Iron Canuck

Sharing my love of reading and hope to help authors by promoting books I enjoy.

Slow start but had me racing to the end.

False Start (McKay-Tucker Men Book 1) - Marianne Rice

This is the first book I have read by this author. It took a bit to get into the story, but once there, I did not want to put it down. Meg had been through a lot, and I understood her hesitancy to let someone into her life. She had an hard shell covering her broken center. I loved her interactions with her daughter and Connor. Connor was a sweetheart, although he was not very communicative. He was full of reaction before thought. They made a great couple and had me laughing, crying, and sighing throughout the story.

This is my unsolicited review.

Good story but could have used more emotion.

Twice Burned - Karen White

I enjoyed the story but felt it was a bit rushed. I did not get a true feel for the emotions between Aubrey, Julian, and Lucas. I would have liked more connection other than the sex, which was steamy. Julian and Lucas had their own relationship and reasons for holding back. Aubrey's reasons for not believing in love were not fully explained. All around her was lasting love, but she did not believe in it. Lucas and Julian were fun and sexy.

I received a copy of this story through Booksprout, and this is my unsolicited review.

Already read the book, but really enjoyed the audiobook. Kept me interested.

The Highland Henchman - Amy Jarecki

I had an opportunity to listen to the audiobook. Brad Wills kept me entertained with his voices and emotion. He brought me back into this story and series, and I still loved this tale. I definitely recommend the story and, if you like audiobooks, this is a great listen.

New Release: Breathless by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan

 

Blurb:

 

In Breathless, bestselling authors Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan will sweep you away—across continents and centuries, combining the best of all worlds in one unforgettable romantic saga.

 

She was “the Swan.” London’s premiere courtesan. Men want to be with her. Women loathe her success and yet admire her beauty, her riches, her independence. But when the jealous wife of her lover moves to have the Swan banished from her home on the high seas, she winds up crashed against Spain’s rocky coast with no shoes, no clothes—and no name. Taken in by a tortured, sensuous man known as The Artist, the Swan comes to know the woman she wants to be—her artist’s siren.

When Art Professor Brenna Anderson is in danger of losing her post at Harvard, the rule-following, prim professor is at a loss of how to salvage the shreds of her life. But when a new painting in the mysterious Siren collection is discovered in a dusty old house in France, Brenna does the unthinkable—hops on a plane to uncover the identity of the beautiful, enigmatic woman who is the subject of the paintings.

There’s just one hitch—the frustrating, irritating, bold and beautiful art hunter Fitch Wilder is also looking for the Siren. He’s been a thorn in Brenna’s professional side for years, but when their individual quests lead them to team up despite being enemies, a whole new sumptuous world of art and culture opens up for the two of them. And with it, they enter a realm of passion and love…

 

About the authors:

 

 

CELESTE BRADLEY is the New York Times bestselling author of the Runaway Brides, Heiress Brides, Liar’s Club, and Royal Four series. Her novel Fallen was nominated for a RITA in 2002. “When you are overendowed with imagination and underendowed with punctuality, become a writer.” Years of dreaming on the job paid off when Celeste Bradley quit the mainstream in 1999 and started writing historical romance. “Handsome heroes beat out cranky customers every time!” Bradley lives in New Mexico with her family, her desert garden and so many pets the house sometimes feels like an ark.

 

 

SUSAN DONOVAN’s novels have won accolades for being witty, sexy, and entertaining. A former newspaper reporter with journalism degrees from Northwestern University, Susan is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller whose novels have been translated into dozens of languages. Susan is a two-time RITA Award finalist, and her novel Take a Chance on Me was named Best Contemporary Romance of 2003 by RT Book Reviews Magazine. She lives in New Mexico with her family and assorted dogs.

 

My review on my blog:

http://christinewoinich.booklikes.com/post/1765747/history-meets-the-present-and-love-is-found-in-more-places-than-one

 

 

New release: The Crown Princess by Kathleen Samuels

 

Amazon link - http://a.co/9bRyX4E

 

Forced together, but find love along with a mystery and a ghost

Blackmail and the Bride - Sahara Kelly

This is toward the end of the series, but you do not have to read the series to read this one. Cressida is running from scandal, and Richard is forced to pay a debt. With no options, they come together. They made a great couple despite their histories. There is a mystery, a ghost, lots of family, and love that made this a wonderful story to read. The two of them work well together, and I enjoyed them very much.

I received a copy of this story through Candid Book Reviews, and this is my unsolicited review.

history meets the present, and love is found in more places than one.

