Monday, February 20, 2017

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Orphan's Tail

About The Orphan’s Tale

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: MIRA (February 21, 2017)
A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival 
Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.
Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

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Review: If you are looking for a great read that involves WWII, you really have to read one of Pam Jenoff's books.

I  actually finished this book early this morning and I'm still unsure of the words that I can use how good it was.

Pam's books always have something to them that will get your emotions all riled up, and this book is no different.

Be prepared to cry, I know I did.

In a few words, this book was beautiful

Rating: 5 flowers


TLC Book Tour Book Review: Abby's Journey

About Abby’s Journey

Paperback: 238 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (February 14, 2017)
Twenty-year-old Abigail Turner has only known her mother, Claire—who died shortly after she was born—through letters, videos, postcards, and journals. Abby’s father, Josh, has raised his precious daughter himself, but his overprotectiveness has become stifling. Abby longs to forge out on her own and see the world after a childhood trapped indoors: she suffers from bronchopulmonary dysplasia, which means a case of the sniffles can rapidly escalate into life-threatening pneumonia.
But when Abby’s doctor declares her healthy—for now—her grandmother Millie whisks her away to Europe to visit the Christmas markets that her mother cherished and chronicled in her travel journals. Despite her father’s objections, Abby and Millie embark on a journey of discovery in which Abby will learn secrets that force her to reevaluate her image of her mother and come to a more mature understanding of a parent-child bond that transcends death.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Steena Holmes offers a tender and heartfelt exploration of parental love and a daughter’s longing for connection in the poignant next chapter following Saving Abby.
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Purchase Links

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Review: I read Saving Abby last year. Check out my review here. Flash forward 20 years and we are now seeing how Abby is doing.  The story of how Abby came to be born was depressing to say the least, so I was expecting something similar here. The book is most definitely emotionally charged.

She has a chronic lung condition, that has kept her home bound most of her young life. She gets an all clear from her doctor that she can start to live a more normal life. For her that mean traveling to Germany with her grandmother on a trip that her mother had wanted to take years ago.

Abby's dream is see the Christmas Market's in Germany and Austria, and who wouldn't want to. Well, her father, who is terrified for her health, for one. I felt terribly sorry for Josh, because his life is so different from the one he had with Claire and it made me terribly sad for him. 

 
The trip also gives her a chance to see the places her mother wanted to see and get to know things about her mother as well. The excitement Abby feels is so real, that the reader becomes excited right along with her. (I wanted to make the trip with her)

In London, however, she reads a letter her mother wrote before she was conceived that leaves her confused. If you haven't read Saving Abby, some of this story will feel foreign to you, especially about.

The letters from Claire to her loved ones and Abby's journal really make this book feel personal. 

Abby is a much more endearing character then her mother was. Her rebellion at wanting the trip so badly and even her desire to live on her own were understandable.

I also loved her friendship with Sam, who is a character that was first introduced in Saving Abby.

I loved the young tour guide that had a crush on Abby. I wish there could have been a touch of romance there, because it could have provided some levity in this book. For all the happiness of the trip for Abby, there's always the undercurrent her poor health leaves on everyone, and you know that it will rear its ugly head.

That was once again my only gripe with the story. If Abby's lungs were bad and she'd need hospitalized I had a hard time wrapping my head around putting a sick girl on a plane. Heck with as sick as she was one of the days, she went to the Salzburg Market one evening.

I also liked that things were resolved with the letter and that part of Claire's past that is starting to affect the present.

This book was totally engrossing and a quick read. I hope there's more to this family's story to tell. 

Rating: 5 flowers


Tasty Book Tours Release Blast: Nova


The only heart he wants is the one he already broke...


NOVA
The Renegades #2
Rebecca Yarros
Releasing February 20th, 2017
Entangled Embrace


The only heart he wants is the one he already broke...

He's Landon Rhodes.
The Renegade they call Nova.
Sinfully gorgeous, broody, tatted-up, professional snowboarder.
Four-time X Games medalist—
Full-time heartbreaker.

They say a girl broke him once—
That's why he's so reckless, so driven, so careless with his conquests.

But I'm that girl.
They can call me his curse all they want.
He and I both know the truth—
He's the one who destroyed me,
And I'm not the sucker who will let that happen again.

***NOVA can be read as a standalone***




Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and a lover of all things coffee, chocolate, and Paleo. She is the author of the Flight & Glory series, which includes Full Measures, the award-winning Eyes Turned Skyward, Beyond What Is Given, and Hallowed Ground. She loves military heroes and has been blissfully married to hers for fifteen years.

When she’s not writing, she’s tying hockey skates for her four sons, sneaking in some guitar time, or watching Brat Pack movies with her two daughters. She lives in Colorado with the hottest Apache pilot ever, their rambunctious gaggle of kids, and an English bulldog who is more stubborn than sweet. They recently adopted their youngest daughter from the foster system, and Rebecca is passionate about helping others do the same.



