Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Out Rider by Lindsay McKenna - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review


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About Out Rider

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (April 26, 2016)

With her return to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, New York Times bestselling author Lindsay McKenna shows how love can find a way out of the darkness… 

A fresh start—that’s all Devorah McGuire wants. As a former Marine and current Ranger with the US Forest Service, she’s grown accustomed to keeping others safe. But when the unthinkable happens, she can only hope that a transfer to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, will allow her to put the past behind her for good.

Dev’s mentor at Grand Tetons National Park is fellow canine handler and horseman Sloan Rankin. He shows Dev the spectacular trails, never knowing the terror that stalks her every move. Despite her lingering fear, Dev feels an attraction for Sloan as wild as their surroundings.

With Sloan, Dev can envision a new life—a real home. Unless a vengeful man fresh out of prison succeeds in finishing what he started…
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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble





My Thoughts:

If you love a great, provocative, and completely enthralling contemporary romance, then Lindsay McKenna's "Out Rider" is the book for you!

I really enjoyed getting to know this story's characters, Dev and Sloan. Both have so much in common, and both had interesting pasts that added flavor to the main story. I also appreciated that both characters have a military background, reflecting McKenna's own experience and knowledge of the ideas and attitudes of our military personnel! The pacing of this book is also lively and moves along quickly - an added plus for readers.

This book is the final book in McKenna's series that was set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but is easily read as a stand-alone story.  But if this story is an indication of how good this whole series has been, I highly suggest going back and enjoying the other four books!



About Lindsay McKenna

Author-photo_Lindsay-McKenna-300x209-300x209-1

A U.S. Navy veteran, she was a meteorologist while serving her country. She pioneered the military romance in 1993 with Captive of Fate, Silhouette Special edition.  Her heart and focus is on honoring and showing our military men and women.  Creator of the Wyoming Series and Shadow Warriors series for HQN, she writes emotionally and romantically intense suspense stories.

Connect with Lindsay

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Lindsay McKenna’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, April 25th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, April 27th: The Sassy Bookster
Wednesday, April 27th: Written Love Reviews – guest post
Friday, April 29th: Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous
Monday, May 2nd: Read Love Blog
Tuesday, May 3rd: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, May 4th: Booked on a Feeling
Thursday, May 5th: Reading Reality
Friday, May 6th: Book Reviews & More by Kathy – guest post
Monday, May 9th: Books a la Mode – guest post
Wednesday, May 11th: Palmer’s Page Turners – guest post
Monday, May 16th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, May 18th: Stranded in Chaos
Thursday, May 19th: The Reading Cove Book Club
Friday, May 20th: What I’m Reading
Monday, May 23rd: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, May 25th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews





My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to Harlequin Books for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.



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Thursday, May 19, 2016

All The Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank - Book Blog Tour and Review


All the Single Ladies cover

About All the Single Ladies

• Paperback: 400 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 10, 2016)

In this fast-paced and evocative novel, beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank again takes us deep into the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where three unsuspecting women are brought together by tragedy and mystery.

Lisa St. Clair knows a thing or two about weathering storms. A dedicated nurse with a healthy sense of humor, she single-handedly raised her truculent daughter, Marianne, after her ex walked out on them twenty-four years ago, sending them a lottery ticket once a year as support. One day he reappeared and lured their daughter into a dubious but lucrative venture in Colorado.

Now mother and daughter aren’t speaking.

So when Kathy Harper, Lisa’s favorite patient, loses her battle with cancer, Lisa finds herself drawing closer to Carrie and Suzanne, the devoted friends who were always by Kathy’s side. As these three women’s lives inevitably connect, they share their concerns about men, getting older, and the horrors of maintaining financial stability. Suzanne’s ninety-nine-year-old grandmother, a former chanteuse, offers unexpected perspectives on the mores of the day. Carrie’s greedy ex-stepchildren are a chorus of cackling crows. And Lisa’s mother just can’t help herself as she henpecks her to distraction.

Somehow their conversations always return to the enigma of Kathy. Who was she? What did her short life mean?

