Publisher: Penguin

Joint Review: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Posted November 23, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee & Holly
Archangel's Sun by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #13
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War , Archangel's Kiss
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 24, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A horrifying secret rises in the aftermath of an archangelic war in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s deadly and beautiful Guild Hunter world...
The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease may be gone but their legacy of evil lives on—especially in Africa, where the shambling, rotting creatures called the reborn have gained a glimmer of vicious intelligence.
It is up to Titus, archangel of this vast continent, to stop the reborn from spreading across the world. Titus can’t do it alone, but of the surviving powerful angels and archangels, large numbers are wounded, while the rest are fighting a surge of murderous vampires.
There is no one left…but the Hummingbird. Old, powerful, her mind long a broken kaleidoscope. Now, she must stand at Titus’s side against a tide of death upon a discovery more chilling than any other. For the Archangel of Disease has left them one last terrible gift…

Archangel’s Sun begins where Archangel’s War left off. The war with Lijuan finally came to an end in a rather spectacular fashion. Now the Archangel’s are trying to rebuild their territories. Titus is fighting to defend his territory in Africa from the reborn. The reborn are creatures that Lijuan created and Charisemnon helped change into bigger abominations than they already were. When the Cadre sends him the Hummingbird, he wonders how exactly such a fragile creature could help him. Chaos ensues.

Casee: I honestly wasn’t sure of this book when I first saw the blurb. Although the Hummingbird has been an interesting character in this series, I always thought of her in the abstract. I wasn’t really interested in her or her story. Ironically, she turned out to be one of my favorite characters in this series.

Holly: I was really intrigued by The Hummingbird in the previous books, and I was glad she was featured in this one. I really loved her personal journey in this book.

Casee: I feel like this was more about Sharine’s personal journey than it was about the romance between her and Titus. I thought the romance was really sweet, but I was more fascinated by Sharine herself. What did you think of Titus?

Holly: I really liked Titus. He made me laugh early on with his whole neanderthal attitudes, but honestly he was a big marshmallow underneath it all. I think he was a good fit for Sharine. I agree the romance took a back seat to her personal journey. I’m okay with that. I liked how things progressed as she came out of her shell and learned more about herself. I’d have liked to see more of her realizing her skills, but I’m hopeful we’ll see more of her in the future.

Casee: I really liked Titus, too. I liked how he interacted with his sisters. He never thought that he was superior to Sharine, which I really appreciated. I thought this really captured what the Hummingbird represented to the angels.

“Everyone loved the Hummingbird. Even Titus loved her—in a distant kind of way. He didn’t know her as a person. He knew of her. That she was a gift to angelkind, that her kindness was legendary, that she had never had an enemy in her life. And of course, that she had given birth to Illium, a young angel Titus greatly liked.”

I adored Sharine’s relationship with Illium. Aodhan too.

Holly: I loved that the entirety of angelkind had Sharine on a pedestal, but she was so sassy Titus couldn’t believe she was the same woman everyone went on about. It cracked me up every time she got miffed at him and he was baffled.

I really liked Sharine’s relationship with Ilium and Aodhan, too. It was good seeing her slide back into a more maternal role and taking back some of that responsibility from him. Her guilt over what she perceived as her weakness really tugged at my heartstrings.

Casee: I also loved how Sharine baffled Titus. He just couldn’t reconcile Sharine with the Hummingbird that everyone adores. I also enjoyed the progression of their relationship. It was a relationship that was built over months, not days. It was a very believable love story.

Holly: It was, except for the end. View Spoiler ».

Casee: I can understand that. Usually I’m not happy with HFN endings, but this one worked wonderfully. Sharine knew that she still had healing to do and while she loved Titus, she wanted to find herself on her own. I admired that.

I forgot another thing I loved. Raphael and Sharine. Sigh. So sweet.

Holly: To clarify, I’m totally good with the HFN, I actually wanted them to be LESS committed than they were. Which is a weird thing for me to say. lol

Oh, I really liked Raphael and Sharine, too. They’re relationship is so sweet.

Casee: That is weird. Lol

Where does it fall in the series for you? It’s not one of my favorites, but I did enjoy it. I would give it a 3.75 out of 5.

Holly: It wasn’t a favorite for me, either. I really liked Sharine’s personal growth and I enjoyed Titus, but the romance wasn’t my favorite. 3.5 out of 5 from me.

Final Grades

Casee: 3.75 out of 5.
Holly: 3.5 out of 5.

Guild Hunter Series

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Posted November 22, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 1 Comment

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: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini SinghArchangel's Sun by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #13
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War , Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Sun
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 24, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

A horrifying secret rises in the aftermath of an archangelic war in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s deadly and beautiful Guild Hunter world...

