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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: Tempest Legacy by Nicole Peeler

Title: Tempest Legacy
Author: Nicole Peeler
Series: Jane True, book 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Format: E-book

Warning: This review contains spoilers from previous books of Jane True Series*

“Jane True has become proficient in basic magics, confident in herself and her abilities, and happily rooted in Rockabill. Her life is still divided between her supernatural brethren and her human friends and family, but it’s a division she maintains with very little trouble.
Everything changes, however, when Anyan brings Jane news that will force her to confront her dichotomized existence – supernatural females are being murdered, or have simply disappeared.
Jane and Anyan must embark on a desperate search to find out who is abducting these women, and how Jane can be protected from them. Aiding them is Jane’s former flame, Ryu. But can his stated motivations be trusted? And who are the mysterious figures dogging Jane’s and Anyan’s footsteps if not minions of Jarl?
Eventually, the trio stumble upon a secret so huge that it threatens to disrupt the tenuous traditions keeping humanity safe from the supernatural community that has, up until now, been content to lurk in the shadows.
Will they uncover the truth in time to save Jane’s friends? And just how far will Jarl go to protect his secrets?”

Jane True Series is one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series. I love Ms. Peeler's smart writing style and with Tempest Legacy she does not disappoint us.

Tempest Legacy starts a couple of months after the events in Tracking the Tempest. Jane has recovered and has continued with her magic training. She is more adept with its use now.
Anyan returns to Rockabill, and gives Jane some devastating news. Jane demands him to let her participate in his current investigation of some clinics, in which Halflings and Pureblood women are being used for horrific experiments.
This investigation takes them to the Borderlands where we are introduced with new and very interesting characters.  The Borderlands is a place where the Alfar ruling doesn’t have any power and where Halflings are accepted as equals and can live without the stigma of not being pureblood.
During this investigation, Jane is confronted with difficult emotional situations. Not just in regards to the case but in a more personal level. She is force to make hard decisions that could lead to serious consequences.

I was amazed with the transformation Jane had in this book. Comparing the Jane in Tempest Rising to this new and kick-ass Jane, she is a completely different person, in a good way. She has learned to control her magic, now she has power and she is not helpless anymore. This new Jane trusts herself more, making her a more confident woman without losing the witty side of her that I adore.
We also see her grown emotionally, now she knows what she wants, what she needs and what is good for her. She also realizes who is the right person for her; seeing her coming to terms to this revelation was also very amusing.
One of the things I enjoyed the most in this book were Jane’s conversations with her libido. Sometimes her libido had so much presence that it felt almost as if it was a character in its own way.

We see a different facet of Anyan in this book, a more real and more approachable. He proves us even more that he cares deeply for Jane. In this book he is the one that keeps Jane grounded and in the difficult times he is the one that keeps her “Jane”. 
My favorite scene is this book is almost at the end of the book, it’s with Jane and Anyan after a big event, this scene was so emotionally charged that if I had any doubts about Anyan they were completely extinguished after this.

Ryu is going through a difficult time, he doesn’t want to accept Jane’s decision (Tracking the Tempest), he thinks he knows what is best for her, but in reality he doesn’t know her a bit. He is a little bit lost in this book, emotionally he is dealing with Jane’s decision, he’s also out of his element while working in the Borderlands. He is used to be in control and it doesn’t go well with him when he founds himself depending on others.

The supporting characters in this book are a great addition to the plot. I loved all we learned about Julian, I loved seeing him taking responsibility for his life when making a great decision.
I loved the new characters from the Borderlands. And I hope to see more of them in the future books.
We are also introduced to a very mysterious character that has an interest in Jane. I guess she will be a big player in the next installment, Eye of the Tempest.

Tempest Legacy is a great complement to a great series. This is one of those books in which the pages flow without you even realizing it. When you notice is almost midnight and you don’t want to put it away. You start to say to yourself repeatedly “just one more chapter and I go to bed” until is three in the morning and you had finished the book. This book is that good. Ms. Peeler has done it again.
I can’t wait to read Eye of the Tempest.

