Tag: 4.75 Reviews

Joint Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Posted June 24, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #7
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Tests, Magic Stars, Magic Shifts, Magic Steals, Magic Breaks
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 402
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
five-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews is the 7th book in the Kate Daniels series. Kate has more responsibilities than ever now that she’s mated to the Beast Lord of Atlanta. While Curran is away Kate has to play Beast Lady to the Pack and deal with all their nonsense, plus keep her PI business afloat and prepare for dear old dad to come calling. Things are never dull in Kate’s world….

Holly: I’ve been dying for you to finally make your way to this book. Magic Breaks is my favorite book of the series. It’s so awesome.

Did you love it? Let’s discuss.

Rowena: For some reason, my favorite book remains Magic Strikes. That book was just so much fun for me and even though Kate and her gang were going through some pretty stressful shit, I freaking loved the entire book. That’s not to say that I didn’t love the crap out of this book too. I love seeing Kate really come into her powers more and more with each passing book. Kate was put in a really tough spot with the pack while Curran was gone but just like I knew she would, she handled her shit and kept her wits about her to take care of everything, and everyone.

Holly: I love Magic Strikes, too, but man did my heart hurt reading it. This was focused more on the action, I think. It was interesting how Curran was gone for most of the book. They’re a great team, but I like that Kate handles things without him, too.

Rowena: I could feel how anxious she was trying to find Curran but holy shit, at the end??? When she goes to claim Robert and Christopher? I about jumped up and did a happy dance twerk for her at 2 in the morning. I freaking loved it! Kate Daniels is a freaking dawg and good luck to anyone trying to cross her…including her Dad. Man, this was a damn good book.

Holly: The way she rescued Robert and Christopher had me jumping up and down. She’s such a badass.

Rowena: Yeah, when Curran finally gets back, it felt like that scene in Lord of the Rings where Gandalf rides to the rescue with his army to save the day…only Kate didn’t really need him to save the day but boy did I feel the relief from her when she sees him and is so damn glad that he’s safe and alive. This book was filled to the brim with action, with emotion and just everything that I’ve come to love in a Kate Daniels book. Ilona Andrews is my favorite.

Holly: Yeah, her relief was palpable, but she absolutely did not need to be rescued. I love that theirs is a true partnership. They’re equals. They support each other and help each other problem solve, but never does it feel like they’re anything but true partners.

Rowena: I do agree that Curran and Kate have a true partnership because they get on each other’s nerves and I love that we see them bicker and fight with each other. Their relationship is far from perfect but they still love the hell out of each other.

Holly: I love how nuanced all these characters are. Take Jennifer, for example. She’s the alpha of Clan Wolf, and she’s a shithead. She does everything she can to make Kate’s life hell. But she’s also a grieving widow and sister, so while I never liked her or forgave her, she had more depth than some cardboard villain.

Rowena: Same. There are characters that I absolutely adore but there are also characters that I tolerate and Jennifer is one of them. Her character does have depth and I certainly appreciate Andrews efforts in writing each of their characters because they all have a certain level of depth to them whether they’ve been on the scene since the beginning or the newer characters. I just enjoy the hell out of this series as a whole and this book was fantastic. I am so looking forward to seeing what’s next for Kate Daniels and her crew but I am not looking forward to finishing this series. I’m not ready to say goodbye to any of them.

Holly: This is such a great book because it clears up a lot of little threads from previous books, but it also opened up more for the future. I’m really excited for you to continue on.

Rowena: From beginning to end, this book wrapped me up tight and didn’t let go and even though there were times when I was annoyed with the pack, with what was thrown at Kate at every turn, I still enjoyed the hell out of this one and definitely recommend. This one gets 4.75 out of 5 stars from me. What about you?

