Release Day Review: Freckles by Amy Lane

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/freckles-by-amy-lane-10285-b

Blurb

Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.

Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.

But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!

He can be the owner of a small dog.

Review

On the “super, sugary, sweet and lite” side of the Amy spectrum we have Freckles! It’s about a man whose entire life begins on the day a punk kid gives him a puppy of his own and he meets an aspiring Veterinarian named Sandy.

This is just plain feel-good, sweet, no angst, lots of laughs fun. There’s a bit of smexy times, but really, even that is “lite”. Sandy knows what he wants and just goes for it and so does Carter.

Amy tells us this is based on real people she knows from her own pet-owning experience and it shows. Though there are a couple of “inaccuracies” here and there, it’s a wonderful look at new puppy ownership and finding one’s own place in the world.

Personally I was cringing every time Carter left little Freckles alone – I kept picturing tragedy and mayhem upon return (since no crate!) but our Amy let little Freckles live on in relative peace ☺

This is a sweet vaguely Thanksgiving story that fans of the author or people just looking for something fun to read will absolutely adore.
Highly Recommended.

4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review
Amy Lane has a fantastic writing style, lyrical and flowing that just grabs you from the start. In the same way Freckles the tiny puppy is thrust into poor Carter’s helpless hands, the reader is also thrown into this whirlwind of a romance, under the watchful eye of one itty bitty white fluff of a dog.
This book is funny, Whitty, and charming, it flows beautifully and the changes Carter goes through after meeting Freckles and becoming a doggy daddy are relatable and endearing. This is a book about evolving, growing as a person and becoming more than one, family and friends.

If you are looking for a sweet, fun read with some heat and lots of puppy love this is the book for you!

Number of stars out of 5
4.5


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Recent Release: Omega Released by Tanya Chris

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43815174-omega-released?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Growing up in the Hinterlands hasn’t prepared Benjy for life in North Leland where the alphas grow to an alarming size and he’s expected to get a job. He’s never been farther than running distance from his den until the morning his father drops him off in the city to be claimed by the first alpha who‘ll have him. Of all the things Benjy isn’t prepared for, finding his own mate is at the top of the list.

Fortunately, JT has all that covered—a bed to sleep in, a job at the library he’s in the process of opening, even matchmaking services. There might be wolves in North Leland who disapprove of JT’s wild omega ways, but he knows all the hottest alphas and he for sure knows how to take care of himself. He can take care of Benjy too, even when Benjy goes into his first heat. But could any of North Leland’s alphas really be good enough for his precious potato?

Review: This is the third in the Omega series, but this is the first one that I have read. It reads very well as a standalone, though I think I may have missed out on the world-building from the earlier books, (not enough to detract from the story).

Benjy is a very sheltered, naïve wolf shifter who is brought from his backwater village to a town to find an alpha mate. He was so adorably clueless about so many things, being so sheltered. He is paired up with JT, a more worldly omega, and his eyes are opened to a whole new world or freedom.
Once I understood the type of world the story is set in (half modern, half technologically behind), I really started to enjoy the interactions between Benjy and JT and the different couple pairings – 2 alphas, an alpha and beta, etc. There is also an interesting sub-plot involving the pack Alpha (Marta) and her sons Angel and Devin.
There is a bit of social commentary – e.g. people should be free to love/marry who they want and anyone can stand up for what they believe in – everyone has a right to their opinion. I didn’t find the messages are preachy; they are woven into the story seamlessly.

A unique story that I enjoyed it a lot.

3.75 stars out of 5


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Release Day Review: A Model Escort by Amanda Meuwissen

release day review

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-model-escort-by-amanda-meuwissen-10283-b

Blurb

What’s the value of love?

Shy data scientist Owen Quinn is brilliant at predictive models but clueless at romance. Fortunately, a new career allows him to start over hundreds of miles from the ex he would rather forget. But the opportunity might go to waste since this isn’t the kind of problem he knows how to solve. The truth is, he’s terrible at making the first move and wishes a connection didn’t have to revolve around sex.

Cal Mercer works for the Nick of Time Escort Service. He’s picky about his clients and has never accepted a regular who is looking for companionship over sex—but can the right client change his mind? And can real feelings develop while money is changing hands? Owen and Cal might get to the root of their true feelings… if their pasts don’t interfere.

