Release Day Review: Cry Baby by Ginger Scott

We’re celebrating the release of CRY BABY by Ginger Scott! One-Click today!

Cry Baby by Ginger Scott

A Contemporary Young Adult Romance
Release day: June 22, 2018
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2rjlag4

Purchase here–>

“Cry Baby is brilliantly written. It’s hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking and will leave you thinking about it for days afterward. Bravo, Ms. Scott. This boy-man stole my heart and I don’t want it back.”- L.J. Shen, Bestselling Author
 

Blurb:

Tristan Lopez is loyal to his brothers. He doesn’t really have a choice, born into a gang that has a chokehold on every kid that roams its streets. He gave his life to them willingly, knowing if he did then one day this kingdom, led by boys drunk with power and ruled by fear, would all be his.
He was loyal through it all. Loyal when prison took his dad away. Loyal when his face was touched by the cold metal of the rival gang’s gun. Loyal even though his mom begged him to run the moment she returned home from rehab.
He thought about becoming someone else. It was hard not to crave the life of a regular 17-year-old. It’s the only reason he stayed in school—to pretend. But he always fell back in line.
Loyal.
Riley Rojas didn’t belong in Tristan’s real world. She should have only been part of the fantasy, one of the many faces he got to pretend with amidst rows of metal chairs and desks and whiteboards with assignments. But there she was, moving boxes from the back of an old pick-up into a house Tristan had shot up on a dare with his friends only a few months before.
Tall enough to look him in the eyes and strong enough to fill his shadow, Riley took up space on his streets, her loud mouth fearless in the face of the gang leaders who terrified everyone else. She pushed Tristan around on the hard court, and she balled better than his friends—better than him sometimes. She challenged him. She needed him. He liked it. And when her pale blue eyes stared into his, he quit wanting to pretend.
He couldn’t ask her to leave because she’d only dig her heels in deeper. He couldn’t ask because he didn’t want her to go. She was blurring his lines. She was testing his loyalty.
He was falling in love.
And it was going to tear him apart.
Review:
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC I received from WordSmith Publicity and is my unbiased review.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know how I feel about Ginger Scott’s writing. It’s flawless, captivating and filled with heart. She writes books that touch my soul and make me think. Her characters are complex, and the situations they dealt with are relevant to today’s world. I’m always excited to hear she’s writing a new book because I wonder where she could possibly take me next.

When I read the blurb for Cry Baby, I knew my next Ginger Scott experience was going to be a tough one. I had a feeling Cry Baby was not going to be an easy read, and I was right. Cry Baby was not a happy book. It was this dark, gritty story about two high school students living in an area control by gang activity. Tristan has known his destiny is to be a gang member since childhood. He thinks he’s made peace with his future until he meets new girl, Riley. Falling for her isn’t an option. Riley isn’t meant to live in his world, and Tristan can’t be a part of hers. Pushing Riley away isn’t easy when she pushes right back. Tristan knew he shouldn’t fall in love with Riley, but somehow he couldn’t stop himself, and loving her could ruin him.

Cry Baby had me on edge the entire time I was reading it. The gang setting was a hostile environment, and not one moment felt safe for Tristan and Riley. I was constantly worried for them and everyone around them. The things they all went through…it broke my heart. Falling in love was so dangerous for them. I can’t even imagine having to go through what they did.

Tristan and Riley both surprised me. I didn’t expect to love Tristan as much as I did. He did things that made me cringe. I know he did them to survive, but it was still hard to accept. It was what inside his head and heart that made me adore him. Riley had this inner strength that I couldn’t get over. It was impressive when she wasn’t making decisions that scared the heck out of me. I loved Tristan and Riley as individuals and as a couple. I loved how their relationship evolved from not necessarily liking each other to a special bond. Their relationship wasn’t smooth or simple, but it was shockingly sweet.

Oh, and I need to just say how much I loved the basketball in this book! I can always count on Ginger Scott to portray a sport in a very real, fun way. I love basketball, and she wove it into the story in the perfect way.

What Ginger Scott did in this book was impressive. This was a tough topic, and she made me empathize with the characters in ways I never imagined. I’ve been thinking about this book for days after reading it. I’m not sure a book has affected me this way since I read The Hard Count.

About the Author:
Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.
A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.
When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).
Social Media Links:
Twitter: @TheGingerScott

Series Review: Sea Breeze by Abbi Glines

Recently, I did a binge listen to the Sea Breeze series audiobooks. Rather than try to review them separately, I’m going to review them all here.

Breathe (#1): ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

This is exactly the type of book I want to read in the summer. It was a cute rock star romance in a fun, beachy setting. I adored both Sadie and Jax. They were perfect together. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and I liked that. Breathe was a very sweet story.

Because of Low (#2): ★ ★ ★ ★

After meeting Marcus in Breathe, I wanted to see him get is happy ever after. He deserved a nice girl after missing out on Sadie. Low was definitely that girl! I could see exactly how their story was going to play out, but I didn’t mind that. Because of Low was so much fun to read.

