Review: The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck

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My Review

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

This creative tale of friendship, community, and second chances follows five New Yorkers as they meet under mysterious circumstances and form a sort of club together.

I enjoyed following the characters as they each attempted to navigate uncertainty in their lives and decide on the next steps they should take.

There was the stirring and hope of romance for these characters as the novel progressed. Letting go of lies, hidden truths, and guilt was an important step for each of the characters, as well.

The Fifth Avenue Story Society was definitely a page turner with a satisfying conclusion that should please fans of women’s fiction, as well as those who love a good romance.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

About the BookThe Fifth Avenue Story Society

Book:  The Fifth Avenue Story Society

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre:  Contemporary Romance/ Women’s Fiction

Release Date: February 4, 2020

An invitation to join The Fifth Avenue Story Society gives five New York strangers a chance to rewrite their own stories.

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to bear their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls.

 

Get your copy of the book here.

 

About the Author

rachel-hauck-LR-5Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at RachelHauck.com; Facebook: RachelHauck; Twitter: @RachelHauck; Instagram: @rachelhauck.

 

Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt here.

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Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 10

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*No Giveaway for this Celebration Tour

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Review: A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate

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My Review

A Girl's Guide to the Outback

I loved this book! A Girl’s Guide to the Outback was such a fun romance in a great setting. Sam and Kimberly were secondary characters in the book Love and Other Mistakes, however, this book definitely reads as a stand alone novel and there are no worries if you have not read Love and Other Mistakes.

This book had so much heart and I loved all of the nuances to this unique story. It was interesting to see how both Sam and Kimberly struggled with things that had happened in their pasts and allowed those situations to impact the decisions they made and what they were willing to risk (or not risk).

The chemistry was great between these two and I also loved the secondary romance between Jules and Mick, which was a second chance possibility for two people who allowed each other to slip away the first time around.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

About the BookA Girl's Guide to the Outback

Book:  A Girl’s Guide to the Outback

Author: Jessica Kate

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 28, 2020

How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.

 Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.

When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.

As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

jessica kateAustralian author Jessica Kate writes inspirational romances with wit, sass, and grit. Jessica is a screenwriting groupie, cohost of the StoryNerds vlog and podcasts, and her favorite place to be—apart from Mum and Dad’s back deck—is a theme park. She has traveled North America and Australia, and samples her favorite pasta wherever she goes—but the best (so far) is still the place around the corner from her corporate day job as a training developer. She loves watching sitcoms with her housemates and being a leader in a new church plant. Visit her online at jessicakatewriting.com; Instagram: jessicakatewriting; Facebook: jessicakatewriting; Twitter: @JessicaKate05.

 

Exclusive Excerpt

Click here to read an exclusive excerpt of the book!

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For Him and My Family, February 9

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Kat’s Corner Books, February 11

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Moments, February 14

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Review: Waltz in the Wilderness by Kathleen Denly

Waltz WildernessWaltz in the Wilderness was a great trek back in time to the rugged land of California. I liked Eliza and Daniel and felt for them as they both began to experience feelings of love for each other while Daniel was still betrothed to another. I appreciated that Daniel and Eliza both respected that engagement, even as it caused them pain to do so.

I really enjoyed reading about their travels up into the mountains and what they ended up discovering up there. The side story involving Alice was also interesting and I liked the way the author gave little glimpses throughout the novel as to what had been going on in Alice’s life during the time that she wasn’t answering Daniel’s letters.

(4.5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Waltz Wilderness

She’s desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help. 

Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother’s death, so she’ll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend’s unexpected assistance is a blessing she can’t refuse.

Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it’s been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancée is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.

When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kathleen Denly

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

Website   Twitter   Facebook   Instagram

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Blog Blitz: Looks Like Love by Brandy Bruce

Looks Like Love JustRead Blog Blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Looks Like Love by Brandy Bruce, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Looks Like Love by Brandy BruceTitle: Looks Like Love
Author: Brandy Bruce
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Re-release Date: November 13, 2019

After a devastating break-up, Kasey Addison needs to rediscover life and love. She starts by taking a whirlwind trip to London to visit her best friend. When she returns, she’s given a new assignment at the advertising firm where she works. The cosmetics company they represent is releasing a special fragrance called Love. Kasey is tasked with finding out exactly what love looks like and how to sell it.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brandy Bruce

Brandy Bruce is a writer, a book editor, a mom, a wife, and someone who really loves dessert! She’s the author of the award-winning novel The Last Summer, Looks Like Love, After the Rain, and The Romano Family Collection. Brandy, her husband, and their children make their home in Virginia.

