Tag Archives: standalone

FOREVER RIGHT NOW by EMMA SCOTT

5 STAR REVIEW

NA Standalone emotional and beautiful story with a single Dad

SYNOPSIS

Darlene Montgomery has been to hell and back…more than once. After a stint in jail for drug possession, she is finally clean and ready to start over. Yet another failed relationship is just the motivation she needs to move from New York to San Francisco with the hopes of resurrecting her dance career and discovering that she is more than the sum of her rap sheet. As Darlene struggles in her new city, the last thing she wants is to become entangled with her handsome—but cranky—neighbor and his adorable little girl…

Sawyer Haas is weeks away from finishing law school, but exhaustion, dwindling finances, and the pressure to provide for himself and his daughter, Olivia, are wearing him down. A federal clerkship–a job he desperately needs–awaits him after graduation, but only if he passes the Bar Exam. Sawyer doesn’t have the time or patience for the capricious—if beautiful—dancer who moves into the apartment above his. But Darlene’s easy laugh and cheerful spirit seep into the cracks of his hardened heart, and slowly break down the walls he’s resurrected to keep from being betrayed ever again.

When the parents of Olivia’s absentee mother come to fight for custody, Sawyer could lose everything. To have any chance at happiness, he must trust Darlene, the woman who has somehow found her way past his brittle barbs, and Darlene must decide how much of her own bruised heart she is willing to give to Sawyer and Olivia, especially when the ghosts of her troubled past refuse to stay buried.

For readers 18 and up

FOREVER RIGHT NOW is availble below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“I kind of like how no one knows me here. It’s like the proverbial blank slate and I can write whatever I want on it.”

There is never a question of an almost complete emotional annihilation when you pick up a book from Emma Scott. She writes characters that you take firmly into your heart as you develop an innate need to protect them and stand by their side as they search and fight for their place in life- their needs, desires and wants. Her characters always have this huge heart and such strength as they batten down the hatches. Emma Scott writes beautifully, passionately and vividly. We cannot help but be drawn in from the start every time we pick up one of her books, becoming a part of her story ourselves.

“Life has no guide map. Things happen and people react, and no two people will do the same thing.”

Forever Right Now was a slow burn character driven story that ensured we felt every moment of loneliness, desperation, exhaustion, desire, love and heartbreak. A myriad of human emotions and we felt every single one of them. We all just want to be; be who we were meant to, be who we want to, be who we are to the best of our ability. Be good people, caring people, people who when seeing others struggle lend a caring ear and hand. We all strive for contentment and belonging. We desire to feel accepted and loved.

She tilted her head up to look up at me, her blue eyes brimming and her cheeks stained with the trails of dark makeup. “I can’t hold on to anything…”
“Not this time.” I said, gruffly. “Hold on to me.”

We first met Darlene in The Butterfly Project, a beautiful lost girl who’s a recovering addict. This is her story. We meet her as she arrives in San Francisco tired and weary yet full of hope for her new beginning, her own personal journey to find herself and her path in life. Emma Scott has a wonderful talent for writing heroines we fall in love with. They have such strength yet retain vulnerability, facing life head on with bravery and compassion. Sure, they are marked by life’s circumstances and actions with consequences, but they feel authentic and inspire such admiration and empathy.

“You know that emotional rock bottom you keep talking about?”
“Yeah.”
“I’m standing at the edge of it, staring right down into it. Teetering,” I said, my voice hardly a whisper. “It’ll just take one push and…”
“And?”
“I’m going to fall in.”

The best intentions sometimes become second in line of importance when met with new discoveries. Such as a handsome albeit moody neighbour with a young daughter. Sawyer completely throws Darlene’s good intentions to the wayside as her inherent need to help and make others feel better becomes her focus. However, sometimes by helping others is how we find ourselves.

“I keep saying I need to work on me, but I’m doing everything right and I still feel like something’s missing.” Her eyes were impossibly blue as they gazed up at mine. “Is it you?”
“I don’t know,” I said. But maybe it could be.

