A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Day Shift – A Book Review)

Day Shift (Midnight Texas #2)

Author: Charlaine Harris

Published: 2015

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated U for going undercover to get rid of the annoying people on your lawn.

 

There is no such thing as bad publicity, except in Midnight, Texas.

Reporters flood Midnight after one of Manfred’s clients, a wealthy widow, dies during a séance. Accused of being a thief, his reputation is at stake. Olivia and Manfred team up to figure out how to keep his reputation intact and keep Midnight safe. In the process, unexpected secrets come to light.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Midnight Hotel just reopened. Acting as a temporary residence for the elderly waiting on openings in livings centers and a place for commuters on temporary jobs. It seems like Midnight’s population just grew.

 

The Midnight, Texas trilogy is a part of my New Year’s resolution and this is 2 of 3.

 

MC - amazon

Amazon

Midnight Crossroad review – here

 

The cute and supernatural town of Midnight gets a little more exciting as the Midnight Hotel opens and a were-tiger comes to town. New drama and new characters bring new adventures. Olivia gets her assassin on in this book and has a little too much fun
(as if there was such a thing). I love her sass. She’s such a badass. I also like that she does show that things bother her. While this series still comes across a little too vague for me, I really enjoyed it. She really stood out in this book. It was her time to shine. Even more, she teamed up with Manfred and thus one of my favorite bromances came into being on the page. I loved them teaming up in the show and seeing it the books makes me geek out hard.

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Many little seeds planted in the book seem to be getting ready to bloom and I look forward to the final book to see what comes of them!

Barry of True Blood had a cameo! I had heard he did and it was one of the teeny reasons I was excited to read the books. He got his own storyline and got to give all Sookie Stackhouse fans a squee of joy. It’s just too bad he couldn’t find a home in Midnight. I’ve always believed that Barry was one of the most underrated characters. I wish he had his own book series. He’s such an interesting character.

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This community feel is one I love so much. Midnight is quaint and cute and just the norm that I think people wish they had in their own towns. I still wish it was more rewarding in its details. I’m being stickler about it and I don’t care. I also don’t care that I’m sounding greedy. There just wasn’t enough for me to feel deathly attached. If any of these characters dropped dead I wouldn’t really care and that’s a bummer. No, that’s a lie. I’d feel bad if Mr. Snuggly died, and I hate cats. He’s just sarcastic and funny.

 

Overall

Still a delight to read. Very humble and sweet. This is a town I’d love to live in. I still feel like while I’m getting beautiful imagery, I’m not getting enough from the characters. But, like many people in the real world, they have their secrets. It makes it relatable, hard to care about sadly. I can’t wait to read the final book. And yes, I’ll say it again, BARRY DESERVES HIS OWN BOOK(S).

 

Quotables:

“Manfred reminded himself that while his car was humble, it was paid for, that he didn’t need a house, and that adding a room to the lawyer’s house was better than being in jail.” (p. 150)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Bright Lights by Matchbox Twenty.

 

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Two For One Special (Lothaire – A Book Review)

Lothaire (Immortals After Dark #12)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

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Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Rated D for domineering, douchy, dreadful vampires that are over-sexed.

 

All fear the enemy of old

A deadly force dwells within her

Centuries of cold indifference shattered

Driven by revenge and desperation, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, Lothaire, has plans to take the Horde’s crown, but not until he’s found his bride. Ellie Peirce grew up in Appalachia but always wanted a better life for herself. Getting possessed by a goddess was not what she meant. Now in the clutches of Lothaire and his demands, Ellie comes up with a devious plan to get free.

As Lothaire searches for the magical relic that will help him and his goddess be together he begins to wonder if she truly is his bride that was promised to him. But that’s impossible. He despises humans and swore to never fall for one. He battles his emotions, struggling to figure out who he’ll choose.

 

I am a BIG fan of Kresley Cole. Massive! I’m head over heels for her Arcana Chronicles series. I saw this in the bookstore and went for it. I couldn’t wait to see what she had in store for me. Not going to lie, I got major True Blood vibes, guys.

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Vampires! Love’em. Hate’em. They play a major part in stories. I love them. From Dracula to Twilight. There’s always something new brought to the mythos of the creature of the night. This one wasn’t up there for me though. I’m all for lusty fun. But this breached the kind of thing that isn’t fun and that’s when a person is being treated like an imprisoned object to be thrown aside. Because I couldn’t get past that I couldn’t fully get into the story sadly.

