Tag Archives: ARC

Stay (WAGs # 2)

By Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Synopsis

Can you fall for someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch–an anonymous virtual assistant service–is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson. 

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting…until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth–that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

Review

STAY is book 2 in the WAGs series and once again, Sarina and Elle did not disappoint.  The story.  The main characters.  The secondary characters.  I loved it all.

“I was thinking about what you said yesterday at the store.  About how you’ve never really dated?”
“Oh. That.”
“I don’t know, it seems kind of unfair that you’ve never been on a real date.  I thought I’d change that.”

I don’t know how they manage to do it, but Sarina and Elle have an amazing way of writing male leads that are so easy to love, and Matt is no exception.  He’s funny, sweet and a great father to his two daughters.  He’s also good husband material, despite his ex-wife’s claims and the emotional abuse she dumped on him throughout⎯and after⎯their marriage.  Hailey, having recently gone through a divorce herself, was a great match for Matt.  They both lost confidence in themselves when their spouses left, so I felt they were on equal footing when it came to their relationship, and both knew they had to tread lightly.  I loved their online flirting in the beginning, but my favourite scene was when Matt texted Hailey during their dinner date because she was so nervous.  It was the perfect blend of sweet, endearing and hot.

We got a couple of scenes with the hockey WAGs, who are loyal and supportive, and just a great group of women all around.  A special shout out has to go to Hailey’s best friend, Jenny, as well as Mr Dick.  In fact, if Sarina and Elle are reading this review, I’d like to put in a request for Jenny and Mr Dick to get their own story.

STAY is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  I get the feeling that Matt’s teammate, O’Connor, will get the next book and, judging by his reaction to a certain woman in this story, it should be interesting.  I’m looking forward to it and it can’t come soon enough.

Stay (WAGs # 2)

My Rating:  

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WAGs Series

Him Duet (Connected Series)

All I Am (This Man #3.5)

By Jodi Ellen Malpas

Synopsis

A new novella featuring Drew from the #1 New York Times bestselling This Man trilogy!

Jodi:
I’ve been revisiting a few old friends. You remember Drew? The dark, mysterious pal of Jesse’s? The cool guy, who kept himself to himself? Yes, him! It’s time for Drew to shine in a brand-spanking-new THIS MAN Novella coming June 18th! I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had going back to my roots, and I just know you’re gonna LOVE Mr Davies. I hope a little something while you’re waiting for THE FORBIDDEN (Aug 8th) will put a smile on your face as wide as mine ☺

I thought I had control. I was so, so wrong . . .

I don’t need a relationship.
I have Hux, a decadent club where I quench whatever raw desire I choose. I take pleasure and I give it—no strings attached. So when Raya Rivers comes in asking for someone cold, emotionless, and filthy . . . well, no man ever takes his wicked pleasure quite the way I do.
Only Raya is different. Vulnerable. And carrying some deep sorrow that gets past all my carefully constructed walls and inexplicably makes me care. Now craving controls me. Ice has given way to red-hot need.
But Raya has no idea about my other life—my real life. That I’m a daddy to an adorable little girl.
My two worlds are about to collide with the force of a supernova. And once Raya knows the truth, will she be able to accept all I am?

Review

All I Am, that moment for Drew when he is not looking for something and he finds it in the form of Raya and she too believes if you don’t have anyone, you can’t lose anymore.  Drew’s story is fast flowing and I could have read so much  more on this couple but in some ways it was perfect  as I for one wanted as little of Coral as possible!

How gorgeous is his pigdge? I really loved how the author included Georgia in so much of this story and it was perfect as she was the centre of Drew’s world – it was well thought out and clearly defined the kind of man he now was.

It was wonderful to return to the threesome of Jesse, Sam and Drew and how they still support each other through their 40’s was great to see.  How they supported each other and the humour in realising Drew had finally met his match provided some magic This Man moments.

I certainly did a happy dance seeing Jesse, Ava and the kids, it was like returning home and capturing another glimpse into their lives post the Manor.

Can I say I loved Raya as a character, she was beautiful and obviously just what Drew needed, the age difference for me and her background story provided warmth in allowing Drew to thaw his cold heart with trusting women.

My favourite part was the three men and little lady scene in the car – it had me laughing at a time where my heart was beating out of my chest wondering whether Drew would get his happy ever after.

