Tag Archives: YA

Big Love and Bigger Love are sweet school-based romances

Big LoveBig Love by Rick R. Reed

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book wasn’t what I thought it was going to be but what it actually was is a good narrative, if a little bit muddled in my mind about which story it was telling.

I read it because I have an ARC of book two in the series to review, which is Truman’s story, and I wanted to read the set up.

This is a super sweet but also surprisingly angsty story which is all about owning your truths. I’m not usually a fan of the wife dying so a gay man can live his ‘real life’ but it’s handled well in this one.

I never felt like Dane’s wife had been a lesser person in his life and believed he had loved her for herself and not just because he was hiding and fighting his sexuality.

Seth was a sweetheart too and he knew just how to play his cards right to not only help Truman, but Dane as well.

Relatively low steam but still pretty emotionally engaging.

~

bigger-loveBigger Love by Rick R. Reed

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This follow up to Big Love gives us Truman’s story solely and at times it’s as heartbreaking as parts of the first book were and at others, truly uplifting.

It’s rare for me to read a young adult romance, I tend to get irritated with the push and pull that usually provides the drama.

But this is Rick R. Reed, so I know better and sure enough, while Mike has his own fears and internal doubts to worry out, it never felt like it was a conscious decision to pull back from Truman.

Truman himself is as fabulously wonderful as he was in the first book and he’s still the focus of all the disquiet and disgust from people who disgrace themselves with their actions.

Patsy is still awesome, a fierce mama who will do anything for her boy, even turn her back on a potential happy for herself because of the way her son is treated, she is what every parent should be.

It was great to see Truman slowly build up a small friendship base as he got involved in a school production of Harvey and other loved how he threw himself 100% into it.

Mike’s grand gesture went a long way to gaining back my affections after he’d almost blown it with Truman and the lovely Epilogue left the future open with so much promise.

I’d love for there to be more, perhaps as Truman and Mike graduate and head off into the next stage of life but I’m also quite happy thinking of them years down the line in some city block apartment just being happy.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Dreamspinner Press in return for an honest and unbiased review.

Buy your copy here: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bigger-love-by-rick-r-reed-9967-b

View all my Goodreads reviews

Release Blitz: To Be Honest by S. M. James

To Be Honest | S. M. James

#lovehim series #3

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs

Genre/s: YA, LGBT, romance

Length: 81,000 words/380 pages

Heat Rating: 1 – 2 flames

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: November 15, 2018

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Buy Links

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK  Amazon AU

Blurb

2400 miles. Four friends. One big secret.

Angus Reid is pretty sure he’s being catfished.

After spending the last half of junior year talking online to the guy of his dreams, Angus wants to meet. In person. So when Scotty brushes it off with excuses of not being ready, red flags go up.

Determined to either catch Scotty out, or take a shot at real love, Angus embarks on a summer road trip with his adorkable roommate, Tyler. But as summer stretches on, and mixed messages fly between them, Angus finds his heart torn.

His potential catfisher?

Or his straight best friend?

And while their road trip takes them across the country, Angus is headed for one destination.

Either a happily ever after … or a broken heart.

All books in the #lovehim series are stand alones. The series number is recommended reading order.

Excerpt

I pull out of the parking lot and Tyler directs me to the campsite. The ground is rough as anything, and it’s lucky it’s summer, because I can just imagine that in winter we would be driving on ice.

“Just here,” Tyler points to a space ahead, confirming it on the map the campsite admin handed us.

It’s reasonably busy and we’ve had to drive a bit further down. There’s forest pushing in all around us and I can only spot two other tents. Not that those monstrous things could be called tents.

“Just do you know,” I say as I put the car in park and follow Tyler out. “If I get killed, I’ll hold you personally responsible.”

“If you get killed, I promise I’ll make it up to you.”

“I’ve got to tell you though, I’m not planning on dying a virgin.”

He throws a smirk at me over the roof. “Don’t worry, neither am I.”

I open the trunk and start shifting some of our stuff into the front while Tyler lays down the back seats. When I climb in, a thrum of electricity passes over my skin and I have to remind myself to cool it. We’re just friends. Tyler slides in after me.

“Here.” He hands me some blankets and we set to work making it comfortable before lying back, heads rested at the opening.