Review

A Model Escort was a fairly decent read. The story flowed really well. I enjoyed the connect Owen and Cal had. I’m usually a little skeptical about these types of stories….sometimes they are just another retelling of Pretty Women, but Model Escort isn’t. Neither man is looking to be saved by the other. Owen reaches out to Cal’s escort agency mainly because of loneliness. Cal is in his early 40s and seems to be burning out, he decided to accept Owen as a client to try and mix things up. Both men are surprised by the connection they end up making. There’s some drama built up by an ex-boyfriend and an ex client, I wish that was drawn out a little more but instead it was resolved within a few pages. The only thing I didn’t like was Owens job. I had no clue what the heck he was actually doing job wise and the beginning of the story was a bit confusing but other than that I enjoyed this book.

3.5 stars


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Release Day Review: Stealing His Heart (Connoll Pack series book #1) by Bru Baker

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stealing-his-heart-by-bru-baker-10269-b

Blurb

Danny’s parents raised him to believe his wolf was a curse. He’s part of the wealthy and powerful Connoll Pack, but only nominally. He abandoned that world to volunteer with supernatural kids, and he isn’t looking for a mate….

Max is a shifter who is also a detective. He’s working a case that could make or break his career. Danny’s caught up in the case he’s on, and he’s also irresistible. They’re a bad match—Max, an Alpha having trouble with his new powers and Danny, who trusts Alphas as far as he could throw one. But they can’t get enough of each other, and they might bond before they even see it coming.

They could be amazing together, but they have to get past a few obstacles—especially since someone close to Danny might be involved in the thefts Max is investigating.

Review
This is a cute shifter romance with a lot of humor and playful banter going around. It’s shifters, so there’s the whole mating thing, which is always fun, but it’s done surprisingly sweetly with a lot of emphasis on learning to know and trust each other, instead of just starting a relationship based on insta-lust and hoping for the best.

What’s a bit atypical in this story is that we get (some) werewolves who aren’t proud of their heritage, and actually look down on their animal half and try to suppress it or ignore it. In most shifter stories that sort of bigoted attitude is usually reserved for intolerant human antagonists and is not internalized by weres the way it is here.
Danny is raised in one such family and has the emotional scars to prove it. He’s used to fending for himself, so it was nice to see Max care for him and help him out. I liked seeing Danny get “adopted” so enthusiastically by Max’s family, which made for some heartwarming moments as well as unexpected revelations.
The mystery surrounding the thefts that Max is investigating is well-written and a nice way to introduce an element of danger and suspense into the story.

Stealing His Heart is the first book in a new series and it is set in the same universe as the Camp Howl series. We get brief glimpses of characters from the first series and references to Camp Howl as well, which I really liked. It’s always nice to see how the MC’s from previous books are faring.

m/m, gay, paranormal, shifter, finding family, fated mates

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

I loved this!  I thought this was one of Bru Baker’s better stories!

I love their chemistry, the secondary characters and how their feelings for one another manifest.  I love the “mine/mate” feel to this.

Highly recommended!


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Recent Release: Better Place (Rainbow Place #3) by Jay Northcote

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43717814-better-place?from_search=true

Blurb

Joe deserves better. Meeting Dylan helps him see that.

After a recent redundancy, Joe takes a few months off to try and make it as a writer. His partner, Harry, is less than supportive but Joe is used to that after ten years together, just like he’s used to Harry’s controlling nature and his drinking habit.

Dylan, a server at Rainbow Place, is fascinated by Joe as he sits in the café and works on his laptop. His attempts to flirt are met with awkwardness at first, but gradually Joe opens up. Dylan is disappointed when he learns Joe isn’t single. As their friendship develops he begins to worry about the nature of Joe’s relationship, especially when he witnesses Harry’s behaviour in person. Abuse isn’t always physical, and Dylan knows that from experience. His concern helps Joe see his relationship for what it is, and gives him the courage to end things with Harry.

Free to act on their mutual attraction, Joe and Dylan dive headlong into something that becomes serious fast. Joe revels in the passion and intimacy he’s been missing out on for so long, but Dylan is worried that Joe is on the rebound. He puts on the brakes, knowing that they need to slow down to make this last. For this new relationship to work, Joe needs to show Dylan that he’s ready to move on from the past.

Review

This book reminds me again of why I love Jay Northcote’s stories so much. This is a truly wonderful love story with two incredibly authentic MC’s, facing real-life problems.
What I always take away from his stories is that love, romantic, soul-deep and overwhelming love, can happen for everyday regular people. That’s where he shines and brings out the magic. Which is exactly what he did here.

I really felt a connection with these characters, Joe and Dylan, though Joe especially, and I was so moved by their story. Perhaps part of the reason is its slow and gentle build-up, with the focus on the emotional bond between the MC’s first, before any physical shenanigans take place. The story builds very gradually, because at the start of the book Joe is still in a relationship, albeit one who has seen better days with a partner who is very controlling, dismissive of Joe’s wants and needs, and who pretty much takes Joe for granted.

