Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Review: Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis

January 24th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review
Publication date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Avon Books
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #7

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

If you’re planning on falling in love… 

When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.

you’d better be sure… 

Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.

… someone is there to catch you. 

Both guarded and vulnerable, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.

My Thoughts

I’ve been waiting for Caleb’s story since we first met him and he totally won my heart in this book. He’s the perfect mix of bad boy and suave corporate genius not to mention he has a heart of gold. Really he is as perfect as you could want in a boyfriend. Then when you think you couldn’t fall any harder for Caleb he goes and rescues a homeless dog and co-adopts it with the heroine, Sadie. The only slightly frustrating thing for me about Caleb was just how much slack he cut Sadie. I’ll admit while I felt for Sadie I never really got into her character. She was judgmental, over dramatic at times and just got on my nerves. I kept hoping to see her character grow through out the book but I felt like she barely changes and the relationship only works because Caleb gives her so much leeway to stomp all over his feelings.

Despite Sadie’s character I felt Shalvis’s writing, Caleb and Lollipop carry this book and still made it an extremely enjoyable read. Definitely loving this series!

Find it online

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Excerpt

“Don’t run off,” he said.

“I don’t like it when people tell me what to do.”

“I get that,” he said. “And same. Also, I try very hard to never tell anyone what to do. But I think we need to finish this.”

Another quiver from deep inside her. “I keep telling you, there’s no this.”

“Are you sure?” Very slowly and carefully, clearly giving her plenty of time to get away if she really wanted, he stepped into her, making her extremely aware that she now stood hemmed in between the alley wall and his body, neither quite touching her.

But she wanted him too. She actually ached to close that last inch between them. She didn’t do it. Instead, she lifted her chin. “I could make you an eunuch right now if I wanted.” The threat was minimalized by the fact that she whispered the threat, but suddenly holding onto her temper was difficult. So was talking. “Don’t think I can’t.”

“I have no doubt,” he said, still holding one of her hands. He took the other as well and squeezed gently. “I think you could probably do anything you set your mind to.”

No one had ever said those words to her, not ever, and when she felt the back of her eyes sting unexpectedly, she closed them in self defense.

“Sadie.”

She shook her head.

“Look at me. Please?”

It was the damn please that had her opening her eyes. Caleb had closed the gap so that if she so much as took a breath, they’d be touching.

So she did just that. She took a deep breath, and then their bodies were up against each other, his warm and hard. Everywhere. “What’s happening?” she whispered.

“I believe you’re deciding between kicking me in the nuts and kissing me.” One side of his mouth curved very slightly as he lifted their still joined hands above her head, against the wall. “But that last part might just be in my dreams.”

“Yes,” she whispered.

“Yes, it’s just in my dreams?”
She meant to say yes again, she really did. She even opened her mouth to say it, because this was insane, this incredible … craving she had for him. It made no sense. Less than no sense, and yet …

She went up on tiptoe and touched her mouth to his.

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Review: The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride by Linda Broday

January 24th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: January 29, 2019

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

Former outlaw Clay Colby is abuzz with his mail order bride’s expected arrival. He’s fought long and hard to drag Devil’s Crossing out of lawlessness…so when his homestead is set ablaze by a bitter rival, he’s heartbroken. There’s no woman in the world who’d stand by him now.

But Talley Shannon is no ordinary woman.

After escaping the psychiatric hospital in which she was wrongfully detained, Tally only wants someone to protect her and the little girl under her care. She doesn’t mind that Clay’s home is dang near burned to the ground–not when he makes her feel so safe. So cherished. But it’s only a matter of time before the ghosts of her past come calling…and her loving cowboy must defend his new bride–and the family they built together–to his very last breath.

My Thoughts

Cowboy romances normally aren’t at the top of my list of books to read but something about this blurb caught my eye so I decided to give it a try. I am glad I took a chance on it because I ended up really enjoying it and read it in 2 reading sessions. 

I absolutely loved Clay’s character. He won my heart over from the moment he picked flowers to try and make his home more welcoming for Tally. Then we see his patience and love for a little girl, Violet, and OMG, just take my heart right now! 

