Author: Jessica Lemmon

Review: America’s Sweetheart by Jessica Lemmon

Posted October 9, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: America’s Sweetheart by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5) by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #5
Also in this series: Eye Candy, Eye Candy (Real Love, #1), Arm Candy, Man Candy (Real Love, #3), Rumor Has It (Real Love, #4)
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 210
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Old flames burn bright. When a disgraced starlet returns home to lick her wounds, she discovers that her high school sweetheart is just as tempting as ever.

“No one writes big-hearted bad boys like Jessica Lemmon!”—New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster

Allison: When I left for California, I gave myself a new name and never looked back. Now my carefully crafted good-girl image is getting torn to shreds in the press thanks to my Oscar-winning A-hole of an ex-boyfriend. So I escape to the only safe haven I know and trust—my hometown—to take a breather while I plot my triumphant Hollywood comeback. However, when I arrive at my parents’ house, Jackson Burke answers the door instead. And suddenly the past comes rushing back. . . .

Jackson: First kiss. First time. First love. Yep, Allison Murphy and I shared a lot of firsts back in the day. When she left, she took half my heart with her. Now she’s back in town, and even though I swore I’d keep my distance, her parents hired me to remodel their house, and I’m going to finish the job. But one hot kiss later, suddenly the press is calling us the next big celebrity couple. Sure, I’ll play the part, for Allison’s sake—but I refuse to let her close enough to break my heart all over again. . . .

America’s Sweetheart is the fifth book in Jessica Lemmon’s Real Love series and it features a second chance romance that I enjoyed a lot. The hero, Jackson Burke is a character that we met in the last book Rumor Has It. He was Barrett Fox’s best friend and we see him get his happy ending here with his high school sweetheart, Allison Murphy.

Jax and Allie broke up because Allie moved to California to pursue an acting career and Jax didn’t want to live in California. It was too hard for them to maintain a long distance relationship so they ended things and Allie went on to make a name for herself in Hollywood. She’s known to the world as Nina Lockhart but when a scandal breaks, she runs back home to regroup and figure out her next move. She didn’t expect to run into Jackson Burke at her parent’s house and she definitely didn’t expect to fall right back in with him but she needs a friend so why not?

Jax moved on from Allie when she went away. Sure, it sucked when they broke up but he wasn’t going to stop her from pursuing her dream but he also couldn’t live there with her since he had his own plans that kept him closer to home. He’s not doing too bad for himself. He worked for his father’s construction company and learned all that he could so that he could branch out on his own and he’s the owner of his own contracting business and his current job is renovating his ex-girlfriend’s parents bedroom. Sure, it’s weird but he’ll do a good job for them because that’s how he rolls. He wasn’t expecting to run into Allie again after so many years apart while he was working on her parents house but when she’s back in town, their friendship sparks back up again and before either of them know what’s what, they’re falling in love with each other all over again and that spells trouble because how could they possibly think anything would change this time around?

This was one of those character-driven romances that hit just the right spot for me. I enjoyed how effortlessly cool Jax was even though Allie was the celebrity, not him. I loved that he didn’t give a shit what anyone said about him. His masculinity was so sexy and I could see why Allie lost her head over him every time they were in each other’s orbits. The chemistry was evident between them and I thought it was sweet.

Allie was an enjoyable heroine though I thought she spent too much time worrying about what was being said about her online and in the end when she should have stood her ground and didn’t, I was a bit disappointed but her grand gesture more than made up for her earlier screw up and I thought it was a pretty great romance all around. Nothing earth-shattering going on here, just two old sweethearts finding their way back to each other.

Good stuff!

4 out of 5

Real Love

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: America’s Sweetheart by Jessica Lemmon

Posted October 7, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 6 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

America’s Sweetheart by Jessica Lemmon is the fifth book in the Real Love series and it’s a book that I’ve been looking forward to reading because I was curious about Barrett Fox’s best friend in Rumor Has It, Jax. Jax’s story is a second chance story and it features him and his A-List celebrity ex-girlfriend. If you’re interested in a sweet contemporary romance, you should put this book on your TBR pile. It’s a good one so I’m pretty stoked to be featuring it here on the blog today.

Sunday Spotlight: America’s Sweetheart by Jessica LemmonAmerica's Sweetheart (Real Love #5) by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #5
Also in this series: Eye Candy, Eye Candy (Real Love, #1), Arm Candy, Man Candy (Real Love, #3), Rumor Has It (Real Love, #4), America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 210
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Old flames burn bright. When a disgraced starlet returns home to lick her wounds, she discovers that her high school sweetheart is just as tempting as ever.