It’s so peaceful. The night is still and quiet, holding the warmth of the day, and the stars stretch out above us endlessly, smudges of silver blurring them together. I fold my hands behind my head as Tyler takes off his glasses and tosses them in the front.

“And that right there,” Tyler says in a nasally voice, pointing through the back windshield of the open trunk. “Is the ubulla majorious.”

I give him the side eye, not sure if he’s joking or not. “Oh yeah, and what’s that?” I point to another cluster.

“The fibrosious enema.

“And that?”

Ursulla’s Uranus.

I snort, rolling onto my side to look at him. “You are so full of shit.”

“I swear.” He lays a hand over his heart. “See? There’s Angusius’s Titianus.

He finally gets a laugh out of me and I shove his shoulder a little. “I think your brain’s broken.”

“Nope. It remembers everything, remember, Angus?”

“I do remember. Which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if you knew all the actual names of the constellations and were just goofing around.”

He tries to hold back a guilty smile.

We lapse into a comfortable silence, him staring up at the stars, and me staring at everything but him.

I hesitate. “Thanks for not bailing on me.”

“Are you kidding? It was a choice between this and going home. Trust me, it was a no brainer.”

“I’m honored.” I roll my eyes.

He chuckles softly and pokes me in the bicep. Two fingers. Just like the first day we met. “You should be. You’re always my first choice.”

My cheeks heat and my stomach twists painfully. I’m well aware of his teasing tone but somehow my body completely misses it. “I mean, I wouldn’t say you’re my first choice. At least second or third, though.”

“Ho-oh!” He hangs his head back, showing off his long neck. “You’ve wounded me.”

“Need mouth to mouth?”

He cracks up. “I’d probably enjoy it too much.”

He’s teasing. Teasing. But damn it, if I don’t get this flirting under control it’s only a matter of when not if our friendship implodes.

I’m dying to trace my lips over that long, smooth stretch of skin just below his ear.

He rests his head to the side, looking at me, and a chunk of hair flops down in his eyes. “Have you heard from Scotty yet?”

The lust dries up as worry kicks in. “No, actually. I’m trying not to think about it.”

“I’m sure he’s fine.”

“If he’s done something—”

“No. He wouldn’t have. From what you’ve told me it was his choice, you can’t think like that.”

I scrub a hand over my face. “I basically forced it on him though.”

“Hey.” Tyler’s fingers circle my wrist and he tugs my hand away. “Nope. We’re not doing this. You don’t control other people’s choices. Not today, not tomorrow, just don’t.”

“If only it was that simple.” I sigh.

“It is.” He’s so certain I almost believe him. Instead I reach out and pull the back door closed.

“I’m tired,” I say, tucking up my legs. And if my legs are too long for the space, Tyler’s definitely will be.

With the door closed the outside world is cut off. Tyler turns back to the window, looking up at the sky, and for the thousandth time this year, I wish I had someone to share my feelings with. It sounds lame as hell but I could really use a hug. I just want somebody to be my somebody.

And with Scotty gone, I’m further from that than ever.

About the Author

S.M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBTQ characters.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Instagram

BookBub

Goodreads


Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the following:

$30 Amazon gift card (AU or US only)

2 x paperbacks international (That Feeling When or To Be Honest)

3 x eBooks international (That Feeling When or To Be Honest)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Release Blitz: do you think we should’ve glued it first? by Bobbie Rayne

do you think we should’ve glued it first? | Bobbie Rayne

The Crazy Adventures of Cass & Star Episode I

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Blurb

Cassius is the new kid in town, so when trouble shows up at his door, and his father is kidnapped, he has no one to turn to. Luckily for him, Sterling steps up and offers to help, and before they know it, they’re both thrown into a world they don’t understand with some very dangerous enemies.

The worst part is they can’t figure out what’s going on with Cassius. Soon after his dad goes missing, Cassius begins to change; he starts having weird cravings and odd behaviors. Cass and Star are unsure of the cause, but they think it’s somehow related to the guys that are after them. Things keep getting stranger and stranger with no answers anywhere in sight.

Will they be able to set their differences aside and work together to figure out what’s going on with Cassius? Will they be able to find Cassius’s father in time? What do you think Cass could be? A vampire? Werewolf? Zombie?

Join Cass and Star on their crazy adventure in Episode I: do you think we should’ve glued it first?

