Tag: Adult (Page 1 of 18)

BOOK REVIEW: The Family You Make (Sunrise Cove #1) by Jill Shalvis

BOOK REVIEW: The Family You Make (Sunrise Cove #1) by Jill ShalvisThe Family You Make (Sunrise Cove #1)
by Jill Shalvis
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Beloved New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis begins a new series—Sunrise Cove—set near beautiful Lake Tahoe, with a heartwarming story of found family and love.

During the snowstorm of the century Levi Cutler is stranded on a ski lift with a beautiful stranger named Jane. After strong winds hurl the gondola in front of them into the ground, Levi calls his parents to prepare them for the worst…but can’t bring himself to say goodbye. Instead, wanting to fulfill his mother’s lifelong wish, he impulsively tells her he’s happily settled and Jane is his girlfriend—right before his phone dies.

But Levi and Jane do not.

Now Levi’s family is desperate to meet “The One.” Though Jane agrees to be his pretend girlfriend for just one dinner, she’s nervous. After a traumatic childhood, Jane isn’t sure she knows how to be around a tight-knit family that cherishes one another. She’s terrified, and a little jealous. But an unexpected series of events and a host of new friends soon show Jane that perhaps this is the life she was always meant to have.

As Jane and Levi spend more time together, pretend feelings quickly turn into real ones. Now all Jane has to do is admit to herself she can’t live without the man she’s fallen in love with and the family she has always dreamed of.

Review:

The Family You Make had joy, heartache, laughter and hope laced throughout the pages.  With a story that was filled with richness and depth, intricate characters and a happily ever after, this book had it all.  Fans of adult romance, fake dating and emotional stories should definitely add this book to their tbr!

“I didn’t want you to get hurt,” he said quietly, sucking in a breath when she applied pressure.
She didn’t want to react to his statement, but she honestly couldn’t remember when anyone had done such a thing for her, stranger or otherwise.

The beginning of this story had me glued to every single word.  As someone who snowboards on the weekends and lives in the Lake Tahoe area where this story takes place I now have a new fear of gondolas LOL!  But the beginning completely pulled me in and I was obsessed.  With Jane and Levi finding themselves in a life or death situation on a gondola, I was beyond nervous for them.  And even injured, Levi tried to crack jokes and I couldn’t stop smiling.  So when Levi called his family to say goodbye, he couldn’t do it.  He told them instead that he was finally happy and had a girlfriend named Jane.  But then Jane and Levi ended up surviving, and their lives would never be the same again.

His laugh floated down to her. “Thoughts you weren’t afraid of anything.”
Turned out, she was afraid of plenty, including how just looking at him could change the rhythm of her heart.

Jane was the queen of running.  She didn’t ever stick around long enough to form attachments, or for her to be told she wasn’t wanted anymore.  Which suited her perfectly because that was how her childhood went.  She was shuffled from one place to the next and it hardened her heart.  So going into this story, I’m so glad Sam @ WLABB told me to have patience with Jane.  Because she desperately needed that from not only those in her life, but from us the reader too.  Her past had damaged her, and she didn’t see herself worthy in others eyes.  Her walls were impossibly high.  But as the story started to unfold, Jane realized that others did care for her, and want her in their lives.  That she had formed friendships with Charlotte, Cat and even Levi.  She just wasn’t sure what to do with that, especially when it came to Levi.

“Maybe another time.”
“Why?”
“You’re not ready.”
And then he walked off. She found herself watching him go. “When will I be ready?”
He turned and caught her staring at his ass, and the smile hit his mouth. “Maybe sooner than I thought.”

I loved Levi right away.  Even when he was fighting for consciousness in the beginning, he cracked me up.  He was so charming, but like Jane, he also felt alone.  Levi was different from his family.  Even though they loved him deeply, he hadn’t ever fit in.  And with a heartache past, he tried to distance himself from those that cared for him.  So Levi had a lot of healing to do too.  But being back in Sunrise Cove, he started to find life again and mend relationships with his mom, dad, sister and even an old best friend.  I loved every single thing about Levi.  He was patient, kind, sweet, caring, thoughtful and considerate.  Sigh.