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While the story spans the life of an ancient vampire, the story was fast-paced. I love the way Cole can write like that. She keeps me on the edge of my seat and the pages turning fast. I loved how she could turn this on its head so fast. One moment there’s a fight for survival happening and the next the throes of heavy lusty sex are making me breathless. Like, whoa.

 

Overall

It’s not a bad read. Not at all. This just wasn’t my scene. Obsessive is cute. So is possessive. But, there’s a line to be drawn and not crossed for me. And it crossed, therefore, crossing this book from my like list. I mean, Ellie was sassy, but Lothaire was incredibly overpowering and disgusting. I can’t get over how he was. If you liked this book then awesomesauce. Just not for me.

 

Quotables:

“Life in every cursed drop.” (p. 261)

“I’m twenty-four years old. I’ve spent more than twenty percent of my life on death row. And I’ve still known more happiness in my short life than you have in your unending one.” (p. 295)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Bad Things by Jace Everett.

 

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Weaving Across Europe (Shadow of Night – A Book Review)

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for witchy time-tampering and tinkering.

 

In every ending there is a new beginning.

Diana and Matthew’s timewalk to Elizabethan London is a success. There, they meet more of Matthew’s friends and family, including his father who isn’t alive in their time. While the two move across England searching for a witch that can help Diana reach her full potential as a witch, they also discover they have a shot at seeing the Book of Life in its entirety.

They are quickly drawn into the world of the past, the historian in Diana living in a dream come true while Matthew tries to fix things he didn’t during this time. Caught up in the times, the two must be careful, for their actions may have consequences in the future. And where there is shadow there is light.

 

The All Souls Trilogy is a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is book 2 of 3.

 

This story only gets better and better! I’m not much of a history buff, but this time travel was amazing! Harkness didn’t spare a single detail. I was utterly beguiled by the scenery and magic. It was so beautiful! From the dangerous encounters to all of the magic to the true love and endearing family, I am just so here for it. Meeting Phillipe, Matthew’s father, and Gallowglass, his nephew, was among my favorite! For vampires, they’re so lively and their loyalty was unyielding. Such admirable characters once again.

Side Note: They’re terrible at keeping secret that they’re from the future. LOL.

There were so many new characters! I was so excited. There were also some familiar ones like Christopher Marlowe, who by the way was an utter douchebag. Brilliant mind! Evil little snit. Many others of history made a cameo and it was so beautiful interwoven with this magical story.

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Matthew and Diana’s love still has me mesmerized. It’s complicated and tail-spinning and surprising. They’re unconventional and there’s the struggle of finding equal partnership as well as being able to let each other into each other’s lives. Of course, there were times I shook my head because they could get super lovey-dovey and it would come off strong and maybe a little cheesy. Diana and Matthew are such strong characters and put a lot of faith in one another. The obstacles they face in this book are mainly themselves and allowing themselves to open up and not let their faults get in the way of how they feel and to accept and move past these faults. My emotions were a-stirrin’.

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Overall

This trilogy has dragged me in further and further. Just complex and original. As such an avid lover of the paranormal, I’d started to wonder if I’d read and seen everything magic had to offer. This trilogy still blows me out of the water! Harkness’s way with words is poetic and filled with splendor. Also, I’ve caught the sneak peeks of season 2 of A Discovery of Witches on Twitter and I am so effing EXCITED!!!! I recommend all of it; the show and the books.

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Quotables:

“Giving a woman your whole life is meaningless without giving her your whole heart as well. You should pay more attention to the conclusion of that love token, not just the beginning.” (Phillipe to Matthew, p. 113)

“Mark me well, Diana: Lives will be lost because of your love for my son. Some will sacrifice themselves. Others will die because someone must, and it will be for you to decide if it is you or them or someone you love…” (Phillipe to Diana, p. 160)

“Whoever could have imagined that the lost Book of Life would stink to high heaven of death?” (p. 462)

“After all my searching, I discover that I am who I always was: Matthew de Clermont. Husband. Father. Vampire. And I am here for only one reason: To make a difference.” (Matthew to Diana, p. 469)

“Nightmares are like Master Harriot’s star glass. They are a trick of the light, one that makes something distant seem closer and larger than it really is.” (Matthew to Jack, p. 552)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Way Down We Go by Kaleo.

