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Book review: Looking for La La by Ellie Campbell

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*Copy provided by authors in exchange for an honest review*

You think that your life is perfect, you have a home, a loving husband and two adorable children. You think that your husband loves you more than anything in the world, and then suddenly postcards arrive for him signed with lipstick kisses. What would you do?

The story is centered around Cathy, a stay-at-home mum looking for a job. No one understands her or how hard it is to take care of the children and the house. And when her husband starts to receive love postcards from another woman, Cathy just snaps. She has to find that La La. But looking for the culprit is not that easy at all. Who the hell is La La?

I adored Cathy as a MC, she is such an extraordinary character. She is anything but boring. Looking for her husband’s mistress, she gets herself into so many embarassing and hilarious situations, you’ll need a tissue for the tears from laughing. It’s like Bridget Jones looking for Mark Darcy’s mistress. Poor Declan, her husband. He can’t prove he is innocent. Cathy wants to believe him, but postcards keep coming, signed with kisses. Everyone is a suspect. That secretary of Declan’s always talks how amazing he is. And they always stay late at work. Is La La just a joke, or there is something more going on?

The Campbell duo write in such a humorous way, I couldn’t stop giggling while reading the book. Trust me when I say your stomach will hurt from all the laughing. Just imagine Bridget Jones as a detective. I surely did. This story is not just a romcom, but also has some thriller and murder elements. Spiced with all that humor and mystery, Looking For La La is an excellent and such an enjoyable read. It’s exactly what you need at the end of a long and exhausting day.

My rating: 5/5

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Book review: Escape For The Summer by Ruth Saberton

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*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

This is my first Ruth Saberton book, but now after finishing it I can only say it certainly won’t be the last. I enjoyed the story so much that now I’m on a search of other books from Ms. Saberton. This story is anything but boring.

The plot is centered around three young women, Andi, Angel and Gemma. The three main characters are so hilarious, so adorable, yet at the same time very down-to-earth. Miranda (Andi) finds out that her boyfriend took all her money from her credit card. The same day when she discovers this, she loses her job and comes home earlier, just to find out that Tom is sleeping with the neighbor next door.What else can go wrong?

Andi’s little sister, Angelique or Angel, works as an beautician. She is not very happy with her rich Russian customer who seems that can never be pleased. And that lady has a huge mole on her face that’s very very hard not to stare at. But this time the mole looks swollen. After her mother died from skin cancer, Angel is very concerned about this thing. To tell or not to tell? The Russian lady is very offended so Angel loses her job.

Angel’s best friend Gemma is an actress. But working on TV means each day she faces one tough competition with all those skinny models. She loves to bake, eat and naturally seems to always struggle with her weight.

What happens when all your ships sink? You go back to the last place where you were happy and try to start all over again.

The plan is to go back to the Rock, the place Andi and Angel used to visit for the summer. Here they can relax and make some plans for the future. While Andi wants nothing but to chill and move on with her life, Angel thinks of finding the best way to grab herself a millionaire. Gemma wants to enter that realty TV show for losing weight that is located on the Rock.

Escape For The Summer is very enjoyable read. You’ve got everything here, from famous and rich people,  to TV celebrities. You might find out that behind all those titles and TV masks are just ordinary people who are trying to be happy. And these three women accidentally put themselves in so many hilarious situations. So, if you need a read that can make you escape your reality and make you feel like you’re vacationing with your best friends, this is the perfect read for you.

My rating: 4.5/5

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Blog Tour: Sinfully Summer by Aimee Duffy Review + Giveaway

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Here to put a little sizzling sunshine in your life is the Sinfully Summer Tour!

The smash-hit contemporary romance novel by Aimée Duffy has just been released in paperback so take a look at the details to find out why fans are loving it! There will be reviews and guest posts along the way, plus the chance to win a personalised signed copy of the book.

Unknown-415Sinfully Summer – Aimée Duffy

What they say:

A Summer Bonkbuster perfect for fans of Jackie Collins, Tilly Bagshawe, Jilly Cooper and Victoria Fox!

SUN, SEA AND SEX

FLINGS & FLIRTATIONS

Notorious heiress Alexa Green has certainly been enjoying her most recent girls-holiday in Marbella. Just as we thought, she’s been knocking back the cocktails and showing off her fabulous bikini body on the beach…

SECRETS & SCANDALS

But rumour has it she’s also been spotted sneaking out of Enrique Castillo’s penthouse in the early hours of this morning – in nothing but her underwear! Our question is, doesn’t this fiercely private billionaire know what he’s letting himself in for?
He’s got the millions… and she knows how to spend them! So lie back on your sun lounger and get comfortable, because this summer fling is going to be a sizzler!

