January Re-read Challenge

1/31/2009 11:48:00 AM / Posted by Kris / comments (6)

Well, in December, Nath issued a re-read challenge. I knew my January books right off the bat. I had been wanting to re-read the first two CL Wilson books before I read the third book. So I read Lord of the Fading Lands and Lady of Light and Shadows. I read them back to back over about three days, they were just as good as I remembered. And one thing I love about re-reading is discovering things you missed or forgot from the first time around. They are both still definitely part of my keeper shelf. If you enjoy fantasy and have not read these, you are missing out. My thought are after the summaries of both books.
For the other challenge reviews for this month you can go here.

Lord of the Fading Lands (Tairen Soul Book 1) by C. L. Wilson
Long ago, in the magical holocaust known as the Mage Wars, the immortal Fey and their allies fought to defeat the grasping evil of the Elden Mages and their dark-gifted supporters. During those wars, in a fit of grief-induced madness caused by the death of his mate, Fey shapeshifter Rain Tairen Soul nearly destroyed the world in a blaze of tairen fire. Now, a thousand years later, the fierce Fey king must fight to save his race from the brink of extinction and once again stop the evil rising in the homeland of his enemies, the Eld. The key to his success lies in the mortal city of Celieria, where the Mage Wars began, and with a young woman whose soul sings to him in ways no woman’s ever has, whose presence reawakens the primal fury of the tairen within his soul, and whose vast, untapped power can either save or destroy him and his people.

I thought alot about Ely's circumstances in this one. She goes to Main street to get a glimpse of the Fey and this big animal that she has only heard about swoops down and turns into a man and then tells her that she is his mate. That would kind of freak me out too.
Rain has travelled to Celieria because the tairen Eye told him that the answers to their problems was in Celieria. When he gets there he senses something he never thought he would have, his truemate. In their history, Tairen Souls have never had a truemate. So he swoops down to claim his mate and is a little overwhelmed by the fact that he has a mate that he is a little dominating with her. Ely has been raised with the belief that magic is evil. Fey were people that were interesting to read about and look at but that is it. There is also the problem that Ely has just been betrothed to someone else. Rain has his work cut out for him to try to win this woman.

Lady of Light and Shadows (Tairen Soul Book 2) by C. L. Wilson
Since her earliest memories, Ellysetta Baristani has feared magic, even as she has been inexorably drawn to all things Fey, especially the poetry and legends of Rain Tairen Soul. Now claimed as Rain’s truemate and no longer able to deny her own magic, Ellysetta is swept into the very center of a struggle filled with the magic and darkness she has always feared. The High Mage of Eld wants to capture her. The most murderous dahl’reisen who ever lived wants her dead. And her enemies will corrupt even the people she loves most in their quest to claim her magic for themselves.

Elly has finally accepted her magic and is trying to learn to use it better. Her mother though is making this very hard. Her mother still harbors a great fear of magic and is scared that the Fey are leading her daughter to evil. Elly is preparing for her wedding and learning more about the Fey. She and Rain are continuing to grow closer as they learn more about one another. The Eld are making a lot of mischief in the realm as they try to capture Elly and end up hurting a lot of people.

My thoughts:
Great books. I am so happy that I read these again. Rain is such a great troubled hero. He has survived the horror of losing many loved ones at once and it almost drove him insane. He is trying to tame down is dominant nature a little so that he lets Elly have some choice in her life. Elly is a good match for him especially as she grows more sure of herself and confident in her powers. She will tell him "no" and her feelings about something without being afraid of him.
But she is still holding some things back from him and that will bite her in the butt later.
The High Mage is an intriguing bad guy, I do not mind reading the sections about him. (There are other books that I always skip over the sections with the bad guy POV but in this one they were almost always short and very informative.) I feel so bad for those trapped by him and am very curious about the little girl with his eyes that they keep mentioning.

I was anxious to start the next book and I did, review to follow soon.

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Key to Conflict , Key to Conspiracy and Key to Redemption

1/25/2009 03:03:00 PM / Posted by Kris / comments (1)

Well, I think for the time being with the rate that I am writing posts I am going to do one review post a week and then a recap of the rest of the books that I have read but did not review once a week or once every two weeks. If you are interested in the books below, read all of the reviews because I was liking this series until the most recent book.

