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BOOK REVIEW: Price of a Kiss (Forbidden Men #1) by Linda Kage

I loved it just as much this time and the butterflies were insane. Mason will always be my favorite forbidden boy. I can’t wait to read him again……already!

BOOK REVIEW: Price of a Kiss (Forbidden Men #1) by Linda KagePrice of a Kiss (Forbidden Men #1)
by Linda Kage
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

I don’t care what my cousin says; I am not the queen of impossible relationships. I mean, just because my last boyfriend tried to kill me and left a bit of a scar on my neck, then forced me to move across the country and legally change my name to Reese Randall to escape him, does not mean—

Oh, who am I kidding? For a freshman in college, I have to have the worst dating track record ever.

It’s no wonder love is the last thing on my mind when Mason Lowe enters my life. But the chemistry between us is like bam! Our connection defies logic. And he’s just so freaking hot. Being around him makes me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt before. I even like bickering with him. He could be my soul mate...except for one teeny tiny glitch.

He's a gigolo.

Boy, do I know how to pick them.

Leaning down, he hugged me and buried his face in my neck. “It feels like a dream, like I’m going to wake up any second and you’ll be gone. I don’t want to wake up from this.”  

So…..this was unexpected. Lately I’ve been…off. So, naturally, my reading schedule has been disturbed. Don’t worry, I’ll save you the repetitive details. But, just know, this is definitely a new trend for me. At least, as of late. I’ve grown to hate these cheesy, overly worked smutty books, mostly because somewhere around the time I found GR, I realized just how badly I was trapped in these types of worlds. I didn’t know what I liked or how to find it. Sure, as a kid/middle-schooler, etc. etc., I was drawn toward paranormal, fantasy, peril type books-I just didn’t know it. I didn’t know there was a label for these types of stories. I just knew, when my mom took me to the bookstore, that when faced with a normal romance and a book with…edge…I was most certainly going to pick up the one with edge.

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Shaking my head, I muttered, “You are so…”
He grinned. “Charming? Handsome? Intriguing?”

All three, not that I’d ever admit it to him. He appeared to have a big enough ego as it was. I scowled hard. “I was going to say confusing.”

“Ahh.” He nodded in an astute manner. “We’ll slot that under intriguing.”

“Actually, I think it really deserves its own classification.”

“Fine. Whatever you like.” Shrugging as if it made no difference to him, he sent me a look full of smug, glittering eyes.  

But another thing I never realized was that there was a constant there-did you guess it?? Well, let me make it simple for you because I’m a complicated soul-Romance. I didn’t realize it, but as I read my books, the thing that made me all happy and tingly inside (naïve fool that I was) was the romantic aspect (shh, aside from the peril…self-discovery can be a beautiful thing). But, again, I didn’t realize that was the common thread. Fast forward to pre-GR and pre iPad/ereader-I realized I wanted romance, sex appeal, adult contemporary….but I was in a slump. All the books tended to be sexy and…not much else. Sure, it seemed there were nice build ups and even some cool action scenes and I even found two favorites out of the pile of crap, but something essential was missing, like a piece of my soul was absent.

I rolled my eyes and let out a big sigh. When I realized he was still just standing there, watching me, I lifted an eyebrow. “So, are you going to sit down or not?”
His smile fell flat. “You don’t mind?”
 

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I was losing all hope that adult romance was anything different. I was like…this is what adults have always read? My mom was addicted to this? I couldn’t believe it. Fast-forward like…a year and a half? I don’t know-it was a painfully dry reading time. My friend makes me get GR and…all of a sudden I start getting emails, alerts, ‘your books are similar to’, etc. Then I made friends one by one, found books one by one….and genres started expanding and…you get the picture-My world exploded in a rainbow of Technicolor. So, back to my original point: I grew to resent smutty books. I resented how cheesy they were. I resented how I had been stuck for years in a slump with those disasters. And, hell, I even grew to resent how popular they were among my friends.    

He lifted a finger to hush me. “We’re not talking about me. We’re taking about you. And you are…you’re…” He paused to shake his head.
“I’m…?” I prompted, not sure if I wanted to know where this was going, but my curiosity was too intrigued not to push for more.

“You’re quirky…and yet conventional. Innocent but worldly. Reserved yet outgoing. Candid yet guarded. Trendy but also practical. And childlike while still managing to be mature. It’s like….you’re the perfect contradiction.”
   

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So, I concocted a list. A list of…don’ts, if you will. I follow my list with rigid precision, rarely faltering in the fear that I’ll get stuck reading another eye-roll worthy bow-chicka-wowow romance. And, I admit, the list isn’t foolproof-I still find stinkers now and then. But it’s so rare that I’m beginning to become spoiled with such a high success rate. But then there come dark times in a person’s life, and it turns out that those can really drain you, exhaust you, make you want to throw in the towel and give up trying so hard because you just don’t have time to read as much anymore and it effects the fun of it all.    

“Okay, okay.” I lifted my hands to stop her rambling. “Just…keep calm and think of Chris and Liam.”
“Okay,” Eva repeated. “Okay.” She panted a few times as if she was already View Spoiler » When an expression of shock lit her face, she straightened and gaped at me. “Hey. That actually worked.”
With a grin, I tossed my hair. “I know, right.”
No hetero female on the planet could panic with a mental image of the Hemsworth brother combo running through her head.
   

Enter my forbidden little weakness. As it turns out….I do have a soft spot for tortured boys. Just so happens? They’re my favorite. The bad part about that?? Forbidden boys are oh-so-hard to find in the sci-fi and dystopian sections-at least, harder to find than in, say, the NA section. The section I studiously avoid. The section that, while alluring, is so fucking corny that it sets your teeth on edge…*starts in whiney voice and stomps foot* but I. Don’t. Care. I am tired, busy, and I just want my GD tortured male lead and I want to put in minimal work for it. So, here I am. On that side of the realm I hate. That side I swore I’d stay away from. That side that, until a week ago, I had forgotten existed until I searched my iPad and found Forbidden Men #2 from years ago sitting unread and looking oh-so-easy and ready for the taking. And take I did. And far did I fall….And never did reading something so cliché ever feel so good.