Sawyer is a young man whose life was changed forever in a single second. Studying to become a lawyer, with a very black and white mind-set, he’s suddenly faced with a life that’s not just his own any longer. The way in which he deals with this was inspiring and tugged at our heartstrings as he faced one obstacle after another. In amidst the heartbreak and struggles a young man truly finds himself and opens himself up to a greater appreciation and understanding which in turn opens his heart to that beautiful love that comes without conditions.

We say it every time and will undoubtedly sound like a broken record, but Emma Scott never fails to grab our hearts with her words, her characters and her demand that we feel and care so passionately. If you haven’t read this Author yet you quite simply must!

“Do you ever wish you could take a moment and keep it forever? Like right now…how you taste on my mouth, and your hands on me, and your eyes…God, Sawyer, the way you’re looking at me…If I could have just one moment, one feeling, and live in it forever, I would choose this one.”


CHECK OUT MORE TBB RECOMMENDED READS by EMMA
OR CLICK HERE FOR ALL THINGS EMMA at TBB 


THE FULL TILT – DUET

“We may not have months or years, but we have moments. Thousands upon thousands of them. Let’s take each moment, seize it and wring it dry. Okay?”
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SUGAR & GOLD – TBB 5 STAR STANDALONE

‘I held her the way you hold something you know isn’t yours to keep.’
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THE BUTTERFLY PROJECT – 5 STAR STANDALONE

‘I realized you could get used to anything – even alone for years – right until the moment you touched something better than what you had.’
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“Click on Covers for more information”

 


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DRIVE by KATE STEWART : 5 STAR REVIEW

Now Live – TBB 5 Star Read!
Standalone emotional and angsty story of self discovery with a music theme. 

SYNOPSIS

Music . . . the heart’s greatest librarian.

The average song is three and a half minutes long; those three and a half minutes could lead to a slow blink, a glimpse of the past, or catapult the soul into heart-shattering nostalgia.

At the height of my career, I had the life I wanted, the life I’d always envisioned. I’d found my tempo, my rhythm. Then I received a phone call that left me off key.

You see, my favorite songs had a way of playing simultaneously. I was in love with one man’s beats and another’s lyrics. But when it came to the soundtrack of a life, how could anyone choose a favorite song? So, to erase any doubt, I ditched my first-class ticket and decided to take a drive, fixed on the rearview.

Two days.

One playlist.

And the long road home to the man who was waiting for me.

DRIVE is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘Love doesn’t die, even when you stop feeding it. There is no expiration date on the ache of missing someone you shared your heart, life and body with.’

We didn’t come up for air, not even once, whilst we read Drive, it was absolutely everything we love in a rock star romance. The music element was superb and so passionately written with the chapter songs being spot on for drawing out every heartfelt emotion from us. This book became the air we breathed for every second, minute and hour we spent with it. It left us with achy exhausted hearts upon finishing, as if we’d run a marathon of emotions with hurdles thrown in to test our strength and emotional stamina. An epic slow burn romance of grand proportion which highlighted the inner most rawness found in humanity suffused in music.  It was extraordinary, vividly astounding and so intensely passionate we feel as if our souls have been forever touched by Kate Stewart. There’s no doubt; this is our all-time favourite Kate Stewart book, her heart is unquestionably entwined in the pages; we felt its beat pounding as we read reaching an almighty crescendo.

‘I sometimes wished I had a foggy memory. That I couldn’t remember the details, the dates, the story. It was both my gift and my curse. And music was my navigation. I had followed the music my whole life. My guidance, my protection, my ammunition….music was loyal and stayed with me, my constant, my comfort and at times my enabler.’

Now, we have read copious rock star romances yet can only count on one hand those that stand out for nailing both the musical aspect as well as the romance, which is what we look for in this much loved genre. It’s usually one or the other that supersedes, rarely both. However, Drive managed to excel at both. The music and its poignancy, the struggling artist to stardom, the fragile romance in a fickle world of uncertainty and personal tragedies. It was all there. But not only was this aspect of Drive perfection, so were the all-encompassing characters.

‘I used to think I was cursed for having fallen in love with two men. But, in hindsight, I realized what a gift it was. They were my lovers, my teachers, my best friends, and I would love them both until I took my last breath.’