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Excerpt

Title: do you think we should’ve glued it first?
Series: The Crazy Adventures of Cass & Star Episode I
(unedited, subject to change, copyright © Bobbie Rayne)

Cassius~
He gave me a lingering look before scanning the mess I’d made. “Everything you tried tasted bad?”

I cringed. “Well, no.”

He waved his hand for me to continue.

I stifled a sigh. “The steak tasted good.”

“You cooked a steak?”

I hesitated for a few seconds before admitting to my crime. “Um… I didn’t cook it.”

He stared at me for a long time, just blinking away. “You… you ate it raw?”

I nodded.

“You ate an entire steak… raw?”

I winced a little at his tone. “Um… no.”

“So what? A few bites? Don’t you think that’s going to make you sick?”

“Actually, I ate all three steaks… raw.” I cringed and looked at him through squinted eyes, almost afraid of his reaction to my disgusting admission.

He just stood there doing that blinking thing.

After a few minutes, I whispered, “I’m sorry, Star. I couldn’t help it. I don’t know what came over me. I was just so hungry and my stomach was cramping and… I dunno. But I’ll pay you back. I’ll buy your mom new steaks tomorrow, okay? I’m really sorry, and I know it’s gross, but I couldn’t hel—”

“Cassius.” He said my name quietly, but his voice caused me to pause.

“I’m sorry.”

He lifted his hand and went to speak, but hesitated again. Finally, he took a deep breath and spoke, “You don’t need to apologize. And you don’t need to buy more steak, it’s fine. I’m just trying to… process it, and honestly, I’m trying not to puke from the thought of eating that.”

I wrinkled my nose. “I even drained the blood on the little trays.”

“Ulhhlh… come on, man.”

I lifted a shoulder. “Sorry. I think it’s gross too. I normally eat my steaks well, well done. Crispy or burnt, even.”

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Author Bio

Bobbie Rayne grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and still lives there today. She’s married to her very patient husband, and they have two amazing sons together, as well as two crazy dogs. She spends her time writing, driving her kids all over town, and helping run the PTA.

Her children are one of the reasons she loves YA so much, and one reason why she thinks it’s important to bring LGBTQ+ main characters into fiction. Writing YA has always been a dream of hers, and she truly believes that writing it is good for her soul. Her family means the world to her, but coffee might be high up on that list, too, so if you bring her some, you just might end up with a new best friend.

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/bobbie.rayne.9

https://www.instagram.com/bobbierayne/

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Book Blast: The Werewolf on Lowre Few Lane by Bryce Bentley-Tales

The Werewolf on Lowre Few Lane | Bryce Bentley-Tales

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Buy Links

NineStar Press

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Publisher: NineStar Press

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Genre/s: YA, Dark Fantasy, LGBT

Length: 49,000 words/270 pages

It is a standalone book.

Release Date: October 29, 2018

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

A haunted house. A portal that lies inside. Four friends must enter both to save their world.

Thirteen year-old Colton has a crush on the new foreign exchange student, Dylan, but soon discovers his new American friend is not your average kid – he’s a werewolf.

Their friendship has no time to blossom when Colton and his two close friends accompany Dylan to a haunted house, where they must search inside for a portal that will take them to another world where Dylan’s aunt is captive.

Excerpt

A loud clanging echoed across the yard, and we both cowered behind the stone fence post. Adjacent to the old post, a crumbling stone wall shielded us from anyone standing by the house.

When I poked my head around the ledge, nothing but the motionless tall weeds could be seen in the yard and the same gloomy look the house had had before. It was dead quiet. Jade put her hands on my shoulders, her mouth next to my ear.

“S-see, I told you. You believe me now? It’s haunted.” I tried to speak, but my mouth was dry. I brought my binoculars up, gripping them hard with both hands. “Probably just varmint inside,” I said.

“Aye. And maybe you and your butterfingers could be captain of the rugby team.”

“Har-har. You think the Kennedy twins really disappeared inside?”

“I told you. I saw them at the house when I was with Erin two nights ago. They said they were going inside.”

“Maybe they’re hanging out at the local pub downtown?”

“Colton, no one has seen those fellas since that night. They went inside and never came out, sure of it.”

I swiveled the binoculars around, peering at the large, arched front doorway, which had a wolf face door knocker. Jade whispered close to my ear, “You see anything?”

“Shhh, I can’t focus with your tongue in my ear.”