Life update: the kids are doing well. Friday was Hubby's birthday and we were going camping with my in-laws this weekend. So of course Saturday morning I woke up sick. It was not pretty. I felt really bad. So Hubby took oldest to her soccer game (they won, and are 1st in their division) and when they got home I was still not feeling well so they went without me. I am disappointed that I could not go, but I also got some uninterrupted reading time as well which was nice. I felt better about 5 hours later . And I got to sleep for 8 hours without interruption!!! I was so happy. I have spent Sunday watching chick movies on Netflix Instant and working around the house and I am still feeling fine. I watched a movie called Love and Other Disasters that was cute and Shakespeare Untold which is an English mini-series of four Shakespeare stories retold in modern times. Cute so far, am watching the retelling of Much Ado About Nothing set in a local brocast station. I decided only to watch the one episode. I found they also had North and South with Richard Armitage so I am watching that instead.

Key to Conflict (Gillian Key, Paradoc Book 1) by Talia Gryphon
Meet Gillian Key-a paramortal psychologist who can treat the mental distress of nonhumans. And she's a Marine Special Forces operative who can get physical with them when the situation calls for it.
Gillian's two worlds collide when she travels to the Carpathian Mountains in Romania to counsel a dangerously attractive local master vampire-and becomes embroiled in a brewing turf war with the legendary Dracula.

Good start to the series. This is not my favorite but I am intrigued enough to continue and see where Ms Gryphon goes with the series and characters. If you are interested in eading this you have to be okay with the heroine sleeping with someone other than the hero. In this book she goes to Romania to treat a vampire with "fangxiety". He is depressed and contimplating why to go on. Gill is a very strong heroine. She is attracted to her patient, Aleksei but cannot have any sort of relationship with him outside of couselor until a year after he is "cured". So she begins a friends with benefits relationship with his brother, Tanis, who is also a vampire. During this time Dracula, one of the three vampire Lords, stages a revolt/revolution/coup or whatever you want to call it, to try to take over the paranormal world and then the rest of the world.

Key to Conspiracy (Gillian Key, Paradoc Book 2) by Talia Gryphon
In northern Russia after a devastating earthquake, paramortal psychologist and Marine Special Forces operative Gillian Key helps break up a ring of child traffickers preying on newly orphaned children. But away from Count Aleksei Rachlav, the irresistible vampire she left behind, Gillian is vulnerable to the Dark Prince himself—Dracula—who would like nothing more than to use her as a pawn in his escalating war with Rachlav.

I liked this a little more. Gillian finally gets together with Aleksei but not til halfway through. The first part of hte story is Gill helping to break up a ring of child traffickers. You get to see more of her fighting side. I love how she dealt with the film crew that her superior sent with the team to record the capture of the traffickers. Then she heads back to Romania to be with Aleksei but then gets rerouted to England and has a bad run in with some ghosts. Eventually she gets back to Romania and can pursue therelationship. Very busy book, lots going on.

Key to Redemption (Gillian Key, Paradoc Book 3) by Talia Gryphon
In Romania, the estate of master vampire Aleksei Rachlav has become the headquarters for those paramortals who stand against Dracula’s army. And soldier and paramortal psychologist Gillian Key finds herself with a new group of clients. One is straight out of legend—a disfigured, masked man who haunts a Parisian opera house— and who becomes Aleksei’s rival for Gillian’s heart.

This book is where I lost it with the series. I did not finish this book. At first I was excited when I read back thattalked about The Phantom of the Opera being her new patient. Until I found out that he is to be a patient with her because she is a certified sex therapist. When Aleksei objected to her sleeping with someone else she told him to get over it and that he needed to accept her job. She has always been a very Alpha character but she just became too Alpha for me in this book. I read about 3/4 of hte book and then could do it any longer because she ticked me off.
Aleksei loves her and treats her wonderfully and I was mad at her for doing that to him. Some poeple can see past it and evenI understand why she did it, but I could not finish the book.

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The Missing

1/19/2009 10:18:00 AM / Posted by Kris / comments (3)

Happy MLK day to other US people. Love having an extra day off.