It is not often you find such depth and character growth in a standalone novel, however this Author had us believing in every single character, their back story, their hope, their dreams and the truth in their hearts. We felt and truly saw the turning of years in their actions, behaviours and emotions. The maturity and sustained love that grew in strength.

‘Heartache has the most annoying sound. It’s an echo. An echo of heartbeats stuck on a loop.’

Drive is a difficult read emotionally yet it’s also full of humour, heat and intense frustration. It’s a love story, a love story that had us agonising because such an all-encompassing love can come more than once but the truest soul mate kind of love is the most wondrous of them all. We fell in love with Stella, we watched her, followed her as she went through the years growing into a beautiful butterfly through soul searching self-discovery. She always had a joie de vivre with a dash of naivety, even under dire circumstances, yet she had an abundance of hope. She knew what she wanted, she knew the greatness in store for the people she loved. She lived life glass half full. Her passion being music, finding new talent and bringing that talent to the people through her writing.

“I never forgot you, Stella. Not you, not us, not any of it.”

Our hearts embraced Stella as we lived her journey alongside her whilst her heart fell in love with two very different but amazing self-sacrificing men in their own right, two men who stole our hearts too. Only one tortured and troubled man stole a piece of her soul as well as her heart, never to give it back. This is where we proclaim Drive to be an epic music love story; because it truly was. One where tears were shed for everyone involved, shivers were felt and hearts were broken and subsequently mended. It was a truly magnificent experience which pulls no punches and we loved every phenomenal moment of it.

‘Because music is the heart’s greatest librarian. A few notes had the ability to transport me back in time, and to the most painful places. Take any song from the Rolodex of your life and you can pin it to a memory. It translates, resonates, and there it will remain.’

We urge you to pick this book up and as you read, listen to the chapter songs. Your emotions will already be heightened from this Authors magnificent words alone –however- with the music they become overwhelmingly alive and take your heart and soul to a whole new unique and incredible place. Mind your hearts because you’re sure to lose them to Stella, Reid and Nate.

‘Look up, Stella.’


***MORE TBB RECOMMENDED READS by KATE***


THE BRAVE LINE – Standalone steamy friends to lovers, second chance romance
Available to purchase: Amazon US   Amazon UK    Our Review

‘I would let love rule in my heart and take a piece of my soul, but I would never let its loss destroy all of me.’


ANYTHING BUT MINOR – Standalone Sports Romance rom-com
Available to purchaseAmazon US   Amazon UK    Our Review

“I’m not sure what you want me to think of you, Rafe.”
“I’m pretty sure I just want you to think of me, Alice.”


THE EXCESS SERIES – An erotic filthy dysfunctional romance
Available to purchaseAmazon US   Amazon UK    Our Review

“Don’t make me this monster, because for her, I will be.”

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Filed under 5 Stars, Kate Stewart, Pick an Author

SURE THING by JANA ASTON

Standalone swoony romantic comedy with a sexy Brit boyfriend!

SYNOPSIS

Have you ever set out to have a one night stand with a sexy stranger?
No? I’m the only one?
Just kidding, I would never.
Ever.
Not usually.

But then I figured, why not? My entire life I’ve been good and it’s gotten me nowhere.
No job.
No apartment.
No boyfriend.

I’m owed a little fun, aren’t I? A reward for being good.
Sure, a new pair of shoes would be more appropriate, but Mr. Sexy Stranger is more appealing. And when he speaks—in that British accent—it’s a done deal. Every American woman has a hot British guy fantasy. Well, most do. I haven’t taken a poll or anything, but I’m pretty sure it’s a fact.

Except…
You know that saying about best-laid plans?
Good, because I don’t either, but I assume they go awry.
Like my one night stand… 

SURE THING is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

 

“Is this real?” I whisper it, meant more for myself than him, but his eyes answer my question; his gaze moves across my face with tenderness before a, “Yes” is pressed onto my lips.

We were a bit late to the Jana Aston party, only sampling her work in the short story, Times Square which we both thoroughly enjoyed. And whilst it may have been a little taste, it was enough to have us swooning big time over her male hero and ensuring we were desperate to read more of her titillating, sweet, swoony, feel-good and very sexy stories.