“No one writes big-hearted bad boys like Jessica Lemmon!”—New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster

Allison: When I left for California, I gave myself a new name and never looked back. Now my carefully crafted good-girl image is getting torn to shreds in the press thanks to my Oscar-winning A-hole of an ex-boyfriend. So I escape to the only safe haven I know and trust—my hometown—to take a breather while I plot my triumphant Hollywood comeback. However, when I arrive at my parents’ house, Jackson Burke answers the door instead. And suddenly the past comes rushing back. . . .

Jackson: First kiss. First time. First love. Yep, Allison Murphy and I shared a lot of firsts back in the day. When she left, she took half my heart with her. Now she’s back in town, and even though I swore I’d keep my distance, her parents hired me to remodel their house, and I’m going to finish the job. But one hot kiss later, suddenly the press is calling us the next big celebrity couple. Sure, I’ll play the part, for Allison’s sake—but I refuse to let her close enough to break my heart all over again. . . .

Order the Book:

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Excerpt

After a quick trip downtown, I arrive at the Murphy household Monday afternoon. I’m carrying two milkshakes, one strawberry for Allie and one chocolate–peanut butter for myself. I’m not sure if she wants one or if she’s on some weird Hollywood diet that prohibits her from drinking it, but I want to apologize and flowers seem . . . wrong.

I hesitate at the door before knocking. Tommy and Daryl are on another site today, since we’re still waiting on lumber for the deck here. We need to paint the closet, too, but I wanted to check with Allie’s schedule before filling the house with paint fumes.

The door swings aside, revealing the future receiver of a milkshake. Allie is wearing a short, short miniskirt, her legs temptingly bare. She’s given a few inches of height thanks to a pair of tall sandals, and I absolutely do not linger on the hot pink toenail polish. I jerk my eyes north, encountering several thin gold bracelets and necklaces on the way. Her hair is swept up on top of her head, a pencil jutting out of the sloppy bun.

Wide brown eyes take inventory of me—but I can’t tell if she approves of my uniform of well-worn Levi’s and a white T-shirt or not.

“Milkshake?” I offer awkwardly. We’re not what we used to be to each other and we’re not interested in being anything else. It’s an odd limbo.

“What flavor?” Her eyebrows arch with interest.

“Strawberry. It’s from UDF. Your favorite.” I frown in thought. “Or it used to be, anyway. There’s a smoothie shack in town, but I wasn’t sure if you were a shot-of-wheatgrass kind of girl or if you liked fruit.”

Yep. Definitely not getting any less awkward.

“So you bought me a milkshake,” she states.

“Yeah.”

“It’s not like I’m preparing for a part anyway.” She holds out her hand and I place the cold cup in it. Our fingers brush and that subtle touch stirs some unnamed thing between us. For me, anyway.

She shuffles aside and invites me in. “I didn’t think you were working today.”

I step into the foyer. The A/C is cranked and it feels fantastic.

“My guys aren’t, but there are things I can do. We’ll need to paint here in the next week or so. If you can arrange to be away for a day, it’d probably be better than breathing fumes.”

She puts the straw to her lips and sucks the pink milkshake into her mouth. Her eyes close and she lets out an Mmm that borders on orgasmic.

“It’s been forever since I’ve had a milkshake. Like, a real one.” Her gaze softens on mine, her smile easy. She used to look at me like that all the time. And when she did, I never was able to resist pulling her close, bending low, and kissing her mouth.

“Live a little. Or a lot. It’s your vacation.” I clear my throat to dislodge the lust clogging it. “Or whatever this is.”

“Hiatus.” She quirks one eyebrow.

“What’s with the pencil?”

She reaches up and plucks it from her hair. “Oh, right. I forgot about that. I was having trouble typing out my ideas, so I found a pencil in the junk drawer and went on a search for paper. I thought maybe changing my medium might help the ideas flow better.”

“Writing?”

“Yeah.” Shyly, she looks away. “I had this idea for a screenplay. I don’t know. It’s probably stupid, but I need something to do besides sit around and read articles about myself.”

A shrill beep, beep, beep comes from the kitchen.

“My oven fries are done. Want some?”

“With my milkshake? Hell, yeah.” We share a smile and I wonder if she’s remembering the many, many fries she’d dipped into one Wendy’s Frosty or another during the summers when we went out.

