Early Review: Wicked Hour by Chloe Neill

, by Kt Clapsadl

Wicked Hour by Chloe Neill
Heirs of Chicagoland #2

In the second pulse-pounding novel in the USA Today bestselling Heirs of Chicagoland series, vampire Elisa Sullivan gets drawn into the shifting sands of Pack politics.

Vampires were made, not born—until Elisa Sullivan came along. As the only vampire child in existence, she grew up with a heavy legacy, and tried to flee her past. Then circumstances drew her back to Chicago, and she stayed to keep it safe. With shifter Connor Keene, the only son of Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, at her side, she faced down a supernatural evil that threatened to destroy Chicago forever.

After the dust from the attack has settled, Elisa is surprised when Connor invites her to a usually private Pack event in the north woods of Minnesota, and by the warm welcome she receives from some of Connor’s family, even though she’s a vampire. But the peace doesn’t last. The shifters tell tales of a monster in the woods, and when the celebration is marred by death, Elisa and Connor find themselves in the middle of a struggle for control that forces Elisa to face her true self—fangs and all.

I enjoyed WICKED HOUR, and returning the characters and world that I love. The tension between Elisa and Connor was as delicious as ever. Admittedly I was a little bit frustrated with the slow burn pacing between them, but they do say good things come to those who wait. There's something about the pair of them that just says the end result will be absolute fireworks, and I can't wait to see it.

However, as great as the characters, and overall world were, I felt the pacing of this book slumped a bit. Don't get me wrong, a good bit happens in this book, but it just didn't feel to have quite the intensity or stakes I've come to expect from this world. The plotline almost meanders, and didn't really feel to provide any momentum to an overarching world plot. It was an enjoyable read, but almost felt like a side story at times, while waiting to get back to the main action. This may be unfair as perhaps it's too early in the series for an overarching plot other than the romance, but it still felt like something was almost missing. I look forward to seeing what the next book brings.

All in all, while not quite the book I was hoping for. WICKED HOUR is an enjoyable foray back into the Chicagoland world.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     a GREAT read

Previous Books:
     1. Wild Hunger

Review: Immortal Born by Lynsay Sands

, by Kt Clapsadl

Immortal Born by Lynsay Sands
Argeneau #30

A simple promise to protect her friend’s infant son has turned Allie Chambers’ existence upside down. Caring for—and feeding—an orphaned vampire baby has been tricky enough. But as little Liam grows, so does his appetite. He needs more blood than she can personally supply. And when her attempts to steal from a blood bank go awry, Allie wakes up surrounded by doctors, cops…and the gorgeous, mesmerizing Magnus, who she can neither trust nor resist.

Magnus never expected to find his life mate breaking into a blood bank. Clearly, Allie is already entwined with his world—in deeper, more dangerous ways than she realizes. A band of vicious rogue immortals is in pursuit, and Magnus’ first task is to keep her safe. His second: to awaken her to mind-blowing pleasure, and hope she’ll accept the life, and the passion, that only he can offer.

It truly is amazing that we are 30 books in and this series is still going strong as ever! Each one is a fun, fated-mate trope filled romp, that's a nice escape for a few hours. Magnus and Allie made for a delightful couple, and I thoroughly enjoyed their progression together. A lot of this series feels a bit formulaic and yet, it works perfectly, never once getting dull. With these books, you know exactly what you are getting, and it's fun to see each new couple's twist on things. IMMORTAL BORN returns to a favorite setting from previous books as well as some much loved characters making a return. A long running plotline comes front and center as well with a satisfying resolution, making for a well rounded read.

All in all, IMMORTAL BORN was another delightfully fun romp in this long running series that I greatly enjoyed. Here's to hopefully many more Argeneaus!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Books & Chat
     Fangs, Wands, & Fairy Dust