Breathless - Celeste Bradley

This was a fun read, a mixing of past and present with a link between the two. Brenna is drawn to the history of "the Swan", a courtesan. Fitch is drawn to "the Siren" paintings. He finds them for his client. The two bump heads but find love while figure the history out. I loved the mingling of past and present. I tried to guess where the story was going but was not correct. Despite that, I enjoyed this story.

I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.

Opposites attract in this story, yet learn to compromise

Teaching Philip - Elizabeth Rose

This was a good story. Two people are compatible online but not face to face. Both Taylor and Philip are set in their ways and their plans for the future. I enjoyed the online conversations after each of their disagreements. Once they realized that there was more to each other, I loved how they learned to compromise. With a bit of pushing from their families, love won out. I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more about this series.

This was a freebie on Amazon, and this is my unsolicited review.

Great story, wonderful narration, loved this audio

Earl of Pembroke - Lauren Smith

This was a fun story with a very interesting beginning. I loved Gillian's loyalty to her friend, braving danger to protect her. Her honesty was also endearing as she struggled with when and how to admit to her past. I found this a grittier look at that time period. James was a sweetheart and wanted his heart's desire no matter what. The narration by Carolyn Morris kept me listening as well. I highly recommend this story, and I look forward to reading all the Wicked Earls.

I received a copy of this audiobook as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.

New Release: The Secret Lives of Royals by Shalini Dua

 

The Secret Life of Royals
by Shalini Dua

 

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GENRE: New Adult, YA, Fantasy

 

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BLURB:

 

Olivia can’t take it anymore. She’s had enough of the big city and it’s lack of fulfilling her dreams. Then, just when she’s about to give up and move home, out of the blue, she is offered her dream job. Olivia is suspicious but that could just be the New York in her. She decides not to pull at threads. Despite her best efforts to remain blissfully oblivious, the secret to her life upgrade is soon uncovered when she finds herself invited to be part of a secret society.

 

Olivia learns that there is a thin curtain separating our world from theirs. Just beneath the surface, an entirely different one exists. One that is controlled by those of Royal lineage. The chosen ones, the Royals, hold the fate of the world in their hands. Will Olivia be able to bear the weight of the crown?

 

Confessions of a Shopaholic meets The Adjustment Bureau, this contemporary fairytale is both relatable and aspirational. Taking a look at the current balance of media and power with a healthy dose of humor, fashion, food and wanderlust.

 

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Excerpt:

 

I’m getting a very weird feeling. I consider turning around and leaving, but getting a cab on a cold rainy night before 2AM is going to be tough as they don’t begin frequenting the area until the bars start to close, and the nearest Uber appears to be 25 minutes away. Plus, I did go to all of this trouble to get my lazy self dressed and over here.

 

There is a crest engraved in brass metal on the front of the red door, an intricately designed crown and some lettering. I tilt my head to read it all the way around. ‘Alea iacta est memores acti prudentes uturi modus operandi’ I read aloud, and below, ‘Posteriori’. I recognize the language as Latin from the three weeks we spent on it during Intro to Languages, which was designed to help us choose one to focus on during our tenure at the university

 

Against my better judgment, I push on the heavy door, which creaks open. I enter into a cold stone-walled hall with a stone slab floor, lit by what appears to be a row of fire lanterns on each side. I guess this place is a bit behind the times in converting, or maybe they think it’s super ironic and hipster to not jump on the modernization bandwagon. Or maybe it’s me. I’m not exactly the authority on architectural trends. Maybe converted vintage is over and re-vintaged vintage is back in. Ugh, I can’t wait until I’m old and have an excuse not to be hip.

 

I walk down a windy stone hallway that seems straight out of a period film. Wow, they are really taking this theme seriously. How cool would it be if this stuff was authentic? I take a few pictures with my phone just in case. I mean as Cultures Editor, it’s always nice to be the one to discover the next big thing, like Connor said.

 

As I round the corner I hear, before I see, a British male mumbling to himself, apparently in debate.

 

“It’s so bizarre. But it couldn’t be. Could it? Stranger things have happened.”

 

I find myself face to face with a short-ish man, though taller than me, with glasses, wearing a sports coat with suede elbow patches. I scream in surprise and jump about five feet in the air. He seems slightly taken aback as well but less jumpy than me, or at least less vocal about it. He’s good looking in an intellectual sort of way and his dark floppy hair is conservatively combed back. I’m not sure if he’s startled by our unexpected encounter or my scream, but he does a bit of a double back.