As Lisa, Carrie, and Suzanne power walk the beaches of the Isle of Palms, they gradually uncover the truth of Kathy’s life and unfurl plans to secure their own futures, as fate steps in to help them discover that being single doesn’t have to mean being alone.


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My Thoughts:

I love Dorothea Benton Frank's books.  You can count on them for several things -

1. Cast - always quirky and memorable.

2. Setting - South Carolina's Low Country - southern and sultry.

3. Plot - Fun with bits of heartache, a dash of romance, and lots of sassiness.

Dorothea's books are always great for summer reading, or for anytime reading, and I personally am always ready for her fantastic storytelling - she's one of my favorite authors!  Grab this one for your book bag this summer - you'll be so glad you did!



About Dorothea Benton Frank


Dorothea Benton Frank

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

Find her on the web at www.dotfrank.com, or like her on Facebook or Twitter.



Tour Stops

Wednesday, May 11th: Books and Bindings
Thursday, May 19th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, May 23rd: Back Porchervations
Wednesday, May 25th: Mama Vicky Says
Thursday, May 26th: Joyfully Retired
Thursday, May 26th: A Wondrous Bookshelf
Monday, May 30th: Queen of All She Reads
Thursday, June 2nd: The many thoughts of a reader
TBD: Lavish Bookshelf
TBD: Tina Says…


My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to Harper Collins for supplying the review copy!  I was not compensated for my opinion.


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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Once Upon A Lie by Michael French - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review


Once Upon A Lie

About Once Upon a Lie

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Terra Nova Books (March 15, 2016)
Once Upon a Lie is about two strangers who become unlikely friends, only to unintentionally put each other’s life in jeopardy.

Jaleel Robeson, a gifted, eighteen year-old black man, falsely accused of murdering his father in a small Texas town, is on the run.  He assumes a new identity in 1980s Los Angeles as a successful student on his way to college.

Alexandra Baten, a restless sixteen year old white girl, lives in a privileged Toluca Lake family but feels trapped by her parents’ values.  One weekend, she rides her bike into a run down neighborhood, meeting a young black man selling lemonade.  Thus begins a friendship between opposites, at least on the surface, but they learn they have more in common than they imagine.

Told from each character’s point of view in alternating chapters, we become involved in a gripping tale of two Americas where discontent and violence always lurk under the surface.  When they erupt, no one is safe.  Once Upon a Lie is both a family drama and a crime drama, as well as an exploration of interracial love, mother-daughter relationships, and redemption through courage.

Connect with the characters

Alex on Facebook | Alex on Twitter

Jaleel on Facebook | Jaleel on Twitter


“French shows a skillful hand with characters’ voices and dialogue, effectively capturing very different perspectives in both third and first person. The scenes of tension and suspense work well.”– Kirkus Review of Once Upon a Lie

“Michael French’s writing manages to hook you immediately as he takes you on a magnificently layered journey that keeps you captivated all the way to the end.”–D.G Domenici, Amazon Review of The Reconstruction of Wilson Ryder

“[French] truly excels in storytelling by creating intricate, subtly complex relationships revealed through excellent dialogue. He has a firm understanding of a real conversation between two human beings and a refreshingly poignant approach toward the inner dialogue one has with oneself. You get the feeling that French has been there before, sympathizing not only with the reader but the characters as well.”–D. Weber, Amazon Review of The Reconstruction of Wilson Ryder


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My Thoughts:

Recently in my bible study, it was discussed that a lie, whether "white," small, or deliberate, is still a lie.  And if you are going to lie, you better have a great memory to remember what the truth is and what the lie is. 

Lies are a big part of the background of Michael French's coming-of-age novel, "Once Upon A Lie." French has assembled a great cast of personable characters for this strangely addictive novel.  I found myself reading "just one more chapter" to find out what was going to happen in this fast paced story. 

While this novel does feature younger characters, adults will find the actions of the adults in the story as fascinating as the teenagers, perhaps even more because it is their actions that spur the beginning of the whirlwind of events that end up changing everyone's lives.

"Once Upon A Lie" was an enjoyable read, and I highly recommend it for both young adults, and adults alike, who like a good, intriguing story with a touch of mystery.

MichaelFrench_Photo

About Michael French

Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner. He received a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family.

