Devil May Care by Amelia Wilde

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

What is a pirate without his ship? Without the sea?

I sacrificed everything to save Ashley. Now we’re hiding out while I build a new ship, a new life for myself. It’s paradise here on the island. Sparkling water and lush greenery. A beautiful woman by my side. But the threat of danger grows closer. The net tightens. We’re at risk every second we stay here, but there’s nowhere to run. Even the ocean won’t save us now.

Devil May Care is the third book in the Devil trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Amelia Wilde. The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and A Deal with the Devil must be read first.

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• MY REVIEW •

Ohh-kay… mental note: Don’t mess with a man, his ship, and the sea! Get out of Poseidon’s way, people! ☠

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This is the conclusion to the The Devil Trilogy. The first two books will need to be read prior as this is a continuous storyline. I’m not going to lie, I thought this one was a bit of mixed bag for me. After reading the first two in the trilogy I was invested in seeing where Poseidon’s and Ashley’s turbulent relationship would end up. I was eager to read this book. But what surprised me is I ended up more absorbed in Poseidon and his brothers unusual relationship and their zany little interactions. The dynamics and the unique contrast they each bring was intriguing (and at times entertaining) to witness.

I’ve said this in my review for The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, I felt there was backstory between these brothers (at the time I hadn’t realized that Wilde had actually written separate book series’ for both Poseidon’s brothers all set in the same universe previous to this trilogy) but after seeing more of them in this third book, in my opinion it would be beneficial if their stories were read first before starting this trilogy. I had a lot of questions when they were first introduced in this story, and their reappearance in this final book only cemented the fact that I would’ve wanted to know more about Poseidon, his brothers, and their relationship in more depth — especially considering time has passed and both his brothers have their own families now. I felt a little lost at times. Other than a brisk overview of their stories, I still felt like I was missing a huge chunk of these brothers lives. Nevertheless, I found their unique bond and brotherly allegiance to each other my highlight of this read! It might have been brief but it’s what made this a hearty conclusion to Poseidon’s story. 😊

The length of the book is a relatively nice one for a full-length novel, with the pacing itself slower in comparison to the first two books. It’s character driven storytelling and a lot of it takes place in the one backdrop, and I felt just as equally frustrated as Poseidon and Ashley in having being stuck in the one place the majority of the time. Although, I thought Wilde executed the sense of dread and hopelessness in the atmosphere superbly. It certainly matched the environment they were in!

In regards to the writing format, I’m sure there are plenty of readers who find short, choppy storytelling to be lively but in this particular book I found it to be disjointed. Things constantly popped up only for it to be resolved just as quickly. I couldn’t connect with some of the more emotional scenes which was a shame considering those events were essentially life-altering for these characters. For example: Poseidon’s ultimate mission that had constantly been with him since the beginning concluded rather abruptly that the entirety of the story seemed somewhat anticlimactic. There was such mystery and suspense throughout just for it to end the way it did. Yes, overall it was a HEA but I don’t know, something was missing.

But in saying that, it still had plenty of dimension, with little side stories left, right, and centre. Poseidon’s and Ashley’s relationship was twisted and unconventional from the get-go and I all I can say is… it’s still going at it strongly! I’m talking an emotional rollercoaster — Passion. Drama. Angst. Tears.

I do have to point out there are sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers. These characters are saturated in emotional, physical, and mental toll from their gritty lives. Please note it contains, violence, attempted kidnapping, domestic abuse, drugs, rape, and attempted suicide. It also contains strong sexual content — readers 18+ only!

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As a whole, I found it to be an appealing take on the Greek mythology of Poseidon. I think the secondary characters are just as fascinating as the main ones. Besides Poseidon’s brothers, his crew were quite a band of lovable humans. It’s a bit slow-going for the majority but definitely picks up pace in the last third of the book — which, including the epilogue was my favourite parts of the story. There’s intrigue, some unexpected plot points, and a new adorable character that gave Devil May Care a decent, honest-to-goodness ending.

A pirate, his modern day princess, and their happily ever after. I have no doubt readers will enjoy this story. A twisted, dark contemporary tale of the god of the sea!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐¾

Thank you to Amelia Wilde and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

🔔 Interested in reading Devil May Care? Grab your copy here: Amazon  |  Apple Books  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

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🔱 Read my reviews for The Devil Trilogy!