 

“Sorry,” he recovers charmingly, “I didn’t see you there.”

 

“No, me either.” I try to breathe. I feel like I know him from somewhere.”

 

“Stuart Stephens.” He proffers his hand in greeting.

 

“Olivia Grace Thorpland.” I shake his in return. “But you can call me Gigi.”

 

“Hello, Gigi. Nice to meet you.” He is impeccably mannered even after our near death collision. Must be the British thing.

 

“So are you here for the party too?” I inquire. “Do you know where it is?”

 

“Party?” he asks, confused. “No, I just had a meeting here.”

 

“Ah, I see,” I say, although I don’t, given the hour. I definitely know him from somewhere. Got it, he’s a comedian.

 

“Well, care to join me anyway?” I offer politely. After all, he’s British, I’m being a good ambassador. He appears a bit bewildered.

 

“No, thanks. I best be going.”

 

“Are you sure? My friends are in there.”

 

“Really? Your friends are in there?” He seems surprised to see where I’m gesturing.

 

“Yup,” I tell him confidently.

 

“Oh, well, thanks for the invite, but I’m completely sure. Thanks anyway,” comes his nervous reply. “But, can I ask you a question?” I nod. “Is this all, um, kosher?”

 

“I, I, don’t know.” I hesitate. Is he Jewish and British? Is that a thing?

 

“Well, I’ll let you get on “he says. “Have a good night.”

 

“You too. Bye,” I reply. And with that, we walk off in opposite directions.

 

Finally, I reach a semi-circled entryway that has the option of five doors, one straight ahead and two on either side. These are not your ordinary doors either. They are heavy, arched, rustic, dark brown, slated wooden doors. I’m not really in the mood to crash a wedding reception, murder, or worse, a live band performance; and, given that anything could be behind these doorways, I’m about to give up on this expedition completely, when one of the doors, the entryway smack dab in the center, starts to creak open, apparently of its own accord. A feeling of unexpected dread overtakes me. I brace myself, unsure of what to expect to find behind it.”

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

An international upbringing and a love of stories laid the foundation for wanderlust. Shalini aspires to spend her time country-hopping and consuming pop-culture, comedy and good food but the reality is often frantically downing coffee, meeting deadlines at exactly the last second and working her unglamorous corporate job to fund all of the other pursuits.

 

The Secret Lives of Royals is Shalini’s debut novel. Her other work includes published poetry and scripts only she has read.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEBSITE LINKS

 

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/ShaliniDuaBooks/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShaliniDua126

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ididntmeantofeelanything/

 

Website: www.shalinidua.com/books

 

 

 

 

BUY LINKS

 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HxD1uZ

 

iBooks: https://apple.co/2w0APXd


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GIVEAWAY and RAFFLECOPTER

 

Shalini will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2706/

 

 

 

Freebie alert!!! Free for a short time. This is a great story!!

***FREE FIRST IN SERIES UNTIL JUNE 12***

 

If you haven't read my Scottish Medieval series NOW is the time to try it. The first book of the 7 book series is free until June 12. Simply click the links and follow to grab your copy.


A need to belong drives her. A longing to forget compels him. Fate may send them into each other’s arms, but only love can mend their hearts.

 

An Outlander

 

Raised by a tyrannical father, Marion de Lacy yearns for the comfort of belonging to a loving family. So when her father announces her betrothal to an evil knight in exchange for his help to overthrow the king, she concocts a desperate scheme to avoid the marriage: feigning her own death and then fleeing England. But when her plan goes terribly awry and she’s captured by the knight, not even her careful preparations could ready her for the Scottish barbarian who rescues her and then informs her that he’s to marry her by edict of her king. Certain her father will defy the king’s orders and wed her to the knight if she refuses the Highlander’s hand, Marion agrees to marry the strangely compelling but obstinate laird of the MacLeod clan.

 

A Highlander

 

After the death of his beloved wife, Iain MacLeod has no desire to marry ever again. Yet when he finds himself obliged to do so to secure the freedom of his childhood friend and king, he reluctantly travels across England to collect his unwanted bride, expecting to find a cold Englishwoman. Instead, he discovers a fiery, bold beauty who is fiercely loyal, protective of those she loves, and defies him at every turn, challenging his certainty that his heart is dead.

