The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden, and Kate Baxter

The Big Alpha in Town

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: May 15th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal

Where you can find The Big Alpha in Town: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Three hot stories about three sexy shifters from a trio of today’s hottest paranormal romance authors, headlined by bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden!

Bearing His Name
Meeting his mate should have been cause for celebration. There’s just one teeny tiny problem. Jade thinks Ark might have impregnated her sister. He didn’t, but convincing Jade is going to take a bit of honey.

Owned by the Lion
Keir’s been told to stop playing the field and settle down—difficult advice for a hard and hot man with a lion’s heart to follow. But his sights have always been set on Ally. She’s his mate, plain and simple. With her sweet and delicious curves, she’s nothing but sugar and trouble all rolled into one. But he’s known her and sparred with her for years. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and it’s going to take a whole new level of convincing that he’s the mate for her.

No Need Fur Love
Moving with his pack to the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho has Owen Courtney a little on edge. With literally no women in sight, Owen will be lucky to find a date, let alone his true mate. But you know the saying about a werewolf walking into a bar…
Gorgeous wood nymph Mia Oliver is on a mission: Find a suitable male to get her good ‘n pregnant and provide her with an heir. But when Mia decides to pick up a gorgeous and oh-so willing werewolf at the bar, she realizes she might be in over her head. …

My review:

I have gotten a little bored with shifter romances. They all seemed to follow the same storyline. So when the publishers approached me to review The Big Alpha in Town, I hesitated. I almost declined. But, since I like reviewing for this publisher, I gave this book a try. I am glad that I did because these stories were great!! Only one followed the typical storyline but it was written in such a way that I couldn’t help but like it.

Seeing that this book is made up of 3 full-length books, I am going to give a short review of the stories instead of my usual review. If I did this review my usual way, y’all would be sitting at your computers/phones for a while. So here goes nothing:

Bearing His Name:

I started off the book not liking it. I thought that Ark was stuck in the Stone Age with his attitude towards women. I couldn’t believe that he kept saying “Well I’m Greek“. Like that is supposed to excuse it. Jade was a raging witch with a B. I mean, she threw things when mad. Hello, can we say toddler? I also thought the storyline was a bit too much. But the more I read the book, the more I could see the snarky humor behind the characters. Ark’s obsession with food and honey was an underlying theme in the book. All that man wanted to do is eat….and not all of it was food. Speaking of that, the sex was great. Explicit but great. I loved the end of the book. Everyone got their happy ending.

Owned by the Lion:

I thought that this was a sweet book. Keir was a manwhore who was told by his father to settle down and marry. His mate? A prickly woman named Ally that he has known for years. The spark between Keir and Ally was red hot. I liked that the author kept if sparked through the book. Even after they had sex for the first time. Ally, I wasn’t a fan of. I could understand why she was so reluctant to give Keir a chance, but really? She took witchiness with a b to new heights. Of course, Keir having so many exes’s didn’t help. I would have had little faith in my man if his ex’s kept popping out of the woodwork. The end of the book was great. I love happy endings!!

No Need Fur Love:

I adored this book. Mia knew what she wanted when she went to town. She wanted a baby daddy and Owen was her top choice. I didn’t like the Instalove on Owen’s end. He came across as needy and stalkerish. Other than that, I loved the book. I thought the end of the book was fantastic. I also thought that Mia’s father got what he deserved. Just saying.

What I liked about all 3 books:

A) the humor in Bearing His Name

B) Keir’s sweetness to Ally in Owned by the Lion

C) Mia in No Need Fur Love. She was not someone you wanted to mess with.

What I disliked about all 3 books:

A) Ark’s chauvinism

B) Ally’s attitude towards Keir at the beginning of the book

C) Owen coming across as too needy

I would give The Big Alpha in Town an Adult rating. There is graphic (often inventive) sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings in The Big Alpha in Town.

I would recommend The Big Alpha in Town to family and friends. I would reread this book.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Griffin, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Big Alpha in Town.

All opinions stated in this review of A Big Alpha in Town are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

When a Stranger Comes by Karen S. Bell

When a Stranger Comes...: A gripping psychological thriller

3 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: September 13th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Suspense, Paranormal

Where you can find When a Stranger Comes: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A GRIPPING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER FOR FANS OF KING AND KOONTZ! 

Would you be willing to make a deal with the devil to have your hopes and dreams come true? 

