Tag: Jaci Burton

Review: Shot on Gold by Jaci Burton

Posted February 20, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Shot on Gold by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Rowena
Shot on Gold (Play by Play, #14) by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #14
Also in this series: Holiday on Ice, Rules of Contact, The Final Score (Play by Play, #13), Changing the Game (Play by Play, #2)
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: February 13th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Final Score, opposites attract when a figure skater and hockey player lace up their skates--and go for the gold...

Will "Mad Dog" Madigan is making his second trip to the Winter Games, and he couldn't be happier. Hockey is his life and playing for the U.S. team is a privilege. Then he meets U.S. figure skater Amber Sloane. She's beautiful, ambitious and driven--everything Will desires in a woman. He would love to show Amber how hot life off the ice can be.

Amber has skated her entire life, sacrificing everything in the hopes of one day winning gold. Now she's competing for the third and final time. She intends to win, and nothing's going to get in her way--until she meets Will. He's an irresistible charmer, and before long Amber is wondering if this sexy hockey player is the perfect guy to show her some moves outside the rink.

But after all the medals have been awarded, Will and Amber will have to decide if what they have together is just a fling or a real shot at true love.

Shot on Gold is the fourteenth book in the Play by Play series by Jaci Burton and it was a sweet romance. Both the hero and the heroine were so sweet and so polite to each other and they were super nice and all of that but that’s pretty much it.

This book follows Will “Mad Dog” Madigan and Amber Sloane as they fall in love during the Winter Olympics. They’re both competing in the Games and they meet in the athlete’s village and their romance takes off right from the very beginning.

Will is at his second Olympics with the US Men’s Hockey team and this time around, he wants to experience the whole thing with a clear head and make actual memories. His first time around, he won the silver medal with his team and he remembers a lot of alcohol, lots of women and lots of partying. He’s older now so he wants to savor the experience and he wants to help his team win the elusive gold medal. He’s serious business this time around so when he meets Amber Sloane, he’s definitely interested and wouldn’t mind a little female company during the two-week international tournament.

Amber Sloane is competing in her last Winter Olympics. She’s an ice skater who has always put skating above everything else and while she is a very decorated athlete, she doesn’t have a gold medal and she doesn’t have any friends. She’s twenty-four years old and she vows to have some fun during these Olympic games because she deserves a bit of fun after all of her hard work. She’s ready to compete for that gold and she is very confident that this is her year to finally win it. Her one friend is a Canadian snowboarder and they’re roommates again so Amber knows that if anyone can help her let loose a little, it’s Lisa. When Lisa takes her a party, Amber meets Will and she’s just as attracted to him as he is to her and she’s determined that he will be the person that she gets cozy with and he doesn’t disappoint.

Over the course of the two weeks that they’re both competing in Vancouver at the Olympic Games, Will and Amber fall into a relationship that is pretty hot and super steamy. They get closer and closer and they spend as much time as they can together and everything is just peachy. Being together makes them happy and it shows in their performance in the games. Will is killing it on the ice and so is Amber. Everything is perfect. Nothing is ever wrong, except for a few mean words from Amber’s Mom…and I think that was my problem with the book. There weren’t any real conflicts in the romance and the conflict that we do get, happens after the games and to be honest, it was pretty weak.

This book reads like a fairy tale where everyone is accepted and everyone wins a gold medal and while that’s fine, I wanted more meat from the story. The romance itself worked but outside of that, everything was pretty tame. Everyone got along, there was no drama between any of the athletes and I expected…more. I finished this book wanting more. I would have enjoyed the setting and the environment a whole lot more if something actually happened instead of happy, happy, joy, joy, all the time. So while the romance was sweet, the rest of the story low key needed more umph for me.

Play by Play Series

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Changing the Game by Jaci Burton

Posted November 24, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Changing the Game by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Rowena
Changing the Game (Play by Play, #2) by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #2
Also in this series: Holiday on Ice, Rules of Contact, The Final Score (Play by Play, #13), Shot on Gold (Play by Play, #14)
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: August 2nd 2011
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 310
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Goodreads
four-stars

Most people play by the rules. Gavin and Liz aren't most people....

Win at any cost. That's always been the mantra of sports agent Liz Darnell. When she carries things too far and risks losing her number-one client, baseball pro Gavin Riley, Liz realizes that she'll have to work extra innings to win him back. It might not be too much of a stretch. She's had a thing for this player's moves since she first laid eyes on him, and by the looks of it, he wants her just as bad.