“My tongue isn’t in your ear,” Jade said, her voice irritated. After a few seconds, she pushed on my shoulder. “By the way, you find out the new foreign-exchange fella’s story? You didn’t take your eyes off him in class. I missed a lot while I was away.” She giggled. “You fancy him, don’t you?”

I cringed, lowered the binoculars, and spoke in a hushed voice over my shoulder. “Don’t say that out loud.”

“And who’s going to blimey hear us? Just us and the ghouls at 44 Lowre Few Lane.”

Lunchtime came, and I headed to the cafeteria. I scanned the room, searching for Dylan. My heart beat fast. I didn’t see him. Nor did I see anyone I wanted to sit with, or someone, for that matter, who would want me to sit next to them.

Ms. Griffin was standing close to several teachers, and I picked up bits and pieces of the gossip. You could count on Ms. Griffin for gathering the latest scandal regarding students, teachers, and anything else, and sometimes she would let things slip to students.

Especially if she liked them. She was talking about Brian and the fact that he and his brother had been at that house. I assumed she meant 44 Lower Few Lane. Boys’ laughter reached my ears and I turned.

On the far side of the room sat a row of rugby players. My heart plummeted to depths of glumness. Dylan was sitting with them, his back to me. Several of the boys were laughing at whatever story Dylan was telling them. I got my lunch, my head hung down, and I clomped down the hall to go outside.

A few boys were forming up teams for rugby and asking for players.A round-faced boy pointed toward me and asked, “What about him?”

I froze in place. A skinny, spindly-legged boy cawed in laughter and slapped the oval-face lad on the back. “Don’t be a muppet. He’s only good at running numbers in his head.”

The two boys faced away from me and continued their search for players.

Always singled out as the smart kid. The brainy one. Tears threatened to sell, but I kept control and headed to my favorite oak tree. I had no chance of winning over Dylan.

 

About the Author

Bryce was raised by his mother and father in the countryside near Wichita, Kansas and learned to become an avid reader from his mother and maternal grandfather who carries the last name of Bentley. Stephen King novels still stack his two shelves in his old bedroom at home.

After graduating from his high school with a class size of 69, he completed college where he had never came out gay, then took a winding journey over his entire 20s. This took him to Indiana, then to the San Francisco Bay Area where he still did not come out but obtained a master’s degree.

He traveled to Bangkok, Thailand during his late 20s to teach English for a year and he met his first boyfriend. Five years later, he completed his doctorate degree in psychology, which was inspired by a youth and young adulthood of feeling internally bewildered. Bryce started dabbling in writing in 2011 or in his mid-thirties.

He self-published several works under his name over the last few years, but it was in 2016 he felt like he was finally getting the hang of this writing thing. The Werewolf on Lowre Few Lane is his first work under his pen name of Bryce Bentley-Tales.

His next YA novel with a working title of Orion: The PreRobo Era Boy, is a work he is finishing up currently. Bryce currently lives in Dallas, Texas.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter: @BryceTales

Yahoo


Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of two $10 Amazon Gift Cards and one of two The Werewolf Lowre Few Lane ebooks.

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Blog Tour: Ryker by RJ Scott & V. L. Locey

Ryker | RJ Scott & V. L. Locey

Owatonna U Hockey #1

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 50,700 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

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Blurb

Ryker is hockey royalty, Jacob is a poor country boy. Can two vastly different people find common ground and become the men they want to be?

Ryker comes from a long line of championship-winning hockey players. Playing college hockey to develop his game is his only focus, and nothing will stand in the way of him working to become the best player.

He has no room for relationships, people that point out his flaws, or anyone who calls him on his dreams. He certainly has no place for love, and meeting Jacob is nothing but a useful distraction on the side. After all trying to get his Owatonna Eagles teammate into bed is less work and more play. When tragedy rocks his family, his charmed life crumbles, and the only person he can turn to is the same one who claims to hate him.
Jacob Benson has only known hard work and stifling conservative values his whole life. Born and raised in the small rural community of Eden Crossing, Minnesota, he’s the only son of a hard-working but struggling dairy farming family. Jacob is using his skills in hockey to finance his way to an agricultural science degree.

These four years at Owatonna U. will probably be the only time he has to enjoy life, gain acceptance about his sexuality, and live openly before his inevitable return to the farm. Running into a pretty rich boy like Ryker Madsen is putting a damper on his enjoyment of life away from home.