I liked Tally’s character well enough and is broke my heart reading what she went through at the insane asylum (not to mention it always amazes me how women could be incarcerated for the craziest of reasons.). There is also a great cast of supporting characters that help make this a great story all around and watching the romance develop will leave you with a happy sign. This is my first read from this author but definitely won’t be my last.

Find it online

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Review: Crucible by James Rollins

January 22nd, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: January 22, 2019

Publisher: William Morrow

Series: Sigma Force #14

Rating: ★★★★★

About the Book

In the race to save one of their own, Sigma Force must wrestle with the deepest spiritual mysteries of mankind in this mind-expanding adventure from the #1 New York Times bestselling author, told with his trademark blend of cutting edge science, historical mystery and pulse-pounding action.

Arriving home on Christmas Eve, Commander Gray Pierce discovers his house ransacked, his pregnant lover missing, and his best friend’s wife, Kat, unconscious on the kitchen floor. With no shred of evidence to follow, his one hope to find the woman he loves and his unborn child is Kat, the only witness to what happened. But the injured woman is in a semi-comatose state and cannot speak—until a brilliant neurologist offers a radical approach to “unlock” her mind long enough to ask a few questions.

What Pierce learns from Kat sets Sigma Force on a frantic quest for answers that are connected to mysteries reaching back to the Spanish Inquisition and to one of the most reviled and blood-soaked books in human history—a Medieval text known as the Malleus Maleficarum, the Hammer of Witches. What they uncover hidden deep in the past will reveal a frightening truth in the present and a future on the brink of annihilation, and force them to confront the ultimate question: What does it mean to have a soul?

My Thoughts

If you haven’t already started reading the Sigma Force series from book 1 I highly recommend this series. James Rollins’s is one of my favorite authors and if you love action-packed, thought-provoking and addictive books you will love this series!

I swear my favorite authors are conspiring to give me heart attacks reading their latest books. First Matthew Reilly’s The Three Secret Cities left me wanting to cry and then this one had me in agony for a good part of the book. Every time I think Rollins can’t top the subject of his last book he comes out with a new mind-boggling idea. I found the storyline around AI, where we are at in our current AI development and the possible future fascinating. That alone kept me enthralled and then you throw in everything going on with Gray and Seichan as well as Monk and Kat and this is probably one of my favorite reads of the year. This book will have you turning the pages long into the night and you won’t be able to put it down until the very last page. A definite must read!

Get Your Copy

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Blog Tour: Review + Excerpt from Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Ryan

December 30th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

I’m so excited to be participating in the Dirty Little Secret tour as I fell in love with this book! Be sure to grab your copy today!

Source: Received for review

Publication date: December 18, 2018

Publisher: Avon

Series: Wild Rose Ranch #1

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Meet the women from Wild Rose Ranch—and the men who want them—in New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer Ryan’s breathtaking series of romance and scandal . . .

Noah Cordero is a modern-day cowboy who loves three things: ranching, his younger sister, and his step-father. John Cordero groomed Noah to take over the Montana spread where he learned to ride and work the land. But when John unexpectedly dies, he leaves half the ranch to a woman Noah doesn’t even know.

Roxy shares Noah’s last name, but not his blood. Estranged from her father, haunted by regrets, and eager to escape her notorious mother’s past, she is forced to fulfill her father’s last wishes. Inheriting means sharing a home with infuriating, challenging, and oh-so-tempting Noah. But John didn’t just make her owner of his ranch and guardian to her sister, his hidden sideline is her worst nightmare—she’s the new owner of the notorious Nevada brothel called Wild Rose Ranch where she grew up.

My Thoughts

I’ve only read one other Jennifer Ryan book and while I enjoyed it I didn’t feel the need to go out right away and get the next book in the series. HOWEVER, this book totally blew me away and I cannot for the next book in the Wild Rose Ranch series!

Jennifer Ryan totally won me over with her cast of characters. I absolutely loved Roxy and I swear I wish I could be more like her. She’s really been dealt a crappy hand in life with her mother and never being acknowledged by her father but instead of taking a woe is me approach to life, she’s used her experiences to become a strong and amazing woman. She doesn’t beat around the bush and tells it like it is. 