Joe and Dylan start out as friends and stay that way until Joe’s newly single. No cheating here.
I think the author did a really good job at describing Joe’s and Harry’s relationship, taking his time to give us a look into their lives and for Joe to do his utmost for their relationship to succeed even after he gains a new perspective on it. It makes Joe very easy to relate too. I also love that Dylan wasn’t “that guy”, breaking up a supposedly happy home, so to speak.

Dylan’s past experiences make him very well suited to understand what Joe’s going through and seeing him watch out for Joe was very touching. Dylan also has insecurities to face and I love him for his insight and courage, figuring out the best way for their relationship to make it long term.

The writing style is wonderful, fluent and very evocative with beautiful imagery. I especially loved the scenes at the beach which were so descriptive I felt as if I was right there too.

I also absolutely adored one of the new characters! Lady Gogo is just wow! I can’t help but feel that she’s been introduced to be a significant other for a certain someone… and I have to say I’m super excited for that pairing!! So fingers crossed!

m/m, gay, contemporary, friends to lovers, age-gap

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

This book is part of a series. I have not read the others, so it’s possible to read as standalone, but there’s probably side stories that are thrown in that only one reading series would appreciate, but it’s ok. Dylan is an artist on his off time and works at a LGBT café. There is where he meets Joe, an older man that he feels instantly attracted to. Joe is involved with someone else so they remain just friends, though attraction is still simmering beneath the surface. Joe’s relationship with his partner was rocky and very relatable. They were overly complacent and the other man took Joe for granted and was a bit of a jerk. Dylan could see the warning signs after witnessing an encounter because he had gone through something similar….and with a small scar to prove it. Even though Dylan was trying to help, he did come off way too brash in need to help. I also was iffy on how fast things progressed with Joe and Dylan. However, they had a fairly solid friendship before a relationship so I guess it makes sense to not hold back . Still. I liked how Dylan was supportive of Joe in ways no one else was and Joe was able to start building his life again. Also that Joe helped inspire and encourage Dylan with his art. Feel good book and I enjoyed reading. Will read previous books now.

Number of stars out of 5

5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review
This book left me feeling slightly ambivalent, and I reckon part of it is due to the themes this book deals with. Joe is in a relationship that is already falling apart, and meeting Dylan helps him see the extant of it. As he falls for Dylan, and realizes he is no longer in love with his partner, you understand as a reader why this is happening, and that it’s not ‘cheating’. Yet there are some gray areas and even the breakup itself was not a very clean break. I say it left my ambivalent not as a bad thing, just that it had a very realistic feel to it. Life is rarely black and white, relationships are complicated, and Jay managed to get that across very well in this book (and all his books have the same quality, be honest). I still felt uncomfortable at times, that maybe they needed clearer lines when they became a couple. Yet, you see how they build a bond over the time they were friends so it’s not like Joe was bouncing from one man to another without any thought.

The book also has a somewhat slower pace, and it works well with all the heavy themes it deals with. Dylan and Joe are both interesting characters, and I liked getting a lot of the other MC’s from previous books and side characters in the action. This book to me feels more of a HFN then a HEA but it is a happy ending non-the less.
I am also really anticipating the next book, IF I guessed the MC’s correctly, it looks awesome!

Number of stars out of 5
3.5


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Recent Release: Sun Shift One: No Sanctuary by Bailey Bradford

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42097017-sun-shift-one

Blurb

One shifter, waiting for others to join him in the sanctuary he’s built. One lone wolf, broken and close to death. Cali and Jacob find more than sanctuary; they find hope and the possibility of a love that can endure throughout time– if they can survive the evil coming for them and those seeking safety with them. But there might not be any truly safe place for shifters…

Cali has had to be cautious around humans, who have no clue that shifters exist. He’s made a success of himself, and now he’s ready to escape from humanity. The sanctuary he’s had built will be home not only to him but to any other shifters looking for a safe place to live. He’s spared no expense. Now all he needs is for others to join him. Maybe he’ll even have his deepest wish come true– that he will find another lion shifter to share the kind of the abiding love his parents had.

When the perimeter alarms go off, Cali races to see if there’s a lion waiting for him. What he finds is a lone wolf, beaten, battered, and on the verge of death. Cali rescues the wolf and brings him to the refuge. Whatever ails the other shifter is an unknown to Cali, and it takes all of his skill– and a lot of luck– to keep the lone wolf alive.

Jacob is a haunted wolf and a tormented man. He’s seen things no one should ever have to see and survived something more tragic than most people or shifters could imagine. A mystery illness keeps bringing him to the brink of death, but somehow, he has found sanctuary with a lion shifter determined to help him live.