 

Our review

 

*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

I really should have read this book by the beach! Look at that summery cover and all those vibrant colors! Sinfully Summer is one of those books that should come with a cocktail and lots of sun. Unfortunately the weather out here is crazy and been raining and grey mostly, however Aimee managed to transport me to sunny Marbella and its beautiful beaches.

This is a rather short, but very much sweet read. It’s one of those you’ll finish in one sitting, cover to cover, maybe even on your lunch breaks. It follows the story of Alexa, a bit of a spoilt, wild party-girl who’s on a vacation with her girls. Under very strange and embarrassing conditions, she meets Ric the hotel owner, an up tight businessman who asks (or shall I say forces) her to help him out organize a charity ball.

The writing is easy to follow and I really liked the immediate chemistry between Alexa and Ric, however there were few things that bothered me. As much as I tried to, I couldn’t relate to Alexa and despite the fact she’s trying to act mature I still thought she’s very spoilt. I also didn’t like the way Ric is blackmailing her to help him out.

However, Sinfully Summer is definitely a nice beach read, perfect to get your mind off serious matters and every day problems. I wish it was a bit longer though, because maybe I’d got to see more of Alexa’s character and like her more. I loved the setting and think I should definitely re-read it for my summer holidays.

If you’re looking for an easy, romance read and a short getaway from all your daily troubles, look no further. I’m sure you’d love to visit Marbella, just make sure you don’t forget getting a nice cold drink.

My rating: 3/5

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Click Here To Buy The Paperback

Want the book instantly? CLICK HERE to download the eBook via Amazon UK or CLICK HERE to download the eBook via Amazon US.

images-257Author Bio:

Aimée writes steamy, contemporary romance for the 21st century woman who enjoys the 21st century alpha male. She’s addicted to reading, shopping and can’t go a day without music. When she’s not writing you can find her traipsing up the Ochils (weather permitting of course) or procrastinating on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow Aimée
Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest / Google +

 

***GIVEAWAY***

Enter the giveaway and you could land yourself a personalised signed copy of Sinfully Summer, the book readers have dubbed “Sexy”, “Fun” and a “Must Read!”

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CandleLit Author Services and Aimée Duffy reserve the right to amend the giveaway details at any time and without prior notice. No responsibility is taken in the event of prize non-delivery.

 

Book review: Four-Leaf Clover by Charmaine Ross

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*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Charmaine Ross is a new author to me, and I always get way too excited over an opportunity to check new writers and their work. So, when Chairmaine posted the NG link to her book in a thread in one of the GR groups I’m in, I immediately downloaded it. 

Clover Loveday is the owner of Four-Leaf Clover Café and is doing her best to make that place big and comfortable for the customers. She’s however soon to meet her biggest (but darn sexy) competition, Liam. So, though Clover really dislikes Liam at the beginning, things for her start moving into an unexpected direction.

Now this was a really short, sweet and predictable story. I am not one of those who gives a lower rating in case I find the story predictable, because most of the times it’s not the originality of the story that fascinates me, but the way it was told. I’m also one of those who likes to either LOVE or strongly hate the characters, I need to feel something for them even if it’s negative. It means they got me intrigued enough. Baring this in mind and seeing my rating, you’d say that while I did like this book generally, I did have some issues with it. Well, that’s totally true!

The format of the copy I got from NG was seriously annoying me, but that’s not the problem with the author or the story. So at the same time, it’s not the reason for the 3*. However, while the writing is good and I liked the story, I can’t say that it’s one of those that are memorable. It’s either that, or I read way too many books, so I just couldn’t say I found something which will make this book stand out from others and make me remember it even months from now. 
Also, as much as I like sweet reads, it was a bit too sweet at times. I know romance is supposed to make us all happy and stuff like that, but sometimes I just feel like reading a romance which feels more real and believable. Sometimes I don’t, but that totally depends on the mood I’m in. 

But I’m sure of one thing, it’s definitely an easy and sweet romance with a HEA, I’m sure many would enjoy.