The Missing by Shiloh Walker
Her psychic gift drove away the man she loved— and years later has drawn him back to her… As a teenager, Taige Branch hated her psychic gift. No one could understand—except for Cullen Morgan, the boy who stole her heart. He did his best to accept her, until his mother was brutally murdered—and he couldn’t forgive Taige for not preventing it.
Now a widowed father, Cullen Morgan has never forgotten Taige. But what brings her back into his life is another tragedy. His beloved little girl has been kidnapped, and Taige is his only hope of finding her. Working together against the clock, Cullen and Taige can’t help but wonder whether—if they find his daughter in time—it isn’t too late for the overpowering love that still burns between them…

Taige sees things. She is a mixture of precog and telepathic but it is selective. She can see people that are in trouble but not everyone and not always in time to help. This has been happening to her since she was a girl. She even saw her parents die when she was a kid but could do nothing to stop it. With her parents dead she has to go live with her abusive uncle who also happens to be a self proclaimed preacher. He sees her gift as a curse and tells her that she is demon possessed and evil. (Nice guy huh) After Cullen loses his mother Taige feels guilty and goes to college and begins to work as a consultant for the FBI. Her job takes her into some nasty places but she takes solace in being able to do something about the bad guys.
Cullen has become a famous fantasy author and has a beautiful little girl. One day she is abducted and he races to Taige for her help.

Overall I liked the book. I loved the premise. Psychic characters always are good with me. But the personalities of these characters did not totally work for me. There were a couple of things that bugged me but nothing that completely detracted from my liking it. First was the fact that he slept with someone else while dating her in the summers. They were never officially a couple but since we see most of this section from her perspective and very quickly I view them as a couple and him cheating. She had no problem with it because they were not official and only saw each other in the summers anyway, but it bugged me. Taige's flaw is her self-confidence. And I love strong heroines so that kind of detracted for me at points. She had no backbone when it came to Cullen. She could take a killer down without blinking but could not say no to Cullen. Which i know is how it is sometimes and when I was reading it it bugged mean little but now looking back it bugs me more.
I loved the whole plot just did not love the characters. So it would be a C for me.

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Heart Fate and others and stuff

1/11/2009 05:37:00 PM / Posted by Kris / comments (6)

This weekend I went to the orchestra, that was a lot of fun. I have not been able to go in a long while. I will say that I take my students to the orchestra every year, but then I cannot sit and enjoy it, I am dealing with students and leading bathroom breaks. My school participated in a essay contest and the winning student from each school got three free tickets to an orchestra concert. One ticket for them, one for a parent and one for the music teacher. There were other winners there and during intermission all the winners and teachers get to go back stage to meet the performers. I loved the particular concert that we got to go to because it was the Dublin Philharmonic. They played one specifically Irish tune with Irish pipes and then there was also a soprano that sang about 4 songs in the first half. During intermission, the performer that played the Irish pipes (just looked up the technical name and they are called Uilleann pipes) gave us a demonstrations up close and explained how they worked. It was cool.

I have been on reading kick, finishing a book a day (and totally neglecting everything else). I will probably not review them all but I will say this about some and review Heart Fate just because I loved it so much.

Big Girls Don't Cry by Cathie Linz (B-)
Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy Book 3) by Richelle Mead (A-) might review this one later, enjoyed it a lot
Night Fall by Cherry Adair (DNF) heroine annoyed me. Might try it again later though.
Summer Desserts by Nora Roberts (B)
Key to Conspiracy (Gillian Key, Paradoc Book 2) by Talia Gryphon (B) Good series so far, have read the first one and hope to post about them soon.
Undercover by Lauren Dane (B+)
Texas Rain by Jodi Thomas (B)

I also started my book(s) for Nath's re-read challenge. For this month I am reading Lord of the Fading Lands and Lady of Light and Shadow.

Heart Fate (Celta Heart Mates Book 7) by Robin D. Owens
Wed to a wealthy older man when she was just a girl, Lahsin Yew runs away from her abusive home to find a new life. At seventeen, she’s about to enter her Second Passage, when her Flair—and perhaps her HeartMate—will be revealed. Lahsin finds sanctuary in a secret garden, where she meets Tinne Holly. Though he is her HeartMate, he cannot tell her, and her troubled past prevents her from trusting any man. Pretending to find her by chance, Tinne helps her through her Second Passage. But when the truth is revealed, can she forgive his deception, and learn to trust in her destiny?