Positioned at the stove, she scoops the fries from pan to plate and serves them on the island with a bottle of ketchup riding sidecar. We dig in, each pulling the lids off our shakes and dunking a hot fry into the ice cream, reserving the ketchup for later. Or maybe not at all.

“Strawberry’s still my favorite.” She smiles up at me.

“Good.”

We both reach for another fry.

“I’m not sure where I stand with you,” she says. “We used to be great friends, and then . . . you know, boyfriend and girlfriend, and then we broke up. Now we’re something else. Not strangers but not friends.”

I don’t comment since there’s nothing to say. She’s right. We’re not strangers and we’re not friends.

“Do you think we could be? If not friends, then friendly?”

“Friendly.” I grunt the word. It’s unflattering and makes me sound like a golden retriever.

“We’re capable of amicability if the milkshakes and fries are any indicator.” She gestures with a fry. “And I’m going to see you on and off with this project you have going on for Mom and Dad. It would be nice if we could coexist.”

“Have you talked to them yet?” I ask rather than weigh in on the are-we-or-aren’t-we conversation she spearheaded. It’s too loaded. There are a lot of variables.

“I texted my dad to tell him to have fun and tell Mom I love her. I asked her if she was worried and he said yes, but he assured her that I was a big girl and everything would turn out fine. I hope he’s right about everything turning out fine.” She presses her lips together as if turning over how much more to share. Finally, she says, “I mentioned I was staying here. He said they felt better that you were around so that I wouldn’t be alone.”

Basically what my Mom had hinted at. Allie was home and upset and she needed a friend. All eyes are on me. Evidently I am a golden retriever.

“It’s bigger than I realized,” I admit. “The media attention on you.”

Her eyebrows jump.

“Did you do it?”

“Are you asking if I stole the Oscar from Millie?”

“Yeah.”

“You want to know if I showed up at her party, at her house where I’ve never been before, and snatched an Academy Award off her shelf? Haven’t you heard the news? Seen the photos? I’m carrying it under a coat on the way to the valet at Millie’s house. It was Nina in the den with the Oscar!”

I could do without the smart-ass comments.

“It doesn’t matter what happened,” she continues, somber, “only how it’s being perceived. In Hollywood, you’re guilty until proven innocent, and if you’re proven innocent later the damage to your reputation is already done. There’s a reason the saying ‘You’ll never work in this town again’ exists.”

I’m beginning to think that my mom was right. Maybe Allie didn’t do it.

“Friendly,” I say, looping back to our earlier conversation. It seems safer than this one. “Surely we can manage that.”

Real Love

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: October 2018

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Jessica Lemmon

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST
| GOODREADS

Jessica Lemmon is the bestselling author of over twenty novels. Her work has been honored with awards such as RT Top Pick!, iBooks Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Month. She has also been recommended by USA Today and NPR.com. She has achieved the rank of #1 bestseller on Nook as well as earned a seal of excellence nomination from RT Book Reviews.

She tackles tough relationships and emotions in her books, delivering a deep, satisfying experience for readers while still maintaining humor and fun.


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Review: Rumor Has It by Jessica Lemmon

Posted May 30, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Rumor Has It by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
Rumor Has It (Real Love, #4) by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #4
Also in this series: Eye Candy, Eye Candy (Real Love, #1), Arm Candy, Man Candy (Real Love, #3), America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: May 15th, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 212
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

This is one bad boy who’s fit to print. A notorious jock tackles life—and love—after football with a type-A journalist in this sexy standalone from the author of Eye Candy.  

Barrett:

As a former pro football star, I’m used to playing the field. After injuries cut my NFL career short, my second act as a broadcaster ended on live television when a hot mic picked up a little verbal . . . indiscretion. But this latest publicity stunt might just land me back on top—much to the chagrin of Catarina Everhart, the prissy, beautiful journalist who’s been assigned to date a bad boy (i.e., me) and write about it. Catarina swears I’ll never touch her, let alone kiss those full lips of hers. Based on our chemistry, I’m not buying it. . . .

Catarina: Barrett Fox seems to be doing everything in his power to make me hate him. The cocky egomaniac is infamous for his bad behavior, and now, thanks to my boss’s harebrained schemes, he’s apparently my problem. As one fake date leads to another, I start to see a different side of Barrett. He’s close with his family. He does volunteer work. And, okay, he kisses like a dream. Am I really dating Barrett Fox? Or is he playing me? Because suddenly I’m risking my reputation—and my heart.

