Release Day Review: 415 Ink: Savior by Rhys Ford

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/savior-by-rhys-ford-9856-

Blurb

A savior lies in the heart of every good man but sometimes only love can awaken the man inside a savior.

The world’s had it out for San Francisco firefighter Mace Crawford from the moment he was born. Rescued from a horrific home life and dragged through an uncaring foster system, he’s dedicated his life to saving people, including the men he calls his brothers. As second-in-command of their knitted-together clan, Mace guides his younger siblings, helps out at 415 Ink, the family tattoo shop, and most of all, makes sure the brothers don’t discover his darkest secrets.

It’s a lonely life with one big problem—he’s sworn off love and Rob Claussen, one of 415 Ink’s tattoo artists, has gotten under his skin in the worst way possible.

Mace’s world is too tight, too controlled to let Rob into his life — much less his heart — but the brash, Filipino inker is there every time Mace turns around. He can’t let Rob in without shaking the foundations of the life he’s built, but when an evil from his past resurfaces, Mace is forced to choose between protecting his lies or saving the man he’s too scared to love.

Review by Mary
Wow Rhys Ford doesn’t hold the punches in this sequel. The book is different but just as terrific as the first in the series, Rebel. It can be read on it’s own but in my opinion you get a better sense of this family by reading starting with the first book. We met both characters in Rebel but in Savior we get to understand them better and see through their eyes. All the brothers have created their family through a strong bond of surviving the system and the worst childhood imaginable. In this book both Rob and Mace have overcome adversity to get to where they are now. Mace however is still struggling with a past that haunts him and it only gets worse. Because of the abuse he suffered as a child he has built strong barriers which he believes protect others from him, what he believes his father made him. Both of them are attracted to each other but hold back for various reasons. Mace’s control slips and they both give in to their desire. It’s tempting to see Rob as Mace’s savior but I see them as saving each other. Both have to face fears, it’s just that Mace’s fears come back to challenge him and he has to face them head on. This is a slow building romance. It has to be because of their misunderstanding in the beginning, they seem to, I would say, dislike each other rather than hate and to break through Mace’s defences. For me it would not be believable if they rushed into a full hot and heavy relationship. The very fact that Rob is steadfastly there for Mace all the way shows the potential strength of their relationship. I was on such an emotional rollercoaster with this story. What Mace went through as a child broke my heart. I think the first book has the drama and this book is a lot more emotional. I can’t wait for book 3, looks like Ivo has met his match.

5 of stars out of 5

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Xanthe

Book 2 in the 415 Ink series and its a fantastic follow up to Rebel. It’s not necessary to have read the first one but I think it will enhance your enjoyment of the overall feel and knowledge of the characters and their self made family.

In Savior, we follow Mace and Rob. They first met when Rob started work at the tattoo shop and both men felt the instant attraction but deny it for a long time.

However, Mace’s past comes back to haunt him and he finds himself surprisingly leaning on Rob when it all gets too much. With what happened in his past and now his present, will Mace make the stand for himself and for a live he deserves.

Man, these guys break my heart! First with Gus and now Mace. What makes it so much easier to read and to deal with such emotion is the family unit that they’ve built for themselves. You know that the 5 men who call themselves brothers are there for each other through life, death and all of the in between. It also helps that Rhys’s writing just pulls you in from the beginning, not letting you go until you’ve ridden the roller-coaster of emotion along with the MC’s off the book.

Mace stands strong and supportive, pushing his brothers to be better men but never expected more for himself. The secrets he holds within himself are things that would break others and comes close with him. It’s hard to read and think about the history of character and what they fictionally went through.

Rob’s character is perfect with Mace’s as he won’t be pushed around and will stand up for himself and others when the need arises. He is emotionally invested in Mace, even before anything happens and its heartwarming to read someone caring about the wellbeing of another without needing something in return, just needing to know that they’re ok, or at least going to be. I love how passionate he is about his art and work as a tattooist, having to fight for it amongst younger guys but smart enough to take good advice when he hears it.

