Book Review: Little Bones (Detective Lottie Parker Book 10) by Patricia Gibney

About the Book:

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She lifted up her granddaughter from the cot, clutched her to her chest and, without looking at her beautiful daughter lying dead on the floor of her bedroom, ran from the house. Only when she was outside did she let a wail escape her lips, frightening the baby who joined in her screams.

When Isabel Gallagher is found murdered on the floor of her baby’s nursery by her mother, it’s a gruelling case for Detective Lottie Parker. Isabel’s pyjamas have been ripped, her throat cut and an old-fashioned razor blade placed in her hand. As Lottie looks at the round blue eyes and perfect chubby cheeks of Isabel’s baby daughter, she can’t understand who would want to hurt this innocent family.

That very same day she receives a call with devastating news. Another young mother, Joyce Breslin, has gone missing, and her four-year-old son Evan has been abducted from daycare. Lottie is sure that the missing mother and son are linked to Isabel’s death, and when she finds a bloody razor blade in their house, her worst fears are confirmed.

Desperate to find little Evan, Lottie leaves no stone unturned as she delves into Isabel and Joyce’s pasts and when she realises the two women have been meeting in secret, she knows she must find out why.

But when Joyce’s body is found in a murky pond and some little bones are found on a windy hillside, it feels as if this merciless killer will stop at nothing. The bones aren’t Evan’s but can they give Lottie the final clue to find the innocent child before more lives are taken?

This absolutely gripping and unputdownable crime thriller from bestselling author Patricia Gibney will leave you gasping for breath. A perfect read for fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Caine.

My Thoughts:

Little bones is Book 10 in the series that follows Detective Lottie Parker and her team. This is the first book that I read in this series and by the author. I liked the fact that I was able to read the book as a stand-alone though a little bit of the backstory is lost. This did not reduce the impact of this mystery thriller.

Lottie is dealing with two different crimes: the murder of a young woman while her four month old child is in the room; a missing woman and her four year old child. These seem to be different events, but Lottie suspects a connection due to razor blades that keep popping up which she seeks to find. The main target is to find the missing child and save him before something bad happens.

The story is well-written, fast paced with a strong focus on the plot and development. The characters are intriguing and I enjoyed the group dynamics of the team of investigators. As the plot unravels, the characters are pulled in different directions making us wonder about what is going on. This is the best part of the writing. It keeps the reader involved and guessing until the very end and then delivers a final punch.

I am also looking forward to reading the previous books and to getting to know Lottie Parker more. Her story is interesting as it gives us an insight into who she is and how she ended up where she is today! I enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it for those who are interested in police procedurals, detective stories, mysteries and thrillers that lead to a satisfying (though sad at times) end.

Book Review: The Summer We Buried by Jody Gehrman

About the Book:

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An unthinkable crime—and the tattered threads of a friendship gone wrong—come roaring back to terrible new life in Jody Gehrman’s riveting psychological suspense, perfect for fans of Joshilyn Jackson.

Twenty years ago, Tansy was drawn to Selene’s hard edges, her grit, and her knack for survival. Since then, the confused tangle of guilt about covering up a murder shattered their friendship, and even now, at thirty-eight, Tansy has never come to terms with what happened that night.

But now, Selene is back, demanding her old friend repay her. Selene’s daughter, Jupiter, attends the college where Tansy works as a guidance counselor. Selene is convinced that Jupiter’s boyfriend, Colton, is abusive, and wants Tansy to intervene. As she is drawn back into the intensity of Selene’s world, Tansy discovers the ugly truth about Colton. But Tansy suspects there’s far more to the story, and now she’ll finally have to confront Selene once and for all.

My Thoughts:

A huge thanks to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books and the author for approving my request to read the eARC of the book. 

The Summer We Buried follows Tansy’s first person narration as we meet her and the various other characters through her experiences. The story starts of with an encounter between Tansy and Selene, an old friend. Their friendship was complicated and filled with a secret buried deep down. 