If you like Urban Fantasy you HAVE to read this series, and read the books in order. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Favorite quotes:

  • What do you pack for a vengeance quest? I didn’t have time to rewatch my Tarantino, and from what I remembered, Uma’s wardrobe wasn’t going to work on me.
  • I didn’t know if makeup was appropriated for vengeance quest, but I decided to file it under “war paint” and let it go at that.
  • If I pee my pants I am going to be so pissed.
  • At this point, I myself wasn’t sure if I was truly clumsy or just sexually harassing him.

My Verdict: 4½ Paws

Other books in the series
Tempest Rising
Tracking the Tempest
Tempest Legacy
Eye on the Tempest (07/26/2011)
Tempest's Fury (TBA)

Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday's Hot-Hot Hottie: Bruno Cabrerizo

Today's Hot-Hot Hottie is the Brazilian ex-soccer player,
model and actor, Bruno Cabrerizo.

This post is dedicated to Mandi from Smexybooks 
Happy Birthday!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Title: Backstage Pass
Author: Olivia Cunning
Series: Sinners on Tour, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Format: E-book

“It's been months since Brian Sinclair, lead guitarist for the famous rock band, Sinners, composed anything. Unable to write the music that once flowed so naturally, Brian is lost without his musical mojo. But when sexy psychology professor Myrna Evans comes on tour to study groupie mentality, Brian may have found the spark he needs to reignite his musical genius. When lust turns to love, will Brian be able to convince Myrna that what they have is more than just a fling, and that now that he's found his heart's muse, he doesn't want to live without her?”

Myrna Evans is a Human Sexuality professor. She is in Chicago attending a conference. After a tough day presenting the ideas of her study, she’s tired and ready to go to her hotel room; going to the elevator she sees her favorite band, Sinners is sitting in the hotel lounge.
The five members of the band are having drinks, lead singer Sedric Lionheart, Bassist Jace Seymour, drummer Eric Sticks, guitarist Trey Mills and guitarist and also composer of the band songs Brian “Master” Sinclair. She decides she won’t lose this opportunity to meet them and heads to their table to introduce herself.
Brian is heartbroken and drunk, his last girlfriend cheated on him with Sed and he is trying to drown his sorrow with alcohol.
When Myrna arrived to their table, they welcome her; she is an attractive woman with a professional look, very different to their rocker looks. Soon after introductions all of them but Brian are hitting on her, he is too drunk to even move. She is flattered by their attentions, but she is not interested in them, or maybe a little bit. She has always been Brian “Master” Sinclair fan, she admires his dexterity with the guitar; she thinks he’s a genius and if she is going to have a fling with one of them it has to be with Brian.
After sometime, she says her goodbyes and offers Brian to take care of him if he goes to her room. He is very drunk but accepts her offer, he thinks she’s offering sex, but when he arrives to Myrna’s room she gives him things to prevent his hangover, but not sex, that was not her intention. Brian feels attracted to her, but he is very drunk. He convinces her to let him stay the night with her. He tells her he is too drunk to do anything even go back to his room. But in the morning when they wake up he is not drunk anymore and they can’t resist the attraction the felt the night before.
The sex was amazing. They made each other feel things they've never felt before. There is a real connection between them and after a break of months of not feeling the music, Brian starts to write songs again, yes, he writes music while doing it!
He has found his muse and he plans to keep her. But there is a problem, Myrna doesn’t want anything serious, she doesn’t believe in love or relationships and her plan is to have just a fling with him and that’s it.
That night she goes to the Sinners’ concert and meets some of their groupies. Myrna is immediately curious about them and wants to do a study about their behavior.
When she returns to her university Myrna applies for a grant to do a groupies study. After it's been approved she decides her best option is to do her study with the Sinners groupies, like this, she could accompany the guys on tour for three months and spend some sexy time with Brian while working on her study.