She put her hands on her cheeks. “Are you always such a flirt?”
“No.”
“So why me?”
He smiled at her. “Because when I’m with you, I feel like . . . me.”
Everything inside her softened at that.

 I couldn’t stop smiling when Levi and Jane were together.  They were both outcasts in a way, and understood one other.  And with a life or death situation pushing them to a friendship, I loved watching how they progressed.  They were comfortable around each other and it all felt so seamless.  So when they continued “dating”, to keep up the lie to Levi’s family, I absolutely loved it!  Throw in Levi’s in your face family that pulled some funny antics, and friends that cared deeply for them, this story rounded out so well.  There was a side story about Jane’s good friend, Charlotte, who she stayed with when she was in Tahoe.  And their neighbor/coworker Mateo, who had a tie into Levi’s life.  I absolutely loved their story too and was rooting for them to have a HEA since we got a few povs from them also.

“This is just a kiss,” she informed him, her voice annoyingly soft and breathy.
This had him laughing softly against her as he nibbled her lower lip, then sucked it into his mouth. Someone gasped. Her. Dammit.

Redemption in yourself comes in so many forms.  Whether it was Levi, Jane to even Charlotte, they all needed that desperately.  The Family You Make showed their emotional path to healing, friendship and love.  This story was an emotional journey, I cried multiple times, and it took some longer than others to get there.  But it ended with a fabulous epilogue years in the future and I closed the book oh so happy.  I just love happily ever afters, and this book too!

She lifted her head again, suddenly having trouble drawing air into her lungs. “But you promised. You promised not to fall for me.”
His gaze met hers, his own warm and loving. “Some promises are meant to be broken.”

PS The peaches…..I was dying laughing and had tears pouring down my face.  Peyton, Levi’s niece, is the cutest!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: Made in Manhattan by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW: Made in Manhattan by Lauren LayneMade in Manhattan by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Violet Townsend has always been a people pleaser. Raised in the privileged world of Upper East Side Manhattan, she always says the right things, wears the right clothes, and never rocks the boat. Violet would do anything for the people closest to her, especially her beloved grandmother. So when she asks Violet to teach the newly-discovered grandson of her friend how to fit in with New York City’s elite, Violet immediately agrees. Her goal? To get Cain Stone ready to take his place as heir to his family company…but to say he’s not exactly an eager student is an understatement.

Born and raised in rural Louisiana and now making his own way in New Orleans, Cain Stone is only playing along for the paycheck at the end. He has no use for the grandmother he didn’t know existed and no patience for the uppity Violet’s attempts to turn him into a suit-wearing, museum-attending gentleman.

But somewhere amidst antagonistic dinner parties and tortured tux fittings, Cain and Violet come to a begrudging understanding—and the uptight Violet realizes she’s not the only one doing the teaching. As she and Cain begin to find mutual respect for one another (and maybe even something more), Violet learns that blindly following society’s rules doesn’t lead to happiness…and that sometimes the best things in life come from the most unexpected places.

Review:

Romance lovers will passionately fall in love with Made in Manhattan!  It had a fun and flirty vibe, while also pulling on my emotions.  The story was impossible to put down and easily became an instant favorite!  If you love an opposites attract adult romance then I can’t recommend this book enough!

Could she take this angry, uncouth man and turn him into someone who held his own in a boardroom? Who could navigate the sticky intricacies of the New York social set?
Who could not only tie a tie, but look good in it?
Suddenly she wanted to try, rather desperately.

Cain Stones learned that he had a grandmother he never knew about, along with a billion dollar company that she wanted him to take over.  Coming from the South, he needed to learn the city, dress the part and work on getting voted in as CEO.  And Violet Townsend was to help Cain achieve that goal.  Their grandmothers were best friends and there was nothing Violet wouldn’t do to help Edith, Cain’s grandma.