Witnessing a lightening bolt on a sunny day, author Alexa Wainwright doesn’t realize she’s been transported to an alternate universe. Here, she meets media mogul and publisher King Blakemore who offers her a lucrative book contract that will guarantee her comeback. 

This publisher seems odd. This book deal is too good. Suddenly, the contract’s been signed. Now what can she do? 

Desperate to get her life back, Alexa devises schemes to untether herself from this hellish existence but to no avail. Can Alexa find her way out of this nightmare? 

Buy this book if you’re a reader who loves a page-turning, heart-stopping, psychological thriller with some magical realism thrown in. 

My review:

I like a book that gets under my skin. So when I read the blurb for When a Stranger Comes…, I was intrigued. Unfortunately, When a Stranger Comes… didn’t get under my skin. If anything, I was left confused by the end of the book. I was also left dissatisfied that the book didn’t get under my skin. A psychological thriller should do that to you. It didn’t for me.

I thought the plotline for When a Stranger Comes… was great. A writer is transported to an alternate realm without her knowledge. There, she achieves the fame and fortune that she wants, but for a price. When she realizes that she made a deal with the Devil, it is almost too late. She needs to find a way to get out of this nightmare. The whole making a deal with the Devil plotline is overused but the author put a fresh spin on it. It wasn’t until the end of the book that the plot started to go all over the place. It was almost like the author had a timeline and rushed through the ending.

I didn’t like Alexa. She rubbed me the wrong way. She overreacted to everything. She made up excuses about why she didn’t keep people close. She treated her assistant horribly. There were scenes where I was eyerolling so hard that I thought my eyes were going to get stuck. She did change, somewhat, during the last part of the book. But that did nothing to change my perception of her.

As weird as this is going to sound, I thought the Devil was a well-written character. He didn’t attempt to hide who he was or what he was doing. I wouldn’t go as far to say that I liked him but he was an enjoyable character to read.

It was the last part of the book that went off track for me.  If the author introduced the alternate universe and angel storyline sooner that I wouldn’t have been as confused.

The end of the book was interesting. I liked that the author chose to do what she did with Alexa. It made for some thinking after I was done with the book.

What I liked about When a Stranger Comes…:

A) Good storyline

B) the Devil

C) the end of the book

What I disliked about When a Stranger Comes…:

A) Left feeling confused by the end of the book

B) Book didn’t get under my skin

C) Alexa

I would give When a Stranger Comes…an Adult rating. There is sex. It is not explicit but Alexa has a lot of it. There is violence. There is language.

There are no trigger warnings with When a Stranger Comes

I am on the fence if I would read this book again. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends. I am open to reading other books by the author.

I would like to thank the publishers for allowing me to read and review When a Stranger Comes…

All opinions stated in this review of When a Stranger Comes…are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

R + J Sucks (The Complete Saga): A Paranormal Shakespeare Retelling by Ann Hunter

R+J Sucks [The Complete Saga]: A Paranormal Shakespeare Retelling

4 Stars

Publisher: Aisling House, LLC

Date of publication: September 1st, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Where you can find R + J Sucks: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Teenagers. Romance. Vampires. 

Get all three books in one go with this complete set of R+J Sucks, and save 50% off. 

R+J v.1: When immortality is the be all, end all of Capulet family, can Juliet escape her ancestry to live happily ever after? 
A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, Romeo is forbidden to cross into Capulet territory, but how long can he resist when all that beckons him is gold and prosperity? Will he realize in time that all that wealth was amassed in blood, or will he sway to Juliet’s overpowering natural charisma? 

R+J v.2: The Capulets have plans for Juliet, a rare natural-born vampire. She must marry Paris and continue the bloodline. But how can she when she’s fallen for a human? Such a love is forbidden, and her cousin Tybalt is sure to “discourage” Romeo Montague. Unsettled by this unholy union, the Montagues are ready to defend their family, and Romeo’s soul. 

R+J v.3: With Romeo facing his entire family being hunted by the vampire Royal Guard, it’s up to him and Juliet to fight for their happiness. Fearing the downfall and disgrace of her own family, Juliet must choose love or immortality. Will the Montagues save themselves from the wrath of the Capulets? Or will Paris ensure the downfall of Romeo and his clan? 

Two households, both of great dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge breaks new mutiny, and civil blood makes civil hands unclean….