Wow, I loved this book. I could not put it down. The characters were great, i havebeen looking forward to Tinne's story and was not disappointed.
Lahsin was married off to T'Yew when she was 14. Her family told her that he was going to wait for consummating the marriage until she got older, he did not so she has basically been raped for 3 years. Once she turns 17 she is considered an adult and leaves her "husband" and repudiates their marriage. She escapes and hides in a secret garden in the city.
Tinne is not having a good week. He wakes up to his wife telling him that she wants a divorce and then spends the next two days undergoing tests to see if his marriage can be saved. Imagine if they made people do that today. A divorce is extremely rare in First Families and this is another hardship for his already challenged family. Then discovers that his Heartmate has left her husband. He finds her and finds out how she has been treated for the past three years and he feels guilty for not doing anything, not that he knew.
But this is what these two are going through when they meet. Neither is ready for another relationship and both have a lot of healing to do. So they do the friend thing while they work out trust issues.
Great story and great characters. I love this series.

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Broken Wing and Love Under Siege

1/10/2009 07:13:00 AM / Posted by Kris / comments (6)

Broken Wing by Judith James
Set during the chaotic beginnings of Napoleon's rule, this saga tells the story of Gabriel St. Croix, a street survivor searching for a place to belong. Abandoned as a child and raised in a brothel, he has never known friendship or affection. Hiding physical and emotional scars behind an icy façade, his only relationship is with a young boy he has spent the last five years protecting from the brutal reality of their environment. But all that is about to change. The boy's family has found him, and they are coming to take him home. Sarah Munroe blames herself for her brother's disappearance. When he's located, safe and unharmed despite where he has been living, Sarah vows to help the man who rescued and protected him in any way she can. With loving patience she helps Gabriel face his demons and teaches him to trust in friendship and love. But when the past catches up with him, Gabriel must face it on his own. Becoming a mercenary, pirate, and professional gambler, he travels to London, France, and the Barbary Coast in a desperate attempt to find Sarah again. On the way, however, he will discover the most dangerous journey and the greatest gamble of all is within the darkest reaches of his own heart.

**Caution, lots of spoilers**
If you know my tastes you know that I am not a big reader of historicals, but i had heard so much about this book that I was intrigued. I was not disappointed. This was a wonderful book!!!
The description of it, I think is a little misleading. The first half is accurate. And as I was reading and a third of the way through the book and they were already together and in love I was trying to figure out how they were going to stretch out the rest of the book. Then I got my answer. He had to go make his fortune to be worthy of her. Then bad stuff happens to him and he no longer feels worthy of her so he travels around avoiding her. So the whole "in a desperate attempt to find Sarah again" thing I think is a little misleading.
In deference to my "Wonderful" adjective, I will say that I did skim over the section where he was traveling around as a mercenary. But I can understand why it was in there. After his run in with the bad guy, he felt dirty again and as I see him as an abuse victim and has just faced one of his fears, I can see why he feels "dirty". So he no longer feels worthy of Sarah. He should have had more faith in her, yes, but I have known a few men who did not have enough faith in their women. So he is not perfect. I am glad that he was faithful though, if he had not been, I would have thrown the book.
This was such a great book, I would recommend it to any reader, especially those who like troubled, angsty (is that a word?) heroes.

Breezing through Books has a great group review of this book with lots of different views.
I am sorry I have not posted. I have been so engrossed in some books i have not taken time to blog, bad me. I will post about those later but here are two that I read recently.

Love Under Siege (Brothers in Arms Book 2) by Samantha Kane
Phillip Neville and Jonathan Overton have been best friends since childhood. When they return to England as veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, they enter the marriage market. It doesn't take long for them both to fall deeply in love with shy, awkward, beautiful Maggie Trueheart. Phillip and Maggie marry, but Phillip and Jonathan do not tell her about the menage a trois marriage the two men hope to have. When Maggie finds out, it takes the persuasive power of both men to convince her that this threesome was meant to be. In the process of helping Maggie discover the sexually aggressive woman inside herself, Phillip and Jonathan realize their love for one another is more than friendship. Before the two men can consummate their relationship, however, a brutal attack on Maggie and Jonathan's self-recriminations drive the lovers apart. It will take all the love and determination the three possess to achieve their happily ever after.