Violet had the sudden urge to tell him he was wrong.
She didn’t always get what she wanted.
She didn’t even know what that was.

Violet Victoria Townsend lived on the upper east side and I absolutely loved her.  She was kind, helpful and held herself in almost a regal way.  She dressed the part, had impeccable manners, was a thoughtful hostesses and always seemed to say the right thing.  She definitely gave me Charlotte from Sex and the City vibes, who I adored.  Violet could be seen with Keith, who was a blue blood like her, except I thought he was beyond pretentious. So when Cain stepped into her life, Violet’s seemingly perfect world completely changed.

Cain shrugged and bent down to gently rub Coco’s head with a knuckle. Violet ordered her heart not to melt. Or to think about the fact that Keith barely tolerated her dog’s existence, much less pet the little Yorkie.

 Cain was the ultimate book boyfriend.  Yes he was a little rough around the edges and had no filter on his mouth sometimes, but oh my goodness was the man swoon worthy.  Not only in the way he held himself and talked, but his actions literally melted my heart into a puddle.  Whether he was being thoughtful of Violet’s dog Coco, who he called Toto, or remembering details from what Violet said, Cain was most definitely more then others in Violet’s world would see at first glance.  Cain was sexy, seductive, charismatic, and I was obsessed.

His smile was slow. Predatory. He moved even closer until she could feel his body heat. “Careful, Duchess. Look at me that way again, and you’ll be the one who’s handled, and not the least bit gently.”

Violet and Cain started out rough.  Yes there was an instant attraction and chemistry between them, but Violet was trying to change who Cain was.  And he fought her every step of the way.  It started with a clothing makeover and went from there.  But Cain wasn’t the only one who started to change. Violet found herself changing too.  She kept her emotions guarded and always came across as composed and together.  But Cain pushed her time and again and invoked emotions from her that had me clinging to every single word between them!

“Keith can be . . .” She sighed. “He’s struggling. He’s put a lot of himself into the company, and it’s hard for him to have an outsider come in and take a position he thinks should be his.”
Cain’s eyes flicked up for the briefest of moments. “That’s not what he should be possessive of.”
Violet didn’t reply. Couldn’t. But neither did she look away.

Their moments together brimmed with delicious sexual tension and banter.  Whether it was a look, a touch or a barbed word, everything had an undercurrent of electricity running through it.  And there were so many moments that held such powerful emotions.  Like the piano scene.  I didn’t know whether to laugh and smile or cry tears of heartache.  This book toyed with my emotions in the best ways possible!  There was some steam in the pages and by the end of this story I found myself with tears in my eyes.

“You deserve it.”
“What, to learn piano?” she joked.
He didn’t smile back. “All of it. You deserve to have everything you want, Duchess.”

Made in Manhattan was beautifully emotional and seductive.  It had characters that were larger then life, a story-line that I devoured way too quickly and even side characters that constantly made me feel.  This book became a top favorite so easily and I can’t wait to read it again and again in the future!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: The Paid Bridesmaid by Sariah Wilson

BOOK REVIEW: The Paid Bridesmaid by Sariah WilsonThe Paid Bridesmaid by Sariah Wilson
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From Sariah Wilson, the bestselling author of Roommaid, comes a captivating romantic comedy about what happens when a wedding party mixes business with romance.

Rachel Vinson is a bridesmaid for hire: part confidante, part wedding planner, and one hundred percent pretend BFF. Discretion guaranteed. Her next gig is a destination wedding—livestreamed and sponsored—for an Instagram influencer. That means a paradise of new contacts, which could be a boon to her already booming business. If Rachel can keep the very handsome and slightly too interested best man at bay, that is.

High-tech entrepreneur Camden Lewis must know: Who is this gorgeous, intelligent, and mysterious woman? Too good to be real. Convinced she’s a corporate spy out to tank his company, Camden’s not letting her out of his sight. But the constant surveillance is also opening his eyes to things about Rachel that he likes. If she’s a spy, she’s certainly the cutest one he’s ever seen.