Another mark for Rhys’s writing is how involved it gets you in the story overall but invested in the goings on of characters.

The emotional parts of the story involving Mace’s past, and when it reappears in his present, bring a tear to the eye and make you so grateful for the family that he got to join in the end.

It’s great that whilst we’ve moved on to another couple in the 415 Ink world, we still get to read about the others brothers and some of their goings on, especially with Chris now running amok in a house full of man childs!

I highly recommend this book and I’m thoroughly enjoying this series, looking forward to book 3!

I received an ARC from the publisher and am happily giving a review.

 

 

4 of 5 stars 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Raising the Bar By Leigh Dillon

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/raising-the-bar-by-leigh-dillon-9845-

Blurb
Destin Bellingham has inherited a problem. Thanks to his late playboy father, Destin faces putting a For Sale sign on his family’s historic horse farm. Getting his talented stallion, Black Sambuca, into the Grand Prix show ring would put Bellmeade back on the map—if only someone could make “Sam” behave like a show horse.

Disgraced top rider Tonio Benedetto has his own problems, but he can work magic with difficult jumpers, so Destin hires him despite his bad-boy reputation. The street-smart, openly gay loudmouth from Miami and the closeted, buttoned-down son of Old Dominion Virginia make a rocky pairing, but time is running out to save Bellmeade from bankruptcy.

Opposites attract, sparks of tension grow into flames of passion. But if Tonio fails to tame Sam, will true love become a lost cause too?

Review
I had to think a lot about this book. The scene setting is good. The descriptions give a sense of how beautiful the area is. The romance side took a back seat to Destin’s struggle to keep the farm afloat. I didn’t have a problem with that but both Destin and Tonio seem to have problems that were only skated over. Destin has to come to terms with his feelings about his father and Tonio with his behaviour that triggered his bad boy reputation. Together they have a chance of making the farm viable again. On the romance side I didn’t really feel it. There was something missing for me and I can’t identify it. In my opinion the star of the story is Black Sambuca, Sam for short. This is one smart feisty horse. His stubbornness keeps Tonio guessing and almost proves too much of a challenge. In the end though it all comes together in a happy ending.

3 of stars out of 5


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Time to get Paranormal: Denying Fate (A Series of Fate #1) by C.C. Dado

 

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/denying-fate-by-cc-dado-9837-b

Blurb

Fate is a funny thing. Some try to cut its threads, while others wrap themselves in it like a blanket.

Young wolf shifter Max is cocky and crass. Unlike others his age, he has yet to discover a talent that will serve his pack. Since childhood, he’s been convinced the pack alpha is his mate, but Alpha Christian cannot envision unfiltered and directionless Max taking the place of his elegant mother at the head of the pack. As Max begins to build a life with his best friend, he also begins to see that maybe what he thought was inevitable was all in his head, and it’s time to move on.

Or are they both denying fate?

Review by Xanthe

This is my first experience with this author and I’d be interested in reading more of this series, though I found this book to be a little hit and miss.
The basis of the story and the relationship between Max and Alpha Christian is intriguing.
All wolves have a gift and Max is yet to discover his. His main focus at the moment is getting the Alpha to notice him and the mate pull that Max is certain of. The Alpha is very reticent about Max. He’s always watching over the younger man but cannot see the two of them having a future.
To me, the story had a lot of promise but didn’t quite fulfill on it’s potential. There were, for me, some really good parts that, if fleshed out a little would have massively boosted my interest and involvement with the characters. Less is not always more.
One thing that confused me was that the POVs used in the book are Max and Max’s best friend Seth, we don’t actually read from Christian. Seth does play a big role for Max, has been supportive and important to Max, but having his POV didn’t quite make sense to me.
The connection between Max and Christian is clear to see from the outside but there wasn’t a lot of interaction between them making it hard to feel connected to, and involved with, the characters.
The setting itself is well described and a place I would definitely love to live in, sounding quaint and appealing.
I would ask people to give this book a go as overall, I enjoyed the story, but I’m hoping that book two goes a little deeper with action, conversation and emotions.
I received an ARC and am happily giving a review

3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

This just wasn’t for me. I found the low steam to be very unsatisfying and though I can appreciate that this was a lot about Max finding his own way in the world, I wanted more about his relationship with Christian and less about Max’s friendship/bakery endeavors. Another thing that I didn’t like was the lack of “wolfiness”. I didn’t feel the wolf part of Max and I wanted to.