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So, yeah, I fucking went there.
Dumb, you say? Nah. Just not what I normally read.
Cliché, you say? Hmm…..maybe.
Cheesy, you say? Oh, undoubtedly, yes.
Sexy? Addicting? Unputdownable…You ask?
Well..obviously.
It caught my attention, didn’t it?    

After he accepted praise from them, he turned to Sarah and bent down to hug her. “You’re…my…hero…too,” she told him in her halting voice.
He looked like he might start bawling. Cupping her cheek, he grinned at her and murmured, “For you. Always.”
   

Rule #1 : Cheesiness. I hate it. I hate it hate it hate it hate it. Yet…sometimes, if the story is just good enough, alluring enough, I don’t care. Yeah, I mean, I do care. It’s just…sometimes the story just works for me, you know? Like, it takes all the stupid out of the inner thoughts that make me roll my eyes and just makes me…laugh. Makes me shrug and giggle and say, C’est la vie! And, hey, this book did it for me. Normally I’d be ashamed, but, why should I be? This boy, this story, no matter how stupid it was, because it was just plain moronic, really, did it for me. And you know what? I’m so happy. That’s all that matters.

Rule #2: The blurb and it’s sexual content ‘warning’. Gag. Really. These make me run away, but…eh. Whatever. My bitchdar is lowered…for now.

Rule #3: Genre. Tried and failed too many times, my friends. It begins to get tedious, you know? And so many more rules, really, but I proved my point: Rule book? Meet window. And Mason? Come to Mama. Just a word about him, ‘kay?? Just a widdle quick word, teeny-tiny:

SEXY TORTURED GIGOLO TORMENTED OSTRACISED LONELY MISTREATED USED HURT SEXY (OOPS DID I MENTION SEXY ALREADY) INTELLIGENT BROKEN BRAVE LOYAL—-
I lied. Suck it.

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And I even loved Reese. Though, hey, those inner monologues? Psst-she’s the culprit. I went from wanting to strangle her in chapter one to loving her to thinking ‘is this chick real?’ to ‘okay she’s cute’ to…whatever. I like the girl…even if her thoughts are out of this world odd…and a lot like mine. Whoops.

What I didn’t like:
Idiotic, bitchy cousin: Go to hell, asshole
Twirling her lady mustache-like villain: Yeah, this is soooooo realistic, bahahah not
How the little sister was introduced: It wasn’t bad….but it certainly wasn’t good. It felt….wrong. But, then, I don’t know how it should have been handled.
The back and forthness
The writing: Damn the writing!
-Probably a ton more I’ll think of after posting but ugh-so fucking tired sooo….    

Mrs. Garrison had actually kind of disappointed me. She’d let me go without a fight. Humph. Chicken. I’d been all keyed up to kick some cougar ass, too.
Oh, well, such was life. C’est la vie. Maybe I could beat up the next woman who tried to hurt my man.
   

All in all, this was exactly what I needed. Sexy and fun and light without being too light, I fell under this book’s spell…even though it was so unbelievable. Like…so soooo unbelievable. But…eh. The inner dialogue, the quirky humor, the way they became friends on campus and his vulnerability and willingness to do so was just…perfection. I’ll never forget those moments in this book. There was a lot wrong but, sometimes wrong is right, ya know? I fell in love, despite its many flaws, and that’s really all I could ask for. Mood=lifted. Just…sigh. Shut up, Pea.

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BOOK REVIEW: Priceless (Forbidden Men #8) by Linda Kage

BOOK REVIEW: Priceless (Forbidden Men #8) by Linda KagePriceless (Forbidden Men #8)
by Linda Kage
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Three things in my life were fact.
I needed Sarah to survive.
I needed sex to remain sane.
And I could never mix sex with Sarah.

I just knew—deep in my marrow—that if I did, I’d somehow lose her. All my deepest darkest secrets would crack open, bleed out, and ruin everything between us. I wouldn’t unleash the shit inside me on my worst enemy, let alone her. So she stayed strictly in the friend zone.

People probably thought I never went there with her because of her cerebral palsy, but f*ck them. She knew she was the most important person in my world, and I wasn’t about to risk hurting our relationship just to make my c*ck happy.

Until the moment she begged me to take her virginity.
Now it’s all about to hit the fan, because how the hell do you resist the one person forbidden to you when she says please?

--Brandt Gamble

“This right here-every single piece of you-is very precious cargo to me. If anyone mistreated it, I’d lose my shit. You’re not just my best friend, you’re my sanity. You’re priceless, Sarah.”

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Let’s make this short and sweet, shall we?? I discovered the Forbidden Men on a whim last year when I couldn’t find anything that suited my mood. I had To Professor, with Love on my iPad from years ago and saw it sitting at the veeeeery bottom of my kindle app ripe for the picking. I thought…fuck it. I don’t know what else to read, so why not??? And what I found was something that has stuck with me since November. Yes, they are cheesy as fuck-some more than others (they are rated accordingly, you can tell which I couldn’t tolerate as much, cheese wise). Yes, they are less than perfect. Yes, they are cliche, ridiculous, unbelievably crazy…but there is just something so amazingly addicting about them. And what you get in return for tolerating some of that…it’s so worth it.

“Oh my god, you’re such a pain in the ass.” Why, oh why, couldn’t he have just dropped it? “If you want to see me that bad, then come over and see me already. Jesus Christ.”
“Fine,” he said. “Be there in ten.”
I snorted. “Why not make it five, you clingy son of a bitch.”
“In that case, I’m already outside your window. Open up.”
I glanced out my window, only to gasp. “Oh my God.”