 

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The Missing, The Lost, and The Brokenhearted (TVD: The Hunters Vol. 2 – Moonsong – A Book Review)

The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 2 – Moonsong
Author: L. J. Smith
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

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Harper Collins

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated

 

Evil never dies…

 The time has come. The gang is finally going to college. As they settle into their dorms and classes at Dalcrest, there are strange things happening. Students are disappearing, some of which are reappearing dead. There’s a secret society roaming about and nobody’s talking about it, but it may have something to do with the disappearances.

This beautiful, ivy-covered campus is more than what meets the eye and it seems like Elena and her friends might not get that normal college experience they were hoping for.

 

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 1: Phantom: Review Here

 

This book was really great. Way better than TVD Phantom. There’s a new setting and new people. Just so much new! It’s like a breath of fresh air.

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With new characters like Samantha and Zander, I was so excited to jump into this new era. I really liked these two new additions. They’re mysterious and intriguing. And I find new additions to series always keep things interesting. College was by far one of my most trying, most nerve-wracking, and most favorite time of my life. I was finding independence and myself. That’s exactly what happened for Elena and crew. It reactivated some of my giddiness.

But while there are new things happening, some of the old still resonates, like the triangle between Elena, Stefan, and Damon. Love never dies eh? I was more shocked than usual about the tension between the three of them.

More so, I was super pleased that Bonnie got her light to shine in! She got the guy this time and he’s nearly her opposite, but not! While she gets her tendencies to be shy and nervous and not at all adventurous unless put in mortal danger, Zander (new hotness) really broke past that. I really like this guy. These two are actually the reason I can’t wait to get to the final book of this very Star-Wars-long series. Then again, Bonnie has always been my favorite. I’m just really glad she got her chance. She’s deserved it for a VERY long time now.

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The big bad of the book is still a mysterious one that kept me guessing until the end. I got inklings and ideas, but I was never certain until it all about punched me in the face. Even so, the big bad is still around and all I can say about it is: sometimes you wish they’d just stay dead.

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Great writing, still reaching out to the simple days when complex didn’t have to be complex and it could just be attention-grabbing and simple. Enjoyable. Entertaining. You don’t have to twist my heart so hard that you give me anxiety.

 

Overall

The maturity in this book has grown with the characters and I really liked that. I also really liked the way the supernatural interacted too. It was creepy, yet eye-catching. This book doesn’t reach my favorites shelf, but I did enjoy it.

 

Quotables:

“Honestly, you two have a—a saving people complex or something. After I take psychology, I’m going to diagnose you.” (Bonnie to Elena and Meredith, p. 39)

“I thought the food at college would be more edible than in our high school cafeteria, but apparently I was wrong.” (Elena, p. 71)

“I don’t always want to get away from the dark creatures, Damon.” (Elena to Damon, p. 293)

“Oh, don’t forget that humans can come up with far more creative means of violence than some simple hungry monster do, sweetheart.” (Damon, p. 301)

 

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? The Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani.

 

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Hey Jealousy…NOT By the Gin Blossoms (The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 1: Phantom.)

The Vampire Diaries: Phantom (The Hunters: Vol. 1)
Author: L. J. Smith
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

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Harper Collins

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for the skeletons coming out of the closet getting ignored and frustrating the hell out of you.

 

Dear Diary, I am home!

We did it. We saved everyone.

Everyone except Damon…

The supernatural damage and invasion from evil spirits have been erased from the destruction of the town to the trauma of the townspeople. Even those who died have been back from the dead. Almost everyone. Damon Salvatore who’d died saving everyone in the Dark Dimension.

Elena and her friends have been given a second chance. They’ve graduated high school and are determined to spend their last summer before going to college. Fun gets put on hold however when something strange begins to happen to everyone. Jealousies and tension rise between the friends, straining relationships and bringing about truths they didn’t expect.

As things come to light, Elena struggles with her dreams of Damon. That can’t connected be to anything though, right? Damon’s gone. It’s just her grief, right? Then why is she having this gnawing feeling that it’s more?