Noah has his own issues to work through and is thrown a curve ball with Roxy’s appearance in his life but while he definitely had his “shame on him” moments I also really loved his character. Watching the romance grow between him and Roxy was so heartwarming and this probably ranks as one of my favorite forced proximity romances. 

I cannot wait for the next book which sounds like it will be Austin and Sonya’s story so I’ll be counting down the days until its release!

Find it online

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Excerpt

“Noah…”

God, the way she said his name.

“It’s late and I’m exhausted. Can this wait?”

“Uh, thank you. For my room. I, uh, really appreciate it.” He ran a hand through his hair, uncomfortable under her penetrating gaze.

“How’d that taste coming out of your mouth. You thanking me for anything after John left me half of your ranch and home.”

“Like horse shit.” Not really because the thing was, she got it.

Despite the fact she had to be jealous as hell that he’d grown up here with John, she understood his anger and resentment. She had a side. He had a side. And she was willing to concede that his feelings mattered just as much as hers.

She laughed and the sound went right to his belly and tied it in knots.

Unable to fight it any longer, he closed the distance between them and with one hand sliding to the back of her neck, his fingers buried in the thick mass of silky hair, he pulled her lips to his. She smelled of paint with a hint of flowers, like the ones she’d left by his bed. Their smell teased him all night and made him think of her.

His instinct was to devour, but he felt her tense and her eyes went wide. Watching her, he brushed his lips against hers. Once. Twice. With barely a touch, he tasted a hint of the sweet grapes she’d eaten.

She stood perfectly still, her breath washed over his mouth from her slightly parted lips. “I thought we agreed this wasn’t a good idea.”

“We both lied about that.” He kissed her softly again, lingering over the sweet torment. He could take the kiss deeper, have her wrapped in his arms, and begging for him to take her to bed. He saw the hunger to match his own in her eyes, but he also caught the slight hesitation and a trace of—not exactly fear, but doubt.

About what, he didn’t know. He didn’t believe Roxy was afraid of anything. She’d left her old life and moved to a stranger’s house because a young girl needed her. That took guts, knowing her welcome wasn’t exactly friendly, at least on his part.

Instead of taking what he wanted, he gave in to instinct and pressed his mouth to hers in a soft undemanding kiss that was warm and sweet and unrushed. He didn’t pull her closer, but enjoyed the feel of her mouth against his, the way her eyes fluttered closed as she sank into the kiss and the moment with him, and the brush of the hard tips of her breasts barely skimming the hard muscles of his chest as her breathing deepened. Time stopped.

He withdrew slowly and she leaned into him, her mouth following his until they broke the kiss.        

Her eyes flew open and studied him.

“Thank you for putting the smile back on Annabelle’s face.”

“You’re welcome. She’s a great kid. I like her.” The soft smile told him she meant it. “Good night, Noah.” She stepped back and his hand slid out of her silky hair and across her soft skin along her neck.

“Night.” He stood rooted to the floor and watched her leave, aching to go after her.

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Review: Broken Lands by Jonathan Maberry

December 11th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: December 11, 2018

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Series: Rot & Ruin #6

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Ever since her mother’s death, Gabriella “Gutsy” Gomez has spent her days flying under the radar. But when her mother’s undead body is returned to her doorstep from the grave and Gutsy witnesses a pack of ravagers digging up Los Muertos—her mother’s name for the undead—she realizes that life finds you no matter how hard you try to hide from it.

Meanwhile, Benny Imura and his gang set out on a journey to finish what Captain Joe Ledger started: they’re going to find a cure. After what they went through in the Rot and Ruin, they think they’ve seen it all, but as they venture into new and unexplored territory, they soon learn that the zombies they fought before were nothing compared to what they’ll face in the wild beyond the peace and safety of their fortified town.

My Thoughts

I had thought the Rot & Ruin series was over so seeing this one was a pleasant surprise. I was happy to see what Benny and his crew were up to after defeating the reapers. There is a lot going on especially with the relationships between friends and the couples which was interesting to see evolve. It’s understandable that after everything that happened that they might start looking at each other and their way of life differently than when they were constantly fighting for their lives.