Holly: I was definitely invested in this book. It gets better every single time I read it. I love Kate, Curran and all their friends and family. I give it 4.75 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 4.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.75 out of 5

Kate Daniels

five-stars


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Review: Magic Tests & Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews

Posted June 8, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Tests & Magic Stars by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Magic Tests by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5.3
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Shifts, Magic Steals, Magic Breaks, Magic Breaks
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 32
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

A short story in the Kate Daniels universe. Kate recruits her teenage ward, Julie, to search out a missing student whose location spell has her hidden somewhere on campus…

I’m doing a complete read of the Kate Daniels and I have fallen hard for every one of these books. When we first meet Julie, she’s this scared little girl who just lost her Mom and is on her own. I was super thrilled when Kate took her in and with each passing book, seeing Julie grow more and more comfortable in herself and in her place in Kate’s life (she’s got a long way to go but I see progress and that’s great!) makes me love her all the more.

This was a fun short story featuring Julie and it was a lot of fun seeing her personality away from Kate. She’s really growing into her own person and I really like seeing it. Julie is smart and she reminds me so much of Kate that I smiled my way through this entire story. When she slides that Lennart name into her interrogation with the dragon, I laughed out loud. She showed that she can hang with the big dawgs in this book and I cannot wait to continue watching her grow into her own. I’m a big Derek and Julie fan (sorry Ascanio) so I welcome any and every story featuring Julie front and center. More, please!

Grade: 4 out of 5

Review: Magic Tests & Magic Stars by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #8.5, Gray Wolf #1
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Shifts, Magic Steals, Magic Breaks, Magic Breaks
Publisher: NYLA
Publication Date: December 8, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 84
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an original novella, set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring fan-favorites, Derek, and Curran and Kate’s very independent ward, Julie.

Scarred, solitary Derek Gaunt has separated from his Pack, and is truly a lone wolf. With no family he answers to no one; but is fiercely loyal to a chosen few. So, when several of those close to him are murdered, he’ll stop at nothing to hunt their killer through the magic-drenched streets of Atlanta.

Never one to be left on the sidelines, equally determined—some might say stubborn—Julie Lennart-Olsen soon joins in his pursuit; and what began as revenge turns into a race to save the city. Their search pits them against powers they never imagined and magic so old, it predates history. It may cost Derek his life, but there are things for which even he would risk everything.

Man, I’ve been looking forward to this story ever since I found out about it. Derek has been one of my favorite characters in this series from the jump. I ugly cried over him in Magic Strikes and I have loved him more and more with each passing book. Derek is Kate’s ride or die and seeing him go through it over the course of this series really hit me in my feels. He’s one of the good ones and I’m absolutely thrilled that we might be getting more books featuring him (we are, right? I mean this is the first book in the Gray Wolf series so I just kind of assumed). I really enjoyed the little bit that we got of Derek at center stage in this story and my hopes are sky high that Derek and Julie are going to become a thing.

This story has Derek on a mission to track down some bad guys that popped up on Curran’s radar and his mission puts him in Julie’s path, who plants herself right in the middle of Derek’s mission and seeing them work together to figure out what’s going on and then put their plan of attack into action…together was just great. They’re a great pair and I so want more books featuring them. Ilona Andrews does such a great job with making readers fall in love with their characters and readers will definitely fall in love with Derek and Julie. Derek’s protective streak and Julie’s fierce loyalty where Derek is concerned (and her undercover love for him) make for a fantastic story and I’m so here for more. I definitely recommend this short if you need just a little more Derek and Julie. You won’t regret it.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Kate Daniels

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean

Posted March 19, 2020 by Rowena in Giveaways, Reviews | 7 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLeanReviewer: Rowena
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1) by Sarah MacLean
Series: Love By Numbers #1
Also in this series: Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2), Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2), Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3), Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3), Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: March 30, 2010
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 422
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A lady does not smoke cheroot. She does not ride astride. She does not fence or attend duels. She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen's club.

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she's vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she's been missing.

But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.

If she's not careful, she'll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on March 31, 2010.

I am a sucker for the unrequited love story. The longing and the pining never cease to make my heart race as I wonder how the author is going to bring these two people together. Whether they’re best friends turned lovers or a woman with a longstanding crush, the excitement of that kind of story never fails to make my heart sigh as I’m reading the book. That was the case with this book.

I adored it.

It took me no time at all to read this book because every spare moment I had, I had my nose buried in this book. It’s funny because my sister was visiting from Colorado when I started this book and her 4-year-old son took to teasing me about all the reading I did with. He would sit on the couch and put his hands in the shape of a book in front of his face, pretending to read and ask me, “Who am I, Aunty Wena?”