My rating: 3/5

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Book review: The Divorced Not Dead Workshop by CeCe Osgood

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*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

Dorsey Bing got divorced five years ago. Since than, boyfriends come and go, no one is “the real thing’. So she has an idea, to create a workshop for divorced people, how to move on after the divorce. Her only supporter is her friend Pilar. But Dorsey’s widowed stepfather is getting married and the bride, Audrey,wants Dorsey to be her bridesmaid. They organize the wedding on a cruise, the very same weekend when the workshop starts. Plan B: The workshop moves on the cruise. But Pilar is nowhere to be seen, so Dorsey starts on her own. But she never planned her ex Theo to show up on the boat. Also, that horrible Finn, Audrey’s nephew is there for the wedding. And Dorsey has to run the workshop all by herself.

Dorsey Bing is such an adorable MC. Always clumsy, with so many bright ideas, always there for the others. She is really a nice person, but when it comes to men, she always listens to others. After the break-up with Theo, her recent boyfriend, she doesn’t trust men anymore. But there is Finn, Audrey’s nephew who’s always been the bad boy, according to Theo. He shows up on the wedding, and there is Theo again, trying to gain her heart again. Dorsey reminds me a lot of Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Who is Mr. Darcy, well, I’ll leave you to read the book.

The adventureon the boat is full of emotional moments, but funny ones too. There were many scenes that made me laugh so hard. Dorsey and Pilar are such a dynamic duo. And the boys, well Finn, with that British accent, mmmm! And Theo has such a gorgeous body.

Overall, it’s a enjoyable read with a serious theme to discuss, how to move on after the divorce. I loved all the characters and the plot, which reminded me a lot of Pride and Prejudice, as I mentioned before. It’s an interesting mix and I totally enjoyed it.

My rating: 4/5

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Blog Tour ‘Heartbreak Cake’ by Cindy Arora – Guest Post + Giveaway

Hey guys, today we are part of another awesome tour. This time we’re touring with Cindy Arora, the author of ‘Heartbreak Cake’. This is Cindy’s debut and she’s also one of the authors of the ‘Merry & Bright’ anthology which was published last Christmas. Today, Cindy is here with her post and has an awesome giveaway for you (details to be found at the end of the post). So, make sure you visit the other stops on her blog tour, read on her post and make sure you enter the giveaway. Very soon we’ll be reviewing ‘Heartbreak Cake’ so stayed tuned! Many thanks to lovely Cindy for being our guest on the blog today!

 

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Can Your Chick Lit Heroine Be A Mistress?

By Cindy Arora

I just finished watching the first two seasons of the show Scandal (http://abc.go.com/shows/scandal), and am completely hooked. Nighttime soap operas are not typically my wheelhouse. But one of the main things I love about the show is the heroine– a strong, brilliant, fiercely independent woman who also happens to be wrapped up in a complicated, messy, passionate, multilayered relationship with a married man.

Did I mention that he’s the President of the United States? It’s a delicious mess.

Since releasing HEARTBREAK CAKE in the fall one of the more poignant questions I get asked by readers is why I chose to tell the love story of a woman detangling herself from a relationship with a married man. It’s not always a popular topic and a lot of readers don’t always want to hear the story of The Other Woman. She’s not typically the character you root for, but in the case of Indira, her story isn’t just about infidelity. It’s about renewal.

Her story is weaves the classic tale of how one bad choice can lead to a negative domino effect that touches every aspect of one’s life. In Indira’s case, it’s her love life, friends, family and ultimately –her career, which was the one place where she felt safe, stable and in control.

Yet, taking chances (as illogical as they may be) when it comes to love is what we love about our Chick Lit heroines. They are feisty, spirited and don’t always make the best choices … but they always try to figure out how they can fix it so they can grow and become a better woman and at heroine to admire.

Feminist and author ― Simone de Beauvoir once said: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”   Which is ultimately the journey I intended for Indira in order to become a better version of herself.  She is undeniably flawed, but is ready for significant change for herself.

And like all good Chick Lit heroines, she does it with spirit, sass, her favorite pair of jeans and her best friends. Oh and chocolate cake. Always chocolate cake.