We also are introduced to a new set of characters and a different town that introduces their own set of trials and tribulations. Gutsy was a bit hard to like but she started winning me over towards the end. She’s definitely a kick-butt heroine who knows how to hold her own and it is always nice to see a heroine who holds her own without needing a guy to come rescue her.

Benny’s gang’s story and Gutsy’s stories take a bit to come together but it is fascinating once they do. We also get to see some old friends from previous books which made my day. I don’t want to spoil them but these appearances were some of my favorite scenes in the book.

This book will have you clamoring for more and I am counting down the days until I can get my hands on the next book. This is an amazing series, definitely one of my favorites!

Find it online

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Paranormal, Young Adult | No Comments »

Blog Tour: Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder Review + Giveaway

December 5th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

I am so excited to be participating in the blog tour for Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder. She is an amazing author and I highly recommend this new series!

Publication Date: December 1, 2018 (US Publication Date)

Publisher: Maria V. Snyder

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Navigating the Stars is the first book in a new science fiction series.

Terra Cotta Warriors have been discovered on other planets in the Milky Way Galaxy. And Lyra Daniels’ parents are the archaeological Experts (yes with a capital E) on the Warriors and have dragged her to the various planets to study them despite the time dilation causing havoc with her social life.

When one of the many Warrior planets goes silent, and looters attack her research base, Lyra becomes involved in discovering why the Warriors were placed on these planets. And, more importantly, by who.

My Thoughts

I am a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder’s Glass, Healer, and Poison series so I was so excited when I saw she had a new book coming out! Then on top of it, I saw it was related to the Terra Cotta warriors which have always fascinated me and I jumped on the chance to review a copy.

While this series is sci-fi vs fantasy I still found it just as engrossing. The world building was amazing. The space travel and how it affected time was a little confusing at first but once you get used to it and start to understand the nuances it’s mind boggling how people live like that. Here we think it’s hard when we move to another state and leave friends and family behind. We’ve got nothing on these characters who have to deal with how the passage of time can wreak havoc on friendships and family.

Not only was the world building great but every character was on point to me. I love both Lyra and Niall’s characters. Neither character is perfect which makes them more relatable but also neither crosses the line into being irritating because of any particular flaw. Watching Lyra in particular face so many challenges of losing friends, facing the unknown and having to settle into an entirely new environment was fascinating and made me feel so sympathetic towards her.

I even loved all of the supporting characters. Lyra’s parents while hyper-focused on their career, still manage to have a great relationship with Lyra. When we first meet Niall’s dad I thought he was going to be one of those characters you’re going to hate because he’s so uptight but he ended up being one of my favorite supporting characters.

The banter between all of the characters was great and had me laughing out loud at times. It kept the story moving steadily along with the perfect amount of action. The romance aspect was also well done. I felt fully invested in Lyra and Niall’s relationship but I didn’t feel it dominated the storyline to the point where it was ONLY about the romance. Really, all in all, this was just a great book and I highly recommend it!

Find it online

 Goodreads | Kindle link | Amazon Paperback | B&N | iBooks

About Maria

Maria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes at the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn’t one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.

Maria’s research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.

Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.

Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University.

Readers are welcome to contact Maria at the following email address: [email protected].

Where you can find Maria:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY

3 Winners will receive finished copies of NAVIGATING THE STARS, US Only.

2 Winners will receive finished copies of NAVIGATING THE STARS International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

12/3/2018- Moonlight Rendezvous- Review

12/4/2018- My Bookish Escapades- Review

12/5/2018- Debbie’s World of Books- Review

12/6/2018- a GREAT read- Review

12/7/2018- Two Chicks on Books- Review

 

Week Two:

12/10/2018- Lisa Loves Literature- Review

12/11/2018- Wishful Endings- Review

12/12/2018- Good Choice Reading- Interview

12/13/2018- Dani Reviews Things- Review

12/14/2018- Feed Your Fiction Addiction- Review

Posted in 5 Star Books, Blog Tour, Books, Giveaways, Science Fiction | 1 Comment »