Jumping on the chance to review, Sure Thing, we once again fell head over heels for her hero. Seriously, Jana Aston writes a gorgeous book boyfriend that’s for sure and this time around it was the sexy, swoony delectable Brit boyfriend, Jennings Anderson who made us weak at the knees. Can we take a minute to appreciate all that is Jennings…right down to his talented tongue and sexy dirty mouth…..oh good grief, that mouth of his! We died!

‘Such a gentleman. Such a filthy, dirty gentleman.’

There are times when you need to escape everything around you, and immerse yourself in something that makes your heart happy, filling it with warmth and Sure Thing was exactly that. This book came at the right time and satiated our mood perfectly.

The Brit humour was spot on, the banter between Jennings and Violet was giggle inducing – we loved the dry wit that came so easily to both characters. Nothing felt forced. And the chemistry…wooahh!!! That…and the sex was off the charts! What started as a one night stand soon turned into a lust and need for repeat performances and what performances they were! Talk about a standing ovation…Jennings hit all the spots…and more! Forget about the G Spot…he found the woooweee spot! Time and time again! So posh yet so delectably dirrrty when he wants to be.

‘I love women. I love taking them to dinner. Walking them to their door. Caressing their cheeks as I cup their jaws and kiss them before they invite me inside. Most of all, I love fucking them. I love discovering what gets the wet. What causes their breath to hitch and their toes to curl.’

Twenty six year old Violet needs an adventure! She needs spontaneity. Violet is the thinker, her sister Daisy is the doer. Violet decides she needs to follow Daisy’s lead and decides on a one night stand, and the hot thirty six year guy at the bar looked like the perfect candidate…and when he opened his mouth with that Brit accent…Violet was a goner! The outcome of their meeting is hilarious, sweet and sexy all rolled into one.

‘Do not let me down. You are my first one night stand, don’t be my last. Don’t be the reason I give up entirely and take up knitting and invest in a vibrator collection. Don’t be….Never mind.’

Sure Thing gave us a bit of drama, a couple of twists and a great day of reading. We honestly didn’t want to put this down as we wanted to immerse ourselves in everything Jennings and Violet, two wonderful characters who were perfect for each other, but due to a few little secrets they’re both hiding, their path to a happily might get a little rocky. We’d recommend this book in a heartbeat! Fabulously funny, sizzlingly sexy, wonderfully warm and enjoyably entertaining!

“Daisy.” I say softly and wait for her eyes to return to mine. “You’re the most fun I’ve ever had.”

Oh and pssst…Jana Aston, we’d LOVE Daisy’s story..juss saying’.

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SICK FUX by TILLIE COLE

IT’S LIVE! – 5 dark stars!
Standalone dark, edgy, love story.

SYNOPSIS
When Ellis Earnshaw and Heathan James met as children, they couldn’t have been more different. Ellis was loud and beautiful – all blond hair, bright laughs and smiles. Heathan was dark and brooding, and obsessed with watching things die.
The pair forged an unlikely friendship, unique and strange. Until they were ripped apart by the sick cruelty of others, separated for years, both locked in a perpetual hell.
Eleven years later, Heathan is back for his girl. Back from a place from which he thought there was no return. Back to seek revenge on those who wronged them.
Time has made Heathan’s soul darker, polluted with hatred and the thirst for blood.
Time has made Ellis a shell of her former self, a little girl lost in the vastness of her pain.
As Heathan pulls Ellis out of her mental prison, reviving the essence of who she once was, down the rabbit hole they will go.
With malice in their hearts and vengeance in their veins, they will seek out the ones who hurt and destroyed them.
One at a time.
Each one more deadly than the last.
Tick Tock.

Warning:: Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for ages 18 and over.

SICK FUX is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘Heathan James was the genesis of my soul’s reawakening…a soul not meant for peace, but one handcrafted for death and murder and blood and bones…Soulmates forged in fire, under the watchful gaze of Satan’s mocking eyes. Heathen. Ellis. Just a couple of sick fux.’