CONNECT WITH BRANDY: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Visit the landing post at JustRead Tours!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

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Review & Giveaway: Fall from Trace by Rebecca Connolly

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Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for
Fall From Trace by Rebecca Connolly hosted by SLB Tours!

About the Book

Fall from Trace

Series: London League
Genre: Adult, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Phase Publishing
Publication date: February 1, 2020

Gone, but not forgotten…

Alex Sommerville should have been dead. To the world, he had been dead for almost five years, and with him, the secrets he had carried as Trace, the most elusive member of the London League. When a chance to escape finally comes, Alex finds just enough life left in him to take it, and races off to return to the woman he loves.

…Back, but at what cost?

The last person Poppy Edgewood ever expected to see suddenly falls into her life again – literally. Alex is a shell of the man he once was, and on the brink of the death she thought him already lost to. What answers will he have for her when he recovers, and can she even bear to hear them?

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

rebecca-connolly-headshot

Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.

GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB
WEBSITE | NEWSLETTER | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Snippet

Loneliness is a creeping creature, and its pangs were deep and ravaging. In the evenings, when work was completed and she had so much to tell, there was no one to listen. When she missed her sister or her brothers, her parents, or her life, there was no one to commiserate with. When she cried in the night because Alex was gone and no one cared but her, there was no relief. When she felt more alone than anyone ought to feel, there was no one to take away the darkness.

No one to share her burdens with.

The only person she had in her life with any sort of regularity was Stanton, and he would not take kindly at all to her sharing such personal and emotional thoughts with him. It would have made him uncomfortable and gruff, and he probably would have told her to focus on her work and the farm and forget everything else. He had once told her emotions were a nuisance, after all, and that the past was only good for lessons.

Not for visiting and staying for a time.

Poppy was only too prone to spend an extended period of time in her past these days, though she knew it wouldn’t do her any good.

The trouble was that it was too easy.

She scrubbed at the pot harder, her brow furrowing with the effort, and when she stopped, she looked at her hands. Once these hands had been delicate and soft, protected by gloves more often than not, fair and without blemish but for the occasional pricking of an embroidery needle. Her nails had been clean and manicured, the perfect embodiment of a fine lady. Every now and again, there might be a scratch on the skin from getting into mischief with Alex by climbing a tree or racing across their properties, but her hands had been fairly perfect.

Now, they were rough and worn, weathered by hard work and aggressive labor. She had callouses on her palm, on every fingertip, and along the edges of each finger. Her knuckles were often inflamed, and her skin cracked and peeled regularly. Lines and scars and dry patches dotted every surface of her hands, and her nails were almost brutally short, uneven, and usually had something under them, be it dirt or food or feed for the animals.

These hands were not those of a young lady.

Then again, Poppy could hardly be considered young anymore. Twenty-seven was not particularly old, but in those twenty-seven years, she had lived a lifetime, and she was decades older than anyone of her age. Her life did not even remotely resemble what she had thought out for herself, what she had planned, or anything like it once had.

She closed her eyes and set the pot aside, knowing it was far cleaner now than it had ever been with her excessive scrubbing.

This was what her life amounted to now. Scrubbing the pots and plates from her own meals, feeding the chickens and pigs, currying the horses, farming with whatever help she could afford to pay, even grinding her own flour to make her own bread, at times.

Oh, how far she had fallen.

Lonely and cast out, working for every morsel of bread, sweating her days away in the sun, and mourning a man who had never promised her anything.

Poppy’s hands curled into fists and hot tears filled her eyes. It was wrong to resent a dead man, she knew, but resent him she did. If he hadn’t have died, if that was what had truly happened, she would not be in this situation. He could have just broken off their impending engagement, and she would have been with her family now. She should have been wiser, not giving her heart so freely without the official connection between them.

Never mind that they had been in love since she was fourteen and he sixteen. Never mind that they had been planning to marry for years. Never mind that she was so utterly and completely his that she hadn’t been whole in almost five years.

She should have been wiser.

And it was his fault she was so destitute, despairing, and dismal.

It was his fault she had grown so attached.

It was his fault she still felt the ache within her at the thought of him.

It was his fault that when she looked out of her kitchen window and could see the shadows of Parkerton Lodge in the distance, she still looked for a light in any window.

As she did now.

But there were no lights within, and no lights without, and the crumbling estate looked as foreboding and desolate as it had the day the servants had departed it.

