abused and beaten by someone who later becomes a man of power. The ending of this story was really powerful, how she confronted him and confronted herself with all the scars on her body. Beautiful.

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Dean & Deluca New Healthy Menu @The_Avenues

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I went to Dean & Deluca last month to try their newly added dishes on their healthy menu. The variety of dishes was quite decent and they looked super healthy.

We ordered the Quinoa Salad (It was okay). Some appetisers (Pesto Hummus, Muhammara, Baba Ghanouj) Those were really delicious, yummy and awesome. They tasted better than the quinoa salad which was somehow ordinary.

Now let’s talk about the main dishes … We picked the Salmon and Chicken Kebab dishes. The salmon was really good, cooked to perfection and the side dish that came with it was yummy, it was a salad cup that had tiny balls which tasted really good. The marination of the chicken kebab was also good and filled with good spices.

We also ordered the steak which we didn’t like, not recommended.

Great dishes indeed…No need to feel guilty at all.

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