 

About the Author

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Cindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in Saveur, Tasting Table, Orange Coast Magazine and Fodor’s. She’s also a mother, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a Chick Lit author. Heartbreak Cake is her debut novel. 
GIVEAWAY:
Thanks to lovely Cindy, we have one paperback of ‘Heartbreak Cake’ (US only) and one e-book (INTERNATIONAL) to give away. The winner will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize by responding to our e-mail. In case we don’t hear from them in 48 h, we’ll have to pick another winner. This Chick Reads is not responsible for the delivering of your prize. This giveaway is sponsored by Cindy Arora. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

 

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Book review: Synchronized Breathing by Tara Ellison

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*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

Scarlett thinks that she has everything, a gorgious husband, a lovely little son, a job. That’s until she finds out her husband’s little secret, and decides to leave him. Under her mother’s roof again, with a little boy in the package, Scarlett has to start all over again. But being a single mum is not an easy job at all. Finding a flexible job (bills have to be paid), looking for the One, starting all over again, takes a lot of efforts. Her mother CeCe is not a role model for a mother. She moves a lot, jumps from one man to another all the time. Even if she is little crazy, she loves her family very much and always has a good advice in store (well, sort of).

Scarlett is a strong person as a MC, most of the time. She longs for that everlasting love, for the life she never had, for the place called home she never had. But you have to kiss many frogs until you find the prince. She longs for that moment when you lay with your man together and breathe as one, being one. But she has a son, a cute little boy named Oliver, and not all men want commitments. Scarlett is a good mother, her son always comes first.She wants to be a better mother than CeCe. So when Scarlett has to choose between the man she loves and her boy, she does what every mother would do, chooses her son. Even if I doubted her from time to time, I really respect her for that.

Overall, Synchronized Breathing is a loveable emotional read about starting anew, about coping with issues being a single mother. You have to take every chance to rebuild your life again. I had some doubts while reading some parts, but overall, it’s a great debut.

My rating: 3.5/5

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Book review: Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not by Elle Field + INT giveaway

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Meet Angelica, or Geli (as her friends call her), the writer of the famous column Hot or Not. Writing the most impressive columns and getting the boyfriend of her dreams, she seems to have it all. Until, a photo on Facebook ruins it all.

Her archenemy Tiggy is getting married.

Tiggy is also Geli’s stepsister and she has to attend the wedding. Just how on earth, the most selfish bitch got the most gorgeous and nicest man in the world?

There are things about Geli that I loved. I was so impressed with her way of doing her job. I laughed so hard at the conversation about Hilary-Obama marathon. Poor Geli, she thought it was all about two sportists running a real marathon. Well, not everyone is interested in politics. On the other hand, seeing all friends’ statuses changed into “engaged”, makes her feel jelous. Her sister is getting married, her archenemy is getting married, however she is not getting married. So what!?! She’s just twenty-five. Everyone has fears that will stay single for the rest of the life while all the others are getting married. But Geli suddenly starts to show interest for Tiggy’s boyfriend. Not Hot, at least for me. Her attitude was little bit annoying sometimes, but that made her appear only more real. Nor good or bad, just ordinary girl with feelings.

Geli’s family life is like a telenovela. Tiggy was her best friend until she lost her virginity with Geli’s boyfriend. Geli and Tiggy’s families were best friends until Tiggy’s father died and couple of months later, Geli’s father divorced her mom and married Tiggy’s mom. So the girl she hated the most became her stepsister. And she hates her.

Theo is Geli’s gorgeous boyfriend. She always admires his well-shaped body. He knows about politics and he reads her column. What’s more to ask? Is this guy real?

Tiggy always has two faces. One as a mask, the other one is real. Everything is just a play for her. She seems so nice, but than, boom, she stucks a knife in the back. The author created a reading that was fun and entertaining to read. It made me laugh so many times. Sometimes it made me feel like watching a telenovela. I liked the way it was narated and how characters were developed. Overall, I did enjoy it and will be on a watch out for Elle’s upcoming novels.

My rating: 3.5/5

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GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to lovely Elle, we have one paperback of ‘Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not’ to give away. The giveaway is open internationally and closes on April 25th. The winner will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize by responding to our e-mail. In case we don’t hear from them in 48 h, we’ll have to pick another winner. This Chick Reads is not responsible for the delivering of your prize. This giveaway is sponsored by Elle Field. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

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Book review: Honeymoon in Paris by Juliette Sobanet + INT Giveaway

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*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

I’m a HUUUGEEE fan of Juliette Sobanet and she got on my list of favorite authors immediately after I read her debut ‘Sleeping with Paris’ (back in 2011). That book was just so much fun! Naturally, I was over the moon when I got the opportunity to read the sequel and see what Charlotte is up to now.

For those who haven’t read ‘Sleeping with Paris’, fear not my friends. There’s enough information in this sequel about the MC’s past, so it can be easily read as a stand-alone. Still, I advise you to read the first part too, mostly because of it’s awesomeness.