Drew was one character from the This Man Series who always intrigued me and I am so happy we got to see his life after the Manor.

Quote:  If happiness was a chain, it would be platinum with solid hearts between every link and entwined around my swelling heart.

All I Am (This Man #3.5)

My Rating:  

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Falling For Her Brother’s Best Friend (Tea For Two # 1)

By Noelle Adams

Synopsis

After too many bad decisions in romance, Emma is going on a man-fast. For the next six months, she’s fasting from men. No sex. No dating. No soulful gazes. No fond memories of her first crush. She’s going to spend the time focusing on her career, getting in touch with herself, and helping her two best friends with the launch of their new tea room. No men.

And that includes her brother’s best friend, Noah Hart, who has just returned to their hometown.

She doesn’t want Noah anyway. He might be even hotter than he was before, but he’s not a nice guy anymore. He’s made a fortune by acting ruthless in business, and the last thing he’s looking for is small-town domestic life. He doesn’t even want to be in town again, but a sick grandmother guilted him into it. Then he has nerve to not even recognize Emma when he sees her again. Maybe it’s been seven years, but a decent guy would remember his best friend’s little sister.

Noah is not a decent guy. Anyway, Emma is on a man-fast. And she doesn’t want Noah.

At all.

Fifteen years ago, three girls were thrown together because their brothers were best friends. Now they’re all grown up, and their brothers are grown up too. The Tea for Two series tells their stories.

Review

FALLING FOR HER BROTHER’S BEST FRIEND is the beginning of a new trilogy; a trilogy that is about three male best friends who fall in love with each other’s younger sisters.  I hope that makes sense, because it’s surprisingly hard to explain quickly and that’s the best I could come up with.

Emma had a huge⎯and unrequited⎯crush on Noah growing up, one that was obvious to everyone.  Several years later and just as she decides to go on a six-month man-fast, Noah arrives back in town and seriously tests her resolve.  I liked Emma, but there wasn’t much depth to her character.  She’s nice, smart and very loving of her friends, but by the end of the book, that’s all we know about her.  One could say that she was too nice, given that Noah hurt her feelings twice and she never called him out on it.

Noah, on the other hand, had a bit more depth to his character thanks to some issues surrounding his father.  I thought we’d see some resolution between him and his father, but we didn’t, so perhaps we’ll see it in his sister’s story.  To be honest, I don’t agree with how he is described in the synopsis.  Sure, his handling of Emma made me want to beat him over the head, but I wouldn’t say he was ruthless, or that he wasn’t a nice or decent guy.  He just had to stop being an idiot and face his demons.

FALLING FOR HER BROTHER’S BEST FRIEND is told in dual POVs and overall it’s a quick, light and easy read.  I’d be interested in reading the next book to see who the couple is and what happens between them.

Falling For Her Brother’s Best Friend (Tea For Two # 1)

My Rating:  

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Battle Of The Sexes

By Adriana Locke

Synopsis

Carver Jones’ partner at Jones + Gallum had to step down for medical reasons. He’s absolutely devastated. He swears. Just ignore his cheeky grin, okay?

When word reaches his fancy corner office that Gallum is replacing himself with his daughter, Amity, Carver is ecstatic. 

For real this time. 

Jones squashes men in the business industry flat. A woman? Pfst. He’ll be completely in charge in no time, doing whatever he wants. He’s so ready for this. 

But is he ready to fight the hardest fight of his life? No, not the one to maintain control of his company. The one to keep control of his heart.

The battle may begin in the boardroom, but the war will definitely be won in the bedroom. May the best sex win.

Review

BATTLE OF THE SEXES was a quick and lighthearted read about two ex-childhood friends, thrown back into each others lives and forced to compete for the same CEO position in their families business.

It took me a while to warm up to Carver, mostly because the sexual innuendos he laid on Amity at the beginning were laid on way too thick.  Can you say “Sexual Harrassment”?  That being said, he has very fond memories of Amity and you could tell that despite a few idiotic choices, he genuinely liked her…then and now.  I liked Amity’s tenacity and that she gave as good as she got from Carver.  I also liked how she had to guts to tell Carver exactly how that one night all those years ago affected her, and still affects her to this day.  Don’t worry, she’s not a “woe is me/I’ve never been able to love” person; she’s too strong for that.