Strong friendships and laughter. Deep-rooted connections and passionate love. Unforgettable sibling bonds and group gatherings that make you tear up every time they are together. These books make your heart soar and your soul rejoice. They warm you up from the inside out and they make you smile like a loon. They give you butterflies no matter how hard you try and resist-These books own a very large chunk of my very being…and a large part of that goes to the boys. Doesn’t it always come back to a boy, in the end?

Except I totally would have, because she wasn’t a normal, average woman. She was the most precious thing in my life. I knew it was unnatural how much I relied on her to be there for me when I needed a friend, but I didn’t care. Sarah was priceless to me. I couldn’t help but be overprotective of her and snarl at any threat that came near her.

From the moment I met the macho, womanizing Noel, my heart was claimed. I mean….Yeah, the cheese was almost unbearable (Didn’t rate this one a five, but I decided after a month with it at a three that I thought about it way too much for it to be any less than four) and I remember rolling my eyes a lot…but after I finished I just remember not being able to move on. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. And what’s worse, he made me curious about a genre I’d long since written off. I mean, he cried and fell hard for this woman he cherished, for fuck’s sake.

Pain wound so tight through my chest I could barely breathe. The one thing I could never handle was her tears. She rarely cried, so when she finally allowed them to fall, it was that much more devastating to me. Helpless frustration roared through me until I wanted to pound my fist against my truck.

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So this curiosity ebbed and grew, making me want to meet more tortured men in this cheesy genre…but no matter how many series, books, stories I tried, none compared. So what did my wonderful Bestie Pea suggest?? READ MASON. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. So, begrudgingly, I did. I picked up Price of a Kiss and met this gigolo (bahhaa really?!), Mason.

I.
Was.
A.
Goner.

Mason. Was. EVERYTHING. I still, to this day, can’t not think about him. I even used one of his quotes to put on my wall at home. Yeah, he is bae. <<<< I’ve never said this, but I don’t care. I adore him. So, yeah. That’s the thing. Mason and Noel really are the only two forbidden men who TRULY hold my heart. They were my first, maybe that’s why. I was so excited to read the rest, but after you’ve had Mason and Noel…there’s hardly anything anyone could do to top them. I almost feel bad for the rest lol. And the other epic thing about this author: No fucking around once they have admitted their love for one another. On breaks there are no whoopies or oops or needs for explanations because these boys are loyal AS FUCK. So yeah. Had to throw that in there

“Hey,” I murmured. Since she looked as if she were on the verge of tears, I caught her chin and stared her straight in the eye. “If someone can’t look past a little shaking and see what kind of amazing person you are, then they’re a fucking idiot, and you don’t need to befriend someone that stupid, anyway.”
A single tear tracked down her cheek. I wiped it away. “You just being yourself is what made you my favorite person, so just keep being you, okay?”

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So naturally, here we are on book 8, and guess who the love interests are? THAT’S RIGHT. My two boys’ siblings. I. Couldn’t. Even. When I saw this plot I literally almost peed my pants I was jumping up and down so much from excitement. And that’s the thing: I hate cheese and I hate fake drama…but this series has made me a shameless fangirl…and I’m not the least bit sorry.

Resting my cheek against her hair, I closed my eyes and tightened my grip on her, holding her closer. I hated it when she cried. When she hurt, I hurt. Feeling her tremors of sorrow ripped me to shreds.

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If you can remember, Sarah is Mason’s sister, the one he would do anything to protect. He is her hero, and now we get to see protective Mason when little sis is all grown up. It’s not as hard for Noel, seeing as he only has little brothers left and it’s more natural to accept a brother dating than a younger sister (COUGH when Caroline fell for Ten COUGH). So we’ve been through the ringer with all these boys…but this might be my next favorite after Mason, Noel, and Ten’s stories. After all….Mason or Noel were in every chapter along with the very sexy Brandt ;). I mean, what is there to lose?

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Sarah messaged Brandt by FB on a whim and they became fast friends. No one can talk about Sarah and he would do anything for her. They are immediate best friends….but they both are secretly in love with the other. They would drop anyone and anything to help each other out, and everyone around them knows they will end up together. Of course, like most books, Sarah and Brandt don’t see that for themselves. Brandt is tainted (ummm more on this later…..) and Sarah is precious to him-the most important thing to him in life, so he won’t risk his relationship with her for a single thing. Sarah doesn’t give up so easily, though.

“If you’re like disfigured-you know, down there-it wouldn’t bother me. I mean, heck, I probably wouldn’t even know the difference since I’ve never seen one before.”
I laughed, pretty sure that was her intent the entire time, to lighten the mood. “Shut up, smart-ass. I’m not disfigured.”
“Oh.” I swear, she actually sounded disappointed about that. “Well…whatever. I’m just saying, it wouldn’t have mattered.”

I absolutely adored this story and everything about it. I may have become a bit detached in certain moments (Which had nothing to do with book because I loved it) because I had a really bad weekend, emotionally wise. This, perhaps, was a bit denser story than I should have been reading, but I wanted my forbidden men, GD, and I got them. No regrets. At all. Though…that beginning. What. The. FUCK. I adore Linda Kage (her books have gotten me through a lot of shit, she deserves praise for that) but damn was that a weirder intro than usual. I just….*shivers* Eew.

He only sniffed and glanced away. “Hey, if the guy can’t take a little heat, he should stay out of the kitchen.”
With a growl, I jabbed my finger in his direction. “Except this is the only time anyone’s ever wandered anywhere near my kitchen. Don’t fuck it up for me, please.”
His eyes flared. “Did you just compare a kitchen to your…” When his gaze wandered down to my lap, his expression filled with dismay as if I’d just traumatized him for life.

I may not have talked about the two main people very much, but I wanted to get across how wonderful this series is as a whole. It’s not so much about each new character’s story, but about the group as a whole and where they are now. I know, I know, each person deserves their own spotlight, but I just feel it’s even stronger with EVERYONE involved…and that’s why I continue to love every installment, cheesy as they are. If it wasn’t for the main guys, these problems, friends, characters, stories wouldn’t exist…so it’s necessary to recognize that while I ADORED BRANDT-he was so protective, loyal, fierce-I adored the whole story more. So…..take with that what you will. My quotes will do the rest of the work.