My Review:

I am a huge Shakespeare fan. I have read his plays more than once. Among my favorite plays are Romeo and Juliet. Something about forbidden love that ends tragically gets me. I have watched a fantastic rendition of Romeo and Juliet. It is Romeo + Juliet, starring Clare Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a written take on that play that I liked until R + J sucks.

I enjoyed reading this book. The author did a great job of keeping true to the original play while putting her own original spin on it. It never crossed me, before reading this book that Juliet could be a vampire or that Romeo could be a poor Latino boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Right away, that grabbed my attention.

Romeo made me laugh. Right from the beginning, when he was told to get lost by a girl that he had dated. He would do anything for his family. Then he met Juliet and everything spiraled out of control. He should have listened to Father Laurence and stayed away. But, no, he didn’t (typical teenage boy) and man, the fall out from that was awful.

I did like Juliet. I could understand why she left her house unchaperoned. In her way, she was rebelling against her parents and the marriage that they were forcing upon her. I think her commonsense took a leave of absence. I couldn’t believe that she would lead a human into a house full of vampires and then keep him there!! I did a facepalm with that. The fall out from her actions was as bad as Romeo’s.

The secondary characters gave depth to the story. I did like that all the secondary characters in the play was written into the story. I also liked that the parents were given first names and personalities to match their characters. Romeo’s mother lived up to her name, as did Juliet’s mother. Actually, Juliet’s mother more than lived up to her name. What a cold, calculating woman.

I do wish more insight was given into how a natural-born vampire comes into existence. The very barest of explanation was given.

These books are also serial novels. I am not a fan of those and I avoid them at all cost. But, if they are compiled into one book, then I will read them.

The end of the book was interesting. I was surprised at the end of the book. Not what I was expecting.

What I liked about R + J Sucks:

A) Great take on Romeo and Juliet

B) Relatable characters

C) Interesting end to the book.

What I disliked about R + J Sucks:

A) Juliet’s mother.

B) Little insight into what a natural-born vampire was

C) Serial novel.

I would give R + J Sucks a rating of Older Teen. There is mild violence. There is mild language. But, there are no sexual situations. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings in R + J Sucks.

I would reread R + J Sucks. This is a book that I would recommend to family and friends.

I would like to thank Ann Hunter for allowing me to read and review R + J Sucks.

All opinions stated in this review of R + J Sucks are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

We Own the Sky (The Muse Chronicles: Book 1) by Sara Crawford

We Own the Sky (The Muse Chronicles #1)

4 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of publication: August 15th, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Series: The Muse Chronicles

We Own the Sky – Book 1

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – Book 2

Where you can find We Own the Sky: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

What could you create if you fell in love with a Muse?

16-year-old musician, Sylvia Baker, has always been different. She’s the only one who can see the “flickering people.” When she sees a gorgeous flickering man named Vincent, she learns that they are Muses.

With his help, she finds herself creating exquisite songs that she loves almost as much as songs by her favorite bands–Radiohead, M83, and The Black Keys–and she is falling in love in a way she never knew was possible. While trying to maintain her newfound friendships and her band, she falls deeper into the world of the Muses. 

When the original Greek Muses wake to find a world in which the internet has given everyone the tools to be an artist, a battle between traditional and new methods of creation ensues. As Sylvia discovers how she is connected to the world of the Muses, she learns that this war may put her music, her love, her very life at stake.

My review:

I have read a few books are centered around Greek mythology. Some have been horribad, some have been eh, and others great. We Own the Sky falls into the great category. I thought that it was a different and original take on the myth of the Muses.

We Own the Sky’s plot is original and sad at times. Sylvia is a 16-year-old musician who happens to see flickering people. That bit of information she keeps to herself because of her past mental health issues. So when one of the flickering people talk to her, she is shocked. Her shock turns to awe when Vincent tells her that the myths about the Muses are real and that he is an Earthly Muse. The same time that Sylvia and Vincent’s relationship turns to love, one of the Original Muses awakens from a 500-year sleep. Angered by what she finds, Clio decides that a culling of the Earthly Muses is needed. Starting with Vincent. At the same time, Sylvia’s world is rocked and not in a good way.

I loved how the author handled alcoholism, substance abuse and mental illness in We Own the Sky. They were written about realistically. Mental illness, substance abuse, and alcoholism are often written like there is a magical cure. That everything will be alright after the addict stops using/drinking or when the person with mental illness is put on medication. That is so far from the truth it isn’t funny. Like in the book, there are setbacks. There is rehab. There are interventions. We Own the Sky showed the messy side that most authors will not write about.