While It Lasts (#3): ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This book was even better than the first two books. I was surprised because Cage wasn’t my favorite person in Because of Low. His womanizing ways disgusted me despite the fact that he was a great friend to Low. What made this book so amazing was Eva. Her story was so heartbreaking and I loved how Cage helped heal her heart.

Just For Now (#4): ★ ★ ★

I have mixed feelings about this one. I liked Preston and Amanda together, but Preston’s choices bugged me. I didn’t like his job and how he put Amanda at risk with it. It was just wrong. I couldn’t get past that.

Sometimes It Lasts (#5): ★ ★ ★ ★ 

I wasn’t prepared for this book. I was in this state of angst from the prologue. I loved Cage and Eva in While It Lasts and I wasn’t ready for them to be torn apart. I hated that, but I loved how everything worked out. Cage and Eva were so perfectly sweet together. I do have to admit that I had to switch from the audiobook to the ebook because I couldn’t handle listening to it. I had to read it so that I could get through it faster.

Misbehaving (#6): ★ ★ ★ ★

Jess surprised me in this book. She was the “bad girl”, but she went from bad to good very quickly. She didn’t seem much like the girl I met in the earlier books. That didn’t really bother me, and I enjoyed her story. I liked Jason, too. His story of trying to step out of the shadow of his brother was understandable. I also liked Jess and Jason together. What I didn’t like was Jess’ involvement with other people. I wish that would have been left out. Otherwise, I enjoyed listening to this book. I was happy this was finally a book about a girl who wasn’t so innocent like the rest of the series’ heroines.

Bad For You (#7): ★ ★ ★

I liked listening to this book. I loved Blythe. She was so sweet and sheltered. Her past intrigued me. I loved her with Krit. I loved Krit when he was with her. What I wasn’t so fond of was his hooking up with other chicks before they got together. It wasn’t very enjoyable reading about his exploits knowing Krit and Blythe would end up together.

Hold on Tight (#8): ★ ★ ★ ½

I loved Sienna and her story. I wasn’t so sure about Dewayne because I didn’t like him in all of the other books. He redeemed himself, but he was an idiot when it came to Sienna for most of the book. I am happy they ended up together. They were really too cute.

Until the End (#9): ★ ★ ★ ½

Throughout the Sea Breeze series, Trisha and Rock are there to support their friends. I heard stories of how their love originated through their friends’ stories, but those didn’t compare to getting their stories from them. I loved Trisha and Rock’s romance. It went back and forth between the past and present. The whole thing was so sweet. Their love story was a 5 star read — until the book abruptly switched half way through from being about them to mini epilogue novels about the characters from all of the other novels. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to catch up with all of them. (Although, it seemed everyone was engaged, pregnant, or having a wedding. Their stories were way too similar to each other right down to the men appreciating a certain asset of their woman.)  I just would have rather had more of Trisha and Rock. I thought maybe it would end with them to completely wrap everything up, but it didn’t. It ended with Bliss and Nate Finlay. I know that’s to prepare for the Sea Breeze / Rosemary Beach spinoffs, but it felt out of place. This book is definitely worth reading if you’re a fan of the series, though.

Thoughts on the Sea Breeze series:

Abbi Glines’ Sea Breeze series was one of those guilty pleasures to listen to. The books weren’t earth shattering or life changing, but they were fun and put me in a summery mood. My biggest complaint about the series was the pattern of sweet, innocent young women and guys who have been around the block several times falling in love. I kind of like it, but it also got a little redundant.  Each character had different life experiences, but their sexual ones mimicked each other a little too much. All in all, I enjoyed the experience of listening to Shayna Thibodeaux, Kirby Heyborne, and Sebastian York narrate. If you’re looking for some mindless summer reading, this is a fun series.

Blog Tour Review: The Varlet and the Voyeur by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

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The Varlet and the Voyeur, an all-new standalone in the USA Today bestselling Rugby Series from Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway is available NOW!

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He kept his salacious secret for years. But soon, everyone is going to be reading about it in their morning paper…

THE VARLET (and the VOYEUR)

William Moore is a long way from home. A farm boy from Oklahoma, he’s now the most well-respected member of the Irish rugby team. But appearances are often deceptive, and Will isn’t the clean-cut, all-American good-guy everyone imagines him to be. He’s got a secret, one that will tarnish his reputation forever.

THE VOYEUR (and the VARLET)

Josey Kavanagh is a self-proclaimed mess, but she’s finally get her shi…uh, act together. She’s set her sights on becoming a veterinarian, but there’s one teeny tiny road bump. Her living arrangements are coming to an abrupt end, leaving Josey homeless and in need of a job to pay her way through college.

THE PLAN

What he needs is a companion to keep him on the right path.

What she needs is an apartment with free rent.

Will is convinced Josey will make the perfect companion, since she’s brutally honest and basically ‘just one of the guys.’ Josey is convinced she can ensure Will doesn’t succumb to his voyeuristic proclivities by keeping a scrupulous eye on him.

Except, what happens when the varlet is tempted by the voyeur, and vice-versa?!

Perchance something very, very volatile. And vexing.