Overall, I enjoyed this story, though I will say that I was disappointed with how the battle for the CEO role was won.  Yes, it was sweet and I could understand the reason behind it, but I was disappointed nonetheless.  BATTLE OF THE SEXES is told in dual POVs and at this time, it appears to be a stand-alone.  It’s also a novella, so it’s a fairly quick read.  From memory, we see a bit of foreplay but no sex, so if you’re looking for a read that’s steamy, you won’t find it here.  But if you’re after an ex-friends-to-lovers story with witty banter and a HEA, this one is for you.

Battle Of The Sexes

My Rating:  

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A Nun Goes to Jail (Nun-Fiction Series #2)

By Piper Davenport

Synopsis

18+ for language and sexual situations…

Alexa Romanov hails from Russian Mob royalty, but she’s keeping a secret…one that could get her killed. When she’s forced to hide in a Catholic Abbey, she finds herself face-to-face with the man who broke her heart years ago…good thing time has healed that wound and she’s over him.

Reese Alden has fought his way out of a deadly and notorious Motorcycle Club, but he’s done it at great sacrifice. He lost the only woman he ever loved and now she might die because he let her go.

He must move heaven and earth, not to mention circumvent the Russian mob and a deadly MC, in order to keep her safe. But his goal isn’t just to save her life. It’s also to win her back.

Review

Full disclosure here I have read NINE of Piper Davenport’s books and her Dogs of Fire is one of my favourite MC series and A Nun Walks into a Bar (Nun-Fiction Book #1) was one of my favourite reads for 2016.   So when I was offered book 2, I was like “SCORE” for Lulu as all my reviews for this author are either four or five stars as I love her characters and how she tells her stories.

So I have to be honest and admit that A Nun Goes to Jail just did not connect with me, the story left me feeling a bit un-fulfilled – it felt rushed and pushed aside for too many sex scenes.  Perhaps it is me because I really loved the characters and the humour and we also get to see more of Sadie and Ryder who I love so I am really trying to figure out where I went wrong? 

I enjoyed the characters and loved seeing  my favourites from the Dogs of Fire however I did feel that the overall Russian/Mob/MC suspense got really lost and I for one really enjoy a good dose of that in my romance.  Loved mentioning the “Roses for Anna” concert in the story as the “Broken Road” series is going to rock “pun intended”!!

Towards the middle all I seemed to be reading about was Alexa and Reese having sex and this is where the base story got lost.  I did find myself thinking stop having sex I want to know what is happening with the trial, where are the Russians and the ending felt rushed and what about the other girls at the convent and also her friend and brother?  I wanted Reese to be more alpha male protective with her instead of wanting to have sex if that makes sense, there were pockets of moments I went yes now I can see the emotional connection, when he sneaks in and holds her after her breakdown, these were moments of romance that I savoured.

Finally I did like how the author fast forwarded three years to see how their lives had changed.

Quote:  “I think you’re holding’ it together with duct tape and dental floss… MacGyver Style”

A Nun Goes to Jail (Nun-Fiction Series #2)

My Rating:  

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In The Heir (Westerly Billionaires # 1)

By Ruth Cardello

Synopsis

Brett Westerly is his father’s golden child, but it’s come at a cost. As head of the family corporation, he throws himself into his work—hiding in his office is easier than confronting the reality of his broken family.

After a bitter divorce that split the family and divided loyalties, the wealthy Westerly matriarch offers an early inheritance to any grandchild who marries and invites the entire family to the wedding. Brett’s brother Spencer rashly gets engaged, and Brett knows it’s his duty to intervene. But he never imagined the unwelcome desire Spencer’s fiery fiancée would spark in him. Now the man who’s used to getting everything he could want has met the one woman he can’t have.

Ever since she was a girl, Alisha Coventry considered Spencer and his sister Rachelle the family she didn’t have. When Spencer asks for her help, Alisha has no problem becoming his fake fiancée—until she meets Spencer’s sexy older brother Brett. The chemistry between them is undeniable—forbidden—but as their relationship deepens, Brett is determined to have her.

Alisha only wanted to help the family make amends. Now she’s falling for the wrong Westerly.

Review

IN THE HEIR is the first book I’ve read from Ruth Cardello, and to be honest, I’m a little up in the air with how I feel about it, which is why I’ve given it three hearts.  Despite being under 250 pages, it did take me a couple of days to finish because it didn’t hold my attention.  There’s a lot of conflict within the story, but most of it surrounds Brett’s divided family and the twenty-year-old secrets that are now being revealed.