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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Book Tour Book Review: Courting The Cowboy




COURTING THE COWBOY
by Carolyne Aarsen

Love InspiredJanuary 17, 2017
$5.99U.S.; 224 Pages
ISBN-978-0-373-622566


Looking for inspiration, artist Ella Langton rents a cabin in the isolated Porcupine Hills of Alberta, Canada. She didn’t count on having neighbors, but rancher Cord Walsh and his three children are just a stone’s throw away.

Still healing from a tragic accident, Ella has no plans of reaching out, but she’s having a hard time keeping them out of her yard—and her thoughts. And when little Suzy ropes Ella into helping her with an art project, she can’t help her growing feelings for the girl’s rugged daddy.

With three persistent children, Cord and Ella may find their fenced-off hearts opening up sooner than they thought!

Review:  I have a fondness for the Love Inspired line of books. Courting the Cowboy is a lovely story of two people in need of healing. Both Ella and Cord have had problems in their past relationships. Ella holds a lot of secrets close to her heart and Cord had guilt about an argument before his wife's death.

Ella is in Porcupine Hills to work on her artwork, but Cord's children manage to keep her from doing much work for quite a bit of time. I really found Suzy and Paul to be darling and little Oliver is absolutely precious. I love when children in stories are really viable characters. Suzy and Paul and their art project, as well as their love for Ella's dog, Pablo.

There is very little romance here. Its more a progression of friendship that builds as Ella gets closer to Cord's family. It's not dates that bring about love,but more getting to know each other by spending time with one another. Its also Cord's children the do a lot of the healing in Ella's heart. To explain why Ella needs healing would spoil that part of the story, and I don't want to do that.  I think that its enough to say that Cord's children open Ella's heart after a lot of pain, just as Ella helps Cord heal from the loss of his wife 2 years prior.  Cord's children also inspire changes in her art.

It's the job offer combined with the secrets that Ella is keeping that provide the conflict here but it is brief conflict which is enough to show them that they really love each other.  I would have liked a little more romance between Ella and Cord before their happily ever after though, other than a few kisses that they shared.

This was a truly sweet story.

Rating: 4 flowers





CAROLYNE AARSEN lives in Northern Alberta where she was born, raised and married and has raised four children and numerous foster children. Her writing has been honed between being a stay-at-home mother, homemaker, gardener, crafter columnist and business partner with her husband in their cattle farm and logging business.






Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Junkie Promotions Book Blast: Andalucian Nights Trilogy

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Indiscretion (Andalucían Nights #1) by Hannah Fielding

Publication Date: April 9, 2015 London Wall Publishing Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, AudioBook
Genre: Romance/Historical Fiction
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A young woman's journey of discovery takes her to a world of forbidden passion, savage beauty, and revenge.
Spring, 1950. Alexandra de Falla, a half-English, half-Spanish young writer abandons her privileged but suffocating life in London and travels to Spain to be reunited with her long-estranged family.
Instead of providing the sense of belonging she yearns for, the de Fallas are driven by seething emotions, and in the grip of the wild customs and traditions of Andalucia, all of which are alien to Alexandra.
Among the strange characters and sultry heat of this country, she meets the man who awakens emotions she hardly knew existed. But their path is strewn with obstacles: dangerous rivals, unpredictable events, and inevitable indiscretions. What does Alexandra's destiny hold for her in this flamboyant land of drama and all-consuming passions, where blood is ritually poured on to the sands of sun-drenched bullfighting arenas, mysterious gypsies are embroiled in magic and revenge, and beautiful dark-eyed dancers hide their secrets behind elegant lacy fans?
"Indiscretion"is a story of love and identity, and the clash of ideals in the pursuit of happiness. But can love survive in a world where scandal and danger are never far away?

Amazon

Praise for Indiscretion

"A captivating tale of love, jealousy and scandal… their romance is fraught with drama, and the reader is swung around in a flurry of passion and denial towards an unexpected conclusion." – The Lady magazine "A powerful story that really captures you and pulls you in… Full of passion, danger, love and a fantastic setting, Indiscretion is a stunning story that is truly consuming and gripping." – Reading in the Sunshine "A tense, compelling story… kept me enthralled to the very last page." – Novelicious "A powerful and romantic story, one to savour and enjoy… Written in a flowing, vivid style, Indiscretion grips from the first." – Lindsay Townsend
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Masquerade (Andalucían Nights #2) by Hannah Fielding