The Varlet and the Voyeur is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the 4th(and last) book in the USA TODAY bestselling Rugby Series.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2l89gDn

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/TheVarlet

Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2jqFMiU

Enter the giveaway to win a amazing signed paperback bundle!

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Start the Series of standalones with The Hooker and the Hermit!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2wp3GoC

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/TheHookerandtheHermit

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

I wasn’t sure what to expect by the title of this book. First, I had no idea what a varlet was. Second, a voyeur? That sounded way more erotic than this series normally is. All this made me a little hesitant and a whole lot curious to read this book.

Thankfully, The Varlet and the Voyeur was not a departure from the rest of the series. It was just as fun, witty, and hilarious. I was also surprised by how enlightening it was. L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid took the voyeurism topic to a different place. Will’s whole reason behind his kink was actually respectful and thoughtful. I didn’t see that coming. I also didn’t know how much I would learn from Josey on an array of subjects. It was all so cool.

Before I get away from how well written this book was, I need to praise the authors’ writing. This collaboration was one where it was easy to tell who wrote what. Normally, that might not be a good thing. In this book, it was a great thing. It made Will and Josey’s voices stand out. Their points of view felt like two different individuals.

Will was a stoic man. He seemed to take everything in stride, and he was willing to accept his faults and mistakes. His whole back story fascinated me, and I enjoyed the way he learned to think differently about himself thanks to Josey.

Josey was a ball of fire. She was hilarious. Her strange ramblings were so endearing. I didn’t fault the people closest to her for being on the edge of annoyance with her. I probably would be, too. What I loved about her strangeness was that it made her unique and somehow perfect for Will.

Will and Josey were simply adorable together. I won’t say more because the way they ended up together was so fun to read. All you need to know was that their chemistry was off the charts. Every interaction they had was a priceless experience.

Obviously, I loved The Varlet and the Voyeur. Whether you’re a fan of the Rugby series or new to it, you’re in for a fun ride. This is a romantic comedy you won’t want to miss.

Excerpt:

*Will*

When I saw how spotless the shared living space was, I allowed my curiosity to get the better of me and peeked my head into her bathroom, Rocky dancing around my feet as I entered the space. The counters were covered in woman-products, but the marble surface and sink were free of water spots, and the glass of the shower had been wiped clean.

I glanced at Rocky. He glanced at me. Bemused, I chuckled to myself, about to turn back to the door, and that’s when I spotted it.

A dildo.

A big, Pyrex dildo.

With ridges.

In the shower.

I froze, blinked, and I stared at it, my brain sluggish. Oddly, I had to remind myself to breathe. Likely because I was . . .

I was—

I was shocked.

I shook myself, tearing my eyes from it and rubbing my chest where an odd kind of pang was spreading mild warmth up my neck.

But why was I shocked?

Why should I be surprised?

Despite my never seeing her that way, Josey was a woman and women have needs.

Don’t they?

I hadn’t grown up around women—any women. My mother died when she had my youngest brother. My grandmother died before I was born. I had no sisters. We lived on a farm, way out in BFN Oklahoma.

Girls—women—and their bodies were sacred lands of the unknown to us Moore boys.

Unbidden—completely unbidden—an image of Josey flashed through my mind’s eye. Her full lips parted, her big eyes closed, causing her thick black lashes to catch droplets of water before they dripped over her sharp cheekbones. Her head would be lolled back as shower spray melted bubbles of slippery soap, sliding down her bare skin as they dissolved. Her legs would be parted, and maybe one hand would be braced against the wall of the shower while the other moved in a steady rhythm.

Holding that huge, glass dildo.

I swallowed a sudden rush of salvia and, unable to help myself, I leaned closer to the sex toy, examining it and comparing its size against my own.

I was bigger.

But not by much.

And for some reason, this realization made me instantly hard.

Crap.

Of course I knew Josey was a woman, but until this moment, I’d never really thought of her that way. Not even the tampon-mountain drove the point home. Up until this point, she was someone I liked as a person, someone who made me laugh, who was smart and compassionate, someone around whom I felt completely comfortable. A good—no, a great companion.

She was still all of those things, except—

Except now I’ve pictured her naked.

Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

Meet L.H. Cosway:

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Connect with L.H. Cosway:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LHCosway/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jVTDk8

Twitter: @LHCosway

Newsletter:http://lhcoswayauthor.com/newsletter/

Website: www.lhcoswayauthor.com

Review: A Wish for Us by Tillie Cole

From the author who brought you A Thousand Boy Kisses comes the new emotional novel, A Wish For Us.
A story of music. A story of healing. A story of love conquering all.

Nineteen-year-old Cromwell Dean is the rising star of electronic dance music. Thousands of people adore him. But no one knows him. No one sees the color of his heart.

Until the girl in the purple dress. She sees through the walls he has built to the empty darkness within.

When Cromwell leaves behind the gray skies of England to study music in the South Carolina heat, the last thing he expects is to see her again. And he certainly doesn’t expect that she’ll stay in his head like a song on repeat.

Bonnie Farraday lives for music. She lets every note into her heart, and she doesn’t understand how someone as talented as Cromwell can avoid doing the same. He’s hiding from his past, and she knows it. She tries to stay away from him, but something keeps calling her back.