************

Soooo yeah…..THIS happened. My boys (Noel and Mason) were in this THE WHOLE TIME. I almost feel bad for Brandt and Sarah…almost. Because as much as my heart adored him-and oh f’in boy did it-when my two favorite forbidden men even got MENTIONED I was a heaping pile of goo.

Noel’s brother, Brandt, meets Sarah, Mason’s sister, through one single moment where Sarah, in an act of courage (based on her personality), sent Brandt a friend request on Facebook-From then on they were BFF’s forever.

This book, this story, this network of characters, these men…they have completely stolen my heart. And it’s more than that-whenever I’m sad or upset, I simply turn to these guys. They are literally PERFECTION. And the thing is this: These are the only cheesy books that I can stand. It’s like…Linda Kage has a way of making these cliche, ridiculous, out-of-this-world dramas bearable and completely tolerable.

It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Yeah, they have issues. No, they aren’t perfect….but they are perfect for me. And what else could I possibly ask for? Nothing.

Review to come. I do so love reviewing about my boys.

**************

I WOULD SELL MY NONEXISTENT FIRST BORN CHILD FOR THIS. My two favorite Forbidden Men: Mason and Noel….connected in the same book-in each POV-in some way??? Their siblings IN LOVE????? GIVE ME THIS BOOK NOW!!!! I NEEDS IT.

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I NEEDS IT NOW.

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Be my Hero (Forbidden Men #3) by Linda Kage

BOOK REVIEW: Be my Hero (Forbidden Men #3) by Linda KageBe My Hero (Forbidden Men #3)
by Linda Kage
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Once upon a time, there was this pampered rich girl who was kind of full of herself. She really only cared about appearances and hiding all her dark, ugly secrets under the guise of an opinionated snob. But then Eva Mercer got pregnant, shot by a psycho, and kicked out of the only home she knew. Now she’s broke, unemployed, and has to start anew with a newborn to raise. But how?

On the other side of town, sexy, tattooed orphan, Patrick Ryan, can’t get a break. He’s out on parole for defending the last damsel in distress while trying to help her support her child, but all he wants is to find his one true love. He knows this woman by scent, smile, and laugh, but he’s never actually met her. He doesn’t even know her name. He just knows she’s the key to fixing everything.

One kind of hero can save you from physical harm. Another can rescue you from a different kind of doom. To reach their dreams, Eva and Pick can save each other. But first, they must open their hearts and learn how to trust.


“You’re the best man I’ve ever met, Patrick Ryan. Thank you for choosing me.”

“I’ll always choose you.”


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Ahhh and here I am again, back in one of my most favorite worlds from 2015. I won’t say it wasn’t a shock when I picked this series up, knowing it was cheesy as hell, and immediately fell for not only the forbidden men it touts…but for the wonderful dynamics each and every character share together. Whether they are frenemies (however you spell that lol), lovers, friends, or co-workers, each person fits into the group perfectly. And I guess you can say that this is one of my favorite literary families ever. They are all so utterly loyal, behind all the ribbing, and they would do anything for one another.

“…I’d say the fact he’s already shared a woman with….well, you, isn’t something he needs to find out about.”
“Wow, now wait a sec. What’s wrong with me?” Ten pointed to himself, clearly insulted. “I’m fucking flawless.”
I snickered and lifted my hands. “No offense, but I certainly wouldn’t want to stick my dick in anything you’ve already had yours in.”
“Amen,” Mason seconded.
“Hey.” Ten scowled at us.

Every story I pick up, no matter the content, I know I am going to be swooning after one of my favorite men and their relationship even if I hate the story. And hey!!! I have only hated one book….some side characters just don’t need to exist-they can literally obliterate even the sweetest of men’s stories. But all that aside, it comes down to one thing: No matter what type of mood I’m in when I pick up these books, I always have the best time reading them and the most abundant warm fuzzies after.

“Tink, you are the most flirt-worthy girl I know,” Pick spoke up, striding over with his arms open. “Here. I’ll hold Skylar while you get yourself something to eat. Then come back and sit by me. I’d be happy to hit on you.”

And here’s the thing: THEY ALL CRY. All of them. I mean…..I can’t…I just…*takes some odd breaths*…WHERE THE FUCK ARE THESE MEN IN MY LIFE??? I’m married you say?? Yeah, well, technicalities. I love my guy, I truly do, but if Mason Lowe or Noel Gamble, Pick, Quinn, hell, even fucking Ten walked into my life…..okay, I won’t finish that horribly presumptuous sentence lest I burst into flames, but you get my point, yes??? These men, they are just something else.

No, we weren’t going to lose Eva tonight. She was going to be okay. The baby was going to be okay. Everyone was going to be okay, except maybe her baby daddy. I kind of hoped he died.


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And that’s all there is to it. I come to these books not because they are believable, without cheese, nor are they written in the best way. But the fact of the matter is, when I open a Forbidden Men story, I do, in fact, get a sexy forbidden and tortured man….and the author actually follows through with it. She doesn’t dick around and find technicalities-she goes balls to the wall and makes her men (almost) every woman’s wet dream (god I’m being disgusting in this review):

-Tortured
-Forbidden (duh)
-Loyal
-Utterly (and most often inexplicably) into the female lead
-Passionate about her
-Fiercely protective
-Willing to sacrifice it all for her

My point? These men are one page away from selling their left nut to be with these women, no matter the cost…and I find it, not-so-inexplicably, addictive as hell.

My lips fluttered with amusement. “You’re never going to get over that nickname, are you? A girl wears Tinker Bell on her shirt one time-“
“Embrace it.” He grinned before nuzzling his nose against my temple. “Not everyone can pull off the Tink image.”