For every one thing I liked about Brett and Alisha, there was one thing I didn’t like about them.  Alisha was strong and fierce enough to stand up to people and put them in their place, but then she let her best friends treat her with disrespect and tell her what she could and couldn’t do, at the expense of her own happiness.  Brett was supposed to be a take-charge billionaire, but his stalkerish behaviour came across as less alpha and more creeper.  He had jaded views about marriage (which is understandable) and he didn’t think too highly of women in the beginning, but that changed after just one or two interactions with Alisha.  Despite his strained relationship with his family, he claimed they were the most important thing to him; yet when they were in the middle of a crisis, he went on vacation, leaving them to sort it out themselves.  In short, they would say one thing or behave a certain way, and then they would say or do something that went against what they just said or did.

IN THE HEIR is told in dual POVs, with the prologue and epilogue being told in Delinda’s (the Westerly grandmother’s) POV, as she schemes to bring her broken family back together.  Brett and Alisha’s inner thoughts were presented in a way that I’m not sure I liked.  I don’t recall seeing it done like that before and it had an erratic and choppy feel to it.  I really liked the small family tree displayed at the front of the book, which helped me out a lot.  Overall, it’s a simple story about a divided family that just needs love (and honesty) to come back together.

In The Heir (Westerly Billionaires # 1)

My Rating:  

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Westerly Billionaire Series

Shacking Up

By Helena Hunting

Synopsis

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

Review

SHACKING UP is the first Helena Hunting book I’ve read, and it left me wondering why I hadn’t read the other one of her books that’s just been sitting on my Kindle…for the past twelve months.  I enjoyed the romantic buildup between Bancroft and Ruby: they meet, fall in lust and then seperate for five weeks while Bancroft is out of the country.  They get to know each other better⎯and flirt outrageously⎯by talking on the phone and video-chatting almost every day while he was away.  It was an interesting way to build a relationship.

I liked Ruby, who comes from money but wants to be financially independent from her father.  She’s a little jaded about relationships and she’s a bit stubborn when it comes to people offering financial assistance, and while I could understand her reasons, it did become tiresome after a while.  I looooved Bancroft.  He also comes from money, but just like Ruby, he’s down-to-earth despite his upbringing.  He is polite, affectionate and generous, but he’s also a little rough around the edges and when the situation calls for it, he can be quite the dirty talker.

“I’m sorry.”
“For What?”
“For thinking the worst.”
“No need for apologies, but if you still feel bad about it later you can let me fuck your mouth.”

SHACKING UP is told in dual POVs, and while right now it appears to be a stand-alone, I get the feeling this will turn into a series of stand-alones with different couples.  I’m hoping Ruby’s best friend Amie will get her own book considering her fiancé is a total douchebag.  When preparing this review, I was shocked to learn that the print length is 480 pages, because it honestly didn’t feel that long.  Which, for me, is a sign that the story doesn’t drag despite the high number of pages.  That being said, the chapters are very long, and I found myself putting the book down in the middle of a chapter here and there because I just couldn’t make it to the end.

Shacking Up

My Rating:  

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One Taste of Angel: A Dark Virgin Romance (Iron Norseman MC)

By Violetta Rand

Synopsis

Their love was the stuff of Shakespeare – two star-crossed lovers from rival MC’s, divided by their families’ bloody history, but fate has given Eagle and Serafina a second chance. Can the biker and the stripper find their redemption in Violetta Rand’s sexy standalone romance, One Taste of Angel?

Eagle  
I’ve bled for my club. Taken four bullets. Buried eight brothers in six years. Screwed a hundred women. And only loved one. The one I lost. But there’s something about Serafina that reminds me of just exactly what was taken from me. Not just because I can’t resist a damsel in distress.

Serafina
To Eagle, I’m dead. Murdered and cremated, my ashes interred at the local cemetery. Part of a past I left long ago to save his life. Seeing him now, touching him again makes me weak, even if he doesn’t recognize the woman I’ve become. Since my escape from Holly Beach five years ago, I’ve lived by my own rules. And no matter how much I love Eagle, he’s not going to break those rules.

Review

Eagle and Angel, two lovers reunited and what an explosive story which I totally devoured.

It really is a MC Romeo and Juliet with the tales of two families entwined in a dark, dangerous but in the end romantic tale of new beginnings and second chances at love.