Bonnie is the burst of color in Cromwell’s darkness. He’s the beat that makes her heart skip.

But when a shadow falls over Bonnie, it’s up to Cromwell to be her light, in the only way he knows how. He must help her find the lost song in her fragile heart. He must keep her strong with a symphony only he can compose.

A symphony of hope.
A symphony of love.
A symphony of them.

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

It’s been a while since a book has made me feel the way A Wish for Us did. A Wish for Us was one of those emotionally raw books. (I am admitting to tears with this book, folks. It takes a lot to make me cry while reading.) There were elements to the story that weren’t exactly new and that I could see coming, but those were eclipsed by the beauty of the story and the surprises it had in store.

I was completely entranced by Cromwell Dean and Bonnie Farraday. They were so different, yet perfect for each other. Cromwell and Bonnie truly saw and understood each other. It’s one of my favorite things when a book can bring a connection like theirs to life. I loved how they were bound together by music, and how music was brought to life in this book.

Now that I’ve mentioned the music piece, I have to talk more about it. I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced music quite like the way Tillie Cole used it in A Wish for Us. It was pure genius. This definitely wasn’t a regular rock star/musician romance. A Wish for Us had something amazing and extra special that made it stand out.

I absolutely loved A Wish for Us. It was beautifully written. I don’t want to say too much more about it. I don’t want to give anything away. It’s truly one of those books you have to experience for yourself, and one I’ll be thinking about a long time to come.

I let the rush of nicotine fill my lungs and closed my eyes. As my eyelids shut, I heard quiet music playing somewhere nearby. Classical. Mozart. My drunken mind immediately drifted off to when I was a little kid . . . “What do you hear, Cromwell?” my father asked. I closed my eyes and listened to the piece of music. Colors danced before my eyes. “Piano. Violins. Cellos . . .” I took a deep breath. “I can hear reds and greens and pinks.” I opened my eyes and looked up at my father as he sat on my bed. He was staring down at me. There was a funny expression on his face. “You hear colors?” he said. But he didn’t sound surprised. My face set on fire. I ducked my head under my duvet. My father pulled it down from my eyes. He stroked my hair. “That’s good,” he said, his voice kind of deep. “That’s very good . . .” My eyes snapped open. My hand started to ache. I looked at the bottle in my hand; my fingers were white as they gripped the neck. I sat up, my head spinning from the mass of whiskey in my body. My temples throbbed. I realized it wasn’t from the Jack, but from the music coming from further down the beach. I pushed my hair back from my face then looked to my right. Someone was only a few feet away. I squinted into the lightening night, summer’s early rising sun making it possible to make out the features of whoever the hell it was. It was a girl. A girl wrapped in a blanket. Her phone sat beside her, a Mozart piano concerto drifting quietly from the speaker. She must have felt me looking at her, because she turned her head. I frowned, wondering why I knew her face, but then—“You’re the DJ,” she said. Recognition dawned. It was the girl in the purple dress. She clutched her blanket closer around her as I replayed her accent in my head. American. Bible Belt was my guess, by her thick twang. She sounded like my mum. A smile tugged at her lips as I stayed mute. I wasn’t much of a talker. Especially when my gut was full of Jack and I had zero interest in making small talk with some girl I didn’t know at four in the morning on a cold beach in Brighton. “I’d heard of you,” she said. I stared back out over the sea. Ships sailed in the distance, their lights like tiny fireflies, bobbing up and down. I huffed a humorless laugh. Great. Another girl who wanted to screw the DJ. “Good for you,” I muttered and took a drink of my Jack, feeling the addictive burn slide down my throat. I hoped she’d piss off, or at least stop trying to talk to me. My head couldn’t take any more noise. “Not really,” she shot back. I looked over at her, eyebrows pulled down in confusion. She was looking out over the sea, her chin resting on her folded arms that lay over her bent knees. The blanket had fallen off her shoulders, revealing the purple dress I’d noticed from the podium. She turned to face me, cheek now on her arms. Heat zipped through me. She was pretty. “I’ve heard of you, Cromwell Dean.” She shrugged. “Decided to get a ticket to see you before I left for home tomorrow.” I lit up another cigarette. Her nose wrinkled. She clearly didn’t like the smell. Tough luck. She could move. Last time I checked, England was a free country. She went quiet. I caught her looking at me. Her brown eyes were narrowed, like she was scrutinizing me. Reading something in me that I didn’t want anyone to see. No one ever looked at me closely. I never gave them the chance. I thrived on the podium at clubs because it kept everyone far away, down on the dancefloor where no one ever saw the real me. The way she was looking at me now made nervous shivers break out over my skin. I didn’t need this kind of crap. “Already had my dick sucked tonight, love. Not looking for a second round.” She blinked, and even in the rising sun, I could see her cheeks redden. “Your music has no soul,” she blurted. My cigarette paused halfway to my mouth. Something managed to stab through my stomach at her words. I shoved it back down until I felt my usual sensation of numbness. I sucked on my cigarette. “Yeah? Well, them’s the breaks.” “I’d heard you were some messiah or something on that podium. But all your music comprised was synthetic beats and forced repetitive bursts of unoriginal tempo.” I laughed and shook my head. The girl met my eyes head-on. “It’s called electronic dance music. Not a fifty-piece orchestra.” I held out my arms. “You’ve heard of me. Said so yourself. You know what tunes I spin. What were you expecting? Mozart?” I glared at her phone, which was still playing that damn concerto. I sat back, surprised at myself. I hadn’t talked that much to anyone in . . . I didn’t know how long. I took in a drag, breathing out the smoke that was trapped in my chest. “And turn that thing off, will you? Who the hell goes to hear a dance DJ spin, then comes to a beach to listen to classical music?” The girl frowned but turned off the music. I lay back on the cold sand, closing my eyes. I heard the soft waves lapping the shore. My head filled with pale green. I heard the girl moving. I prayed she was leaving. But I felt her drop beside me. My world darkened as the whiskey and the usual lack of sleep started to pull me under. “What do you feel when you mix your music?” she asked. How the hell she thought her little interview was a good idea right now was beyond me. Yet, surprisingly, I found myself answering her question. “I don’t feel.” I cracked one eye open when she didn’t say anything. She was looking down at me. She had the biggest brown eyes I’d ever seen. Dark hair pulled off her face in a ponytail. Full lips and smooth skin. “Then that’s the problem.” She smiled, but the smile looked nothing but sad. Pitying. “The best music must be felt. By the creator. By the listener. Every part of it from creation to ear must be wrapped in nothing but feelings.” Some weird expression crossed over her face, but hell if I knew what it meant. Her words were a blade to my chest. I hadn’t expected her harsh comment. And I hadn’t expected the blunt trauma that she seemed to deliver right to my heart. Like she’d taken a butcher’s knife and sliced her way through my soul. My body itched to get up and run. To pluck out her assessment of my music from my memory. But instead I forced a laugh, and spat, “Go back home, little Dorothy. Back to where music means something. Where it’s felt.” “Dorothy was from Kansas.” She glanced away. “I’m not.” “Then go back to wherever the hell you’re from,” I snapped. Crossing my arms over my chest, I hunkered down into the sand and shut my eyes, trying to block out the cold wind that was picking up and slapping my skin, and her words that were still stabbing at my heart. I never let anything get to me like this. Not anymore. I just needed some sleep. I didn’t want to go back to my mum’s house here in Brighton, and my flat in London was too far away. So hopefully the cops wouldn’t find me here and kick me off the beach. With my eyes closed, I said, “Thanks for the midnight critique, but as the fastest-rising DJ in Europe, with the best clubs in the world begging for me to spin at their decks—all at nineteen—I think I’ll ignore your extensive notes and just keep on living my sweet as fuck life.”