The author starts off alluding to this secret and builds up the story around Selene’s request, expectations and personality. We also see the influence she has on people around her through Tansy’s eyes. The story starts off quite slow and picks up momentum towards the middle.

Tansy, having ignored a secret from her past for a long time is forced to revisit the last summer that she and Selene were together, even as she navigates meeting Selene’s younger brother and her daughter. There is some mystery to the plot, but not enough to be intriguing. Some of the plot lines could have been further developed to include details and situations that help us understand the characters better. I found Tansy’s relationships and past to be under-developed as there was not enough of an explanation. There are just enough facts about what has happened. There are also some plot lines that do not get a proper conclusion leaving us to wonder as to what happens in the end.

However, all this does not take away from the fact that the book kept me hooked until the end. I got the chills in some sections and was even able to empathize with some of the characters’ feelings. Selene’s daughter, Jupiter is in an abusive relationship that she wants to save her from. She turns to Tansy for help in spite of their broken friendship. There is a lot of negativity, some abuse and a budding romance that make the story interesting to read. With all the troubles the characters face, we also see that a mother can do anything for her child and that love knows no bounds.

I would love to recommend this book to those who enjoy a good psychological thriller as the book touches upon some aspects of the human mind that makes us pause to think about people’s actions and the reasons behind them! This is definitely worth reading at least once.

Book Review: Guilt by Michelle Kidd

Book Blurb:

Guilt Book Cover
Guilt
Is a killer born…. or created?

A missing child.
A killer on the loose.
A past that refuses to die.

When a six-year-old boy disappears from a local fair, every parent’s worst nightmare is about to come true.
And for Detective Inspector Nicki Hardcastle, twenty-two years after her own nightmare began, the past she thought was buried starts catching up with her – and fast.
Leading the hunt for the missing child, Nicki soon finds the chase takes on a personal twist, with her own memories haunting her every move.
With time set against them, and a killer following his own chilling agenda, can Nicki and her team stop history from repeating itself?
Only time will tell.
But it’s time they don’t have.

About the Author:

Michelle Kidd Author Photo

Michelle Kidd is a self-published author best known for the Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh series of novels set in London. She has also recently begun a new series which is set in her home town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk – starring Detective Inspector Nicki Hardcastle.
Michelle qualified as a lawyer in the early 1990s and spent the best part of ten years practising civil and criminal litigation.
But the dream to write books was never far from her mind and in 2008 she began writing the manuscript that would become the first DI Jack MacIntosh novel – The Phoenix Project. The book took eighteen months to write, but spent the next eight years gathering dust underneath the bed.
In 2018 Michelle self-published The Phoenix Project and has not looked back since. There are currently four DI Jack MacIntosh novels, with a fifth in progress, and the first DI Nicki Hardcastle novel is due for release in August 2021.
Michelle now works full time for the NHS and lives in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. She enjoys reading, wine and cats – not necessarily in that order 

Follow her at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michellekiddauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michellekiddauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorKidd
Website : http://www.michellekiddauthor.com

Pre Order Links
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B099FMGZ16
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099FMGZ16

My Thoughts:

It’s my stop on the Book Tour for Guilt by Michelle Kidd today! I was interested in the book when I read the blurb, but was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it after reading it.

The book follows DI Nicki Hardcastle as she focuses on finding a six year old boy who disappears from the local fair. This comes right after the bodies of two other children are discovered. As Nicki and her team work to uncover the truth and find the boy, she is forced to confront her own past and deal with a nightmare from more than twenty years ago.

The book is well-written, gripping and fast-paced. Racing against the clock, the readers are plunged head first into a novel that will have you on the edge of your seat. What will happen to the boy? Can they find him in time? Who would do such a thing? These are all the questions that arise as the plot progresses.

Author Michelle Kidd has done a brilliant job in writing this story, making it easy for the reader to follow and imagine every sequence of events. The book reads more like a movie or an episode in a TV series, but gives us allowances to visualize it as we please. The reality of the situation is not lost on us and in truth, this can happen to anyone. The author brings out the psyche or state of mind of each character thus giving us some insight into who they are and what shaped them. These are complex characters with traumatic pasts leading to some walking the path of good and some bad. However, there is no right or wrong, it comes down to what a person knows, perhaps they do not know better.