Ryker’s flip, conceited, carefree attitude grates on Jacob’s every nerve. So why, if Ryker is everything he dislikes, does he want nothing more than to explore the sinful dreams that his annoying teammate stars in every night?

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September 26 – Urban Smoothie ReadBook Lovers 4EverXtreme DelusionsJessie G BooksSexy Erotic XcitingReading In Sarah’s CornerOMG Reads, Two Chicks ObsessedSeptember 28 – The Blogger GirlsOctober 1 – Mirrigold: Mutterings & MusingsAmy’s MM Romance ReviewsLove Unchained Book ReviewMainely StoriesOctober 3 – My Fiction NookWicked Faerie’s Tales & ReviewsNerdy Dirty & FlirtyOctober 5 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue WordsMaking It HappenWicked ReadsMM Good Book ReviewsOctober 10 – Sarandipity Book ReviewsPadme’s LibraryOctober 12 – We Three QueensLillian FrancisBayou Book Junkie

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RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.

She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit and has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:


Email RJ (rj@rjscott.co.uk)

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V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Doctor Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.)

She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

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RJ and VL nail it again with their latest ice hockey offering

35559022Ryker by R.J. Scott & V. l. Locey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s not often I read a Young Adult romance because invariably I find myself rolling my eyes at the antics or – understandable given their ages – lack of maturity often used in the narrative to create plot tension.

However, as this is a spin-off from the Harrisburg Railers series and it comes from the pens of two of the finest writers of sports romance in the MM genre, I knew I’d get little of the above.

There is a wee bit of what could be described as irrational dislike when Ryker and Jacob meet, but the in-character explanations more than adequately provide reasons for Jacob’s feelings.

He’s also fairly quick to acknowledge it was his own unreasonable prejudices and a sense of misplaced inadequacy over their different backgrounds which led to his behaviour.

When they do finally move beyond friendship, the reader is given a truly beautiful tale of first love. They come to rely on each other for everything and, when the book brings us up to date with what’s been happening on the ice for the Railers, we see just how much Jacob has become Ryker’s solid foundation.

I loved everything about this book, apart from

**SPOILER**

having to read about poor Ten getting injured all over again

**SPOILER**

and I’m seriously looking forward to seeing where these authors take us next.

Scott’s story looks like it will be way more angsty and I’m now “bring it on”!

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Blog Tour: That Feeling When by S. M. James

S. M. James | That Feeling When

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling

Genre/s: YA, LGBT, contemporary romance

Length: 77,000 Words/343 pages

Release Date: September 16, 2018 (Available now in paperback)

Buy Links

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

Dance Academy reject, Archie Corrigan, resents the stereotype guy ballet dancers are gay. Because he isn’t. At all. Forced to reassess his life goal at Camp Crystal Cove, it’s by sheer dumb luck he meets Landon Summers, who turns everything Archie was sure of into chaos.

Poor boy turned teen heartthrob, Landon Summers, is the name on everyone’s lips. With his unexpected leap to fame, his agent advises him to keep his bi status on the down low. Not a problem! Until Landon meets Archie.

Their unexpected friendship leads to an inevitable kiss, but their moment is caught in high definition and used as fuel for blackmail. If the truth gets out, Landon’s career could be over, and Archie will be forced to acknowledge the one thing he’s fought to deny.

But how do you go back to your average life once you’ve experienced That Feeling When … you’re finally happy?

Excerpt

Landon Summers is into guys. I think he likes you.

And while Meredith didn’t say anything about me, there was something way too knowing in her look.

Everyone else seems too into their own lives to be paying us any attention, and even when we’re announced winners of the trivia, my celebration doesn’t crack the surface chill that’s taken over me.

Meredith’s wrapped her arm through mine, and she’s cheering with the others, one hand in the air.

I’m a week in the past. Watching Landon pull on that stupid costume in the dark. The spark in his eyes as he thanked me. The brush of his skin on mine.

How was that only a week ago?

Why can’t I go back and enjoy that moment more? Savor my time with him?

Really take it all in, before he went and messed it all up.

About the Author

SM James in an Australian author who writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters. While not writing, SM is a readaholic and netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

Member of SCBWI. Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBT+ characters.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Instagram


Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the following prizes:

1 x Paperback copy of That Feeling When (US only)

2 x $15 Amazon gift card (international)

3 x eBook copy of That Feeling When (international)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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