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

Author Links

 

 

Review: Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

Say You’ll Remember Me
Author: Katie McGarry
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.


Say You’ll Remember Me is a tough book to review because it wasn’t exactly a happy read. It was chock full of deep emotional stuff. I was somewhat expecting that from Katie McGarry because she always makes great statements with her writing. What I didn’t expect was for it to make the story feel so heavy.

The forbidden love aspect of Say You’ll Remember Me was well done. It had me on edge the entire book. I’m a worrier, and I worried for Drix and Elle. I didn’t want anything ruining what they had, but I also didn’t want anything ruining their future. It was so stressful!

I adored Drix and Elle. Both were fiercely loyal to their family, even when they shouldn’t have been. They really loved and cared for the people in their lives, and wanted to do right by them. I also loved that they thought of the world outside of themselves. That was very mature for a couple of seventeen year olds. Drix and Elle weren’t perfect, though. They both let themselves be taken advantage of. That drove me crazy.

Surprisingly the parents were really involved in this book. Drix’s emotionally from afar, and Elle’s were all up in her business. I hurt for Drix because all of his siblings had been abandoned by their parents, but at least they were better off without them. Elle’s parents were too into what made them look good and not what was best for their daughter. That was really sad to me. I hope I’m never like that as a parent. Drix and Elle’s parents were exact opposites in parenting, and it was interesting to see how that shaped them and their lives.

Say You’ll Remember Me wasn’t quite the summer romance I was expecting, but I still really enjoyed it. It is a great book if you’re looking for a summer read with depth that’s not so light and fluffy.

Release Day Review: Tethered Souls by Beth Flynn

Tethered Souls
Series: Nine Minutes Trilogy Spin-Off
Author: Beth Flynn
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

My family has secrets. I’m always the good girl, doing what’s necessary to keep my loved ones safe. I’ve kept the darkest secrets from everyone I know. As painful as it is to hold them all inside where they live and gnaw away at me, that’s where they must stay.

I haven’t seen my closest childhood friend, Christian Bear, since I was a teenager—he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s still temperamental and plays by his own rules with the law following two steps behind him.

Christian remembers me. But he doesn’t know the first thing about me anymore. I should’ve shared my feelings with him the day before I moved away with my family, promising him I’d stay in touch. It broke my heart when he didn’t keep his end of the bargain. As a consequence, we haven’t spoken in years. Even though Christian and I have always had undeniable chemistry, I won’t let him shatter my heart a second time.