Gavin's more than ready—especially when Liz is offering herself as part of the bargain. And as much of her as Gavin wants. For added thrills, he decides to throw a little curve ball Liz's way to see just how far she's truly willing to go to keep him as a client. But when love unexpectedly enters the playing field, neither Liz nor Gavin are ready for the biggest game-changer of them all.

Changing the Game is the second book in Jaci Burton’s Play by Play series and it features Gavin Riley, the hero of the first books brother. Gavin’s heroine is the villain from the first book and I didn’t know how I’d come around where Liz was concerned, knowing what she did to Mick, Tara and Nathan in The Perfect Play but Burton did a great job of redeeming her character in my eyes.

What surprised me was how much I wanted to knee Mick in the balls in this book. We really see him in the eyes of his brother and he was annoying as hell but alls well that ends well because in the end, he turns back into the man everyone loves.

Gavin Riley plays professional baseball in St. Louis and loves his life. He loves the freedom he has to be with whoever he wants, he spends his days training for or playing his favorite sport in the world and his life comes with a lot of perks. He knows that he shouldn’t be attracted to his agent, after the hell she put his brother and family through but he can’t help it. She creeps into his thoughts and he wants her. When she starts avoiding him, Gavin finds the right opportunity to clear the air between them…and maybe dirty up his sheets.

Liz Darnell has been in love with Gavin for years but he’ll never know that. She’s worked really hard at keeping her feelings for her client at bay and now that she royally screwed up with his brother (and her #1 client), she is waiting for Gavin to drop her as an agent just like Mick did. When Gavin corners her for a meeting and then that meeting turns into spending time together knocking boots, Liz is equal parts thrilled and scared to death because what is she going to do when he’s had his fill of her and moves on?

Watching the sparks fly between Gavin and Liz was fun. This wasn’t one of those books where there is major angst and so many things are happening at the same time that the main couple is falling in love. No, this book was simple romance where the story hinged on the reader connecting with the characters and for me, it totally worked. I wanted to read a baseball romance after being completely obsessed with the World Series and a pretty remarkable season from my Dodgers and this book really fit the bill.

Gavin was such a normal younger brother. Not wanting to live in his brother’s spotlight but wanting to shine on his own. I really enjoyed getting to know him and seeing him connect with Liz. I also really enjoyed seeing his own connection with his family. The Rileys were family goals and I loved seeing them again. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I was right there with his parents and wanted to strangle him for being such a dumbass but he gets it right in the end and Liz’s love for him was strong and I was happy that he was able to make things right with her before it was too late.

Liz was such a strong heroine and getting to know her was great. She was remorseful for her actions in the trouble with Mick and his family and I loved that she learned her lesson and wanted to make things right for everyone involved. She was a damn grown up and handled everything that came her way the same way that I hope I would and I just admired the hell out of her when all was said and done. She was a good person, inside and out and she worked hard and loved deep and I was so happy when she finally got her happy ending because I truly thought she deserved it.

Overall, Burton did a great job of writing Gavin and Liz’s story and I’m low key mad at myself for waiting so long to read this book. It’s a good one and I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for a contemporary with a strong romance and a great secondary cast. This will hit you in the feels, I promise.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: The Final Score by Jaci Burton

Posted September 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: The Final Score by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Rowena
The Final Score (Play by Play, #13) by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #13
Also in this series: Holiday on Ice, Rules of Contact, Changing the Game (Play by Play, #2), Shot on Gold (Play by Play, #14)
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Contact, a star quarterback is torn between his love of the game—and the woman who may be the love of his life.

Nathan Riley is ready to follow in the footsteps of his famous football player father. He’s been drafted as quarterback for his dad’s former team, and his sports future is bright. When his friend Mia Cassidy moves to the same city, their years-long friendship suddenly sparks hot, reminding him of the one night they had together in college that he can never forget.

Like Nathan, Mia is from a sports dynasty family and embarking on an incredible new career—as founder of her own sports management company. Her friendship with Nathan means everything to her, and tossing sex into the mix again could jeopardize it all. But the chemistry between them has always sizzled, and it isn’t long before Mia realizes she wants more with Nathan than just late-night talks and pizza.

Passion has a funny way of changing the rules, and soon Nathan and Mia realize that to win it all, they’ll have to make an unexpected play for love.

The Final Score is the thirteenth book in the Play by Play series and it was another cute contemporary romance that made for a pleasant way to spend a few hours.