I liked and pitied Sylvia. She had dealt with so much in her life. Her mother OD’d when she was younger. Her father, a junkie, and alcoholic spiraled down until he hit rock bottom and went into rehab. Sylvia herself did a stint in rehab. Not for addiction but because she was depressed. I wanted to give her a hug. Writing in her journal and playing music was her solace. I loved her surprise when she realized that the flickering people weren’t a figment of her imagination.

I didn’t know what to think about Vincent. I know his sole purpose was to inspire his charges but to fall in love with each one of them? Uggh, typical guy…lol. What he did to his last charge was horrendous. I don’t know how Sylvia wasn’t scared off by it when he told her. I did think he did the right thing by not going near Sylvia after Clio started her rampage.

When Clio was introduced, I could understand why she felt the way she did. She was used to inspiring a few people by whispering in their ears. But now, in the age of the internet, anyone could be an artist and that bothered her. I also understood her anger at Urania. She was the one left awake for 500 years and in Clio’s mind, she should have put a stop to it instead of encouraging it. But I don’t understand why it pushed her over the edge. Because what she did after she had that dagger was very unMusely.

That brings me to the biggest issue I had in the book. If Urania knew that Clio was that unstable, why did she ask another Muse to create a room to hide it. Why didn’t she hide it and not tell anyone? That didn’t make sense to me. But then again, if she did that, then Clio wouldn’t have trapped her, gotten the dagger, and started her rampage.

The storyline with Sylvia’s mother bothered me too. I didn’t understand why she was brought into the book so late and why the author chose to have her do a 180. But, it made perfect sense once everything was brought together at the end of the book. Of course, there was a twist in her storyline that made me go “Shut upwhen it was revealed

The storyline with Sylvia’s friends was pretty rough. The only one who actually wanted to be her friend was Bianca. Everyone else talked to her because of her father owning a bar that plays live music. I kind of wanted to smack Travis and Ryan when Sylvia was butt dialed. Talk about jerks. But Travis did end up being a true friend in the end. It takes a true friend to do what he did.

The romance part of We Own the Sky was actually very sweet. Sylvia was heads over heels for Vincent. She fell hard for him. He was also heads over heels for her. Which is what made the end of the book so hard to read.

There is no sex in We Own the Sky. At least I don’t think there is. Vincent slept in Sylvia’s bed a few times and they kissed. I didn’t get the feeling that anything happened between them other than kissing. If it did, it was so vaguely written that even I didn’t catch it.

The end of We Own the Sky made me cry. It was heartbreaking on so many levels. It was not a happy ending. I cried for Sylvia. She got the rough end of the stick. I liked that there was an epilogue and I loved that the chapter of the next book was included. I am very interested in reading Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.

What I liked about We Own the Sky:

A) Greek mythology. Loved that the Muses were used

B) Addiction/substance abuse/mental illness were correctly portrayed

C) Sylvia and Vincent’s romance

What I disliked about We Own the Sky:

A) Vincent falling in love on a dime. Every person he mentored, he fell for.

B) Urania knowing Clio was unstable and not hiding the dagger where only she knew where it was.

C) The storyline with Sylvia’s mother.

I would give We Own the Sky an Older Teen rating. There is mild violence (mostly Clio and nothing graphic, just implied), mild language. There are no sexual situations. Vincent and Sylvia do kiss but I believe that it stopped there. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in We Own the Sky. They are drug use, alcoholism, talk of suicide, talk of OD‘ing, talk of depression and talk of rehab. If you are triggered by any of these, I would suggest not to read the book.

I would recommend We Own the Sky to family and friends. I would include a note on the trigger warnings. This is a book that I would read again.

I would like to thank Sara Crawford for allowing me to read and review We Own the Sky.

All opinions stated on We Own the Sky are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charlie Davidson: Book 12) by Darynda Jones

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson, #12)

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: October 31, 2017

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal

Number of pages: 283

POV: 1st person

Series: Charlie Davidson

First Grave on the Right – Book 1 (review here)

For I Have Sinned – Book 1.5

Second Grave on the Left – Book 2

Third Grave Dead Ahead – Book 3

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet – Book 4

Fifth Grave Past the Light – Book 5

Shimmer – Book 5.5

Glow – Book 5.6

Sixth Grave on the Edge – Book 6

Seventh Grave and No Body – Book 7

Eight Grave After Dark – Book 8

Brighter Than the Sun – Book 8.5

The Dirt on Ninth Grave – Book 9

The Curse of Tenth Grave – Book 10

A Very Charley Christmas – Book 10.5

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight – Book 11

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave – Book 12

Untitled – Book 12 (expected publication date – October 30th, 2018)

Where you can find The Trouble with Twelfth Grave: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the twelfth installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series.