The reader comes away with the satisfaction of a brilliant ending and a justification of the title of the book. We also come away with questions in the mind that make a person pause to think about people around us. I am now a huge fan of the author’s writing and am looking forward to reading more of her books!

Guilt Book Tour Poster

Zooloos Book Tours

Announcement: Smita Bhattacharya’s ARC team sign-up!

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For those of you who do not know of her, Smita Bhattacharya is a management consultant by day and an author of mystery novels by night (in her own words!). She has written and published both novels and novellas, each as amazing as the next.

The Darya Nandkarni series follows amateur and self-proclaimed detective Darya Nandkarni as she embarks on adventures that somehow lead her into the middle of a mystery. Every single time! Or in this case, across three books in this series! 🙂

The Retribution series is a series of novellas among which Snow Fever is indeed quite mysterious and thrilling! I absolutely loved it and cannot recommend it enough!

Smita has a unique perspective of things and life in general and this is seen through her books and writing. She has strong protagonists and well thought-out whodunnits that will keep readers hooked and yearning for more!

And so, here I am, calling out to all fans of mysteries, thrillers and short stories in this genre to join me in signing up to be a part of Smita’s advance reader team!

Smita has so many stories to tell and it would be amazing to be a part of the journey!

The sign-up form can be found here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Book Review: Snow Fever by Smita Bhattacharya

About the Book:

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★A spine-chilling techno-thriller novella★

Five went up the mountains. None returned. And it wasn’t the cold or the climb that killed them.

At fifteen thousand feet, an army rescue operation finds buried underneath snow dunes five trekkers, dead in their campsite. One of the dead is Indian movie star Kirti Pandit. Another is her boyfriend, and the rest are her entourage. No one can say how they died. It could’ve been due to intense cold, perhaps the sudden snowstorm, or merely altitude sickness. Only, their symptoms were unusual. The snowfall hadn’t been heavy, and they hadn’t climbed up too high. So, what actually happened?

A page-turning techno-thriller novella set in the Himalayas, Snow Fever retraces what happened in the last days of their climb. In the end, it wasn’t the cold or the altitude that killed them, but a force beyond their imaginations. And ours.

★Part of the Retribution Series of Novellas★

My Thoughts:

Let me start off by saying that I do not usually read short stories. I don’t always understand the plot or enjoy the quick reads. But, Snow Fever by Smita Bhattacharya has changed my opinion completely!

We follow Kirti Pandit and four other people as they embark on a trek in the Himalayas. Kirti is a famous movie star and the rest are a random miscellaneous group of people including her boyfriend. The story is told in about seven chapters, complete with a prologue, epilogue and a chapter in each character’s point of view. This style of writing intrigued me from the very beginning and had me hooked from page 1. The author describes the setting and the beauty of the Himalayas very well. I assume she draws from her own experiences from the treks she has been on (something to be confirmed with Smita at some point!).

This group of people have secrets that none of us would have imagined and we discover them one by one as the story progresses. We also follow the group as we retrace their steps in the time leading up to their deaths. Or was that murder? Who knows? Or maybe someone does! As readers, we do not know what is happening until the end when Smita hits us with a twist that will have us reeling from shock and then understanding of this ingenious plot.

This is indeed a spine chilling quick read that packs a punch indeed. In this short story, Smita delivers a powerful plot that is filled with intrigue and suspense until the very end. The author has a way with words that takes what could have been a simple and straightforward plot and turns it into a thrilling read. There is so much more to this story than what is obvious and it is all wrapped up nicely for us in this amazing Novella. I highly recommend this book to everyone especially to appreciate the way the book is written!

Book Review: Nine Lives by Kevin McManus

Book Blurb:

Nine Lives Book Cover

In Western Ireland in 1979, Hazel Devereaux, a student of Trinity College in Dublin, goes missing while working at a summer job. Six months later her body is discovered in a shallow grave. A line from a poem by Edgar Allan Poe entitled “A Paean” is discovered in an envelope at the house Hazel was renting.