Christian has shown up in my life again with secrets of his own, and demanding answers. That doesn’t mean I’m willing to give them. He’ll know my secrets when I’m ready.

Our secrets, the risks we’re taking, and the danger he imposes make it impossible to know what our future holds.

Either our tethered souls will bind back together, or our secrets will separate us forever.


Tethered Souls is a very hard book to write a review for. It’s one of those books that has so many twists and revelations that I fear I might say too much. I don’t want to give anything away because it’s always best to discover them on your own. That being said, I’m going to do my best to give Tethered Souls a proper review.

Tethered Souls is a spin-off novel in the Nine Minutes series. To properly appreciate it, you will want to have read the entire Nine Minutes Trilogy and Iron Tiara. While the majority of the story is brand new to the reader, there are nods to the past set up in the previous books. The connections between the past and the present are what makes this book and its surprises special.

Mimi and Christian’s story was pretty much what I was expecting from the start. There were a lot of parallels between their love story and the ones of their parents. Things felt a little redundant in the beginning, but that was part of the magic of the story. History had an interesting (and dare I say fun) way of repeating itself. As their relationship grew, Mimi and Christian’s love story felt more like their own. They had their own situations to overcome, and crazy scenarios to deal with. The more I got to know Mimi and Christian, the more I loved them and their story.

One of the things that I appreciated about this book was that characters from Beth Flynn’s previous books were still heavily involved in Tethered Souls. Some of the best chapters were from characters tied to Mimi and Christian’s lives. I was kind of expecting for some of them to show up, but definitely not in the way they did.

As much as I loved Mimi and Christian’s story, my very favorite thing about this book was the last bonus chapter. WHAT WAS THAT BONUS CHAPTER?!?! It was voiced by an unexpected character and left me scrambling to remember. Ugh! I feel like I need a whole book to explain that one chapter. I feel like I had a memory associated with it, but I couldn’t be sure. I tried searching all of the previous books for the information I desperately wanted and still need. I couldn’t find anything!!! I’m utterly frustrated days after finishing Tethered Souls because I still don’t have any answers. I’m hoping one of my friends will be able to tell me what I’m missing after they read it.

Tethered Souls was great addition to the Nine Minutes family. I love the way it continued to build on the past books in new and exciting ways. The amazing revelations and surprises continue to shock and awe me. I’ll never get enough of these characters and their stories. I can’t wait to see what Beth Flynn has in store for them next!

Release Day Review: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Hot Asset
21 Wall Street
By: Lauren Layne

Releasing May 22nd, 2018
Montlake

Blurb

A sexy agent hounds Wall Street’s hottest new wolf in an exhilarating novel from New York Timesbestselling author Lauren Layne.

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32841114-hot-asset

Praise for Hot Asset

“[A] playful romance…Layne populates her world of high-stakes finance with charismatic characters, and the fast-paced story works well with the simmering sexual tension between the leads…It’s easy to root for this couple.” Publishers Weekly

“Layne can always be counted on to create an engaging, steamy, and thoroughly rewarding reading experience.” —RT Book Reviews

Review

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Lauren Layne’s back with a new series and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Hot Asset is the first book in the 21 Wall Street series, and it was so much fun! I was and wasn’t surprised by that. I wasn’t surprised because Lauren Layne can do no wrong in my book. She consistently makes me smile with her writing. I always know what I’m going to get when I pick up one of her books: a fabulous time. Hot Asset was definitely a fabulous time!

As for being surprised, I was only surprised by how much I enjoyed the Wall Street setting. Wall Street is something that sounds a little boring to me, but L.L. made it exciting! Who knew Ian being investigated by Lara could be so entertaining? This storyline was something I haven’t read before, and that was so cool.

I could not get enough of the characters and their relationships in this book. I adored the love-hate relationship that began between Ian and Lara when she started investigating him. There was some great banter between them. It made their road to love so much fun! I also really appreciated how supportive they ended up being with each other when it wasn’t an easy thing to be.

I also really loved the other relationships in this book. The relationship between Ian and his best friends / co-workers, Matt and Kennedy was hilarious. The three of them were quite the group of cocky, wealthy men. They, along with their other friends Sabrina and Kate, were the perfect little group of friends. I loved the dynamics between all of them!

Obviously, I thought Hot Asset was amazing. It was the perfect light, fluffy, upbeat romance read. It was exactly the book I needed to put me in a great mood and get over a book hangover I had going on. After reading Hot Asset, I can’t wait to read the rest of the 21 Wall Street books! I’m so excited for Matt and Sabrina and Kennedy and Kate’s romances! They need to hurry up and get here.

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AUDIO BOOK: https://amzn.to/2IyoUSy
MP3 CD: https://amzn.to/2rSMfIc

About the Author

Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in eight languages. Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers WeeklyGlamourThe Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.