Real Love is the fourth book in Jessica Lemmon’s Real Love series and it’s another enjoyable contemporary romance that I ate right up. You’ll remember Barrett Fox from book 3, Man Candy as Dax Vaughn’s best friend who was crashing on his couch while Dax went off for some alone time. Barrett Fox is an ex-NFL player who is trying to get his job as a sports broadcaster back after the “incident” that pissed everyone off. His new job as a reporter puts him in the world of fake dating and his fake girlfriend is Catarina Everhart and she makes sure he knows exactly what she thinks of him.

Barrett is trying to clean up his image so that he can return to the world of broadcasting. Catarina is a writer and her boss wants to sell papers so fake dating Barrett is her assignment. She’s not all that happy about having a fake boyfriend when she already has a real one, especially when the fake boyfriend brings out a side of her that her real boyfriend has never done before. The more time they spend fake dating, the harder it gets to keep acting…especially when the fake dating is starting to feel so real.

Jessica Lemmon writes great contemporary romances and this was one of them. I had a good ol’ time getting to know Barrett and Catarina. Their banter, their chemistry was a lot of fun and I ate their story right up. One of the things that did bum me out is that Barrett has a friend that he knew from his football days named Jackson Burke and man, I thought he was the same Jackson Burke from Lauren Layne’s book I Wish You Were Mine but sigh, it’s not the same guy. From what I remember, Layne’s Jackson Burke was from Texas and this one is from Columbus, OH. Gah. Still, it would have been nice.

Barrett wasn’t the easiest hero to like because he did a lot of stupid shit in the beginning but the payoff is great if you stick it out with him. Catarina was stubborn and she was strong and I enjoyed her character very much. She was a great match for Barrett and while this isn’t my favorite book in this series, it’s still a good one. A totally solid romance that I definitely recommend.

Real Love

four-stars


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Review: Man Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted January 9, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Man Candy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
Man Candy (Real Love, #3) by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #3
Also in this series: Eye Candy, Eye Candy (Real Love, #1), Arm Candy, Rumor Has It (Real Love, #4), America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: January 9th, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 213
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Dax:

After spending the summer buried up to my eyeballs in my family’s affairs, I’m ready for a break. The kind of break where I can spend two solid weeks camping and fishing in the company of absolutely no one. Then I find myself directly in the path of a drop-dead gorgeous tornado by the name of Becca Stone. Who can resist a night with a damsel in distress? Especially when she happens to be a leggy blonde? The last thing I expect is for Becca to show up on my cabin doorstep the next night, shivering in the rain and ready for seconds.

Becca: One minute I’m admiring the rock-hard jaw of the Magic Mike lookalike who walks into my bar, and the next I’m getting fired by my own brother. Loudly. In front of everyone. Luckily Dax Vaughn is a gentleman who aims his white-hot smile at me. Oh, it’s on. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Then a torrential storm washes out the main road and causes a massive power outage, giving us two whole weeks to enjoy each other’s company. At which point Dax will go back home, leaving “us” in the rearview mirror. That’s the plan. Or it was . . . until I started falling for him.

This standalone novel includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Man Candy is the third book in Jessica Lemmon’s Real Love series and it features Grace from book 2’s boss, Dax Vaughn.

Dax Vaughn owns two bars and is grieving the passing of his father and the only thing he wants right now is peace and quiet. After making sure his Mom was okay and leaving his best friend on his couch, Dax takes off for Tennessee for some outdoorsy along time. He had every intention of spending his days hiking and fishing and being one with nature until he meets Becca Stone.

Becca Stone works with her brother at the Grand Larks and Dax is in town, renting one of the cabins there and she likes what she sees when she walks into the bar and sees him enjoying a beer. She’s drawn to him, knows that if she doesn’t approach him, she’ll regret it so with a pep in her step, she walks right up to him and her life is forever changed.

What was supposed to be a one night stand becomes much more than either of them were prepared for and I adored watching the two of them come together.

Dax was a lot more than I was expecting. We didn’t get to see much of him in Arm Candy so I was picturing a, — I don’t know what I was picturing but whatever it was, it wasn’t Dax. Dax was one of those swoonworthy heroes who is good to his Mom and knows what he wants. He was a man’s man who wanted to be in an adult relationship. I loved how he took care of Becca, even when she disappointed him and I really loved how much faith he had in her abilities…even after only two weeks of sleeping together. I enjoyed getting to know him and finding him to be my favorite hero of the series.