 

Ensnared

 

Following a hasty marriage and perilous journey to Scotland, Marion harbors no illusions that her new husband loves her. Still, her heart cannot resist the noble, brave warrior, and she cannot suppress the hope that she has finally found where she belongs. However, the harder she tries to fit in with the clan and gain Iain’s love, the farther away her dreams drift. Iain is more than willing to give his respect to his courageous wife—her kisses and caresses even ignite his blood and demand his passion—but he refuses to give up his heart. That is, until enemies near and far threaten to take Marion from him. Now the demons that haunt him can only be conquered by surrendering body and soul to Marion, if only it’s not too late…

 

"WHEN A LAIRD LOVES A LADY by Julie Johnstone is the first book in the Highlander Vows: Entangled Hearts series, and I cannot wait for the second instalment. With beautiful imagery, the author transports the reader to a whole new world. Both Marion and Iain are meaningful and emotional characters, who I became deeply invested in. I could not put this book down. With plenty of danger, excitement and passionate encounters, WHEN A LAIRD LOVES A LADY by Julie Johnstone has got it all, and I now have a new favourite author." ~ Fresh Fiction

 

Amazon - http://amzn.com/B01C4R46L0
iBooks - https://goo.gl/iroJrD
Barnes & Noble - http://goo.gl/ayF4aO
Kobo - https://goo.gl/JzZ7Zi
Google Play - https://goo.gl/R3uXRS

 

AMAZON.COM
 
A need to belong drives her. A longing to forget compels him. Fate may send them into each other’s arms, but only love can mend their hearts. An Outlander Raised by a tyrannical father, Marion de Lacy yearns for the comfort of belonging to a loving family. So when her father announces her ...

Hot read, overcoming prejudices to find love

Broken - Bruce Rodgers, Juliana Conners

I enjoyed this story about two men who were drawn to each other despite their roles. Lance had me rooting for him to cross certain lines, and I loved how he followed his heart. Brad was more hesitant and waffled almost too much for me, but as he figured out what was important, I changed my mind. The realistic feel to their world made it a good read.

This was a freebie I found, and this is my unsolicited review.

Not bad, could have had more story.

The Pain Palace - Phebe Solar

I liked this quick hot read with elements of BDSM. I felt that Billy and Conrad went well together. I just would have preferred more story to get to know them better, especially Conrad.

I received a copy of this story as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.

Medieval tale, love looks beyond the physical

Vengeance - Anna Markland

I enjoyed this story. It was great to meet "old friends". Fate continued to play its part in this family's life. Rhoni was spoiled and determined, but saw more than the physical. I loved her willingness to accept all that happened around her. Ronan's anger and single-mindedness took some getting used to, but I was glad when he finally saw what was most important. I recommend this story.

I received a copy of this story as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.

Book Blitz: Ruby by Emily Mims

 

Ruby:
The Smokey Blues, Book 8
by Emily Mims

 

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

 

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BLURB:

 

Forty years ago Lexi Barstow and Collins Wentworth thought they had made the biggest mistakes of their lives. Heartbreaking choices and bitter tears cemented a pact that would shape who they were and what they would be. But now so much has changed...except the passion they share and the differences between them. But some things are fixable, and with forever staring them hard in the face, they learn all their decisions brought them to this place...an ever after filled with love.

 

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EXCERPT:

 

The club was even more crowded than it had been earlier and the audience was lively for a Sunday evening, clapping and stomping and answering Lonnie’s quips with boos and catcalls. There was electricity in the air. They were a fun crowd tonight.

 

Lexi’s eyes danced as they sang their first song. She was in her element.

 

They were about halfway through their second set when the front door opened and a familiar figure stepped into the club. The hostess’s eyes widened and the bartender did a double take. It wasn’t all that often a United States Senator darkened their doors.

 

Lexi’s curiosity burned as the flustered hostess showed Collins to the last vacant table by the front window. There was a bit of a stir as a good percentage of the audience recognized the man who had joined them, and then realized Lexi was performing for her old lover.

 

Whatever was he doing here tonight? This wasn’t his kind of club. It wasn’t even his kind of music anymore. She’d overheard him tell Danny he loved listening to him and his mother on their dulcimers, but that given the choice he was fonder of the classical music Chessie and Isabel played.

 

Had he come to hear Lexi sing? Had he come to repeat his invitation to join him on an evening out?

 

The thought sent chills up her spine.

 

She tore her eyes away from him. No way could she concentrate on her singing if all her attention was on Collins. Ever the professional, she didn’t miss a beat in the song they were singing, or the next, or the one after that. If anything, her voice became sultrier and her smile wider. Collins had come to hear her sing. She wanted him to know that she still had it, and she wanted to rub in what he’d missed all these years.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

The author of over thirty romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time. The mother of two sons, she and her husband split their time between central Texas, eastern Tennessee, and Georgia visiting their kids and grandchildren. For relaxation Emily plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele for two different performing groups, and even sings a little. She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them. Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman—if she’ll just let it.”