Poppy exhaled slowly, wiping her hands on dry toweling. She couldn’t do this anymore. Couldn’t watch for him, wait for him, ache for him. He wasn’t coming back, and this was the life she had chosen for herself. This was her future, and looking back would not make it any brighter.

She was done.

She had to be.

A knock on her door brought her head around, and she waited for Stanton to enter. When he didn’t, and the knock came again, more firmly, she rolled her eyes as she moved to the door.

“Honestly, Stanton,” she moaned loudly. “It’s not so cold that you had to fill your arms to the brim with wood.”

She reached for the door handle and pulled the door open, fixing her expression into one of mocking amusement.

The man who stood there stared at her with his dark, sunken eyes, leaning both forearms against the doorframe, his chest heaving wildly, and her amusement faded at once.

She knew that face. She knew the line of that jaw, the dark eyes that were endless in their depths, the nose with a slight crook in the bridge from where her brother had walloped him with a tree branch ten years ago. He was thinner, terrifyingly so, and his face was hollow and gaunt, sickly in color despite being tanned, and covered with a sheen of perspiration. His dark hair was cut brutally short, but it, and the scruff on the lower half of his face, were as dark as his eyes, if not darker still.

All changes aside, she knew that man better than any person on this earth.

“Alex…” she breathed, her voice catching on his name.

His corded throat worked on a swallow. “Poppy.”

Her hand lashed out and struck him hard across the face, a weak yet harsh cry ripping from her throat. He stumbled sideways, surprising her with his unsteadiness, and a tremor ran across his once broad shoulders and down to his legs. Slowly, he looked back at her, pressing his left arm against the doorframe again and almost sagging against the wood.

“Please,” he whispered, his voice fading with shocking rapidity as his eyes widened.

Then they rolled back, and he collapsed to the ground at her feet.

Review

Fall from TraceFall from Trace was an intriguing tale! I had not read the other books in the series, so I did have to play catch up with the characters. The author did a good job of writing the story so that I could figure out what had happened in the past and get to know the other characters who belonged to the London League a little bit.

I liked Poppy and Alex a lot. There was plenty of romantic tension and both of these characters had a lot of hurt from the past few years to get over. Alex also had the added difficulty of overcoming the more than four years of torture that he endured.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable book to read and I can imagine that those who have read the other books in the series will love getting to find out what happened Alex, also known as Trace. There is some cursing in this book for those looking to avoid that.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon GC + an ecopy of Falling for Trace.

Falling for Trace tour giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Link to full tour schedule below. Giveaway will begin at midnight February 10, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on February 23, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Giveaway open internationally. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

Tour Schedule

Follow along at SLB Tours for a full list of stops!

 

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Review & Giveaway: Follow the Dawn by Rachelle Rae Cobb

Follow the Dawn Promo Graphic

Hello and welcome to the Follow the Dawn blog tour! I’m posting today about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s Follow the Dawn, an inspirational historical YA romance set during the 16th century!

Rachelle is also the author of The Steadfast Love Series, Letters Home, and Write Well, a guide for writers! I’m joining in this blog tour to tell you a little more about Follow the Dawn and spread the news about the rocking giveaway Rachelle is hosting—make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form to win a signed copy of her book!

MY REVIEW

Follow the DawnFollow the Dawn was a fantastic book! It was an intriguing tale suitable for both adult and young adult readers. The fear and panic that Anna experienced quite frequently in her life was palpable while reading this story. At first, I was occasionally frustrated by her overreactions to things that occurred, however, I began to see that this physical reaction to the emotional hurt she experienced growing up was something that she would have to learn to overcome. I loved seeing her heal and begin to realize that not every man was like her father. I especially liked seeing the connection that began to build with Tudder. He was such a wonderful character, burdened by guilt, yet looking to start anew with his son.

It was fun to catch up with the characters from the Steadfast Love series! If you haven’t read that series yet, don’t worry, Follow the Dawn will still be easy to read and enjoy. However, I definitely recommend that exciting series, as well.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

FtD Quote 3

GIVEAWAY

Follow the Dawn Promo Graphic

Enter HERE to win a signed copy of Follow the Dawn.

 International friends, this giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because an international winner will receive a digital copy of the book.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT FOLLOW THE DAWN

Follow the Dawn

Anna Emory grew up the invisible younger sister, shy and quiet, and she prefers it that way. But her father’s attempts to arrange an unsavory marriage teach her that courage is sometimes found in adversity.

Then she meets a boy and his father who tip her quiet world upside down.