In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies ad self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals.  He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

His passions include travel, collecting rare books, and hanging with friends and family. He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying “no” too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure.

Connect with Michael

WebsiteFacebook | Twitter

 

Michael French’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, May 2nd: 5 Minutes for Books
Tuesday, May 3rd: Books a la Mode – guest post
Wednesday, May 4th: Reading Cove Book Club
Friday, May 6th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Monday, May 9th: Hoser’s Blook
Wednesday, May 11th: Lavish Bookshelf
Thursday, May 12th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, May 16th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, May 18th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews


My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

How To Be A Man (and other illusions) by Duff McKagan - Book Review





About The Book:

One wouldn't usually turn to a veteran of Guns N' Roses for advice on how to live, but Duff McKagan is not a typical rock musician.

He got sober at thirty, went back to school, got smart about money, fell in love, became a father, and got his life back on track. Through trial and considerable error, Duff learned to strike the balance between family and work, travel and contentment, financial aptitude and sacrifice.

In How to Be a Man, Duff takes the reader into the life of an international rock musician and shares, with disarming candor and humor, the solid life lessons he's learned along the way to success and fulfillment in both his family life and career. From hard-won advice on basics like starting with a strong base and staying humble to techniques on staving depression and transforming darker impulses into something productive, How to Be a Man is the ultimate guide to rocking life—not as a dissolute train-wreck "rock star" but as a man bound for success and longevity.
 
To Buy:

Amazon.com - amzn.to/1rGOfRf
Barnes & Noble - bit.ly/1XlTIZV
IndieBound - bit.ly/1TbAq6t
Books-A-Million - bit.ly/24PpLqI




My Thoughts:

One of my favorite rock musicians is the famed (and infamous) bass player for Guns N' Roses, Duff McKagan.  I was fortunate enough to interview Duff a few years ago when his latest album had come out, and during the course of our talk he mentioned that he was thinking about writing a book. I told him I thought that was a great idea, and it was just a couple of years later that his first book, "It's So Easy (and Other Lies)" came out. And, to no surprise to me, it was a huge hit!

Then Duff wrote another book, "How To Be A Man (and other illusions)," which is a collection of stories, and a few of his Seattle Weekly columns, and it was also a hit!  I wasn't surprised! 

Now, "How To Be A Man" is out in paperback and everyone can get a glimpse into the life of a man who lived the fast-lane rock and roll life and lived (barely) to tell about it! With a lot of humor, a lot of insight, and a lot of wisdom, Duff gives his opinion on a little bit of everything - from a list of his "must-hear" albums - to how to take care of business when everyone around you is going crazy. 

This is a well-written, well-paced, and extremely entertaining book that rock fans (and others!) will thoroughly enjoy.  I think that Duff has a few more stories to tell, and I hope that he will set them to pages one day soon - of course, he's a little busy right now with the GNR reunion shows, his own bands - The Levee Walkers and Loaded, the gigs with Alice Coooper and the Hollywood Vampires, and the Kings of Chaos shows - Whew!  He's a busy, busy man - but what fun he must have out on the road!  Be sure to keep notes, Duff! 




About The Author:



Duff McKagan is the cofounder of hard rock groups Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver and is the author of the New York Times bestseller It’s So Easy (and other lies). He lives with his family in Seattle and Los Angeles.



T
his book was from my personal collection. I was compensated for my opinion.


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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Deception Island by Brynn Kelly - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review


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About Deception Island

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (May 31, 2016)

A stolen boy 
A haunted soldier 
A cornered con woman… 

Rafe Angelito thought he was done with the demons from his past—until his son is kidnapped. Blackmailed into abducting an American heiress, the legionnaire soon finds himself trapped in paradise with a fiery, daring beauty who’s nothing he expects…and everything he desires. But when he uncovers her own dark secret, Rafe realizes he’s made a critical mistake—one that could cost him everything.

Playing body double for a spoiled socialite was supposed to be Holly Ryan’s ticket to freedom. But when she’s snatched off her yacht by a tall, dark and dangerous stranger, the not-quite-reformed con artist will make a desperate play to turn her captor from enemy to ally, by any means necessary.