Though I’d read a blurb for the next book in the series, it’d really have to bowl me over for me to continue with this. I was simply underwhelmed by the romance.

2.5 of 5 stars


Morgan - Signature-small
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Release Day Review: Be Fairy Game (Starfig investigation #2) by Meghan Maslow

release day review

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41003166-be-fairy-game?from_search=true

Blurb
When a simple ‘find & fetch’ case throws private investigator Twig Starfig and newly-minted wizard, Quinn Broomsparkle, into the middle of an EBI murder investigation, it’s just another day in the Elder Realm.

If murder were Twig’s only problem, he’d be the luckiest half-dragon in the land. Murder he can handle. Fulfilling his promise to his scheming, power-hungry father to run for a seat on Lighthelm’s city council? Meh, he’d rather face a demon with a toothache.

On top of their case going sideways, and Twig running for a council seat he really doesn’t want, Twig and Quinn are forced to face some unpleasant realities about their budding romance, while still learning how to handle the wizard-familiar bond they now share. Throw in a red fury with abysmal taste in boyfriends, a ghost pirate-parrot who drinks too much, a murderer who will stop at nothing to get what they want, a host of new friends and enemies, and you’ve got a situation where no one is safe and everyone is Fairy Game

Review
This book carries on from the end of the first book, By Fairy means or Foul. In my opinion you do need to read (or listen the audiobook book is great) to book 1. I’d forgotten how much I love these characters, and I do mean Characters. Twig is a dragon shifter, Quinn a Wizard and Bill the daemon Red Fury (he’s my favourite). In this book we have a murder mystery, political intrigue and family drama. There is so much going on in the story. It keeps quite a pace without losing it’s integrity. Meghan Maslow has built a wonderful world which just keeps on getting better with each book. There are a lot of new characters with their own quirky ways that make it so fun to read. As well as ones from the first book. Twig and Quinn’s complicated relationship is continuing to build, Twig is Quinn’s familiar and in this story they struggle with whether to mate or not. Such a difficult situation when you’re already bound together in a different way. The murder mystery is handled quite well. Kept me guessing, and I like that about it. Someone is also trying to kill Twig’s father (who I’ve slowly warmed to). That looks like one of the threads that will carry on to book 3, because for me there are too many loose ends for the series not to carry on. I do hope this story comes out on audiobook as well.

4 of stars out of 5


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Coming Soon: No Way Out by Julie Lynn Hayes

August 28!

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/no-way-out-by-julie-lynn-hayes-9831-b

Blurb
Scheduling for guest posts and reviews (including Release Day Reviews). Final copies available soon.

Wyatt Findley is an up-and-coming artist, attending a prestigious art institute in St. Louis. His mentor, Lukas Callahan, has snagged a sweet house-sitting job for him in a gorgeous home in a well-to-do part of town. Wyatt can’t help but notice two men who live just across the street.
They make an odd couple, since there must be a good twenty years difference between them. And yet there is something about the younger man that calls to Wyatt.

Shylor Lind has been living with Randy Grant for fifteen years, ever since Grant hired Shy’s mother as his live-in housekeeper. But five years ago, their relationship changed when Shy’s mother sold him to Grant and took the money and ran. Since then, Randy has been training Shy to be his submissive, dominating him in every way. There is nothing Shy can do about the situation, and he has nowhere to go, no one to turn to.