Paperback Publication Date: February 1, 2017 London Wall Publishing Paperback; 448 Pages
Genre: Romance
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From the award-winning author of The Echoes of Love. Love, mystery and desire under the scorching Spanish sun.
A young writer becomes entangled in an illicit gypsy love affair, pulling her into a world of secrets, deception and dark desire.
Summer, 1976. Luz de Rueda returns to her beloved Spain and takes a job as the biographer of a famous artist. On her first day back in Cádiz, she encounters a bewitching, passionate young gypsy, Leandro, who immediately captures her heart, even though relationships with his kind are taboo. Haunted by this forbidden love, she meets her new employer, the sophisticated Andrés de Calderón. Reserved yet darkly compelling, he is totally different to Leandro but almost the gypsy's double. Both men stir unfamiliar and exciting feelings in Luz, although mystery and danger surround them in ways she has still to discover.
Luz must decide what she truly desires as glistening Cádiz, with its enigmatic moon and whispering turquoise shores, seeps back into her blood. Why is she so drawn to the wild and magical sea gypsies? What is behind the old fortune-teller’s sinister warnings about ‘Gemini’? Through this maze of secrets and lies, will Luz finally find her happiness… or her ruin?
Masquerade is a story of forbidden love, truth and trust. Are appearances always deceptive?

Amazon

Praise for Masquerade

"A brilliant romance concerned with love, revenge, identity and honour… Hannah Fielding writes of love, sexual tension and longing with an amazing delicacy and lushness, almost luxury." – Lindsay Townsend, author "A beautiful journey back in time to a beautiful city to experience a story filled with passion, heartbreak, revenge, betrayal, and love… If you’re a fan of beautiful settings, fabulous imagery, and descriptions that make you feel, smell, and sense the place then definitely read Masquerade." – Unwrapping Romance "I am in love with the writing style of the author! It brings not only the world alive, but the characters as well. She creates so much emotion and feeling… She truly did justice with bringing the beauty and drama of Spanish society alive yet again." – Carole Rae’s Ramblings "A beautiful love story of passion and love, curses and family secrets… With beautiful descriptions and exotic locations the author weaves a heart wrenching tale of love and revenge… This story led me on an emotional roller coaster and I loved every minute of it." – Curse of the Bibliophile
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Legacy (Andalucían Nights #3) by Hannah Fielding

Paperback Publication Date: March 2, 2017 London Wall Publishing Paperback; 448 Pages
Genre: Romance
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A troubled young journalist finds her loyalties tested when love and desire unearth dark secrets from the past.
Spring, 2010. When Luna Ward, a science journalist from New York, travels halfway across the world to work undercover at an alternative health clinic in Cadiz, her ordered life is thrown into turmoil.
The doctor she is to investigate, the controversial Rodrigo Rueda de Calderon, is not what she expected. With his wild gypsy looks and devilish sense of humour, he is intent upon drawing her to him. But how can she surrender to a passion that threatens all reason; and how could he ever learn to trust her when he discovers her true identity? Then Luna finds that Ruy is carrying a corrosive secret of his own…
Luna’s native Spanish blood begins to fire in this land of exotic legends, flamboyant gypsies and seductive flamenco guitars, as dazzling Cadiz weaves its own magic on her heart. Can Luna and Ruy’s love survive their families’ legacy of feuding and tragedy, and rise like the phoenix from the ashes of the past?
Legacy is a story of truth, dreams and desire. But in a world of secrets you need to be careful what you wish for…

Amazon

Praise for Legacy

"Legacy is filled to the brim with family scandal, frustrated love and hidden secrets. Ruy is the ideal love interest, exuding both charm and intelligence, and Luna fits the part of innocent and fragile heroine perfectly. Fast-paced and addictive, it will keep you hooked from start to finish." – The Lady magazine "Epic and timeless… In the vein of ‘Gone With The Wind’, this particular book is just as epic and timeless. Written with lively detail, you are IN Spain. You are engulfed in the sights, sounds and smells of this beautiful country." – Have You Heard Book Reviews "I just got completely swept away… Just when I thought this trilogy could not get any better, it did! As with books 1 and 2 in this trilogy, I just got completely swept away by the detailed descriptions of locations and the history of each of the characters." – Debra’s Book Cafe "This story has a magical quality to it, telling a fervent, tantalizing, and sweeping love story, is rich in details, and captured my imagination as well as my attention." – Romancing the Book

About the Author

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Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full-time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.
To date, Hannah has published four novels: Burning Embers, ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya, 1970; the award-winning Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’ set in turn-of-the-millennium Italy; and books 1 and 2 of the Andalucian Nights trilogy, set in sultry Spain, entitled Indiscretion and Masquerade.
For more information, please visit Hannah Fielding's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
Sign up for Hannah Fielding's newsletter for news & updates.

Giveaway

To celebrate the Book Blast, we have one copy of the entire trilogy up for grabs! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.
Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to residents in US & Canada only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
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Tasty Book Tours Cover Reveal - I Do, I Don't Series

Tasty Book Tours Presents...