 

I can’t believe I’ve finally gotten to the third part of the TVD trilogy of trilogies. It has been SO FREAKING LONG! Like, seriously. I finished Shadow Souls back in high school and then just couldn’t get to The Hunters until now.

This was not my favorite installation. Elena became so whiney and selfish and I was not having it. Not. At. All. NOPE. All of this shed such a harsh light on her and it made me feel so bad for Bonnie. It’s always been my belief that she deserved great things and when she admitted how she felt in regard to Elena and Meredith—small and living in their shadow—it hurt. It’s what I’ve believed since the very beginning and to hear her confirm it broken my friggin heart. She’s such a bubble of delight and so powerful and everybody just uses her and then dismisses her like she’s nothing! GAH! And this was the worst book to showcase this.

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I was so glad Bonnie got it off of her chest. It was also epic to see Elena fall flat on her face a few times too, both literally and metaphorically.

There was a new addition to the TVD-verse and her name is Celia. Alaric returns to the series with her, his research partner. She’s not my favorite and quite stuck up. But, she made for an interesting half-triangle with Alaric and Meredith.

The big bad being a demon is interesting, but I didn’t find it that well developed. It was very underwhelming. I didn’t get a good visual of it either. It was just…pathetic. Ugh. I hate to say that, but it’s true. There could’ve been so much more to make it more interesting. It fell so short.

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Overall

A great start and such an interesting result, but the big reveal was not big at all. Not my favorite book of the series. So, low on the bar. On to the next one!

 

Quotables:

“We’ve all been given another chance. We did it. We saved everyone…Everyone except Damon…And vampires don’t reincarnate. They don’t go to Heaven, or Hell, or any kind of afterlife. They just…disappear.” (Elena, p. 9)

“He was a monster. He was supposed to be a monster, to take blood unflinchingly, to kill without a second thought or care.” (Damon, p. 275)

“They’ve doomed you, just like they doomed the one they really loved.” (Jealousy Demon, p. 352)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

  1. S. Song today? Paralyzer by Finger Eleven.

 

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Wet Hot Vampire Summer (The Traveling Vampire Show – A Book Review)

The Traveling Vampire Show
Author: Richard Laymon
Published: 2001

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated: M for mature themes.

 

See.

Watch.

Tremble.

Scream.

A hot summer of 1963, there are flyers tacked up all over Grandville, advertising for the Traveling Vampire Show for one night only. The main event: the alluring and blood-draining Valeria.

After a bet is made, three teenagers: Dwight, Slim, and Rusty, are determined to get in to see the show even though only those who are over eighteen are admitted. The day is long and after a dog attack, deceiving friends, and strange break-ins, they wonder if they should go and what might await if they do.

 

This was a pretty good book. Definitely not your typical summer adventure. I’ve never read Richard Laymon before. I’m glad I got too.

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Slipping into the paranormal/horror genre, this book takes place in the small town of Grandville and everybody knows everybody’s business. By the end of this book, hell, not even, a good quarter of the way in, I knew the ins and outs of this town. The description, imagery, and world-building was superb! The entire book took place during the course of an entire day and it was so in depth and extended without a boring drag. It was warm, dry, and breezy during a time when you didn’t have to be afraid that somebody would break into your home. It was safe.

Pretty campy and fun and even humorous at times; yes, these are a few of my favorite things. Such a good Fright Night vibe. I was digging it.

Scarlet Reader - Traveling Vampire Show

I really liked Dwight and Slim, but found Rusty to be a horrifying little troll I wanted to shove off of a bridge. His little sister was a needy little imp too. They both made my jaw drop to the ground with horror. Cruel, liars, and completely spineless, the two of them are vicious and I couldn’t believe that Dwight was friends with them. Slim however, was so kick-ass. Tomboy with the curves, she’s gone through her own hell and is so strong for it! And she’s so smart. It’s is my absolute favorite thing about this book that she takes up the names of literary characters over her own name. I am in complete awe of her.

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This book really took me for a ride. There was nothing cut and dry about it. Shockers and sharp turns were around every page and really got me feeling paranoid. Laymon really got my skin creeping with goosebumps on the way to the book’s main event. Fantastic with the build-up and extra side stories that allowed me to get to know the characters so much more. I love it when there’s side stories, and he wrote them so well! I’m mind-blown. So fantastically done without breaking the flow or steering away from the main story i.e. getting to this vampire show.