As the week’s worth of wedding events march along, Rachel and Camden are learning almost everything there is to know about each other. Rachel’s made a career out of always a bridesmaid…but perhaps there’s a chance for her own trip down the aisle?

Review:

The Paid Bridesmaid was a story filled with humor, romance and charm, and I was obsessed.  With a unique story-line and characters that were easy to connect with, I devoured this book in no time at all.  It you’re a fan of adult romance that has some angst and heart in the pages, then you definitely need this book in your life!

Why did I want something so badly that I knew I couldn’t have?

Rachel Vinson owned her company, which provided bridesmaids for weddings.  With signed NDA’s and bridesmaids that wouldn’t create drama and help the day unfold seamlessly; her business was a huge hit!  Her latest client was Sadie, who was an Instagram influencer.  Her destination wedding in Hawaii was going to be not only sponsored but live streamed too.  And Rachel would be acting as maid of honor and bff.  But the best man was highly suspicious of Rachel and I loved watching everything unfold!

Camden gave me a playful smile when we approached. Krista let out a low whistle. “Do you see how he’s looking at you? That boy has impure thoughts about you.”
I shouldn’t want that to be true.

Rachel was driven, focused and thoughtful.  She was passionate about her business and all of her energy went into her job.  With a no dating guest rule, it had been a long time since she ever did anything for herself.  That is until Camden Lewis entered the picture.  Not only was he the best man, but he was business partners with the groom.  And he had dealt with people trying to steal information from their high tech company multiple times.  With Rachel being pegged as a possible spy, it led to wonderful angst and a slow burn romance.

Camden took a step back, his hand still around my wrist. “Do you know what happens whenever I draw a line in the sand? The tide always washes it away.”

I adored Camden from page one.  He was kind, thoughtful, charming, smart and yet a tad overly suspicious.  But that didn’t stop the instant attraction the both of them felt.  Or the spark that was between them, anytime they were together.  And the more time they spent with each other, the harder it was to ignore.  Yet Rachel was nervous.  Was Camden only interested in her because he was trying to find out if she was going to steal from their tech company?  Or did he truly like her?  But regardless, she was lying to him.  She could never tell him why she was there.  Rachel’s heart was torn with what to do.

“Tell me that you feel it, too. That something’s changed.”
“It can’t.” I felt silly saying it. Like a kid sticking their thumb into a dam, trying to hold back the oncoming flood.
“But it did.”

This story was so much fun!  I loved all of the wedding festivities!  I loved that Rachel and Sadie started to actually form a friendship.  I loved Rachel’s employee, Krista who was also a bridesmaid, who pushed Rachel to get together with Camden.  But most of all I loved the tension between Rachel and Camden!  They were a very slow burn romance that never went spicy, but was a ton of fun.  And while there was definitely some family drama, and Rachel had some of her own too, all in all this was a very heartfelt story.

“Do you know why I thought there were vibes? Or why I thought that I could guess what you’re feeling?”
My stupid face was an open book? I shook my head.
“I imagine that your heart beats faster when you’re close to me. That your mouth might go dry while you feel like your knees are going to give way. That you can’t wait to see me again. I can guess how you’re feeling because those same things happen to me.”

The Paid Bridesmaid was an adorably unique story that had a lot of heart and was a ton of fun.  And somehow my emotions sneaked up on me because I found myself with happy tears in my eyes towards the end of this book.  So if you’re looking for a sweet and cute romance story, that ends with an epilogue and fabulous happily ever after, this is definitely you’re book!  This was another huge win by Sarah Wilson and I’m looking forward to her next release!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

The Christmas Pact & Scrooged by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

The Christmas Pact & Scrooged by Vi Keeland and Penelope WardThe Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From New York Times Bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward comes a standalone holiday novella.

Eggnog. Check. Roaring fire. Check. Hot romance book. Check!

Riley Kennedy’s emails keep getting crossed with her male colleague, Kennedy Riley. The infuriating man forwards them along with his annoying commentary and unsolicited advice. At least she never has to see him in person, since they work in different locations…until they come face to face at the office holiday party.