Nathan Riley and Mia Cassidy have been best friends since college. They’re good as friends. They’re supportive of each other, they care about each other and Nathan has wanted more for a long time. Mia has dug in her heels and has refused to risk their friendship on a relationship that she wasn’t sure would work out. His friendship meant too much to her and she didn’t want to rock the boat…even though they rocked the boat once in college. So they continue on as friends only and Nathan has put his feelings for his bestie on hold.

Fast forward a few years and they’ve graduated from college and are both working hard in their respective careers. Nathan is the new starting QB for his father’s team and he’s feeling the pressure to lead a team that has always been his father’s team. Mia, on the other hand, has opened up her own sports management business and she’s feeling her own pressure to make the business a success. She’s got employees who are relying on her to keep them employed and she’s doing everything she can to not let anyone down. They’re both busy, much too busy for a relationship but when Nathan brings up that they could be friends with benefits, Mia at first says no but Nathan keeps after it and before long, Mia has caved and the benefits begin.

I liked both Nathan and Mia as characters but my favorite part of this romance was how normal it was. Sure, both Nathan and Mia have high profile jobs but at their cores, they were normal everyday people who loved and wanted to be loved in return. I loved that Mia was a planner babe (I’m one too!) and I adored that Nathan was very upfront about what he wanted from Mia. He didn’t fight his feelings, he just waited for Mia to be ready for him. I totally respected that.

I didn’t understand a lot of Mia’s hangups about a relationship with Nathan. I wish she had more faith in him as a partner but those were just little gripes in an otherwise, perfectly put together contemporary romance. I enjoyed seeing all of Mia’s family and Nathan’s too. I’ve been itching for a baseball romance so I’m going to look into reading Mia’s brothers books since I haven’t gotten around to them yet.

Overall, this story was refreshingly simple. It wasn’t bogged down with angst and feelings and the characters didn’t have any of that annoying push and pull crap. It was a straight up romance about two friends who fall in to love with each other and find a way to make it work. It was perfect for what I was in the mood for so I enjoyed it.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: The Final Score by Jaci Burton

Posted September 10, 2017 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 3 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

I’m not going to lie. I’ve been collecting this series because of the covers. I mean, who wouldn’t? Ha! I haven’t read all of the books of the books in this series but the ones that I have read, I’ve enjoyed so I am looking forward to reading this book because the hero is the son of the couple from The Perfect Play, book 1 in this series. That should be interesting, right? Either way, I’m stoked about it. The heroine is the sister of the hero in the last book, Rules of Contact.

The Final Score by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #13
Also in this Series: Rules of Contact, Holiday on Ice, Taking a Shot, Taking a Shot, Changing the Game, The Perfect Play, The Perfect Play
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Berkley

In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Contact, a star quarterback is torn between his love of the game—and the woman who may be the love of his life.

Nathan Riley is ready to follow in the footsteps of his famous football player father. He’s been drafted as quarterback for his dad’s former team, and his sports future is bright. When his friend Mia Cassidy moves to the same city, their years-long friendship suddenly sparks hot, reminding him of the one night they had together in college that he can never forget.

Like Nathan, Mia is from a sports dynasty family and embarking on an incredible new career—as founder of her own sports management company. Her friendship with Nathan means everything to her, and tossing sex into the mix again could jeopardize it all. But the chemistry between them has always sizzled, and it isn’t long before Mia realizes she wants more with Nathan than just late-night talks and pizza.

Passion has a funny way of changing the rules, and soon Nathan and Mia realize that to win it all, they’ll have to make an unexpected play for love.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

Check out some Nathan and Mia goodness… 🙂

“Oh, you know what?” she said as they paused to refill their drinks. “Amy Mackenfield broke up with her boyfriend.”

Nathan feigned shock. “What? The couple that was going to be together until the end of time?”

Mia laughed. “That was my thought, too. I guess ‘until the end of time’ didn’t last very long past college graduation.”

Nathan braced a hip against the kitchen island. “So what happened?”

“She got a job offer in Houston and Bill wouldn’t make the move with her. He said his job in Austin was going so well that he didn’t want to lose it. They tried the long-distance thing for about six months. Amy realized it wasn’t going to work any longer, so she broke up with him.”

“Ah. I always thought they were mismatched anyway.”

She tilted her head at Nathan as they made their way back into the living room and resumed their seats on the couch. “Really? How so?”

“She’s very ambitious. He was content with the status quo and wasn’t the motivated type. Seems that didn’t change much after college.”

“You’re right about that.” She swirled her wine around in the glass, then took a sip. “I don’t know of many relationships that last through the tumultuous years of college.”

“Ours did.”