Jacob isn’t what Cali expected, but a bond forms between them, and through that bond, emotions that neither man can deny.

But nothing in life comes easy. Other shifters find sanctuary, Jacob’s illness continues to weaken him, and an enemy greater than any Cali had ever expected comes for those he’s trying to protect.

Even hiring the best security firm in the field might not help save Cali and the man he loves, or the Pride of mixed-species shifters he’s building.

Review
I am looking forward to this new series!
While this isn’t as specific a “fated mate” as some, it’s definitely there. There are some crazy bears who I’m hoping will find mates soon as well as some pretty damaged but still loveable wolves and other types of shifters.

There is a fair amount of excitement and some bad guys to beat as well as some hot smexy times to be had.

All in all a good start to a new series!
Recommended!

4 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

 

Recent Release: Stallion Mage: True Mates (Stallion Mage book 2) by A.O. Spade

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43587581-stallion-mage?from_search=true

Blurb

As an earth mage, Alvarr is the only stallion who can survive outside the tribe’s territory. And this is exactly what he must do to find out what has been affecting the land so terribly. Most of the stallions believe that the lack of rain is just a bad season, but Alvarr’s trusted advisor, Elder Mastok, fears that Nature has abandoned them due to a terrible event from their people’s distant past.

Whatever the cause, Alvarr knows he must get answers before the tribe starts to starve. His journey takes him far beyond the stallion territory into the lost land of their ancient people. There, Alvarr discovers not only secrets about the way they once lived, but himself as well.

When he returns to leader Laren and the tribe, he is bearing more than ancient knowledge. It is only a matter of time before his secrets become known to all: he, a stallion, is with child, and Laren is his true mate.

Review

This book picks up right where we left Alvarr in the first one, alone and on a mission.

Romance takes a backseat and this is much more of an adventure story with Alvarr going on a solitary quest to find out more about the “Rift” that has brought such imbalance to the world of the horse shifters. The horses have lost so much of their history and knowledge, even worse, they have lost their hearts with stallions living apart from the mares and foals. I love that it’s this particular “imbalance” in their society that causes Nature to lose its way.

Laren is rather inflexible in his way of thinking and his distrust of all things unknown, and thus unsafe until proven otherwise, almost proves stronger than the draw to claim and protect his mate. Foremost in his mind is always the safety of his tribe though, and he comes through for Alvarr when push comes to shove. Eventually.

Alvarr is a wonderful character and I loved how he came into his own in this story. He grows so much on his journey, and surprises even himself with his new-found resourcefulness and inner strength. The Elders and Barron make for amazing secondary characters, and even Thane and Nassor, the villains of the tribe, are well-written and nuanced characters.

The mpreg aspect of this universe is done differently than in most omegaverse stories I’ve read so far and I really like this new angle. I also love the sense of urgency throughout the story (doomsday is coming for the tribe, after all) and the way physically weaker members, like Alvarr, Barron and the Elders, get to play such an important part in saving their brethren.

I’m very curious to see how it will all play out in the end.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Recent Release: Obsessed (bundle) by Quin Perin

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43198063-obsessed

Blurb

All Meik cares about is lust, not love.

An eager boy toy, that’s what he’s looking for. Someone who worships the ground he walks on. The very second he lays eyes on the enigmatic, street musician Sebastian, he believes he found his new playmate. Obsessed with the young man, Meik introduces him to a world full of sins and desire until the man’s presence threatens to reveal dark memories he had locked away tightly.

Review

This book is at once deliciously smutty, sneakily romantic and utterly heartbreaking. What a rollercoaster this has been! It’s so refreshingly different and original. I loved it!

The story is written from the pov of Meik Lennen, a man who seemingly has it all and is bored with the sameness of his easy, luxurious life. Until… a chance encounter with a mysterious street musician, Sebastian.

There’s a lot of very hot dirty talk and gratuitous sex, deliberately throwing the reader off the scent of the unique love story that is to follow. Almost slyly at first, the authors drop little hints to help the reader understand Meik better and gradually flashbacks are introduced as the story unfolds further. These give us a truly heart-rending glimpse into Meik’s past and it finally starts to make sense why he is so broken and closed-off.

Honestly, I love Meik!! He starts out, and continues for quite a while, as a real jerk, but in the end I just wanted to cuddle him and cheer him on. After shaking him a little (no, a lot), because the man is so oblivious! Sebastian remains a mystery for some time, because we get our info through Meik and he’s not always the most perceptive of narrators. I like Seb’s resilience and his acceptance of Meik, warts and all.