As luck would have it, Kennedy turns out to be outrageously handsome…though still a jerk. Yet somehow he’s able to charm her out on the dance floor—and convince her to participate in his crazy scheme: he’ll go home with Riley for a Christmas party and pretend to be her boyfriend, if Riley agrees to be his date to a wedding. It sounds easy enough. Little by little, however, the act they’re putting on starts to feel like so much more than a Christmas pact—and Riley’s about to learn there’s more to Kennedy than she ever imagined.

Review:

The Christmas Pact was a fabulous, quick story that was oh so adorable.  With wonderful chemistry, adorable situations and characters that were so much more then meets the eyes, I fell in love with this novella.  If you’re looking for a heartwarming story that also has fake dating in the pages, you definitely need this book in your life!

“My apologies. Let’s start over. I’m Kennedy Riley. Pleasure to meet  you. Um, what’s your name again?”
Smartass.
I glanced over his shoulder  and pretended to wave at someone. “Oh gosh, I see someone I actually  like over there who I need to speak to. I’d say it was lovely meeting  you, but I’m a terrible liar. So instead, I’ll just say Merry Freaking Christmas.”

With similar names, and their work emails keep getting mixed up, there was no way Riley Kennedy could get away from Kennedy Riley.  Especially when Kennedy would forward Riley her emails, while also letting her know all of his thoughts on her life.  Even if they were infuriating to her.  So when their paths crossed in person at a Christmas work party, sparks flew!  And it led them pretending to be each others significant others over the holidays, around each others families.  What started out in jest ended up turning into so much more.

Kennedy looked into my eyes and I couldn’t look away. It was like he was  seeing me for the first time, like he’d finally found the missing piece  of my puzzle and things suddenly made sense.

While I thought Riley needed to live a little and Kennedy needed to pause sometimes, they both exceeded my expectations.  Their back stories, as we got to know them, made them leap off of the pages.  And while I liked them both individually, together they were so much fun.  I loved their antics and make believe around Riley’s family.  I laughed out loud and loved the chemistry between them!  But by the time they got to Kennedy’s family, it felt like there was so much more between them.  Because what happens when fake dating doesn’t start to feel fake anymore?  I’ll say that I got tears in my eyes and loved these characters.  The Christmas Pact ended with a fabulous happily ever after and left a smile on my face.  I’ll definitely be picking up more books from these two authors!

The Christmas Pact & Scrooged by Vi Keeland and Penelope WardScrooged by Penelope Ward, Vi Keeland
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

New York Times Bestselling Authors, Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward bring you three sexy short stories to heat up your holidays!

Sexy Scrooge

The last thing I needed was to share an Uber with Scrooge—a cocky lawyer on a snowy Christmas Eve. It was bad enough I was on my way to court for the gift of eviction.Although maybe today wouldn’t turn out so bad after all.The Sexy Scrooge and I started to connect as we trudged our way through a storm. Our ride was about to end. But would I ever see him again?

The Merry Mistake

Note to self: Ask Santa for glasses this year. When I accidentally mistook a gorgeous man resting outside my building for a homeless person in need of lunch, we got into it. I’d only been trying to do a good deed around the holidays, but he called me righteous. I called him something far worse. If only I didn’t have to see him again. But fate had other plans.

Kissmas in New York

It was just supposed to be a simple kiss with a stranger. I'd done it to prove a point—that I hadn't lost my sense of adventure. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. Maybe I'd get something in my stocking after all this holiday season...

Reviews:

Sexy Scrooge: 5/5 Stars

Sexy Scrooge was absolutely adorable and lots of fun!  I couldn’t stop smiling and it was a cute story about finding luck and having a little faith.  I easily could have read more!  But as super quick Christmas stories go, this is one of the best!

It just goes to show that with a little luck, fairy tales can come true, despite Ebenezer Scrooge.