I was very anxious to read this book after reading The Courage to Love. But was not able to read it just then. :( I finally got it, thanks to Christmas :) I enjoyed it. Maggie was a lot more reluctant to try a threesome than most heroines that I have read. I mean just trying it once, not the relationship end of it. That I can totally see being wary to try. So that was different. I still liked the first one more but I enjoyed this one and was glad to get their story.


The Art of Desire

1/04/2009 07:43:00 AM / Posted by Kris / comments (0)

The Art of Desire by Cherie Feather
Museum director Mandy Cooper is obsessed with nineteenth-century artist Catherine Burke—and the artist’s erotically charged relationship with Atacar, her enthralling American Indian lover. But Mandy’s link to the legendary couple runs deeper than she knows. She’s having a heated affair herself—with Jared Cabrillo, Atacar’s handsome great-great nephew who knows precisely what it takes to seduce a woman… He’s in possession of Catherine’s explicit journal. He knows every intimate detail of what she wanted and needed. But he also knows how desperately Catherine had loved Atacar and how dangerously he’d loved her. The journal is timeless and tragic, and the secrets contained within its pages can bring Mandy and Jared together, or just as surely destroy them both—desire by shocking desire.

I really enjoyed this book, it was different. There were two storylines happening during hte book, the contemporary and the historical. It was very hot and neat read.

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Their One And Only and Surrender and A Question of Trust

1/03/2009 11:48:00 PM / Posted by Kris / comments (3)

Another menage day. All mfm stories.

Their One And Only by Trista Ann Michaels
Bruised and battered, Kaycee barely escapes the clutches of a serial killer, only to find herself with another dilemma--her attraction to the two men assigned to protect her from the killer. Sam and Tyler Warren are criminal profilers for the F.B.I. They're also identical twins with a very unusual psychic connection, one that has left them with a bleak hope for the future and of finding wives. That is until they meet Kaycee and find a woman who might be able to love each of them. While hiding from the killer still after Kaycee, they explore a passion none of them ever expected to find. But their newfound happiness will be shattered when the killer learns of her whereabouts and puts into motion a sick plan Sam and Tyler may not be able to stop.

This was an interesting book. It combined two of my favorite sub-genres, menage and psychic powers. Kaycee is abducted by a serial killer and the twins when they hold something if hers they can feel and see what she does. She escapes but never got a good look at him because he always wore a mask. When Tyler was cnnected to her he felt something about her that was special so he convinced his brother and the FBI to let them take her and put her in their protective custody. Sam is leery, he does not want to get hurt or rejected again. The brothers can feel and see what someone else does by touching their stuff or them. But because of their psychic connection they also feel what each other feels without even trying. Which means when one is in love with a girl the other is too, with the same girl. Which also means they have to share. they have never found anyone that could handle that for the long run so have been hurt a few times. They hope that Kaycee will be The One. Meanwhile they need to protect her from a serial killer that is determined to get her back.
Good story. Very hot scenes. There is mfm and mf but the brothers do not do anything together if that is your worry.

Surrender by Kimberly Zant
Desperate straights call for desperate measures---If anyone had asked Anna before what she would be willing to do for money, what she'd just signed up for would NOT have been on the list. She's discovered, though, that the needy can't afford to be too picky. And, after all, what's six weeks in the scheme of things? Despite her internal pep talk, though, she discovers she isn't at all prepared for what she has to face in the mansion of ill repute-where 'no' is no longer a part of her vocabulary unless she wants to forfeit the money she needs so badly.

Annie needs money now. Her husband is fighting her for custody of their kids after he leaves her for another woman. So she signs a 6 week contract to be a submissive for a group of men, little does she know where that will lead her. There are five men, all are a little voyeuristic, they like to share and fly solo. So there are all sorts of combinations sex wise in this book (except no M/M).
Good story, there is an HEA it is not all just sex. I liked it. I wish that they had gone more indepth into their histories than they did. That would have made is so much better for me.