The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease may be gone but their legacy of evil lives on—especially in Africa, where the shambling, rotting creatures called the reborn have gained a glimmer of vicious intelligence.

It is up to Titus, archangel of this vast continent, to stop the reborn from spreading across the world. Titus can’t do it alone, but of the surviving powerful angels and archangels, large numbers are wounded, while the rest are fighting a surge of murderous vampires.

There is no one left…but the Hummingbird. Old, powerful, her mind long a broken kaleidoscope. Now, she must stand at Titus’s side against a tide of death upon a discovery more chilling than any other. For the Archangel of Disease has left them one last terrible gift…

Excerpt

Excerpt from Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease had created a horrific hybrid. But the ugliest “improvement” was why all of the dead in Titus’s territory were now being cremated—these reborn had the ability to pass on the infection to the dead who yet had a shred of flesh on their bones. The creatures dug up graves, hauled out corpses, fed on them, but if any flesh remained afterward, the dead would be reborn.

An entire village had been butchered by their just-buried war dead in the hours after Titus left the continent to fight Lijuan. Now, people across this land spent daylight hours digging up their dead as tears streaked their faces and their hearts broke; each body was treated with respect, but there was no choice—their dead had to go into the cleansing cauldron of fire.

“Charisemnon and Lijuan must’ve had a plan to spread this new strain,” Tzadiq had said to him after they first became aware of the horror they faced, his second’s clean-shaven head gleaming in the reprieve of the dawn sun. “Why do you think that plan stalled in Africa?”

“We’ll never know for certain,” Titus had answered, his back drenched with sweat after yet another night fighting the reborn, “but if I had to lay bets, I’d say that whatever Charisemnon did to blend his disease with her death, it cost him.” Disease was a “gift” that cut both ways. “He likely couldn’t maintain the projected pace.”

But the archangel formed of pestilence and vanity had done plenty.

It was all more than enough to deal with—yet a nagging worry haunted Titus. When he’d entered Charisemnon’s inner border court after his return from New York, it was to find a number of badly decomposed bodies. No one had been inside the court buildings in the interim, both his and Charisemnon’s former forces caught in a desperate battle against the reborn.

The creatures had gone berserk upon the death of their master.

Only later, after questioning several senior members of the enemy court, had he learned that Charisemnon had shut off the inner court to everyone but a favored few. The other courtiers had worried they’d fallen in their archangel’s favor. Turned out, from what Titus had discovered, that the favored few had actually been the unlucky few.

For the vampires, Titus believed that their liege had either accidentally infected them with a disease or he’d used them as guinea pigs. It was possible the angels had been thrown to the vampires as sacrificial food, but it was equally possible the decomposition hid what might’ve been indications of disease. It was the latter prospect that haunted Titus—because angels weren’t supposed to be vulnerable to disease.

It was a law written into stone.

As immutable as the wind and the sky.

Or it had been before Charisemnon.

Then Tzadiq had discovered the worst thing: a slimy black-green trail along the hallway that led out of the room of the rotting dead . . . in a shape that couldn’t be of anything but an angel. No other being in the world could’ve made that particular pattern. Only an angel whose wings were dragging along the stone as they clawed and crawled their way down the hall.

Needless to say, Titus was handling serious and deadly problems.

The Hummingbird had exactly zero useful skills when it came to the grim tasks that lay ahead.

He wanted to groan all over again. Did he even have anyone left on his staff who could pretty up a room for her?

This was going to be an unmitigated disaster.

Copyright © 2020 by Nalini Singh

Guild Hunter Series

Giveaway Alert

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

Sunday Spotlight: November 2020

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 Nalini Singh

I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.


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Throwback Thursday Review: Serendipity by Carly Phillips

Posted November 19, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: Serendipity by Carly PhillipsReviewer: Rowena
Serendipity by Carly Phillips
Series: Serendipity #1
Also in this series: Serendipity
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 283
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Faith Harrington is a classic girl of privilege-until her father is convicted for running a Ponzi scheme. Now she's back in her hometown, where she runs into her teenage crush-dark, brooding Ethan Barron, who's no stranger to scandal himself.

This review was originally posted on September 8, 2011.

I was in the mood for a contemporary romance and this fit the bill so I picked it up. I wasn’t sorry that I did either. This book was cute and I was pleased with my selection. I haven’t absolutely loved every single book that I’ve read by Carly Phillips but I was delighted with this book. Getting to know both Ethan and Faith made for an entertaining day of reading and this book made me thirsty for more. I’m more than a little anxious for Dare and Nash’s story.

This book follows Ethan Barron and Faith Harrington as they make their way back to their hometown of Serendipity, New York. Faith Harrington is looking for a fresh start and Ethan is looking to repair the relationship between him and his brothers.