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I think it goes without saying, or maybe it doesn’t-I don’t know who reads my reviews if you aren’t in my immediate text circle-I have always, always been a sucker for romantic books with peril. And, hey, no matter how brief, how dramatic, how cheesy these perilous scenes are…they tend to pop up in these stories so…yeah….I love….because….boy saves girl. Yeah. I mean, what else do you need (okay, besides poetic, beautiful writing and some actual solidarity that these things could happen in real life-but hey, we don’t want to live in reality-that’s why we  read)?? Drama, angst, peril….no matter how cheesy or forced…they are always around. And, for me, that’s a wonderful combo after a long day at work. And yeah, yeah, it’s all somewhat horrid but…sue me…I need my tortured man fix every now and again (ALWAYS).

His gray eyes glittered silver as he grinned at me. “My lips are sealed. But only because I owe you one.” Then he glanced toward the doorway leading into the hall, which lead to his and Reese’s bedroom. “You think it’s been two minutes yet?”
“I think it’s only been thirty seconds, you big horn ball.”
Scowling, he shoved his hands into his pockets and grumbled around a moment before muttering, “Well, I can’t wait anymore.” Then he was off, hurrying down the hall in pursuit of his View Spoiler ».

So, before I go and disappear, let’s talk about the story and why I almost didn’t read it. For one, and don’t smack me here, I hate pregnancy romances-I have to say I’m not sorry, as well. I want a guy and girl to fall in love and for it to be new and fresh and squeaky clean, not burdened by another man’s discrepancies. That sounds harsh, but it’s one of my book rule no-no’s and it just is what it is. And, you know, I hated Eva in Reese and Mason’s story. She was childish and had no reason to be the way she was (so I thought, and really, she didn’t, but we had to make her story juicy, now didn’t we??). All she did was cause my boy Mason problems. So why my sudden change of heart? Well…there are multiple reasons, but two really stick out:

1. I adore this series, and I knew I would smack myself if I didn’t get more time with these addicting characters
2. Mason. I. Am. Obsessed. With him. He is, without a doubt, my favorite boy (okay ugh and Noel) and when I figured out Eva lived with them in this story…?? I immediately decided to read it because…Mason. Need I say more? MASON.

And I really had heard a ton about this Pick fella who, by the way, really is the f’ing sweetest guy ever, in the generic sense of the word. I mean, he just really does put everyone else ahead of himself and it’s the most selfless thing.


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And when he decides he’s guna go for his Tinker Bell??? No one can stop him. He would do anything for her, no matter what it cost him (see above). And even caring for his child-which really isn’t his own-is above caring for himself. And honestly?? He’s hilarious-

 

A small cry rent the air, and I immediately spun toward the sound. But Pick was already holding up a hand as he cradled Skylar in the other arm. “We’re good,” he called. “Ten just looked at her. That mug’ll make any girl cry.”
I arched an eyebrow at Ten. He lifted his hands in surrender. “I didn’t even touch her.”
“I think it was his awful breath,” Pick offered casually.

I don’t know. I just really loved everything about him. But to those who said I’d love Pick more than my men? You were dead wrong. I’m a stubborn little shit, so don’t feel bad. Almost every series I read I have people saying who I’m ‘going to love more’ and 99% of the time they are wrong (unless they know me really really well). Exhibit A? This series. Exhibit B? The Calloway Sister series. No one-and I do mean no onewill ever touch my dear Connor and his icy Rose.


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“Honestly, though,” I told him, my voice winded. “The wet shirt look is totally working for you. You sure you want this dull, old dry one?”
Surprise filled his brown eyes before he gave a slow, hooded smile. Using the shirt we were both holding onto to rein me in closer, he lowered his voice. “Why, Eva Tinker Bell Mercer,” he murmured, his tone a teasing scold. “Are you flirting with me?”

That’s not to say I didn’t adore him-this book actually is up there with my favorite ones, if not right below, and there was one consolation prize: I had heard Eva is better and that I’d understand her more….and everyone was right! But even better than that? I adored her.

She skipped up on her tiptoes and slapped a quick kiss to his cheek, right where she’d just patted it. Then she waved goodbye to me. “Toodles, Tinker Bell. Love ya.”
I rolled my eyes. “Bye, Sweet Pea. Love you, too.”

Gone was the whiney, whorish (sorry not sorry all those who find that offensive) girl who pushed herself on Mason to prove a point (and yeah, she just ‘wanted to prove a point’, riiiiight..it’s not because Mason is fucking amazing…). She is kind, considerate, willing to do anything to help Mason and Reese (mostly Reese because she loves her so much)

“And then…” She nodded, as if coming to the best part of the story. “While the car’s lying on top of her and the only things poking out are her glittery red Christian Louboutins, I say we steal her shoes and run.”
Wow, what was this, the homicidal version of
The Wizard of Oz?

and even nudges something along-THAT I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE SEEEEEEN THANK YOU VERY MUCH, LINDA KAGE GRRR- that made my heart soar. So, to say the mother to be was still a loser party girl would be a lie. And I just really enjoyed seeing the mature woman she grew up to be. Really. I didn’t even hate the baby stuff-It was actually adorable and endearing and totally fit the embodiment of what makes Eva and Pick…well…Eva and Pick lol.

“Whatever,” I snapped, sending her an incredulous glower. There wasn’t a single wild thing about him. And besides, “He’s way hotter than Mason.”

Reese didn’t seem to notice the panic on my face; she was too busy choking on her disagreement. “Not even possible. No one-I mean, no one-is hotter than Mason.”
I patted her hand sympathetically. “Yeah, just keep telling yourself that, sweetie.”

So, you know, another beautiful, smutty book gone. It makes me sad I only have a couple more left. And to think, who knows how many are even going to be released??? I sure don’t know. But what I do know is, it’s been a long time since I have wanted a book more than my next breath, and that book is Noel’s Brother/Mason’s sister’s story. I. CAN’T. WAIT. UNTIL. [undisclosed date] LATE 2016 (being totally hopeful and pushy with that). I just….I can’t….I mean…brain overload. My two FAVORITE men who made me fall for this series are going to be in it NON STOP and the people they love most, besides their women, are going to fall in love. I mean….COME ON!!!! PERFECTION!!!! ARGHHH!!!!! COME ON COME ON ALREADY! Phew. Now that I got that over with , it’s admission time: While I adored seeing Pick and Eva’s story unfold, and me falling for yet another forbidden man in this series, I fell the hardest for this story when Reese and Mason were a part of it. They just….have my heart. And they were in it…A LOT.