She laughed. “We’re not in a relationship, Nathan. We’re friends.”

“Is there a difference?”

She leaned back and kicked off her shoes. “Of course there is. I’m friends with several people from college.”

“Close friends?”

“Maybe not. I’d say I’m closest to you and to Monique. You’re the two people I tell all my secrets to.”

“I’m glad I know all the dirt. At least the non sex dirt.”

She laughed. “That’s true. You don’t get to hear about my sex life.”

“Why is that?”

“Because that would be weird.”

“In what way?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess maybe because we’ve been intimate before. Or maybe because you’re a guy. I don’t know.”

“Now you’re being sexist. Just because I’m a guy doesn’t mean I can’t hear the dirty details of your sex life.”

“Oh, please. Like you share the details of your sex life with me.”

“True. I don’t. I wouldn’t want to make you weep about what you’re missing out on.”

She rolled her eyes. “Please.”

“See? Now you’ve resorted to begging. I knew this would happen.” He stood and reached for the zipper of his jeans. “Okay, give me a second to lose my pants and we’ll get down to it.”

She was laughing so hard she had to put her glass down. “Oh, my God, Nathan. Stop.”

He stilled and turned to face her. “This is not the reaction I typically get when I’m about to drop my pants, Mia.”

She wiped her eyes. “Well, I’m not your typical woman, am I?”

He took a seat and picked up his beer. “No, you’re not. I can’t figure out why you’re so immune to me.”

She leaned into him. “I wouldn’t say I’m exactly immune to you. I find you immensely hot. It’s just that I love our friendship more than I love your penis.”

He sighed and tugged her close. “Dammit. Maybe I should be meaner to you.”

“Oh, please don’t do that. Then who would give me those awesome shoulder rubs when I’m tense?”

“Was that a hint?”

“Not even a hint.” She pulled herself forward. “I’ve had a rough day.”

He sighed. “Come on and sit between my legs.”

She got up, then nestled her butt in between his thighs, spreading her fingers over all that delicious hard muscle.

Keep it in the friend zone, Mia, she reminded herself. Ignoring her body’s reaction to being cradled against him, she decided it would be more prudent to keep the touching to a minimum. She removed her hands and placed them in her lap and focused on the way his hands moved over the tight muscles of her shoulders. He knew exactly where the knots of tension were located. In a matter of minutes all those muscles were relaxed as his fingers glided over her skin.

But as he moved his hands over her body, that tension was replaced with something else. For some reason, she was aware of Nathan like never before. The way it felt to be caged between his thighs, the sound of his breathing as he leaned forward to dig deeper into her muscles, and his cool, clean scent whenever she took a deep breath.

What was wrong with her? This wasn’t the first time he’d given her a massage. But for some reason, tonight she was vibing off him in a distinctly sexual way.

She found it very disturbing. After that one night a few years ago, she’d shut those feelings down completely. Other than having a penis, he’d been no different than one of her girlfriends.

Something had definitely changed, though. It had to be the unmet sexual need on her part that had surfaced with all the stress she was under.

She really needed to take care of it so that whenever Nathan put his hands on her or looked at her or breathed near her she’d stop feeling achy and aroused.

And stop feeling this overwhelming need to ask him to strip her down and lick her all over.

Play by Play Series

Take a moment to admire these beautiful book covers. Are you drooling about as much as we are? swoon

Giveaway: 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.

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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

Jaci Burton

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TUMBLR | GOODREADS

Jaci Burton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over 70 books. She lives in Oklahoma and when she isn’t on deadline (which is often), she can usually be found wrestling with her uncooperative garden, wrangling her dogs, watching an unhealthy amount of television, or completely losing track of time reading a great book. She’s a total romantic and longs for the happily ever after in every story, which you’ll find in all her books.. Visit her website at www.jaciburton.com for excerpts, book information and contests.


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Retro Review: Hunting the Demon by Jaci Burton

Posted May 17, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Retro Review: Hunting the Demon by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Casee
Hunting the Demon (Demon Hunters, #2) by Jaci Burton
Series: Demon Hunters #2
Published by Dell
Publication Date: August 28th 2007
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

In a world seething with sin and seduction, the chase is on.
Hunting demons for a living can have its moments. Especially when Shay Pearson’s latest quarry is the gorgeous bronze surfer who just stepped out of the sea. Uncovering Nic Diavolo’s devilish side could prove Shay’s toughest assignment yet. Because while she’s acting as bait to snatch this sexy bad boy, Nic’s got a plan of seduction no woman—earthly or otherwise—can resist.
Caught between two warring realms, Nic needs to stay alive long enough to figure out who his enemies are. That includes the beautiful hunter who won’t let him out of her sight. And something far worse: a force of evil with an almost unimaginable goal— possessing Nic’s very soul. But the hunt really heats up when a guy who’s hotter than Hades and a woman who’s afraid of love join forces, igniting an inferno of lust and longing that could send them into mortal danger...or straight into each other’s arms.…

******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

 

This review was originally published September 26, 2007

This book was blah for me. Not bad, but not great. That makes it really hard to do a review. When I review a book, I really like to feel passionate about at least one thing in the book, be it good or bad. In Hunting the Demon, well, I’ve got nothing.