And then Wyatt enters his life… and nothing will ever be the same, as Wyatt engages in a battle for Shy’s very soul

Review
I’m so conflicted by this story. It is by no means BDSM but a story about modern slavery. It’s of a young man being systematically abused and controlled to a point where he has no free will. He too scared to do anything out of routine for fear of punishment. But what do you do when an adult of consenting age doesn’t ask for help or make any sign he needs help to get out of the situation he is in. This is the position Wyatt is in when he suspects Shylor is being abused. His instincts tell him something is not right. Others try to tell him that whilst they don’t like it, it’s the relationship between two consenting adults. And there is the crux, consent. Shylor starts to believe he deserves more, to be treated better once Wyatt shows him how it could be. I felt for Shylor, even more so when it became apparent other Dom’s did not intervene even when they suspected Shylor was, at the very least, being mistreated. The story finished too abruptly for me. I felt that there was more to tell. This may come in another book, I hope so especially as I don’t believe Randy has gone out of Shylor’s life yet. There are also some interesting secondary characters that I would like to know more about.

3 of stars out of 5


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Recent Release: Serving Him (Series: The Retreat) by LM Somerton

Pride Publishing
https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/serving-him

Blurb
An escape from the real world can only ever be temporary.

Rowan Stanton knows he is submissive. He loves to look after people but the country hotel he works at can’t quite fulfil his need to serve. When he succeeds at getting a new role as houseboy at The Retreat, an exclusive BDSM hideaway in the New Forest, he believes it’s his dream job. Inexperienced in many ways, he soon realises he’s not as prepared as he thought for the demands placed upon him.

Lorcan Wilder is young, rich and successful. He’s also haunted by nightmares and has sacrificed a decade to his business. Selling it gives him the freedom to explore his dominant side and four weeks at The Retreat are the start of a new life. He doesn’t expect the young submissive employed to serve him will have such a profound effect on him. Exploring and pushing Rowan’s boundaries is exactly what he needs to separate himself from his past.

Lorcan makes full use of The Retreat’s facilities from the genuine dungeon to the secret toys concealed in every room. He rediscovers his energy for life and gradually reengages with the world. However, his efforts to compartmentalise the past ultimately fail and he comes to realise what he’s always known – that true submissives have an inner strength he can only envy.

By the end of his stay, Lorcan can’t let Rowan go, though he thinks he must. What will convince him that’s he’s allowed a happy ever after and will he find the courage to accept it

Review
Have you ever started a book devouring every page then slowing down because it’s near the end and you don’t want it finish? Well that’s what I did with Serving Him. Oh boy I thought I loved Olly, Aiden, Alistair and all the other Subs and Dom’s from the Edge series but sweet sweet Rowen has claimed a piece of my heart.
Lorcan has come to the Retreat to claim back his life and start anew. Rowen has done the same. Both are now ready to bring BDSM more fully into their lives. Rowen is exploring being a submissive by working for The Retreat. An exclusive English Country House set up to cater for a wealthy Dominant’s every whim, whilst providing the utmost safety for the Submissive. Over his stay Lorcan and Rowen’s relationship turns towards love. But Rowen having already made one big change is unsure about the future. LM Somerton writes breathtaking scenes between Lorcan and Rowen. I could visualise everything and connect with the emotions between them. As I said earlier I didn’t want the story to end and had such a pout when it did. I want more. What happens next? There is definitely more to to tell about these two like Lorcan meeting Rowen’s family and the two of them visiting the Underground Club. Patience is a virtue so they say, so I’ll have to be virtuous for a while, yeah right as if!

5 of stars out of 5


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Recent Release: 11 Seconds by John Charles

 

Blurb : In a world dominated by greed and political loyalties, the line between right and wrong is often completely blurred.

He wanted more than revenge. His was a vendetta, a vendetta that he was capable of carrying out. Tenodod was a cyber hacker who knew how to use the skills he developed while working for one of the most powerful systems developers in the world. Only now, he was using those talents to bring down Bertram Lynnworth, Chairman and CEO of ESTG, and would continue until his vendetta was fulfilled, no matter who got hurt in the process.

Mystery, romance, and intrigue in a suspense filled thriller that will leave you asking how to protect yourself and your family.

We Own You appeared on every monitor in every ESTG facility around the world. There Is No Escape voiced the laughing clown as Tenodod took over every system within the company.