 

Social Media:

 

website: http://www.emilymims.com


facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emily.mims.756


twitter: http://www.twitter.com/emilymimsauthor


instagram: http://www.mims_emily

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Emily-Mims/e/B00FQQ247K/ref=sr_tc_2_0

 

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GIVEAWAY

 

Emily will be awarding digital copies of books one and two in the Smoky Blues series, Mist and Smoke to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2693/

 

New Release: You Never Forget Your First Earl by Ella Quinn

 

You Never Forget Your First Earl
by Ella Quinn

 

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GENRE: Historical (Regency)

 

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BLURB:

With her three good friends all recently married, Elizabeth Turley is ready for some husband-hunting of her own. One gentleman in particular sparks her interest. Geoffrey, Earl of Harrington is tall, handsome, and dashing. He’s also just a bit too sure of himself. But Elizabeth has observed enough about the rules of attraction to pique the earl’s attention. Yet once she has it, the discovery of a troubling secret taints her future happiness . . .

 

Lord Harrington must marry or lose a prestigious position in Brussels, and pretty, well-connected Elizabeth fits his needs admirably. But could it be that he has underestimated his bride? She doesn’t bat an eye in the face of the danger they encounter overseas. She’s strong-willed, intelligent, and more enticing each day—yet also more indifferent to him. Now Geoffrey faces his greatest challenge: to woo and win his own wife, or risk losing her for good . . .

 

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EXCERPT:

 

Once Gavin had accompanied Lord Harrington into the house, her aunt looked at Elizabeth. “Well, what did you think?”

 

“After his initial stiffness, he was quite charming.” Even if he didn’t kiss her fingers.

 

“He’s a handsome man,” her aunt mused.

 

She had studied him as he’d strolled off with Gavin. She had been right. It was clear his tall frame and broad shoulders had no need of padding anywhere. “Yes. His eyes in particular are a beautiful color blue. They almost match the sapphire he wore.” His hair was blond but slightly darker than hers. “I like the way his hair curls.”

 

“But he is not pretty,” Aunt said. “Not like Byron.”

 

“No. He is very manly looking. His jaw is firm.” Not able to get the vision of his shoulders and shapely legs out of her mind, Elizabeth fought the urge to sigh. She might be a little too interested in his physical attributes.

 

“And he was attentive to you,” her aunt prodded.

 

“Yes, he was very attentive.” Especially when he talked about going abroad. In fact, that was almost the only thing he discussed. He had not asked anything about her likes and dislikes.

 

“Very well.” Her aunt’s tone was a bit impatient. “He is tall, blond, and handsome. He appears, from his conversation, to be intelligent and well read. He comes from a good family. He will be a marquis someday, and he wishes to be wed.” Aunt Bristow arched a brow. “Tell me. What is it about him that you do not like?”

 

Her aunt was right. Something about Lord Harrington had struck Elizabeth as . . . off. She pushed is physical looks aside and focused on what was bothering her. Lord knows it wasn’t his appearance. It was not his demeanor as such. It was . . . was he really interested in her? “He wants this position so badly that I believe he will marry any suitable lady just to have it.” She scrunched up her face. “Do you know what I mean?”

 

Her aunt stared at her, clearly not understanding. She’d have to find a different way to put it. “It strikes me that in a way he is like a fortune hunter. He does not care who he weds, so long as he can have what he wants. In the case of a fortune hunter it is the money. In Lord Harrington’s case, it is the position with Sir Charles.” She rubbed the space between her eyes, trying to ease the tension she felt. “I do not wish to be the means to an end.”

 

Aunt rang the bell on the table next to her. “You do not think he cares if his affections are engaged.”

 

A footman appeared carrying two glasses and a decanter of claret. After setting it down, he returned to the house.

 

“I am not even sure if he cares about compatibility.”

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a Portuguese Water Dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. She's currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement.

 

Website ~ http://www.ellaquinnauthor.com/

 

Facebook ~ http://www.facebook.com/EllaQuinnAuthor

 

Twitter ~ http://www.twitter.com/ellaquinnauthor

 

Blog ~ http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpresscom/


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GIVEAWAY:

 

Ella will be awarding a signed copy of the book (International Giveaway) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2690/

 

 

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