Could this be a calling card of the murderer?

Thirty years later, Detective Ray Logue discovers that a series of murders in Boston appear to be connected to the killings in 1979. Each victim also received a line from the poem by Edgar Allan Poe delivered to their homes.

It becomes evident that a serial killer is at work and has claimed seven lives so far.

The murderer kills two victims every ten years, always on a year ending in nine and always on the same dates in June and December. If he follows the same pattern, he will kill again in less than a fortnight.

Ray Logue is dispatched to Boston to work alongside Detective Olivia Callaghan and Inspector Sam Harper to discover the identity of the murderer and to stop him before he strikes again. Logue’s ‘bull in a china shop’ policing method brings him into conflict with Sam Harper’s more calculated and measured approach.

As a result, trying to work together becomes almost as challenging as catching the serial killer.

But catch a killer they must.

Buy the Book:

About the Author:

Kevin McManus Author Photo

Kevin McManus is an Irish author. He primarily writes Crime Fiction novels but also delves into writing poetry and short stories. He lives in County Leitrim in Western Ireland with his wife Mary and their dog Jack. He works by day as a secondary school teacher. Kevin has produced a series of novels featuring an Irish Detective called Ray Logue and a series based around a New York Detective called John Morrigan. His debut novel published in 2016 was “The Whole of the Moon”. In a previous incarnation, Kevin was a bass guitarist in several rock bands for over twenty year. Kevin is a supporter of Aston Villa FC which has caused him to age prematurely.

Follow him at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Books-by-Kevin-McManus-1075444599167606
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bassbreeze
Amazon : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kevin-McManus/e/B01E4GF0GY/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

My Thoughts:

Nine Lives by Kevin McManus is a wonderfully well-written detective story that takes the reader into the heart of cold cases that seem to resemble the current string of murders. Detective Ray Logue travels to Boston to work on the case alongside two fine and rather interesting people, Detective Olivia Callaghan and Inspector Sam Harper.

I found the working dynamics of this group of people to be quite interesting and each character’s personality was quite different. The plot is well thought out and will definitely hold your attention until the very end. Be prepared to go on a roller coaster ride as we try to find the serial killer alongside some rather fine detectives.

The author brings a unique spin to the plot with the Edgar Allan Poe messages and the patterns behind the killings. With time running out, the detectives are in a race to catch a killer and prevent more murders! This is one worthwhile read and having read this book first, I am going to now go back and read the book that came before this! I have indeed been won over and am a fan of the author’s works!

Note: This review is a part of the blog tour planned by Zooloo’s Book Tours as a part of the promotion leading up to the release of the book.

Nine Live Book Tour Poster

Zooloos Book Tours

Book Review: Guilty by Sadie Ryan

About the Book:

Guilty (1)

𝐀 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐌𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠?

𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫.

Lindy once had the world at her feet. An adoring husband, two beautiful daughters and a successful career.

In a split second, a tragic accident causes Lindy’s world to come crashing down around her.

Mia, a personal fitness trainer and glamorous wife of a local tv personality seems to have everything.  

Slowly Lindy learns more about Mia’s ‘perfect’ life and becomes convinced that they are each other’s saviours.  

As obsessions grow and the lines that shape reality become blurred, Lindy’s and Mia’s lives are now forever dangerously intertwined as personalities merge.

About the Author:

Sadie Ryan Author Photo

Sadie Ryan is the author of three books. Her latest, Guilty came out in April 2021, a psychological thriller. She loves animals and lives in leafy Cheshire in the North West of England with her daughter and rescue dog. When not writing she spends her time reading, gardening, walking her dog or watching old black and white movies.

When asked where she gets her ideas from, she says, ‘From observation, inspiration and lots of wicked thoughts.’