We have no words….literally we’re lost for words. Gobsmacked. Speechless. We cannot believe what we just read. Tillie Cole is quite simply a masterclass in her own right. We never quite know what we’re going to get when we pick up a new book from this Author as she can write absolutely anything and everything, but what we do know is that it will be incredible. And it was. It was horrific in its inference, which was an initial gut-wrenching hurdle. It was graphically gruesome in its retribution over which we truthfully rejoiced. It was a harrowing psychological fantasy of wondrous peculiarity.

‘My heart was severed completely, the two parts of its flesh repelling the other, trying to escape the rage and pain and fucking consuming darkness.’

Heathan James and Ellis Earnshaw meet when they’re very young in the gated house of horrors, filled with monsters hiding in the shadows at day, exerting their depravities and turpitude at night. Not a single one without the traits of unrestrained force and viciousness for self-pleasures. It was gut-wrenching and stomach turning but it was phenomenal in its -almost Brothers Grimm like- sinister fantastical qualities whilst playing out in fictional real life.

“The devil lie…And he will trick…And he will kill, and travel miles to get to the one who holds his fucked-up black heart in her palm. He’d kill anyone who hurt her, just to make her his. He would punish anyone who got in his way.” His eyes flared with something so dark it seemed to blot out the dim light of the lamp. “He will awaken, through blood, what lies dormant in her soul. The darkness that had lurked hidden for years, sleepily waiting for the time to strike. To be born.”

The story of Rabbit and Dolly’s vengeance was mind-blowing as it took us down the rabbit hole into a journey through Tillie Cole’s version of Alice in Wonderland. For us, it played out like a Tarrantino movie and we would love nothing more than to see these characters come to life on the big screen. It’s the writings of your darkest most horrific nightmare, but what an absolutely brilliant and compelling read, one which we were unable to put down. Bravo Tillie Cole for writing a story that felt like no other, for always stepping beyond where she went before. The mind is truly a curious, twisted and wonderful thing which has the ability to wield such power and magic, be it darkness in light or the embers of lights flickering in the darkness.

“Only Earl Grey will ever do.”


TBB RECOMMENDED TILLIE COLE READS


STANDALONE RECOMMENDATIONS
A THOUSAND BOY KISSES / VEIL OF VINES / ETERNALLY NORTH

SERIES RECOMMENDATIONS:

SWEET HOME/CARILLO BOYS SERIES

THE HADES HANGMEN SERIES

SCARRED SOULS SERIES

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Filed under 5 Stars, Pick an Author, Tillie Cole

THE BROTHER by K LARSEN

Standalone companion to The Tutor – romantic suspense

SYNOPSIS
Nora Robertson is struggling to find her place in society after being held captive for half a year. Her sense of normal is skewed at best, in love and life but, she is trying to recover with the help of her support system. She pines for a home and a love she can no longer have. A love she knows was wrong but still clings to and desires secretly.

Liam Lockwood stumbled across a photo in a magazine of his ​long forgotten brother causing buried secrets, heartache and obsession​ ​to bubble to the surface.​ ​When Liam sees something he wants, he takes it. He always has and this time will be no different despite his father’s warning. Payback for a dark and broken childhood now has a name, Nora Robertson.

When Liam and Nora’s paths collide everyone in their wake will be left stumbling when the truth reveals itself.

Attraction is not random.

THE TUTOR is available to purchase below

                    

THE BROTHER is available to purchase below

         


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘It’s thrilling knowing she doesn’t realize we’re spending time together. The anticipation of what it will be like when we finally meet, makes me buzz with energy. I simply watch her. For now.’

Another brilliant winner from K Larsen who just commands every single page with her stellar writing which grabs us by the scruffs of our necks and doesn’t let go till we’ve read the last word. We were quite worried where this story would go as we loved The Tutor where we first met Nora and learned of her horrendous story. However, we were immediately captivated by Liam and his initial obsession with the girl whom his brother held hostage. Now, we won’t go into too much detail so as not to spoil The Tutor which should be read prior to The Brother. As far as duets go this one was perfection. Each held a story that felt original, was all consuming in its darkness yet hopeful in its recovery.

‘I understand the entirety of what I lived through as his captive, but my heart…my heart is a different beast. Mythical and magical and it still yearns for a man I cannot have.’