In Myrna’s core she is an uninhibited woman who always wanted to experiment and live her sexual fantasies, but a previous relationship let her emotionally scarred.
Every time she tried something new with her ex-husband he called her a whore and accused her of cheating. She wants to leave those feelings of inadequacy that make her feel dirty in the past. She wants to be who she really is and do what she feels like doing. But even after years she hasn’t been able to completely recover from all emotional abused she was submitted. Her ex-husband always used his “love” for her as an excuse for his behavior and now she is terrified of that word or god forbid of falling in love.

Brian is a gorgeous-sexy-rocker guitarist. He is a romantic at heart, he is sweet and a one-woman man and when he falls he falls hard. In the past he had always falls for the wrong woman but now with Myrna things are different. Brian knows what he wants, he is patient and he is not afraid to show his feelings, everybody knows when he is happy and when he is not.

There is a high level of chemistry between Brian and Myrna.  Their love scenes are hot, hot hot! The development of their relationship is well pace and believable. But in certain scenes Brian was a little bit too needy for my taste, this made me felt him more like the girl in the relationship than Myrna, while Myrna and her issues were a bit out of control. These scenes never lasted long making them easier to overlook.

The supporting characters of this book are amazing; I loved the banter between the band members. I loved that they are all so different, but at the same time they are a very close family, they are always looking for each other interests and we see that they really care from each other.

Backstage Pass illustrates the life of a rock band. We learned about the roadies, the groupies, the life in a tour bus, going from city to city, the concerts and more things related to this life style. 
Backstage Pass is fun, is hot, is sexy, is naughty… It’s a great and very entertaining book. It’s also a very “instructional-educational” book. *blushing*
This book was so hot that my reader (and me shh.. it’s a secret) is still steaming after couple of days of having reading it.

Each band member will get a book. The next book will be available in April 1, 2011, it will be Sed’s book and it’s called Rock Hard.
I can wait to read each one of them, but I’m looking forward especially for Trey’s book. I love him!

Favorite quotes:

  • Animal magnetism. He had it. Hello, Mr. Welcome Diversion.
  • “Are you sure?” – “Positive. I have a PhD in cock-tease-ology.”
  • “Now that I know you aren’t sleeping with other men-“ – “Well, there is BOB.” – His face fell. “Bob?” – “Yeah, but he never actually sleeps with me. Just gives me fantastic orgasms, then I put him back in the drawer. I have to change his double A’s occasionally, but he’s fairly low maintenance.” – His borrow furrowed. “A vibrator?” – She grinned. “Multi-functional with attachments. BOB. My Battery Operated Boyfriend.”

 My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Backstage Pass
Rock Hard (4/1/2011)
Hot Ticket - TBA
Snared - TBA
Double Time - TBA

Other reviews Goodreads

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday's (Not so) Short Review: Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

: Mark of the Demon

Author: Diana Rowland
Series: Kara Gillian Series, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Bantam
Format: E-book

“When Homicide Detective Kara Gillian finds traces of arcane power on a body, she quickly realizes that this is no ordinary murder. The serial killer known as the Symbol Man is a nightmare that Beaulac, Louisiana thought had ended three years ago, but now he's back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he is well-versed in demonic lore.
However, Kara is a Summoner of Demons, and may be the only cop on the city's small force who can stop the killer. Able to see and interact with a world most people can't, Kara must draw on her skills as a police officer and master of the arcane to stop the Symbol Man from killing again and possibly summoning something even she can't control.
But with a demonic lord of unearthly beauty and power haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head....”