“Wow.” Pick shook his head, stunned. “You are the complete opposite of your boyfriend, aren’t you?”
Reese scowled. “What do you mean?”
“At work, that boy avoids women like the plague, never checks them out, and he never shares details about you two…I mean, other than the jelly thing.”
Reese gasped, turning a bright tomato red. “I am so going to kill him for that. Now if you two will excuse me, I need to go home and…punish my man, probably with a nice strawberry or grape.” She touched her chin thoughtfully. “Though he does have an affinity for peach jam.”

So…..my fantasies were fulfilled and, frankly, they are the main reason I read this one anyway. I would say I’m a filthy Mason-loving-whore….but you already knew that. ONTO THE NEXT! ♥


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BOOK REVIEW: A Perfect Ten (Forbidden Men #5) by Linda Kage

BOOK REVIEW: A Perfect Ten (Forbidden Men #5) by Linda KageA Perfect Ten (Forbidden Men #5)
by Linda Kage
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Let your hair down, Caroline, they said. It'll be fun, they said.

I know I've closed myself off in a major way over the past year, ever since “the incident” where I messed up my life completely. It's past time I try to live again or just give up altogether. But this is quite possibly the craziest thing I've ever done. In a last ditch effort to invigorate myself, I'm standing outside Oren Tenning's bedroom, I just peeled off the sexiest pair of underwear I own, and my hand is already raised to knock. My brother would disown me for doing anything with his best friend, and he'd probably kill Oren. But if I play my cards right, no one will ever know about this. Not even Ten.

Maybe after tonight, I’ll finally get over this stupid, irrational crush I hate having on the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Or maybe I’ll just end up falling for him even harder. Maybe I’ll discover there’s so much more to my crude, carefree hunk than meets the eye.

 

That’s the curious thing about temptation. It festers and grows. You feed that bitch soon enough and she morphs into craving, and then craving turns into obsession. Pretty soon, nothing in your life is as important as that one thing you want but can’t have.

Well, it’s becoming increasingly clear that I am addicted to these boys in this wonderfully ‘forbidden ‘ series. Linda Kage may have never been on my radar before, but it is clear that she is now. Despite the cheesy dialogue (though, I’ll admit I’m seeing it less and less the farther into the series I go), the somewhat unrealistic situations, the certainty that everything is always going to blow up in everyone’s faces in the end….Linda Kage’s men make me do this:


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Every. Single. Time.

 

 
It’s my own damn fault, really. I could’ve and should’ve turned her off of me for good by now. It’s just that every time I think I’ve finally done something that will make her hate me forever-something she’ll never forgive me for-the panic sets in. I can’t bear the thought of her hating me and never forgiving me. So then I have to go and do something to ensure her forgiveness.

It’s true that I wouldn’t normally touch these books with a ten-foot pole. But it’s clear that they are what I crave and what I am enjoying right now. And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So, here I am reading book 5 without a single guilty bone in my body-even if this is my ultimate guilty pleasure, it seems.

 

 
I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t I just cut ties with her then if I was so worried about Gamble? Well, why don’t you ask a smoker why they don’t just stop smoking, an alcoholic why they don’t just stop drinking, a book lover why they don’t just stop reading? And fuck you for thinking an addiction was even remotely easy to quit. I was addicted to this girl. I wasn’t anywhere near ready to give her up.
And thus started the true turmoil.

As it turns out, this was yet another favorite in the series, right up there along with Mason and Noel’s stories. But, unlike with those stories, it’s not a matter of lack of time to write a review so much as I’m too tired to write a decent one. And it’s not fair. Ten’s story was out of this world amazing. It can even be said it might be the best story of this series to date-it had tons of movie quotes and references (a fact I could not ignore, seeing as I adore movies almost as much as books) because Caroline is a film major, and Ten has been progressively maturing and showing how utterly loyal and charming he can be with each new book, especially his own. So yeah, this story was absolutely fantastic-I just am so tired and can’t see myself writing too much more….and that makes me sad.

 

 
As soon as she passed, I shifted out my arm that had been hanging down at my side and flexed the backs of my fingers so that they brushed across hers. I kept my attention on Gamble, making sure he saw none of this. Caroline responded by weaving her fingers through mine so they interlaced for the fraction of a moment before she pulled them away and was gone.
I stared after her, pulverized. She’d been right fucking there, and the only thing I’d gotten to do was barely brush my hand against hers?


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One of the biggest appeals of this one was the couple in the spotlight: We’ve been watching Oren and Caroline flirt for a couple books now, so the build-up was one that didn’t let us down. And, even more than that, we have known all of these characters since book one and two-it’s to the point where every time a character from a past book jumps in, I squeal and squirm around in my seat in delight, welcoming the familiar banter and unavoidable butterflies that erupt once Noel or Mason enter the scene-

 
She looked up at Lowe as if she might start crying, or commit murder. I wasn’t sure which. “Sometimes he just…irritates the hell out of me.”
“I know, baby. I know.” Lowe [Mason] fed her another piece of chocolate and kissed her cheek. “He irritates the hell out of me, too.”

Yeah, I never said I wasn’t hopeless.


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Oh, and did I mention the main love interests were very close to Noel? As in, Ten is Noel’s BEST friend….and Caroline is Noel’s SISTER? Yeah…


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Good luck with that, guys, really. If you’ve read the previous books, you know that Noel is a tad…hmmm…
protective
. And NO ONE will EVER be good enough for his little sister, especially his manwhoring best friend.