Follow her at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sadieryanauthor
Website : https://www.sadieryan.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/The__SadieRyan

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B092DV5QP4

Amazon USA https://www.amazon.com/Guilty-breathtaking-psychological-thriller-night-ebook/dp/B092DV5QP4

My Thoughts:

Wow! This is one interesting book and not at all what I expected the plot to be like!

Guilty is a psychological thriller that’s unlike any I’ve read before. The story is told from two different perspectives, giving the reader a glimpse into the minds and lives of each of the main characters. It took me a few chapters to grasp the concept, but once in, I was hooked until the very end. This is a rollercoaster of a journey with the craziest twists and the most unexpected turns.

Lindy, one of the main characters is troubled, sad, angry and filled with all kinds of negative emotions. Until we find out what truly happened, all we know is that she is bitter and her perfect life is not as it once was. Mia, a fitness trainer and wife of a famous TV host, seems to have it all; a perfect husband, life and everything. However, when one truly steps into the house, the reality is quite different.

The lives of these two women intersect, not exactly by coincidence and from here starts the crazy journey. Lindy inserts herself into Mia’s life, trying to befriend her it seems. It feels as though Lindy is everywhere and this even feels like she is stalking Mia. What is her interest in this couple? Why is she always seen around them? Why is she watching them?

So many questions arise and are answered as the story progresses. The characters are quite deep and as we get to know them, we start to understand why they are the way they are. In fact, as a reader and person, it is easy to sympathize with them even when they are in the wrong. Their state of mind is something that the author has done a wonderful job of capturing. When the perfection is shattered, what’s underneath brings out the monster in everyone. The author portrays this through this well crafted plot which is executed to perfection. I could not stop reading. I could not stop the horror I felt nor the sadness and all other emotions that go with this book. It is interesting to read about how the mind reacts to situations and then tries to understands them. This is a must must must read for all fans of psychological thrillers!

Tour Schedule:

Guilty Tour Poster (1)

 

Book Review: The Secret Angels by Smita Bhattacharya

About the Book:

♥ A slow-burn atmospheric literary mystery. With armchair travel, intriguing characters, small-town noir, and a troubled heroine. For lovers of Tana French, Veronica Mars, and Sue Grafton. ♥

Darya was meant to be in Mumbai for two months. No more.
It was going to be an ordinary study break. Just that.
Except things didn’t go according to plan.

The year before, Darya accidentally solved the mystery of her uncle’s untimely death in Goa. A year later, she finds herself embroiled in another bizarre mystery: this time at Mumbai’s quirky Chapel Road.

Darya had thought Chapel Road in Bandra was a quaint little lane when she’d decided to rent there. But she soon realizes a tragic mystery is lurking behind its peculiar charm. Three women have disappeared in the past three years, purportedly murdered by a serial killer. No dead bodies have been found and he has never been caught. And now it’s that time of year again. Who will be next?

At first, Darya is only concerned about her creepy landlords, her reticent neighbours, and her temperamental roommate and best friend, Veda. But when one of the missing girls winds up dead in a hotel room, and her roommate, Veda, disappears, Darya is spurred to find out what’s really going on.

But what if it was her life, actually, that was most in danger?

**THE SECRET ANGELS is the second book in the Darya Nandkarni Misadventure series, after KISS OF SALT**

About the Author:

Smita Bhattacharya works as a management consultant and lives in Mumbai. Her short stories have appeared in numerous Indian and international publications. Her books rank among the top Asian Literature & Fiction on Amazon. Strong female protagonists and Agatha Christie-style whodunits are her forte. Smita thrives on crime and coffee. Though she prefers cafés, she occasionally also hangs on Twitter and Instagram @smitabe.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Darya Nandkarni Misadventure series and the second book by Smita that I have read. To be honest, I have been reading the books in the reverse order (I read Who Threw Draco Down the Chimney? first), but I have still enjoyed the books so far.

In short, I would describe this book as unputdownable and intriguing!