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Book One: The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea by Amelia Wilde
Book Two: A Deal With The Devil by Amelia Wilde

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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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The Dare by Elle Kennedy

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— BLURB —

College was supposed to be my chance to get over my ugly-duckling complex and spread my wings. Instead, I wound up in a sorority full of mean girls. I already have a hard time fitting in, so when my Kappa Chi sisters issue the challenge, I can’t say no.

The dare: seduce the hottest new hockey player in the junior class.

Conor Edwards is a regular at Greek Row parties…and in Greek Row sorority beds. He’s the one you fall for before you learn that guys like him don’t give girls like me a second glance. Except Mr. Popular throws me for a loop—rather than laughing in my face, he does me a solid by letting me take him upstairs to pretend we’re getting busy.

Even crazier, now he wants to keep pretending. Turns out Conor loves games, and he thinks it’s fun to pull the wool over my frenemies’ eyes.

But resisting his easy charm and surfer-boy hotness is darn near impossible. Though I’m realizing there’s much more to Conor’s story than his fan club can see.

And the longer this silly ruse goes on, the greater the danger of it all blowing up in my face.

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— MY REVIEW —

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Okay…

First off — I was not expecting to score an early copy of The Dare. I had a plan of rereading the first three books in Briar U before the release of this one so all the characters were fresh in my mind. But now, after having read this… my new game plan is to go back to the previous books because I am nowhere near ready to say goodbye to this amazing world that Elle has created.

If you’re unaware Briar U is a spin-off series to Elle’s original NA sports romance series; Off-Campus. If you read my reviews for those books (I’ll put the links at the bottom of this review)… I was 100% a Dean Di Laurentis fan! Solid. Like, nothing was going to sway me away from him. As far as I was concerned Dean was… King. Bae. Swoon worthy. Book BF Goals! Whatevs.

But in struts (yep…struts) Conor Fucking Edwards and practically squeezes himself into the throne right alongside Dean.

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I love Elle’s heroes in both her sports romance series’ because whilst they’re popular and seem to have the image of well-put together people, they’re nowhere near perfection that the rest of the student body seem to think. They have their own insecurities just like anybody else. They’re not your stereotypical arrogant jocks that think they’re better than everyone else. They’re also not all about the sports either. They’re witty, intelligent (they actually take their education seriously), have manners, standards, and are truly loyal individuals.

Conor is all those things and more. You couldn’t ask for a better friend and boyfriend!

“He’d rather make people around him feel good about themselves, even when it provides no personal gain for himself.”

You’ll see a lot of insecurities in this book. Just like the previous books in the series, you get to see these characters’ backstories prior to Briar University and hockey. You’ll see what hang ups they have about themselves and their family dynamics in comparison to their relationships with their friends.

Conor has a shady past that haunts him. But despite lingering issues, he manages to keep a very easy-going, level headed attitude for the most part — which I have to say in my opinion plays a essential role in some situations of this book.

Conor and Taylor are a perfect match. They balance each other out and whenever one of them is down, the other knows just how to pick them back up. The way they support one another when they don’t have the strength or courage to do it for themselves is one of the uplifting aspects of this book. Put aside all the fun and games, and blossoming romance between these two and you’ll see the strong friendship they’ve formed (even if it started from an unusual situation).

You’ll discover with this series (along with the Off-Campus series) is that all these leading characters have different, yet quite realistic situations that they’re dealing with that’s relatable no matter your age.

Taylor struggles with a lot of personal issues that she deals with all throughout the book. It’s insecurities that a lot of people can connect with on one level or another. Body image, self-doubt, low self-esteem, and a lack of confidence in one’s self worth are serious matters, and they are all present in Taylor’s personal story. Not to mention the fact that Taylor is a young woman who’s still navigating through life at school. But she’s also caring, thoughtful, humble and just so darn adorable.

Elle is not afraid of tackling difficult subject matters in her books, and The Dare is a great example of the awareness she puts out there, by having her characters really open up about these topics — and in turn as a reader (who may or may not know much about certain issues) learns more and becomes mindful of it.

But I should warn, besides the sensitive matters that these characters face, there’s also some sexual harassment and breach of consent within that may trigger some readers. Nothing graphic, but it is present.

Elle did an amazing job of discussing these matters with care, leaving not only her characters with power and choices to do something about it (which I know is not always the case in reality), but in this particular instance it left me feeling satisfied with how things concluded.