Yet as scorching days melt into sultry nights, Holly is drawn to the mysterious capitaine, with his unexpected sense of honor and his searing touch. When they’re double-crossed, they’ll have to risk trusting each other in ways they never imagined…because in this deadly game of deception, it’s their lives—and hearts—on the line.


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My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this action-paced, fast moving story of deception, deceit and ultimate delivery of a romance that wasn't expected!  This is a fabulous debut for author Brynn Kelly!

"Deception Island" is part mystery/part thriller/part romance, and all a rollercoaster ride of a story!  The characters are so unique and interesting, and the plot is amazingly suspenseful with a bit of fun thrown in with unexpected bits of humor here and there. This novel would be perfect for those sunny beach days ahead of us!

I highly recommend this novel for those fans of romance with a bite of thrill!  I look forward to more good tales from Brynn Kelly!



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About Brynn Kelly

As a journalist Brynn Kelly once spent her days chasing stranger-than-fiction news reports. Now she spends them writing larger-than-life novels, in a happy bubble of fiendish plots and delicious words. Brynn has a journalism degree and has won several prestigious writing and journalism awards, including the Valerie Parv Award and Pacific Hearts Award. Her debut novel Deception Island was a Golden Heart finalist. She’s also a bestselling non-fiction author in her native New Zealand.

Connect with Brynn

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Early reviews praise card_Brynn Kelly


Brynn Kelly’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, May 2nd: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, May 4th: Worth Getting in Bed For
Friday, May 6th: Just Commonly
Monday, May 9th: Read Love Blog
Wednesday, May 11th: A Holland Reads
Thursday, May 12th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Friday, May 13th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, May 16th: Books and Spoons
Tuesday, May 17th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Wednesday, May 18th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Thursday, May 19th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, May 19th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, May 23rd: Mom in Love with Fiction
Tuesday, May 24th: Book Reviews & More by Kathy – author guest post
Wednesday, May 25th: Mama Vicky Says
Thursday, May 26th: Romancing the Book 
Thursday, May 26th: Lilac Reviews
Friday, May 27th: Write Read Life
Monday, May 30th: The Romance Dish
Tuesday, May 31st: The Sassy Bookster – author Q&A
Wednesday, June 1st: Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Friday, June 3rd: Staircase Wit

My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to Harlequin Books for supplying the review copy!  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles: A True Story of Love, Science and Cancer by Mary Elizabeth Williams - Book Blog Tour Stop



A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles coverAbout A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles

• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic; 1 edition (April 26, 2016)
 
A wry, witty account of what it is like to face death—and be restored to life.
 
After being diagnosed in her early 40s with metastatic melanoma—a "rapidly fatal" form of cancer—journalist and mother of two Mary Elizabeth Williams finds herself in a race against the clock. She takes a once-in-a-lifetime chance and joins a clinical trial for immunotherapy, a revolutionary drug regimen that trains the body to vanquish malignant cells. Astonishingly, her cancer disappears entirely in just a few weeks.
 
But at the same time, her best friend embarks on a cancer journey of her own—with very different results. Williams's experiences as a patient and a medical test subject reveal with stark honesty what it takes to weather disease, the extraordinary new developments that are rewriting the rules of science—and the healing power of human connection.
 
 
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My Thoughts:

Can you find a book about cancer fascinating?  Can you read about someone else's battle with the disease intriguing?  With author  Mary Elizabeth Williams' memoir, "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles," you certainly can. At least I did!
 
Williams uses her gift of storytelling to take readers into the heart of the war against cancer as she relates her own experiences and the experiences of her family and friends in this captivating memoir. By no means is this book meant to be funny - it is the story of Williams' life - but her droll sense of humor shines through at times, giving the presentation of her diagnosis and treatment the light touch that is needed to get through the dark times. I found myself laughing and crying in alternating sessions as I read this heart-wrenching story.
 
I also found it interesting that after about every two chapters, Williams inserted an "interlude" section where she presents the scientific and medical assessment of her diagnosis and subsequent treatment that saved her life. Yes, it is technical, but Williams presents it in a way that the lay person can easily understand - a minor miracle in itself in a book about miracles!
 