Haha, Kainoa…very funny but I couldn’t help it. This book was so good. It wasn’t anything new, the storyline isn’t a storyline that was fresh but the dialogue and the characters were refreshing and unbelievably bewitching. My favorite part of this book is surprising, the heroine, Lady Calpurnia Hartwell. She’s a wallflower, a spinster. She’s on the shelf and after a conversation, she overheard between her younger sister and her sister’s fiance about her and another conversation with her brother, the Earl of Allendale, Callie sets about having adventures. She goes about learning how to fence, smoking cheroots, kissing men in the middle of the night and all sorts of other adventures that had me laughing, holding my breath and laughing all over again.

As great as Gabriel was, it was Callie that made this story for me. I loved seeing her interact with her family, most especially her brother and sister. You can tell that there was a wealth of love between the siblings and I loved the scene between Callie and Benny when Callie comes home late and Benny’s waiting up for her and she confesses all about her adventures and then asks him to let her smoke a cheroot and he finally caves. That scene was such a sweet and funny scene, one that I absolutely adored.

I seriously adored this book. I can’t recommend it enough because it was a great book with fantastic characters and a storyline that kept me entertained from the beginning to the end. I will definitely be checking out more books by Sarah McLean and I’m very anxious to do so. If you’re looking for a fantastic historical that will make you laugh, this is definitely the book for you.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Love By Numbers

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 16, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Magic Bleeds by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Ames and Rowena
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #4
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Tests, Magic Stars, Magic Shifts, Magic Steals, Magic Breaks, Magic Breaks
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: May 25, 2010
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 388
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-half-stars

Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…

Magic Bleeds is the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews and it’s another winner of a book, if you ask me. Kate Daniels is back in action, fighting the good fight against the bad guys and the fight is a lot closer to home than she’d wish. While out investigating a curious bar fight, Kate finds out that there’s a new bad guy in town and they are causing mayhem wherever they go so Kate needs to figure out who the bad guy is and take them out before panic hits everyone in Atlanta.

Rowena: Kate Daniels is a freaking badass and she’s winning me over with every passing page that I read. This was another fabulous story and Ilona Andrews continues to shine in their storytelling abilities because I was right there with Kate and the gang. I felt what she felt and I had the same burning desire to take down the bad guys and I wanted to kick Curran in the balls too….but boy do they really come into their own.

By now, we have learned what Kate is, who she is and we’re starting to find out just what she’s capable of. She was an interesting character before all of this came to light but now? She’s like ten times more interesting to me. The beginning of this book made me sad but the more I read, the stronger I felt that Curran and Kate were going to figure their shit out. It was a lot of fun for me to watch battle wits, battle forces and just fall in love. Holy cow, I love these two.

What did you think about this one, Ames?

Ames: First of all, I just have to say how glad and happy I am that you’re reading and loving this series. Kate Daniels is definitely one of my top favourite series EVER. I just had to get that out of the way.

Ok, like you I like this one for the growth its showing with Kate and how things are progressing with Curran. I love when couples fight and I feel that heartbreak so when he doesn’t show at the beginning of the book? I felt Kate’s hurt and her anger and I loved how she used Jim to say things to Curran for her when they finally ran into each other. hahaha!!

I also loved the introduction of Grendel. That was funny too.

I really can’t say anything bad about these books because I love them so much. But I like how kickass Kate is. She’s always thinking two steps ahead and she just wants to get shit done and she hates pack politics. She’s such a dynamic character and I like how we learn a little bit more about who she is and who she’s related to. She’s really starting to get a handle on her growing powers and learning exactly what she’s capable of.

Rowena: I’m happy that you’re happy that I’m finally reading and enjoying this series. I knew that I was going to love it though. You guys love this series too much for me to not love it as well. Ilona Andrews is a hell of a writing duo and they seriously shine with these books. The first couple of books were okay but now that I know what’s going on and who is who, this series is shaping up to be amazing. It’s probably going to be in my top favorite series ever as well. You have good taste. 🙂

Yesssss! I was just as mad at Curran for not showing up and when Kate goes off on him when they finally hash that whole thing out? Kate said everything she needed to say to him with her chest and the way that Curran reacted, the way that they growled their way to a resolution that is so them and it made me love the two of them together so much more.