Becca was a great heroine too, only there were times when I wanted to smack some sense into her because I felt like she took too long to come around. Dax really opened up to her and so she knew about his hangups with his ex-girlfriend, a story that he shared with nobody but Becca and when things get a little crazy, I wanted her to wise up and take a chance on Dax. I wanted her to not disappoint Dax but to not disappoint me and…she came up a little short. I also wanted to smack the shit out of her brother because he was a shitty brother to her. I didn’t stay disappointed with Becca for long so I’m glad that she got her shit together.

The romance, the scenery and just, the whole story worked for me. I enjoyed Dax, I liked Becca and I really liked seeing them come together in love. This book was cute, funny and had a lot of heart so I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Real Love Series

four-stars


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Review: Arm Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted September 6, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Arm Candy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
Arm Candy by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #2
Also in this series: Eye Candy, Eye Candy (Real Love, #1), Man Candy (Real Love, #3), Rumor Has It (Real Love, #4), America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 220
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Last call! At the end of the night, a clean-cut hunk and a rebellious bartender act on their unlikely chemistry in this frisky standalone novel from the author of Eye Candy.

Davis:

I’ve had my eye on Grace Buchanan for a while now. Unlike the bubbly blondes I usually date, the feisty, flame-haired bartender both intrigues and bewilders me. Something about Grace—the tattoos? the nose ring?—makes every part of me sit up and beg. There’s only one problem: She hates me. Trading insults and one-liners has become our M.O. But when Grace bets me that I can’t get a date with a non-blonde if my life depends on it, I’m determined to prove her wrong by landing the ultimate non-blonde: her.

Grace:

I’m used to regulars hitting on me, and I’ve turned them all down, except for one: Davis Price. I like giving him a hard time, and he’s kind of cute in his suit and tie—if you’re into that kind of thing. Anyway, I don’t care how many blondes he takes home . . . until one of them sidles up to him in my bar. Nuh-uh. But after my little bet with Davis backfires, our first date lands us in the sack. So does the second. And the third. Neither of us wants more than the best sex of our lives. The trouble is, it’s not a question of what I want. It’s what I need. And what I need is Davis.

Arm Candy is the second book in the Real Love series by Jessica Lemmon. It’s also Davis’ book. Davis Price, the best friend of the hero from Book 1. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book because I enjoyed the little bits we got from Davis in Eye Candy. He was a good friend to both Vince and Jackie and I was looking forward to getting to know him better. There were little nuggets that we learn about Davis in the first book and I was looking forward to delving into all of that stuff and I’m happy to say that Jessica Lemmon did a fabulous job of writing Davis’ story, IMO.

Davis works from home so he likes to unwind at his favorite neighborhood bar and he really likes exchanging barbs with his favorite bartender, Grace. The attraction between the two of them is strong but neither of them act on it until Grace throws down the gauntlet in the form of a wager and Davis jumps on it. The bet? That Davis will ask the first non-blonde out that he sees and he jumps in and asks her out. Grace is a redhead and though she wasn’t talking about herself when she placed the bet, she’s not one to walk away from a dare so she agrees to go out with him.

One date ends up in bed and they keep ending up in bed so they spend some time together. They get to know each other outside of the bar and the more they get to know, the more they like each other. I really enjoyed seeing them fall in love with each other because they’re both flawed characters who have been burned by one thing or another and don’t have that much faith in relationships but seeing them take a chance on each other warmed my heart. Sure, things weren’t perfect and they fumbled their way to get to that happy ending but I really enjoyed their emotional ride.

Davis was just as great as I hoped he’d be. He did a lot of growing throughout the book and I really connected with his character. He learned a great deal about himself, about love and about what he wanted out of life. He was a grown man who handled his business and did whatever he felt needed to be done and I loved how honest he was. With Grace. With himself. With everyone. He wasn’t the most perfect of characters but he was real. He was a good person who realized his worth and loved with all he had. I appreciated that and I adored him. He was such a good character.

Gracie Lou was a great match for Davis. She came with her own baggage and she was dealing with them as best as she could. She fumbled a lot and there were times when I wanted to smack some sense into her but she doesn’t stay down for long. She was adult enough to acknowledge when she was wrong and in the end, all was well.

This was a great read from beginning to end. I loved the romance that blossomed between Davis and Grace and I adored seeing Vince and Jackie again, all loved up and happy. I’m looking forward to getting to know Dax, though it would have been nice to get a little more of him in this book so that I could have an idea of what’s to come in his book but that’s a really minor gripe. I enjoyed this one and can’t wait for more.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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