As the emotional connection between Meik and Sebastian continues to grow, Meik is forced to recognize that he actually feels something for the younger man. Something more than lust, that is. Can’t say he gives in with good grace, but he does go after his man in his own fashion. The continuing flashbacks into Meik’s past are beautifully written and very sweet, poignantly so.

After a certain event… Meik and Sebastian have a falling out of sorts. The L-word is still something Meik has a lot of trouble accepting, and he fights it. So hard. Will he have the courage to embrace it (again), knowing how deeply it hurts when things go south?

The story concludes in a very unique way, with the focus shifting even more to Meik’s origin story.
He is always so blunt, arrogant and cold even (on the outside) that seeing him so vulnerable and sweet with his first love was an endearing change of pace. Knowing what was coming didn’t make it any easier to read though. Meik’s emotions are raw and overwhelming, his grief so real. He’s totally forgiven for closing his heart off like he did.

I adore Quin & Perin’s writing style. They are brilliant with picking the right word or comparison to make the reader understand just how much their character is feeling. I love the way they cut off sentences to create more tension and heighten emotions.

Can’t wait to see what they bring us next!

Number of stars out of 5: 5


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Release Day Review: Hat Trick (Harrisburg Railers #8) by R.J. Scott , V.L. Locey

release day review

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40948160-hat-trick?from_search=true

Blurb

Stan Lyamin has seen many of his dreams come true. He’s found his soulmate, loves Noah like his own, hoisted the Cup, and has his Mama living with him in his new country. But his fantasies of a loud, loving, madcap home overflowing with childish laughter linger. When a distant family member passes, Stan and Erik immediately agree to take in the two orphaned children, but that means a trip back to Russia for Stan, an idea that both exhilarates and terrifies him.

Erik’s world tilts on its axis when a phone call wakes him and Stan in the middle of the night. Abruptly, Stan is returning to Russia, making deals, working with people who know people, and fully intending to bring two orphaned children home. The red tape is overwhelming, and Erik is alone in Harrisburg with the nearly impossible task of finding a nanny who can speak fluent Russian. Being on his own is one thing, but add in fears about Stan’s safety and team issues, and Erik is finding everything hard to balance; not least of which is spending quality time with Noah.

When their family expands from three to five, the journey won’t be easy, but love can always find a way.

Review

This was so much fun! I could read books with Stan in them all day! He is such a great character! He’s fun, big hearted, sexy and sweet. Erik definitely didn’t play much of a role in this story – which I missed – but Stan definitely shone brightly.

There is a bit of good news in this regarding Ten in this story as well – thank goodness! – and a lot of good news for Stan and his family.

I applaud the authors’ willingness to continue with this story line despite current world politics and I highly recommend this to fans of the series.

5 of 5 stars


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Audiobook: Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Cates Narrated by Colin Darcy

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rocking-the-cowboy-by-skylar-m-cates-9800-

Blurb
Opposites who go together like country and rock ’n’ roll.

Long before he was a superstar, Remy Sean had a secret crush on Jed Riley. But Jed sees Remy as a spoiled pop rocker and an extension of his father’s control. Still, Jed is willing to let Remy hide from the press on his ranch—but only as a way to get his father out of his life and business for good.

Used to being admired and fawned over, Remy keenly feels the sting of Jed’s dismissal. Can he make Jed see him as more than a pain in the ass? Or is Jed too tangled up in his ranch to see past his old hurt?

Jed doesn’t believe someone desired by so many fans could want him, a simple cowboy. But Remy is determined to change Jed’s mind and steal his heart….

Review
Opposites attract stories have always been a favourite of mine. I love the way seemingly insurmountable obstacles are overcome and bridges built bringing a couple together. Even better that it’s a Cowboy and a Rockstar with a history. This story is a wonderfully easy listen. The Ranch is Jed’s whole life. His father walked away for the glitz of the music industry and Jed has to keep the ranch afloat without interference. Remy feels burnt out and has no inclination to write songs. When Remy gets to the Ranch it reawakens the unrequited love he felt for Jed as a teenager. It’s lovely how they grow to care and love for each other. Jed puts others himself, making decisions he thinks are for the best but he doesn’t actually find out first if that’s what they want. This leads to misunderstanding and nearly risking everything he has with Remy. Until Remy realises what is happening and sorts it out. There’s great chemistry between them and I was happy for the happy ever after ending.
Colin Darcy does a great job narrating this story, he gives right voices to Jed and Remy brining out their personalities. And the secondary characters of Jed’s father and family are portrayed really well. All the characters are believable and he pitched his tone just right for the mood of the story. I’ll watch out for others narrated by him.

4 of stars out of 5 for the story
4 of stars out of 5 for the Narration


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