Captain Mathieu Tudder has run from responsibility, entrusting his young son’s care to another and devoting his Sea Beggar ship to the cause of the Dutch Revolution. After the cause fails, Tudder returns to England for the son he left behind, all he has left of the wife he lost. But Titus prefers a mysteriously quiet nursemaid to his estranged father.

Tudder wants his son back, yet Anna stands in his way. Will these two hearts—the battle-scarred and the broken—ever find true freedom?

Purchase your own copy here.

Also available on Kindle Unlimited.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachelle Cobb

Rachelle Rea Cobb has history with words. She penned her first short story in middle school, her first novel right out of high school, and signed a three-book publishing contract right after college. Her Steadfast Love series (from WhiteFire Publishing) and 2020 release, Follow the Dawn (Illuminate Publishing) are set during the Dutch Revolution. She is also the author of Write Well, a short writing guide designed to teach the structure of good writing. Rachelle is a freelance editor, an author of six books, and voracious reader. If you’re looking for her, check the bookstore. In 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero and they live happily ever after in a fixer-upper by the sea. She’s a fan of chai and lemonade (though definitely not together)!

 

Website: https://RachelleReaCobb.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/RachelleReaCobb

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/RachelleReaCobb/

Instagram: @RachelleReaCobb

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachelle-Rea/e/B00RZHIL1Q

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8144149.Rachelle_Rea_Cobb

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Review – Unexpected Destinations: Boxed Set by Lyn Cote

Unexpected DestinationsWhat an enjoyable set of two novellas. The stories are stand alone novellas, yet are connected in that the first book is about Sophia’s love story and the second one covers her daughter’s plight and subsequent love match.

I enjoyed both of these stories. They were easy to sit down and read in an afternoon. The author did a good job of creating characters that I cared about and interesting settings, all within novella length stories. Both of these books highlight strong women who must face some very trying circumstances and persevere through them.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this collection. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Unexpected DestinationsThis is a boxed set of two novellas: For Sophia’s Heart and Winter Homecoming, Sophia’s Daughter.

For Sophia’s Heart~A penniless but pretty girl…a wealthy young man on his way to war–what could draw them into a marriage of convenience?

In April 1898, Sophia Schiffler boards a train and meets Gannon Moore, both on their way to Chicago. Gannon is going to withdraw from the university to enlist in the Spanish American War. Teddy Roosevelt is gathering his rough riders to invade Cuba. Mourning the recent loss of his sister, Gannon is shocked when Sophia reveals she is going to marry a man she’s never met. When this suitor doesn’t meet Sophia at Union Station as planned, what they discover there catapults Sophia into a situation she could never have imagined.

Over the next months with Sophia in Chicago and Gannon preparing for war in Florida, they exchange letters written from their hearts. In the fall, Gannon returns from war, a changed man. The course of true love never runs smooth. And life has a way of turning tables on two young people in love. Their springtime love endured separation and a war. Will it survive a winter of reality?

For Sophia’s Daughter~A rich man’s daughter and a logger’s son–what could bring them together in the wintry northwoods?

Catching a freight train out of Chicago is no way to spend Christmas Day.
The Depression has cost Will Gustafson his classy wife, executive job and high society life. Now he’s heading home to the northwoods of Wisconsin to face the “I told you so’s” he deserves. On the freight train a homeless little boy attaches himself to Will like a lost puppy. On the day after Christmas in her Model T, Mrs. Cass Moore Newton picks up Will and the boy and takes them home with her. Is she crazy?

But a new widow, she needs a handyman to help her weather the winter in her isolated cabin. She’s concealed her “delicate” condition from everyone, including her parents, but can’t deceive Will. He fights his growing attraction to this good but stubborn woman—so unlike the wife who divorced him. The three of them become an unlikely “family.” Yet what will happen when the snow melts and all their secrets are revealed?

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lyn_Cote-225x300

USA Today bestselling author, Lyn Cote has written over 45 books. A Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and an American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, Lyn writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense and historical novels. No matter which kind of story, her brand “Strong Women, Brave Stories” comes through.

Her most recent achievement is being added to Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll for bestselling authors. She lives in a lakeside cottage the northwoods of Wisconsin with her comfy husband and two adorable cats.

Lyn’s brand is Strong Women, Brave Stories because her heroines are women who don’t just take what life hands them but fight for a better way with God’s help. Also most of her stories feature a multi-cultural cast of characters and authentic detail whether it is a contemporary or historical story.

Lyn can be found on her websiteFacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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