Now on to a slightly more detailed review… 🙂

The Secret Angels is a slow-burn atmospheric mystery that takes place in Mumbai. Darya and her friend are staying there for two months and get embroiled in the mystery surrounding the street they are staying at. Three girls from the area have mysteriously disappeared over the last few years and nobody know where they are or whether they are alive. However, when one of them turns up dead, warnings flags are raised in Darya’s mind. Something fishy is going on and she feels the urge to find out what it is before someone else gets hurt.

The characters are wonderfully detailed and well thought-out. Darya has so many layers to her personality that make her immediately likeable and interesting. Veda, her best friend, is a contrast in personality is a welcome addition in portraying the subtle differences in the characters. I also enjoyed reading about the landlords of the villa at which Darya was staying.

Smita has a way with words that draws you in and keeps you reading until the very end. This is a fascinating story filled with the right amount of mystique to keep the reader hooked. As the plot thickens and the story unravels, we discover so many unexpected twists! I whole heartedly recommend this series by Smita (even though I am yet to read the first book in the series, which is now on my TBR and in keeping with my reverse read system for these books 😛 ) for all the mystery lovers out there!

Book Review: His Hidden Wife by Wendy Clarke

About the Book:

The first time you see them, out for an evening walk on the cliffs, you’ll think they’re the perfect family. You’ll see a wife who looks so happy, strolling peacefully beside her husband in his dark winter coat, holding her daughter’s hand. But you have no idea what’s really happening in their house…

If you come a little closer you might hear the way the man speaks to his wife.

You might notice that the woman doesn’t have any close friends. That sometimes her husband doesn’t want her to leave the house. You might wonder if that’s a scar her beautiful daughter is hiding on her neck.

When you read the local newspaper and hear the news that the wife has fallen from the cliffs, you’ll question whether it was really an accident at all.

And when the husband starts dating someone new – a woman with the same long dark hair and big blue eyes as his wife – will you say something this time?

Because someone has to protect the little girl and stop history from repeating itself. And it may already be too late.

A thrilling and twisty tale, His Hidden Wife will keep you up all night, desperate to race through to its final conclusion. Readers of Gone Girl, The Couple Next Door and Lisa Jewell will be hooked.

My Thoughts:

His Hidden Wife is the story of Stephen but is told from two different points of view; that of Maya, his 18 year old and Theresa, his colleague at work. The story centers around the mystery surrounding the death of Maya’s mother. Maya doesn’t remember much with respect to the incident and most people in the village do not talk about it anymore.

The story starts of rather slow, introducing us to the characters and trying to establish some context. I found it a little hard to remain engaged with the book and characters until the second half when the pace picked up. I enjoyed the mysterious nature of the plot and the father/daughter relationship. Stephen is indeed an enigma and I could not understand him until the end. Maya is a confused teenager who is trying to figure out the truth. When her father suddenly reveals that he has met someone new and brings Amy home, seeing her reminds Maya of her mother and brings buried memories to the surface.

Theresa’s story is a different one and honestly I could not understand her role in the book until midway when her friendship with Stephen is explained. We also get a glimpse into her life and family. I was not sure where all this fit into the story , but it helped to give some insight into her character. As Maya struggles to sort out her memories, we reach a point in the story where a lot is revealed and the twist in the end is one noone will see coming! Everyone has secrets and noone wants to reveal them! This was handled well and I like how the author brought out each persons role in the story.

This is the first time I cannot decide how I feel about the book. I cannot also connect the story with the title and synopsis of the book. It feels different and out of place to me. However, I would still recommend this book as it has a good plot, it is well-written and is great for those who enjoy a slow burn mystery. The plot is built up until it explodes in the end with unexpected twists and turns!

Wrap-Up: Books Read in March 2021

Hey guys! 

Here’s my wrap-up post for the Month of March! (A little late for this post, I know! But I have been busy and I lost track of these posts!)

I read 9 books in the month which is a major improvement! I am quite happy to have kept the reading streak going.

I thoroughly enjoyed the below books and as you can see, they span a whole lot of genres which kept me entertained.

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Once Upon A [Broken] Time (Book 3)

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Once again, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts or book recommendations! You can also just stop by to chat, I’m almost always around! 🙂