Detective Kara Gillian had just been promoted from the Property Crimes Division to the Violent Crimes Division at the Beaulac Police Department in Louisiana. Kara is also a Demon Summoner. She has the ability to open portals from our world to a parallel world where the demons reside. But these demons are not the same as described in religious contexts, these are not evil beings just different from us.
She has been training for years under the tutelage of her aunt Tessa, who is also a Summoner. The ability to control the Arcane and Summon demons is inherited.
Kara has been summoning unassisted by her aunt for a short period of time, and when trying to summon a lesser demon something goes very wrong and what comes through her portal is not a lesser demon but the most dangerous of all, a Demon Lord called Rhyzkahl. Demon Lords hate to be summoned, it’s an insult to their honor and when a summoning occurs it usually ends with the summoner being dead. Honor is everything for them. Kara knows this and knows she is going to die, but Rhyzkahl’s fury suddenly starts to abate and he doesn’t kill her, no, he gives her something else, something she haven’t got in a long time, an incredible sexy time.
Rhyzkahl returns to his plane of existence leaving a very confused Kara. She cannot understand what just happened, the attraction she felt for him was something she had never experience before. Ok, he is dead look gorgeous, but he is a Demon Lord for god’s sake… but… maybe better to be ravished than being dead.
The serial killer Symbol Man has returned after a hiatus of three years. Bodies are been found tortured and marked with the sigil he has used on his previous victims.
Kara is surprised and very glad when her Capitan assigned her the case. She knows these murders have something to do with the arcane and with the summoning of demons, now she needs to solve the case.
FBI gets involved in the case and a task force is formed. Special Agents Ryan Kristoff and Zack Garner are assigned to assist her with the case.
Kara feels attracted to Ryan almost from the beginning making everything even more complicated.
During Rhyzkahl summoning he created link with Kara and now he is visiting her in her dreams, making them very vivid and realistic. She likes his “visits”, she cannot deny it, but at the same time she is very confused with the situation. She knows he wants something from her, that is the only explanation, but she doesn’t fathom what it is.
Things don’t get easier for Kara, she is trying to solve the case. She needs to prove to everybody that she is a capable Detective, while doing so she is also dealing with Rhyzkahl’s visits and his intentions. Further more she is also dealing with her attraction to Ryan.

I had this book in my TBR list for a long time; I’m not sure why I didn’t read before (what was I thinking?) but I’m very glad I finally succumbed to its magic.

I love Kara, she is a very real woman with the insecurities that go with the gender description and all. But at the same time she is a badass heroine. She loves being a summoner but it has its negative points, she is afraid to get close to people because of their reactions to her ability, making her a loner in dire need of friendship.

Rhyzkahl is a powerful demon-sex on a stick combo with his own agenda. But he is more complex than what we can imagine. He shows little glimpses making me believe that there is more of him we don’t know. Maybe he even cares for Kara a little bit, with him is very difficult to know, but time would tell.

I’m not sure about Ryan. He didn’t do much for me. He wants to know everything about Kara but he doesn’t share anything about him. And he has too many secrets for comfort.
I want to see how Mrs. Rawland is going to develop him in future books. In my opinion he needs to be more alluring to be able to compete with Rhyzkahl.

My final thought: Mark of the Demon is an amazing book. I loved the characters, the world, the dialogues, in general I really loved everything about it. Mark of the Demon literally had me glued to its pages for hours until I finished it.
This series had become one of my favorites Urban Fantasy Series. And if you love this genre you have to add it to your TBR now and please don’t do what I did, don’t wait, read it ASAP.

My Verdict: 5 Paws

Other books in the series
Mark of the Demon
Blood of the Demon
Secrets of the Demon
Sins of the Demon (TBA)
Touch of the Demon (TBA)

Other reviews Goodreads

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ARC Review: A Kingdom Besieged by Raymond E. Feist

Title: A Kingdom Besieged
Author: Raymond E. Feist
Series: The Chaoswar Saga Trilogy, book 1
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager (04/12/2011)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
THE KINGDOM BESIEGED The Darkness is coming… The Kingdom is plagued by rumour and instability. Kingdom spies in Kesh have been disappearing - either murdered, or turned to the enemy side. Information has become scant and unreliable; but one thing appears clear. Dark forces are on the move… Since Pug and the Conclave of Shadows enforced peace after the last Keshian invasion, the Empire has offered no threat. But now factions are rising and Jim Dasher reports mobilizations of large forces in the Keshian Confederacy. As the men of the West answer the King's call to muster, Martin conDoin - left as caretaker of Crydee Keep - will suddenly be confronted with the vanguard of an invading army. He reminds himself that he is a year older than his legendary ancestor, Prince Arutha, was when he stood firm against the Tsurani invasion, but Arutha had an army to command, and Martin is left with old men and young boys. Massive events are about to unfold, events which threaten the future of all human life in Midkemia…”

The description of the book summarizes pretty well what this book is about.