Author Links 

Website:  http://www.laurenlayne.com/
GoodReads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6969772.Lauren_Layne
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_laurenlayne/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lauren-layne
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/LLayneAuthor/
Lauren Layne Library: http://laurenlaynelibrary.com/

Excerpt Link: http://laurenlaynelibrary.com/hot-asset

Mini Reviews: Salt to the Sea & More Than Word

Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Narrators: Jorgeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, Michael Crouch
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war’s most devastating yet unknown tragedies.

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Told in alternating points of view, and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning , Erik Larson’s critically acclaimed #1 New York Times bestseller Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein’s Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff–the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray,, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

Review:

Salt to the Sea is my first Ruta Sepetys novel. I was so very impressed by it. It was such a heartbreaking, beautiful story. I loved the way it switched back and forth between the characters. The way their sad stories intertwined was special. I truly loved listening to the way the narrators brought life to the story. Whether you read or listen to this book, you’re in for an amazing book.


More Than Words
Author: Mia Sheridan
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The moment she met Callen Hayes, eleven-year-old Jessica Creswell knew he was a broken prince. Her prince. They became each other’s refuge, a safe and magical place far from their troubled lives. Until the day Callen kissed herJessica’s first real, dreamy kiss—and then disappeared from her life without a word.

Years later, everyone knows who Callen Hayes is. Famous composer. Infamous bad boy. What no one knows is that Callen’s music is now locked deep inside, trapped behind his own inner demons. It’s only when he withdraws to France to drink his way through the darkness that Callen stumbles into the one person who makes the music return. Jessica. His Jessie. And she still tastes of fresh, sweet innocence . . . even as she sets his blood on fire.

But they don’t belong in each other’s worlds anymore. There are too many mistakes. Too many secrets. Too many lies. All they have is that instinctive longing, that need—and something that looks dangerously like love.

Review:

Years ago, I read Archer’s Voice. That book broke me. I have several other of Mia Sheridan’s books, but have yet to read them. I guess I’ve been scared of the emotional impact. I decided to brave her writing again with More Than Words. There were several things I loved about this book. That initial connection between Jessie and Callie was so sweet. I loved that fate brought them back together, and that they got more than one chance to be together. I also loved how Jessie’s job and her interpretations paralleled with her relationship with Callen. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was Callen’s womanizing and drinking. I guess I’m just over that in romances right now. It made it harder for me to emotionally connect to Jessie and Callen’s relationship. Other than, I enjoyed reading More Than Words.

Review: Absinthe of the Heart by Monica James

Absinthe of the Heart
Series: Sins of Yesterday, #1
Author: Monica James
Publication Date: May 14, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Two households, unlike in dignity, in the City of Angels is where we lay our scene…

London Sinclair was the boy my mother warned me about for as long as I can remember. His name alone has brought my family nothing but shame and suffering, so it’s no surprise we’ve been sworn enemies since the first moment we met.

With his bedroom eyes and cocky smile, he has all the girls under his spell. I have one more year of school left, and then I’m home free because I’m guarding a secret, one I’m ashamed to keep.

The boy who is completely off-limits is the one who drives me, Holland Brooks, wild. I want London, and I think…he wants me, too.

Some may compare it to a Shakespearian tragedy, as our surnames have fated our future, but when a single night changes my life forever, I can’t leave the City of Angels fast enough.

Ten years later, I have atoned for my sins and return to Los Angeles a changed woman. I’ve come home to get married. But the moment London walks back into my life, one thing is clear. Ten years can’t undo that night—that single, sinful night when I gave into temptation—because I want to do it again.


Absinthe of the Heart was pure drama. There’s no other way to describe this book. It definitely has the whole Romeo and Juliet vibe. Holland and London’s parents began the saga with friendship turned to hatred. Holland and London weren’t exactly born of this hatred, but they continued the messed up cycle. Only thing — Holland and London didn’t truly hate each other. Their relationship straddled the thin line between love and hate. As they grew up and got to high school, the hatred they felt toward each other bloomed into attraction. Like Romeo and Juliet, Holland and London were destined to be together — and apart.

To get a little more descriptive about the story, Absinthe of the Heart was divided by years. It started back in 1977 with Holland and London’s parents’ story. Their story was a little nutty and unbelievable, but it did set forth an interesting tale. I liked that the past was put out there right at the beginning, and wasn’t some secret to unfold. After the prologue, the story switches to when Holland and London are in high school. It’s all about how they hate each other, but that attraction creeps up on them and then boils over. Then, we’re thrust into the present. Everyone is pretty much the same, with the exception of Holland. She’s returning home to get married, but coming home means facing the past she left behind.

My thoughts are all over the place with this book. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t dislike it. There were some fun twists and a great level of angst. The love-hate thing going on between Holland and London was palpable and exciting. It was just sort of frustrating for me. I think that’s because Holland was a frustrating character, and it was all told from her point of view.

Holland was super naïve. I could guess (correctly) what was going on. She could have, but she was too afraid to ask the right questions. She was in this bubble, and every decision she made drove me crazy. I ended up not liking her much. I wish some of the story had been told in London’s point of view because, despite being a jerk at times, I liked him more. He had this edge of mystery that was really cool. I would have liked to have gotten to know him better in this book.