Awww yes, I adored Grendel too. I loved seeing how Kate just took him home and that was that. She is piecing a family together for herself and I love being able to see it grow and grow. Despite how much she hates politics, she just keeps right on stepping up for them and I’m really looking forward to seeing where her character takes us next.

The big bad villain in this book was fierce and I liked seeing Kate shake a bit in her boots, trying to figure out how to take them down. I’m really digging everything that we’re starting to learn about Kate. The bits and pieces of her background, learning about how she came to be the person that she is now and I’m really interested in seeing Hugh come back into the picture. What’s his deal anyway? Overall, this book was another action-packed story that I was heavily invested in so it’s getting a 4.75 out of 5 from me, what about you?

Ames: I’m giving Magic Bleeds 4.75 out of 5 as well. This series is really picking up steam and each book keeps getting better and better. I like that Kate is starting to build a family for herself and is starting to open to up to people.

Ames: 4.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.75 out of 5

Kate Daniels


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Review: The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan

Posted January 15, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Kingmaker by Kennedy RyanReviewer: Rowena
The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan
Series: All the Kings Men #1
Also in this series: The Rebel King
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 28, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alterntaing First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 344
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition. In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.

My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I’m determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and would do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.

And neither will I.

The Kingmaker is the first book in Kennedy Ryan’s All the King’s Men duet and it was also the last book that I read in 2019. I really, really enjoyed this one and I don’t say that lightly because this book is hella political and politics are not my jam. But Kennedy Ryan did her thing again because I ate this book up.

This story covers like a decade in the lives of the two main characters, Maxin Kingsman Cade and Lennix Moon Hunter. Lennix is a Native American young woman who lost her mother when she was young. Her mother went to Seattle for a pipeline protest and never came home. She was never found and Lennix doesn’t think enough was done to help her family get the closure they needed. She doesn’t know what happened to her Mom and I think that played a huge part in while she picked up activism at such an early age. She was a big spokesperson for the Native American people in her area and she led peaceful protests against corporate oil companies that wanted to build pipelines on her people’s sacred lands, pipelines that would contaminate their water. So it’s not a huge surprise that she despises everything that has to do with Warren Cade. Warren Cade is the head of Cade Energy and he’s doing everything that Lennix is fighting against.

Maxim is determined to be his own man. He refuses to back down from joining his father’s company because his father will not listen to Maxim’s ideas on how to build a better energy company using methods that will help with climate change. His Dad’s main focus has been money and he makes a lot of it in the oil business so he’s not willing to listen to Maxim. Maxim grew up listening to his father speak, seeing his father in action so he knows that his father is relentless and ruthless and Maxim wants no part of that. He’s determined to learn all that he can so that he can build a better world for everyone and he’s hell-bent on doing it on his own, without his father’s influence.

When Maxim and Lennix meet for the first time, Lennis is too young for him but he’s very interested. There’s chemistry in spades sizzling between them but Maxim is bummed that she’s so young. He knows that she’s going to grow up to be an amazing woman and he was right. When they meet up again four years later, Lennix is older and Maxim is still interested. They spend a week together in Amsterdam and they fall in love but their love is shortlived because their lives take them in opposite directions and they drift apart for some more years…and then Lennix finds out that Maxim was keeping a huge secret from her and she is determined to never let him close enough again.

Seeing these two meet, fall in love and then are torn apart, only for them to come back together years later with one of them fighting for a love that he knows is worth everything made for a really interesting romance. I fell hard for both Lennix and Maxim. They were both intense characters that were strong on their own but in my opinion, better together. Their love was strong and it was fierce and it never completely fizzled out after years and years of separation. Kennedy Ryan will pull at your emotional strings with this one because it’s not an easy romance but man was it a worthwhile one. This book isn’t getting 5 stars from me but that’s only because of that ending. I’m not a fan of cliffhanger endings and this has one so if you’re wanting to read this, there’s your warning…but on the bright side, the follow-up book, The Rebel King is available for you to immediately jump into if you need to.

Final Grade

4.75 out of 5

All the King’s Men

four-half-stars


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