It’s well-paced with great expansion to an already ongoing world-building, and told from dual POVs. There’s a lovely balance of light and shade within their story. It’s never too heavy that it leaves one feeling drained, but it’s not a fluffy love story either. It’s current, full of substance with deep content and obvious character growth from both Taylor and Conor as individuals and as a couple.

One thing that stood out to me was the positive support system both these leads had. Other than the swoony romance, I’ve always loved the friendships that Elle has introduced in her books. This one did not disappoint. Their friends play significant roles in their lives.

With Taylor, she has a kickass bestie who not only is a firecracker but would easily throw down for Taylor in a heartbeat. She’s also not afraid to give Taylor a wake-up call whenever needed.

With Conor, it’s his teammates/ roommates who’ve become his close friends and have his back in any situation (despite their unrelenting but hilarious banter). They were the perfectly timed comic relief.

Theirs was a rollercoaster of a relationship with a lot of push and pull, a lot of second-guessing, and doubt that will have you going through a range of emotions from frustrated and anxious to hopeful and optimistic.

“Worst case, I get a good friend out of the deal. Best case, I screw her brains out. Win-win either way.”

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😂😂 Oh Conor… *shakes head*

And whilst hockey is undeniably present in this book, it was however hockey-light in comparison to the other books in the series. There’s a good chunk of it in the first half but as Taylor and Conor’s relationship develops further, hockey eventually takes a back seat.

The friendships here is by far the strongest highlight in my opinion with the secondary characters — but mostly between Taylor and Conor themselves. Some of my fave parts were them just getting to know one another, or casually chatting about random things. It was effortless, and lighthearted, and organic — and no doubt the introduction scene where their stories kicks off is a part of the book I’ve must’ve read numerous times by now because it’s THE funniest thing I have read in a long time. I’m talking snort-laughing and tears-in-my-eyes kinda funny!

This book will leave you with a smile on your face and feeling just a little bit lighter. If this was the final book (and I’m talking about Elle never going back into this fictional world again), then I say it ended beautifully.

“Listen up, everybody! It’s time to play Dare or Dare.”

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If you’re game, then I highly recommend you get onto this one immediately! The message and life lessons are insightful and uplifting. And you will love Conor Edwards. He’s a beautiful human being (albeit fictional, but meh.. still beautiful nevertheless).

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

Thank you so much to Elle Kennedy for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy! 💗

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— The Dare by Elle Kennedy —

Briar U (Book Four)

SaveTheDateRelease Date: June 16, 2020

Add to your TBR: Goodreads

📔 Grab your copy here:


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If you’re interested in any of my other reviews for Elle’s books, check out my reviews below for her Off-Campus series! 📚

The Deal by Elle Kennedy
The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
The Score by Elle Kennedy
The Goal by Elle Kennedy

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Start the Briar U series now!

The Chase is currently FREE on Amazon

Amazon  ¦  Apple  ¦  Kobo  ¦  Nook  ¦  Google



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If you’re an avid romance reader, and you enjoy reading sports romances, then you gotta check out both of Elle Kennedy’s NA college series’. You won’t be disappointed. I guarantee it. 😊 Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Kiss To Conquer by Anna B. Doe

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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— BLURB —

The past tore them apart.

After a terrible accident took everything from Callie Stewart, enrolling at Blairwood University is supposed to be a chance at a new beginning.

Living his best life, Hayden Watson, star wide receiver for the Blairwood Ravens, is heading straight for the NFL draft and nothing is going to stand in his way.

The present brings them together.

Their paths were never supposed to cross, but when they do, all those old demons and feelings come rushing back. Hayden thinks he knows all about Callie’s life before Blairwood and he’s not ready to let go of the past, much less forgive her for what she has done three years ago.

One thing’s for sure… it’s going to take more than a kiss to conquer their broken past.

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— MY REVIEW —

Any expectations I had about this book prior to reading it was thrown out the window because this story was far more than it seemed. Based on the blurb I was expecting just a stereotypical storyline of two people who started off on the wrong foot, hated each other ever since, until certain circumstances push them together where they eventually develop romantic feelings.

Boy, was I wrong! Ha. 🙈

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This story was so much more. So much! Callie and Hayden have such a deep history with one another where one thing just led to another. It snowballed from there to where you see them in the present after having ran into each other for the first time in years and having their past just come flooding back.