Things don’t start out so promising for either of them since Faith’s father is responsible for the making a lot of families in Serendipity broke and Ethan’s brothers aren’t at all interested in repairing their estranged relationship. While I understood Ethan’s brothers reasons for not wanting to have anything to do with him, I didn’t understand the town’s reaction to Faith. I wasn’t a fan of them making their little snide remarks to Faith like she had anything to do with her father’s actions.

Of the two brothers, I didn’t like Nash the most. While I understood why he was so angry with Ethan, his attitude throughout the entire book grated on my nerves and more than anything, I wanted to punch him in the nuts and go on my merry way. To hell with him and to hell with his stupid, woe is me attitude. I think what made him worse was that he held Faith accountable for her father’s actions and all of the shit that he gave her about it made me want to karate chop him in balls. I liked that Dare was more accepting at giving Ethan a chance even though it took some effort on Ethan’s part for him to come around. It was only right that Ethan made an effort to get his brothers to forgive him.
The relationship that blossomed between Faith and Ethan was my favorite part of the book. I enjoyed watching these two come together because they weren’t stupid about their feelings. They were both mature about it and dealt with their growing attraction and then feelings the way that you would hope mature adults would deal with their feelings. They were both upfront and honest about their reservations but they didn’t use their past betrayals and hurts to dissuade them from giving their relationship a go. I liked that even though both of them weren’t looking for a relationship, they didn’t run away from each other with idiotic excuses.

My second favorite part of this story was the addition of Tess. I loved Tess like she was my own little sister and I enjoyed watching her thaw and then let Ethan in. I loved how protective she was over Ethan and Faith and I loved how she did what she thought was right even when it caused bigger problems for those she had come to love. She was a good kid and she made this book all the more enjoyable because she was in it.

This book was good and I’m glad that I picked it up. Even though the next book is Nash’s story, I’m still looking forward to it. Nash is my least favorite brother but I’m interested in seeing Carly Phillips work Nash’s magic on me. Fans of Carly Phillips will enjoy this new addition to her back list and people looking for a good, fun and steamy romance to take with them to the beach should pick this one up. They won’t be sorry.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

four-half-stars


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Review: The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie

Posted November 16, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Perfect Rake by Anne GracieReviewer: Holly
The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie
Series: The Merridew Sisters #1
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: July 5, 2005
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 360
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

She ran from a brute...

Fleeing violent tyranny, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters' chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke...But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster.

...into the arms of a rake

Aristocratic Gideon, handsome, rakish and with a strong frivolous streak, casually hijacks Prudence's game, awarding himself a stolen kiss or three along the way. Used to managing sisters and elderly men, Prudence is completely out of her depth with a charming, devious and utterly irresistible rake. And her plot goes terribly—if deliciously—awry...

The Perfect Rake is the first book in Anne Gracie’s Merridew Sisters trilogy. Tracy recommended this to me after I finished Marry in Scarlet. As it happens, it has a very similar theme to My Darling Duke by Stacy Reid, which I read shortly before this one. I really enjoyed it.

Prue and her younger sisters are being abused at the hands of their grandfather, their guardian since their parents’ death. When he falls down the stairs after a particularly brutal attack against her youngest sister, she sees it as a chance to finally be free of him. If she can get just one of her sister’s married, she can claim their inheritance and take them away from him forever. She forges a letter from their Guardian to their uncle, enlisting his help to give the older girls a season. The problem? Their uncle refuses to launch her sisters until she herself is wed. What she hasn’t told him is that she’s already engaged…to a man he’ll find completely unacceptable. So she does something daring…she claims to be engaged to a reclusive duke, one who hasn’t been out in society in years. She just needs enough time to get one of her sisters wed, and then she can give up the deception. Of course things are never that easy. It just so happens the Duke has come to town to find a bride himself. Prue knows they can’t go back to their grandfather, so she rushes to the Duke’s home to ask him to please keep her secret.

Gideon is reluctantly charmed by the headstrong girl who bursts into his friend’s home to demand he keep up her charade. When she assumes he’s the Duke, he doesn’t correct her at first, mostly because he’s convinced she was a gold-digger at first. It isn’t long before he realizes there’s a quiet desperation to the spitfire. He’s intrigued and wants to know more about her, but she wants nothing to do with him. As they traverse the season together, he realizes she’s more than he could ever have dreamed..now he just has to convince her she wants him just as much.

Prue, her sisters and both Carridan and the Duke were wonderful. I also loved the secondary characters. I loved how into Prue Gideon was. Every time someone mentioned the plain Merridew sister and he was confused I wanted to hug him. I liked how Prue was steadfast and loyal, and took care of her sisters.

This was a really light read, which worked against it in some areas. The early part of the book deals with some pretty heavy themes, but I never felt like they were explored. That was a missed opportunity.