Cover Image of A Question of Trust: Menage and More Anthology eBooks, by Jess Dee

A Question of Trust
by Jess Dee
Madeline Jones is having the time of her life with Gabriel Carter, a man who fulfills every one of her sexual fantasies. She's sure it can’t get any better than this... until Gabe introduces her to his best friend. When Connor Regan enters the mix, sparks fly. Suddenly Maddie wants more than just Gabe, she wants Connor, too. The two men seem happy to oblige. But threesomes have a way of getting complicated. Hearts can be broken. Although Gabe and Connor play by a strict set of rules designed to minimize the damage, true love does not always adhere to the guidelines. Sometimes, to fulfill the dream of having the love of a lifetime, even the most comprehensive codes of honor have to be challenged.

Maddie is put into a very awkward situation. Her lover, Gabe, turns her one like no one else. She knows that she is not in love with him but is content with what she has. Then Gabe introduces her to his best friend Connor. Connor and her click intellectually and just have that spark. Unknown to her they are grooming her to try an menage with the two of them. Now she knows that they compatible in that way as well. Now she has to figure out what to do.

Something I thought was interesting was the whole story until the very end was told entirely in third person from her perspective. Usually the menage books that I read have all three perspectives (or at least two of them), and know what is going on in their minds. This one I did not and that was different for me. It was a good story. I enjoyed it and the outcome.
This story is in an e-anthology called Menage and More.


Swallowing Darkness and a new look

1/03/2009 07:30:00 AM / Posted by Kris / comments (8)

Well how do you like the new look? I have been meaning to change it for a little while and Hubby reminded me of it yesterday, so we went ahead and did it figuring it was a new year and time for a new look. You would not believe what he charged me for the redesign ;)
We are all doing well here. The baby goes for her 6 month check up and shots on Monday. The oldest had a friend sleep over last night and they stayed up way too late and were still up at 7am. I am tired.
Back to work on Monday. Not sure if I am dreading it or looking forward to it.
Please keep my hubby in your thoughts and prayers, he needs to find a evening/night job or a lot more design work coming in with him staying home with the kids. Because we need the money, but jobs are very scarce here.

Swallowing Darkness (Meredith Gentry Book 7) by Laurell K. Hamilton
I am Meredith, princess of faerie, wielder of the hands of Flesh and Blood, and at long last, I am with child–twins, fathered by my royal guard. Though my uncle, Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, claims that he is the true father since he abducted me from my home, betrayed, and defiled me. And now he has branded my guards as a threat to my unborn children. Bearing an heir has placed me halfway to my aunt’s throne, that much closer to my reign over the Unseelie Court–and well ahead of her son, my cousin Cel, in this race. Now I must stay alive to see my children born and claim my place as queen. But not all in faerie are pleased with the news, and conspirators from every court in the realm plot against me and mine. They seek to strip my guards, my lovers, from me by poisoned word or cold steel. But I still have supporters, and even friends, among the goblins and the sluagh, who will stand by me. I am Meredith Nic Essus, and those who would defy and destroy me are destined to pay a terrible price–for I am truly my father’s daughter. To protect what is mine, I will sacrifice anything–even if it means waging a great battle against my darkest enemies and making the most momentous decision ever made as princess of faerie.

Liked it alot. Much less sex than the previous book. There was too much in that one. In this one there was one scene and it was toward the end. I have heard people say the they thought there to inconsistencies in the characters but most of those that I have heard I was thinking that in most of those situations the people had just hit their point where enough is enough. So their reactions were a little different than normal. I attribute Ceir to his insanity though the Queen was a little more mellow than usual. We also did not see most of her retinue that we usually see. That I kind of missed but maybe it explained the lack of sex in this book.
I think she could end the series with this book but she says on her blog that she is not done with it yet, she plans to follow the pregnancy through. We will see.

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Happy New Year and a review

1/01/2009 10:26:00 AM / Posted by Kris / comments (3)

I hope that everyone had a great time ringing in the new year. Hubby and I watched Get Smart last night, funny movie!

I have a book review up over at Book Binge for

Night Falls Darkly by Kim Lenox here

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