Review: The Three Secret Cities by Matthew Reilly

December 4th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Netgalley

Publication Date: Dec. 4, 2018

Publisher: Gallery Books

Series: Jack West Jr. #5

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book:

 

My Thoughts

If you’re a fan of the rest of the Jack West Jr series this one definitely won’t disappoint and if you haven’t started this series yet go start now! This is one of my favorite series from one of my favorite authors. If you enjoy James Rollins, Lincoln Child or Douglas Preston you definitely need to add Matthew Reilly to your list.

The Three Secret Cities picks up pretty much where The Four Legendary Kingdoms ends with Jack recuperating from the games and then immediately finds himself swept up in another adventure. The story contains Reilly’s trademark action, thrills, puzzles and more but also be ready for your heart to break a bit. There are a few surprises you won’t see coming and let’s just say the ending will leaving you mentally and possibly verbally screaming nooooooo, as you have to wait for the next book to release. I did love that Scarecrow gets another mention in this book AND the Black Knight shows up! I really am hoping he will get his own series soon.

A fabulous book that you definitely do not want to miss!

Find it online

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Action, Books | 1 Comment »

Blog Tour Excerpt & Review: The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

November 21st, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Edelweiss

Publication date: November 20, 2018

Publisher: Avon Books

Series: Rokesbys #3

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

She was in the wrong place…

Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers’ hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain’s bed…

He found her at the wrong time…

Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he’s stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he’s stuck with her.

Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?

When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew’s secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?

My Thoughts

You honestly can’t really go wrong when it comes to Julia Quinn. Her books are delightful, funny and full of great romance. She has a flair for developing entire casts of characters that will make you fall in love with them. The Other Miss Bridgerton definitely lived up to expectations.

Poppy isn’t your typical husband hunting miss and instead is busy exploring the world around her and pondering questions that make her a bit eccentric amongst the rest of society. I loved that about her and that she didn’t let others opinions keep her from questioning and being independent. She also has a bit of sass that made her interactions with Andrew fun to watch. Andrew was also a great character and I loved seeing him puzzling out how to react to Poppy and eventually falling for her.

Considering a good deal of the story takes place on a ship I never felt the story was moving too slowly and the pace of Poppy and Andrew’s relationship development was spot on. This book makes an excellent addition to the series and I’m hoping at some point we see an extended family tree of the Bridgerton family to include Poppy and the rest of the crew.

Find it online

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

EXCERPT

He motioned with his arm, urging her a few more steps forward. “Careful,” he murmured.

Poppy looked to her toes. The deck came to an abrupt halt in front of her, its elevation dropping by several feet.

The captain hopped down. “The beakhead, my lady,” he said with a gallant wave to the triangular deck that formed the pointy front of the Infinity. He reached up and placed his hands on her hips to help her down.

But when she was steady, he didn’t let go.

“This is as far forward as one can stand on deck,” he told her.

She pointed to a spot a few feet ahead. “What about—”

“As one can stand safely on deck,” he amended. He adjusted their position so that he was standing behind her. “Now close your eyes.”
“But then I can’t see the stars.”

“You can open them later.”

She tilted her head to the left, right, and back again, as if to say, Oh, very well, but she closed her eyes.

“Now tilt your head up. Not all the way, just a bit.”

She did, and maybe it was that motion, or maybe it was just because she’d closed her eyes, but she felt instantly off-balance, as if something far greater than the ocean had stolen her equilibrium.

The captain’s hands tightened on her hips. “What do you feel?” he asked, his lips coming close to her ear.

“The wind.”

“What else?” She swallowed. Licked her lips.

“The salt in the air.”

“What else?”

“The motion, the speed.”

He moved his mouth closer. “What else?”

And then she said the one thing that had been true from the beginning.

You.”

ABOUT JULIA QUINN

JULIA QUINN started writing her first book one month after finishing college and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since. The New York Times bestselling author of more than two dozen novels for Avon Books, she is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and is one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction | No Comments »

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