One thing that the blurb doesn’t hint at is that Kiss To Conquer centers around a sensitive subject. Callie was involved in a traumatic event that not only kicks off her introduction but something that is always in the forefront as this story develops along. It can be a difficult matter to add into any romance novel and not have it feel too heavy and depressing, but in my honest opinion Callie (and Hayden’s story) was written in such a clever way where you don’t get the full impact of her trauma in one go — Anna has kept it to a minimum, gradually revealing more and more of her past so as the reader starts getting an idea of what Callie has gone through so when the time comes when she does eventually share her entire past, it’s not a complete surprise.

It didn’t stop the tears though. Uh-uh.

This book will cause a flood! 😭😭 I kid you not. I hadn’t expected to cry as much as I did but it just wouldn’t stop. I was relatively prepared for the moment when Callie and Hayden’s pasts would come out but I hadn’t considered the emotion these characters would ooze out of the pages. I haven’t in a long time felt such sympathy for fictional characters. The hurt and pain that exuded from them was so realistic and so relatable that you can’t help but mourn right alongside them.

“I can pretend all I want that I’ve changed. But the sad truth is, some things? They always stay the same.”

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However. Whilst I can say all these positive things now that I’ve read the entire book, and have had time to let it all sink in, I must admit whilst I was reading it, my first impressions of these characters were a little more on the annoyed side. I couldn’t understand why Callie and Hayden were acting immaturely towards one another when they could’ve just avoided confrontation by keeping silent or leaving the room. I felt like they went out of their way to be snarky with one another, and whenever their friends would question it, they merely brushed it off as if it wasn’t a big deal.

As a reader who usually can’t stand characters who constantly bicker, I’m glad I didn’t give up on this story because Callie and Hayden evolved over time, learned to listen, accept, and understand the other’s struggles. It’s slow paced, and their relationship was definitely a slow burn but it was well worth the wait. Their hesitancy to reconnect, along with the mystery of their past provided the storyline with enough build-up and curiosity to keep you engaged and seeing on how things will unravel.

A factor I wasn’t expecting but was happy to discover quite early on is that Callie isn’t your stereotypical stunner of a female protagonist. She has scars (physically, emotionally and mentally), and right off the bat I knew she would be a character so many people can relate to, one way or another. She carries a heavy burden throughout this book and it’s utterly heartbreaking.

As for Hayden… When you think jock, you can’t help but automatically assume that he’ll be an asshole who thinks he’s god’s gift to women. Okay yes, he was that stereotype at the beginning, but his POV also shows a completely different side to him. Dare I say his true side…?

These characters have layers. They have progression. They transform and mature.

Add that to a modern day backdrop and secondary characters that are just as much personable and intriguing, and this world that Anna has created is one full of substance and sentiment. There was a nice amount of “sports” within this sports romance… 😄 and not just in the background.

Told from both Callie and Hayden’s POVs, you’ll see there’s a lot of sorrow and heartbreak in this story. But was well balanced with the addition of friendship. Anna has created and included a diverse group of people to not only provide support for our main protagonists, but also add lightheartedness, and easy-going humor. Each one of these characters — from Hayden’s best friends and teammates, to Callie’s roommate and classmates have their own voices and strong personalities, which I look forward to seeing more of as this series expands.

“I’d rather battle the demons that haunt us with kisses than words.”

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A truly enjoyable read. There was some tears, giggles, and an overall feeling of content. These characters are great examples of imperfection, learning from mistakes and the strength to move on with life and making the most of your time. Anna was able to write about a difficult subject and put a lot of care and effort into making it quite relatable. I love Callie’s growth and the steps she takes to work through her struggles. I love that she’s a working progress. I love that Hayden is such a strong support system, and an overall gentleman. I love that you can look back from beginning to end and clearly see character growth. Not going to lie there were times I felt frustrated with their actions and there were small things I didn’t necessarily agree with, but in the end, just like their friends, I couldn’t help but root for Callie and Hayden to find their happiness!

A highly recommend read for any NA/ adult reader who’s looking for a bit of angst in their contemporary romance books, and who enjoys a bit of hate-to-love!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

Thank you to Anna B. Doe for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy! 💗

🔔 Interested in reading Kiss To Conquer? Grab your copy here: Universal Link


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Thank you for reading 😊 Make sure to check out my Contemporary section of my Book Reviews if you’d like to read more sports romance reviews. Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Luca Vitiello by Cora Reilly

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• BLURB •

I was born a monster. Cruelty ran in my veins like poison. It ran in the veins of every Vitiello man, passed on from father to son, an endless spiral of monstrosity.