So, lovely Charlotte is back, now she’s a year older and more mature and she’s marrying the love of her life. The wild lady who started up a blog dedicated to how to date like a man, fell madly in love, stopped blogging and decided to dedicate herself to Luc and her stepdaughter.

And she’s gonna have the honeymoon every woman dreams of, except…of meeting Luc’s ex-wife. No, that part is definitely more like a worse nightmare, and could ruin her honeymoon. Things start to get complicated when Charlotte finds out Luc has been keeping many secrets from her. They are mostly family business and things connected with his dad. But what kind of life could she expect with a man who’s starting to build their mutual life on lies?

Without wanting to spoil this book for you, I’ll just say – be prepared for lots of drama and some mystery.
Recently I read Juliette’s book ‘Dancing with Paris’ which is not part of this series, and though I enjoyed it I realized Juliette’s writing has changed quite a bit during the years. Now, don’t get me wrong, she’s still a brilliant author, but unlike her debut and first part of this series, seems Juliette started experimenting with genres. ‘Honeymoon in Paris’ has less romance and more drama, action and mystery. I’d say it’s a mixture of chick lit and cozy mystery, which really is fine with me, still I kind of wanted more romance and humor.

Some of the things were bit over the top for me, and even for a chick lit (I don’t say this in a bad way) they somehow felt way too surreal. And yes, that’s what fiction is all about – make you escape reality, however, I do value a good dose of realism in my books (or in MCs).

That said, I have to admit I enjoyed this book less than ‘Sleeping with Paris’. Still I’m glad I read it and I’m so happy to get together with Charlotte once again. Though she’s matured, she’s still the lovely, cute, up-beat Charlotte I fell in love with years ago. I loved her friends, though I must say, they do end up in loads of trouble!

Overall, this was a quick, easy and enjoyable read. If you’re a fan of chick lit with strong cozy mystery elements, I do recommend you check this book out. I’m sure I’ll be reading everything Juliette writes in the future, and am really intrigued by all these transformations she’s going through as a writer.

My rating: 3.5/5

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GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to lovely Juliette, we have an 3 e-copies of ‘Honeymoon in Paris’ to give away. The giveaway is open internationally and closes on March 31th. The winners will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize by responding to our e-mail. In case we don’t hear from them in 48 h, we’ll have to pick another winner. This Chick Reads is not responsible for the delivering of your prize. This giveaway is sponsored by Juliette Sobanet. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

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Book review: Lettice & Victoria by Susanna Johnston

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* Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Couple of weeks ago, a very dear friend of mine mentioned on twitter something about experimenting with genres. Most of the readers have a certain comfort zone when it comes to picking books. I do enjoy chick lit and I’ve been reading nothing but chick lit for quite some time (exceptions were couple of historical fiction titles and few mystery/crime ones). But basically everything is about chick lit these days for me. And I’m not complaining, I’m familiar with the genre, enjoy it greatly and feel quite safe in my chick lits (I do know what to expect from them).

But I agree, stepping out of the comfort zone is challenging and who knows, it might not just broaden your horizons, but also allow you to discover some fantastic literature you would otherwise miss out on.

Reading ‘Lettice and Victoria’ was quite challenging for me, but at the same time it proved to be a rewording experience. I totally enjoyed this wonderful, little book (in terms of lenght).

While reading it, I couldn’t help but feel like I was at high school again, reading all those magnificent classics I used to back in the days. It also reminded me how much I miss those beautiful and deep books, and of the fact I should re-read some of them. Being older, I know I’d appreciate them more and maybe even see a new dimension to them.

But back to ‘Lettice and Victoria’ now. Honestly, the beautiful writing, the dark humor and the wonderful descriptions in this book make it a little masterpiece.

The plot is centered around Victoria, a young woman who goes to Italy to be a companion to an elderly gentleman, now blind helping him read his favorite books and letters. Soon she’s to marry Edgar but fears strongly his mother, Lettice, a sophisticated and quite demanding lady.

This is definitely a lovely, deep and though provoking book. The writing style is beautiful though not easy, so I assume it might not appeal to younger audience. However, those that will have the opportunity to read it and understand the message and the gorgeous writing, will truly appreciate this little gem. It’s a rather short read, but the length is just perfect and I really loved the short chapters. It’s as if the author knew exactly what is important for the story, there isn’t even a single unnecessary page.

It’s a wonderful, thought provoking tale that portrays the English society during the ’50s. If you’re looking for a fantastic, deep, sophisticated yet funny at times, book – then you have to check this one out.

My rating: 4/5

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