Still, I can’t deny I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The Merridew Sisters

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Leopard’s Rage by Christine Feehan (+ Exclusive Excerpt)

Posted November 15, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 1 Comment

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: Leopard’s Rage by Christine Feehan (+ Exclusive Excerpt)Leopard's Rage by Christine Feehan
Series: Leopard People #12
Also in this series: Burning Wild , Cat's Lair, Leopard's Fury
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

It will take more than desire to tame the animal within in this Leopard novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.
Leopard shifter Sevastyan Amurov has an anger inside of him that burns so hot it's almost impossible to control. His barely leashed rage relentlessly threatens to break free, until he meets a woman who soothes his restless soul.
Sevastyan wants Flambe Carver with every breath. He's determined that the fiery-haired woman will want to be his completely. But his would-be mate comes with strings attached--a relentless stalker who intends to claim her for his own.
They barely know each other, but with a very real threat looming just out of reach, Sevastyan takes Flambe under his protection. And as their connection grows, the embers of desire sparking between them soon burst into an inferno that will consume them both.

Excerpt

Sevastyan shifted back to his fully human form and pressed kisses to the bites. Blood trickled down Flambé’s shoulder blade in a steady stream. He had expected a little blood, but not quite that much. His cat had licked at the bites and that should have helped to clot the blood, but it hadn’t. He frowned.

“I don’t want you to move. Matherson is going to come to the door, or the window, and be very dramatic. Remember, he can’t get in. He can threaten and posture, but he’s like the Big Bad Wolf in the children’s fairy tale. He can huff and puff for all he’s worth. I’ll get a first-aid kit and see to that bite. Your female accepted my male.”

He caught her arms and turned her around to face him. Flambé kept her head down so he tipped her chin up. “Are you crying?” His heart stuttered unexpectedly at the dampness the pads of his fingers encountered when he touched her face. “Did Shturm hurt you? Surely he was careful.” If he wasn’t, Sevastyan was going to have a few choice words to say to his leopard.

“It just felt so permanent between them. Intimate. Everything is happening so fast. I always hoped if I ever got into a permanent relationship it would be about love. Not protection.” Her lashes swept down to veil her expression. “I just thought I might have that someday.” There was vulnerability in the red-gold-tips of her lashes as well as in her tone.

Sevastyan leaned forward and brushed kisses over her lips and then sipped away the tears on her face. “It would be impossible to have the kind of relationship we’re going to have and not be in love. I intend to love you with everything I am. What you do is up to you. I’m sorry I didn’t have the chance to give you a proper courtship. You deserve one and we’ll take every minute we can to get to know each other.”

She blinked up at him, confusion swimming through the liquid in her eyes. “You’re . . . unexpected.”

He hoped he would always be unexpected to her. “Stay right here, baby. I’ve got a first-aid kit behind the bar. We stash them in all the rooms. Evangeline, my cousin Fyodor’s wife, is the one who insisted we do that, and it has really come in handy.”

“You have a lot of cousins.”

That was true. He did. Sevastyan was halfway across the room but keeping an eye on Matherson. He had deliberately showed the man he was leopard and that he had claimed Flambé. He hoped that was enough to take the pressure off her and the idiot would go home and annoy someone else. Clearly, that wasn’t the case. Franco Matherson was furious that his prize had been stolen out from under him.

“Evangeline has the bakery in San Antonio a few blocks from the huge building Jake Banniconni owns downtown. Her bakery is called The Sweet Shoppe,” Flambé said. Her voice shook as she informed him she knew of Evangeline’s bakery.

Sevastyan made his way back to her and turned her around but put her hands on the windowsill to steady her. He wanted a look at the lump on her head as well. “Look at the floor, not at him.”

Matherson had come straight to the window and was staring in, his eyes glowing with his cat’s menacing presence. Sevastyan ignored him, once more pushing up Flambé’s shirt in order to expose the leopard’s bite. It was still bleeding. When he wiped the blood away, he could see that Shtrum really had been careful to keep his bite shallow, just enough for a holding to call to the female. That was shocking to Sevastyan.

Leopard People

Giveaway Alert

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

Sunday Spotlight: November 2020

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 Christine Feehan

I live on the beautiful Northern California coast and draw much inspiration from the beauty around me. I've always been a writer, for as long as I remember. My sisters were forced to read all of my books from the time I could write a story on paper.

I love family. I love my brothers and sisters, my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren. My home was always full of kids and children give me so much joy.

I also love my "sisters of the heart", those friends who have supported me through my life, laughed with me, cried with me and loved me regardless of how crazy my life got. I am a strong supporter of women helping each other which is why I became a third degree black belt and taught self-defense to women who'd been abused.

I love people and dogs, good books and great coffee and I'm lucky to know just how blessed I am.


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