Ever since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidentally trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up. 

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor-sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?

Trigger Warning: None

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Diary of Anna the Girl Witch: Foundling Witch (Diary of Anna the Girl Witch: Book 1) by Vic Connor

Diary of Anna the Girl Witch: Foundling Witch

5 Stars

Publisher: Helvetic House

Date of publication: December 7, 2014

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mystery, Paranormal

Number of pages: 284

POV: 1st person

Series: Diary of Anna the Girl Witch

Foundling Witch – Book 1

Wandering Witch – Book 2

Fighting Witch – Book 3

Where you can find Foundling Witch: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

What do you do when you discover you’re a witch… And that using your new powers destroys your soul a little each time? 

Set in the Swiss countryside, this story blends ancient folklore with a coming of age tale about a young witch on the brink of womanhood. 

Anna Sophia has always known she was different. She didn’t know just how different until now. 

On the eve of her 13th birthday — in the orphanage where she’s spent most of her childhood — Anna wonders about her past. She never knew her parents, doesn’t even know where she came from. All she has to go by is an unbelievable fairy tale her uncle used to tell: that she was found as a baby, tucked among a pack of bear cubs in the wilds of Russia. 

To make matters even more complex, Anna has discovered that she can see and do things that no one else can. So far, she’s kept her powers a secret, and they remain strange and frightening even to her. 

It’s only when Anna receives a letter from her mother — a mother she will never meet — that she discovers some of the truths about her past, and begins to uncover the possibilities in her future. As Anna continues to learn more about her secret abilities, she finds out that her neighbors are hiding something of their own: a plot to harm Anna and her friends. 

Can Anna Sophia use her newfound supernatural powers to stop them? Can she fight back, without endangering her own soul? And maybe, just maybe, is her own secret tied up with theirs? 

Through a story of otherworldly magic, Anna Sophia finds a sense of real-world belonging. With its cast of strong characters, inventive setting, and engaging storyline, this fantasy adventure is a relevant novel for middle-grade children or young adults. 

Genre: middle grade / young adult adventure.

Trigger Warning: none

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Catching a Witch by Heidi Eljarbo

Catching a Witch: A Novel of Loyalty, Deception, and Superstition

4 Stars

Publisher: TCK Publishing

Date of publication: August 1st, 2017

Genre: Paranormal, Historical Fiction

Number of pages: 284

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find Catching a Witch: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

What Would You Do to Save Your Best Friend from Burning? 
The year 1660 is when it all changed… 

That’s when a witch-hunter comes to Clara Dahl’s seaside village in Norway. She’s horrified to discover how fast her neighbors and friends are to turn against each other. She soon realizes her sleepy, little, picturesque corner of the world has been invaded by evil—and it has nothing to do with witchcraft. 

As neighbor turns against neighbor, Clara finds herself drawn into the fray, forced to do what she can to protect her friends and loved ones. An educated and upstanding minister’s daughter, Clara speaks out against the witch-hunter’s unjust treatment of those accused of witchcraft. She sees how he plays the villagers, using their superstitions and religious beliefs to make good people accept horrible things. 

When Clara’s best friend Bess is accused of being a witch, Clara must make an incredible sacrifice to save not only her friend, but the entire town… before it’s too late. 

About the Book

In 1660, women had no voting rights, couldn’t own property, and were treated as second-class citizens. If that weren’t bad enough, many innocent women—especially poor women—were tried and executed for witchcraft. The people responsible for their deaths were often their own friends, family members, and neighbors. 

Catching a Witch is a story about a young woman who’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect the people she cares about most in this world. 

You’ll love this book if you enjoy… 

Historical dramas 
Witches and witch hunting 
Historical thrillers 
The history of religion and superstitions 
A story with a strong female protagonist fighting for what’s right 
Readers of similar books such as Year of Wonder by Geraldine Brooks, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe, The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare will love Catching a Witch. 

Scroll up and click “buy now” to help Clara save her village from evil.

Trigger Warning: abuse of women, some graphic death scenes

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