 

Overall

A pretty good read. I was addicted. It’s not like it was some life-defining read, but it was a good book. Great for a summer time read. Certainly, for mature audiences too.

 

Quotables:

“Most of us tell ourselves we don’t believe in that sort of stuff, but maybe that’s because we’re afraid to they might exist. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens from outer space, black magic, the devil, hell…maybe even God.” (Slim, p. 43)

“And even if you could somehow sort out the whys and find the truth, maybe it’s better if you don’t.” (Dwight, p. 51)

“The blood’ll bring vampires like chum brings sharks.” (p. 352)

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Song today? House of the Rising Sun by The Animals

 

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Thin Line Between Love and Alchemy (Bloodlines – A Book Review)

Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Bloodlines - The Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

18/25

Love and loyalty run deeper than blood.

Sydney Sage is still suffering repercussions for aiding dhampir Rose Hathaway in a shaky alliance that has deemed her a vampire sympathizer by everyone. Alchemists believe that vampires—Dhampir, Moroi, and Strigoi are unnatural creatures, but they’re not there to stop them. They’re there to protect humans.

Awoke in the middle of the night, Sydney is given a second chance when charged with guarding the young Moroi, Jill Dragomir—younger sister of Queen Lissa Dragomir—at a California boarding school after an assassination attempt. As they try to adjust to being roommates at Amberwood Prep, threats, distractions, and forbidden romance test Sydney’s patience. She can’t risk getting to close to Jill or else she’ll lose whatever chance she has at regaining her family’s trust, but she’s beginning to care about Jill as she gets to know her and discovers her secrets.

This book marks 18 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve heard many good and interesting things about Vampire Academy. I also find alchemy to be intriguing.

I never read Vampire Academy. *GASP* I know. I know. How incredulous. There was and still quite a hubbub about it just like with Twilight and Shadowhunters and I just can’t get myself to. Not right this second anyway. Something about it having so much attention makes it feel overhyped and I don’t want to be overhyped in case my expectations take a shit. So there are a few titles on hold, but I’m going to say this spin-off is a delightful gateway.

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I must say, while I expected more than just an investigation into students getting freaky abilities from metallic tattoos and Jill being stalked, I was intrigued. I find alchemy to be an interesting subject. Science + Magic = Alchemy. And Richelle brought a mysterious, heroic elegance to it. Alchemists are granted abilities, but like with the vampires of this universe, they aren’t invincible. I found that to be creative. The structure and building of this world was really interesting. I just wish there had been more to the supernatural feel.

Sydney (an alchemist) and Adrian (a vampire) were quite the opposites while Jill was softhearted with her other guardian, Eddie, secretly pining after her. Richelle created a delicate balance with these characters. I really enjoyed how she wrote them. They each had their own personal struggles that you wouldn’t see on the outside because they’re so well guarded. These characters didn’t give me any kind of over-dramatic feels even though there were times I wish they did. Sydney was serious while Adrian was comical. That can always be a fun dynamic. They were sweet, each like a flower. Maybe that’s tacky, but that’s how it was to me. There was an elegance.

I wasn’t thrown for any loops. Some parts were actually pretty predictable, but that didn’t make it any less entertaining when the villainy targeting both Sydney and Jill was revealed. It was the emotional pull that kept me attached. Sydney, though she tried not to, she became attached to Jill and even to Eddie. She didn’t wish any harm to them, though to others they, along with Adrian, are considered unnatural beasts. I could really feel that connectivity and that really kept me engrossed.

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Overall

This was a book that had me a little curious, but it didn’t strike me as super interesting. I hope to read the next book though. I’m hoping to see what happens between Sydney and Adrian, because there’s DEFINITELY something bubbling between them. I also want to see more supernatural bits and rebellion. Sydney seems like the type that just might rebel. While this book didn’t feel intoxicated with the usual dose of magic and supernatural, it did strike closer to realism.

Quotables:

“It didn’t matter that people expected everything of me and nothing of him. We were still the same, both of us constantly trying to break out of the lines that others had defined for us and be our own person.” (Sydney, p. 282)

“Something in the way he was looking at me froze me up and made my stomach do flip-flops though I couldn’t quite articulate why. I only knew that he looked as though he was seeing me for the first time.” (Sydney, p. 413)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Secrets by OneRepublic.

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