My biggest complaint about this book, though, is that it ends with a cliffhanger. That frustrates me because it was pretty apparent what that cliffhanger was going to be (to me) about half way through the book. I would rather there be one book for this story. It could have been longer with a conclusion added on. It could have had less build up, be more about the cliffhanger, and then what comes next. I would have been fine with either of those. I just wanted a conclusion. I didn’t want another book about this same couple. It just feels like it will be drawing out the story. Maybe I’m wrong about that, though. I haven’t read the second book. It could be fabulous. Actually, it probably will be because it will be the part of the story I really wanted to read.

I know this sounds like a bit of rant because of my frustration, but I did like the gist of the story. The plot was a good one. I just needed more London, less Holland, and a the rest of their love story.

Blog Tour: Bane by L.J. Shen

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Bane-Cover-Facebook

Bane, the highly-anticipated next standalone in the Sinners of Saint Series by L.J. Shen is LIVE

Bane

Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.

Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.

Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.

Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.

Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.

Jesse Carter

Hot as hell, cold as ice.

I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.

She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.

She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.

More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.

Little does she know, I have the f****** teeth for it.

REVIEW

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

When I read Scandalous (Sinners of Saint, #3), I was so focused on Trent and Edie that Bane wasn’t really on my radar. I knew he wasn’t necessarily a good guy, but he also wasn’t a bad one. I did not expect him to be who he was in Bane for some reason. Yes, he was that bad guy with a good side. He was more, though. His back story was not what I expected. It was deeper and darker. I didn’t always love Bane, but the way he took care of Jesse made me root for him. The surprising sweetness in his actions combined with his shameless cruelty made him a surprising savior.

Jesse was a new and deeply troubled character. She was in a constant state of pain. Jesse had every reason to be the way she was. I ached for her. There’s no other way to describe how I felt about her. L.J. Shen did an amazing job of making me feel her pain.

I loved every part of Bane and Jesse’s unconventional romance. Nothing was easy. Bane wanted to help Jesse for both the wrong and right reasons. She didn’t want anything to do with him, yet he was the only one who soothed her ache. It was messy and raw and thoroughly spellbinding to read. I loved every minute of it. If you’re a fan of darker, angst filled romances you won’t want to miss this book.

EXCERPT

Bane

Then.

A liar.

A con.

A godless thief.

My reputation was a big wave that I rode, one that swallowed everyone around me, drowning every attempt to fuck with what’s mine.

I’d been known as a stoner, but power was my real drug of choice. Money meant nothing. It was tangible, and therefore easy to lose. See, to me, people were a game. One I’d always known how to win.

Move the rooks around.

Change the queen when necessary.

Guard the king at all fucking times.

I was never distracted, never deterred, and never jealous.

So, imagine my surprise when I found myself being all three at once.

It was a siren with coal black hair who robbed me of riding the biggest wave I’d seen that summer. Of my precious attention. Of my goddamn breath.

She glided from the ocean to the beach like nightfall.

I crouched down, straddling my surfboard, gawking.

Edie and Beck stopped beside me, floating on their boards in my periphery.

“This one’s taken by Emery Wallace,” Edie had warned. Thief.

“This one’s the hottest masterpiece in town.” Beck had chuckled. Con.

“More importantly, she only dates rich bastards.” Liar.

I had all the ingredients to pull her in.

Her body was a patch of fresh snow. White, fair, like the sun shone through her, never quite soaking in. Her skin defied nature, her ass defied my sanity, but it was the words on her back that made my logic rebel.

It wasn’t her curves or the way she swayed her hips like a dangling, poisonous apple that warranted my reaction to her.

It was that tattoo I had noticed when she swam close to me earlier, the words trickling down the nape of her neck and back in a straight arrow.

My Whole Life Has Been Pledged to This Meeting with You

Pushkin.

I only knew one person who went gaga over the Russian poet, and, like the famous Alexander, he was currently six feet under.

My friends began to paddle back to shore. I couldn’t move. It felt like my balls were ten tons heavy. I didn’t believe in love at first sight. Lust, maybe, but even that wasn’t the word I was looking for. No. This girl fucking intrigued me.

“What’s her name?” I snatched Beck’s ankle, yanking him back to me. Edie stopped pedaling and looked back, her gaze ping-ponging between us.

“Doesn’t matter, bro.”

“What’s. Her. Name?” I repeated through a locked jaw.

“Dude, she’s, like, way young.”

“I will not repeat myself a third time.”

Beck’s throat bobbed with a swallow. He knew damn well that I didn’t mess around. If she was legal—it was on.

“Jesse Carter.”

Jesse Carter was going to be mine before she even knew me.

Before I even knew her.

Before her life turned upside down and her fate rewrote itself with her blood.

So here was the truth that even my lying ass wouldn’t admit later on in our story—I wanted her before.

Before she became business.

Before the truth caged her in.

Before the secrets gushed out.

I never did get to surf that day.

My surfboard broke.

Should have known it was an omen.

My heart was going to be next in line.

And for a small chick, she did one hell of a fucking job obliterating it.

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About LJ Shen

LJShenL.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

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