A born monster shaped into an even worse monster by my father’s blade and fists and harsh words.

I was raised to become Capo, to rule without mercy, to dish out brutality without a second thought.

Raised to break others.

When Aria was given to me in marriage, everyone waited with baited breath to see how fast I’d break her like my father broke his women. How I’d crush her innocence and kindness with the force of my cruelty.
Breaking her would have taken little effort. It came naturally to me.
I was gladly the monster everyone feared.

Until her.

– Bound By Honor in Luca’s POV (and a few scenes from his childhood & teenage years).
– Can be read without reading the other books in the series.

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• MY REVIEW •

**This is a spoiler free review!**

I discovered Cora and Bound by Honor at the beginning of 2018 and just a little over a year later with the upcoming release of Luca Vitiello, it almost feels like it’s come full circle.

Luca was my first mafioso love from this series and getting to see what he thinks about, his true feelings, and opinions was like getting to snoop in on your crush’s deep dark secrets or what not.. (and I’m all for it!) 😜

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What I loved about this book was every question I had from Bound by Honor concerning Luca was answered in this one. Buuuut… I have to say as much as Cora is sooo good at trying to give us ALL the answers to our questions.. whilst reading Luca’s POV – the more questions that were answered, the more just popped up in its place… *SIGH* Now I’m hungry for Matteo’s and Romero’s POVs (at least for certain scenes). LOL.

When I read Bound by Honor Aria’s feelings towards Luca were evident. It was obvious that the longer they were together the deeper her feelings were for him. With Luca, I always had an inkling that his love for Aria was there long before she got shot, but what I love about seeing it from his POV, is you get to see precisely when it started to bloom into something other than a marriage of convenience for him. And I tell ya… it’s a lot earlier than I thought! A lot, a lot! Which I kinda dig because it makes you think: “Oh wait! Who really loved who first…?” Was it really Aria?? Hm.

How much does Luca love and care for Aria? What were his first impressions of her, and his thoughts during their wedding? Is he really as cold-hearted and brutal as he seems? His thoughts on his father, his relatives, Nina and Grace.. as well as Matteo, Cesare, Romero and the rest of his men. These are just some of the things you’ll get to find out in detail!

You get to see the brutal truth of what it takes to be a Made Man. The sacrifices. The responsibilities. The pain. The hardships…

But what excited me most about this book is getting to read the scenes from Luca’s childhood and teen years. I was curious to learn more about Luca and Matteo growing up and the added scenes from those times were probably my favourite parts to read! Luca and Matteo have always had a strong brotherly bond and it stems from their scarred childhood, after having lost their mother and enduring life with a father – who not only is Capo but someone who enjoys being a ruthless, violent and viciously vindictive asshat… not only to his men but to his own children and women alike.

Luca (and Matteo) with their father:

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Also.. Luca (and Matteo) with their father:

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Anyways. Ooh. Any Romero fans?

I don’t know how it’s possible but I ❤ Romero even more in this one! And I have no doubt you guys will too. 😄 I love the person that he is. I love his beliefs. I love his loyalty. And I love that he is like a brother from another mother to Luca.

Now. I wanted to add in a particular quote that made my heart sing when I read it, but I wasn’t 100% sure I could without it being spoiler-ish. So I’ll just say that there’s a particular scene where Luca really contemplates the value of having Romero by his side. Guys, Luca might not ever admit it but I’ll say it… He has a friend for life in Romero! (Matteo too!) *GROUP HUGGGG!!*

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(P.S. Look at Dean’s face. I can totally picture Luca making the same facial if Romero or Matteo ever hugged him. Hahaha!)

Finally – If you were wanting to see more of Luca’s bloody side. Then you got it! With it only being from his POV, you get to see him work in all his Made Man glory!

Cue: Blood splatter! 😛

I can’t get enough of Cora’s Mafiosos! Bound by Honor from Luca’s perspective is an amazing addition to the Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles, and a perfect book for rabid fans (like moi) who need regular doses of Luca! Nobody writes Mafia books like Cora. A HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READ!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Cora Reilly for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!


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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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