This was my first book by Raymond E. Feist and big mistake! This book is promoted as the first book in The Chaoswar Saga Trilogy, but when I started to read it I realized that it was not a first book, but a continuation of a very extensive series, that is divided into different sagas; there are almost 20 books prior to this one.
This dampened a little bit my reading experience considering there were many references to previous events that I didn’t know and references to many characters that I also didn’t know who they were or what was their roll in the previous books.

Apart for this, I enjoy the book. The characters are complex and interesting. Mr. Feist does a great job with the description of the world, making it vivid and realistic.

My favorite character is Child, a demon we see grow from baby to a complex being. She is transforming herself page by page, developing into something else. She is a very inquisitive being who wants to learn more and more, always with and endless curiosity of the world surrounding her.
There is a twist in the end of the plot regarding this character that have me wondering how Mr. Feist is going to unfold it.

Another character I really liked is Martin. He is the second son of Lord Henry, Duke of Crydee. Martin is a quiet and very studious young man. But unforetold circumstances put him in a difficult situation forcing him to take the reins of the dukedom This situation tests him in a great level, as a second son he was never prepared to do so, but thanks to his strength and capability he is able in the best possible way to carry out this burden.
I liked seeing his transformation and acceptance, not just of this situation in which he is thrown at, but also in a more personal level in regards to his feelings towards Bethany.

Even though there are many events and situations happening at the same time, making it a very complex plot this is not a difficult read, Mr. Feist really pull it off with a very compelling storytelling.
This book is fast paced, especially the last third part of the book, making is a page-turner difficult to put away.
I don’t think I’ll read the previous books (there are too many). But I am sure I will read the next ones in this trilogy, I can’t wait to know what is coming next.

To any fantasy lover this is a series for you. I recommend you to read it in order.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
A Kingdom Besiege (4/12/2011)
A Crown Imperiled - TBA
Magicians End - TBA

Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday's Hot-Hot Hottie: Chad White

Today's Hot-Hot Hottie is the American model Chad White.

He "tries" to keep in shape...

 He is very domestic... 

He likes animals

Nice horse

His secret identity... He is one of the Fallen!

What else can we ask for?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: First Grave on the Right You by Darynda Jones

Title: First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson, book 1
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Mystery
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Format: E-book

“Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely”

Charlotte “Charley” Jean Davidson had always had the ability to see dead people. She is The Grim Reaper, but she is a modern version of it, she doesn’t go around wearing a black hooded robe and a scythe in her hand. She is more of jeans, T-shirt and cell phone kind of Reaper. She is also a P.I who works as a consultant for the police, usually helping her uncle detective Bob Davidson to solve murder cases with the help of the ghosts.
Charley is having again steamy dreams when the ghost of a lawyer named Sussman awakens her, he has just been murdered and needs Charley’s help to find who killed him.
Charley had a rough night and is tired but is her duty as a Reaper to help ghosts cross over, but many have unfinished issues, like Sussman, that needs to be solved before he can go through the light. The light being her! That’s why the ghosts find her; she is like a beacon light calling them. The ghosts cross over to the other side through her; she is literally, the gate to the other side.
Minutes later after being awaken her phone rings. It’s her uncle Bob calling her from a crime scene, he needs her help and asked her to come see him.
When Charley arrives to the crime scene with Sussman in town, she learns that this victim was one of Sussman partners in his law firm. Later on, they discover that their third partner was also murdered that same night. Now Charley has three ghosts with her who need her help.
She also has a mystery of her own to solve. She needs to know why she has been having those steamy dreams with a dark stranger during this last month. Also she is seeing more frequently the Big Bad, who actually looks more like a reaper with his dark hooded robe and big blade in his hand. But she is not afraid of him, ok, just a little bit, and with that description who wouldn’t be afraid. But Big Bad has always helped her and saved her many times from dangerous situations. And now she feels there is a connection between the dreams and Big Bad and she needs to find what it is. Her different investigations leads her to Reyes Farrow, she met him briefly when she was a teen in an event that marked her life drastically.
She discovers that he’s been in jail for murder for the last decade. And had an accident in jail couple of weeks ago where he was shot in the head and has been in a coma since. The estate is planning to disconnect him from life support in three days and now she needs to try to stop this from happening too.