 

Something’s gotta give soon or I’ll explode…most likely inside her.
I just hope it doesn’t end up with me dead at the hands of my best friend.

But what happens when he is the one person that cares most and is best for her? Will Noel ever be able to see past everything Ten has done in the past? And will he realize that Caroline is so far in love with him that it doesn’t even matter?

 

 

Oren wouldn’t just out-of-the-blue decide to become monogamous to some stranger in the dark who refused to show him her face or tell him her name.
“I can’t text him, saying, ‘Your dick is now mine. Get it near any other woman, and I’ll physically remove it from you and keep it in a jar by my bedside.’ That would sound a bit creepy.”
“Actually, I was thinking it sounded a lot creepy.”

Caroline and Ten were special to me as a couple. We have had so much time to see them as friends and star-crossed wannabe lovers that now we are already invested in them as a couple-

 

 

Watching tears fill Caroline’s eyes right before she rushed from the kitchen and not being able to chase after her had to be one of the hardest things I’d ever fucking done-or not done, in this case. Or maybe restraining myself from knocking Noel’s teeth down his throat was the hardest. I couldn’t quite decide. But I’ll tell you one thing; standing there like a dumbass and doing nothing slaughtered me.

-and as such, we know they are meant to be together despite how hard it will be for them to be together. Ten is a loud-mouthed womanizing manwhore. But he is also the sweetest, most loyal friend ever-and if he could have the girl he wants, he would never look in another woman’s direction. And Caroline is everything Oren could ever want-snarky, conniving, dirty-minded, smart, and a beautiful blonde bombshell.

 

 
That still didn’t excuse her in my book. She’d traumatized my Oren. The bitch must die….in my head anyway. I pictured myself pushing her off the side of a bridge and listening to her scream all the way down until…oops, she wasn’t screaming anymore.

She evens out his hard edges and challenges him at every turn. She is the reason they get a chance, sneaking into his room pretending to be someone else. They drive each other crazy-but no two people belong together more than them.

 

 

Gamble’s woman opened the door.
“Ten,” she said in surprise. “Uh…Noel’s not here this evening. He’s working-“
“I know.” Rolling my eyes, I muttered, “I’m here for the kid. The littlest one.”
Her eyebrows shot up. “Colton?”
“Yep. That one. He wants to play… ” I sighed heavily, “catch.”

So, you know, this one made me extremely happy. All of Kage’s books in this series always have a totally over-the-top climactic ending, but none were quite as amazing andperilous as this one. I will admit it’s wholly unbelievable and the resolution was as easy as they always tend to be…yet, who cares? It was everything I crave on top of a totally fun and sexy story with a man that I couldn’t help to fall for as the main lead, and I got to see a pissy Noel and a vulnerable, but bull-headed, Ten finally square off on the one of the most important girls in their lives. I must admit some of my favorite moments involved the strife between a livid and stubborn Noel and a-force-to-be-reckoned-with Ten…

 

 

Gamble contorted his face into an expression of supreme confusion. Then he glanced at his wife. “He didn’t hit on you, did he?”
She sighed and rolled her eyes. “Noel. Really?”
“Yeah, Noel,” I echoed. “Really? I was a perfectly respectable gentleman.” Then I winked at Shakespeare [Noel’s wife, Aspen]. “After we put our clothes back on.”
Gam’s face turned dark red. “You motherfucker!”

…but that’s just me. I love my Noel and I was ecstatic he was in this one so much. But, hey, I’ll never get enough of these guys. I just wish I could have Mason and Noel and Oren Tenning all to myself. Sigh. A girl can dream, can’t she?

*Ps, can you tell I totally shoved in every quote I could?? That’s not even all of them. Sigh.

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BOOK REVIEW: With Every Heartbeat (Forbidden Men #4) by Linda Kage

BOOK REVIEW: With Every Heartbeat (Forbidden Men #4) by Linda KageWith Every Heartbeat (Forbidden Men #4)
by Linda Kage
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

I used to think everything was black and white, truth or lie, easy or hard, that if I could just escape my strict, overbearing, abusive father, my life would be perfect. But since I’ve found a reason to risk his wrath and leave, to help a friend in need, I’ve come to realize everything I thought I knew is wrong.

Friends have their own agenda, honesty comes with a dosage of lie, easy doesn’t even exist, keeping secrets sucks, and love...love is the most painful thing of all.

Maybe if Quinn Hamilton hadn’t asked me to skip classes for the day and help him pick out an engagement ring for my best friend, I wouldn’t have fallen for him so completely on that sunny Tuesday afternoon and I wouldn’t feel so conflicted. But I did, and I can’t take it back, no matter how hard I try. So I have to deal with the fact that even I’m not as good, or honest, or caring as I’d always thought I was, and no matter what I do next, someone’s going to get hurt. Probably me.

-Zoey Blakeland

Sooo..I’m just going to say it: FAIL. Just…major fail. And, seriously, how can such a pretty cover contain such utter bullshit on the inside??? I was so sure that this was going to be another win in the series and that someday I could cherish it on my bookshelf but…how could anyone display this piece of shit-there, I said it-and not feel like a total betrayer to all of your morals and everything you believe in? You can’t. I’m sorry-you just fucking can’t.

 
With a sigh, he slumped his shoulders. “Okay, fine. You’re quiet. You’re introverted. You’re too nice to be rude to anyone. You open yourself up and are willing to trust more than just about anyone I know. Being as sensitive as you are means you have a bigger heart. And if I ever see you try to change and harden that heart of yours, I’m going to throat punch you. Don’t be ashamed of being a big, soft teddy bear, Ham. The world needs more people like you, otherwise it’d just go to shit.”

–Aww Ten is so sweet this whole book

And besides the major letdown after cherishing every other book in this series and having such a pretty cover, which was, in fact, the worst part about this story (the letdown after such build-up), there was the total shit for brains story that left our beautiful, amazing, selfless hero in a story that was better left in Linda Kage’s wet dreams.