This is the 2nd book in Burton’s Demon Hunter series. The 1st book, Surviving Demon Island, set up an interesting world of good vs. evil. On the good side, you have the Realm of Light. Charged with protecting the human race, the Realm of Light has an awesome responsibility. Due to the fact that many people would never believe that demons exist, they have kind of a hard time recruiting demon fighters. On the bad side, you have the Sons of Darkness. These are some bad mother-f-ers. See, there are only certain women that can actually have demon children. The Sons of Darkness don’t really care if these women already have families and children of their own. They just kidnap them.

Shay Pearson’s mom was kidnapped when she was a child. At 6 years old, she had a vision where these really scary monsters took her mom. Knowing that no adult would believe her, Shay kept quiet. So when her mom disappeared from a business trip, Shay knew exactly what happened. Thus she started carrying that burden on her 6 y/o back.

Now Shay is a kick ass demon-fighting machine. Brought in by the Realm of Light to fight demons, Shay finally learned that she wasn’t the only child that lost her mother. After killing a Demon Lord on Demon Island, the team now has to find out if the Lord’s son (and brother to the hero of Surviving Demon Island) is a demon himself.

Heading the Australia, Shay volunteered to some recon work on Nic Diavolo. She did keep a few things to herself about why she was so willing check out the potential demon. Like the fact that she’s been having visions of the man, whom she has never met before. Charged with the task of discovering whether or not Nic is an evil demon like his evil demon father, Shay does what any self-respecting woman would do. She strips down to her bikini and introduces herself to Nic on the beach. Of course Nic can’t help but be attracted to Shay, especially since she doesn’t seem to want anything from him (as if). As the sole heir to Diavolo Diamonds, Nic has seen his share of gold-diggers.

After a fun filled afternoon of surfing, eating, and making out, Nic is a little uneasy about the feelings that Shay invokes him him. Because of these bizarre nightmares he’s been having where he turns into some sort of evil creature, Nic is hesitant to get involved with Shay. Shay can tell that Nic is pulling away and has no choice but to bring him in. Obviously Nic is more than a tad angry that Shay has used him. He’s especially angry when this group of strangers try to convince him that not only is his father dead, but he was also a demon. He refuses to believe that he has any demon blood running in his veins or that Derek is his brother. He explains his dreams away as coincidence. Mmmm-hmm.

Kidnapping Nic and taking him to the Diavolo Diamond mine probably isn’t the most intelligent idea, but the team has no other choice. They have to find this Black Diamond which is presumably somewhere in the mine before the demons get a hold of it. If they happen to get it before the Realm of Light can get it, the world is basically going to hell. There will be no stopping it. Unfortunately for Shay, Nic seems to be smack in the middle of it. If her visions are right, Nic will turn evil demon and join forces with the bad guys.

After a few escape attempts, Nic finally realizes that Shay and her fellow fighters are telling him the truth. Of course seeing a demon in the flesh really helped him come to that conclusion. Again, though these demons bear a remarkable resemblance to those in his dreams, he still puts it down to coincidence. I call it denial. Nic refuses to believe that he will turn evil, which is what he thinks his dreams are telling him.

Eventually there is a showdown with the good guys, the bad guys, and the Black Diamond. We also learn that there is actually a Queen of Darkness who is supposed to join evil forces with Nic. The Sons of Darkness think they have her…the archeologist that was hired to find the Black Diamond (having no idea demons existed). What they soon realize is that she’s not the one, but they can’t figure out how they were wrong. Angelique knows that it’s her twin sister Isabella that they’re looking for. So when everyone is distracted, Angelique takes the diamond and runs. This sets the stage for the 3rd book, out in Summer 2008.

It took me 5 days to read this book. That’s pretty unheard of for me. So while I didn’t dislike this book, I just wasn’t in to it. Like I said above…blah.

3 out of 5.

three-stars


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