Hackers can steal your identity, control your car, access your secret files. What if one had a grip on your beating heart? What if it only took 11 seconds?

Tenodod would make Bertram crawl for what he did to all those innocent people. Unfortunately, Marc Lynnworth, Bertram’s unsuspecting son, and hundreds of others, would become pawns in Tenodod’s evil plot. “I never wanted anyone to die; I only wanted your father to see the error of his ways.”

Review
I’ve not read anything by John Charles before and I’m always up for something new. I was surprised that at the beginning the author offers a free book which is I think a prequel to the series. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to read it before this book so I’m not sure how much information it gives. This is a well paced story which kept my interest. It’s set around cyber terrorism. An anonymous foe is creating havoc every 11 days. All the alphabet organisations are hunting him. one. Of the main characters, Marc, is a Robin Hood type hacker working with the authorities to bring him down. He is in college and deeply in love with Kylar. Asher is assigned to protect Marc. Another main Character is the NSA agent leading the investigation. She is a good strong female lead. I liked the way all the characters actions are believable, in that the pressures of being in the middle of in effectively being held to ransom by someone who has the ability to wreak havoc over the whole country, through controlling the network, would do. I was also surprised by how vilified Bertram was. He seemed more like someone in over his head and trapped working with the CIA rather than a deliberately crewel father or boss. But he is not given a chance of redemption at the end of the book.
Here’s the part that surprised me. Asher Redman was a background character. I’m so used to the characters series are named after taking centre stage that I kept waiting for it to happen but it didn’t. The story isn’t even from his POV. It’s from either Julie’s or Marc’s. Here I’m torn. I liked the story and the pace. It all takes place over about 6 weeks, from 11th November to just after Christmas. But something didn’t click for me and I was quite disappointed because from the blurb it sounded like my kind of book. Don’t let that put you off because n the whole it is an engaging story of young love and family in a very trying time.

3 of stars out of 5


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Book Link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FZPKGSW

Coming Soon: Threepeat by KC Wells & Parker Williams

August 21!

Dreamspinner Presents:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/threepeat-by-kc-wells-and-parker-williams-9822-

Blurb
Can two Doms open their hearts again for a young man desperately in need of their help?

Two years ago, Aaron Greene and Sam Thompson were devastated when their submissive broke the contract that bound the three of them together. They still wonder what happened and whether they can find a way to move forward. When Aaron finds a sick young man by the curbside, his protective instincts kick in, and after consulting Sam, he takes Tim home.

After being thrown out of his home, Tim Waterman finds himself on the street, doing whatever he needs to survive. Until a bear of a Good Samaritan scoops him up and saves him. Then one bear becomes two, and a chance discovery gets him thinking about what might be, if he’s bold enough to make a move.

So what happens when Aaron and Sam wake up one morning to find Tim naked in their bed? Will they get a new chance at life, or will history Threepeat itself

Review
On finishing Threepeat I have mixed feelings, I didn’t want it to end and a feeling contentment, a satisfied sigh at the way it ended. I do love this series. I’m growing fond of all the characters just like I did with Collars and Cuffs. Sam and Aaron are heartbroken after their Sub leaves them. They just don’t understand why. Two years later they are coming around to the idea of trying again. This for me was an important part of the story, it sets up the premise for how their relationship works and how a sub fits into their dynamic. For Tim being found by Aaron is a blessing. He couldn’t survive much longer on the streets by himself. This is another emotional journey KC Wells and Parker Williams takes their readers on. The abuse Tim suffers at the hands of his family and insecurities arising from that along with the grief Sam and Aaron are feeling made it a compelling read for me. The emphasis of this story is relationships and family. Building a strong family from people who love you for who you are. Because of the abuse Tim suffered the kink is on the lighter side with some inventive aspects, the tickle session sounded more torturous than others I’ve read! Despite the emotional aspects the story is low angst with a lot of emphasis on communication. Maggie as always is a wonderful secondary and character and has a greater role in this story. On the whole it is a stand-alone book but like with other series you get more enjoyment knowing the background to a lot of the other characters.