I highly recommend Mary Elizabeth Williams' book for those who know someone with cancer, someone whose family might be going through this experience, and for those who are just fascinated with the advance in the fight against this horrible disease.  This book is simply just excellent! Well done, Mrs. Williams!  Well Done!
 
 

 

About Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams APMary Elizabeth Williams is a senior staff writer for award-winning Salon.com whose columns are regularly among the top viewed, commented on, shared, and cited as the best of the week. The "Lab Rat" series on her clinical trial was nominated for the 2012 Online Journalism Award for Commentary, and her essay on receiving a melanoma diagnosis is in the Harper anthology The Moment, an Entertainment Weekly "Must List" pick—alongside essays by Elizabeth Gilbert, Jennifer Egan, and Dave Eggers.
 
She is the author of Gimme Shelter: Ugly Houses, Cruddy Neighborhoods, Fast Talking Brokers, and Toxic Mortgages: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream. A starred Booklist selection, Gimme Shelter was called "poignant and funny" (Kirkus), "a must-read" (New York Daily News), "hilariously evocative" (Time Out Kids) and "compelling" (Publisher's Weekly).
 
She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
 
Find out more about her at her website.
 



My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to National Geographic Books for supplying the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.



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Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Scandalous Proposal by Kasey Michaels - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review


A Scandalous Proposal

About A Scandalous Proposal

Series: The Little Season (Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (March 29, 2016)

The drama of London’s Little Season continues in this vibrant new series by USA TODAY bestselling author Kasey Michaels featuring three courageous war heroes surrendering at last to love… 

Who would have thought a man could tire of being fawned over and flirted with? Ever since Cooper Townsend returned from France as a hero with a new title, he has been relentlessly pursued by every marriageable miss in London. Perhaps that’s why the unconventional Miss Daniella Foster is so appealing. She doesn’t simper or flatter. She only wants him to help unmask her sister’s blackmailer, and Coop has never been so intrigued…

Let every other woman in London fight over His Lordship’s romantic attentions. Marriage is the last thing on Dany’s mind…at least until she samples his illicit kisses. Now, as a mutual enemy races to ruin Coop’s reputation and Dany’s family name, an engagement of convenience will spark an unlikely passion that might save them both.
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My Thoughts:

I have always adored the Regency period of history and one of the best authors of this genre is Kasey Michaels. So I was thrilled to find that she has a new book, "A Scandalous Proposal," in her latest series centering around "The Little Season" in London.

The cast of characters in this book are fun, the action is lively, and the setting is just luscious!  This is the second book in this series, but it was easily read as a stand alone novel. (But I intend to go back and pick up on the first book, "An Improper Arrangement," too!)

If you're a fan of Regency romance, or if you're a fan of historical romance, you'll love Kasey Michael's novels.  I highly recommend this new book and all of Michael's previous works as well!


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About Kasey Michaels

USA TODAY bestselling author Kasey Michaels is the author of more than one hundred books. She has earned four starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, and has won an RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award and several other commendations for her contemporary and historical novels. Kasey resides with her family in Pennsylvania.

Connect with Kasey

Website | Facebook

 

 

Kasey Michaels TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, April 4th: Romancing the Readers
Tuesday, April 5th: The Sassy Bookster
Wednesday, April 6th: Booked on a Feeling
Thursday, April 7th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, April 11th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, April 12th: Romantic Reads and Such – spotlight
Wednesday, April 13th: Open Book Society
Thursday, April 14th: A Night’s Dream of Books
Thursday, April 14th: Let Them Read Books – review of An Improper Arrangement
Friday, April 15th: Let Them Read Books
Monday, April 18th: Romancing the Book – review of An Improper Arrangement
Monday, April 18th: Romancing the Book
Tuesday, April 19th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Wednesday, April 20th: BookNAround
Thursday, April 21st: From the TBR Pile
Monday, April 25th: Romantic Historical Reviews
Monday, April 25th: Books that Hook
Tuesday, April 26th: Puddletown Reviews
Wednesday, April 27th: The Maiden’s Court
Thursday, May 4th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews




My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour, and to Harlequin Books for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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