Whilst reading this story you are basically taken on a roller coaster ride waiting for all the secrets to be revealed and how the both MC clubs are going to react to the revelations – the author does not disappoint at all.

The family dynamics of Angel are brutal and barbaric and had me fearing the worst for her.  Eagle’s club family were great characters with heart and soul and supported this story and gave it hope and light when it became intense.

My favourite chapters were when he realised who Seraphina really was and how they both reacted and the emotional turmoil I felt for Angel upon those pages was heartbreaking.  I also loved the scenes around the cabin – loved those parts.

I loved the epilogue, it gives you closure and also the fact we are given thoughts from both characters so you can really connect to them and this suspense element at the end was perfect for a MC romance.

One Taste of Angel: A Dark Virgin Romance (Iron Norseman MC)

My Rating:  

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Broken Road (Limelight #1)

By Piper & Jack Davenport

Synopsis

Life on the road is hard, love on the road is even harder…

Lucy Haddon is rock royalty. She’s the daughter of one of the biggest rock stars on the planet and is now in charge of her father’s empire, including planning the most anticipated reunion in rock history. She’s no stranger to the dangers of touring life, but has always managed to stay out of trouble by following her own set of rules. Her biggest rule…no dating musicians…even when it comes to her teenage fantasy.

Bad boy drummer “Bam” Nelson’s band has just been offered the opportunity of a lifetime… the last thing he should be thinking about is women. The meteoric rise of his band and the crash landing of his last relationship has left him burned out and closed off, but when a red-headed rock princess walks into his life, he realizes she could be the one to finally heal the wounds of his past.

He just has to convince her to break her own rule. 

Review

Broken Road is a surprising read for me as I do not normally enjoy Rock Star Romance however it had a great ensemble of leading and supporting characters and also had humour which was brilliant.  I have also loved Piper’s MC Romance so I was interested to see her take on this new world!

Firstly love Lucy and as any onion ring lover knows – onion rings solve all of life’s dramas and make everything good again – so Lucy is my kind of girl!

Considering Broken Road is written by two authors it flowed really well and kept its consistency and we are given quite a bit of background history on both bands.  With the series continuing to other characters it all formed a good base for when we pick up the next instalment “On The Road”.

Now Piper has a great knack of entwining characters from her other series and I have read the Dogs of Fire so I could follow random characters that appear in this story especially when the drama started to affect Bam and Lucy’s road to love.

Lucy’s parents were one of my most favourite components of this story!  They were funny and really explained Lucy’s overall outlook on love, life and no bullshit.  Sullivan Wallace her bodyguard was a constant companion for Lucy and I was enamoured with the way he cared for his girl. Bam was a typical artist and it was great to know the background of Roses for Anna and also Lucy’s dad’s band and their passionate love scenes were perfect.

My only complaint was I felt the story with Bam in the middle returning to his home was a little rushed and kind of thrown in to me and I was actually expecting a bit more drama/danger to Lucy/Bam?

I must admit I cannot wait to read “The Way Back” which  is Hadley & Jack’s story, I have a feeling it is going to be epic as Jack’s background story immediately pulled at my heart strings.

Favourite Quote:  “Hmm, onion rings. The meeting went that badly?”

Broken Road (Limelight #1)

My Rating:  

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Buns (Hudson Valley # 3)

By Alice Clayton

Synopsis

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

Review

BUNS is my first Alice Clayton book, and I’m happy to say it was one I found enjoyable.

Clara and Archie are both likeable characters, but they’re also very stubborn, which made for some fiery discussions.  I really enjoyed watching these two bicker over how to save Bryant Mountain House from going out of business.  Archie was a sweet and loyal guy, and he is devoted to keeping his family’s traditions alive.  Clara has an amazing work ethic, she’s not easily intimidated, and she is not afraid to speak her mind to get her point across.  That being said, she has serious abandonment issues; issues which are justified in my opinion.  However, her constant inner monologue about always being alone, her fear of letting someone in, and her inability to feel like part of the group, did become tiring after a while.  It also made the conflict and resolution fairly easy to predict.

BUNS is told in Clara’s POV, with the epilogue being told in Archie’s.  While it is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone, and although the couples from the previous two books appeared several times throughout this story, I never felt like I was missing something when it came to them.

Buns (Hudson Valley # 3)

My Rating:  

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Hudson Valley Series