READY TO RUN
I Do, I Don't (Book 1)
Lauren Layne
Releasing Aug 22nd, 2017
Loveswept

The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.
Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.
Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.

~*~


RUNAWAY GROOM
I Do, I Don't (Book 2)
Lauren Layne
Releasing Sept 12th, 2017
Loveswept

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it. And now the chase is on!
Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .
Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook endings.

 ~*~


JUST RUN WITH IT
I Do, I Don't (Book 3)
Lauren Layne
Releasing Oct 24th, 2017
Loveswept

A good girl takes her wild twin’s place on a provocative dating show and meets the man of her dreams . . . off-camera . . . in this charming rom-com about loving the one person who can’t love you back.
High school science teacher Violet Simmons has spent her entire life helping her twin sister out of one scrape after another, but this time, Zoe’s outdone herself. After signing on for the hit reality show Jilted, Zoe ends up pregnant, and it’s Violet who finds herself in the exquisite New Orleans mansion with twenty guys trying to coax her down the aisle. Everyone buys Violet’s cover, including the one man she wishes would see right through it: Bennett Chapman, the TV executive who looks good in a suit—and even better out of it.
Bennett’s always expected to take over the network from his father. Now, to seal the deal, he needs record ratings from their tackiest show, which means the ditzy star needs to walk down the aisle with one of her meathead suitors. But Zoe Simmons is no bimbo. She’s too smart, too sarcastic, and far too alluring. The more they butt heads—and lock lips—the more Bennett wants her all to himself. And when Zoe drops a real bombshell, Bennett is forced to choose: between the job he’s destined for, or the woman who’s stolen his heart.



Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.





Thursday, February 16, 2017

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Fifth Petal

About The Fifth Petal

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Crown (January 24, 2017)
“Do you think, inside, every one of us is a killer?”
This is the question that haunts the people of Salem, Massachusetts, in Brunonia Barry’s spellbinding, masterful new thriller, THE FIFTH PETAL (January 24, 2017; Crown), a tale of otherworldly powers, ancient myths, and a gruesome triple homicide. Ten years after her New York Times bestselling debut novel THE LACE READER became an international sensation, Barry revisits contemporary Salem, where the dark history of the paranormal continues to reverberate in the lives of the Whitney family and their neighbors. With its release, THE LACE READER became an overnight success, winning numerous awards and rave reviews from the New York TimesWashington PostTimeNew YorkPeople, and being named an Amazon Best Book of the Month. Barry, born and raised in Salem, now returns with a complex brew of suspense, seduction, and murder in her highly anticipated novel THE FIFTH PETAL.
When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. Now Rafferty must uncover who, or what, is killing the descendants of Salem’s accused witches, while keeping the town’s paranoia—all too similar to the hysteria that lead to the infamous witch trials—at bay.
As Rafferty begins to uncover a dark chapter of Salem’s past, he finds unexpected help from Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the Goddess victims, who has recently returned to town. Discovered at the scene of the crime when she was five years old, Callie survived the mysterious massacre with only scratches on her arms and a perfect stigmata of a five-petal rose in the palm of her bloodied hand. Now Callie, who has always been gifted with premonitions, begins to struggle with visions she doesn’t quite understand and an attraction to a man who has unknown connections to her mother’s murder. Neither Rafferty nor Callie believes the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian and honorary aunt to Callie, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. But clearing Rose’s name might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if Rafferty and Callie can’t discover what happened that night, will evil rise again?
Grounded in Salem’s true, dark history, Brunonia Barry paints a complex, eerie portrait of a modern New England town living in the past. With magical realism that will appeal to readers of Erin Morgenstern and gothic suspense echoing Deborah Harkness, THE FIFTH PETAL brings the world of Salem to life with Barry’s signature rich and twisting prose. Suspenseful, sinister, and masterfully composed, THE FIFTH PETAL is a haunting novel that will grip audiences long after the final page.

Connect with Brunonia

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Review: How can anyone resist a murder mystery that is set in Salem, Massachusetts? I know I can't. I only wish I were reading this in October and not February.

I'm a sucker for books that have a sort of Halloweenish appeal.

This is actually the 2nd book in a series, but you wouldn't know that just picking up this book. It is a perfect stand alone novel. I have already ordered the first book, The Lace Reader.

I was immediately sucked into the past, 1989 where three women were killed, "The Goddess Murders" All three women were descendants of Salem witches.

I wish I would have read this one over a weekend, because once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. The last book I read about Salem was Heather Graham's The Hexed, which was really wonderful too. I am totally enthralled by Salem and witches. Hey, one of my favorite tv shows is Bewitched.

This book does a great job at keeping you on the edge of you seat and even a little bit scared.

This book should be on everyone's must read list this year!

Rating: 5 flowers


 
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