5 of stars out of 5


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Coming Soon: Hex and Candy (Series: Strange Bedfellows) by: Ashlyn Kane

August 21!

Dreamspinner Presents:
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/hex-and-candy-by-ashlyn-kane-9797-

Blurb
True love’s kiss can break the curse. But then what?

Cole Alpin runs a small-town candy store. He visits his grandmother twice a week. And sometimes he breaks curses.

Leo Ericson’s curse is obvious right away, spiderwebbing across his very nice body. Though something about it worries Cole, he agrees to help—with little idea of what he’s getting into.

Leo is a serial monogamist, but his vampire ex has taken dating off the table with his nasty spell, and Leo needs Cole’s companionship as much as his help. When the hex proves to be only the beginning of his problems, Leo seeks refuge at Cole’s place. Too bad magic prevents him from finding refuge in Cole’s arms.

Cole’s never had a boyfriend, so how can he recognize true love? And there’s still the matter of the one responsible for their troubles in the first place…

Review
I liked the premise for this story. The idea that there are witches around with different talents who are discrete around the ‘mundanes’ or ‘muggles’ as they call them. As well as vampires, werewolves, elves etc. Leo comes to Cole for help. He had a brief relationship with a vampire who left him cursed. A curse that is seriously messing up his love life. Cole knows that only true loves kiss will break the curse but can he be the one. The realisation that there is more the world than he ever realised was a bit of a shock for Leo. Bring into this budding new love Cole’s meddling grandmother and Leo’s friend succumbing to a vampire and you have an entertaining story. My favourite character was Cole’s familiar Nineveh, she would say exactly what she thought. Personally I thought it ended abruptly but if it’s the start of a series with Cole and Leo maybe it was the best place. Although I wouldn’t mind reading more about about Leo’s friend Jimmy and his Vampire.

3.5 of stars out of 5


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Audiobook: Sun and Shadow by Dirk Greyson Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/sun-and-shadow-by-dirk-greyson-1303-

Blurb
Dayton “Day” Ingram is recovering from an injury suffered in Mexico—and from his failed relationship with fellow Scorpion agent, Knight. While researching an old government document, Day realizes he might be holding the key to finding an artistic masterpiece lost since WWII.

But the Russians are looking for it too, and have a team in place in Eastern Europe hunting it down. Day and Knight are brought back together when they are charged with getting to the painting first.

Knight wants to leave Mexico and everything that happened there behind, and return to the life he had—except it wasn’t much of a life. When he’s partnered up with Day, keeping his distance proves to be challenging. But Day is as stubborn as Knight and isn’t willing to let him walk away.

Their assignment leads them through Germany and Austria with agents hot on their tail—agents willing to do whatever it takes to get to the masterpiece first. If Day and Knight can live long enough to find the painting, they might also discover something even more precious—each other

Review
Whilst this story does stand on its own there are some references to the first book. They are mainly to do with Day and Knight’s relationship and in my opinion you can get a sense of the issues even if you haven’t read or listened to it, although it’s a good story so I think it’s worth it. Just like the first book Knight and Day are reluctant partners, although this time round it’s for different reasons. It’s in this story that Knight comes to terms with his feelings for Day and wrestles with his feelings about his wife and son who were murdered. The story is still in the old classic cop/secret agent vibe, which I enjoy. They get themselves into scapes and life and death situations against the bad guys and come out victorious. It’s a lot of fun to listen to, car chases and putting the puzzle pieces together to solve a 70 year old mystery If that isn’t enough there is a traitor passing information putting their lives in danger. Dirk Greyson (Andrew Grey) knows how to pack a lot of action in.
Andrew McFerrin does a fine job narrating the story. He keeps the action flowing at a good pace. Knight has a wonderfully grumpy persona and Day is up beat, suits them perfectly. Perfect pairing and he has portrayed extremely well, keeping true to the first book. The secondary characters all have distinctive traits and voices so it’s easy to follow who’s talking. Overall this book is very easy to listen to.

3 of stars out of 5


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