We find Nora trying to come to terms with what she’s been through as well as her trying to understand and come to terms with her emotional feelings as well as others’ perceptions of her. It’s quite the journey for this confused girl who found a love many cannot understand under horrific circumstances. She is under no illusion that she was wronged in the most brutal way yet she holds an affinity with the hand who hurt her. Therefore, recovery is stunted by the scars she bears both inside as well as on the outside. It seems only one man can penetrate the layers of abuse to her body, heart and mind, yet he holds a secret.

‘Every monster has a voice unique to them. Mine needs to be heard. Dark corners come alive and I’m going to lure her into the dark with me. My cold desire is to hear the thump thump thump of her heart. I crave it. I crave her. My need claws at me from inside, dying to get out.’

Liam is a man obsessed from the day he learns of Nora and the key she holds to a life rediscovered. He studies, stalks and preys upon the woman who has brought his past into his present and he is mesmerized by a life escaped. What started as an obsession became so much more, more than he ever imagined. Liam is as broken as Nora is with a common thread of violent behaviour. It was really quite heart=breaking and whilst Liam possessed somewhat scary and at times eerie qualities we understood the heart of them and rooted for the man to escape his oppressor and heal alongside Nora.

“I was broken from a young age. Music helped me cope. It’s therapy for me. A song can come on and take me right back to a single moment in time. It freezes memories; makes them forever tangible. Don’t you have a song? One that rips open your wounds and drops the entrails at your feet?”

We loved so much about The Brother especially Liam and Nora finding their way in life, healing themselves and seeking comfort and solace whilst accepting that they may not be who they used to be but accepting who they are now and knowing it’s okay.

‘She’s a dark temptation. My temptation.’

 


TBB Recommendations by K Larsen
Click the COVERS for more info and purchase links.


THE TUTOR – A Standalone romantic suspense

‘He stole my magic. He decimated my innocence swiftly and succinctly. And let me tell you something, innocence is like hope – a necessary element for survival. ‘

TBB says: K Larsen masterfully delivered a brilliantly written story that came to life as she captured the nuances of each character, leaving us teetering on a knife-edge with each twisting turn of the page. By allowing us into the mind of each player, K Larsen ensured we witnessed first-hand the judgements and thoughts of each character throughout this complex story that still keeps playing out in our minds long after finishing.


 

JEZEBEL and LYING IN WAIT  – psychological thriller 

“I promise you this story will make your head spin. It’s worth hearing.”

TBB says: OUR MINDS WERE BLOWN!!  SERIOUSLY…..HOLY HELL!We’re not going to say much about the story because you need to experience this word for word for yourselves – spoiler free! This is the first time EVER we have felt the urge to skip to the ending (of course we didn’t! you know our loathing of spoilers) to see the outcome because this book kept us on tenterhooks ALL THE WAY THROUGH as conspiracy theories went in to overdrive!

 


MISSED CONNECTION – The ultimate second chance love story – Standalone

 “Where have you been my whole life?”
“Right here, waiting for you to turn up again.”

TBB Says: We urge you to pick up Ty and Jes’ story – it’s quite the journey and you will feel every emotion that is possible as you follow their journey both apart and together. Learning with them as well as exploring the mystery and romanticism of a one chance encounter that shaped lives and held such a stronghold on two souls forever.

***

THE MARRIAGE PACT – A standalone love story about letting go – Standalone

‘The years of letters felt romantic, even if they never saw each other again. Maybe it was the old fashioned quality or the waiting game between sending and receiving that made it feel more special.’

TBB Says: You can’t force tears out of a reader, the connection and emotional bond has to be there in order to feel the force of those powerful moments. We got all the emotion from Ryan and his family, his chapters were laden with his inner turmoil and his passionate feelings and beliefs. In some respect they were the profound and had the depth that inspired that important connection for us as opposed to those of Jackie, in our opinion.  However, we never once doubted the strength and power of Ryan’s love for Jackie, hence why we wanted to climb inside our kindle and bear hug this wonderful man. The Authors made us care so much, we perhaps cared too much, an admirable feat.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, K Larsen, Pick an Author