Charley is an amazing character. She is a kick-ass heroin that sometimes get hers kicked. She is strong, funny, witty and caring, and she’s also the Reaper, what’s cooler than that. I love that she suffers from some kind of ADD and she gets easily distracted, but who wouldn’t with ghosts flashing left and right from you.
Charley had a difficult life, her mother died during labor and she has always felt kind of guilty about it. And being born different hasn’t been easy for her, not many people know her secret and from those who know just few accept her the way she is. But that doesn’t stop her. She does the best she can with what she has and usually in a very funny way.
I also like Charlie a lot, because we have a couple of things in common, like our need (not addiction) to coffee and we suffer from the same problem in the mornings.

While I normally weighed around 125…ish, for some unexplainable reason, between the hours of partially awake and fully awake, I weighed a solid 470.

Our mystery man Reyes is steamy-sexy-hot. He had also a very difficult life; for years he was abused by his father.
We don’t know much about his personality; just that he’s strong and takes care of his friends and people he cares about. He brings a big twist to the plot that would have you counting the days for the next book.

This book has very strong supporting characters especially Charley’s friend, neighbor and employee, Cookie, Charley’s uncle Bob and Skip-Tracer Garrett Swopes.
Cookie is a very loving and caring character; she’s always looking out for Charley and her needs.
Uncle Bob is a police detective with anger management issues and with a very dark sense of humor and even though he doesn’t show it much he loves Charley deeply.
Garrett is a strange character; he is coming to terms with Charley’s secret, being a non believer hasn’t make it any easy for him to accept what she is and can do, but he’s trying to leave his preconditions behind. He wants to believe because he cares for Charley. There is an obvious attraction between this two, but they pretend there is nothing there, making their conversations and interactions sometimes uncomfortable funny.

Darynda Jones surprised us with this, her debut novel.
First Grave on the Right is a well written, original, fast paced, and incredible funny book. It has mystery, romance, and suspense. Its characters are rich and complex, making it a very entertaining read.

I love the quoting of bumper stickers, random quotes and Charlie’s thoughts at the beginning of each chapter. There were some really hilarious.

If you love paranormal romance you have to read First Grave on the Right. I’m sure Charley Davidson Series would become one of the favorites paranormal series out there. It has already become one of mine.
I can’t wait to read the next installment, Second Grave on the Left.

Favorite quotes:
  • …her morning hair, a cross between disco and crack addict shaking in denial…
  • When Gemma was into foreign languages, I was into the hot Italian guy down the street.
  • I stood and walked around the desk so I could stand over him. Menacingly. Like Darth Vader, only with better lung capacity.
  • “Were you just possessed?” Cookie asked after a long moment, awe softening her voice. “ ’Cause let me tell you, sweetheart, if that was possession, I’m selling my soul.”
  • I had a stakeout to attend, which sadly involve neither steaks nor vampires.
  • “I whine more than a Goth with a blogging fetish. It’s really not that bad. I actually grew up rather happy. I had lots of friends. They were mostly dead, but still.”
Favorite bumper stickers and T-shirt quotes:
  • Never knock on death’s door. Ring the doorbell then run. He totally hates that. – T-shirt
  • Jenious – T-shirt (I want that t-shirt)
  • You know you have ADD when- Look! A chicken! – T-shirt
  • Do not disturb. Already there. – T-shirt
  • “Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.” – Bumper Sticker

My Verdict: 4½ Paws

Other books in the series
First Grave on the Right
Second Grave on the Left (08/16/2011)
Third Grave Dead Ahead

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