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Sigh…sorry. Just very disappointed. I mean….how in the fuck did Kage think that, after Mason and Noel and their lovely counterparts’ stories, this was a good way to go????? A virgin heroine


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who, again, sorry, is a total putz who didn’t get a backbone until about 60% into the story, has never even been kissed (okay, that could have been hot, but wasn’t so) and was a total innocent little lamb, moves in with her stupid whore of a cousin who is a total bitch that uses her every other day?? I didn’t know how long I could stand to be in this timid girl’s head.


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Not to mention throwing in an amazing male lead who would do anything for said whore even after being treated like a piece of meat and being lied to 24/7?? I just, I can’t even…UGH


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Oh, and Quinn?? He is Zoey’s soulmate (oh, and totally had to look up her name-I DIDN’T EVEN REMEMBER IT) in the form of Satan’s lover. Yeah, he’s the one dating the tool she lives with. But when they see each other, sparks fly.


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They are kindred spirits, broken souls who were innocent and naive and were beaten within an inch of their lives as children… they see each other in themselves and they know they are meant to be together, but they try to fight the attraction.

 

 
Hamilton grabbed her arm to steady her. “I know,” he slurred and glanced my way. “This shit is potent. I feel…” He nodded slowly. “Yeah.”
I lifted my eyebrows, wondering if he was drunk or high.
Blondie giggled again and pointed at him. “I’ve never heard you cuss before.”
“I don’t,” Hamilton said blankly before Blondie charged, “But you just said shit.”
He laughed and pointed back at her. “So did you.”
As they giggled together, I rolled my eyes to the ceiling. Oh, dear God. Someone shoot me now.

-Ten talking about Quinn and Zoey

 

They are the watchers, the quiet ones, the sensitive and kind ones-there’s no doubt they belong together. But that stupid Cora bitch just won’t go away. BACK THE FUCK UP BITCH-YOU ARE A MANIPULATIVE WHORE


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(and a total plot device-her character merely existed to cause problems in this and other books, I mean really Kage-you can do better than that).

 

 
She murmured, “Thank you,” and stared at him with a pair of longing green eyes that made me want to reach across the table and thump Hamilton on the back of the head. Hard.
Prime opportunity to kiss her, I wanted to tell him.
Kiss her already.
Why wasn’t he kissing her?
God, what a pansy.
Instead of kissing, they just kept staring until Ham blinked and then grinned. “Staring contest?” he offered.
Dear fuck. Really?

-Ten, again lol

So ends the perfect Forbidden Men series run-and I hate it-I hate that Quinn got such a pathetic, fucked up story. Every little issue I had with the other two books was magnified ten fold, like all the shit that bothered me existed only to create this book, and that pisses me off. The cheesiness, the horrid villain in the form of a best friend/psychotic girlfriend, the lack of a reason for this fucking story, I just HATE it, because even Zoey, in the end, became more likable.

 
“You won’t die,” I growled. “Roaches always find a way to survive.”

 

But it was just So. Damn. Unrealistic. The only saving grace, the only damn thing I was giggling and swooning and laughing and smiling about (Well Quinn but that’s beside the point)????

 

 
“Hey.” Ten wormed his way between us, scowling. “Where’s my golden invitation to eat pizza with you?”
Noel sniffed and sent him a short frown, throwing Ten’s arm off his shoulder.
“I didn’t see you bringing anyone around to befriend my sister.”
“Well…I could befriend her,” Ten started, putting on an offended front as he pressed his hand to his chest.
Noel threw back his head and laughed.
“What?” Ten muttered, folding his arms over his chest and glaring. “I make a fucking awesome friend.”
Noel’s chuckle settled before he seemed to realize Ten was serious. His smile dropped flat. Pointing at Ten’s nose, he growled. “Stay the fuck away from my sister.”

Mason, Noel, Ten, Reese, Aspen, Caroline-their stories were alive and expanding in this one. My heart swelled when one of my beautiful men entered the story and we got to see them with their respective sweethearts, fiances, friends. It was just…UGH. It made all the bullshit worth it. Really. I would have smacked myself if I knew I missed proposals and banter and friendships and just the utter adoration these men have for their girls had I skipped/DNF this one. It made this piece of shit one star worth the extra star just to know I got to see them every other page.

 

 
“Motherfucker,” he groaned. “No Gamble, and I’m stuck in a class with not one, or even two, but three untouchables. This is going to suck…ass.”
“I’m sorry, what?” Reese lifted a curious eyebrow. “Do I even want to ask what an untouchable is?”
“You know…” He twirled his finger to encompass Reese, Caroline and me. “You’re Lowe’s woman. Can’t flirt with you. You’re Noel’s little sister.” He scowled at Caroline. “Can’t fucking go there. And you…” He flicked his attention to me, “…belong to Hamilton.” Then he made a sweeping gesture over all three of us. “Ergo I can’t touch any of you. Untouchables. And to make it worse, you all will probably be watching me with your judgey little eyes so I’ll have to behave and can’t hit on any other woman in this class either.”

My final parting words: No. This story was not for me and it sucked. This story has been done before by authors who handled it wonderfully and made me choke on my angst while swallowing butterflies. I expected the same, I’ll admit it, but did not get it one bit. Quinn and Zoey’s story is worth reading, it really is, but all the bullshit surrounding it (ie Cora, Cora, Cora and their relationship) was unnecessary and, frankly, totally unbelievable-notice I didn’t say unrealistic, because I know these GD stories are cheesy as shit, so that point is null and void. I said unbelievable because even I have a limit. I may have known how stupid the other two books were, but I fell hard and believed in them-or I made myself do so. So, yeah. This lacked passion. It lacked drive. And, most importantly, it lacked the heart I’m used to seeing from this author. So, disappointed and a little scared of what comes next, I tuck my tail between my legs and remain optimistic that Quinn and Zoey’s story will flourish as all the other people’s did in the next books. They deserve their love story untarnished by that cunt. Oh, and Cora, just because I feel like it:


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