The Merry Mistake: 4/5 Stars

The Merry Mistake was a cute story about mistakes and good deeds!  This one had a heartwarming aspect with an ailing father.  And I loved how even though there was a little hate going on between the couple, there was no denying that they definitely wanted each other!  While Piper was a little obnoxious and assumes in the beginning and Mason could be kind of a jerk, we got to see exactly who they were and it made so much sense.  I ended up really liking the both of them and hoping for them to end up together!

She leaned in. “Can I tell you a secret?”
“Yeah.”
Her breath brushed against my cheek as she said, “I still sort of think you’re an asshole.”
Shaking my head, I laughed. “You’re nothing if not honest, Piper.” I lifted my brow. “And you might be right.”

Kissmass in New York: 3/5 Stars

Kissmass in New York was the possibilities of taking risks and changing your life.  While this was my least favorite of the three stories, it still had a lot of heart.  I just wasn’t as okay with everything ending with a HFN since so much was still left up in the air.

Within seconds, it became demanding as something inexplicable ignited between us. Soon, our tongues were colliding. We might have just met, but this just felt right—like I was made to do this.

If you’re looking for something that’s quick and will give you some romance cheer around the holidays, then definitely give these quick little stories a try!  They all end in happily for nows and I’m glad I picked up this book!

BOOK REVIEW: Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis

BOOK REVIEW: Eight Perfect Hours by Lia LouisEight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

On a snowy evening in March, thirty-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone.

All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear. The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence.

Review:

Eight Perfect Hours was unfortunately not for me.  With a very different writing style and characters I couldn’t ever connect with, this book and I never meshed.  It felt like this should have been a powerful story.  One that I deeply resonated with.  And I kept trying till that very last page, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

“What?” Sam says, a smile at the corner of his mouth. I realize I’ve stopped talking and I’m just looking at him.
“Just—you’re here. Don’t you think this is so… mad?”
Mad.” Sam laughs. “Seems to be our thing.”

Noelle Butterby was on her way home from an event at her old college, when she got stuck on the road during a snowstorm.  Thankfully fate had her parked next to a kind stranger, Sam Attwood.  Not only did he allow her to charge her phone and stay warm in his car, but they had a wonderful time chatting and just being with one another.  I enjoyed their interactions; it felt like they were instant friends and possibly soul mates.  But when the roads cleared, they both went their separate ways.  Until fate had them running into each another again and again.

Destiny,” I say with a laugh, although I’m not sure the laugh was real enough to convince anyone, because destiny is exactly what I was thinking about when I saw Sam push through those double doors.

I have to say that Goodreads fooled me.  Many readers had this marked as a holiday/Christmas story and it is not.  The beautiful cover on the front has a wintery vibe and that’s because we start this story in March.  This is not set around Christmas time.  Bad on my part for not researching more, whoops.

“You said you’re never there,” I say into the darkness. “But you’re there for your dad. And you’re here now. Aren’t you?”
“Yeah,” he says thoughtfully. “And I always seem to be. When it comes to you.”

I went into this book loving the idea that you are meant to meet someone.  I never believed that until my husband and I ran into each other three times in one day at college.  Everywhere we turned, the other one was there.  And it kept happening for the next week.  It was like fate was trying to push us together.  So the premise of this story fascinated me!  And I absolutely loved how that played into this story.  As we watch Noelle and Sam’s lives unfold, they kept running into one another.  Even though they were both from different countries.  And sometimes it was during the hardest moments of their lives.  They were there for each other.  They formed a friendship and a bond.   I hoped it all would eventually it would lead to more.

“I knew there was a reason I kept bumping into you,” I say, tears sliding down my cheeks. “I know you didn’t. But I did. I think I knew deep down, all along.”

But ultimately, I couldn’t ever feel anything for Noelle and Sam.  Not only was the writing very different and distinct, which I struggled reading, but I also couldn’t connect with any of the characters.  It didn’t help that the both of them seemed to be with someone else during the book, which I’m not a fan of at all.  So I hope if you pick this one up, that you end up enjoying it way more than I did.

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