Previous Books:
     1. A Quick Bite
     2. Love Bites
     3. Single White Vampire
     4. Tall, Dark, & Hungry
     5. A Bite to Remember
     6. Bite Me If You Can
     7. The Accidental Vampire
     8. Vampires Are Forever
     9. Vampire, Interrupted
    10. The Rouge Hunter
    11. The Immortal Hunter
    12. The Renegade Hunter
    13. Born to Bite
    14. Hungry for You
    15. The Reluctant Vampire
    16. Under a Vampire Moon
    17. The Lady is a Vamp
    18. Immortal Ever After
    19. One Lucky Vampire
    20. Vampire Most Wanted
    21. The Immortal Who Loved Me
    22. About a Vampire
    23. Runaway Vampire
    24. Immortal Nights
    25. Immortal Unchained
    26. Immortally Yours
    27. Twice Bitten
    28. Vampires Like it Hot
    29. The Trouble with Vampires

Early Review: Archangel's War by Nalini Singh

, by Kt Clapsadl

Archangel's War by Nalini Singh 
Guild Hunter #12

Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . .

The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.

At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . .

This war could end them all.

After the insane ending of the previous book, to say I couldn’t wait for ARCHANGEL’S WAR is an understatement. I actually was a bit miffed at Nalini Singh for the torturous ending, but this book made up for it and then some. It’s a longer read, and every single page was jammed packed, the action, and the stakes never left up, not even for a moment. All of the previous cascade events pale in comparison, and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I made the mistake of starting this book later in the evening, and couldn’t put it down. There was no sleep to be had that night, but the next day exhaustion was more than worth it. It’s simply that good. All of the favorite main characters play an important role in this book, and things come to a head. I can’t really say much more for fear of spoiling, just trust me when I say this book was simply amazing!

Guild Hunter fans, RUN do not walk to your nearest bookstore and grab this one as soon as you can. A penultimate read of epicness, ARCHANGEL’S WAR was the best in the series yet. I can only imagine where things will go next. Bravo Ms Nalini, bravo!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Previous Books:
     1. Angels' Blood
     2. Archangel's Kiss
     3. Archangel's Consort
     4. Archangel's Blade
     5. Archangel's Storm
     6. Archangel's Legion
     7. Archangel's Shadows
     8. Archangel's Enigma
     9. Archangel's Heart
     10. Archangel's Viper

Early Review: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

, by Kt Clapsadl

Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews
Hidden Legacy #4

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.

To say I was excited to read Catalina’s first full length novel would be a gross understatement. I utterly love anything Ilona Andrews writes, and each new book goes on my favorites shelf without a hesitation. SAPPHIRE FLAMES was no exception. We had a little taste of Catalina in the novella, Diamond Fire, but it only whet my appetite for more. While reading this book felt like coming home to a beloved series, Catalina is a very different character than Nevada. While they both have an iron will, Catalina is much more reserved and cautious than her older sister. Being in charge and responsible for her house doesn’t come naturally for her, but she’s finding her way, and I really enjoyed getting to see her grow.

The romance this time around was oh so very fun and delicious. Alessandro seems like the perfect match for Catalina, not that she’ll make it even remotely easy for him. The attraction between the two is off the charts, and the buildup is perfect. However he’s very mysterious and cagey at times, and Catalina has a lot of trust issues due to her ability to ensnare without even trying. Things didn’t move too quickly so I feel like their relationship only gave us a taste of what’s to come, and I can’t wait.

If you haven’t read the Hidden Legacy series, well what are you waiting for? Nevada’s trilogy was fantastic, and Catalina’s is off to an amazing start. I cannot recommend this series any higher! I’ll be counting down the days until the next book, and it can’t come quick enough. Yet another fantastic read from Ilona Andrews, SAPPHIRE FLAMES is not to be missed.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Slapdash & Sundry
     A Reader of Fictions

Previous Books:
     1. Burn for Me
     2. White Hot
     3. Wildfire
     3.5. Diamond Fire

Review: The Beyond by Chloe Neill

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Beyond by Chloe Neill
Devil's Isle #4

Sensitive Claire Connolly must journey to another world in the electrifying fourth installment of Chloe Neill’s post-apocalyptic urban fantasy series.

It’s been a year since the Veil between the human world and the world Beyond was torn apart, and war began again. Sensitive Claire Connolly and bounty hunter Liam Quinn have been helping their human and paranormal allies fight back against the ravaging invaders and save what’s left of New Orleans.

But a new enemy has arisen, more powerful than any they’ve seen before, and even Devil’s Isle cannot hold her. . .

When Claire learns of a new magical weapon–one built by paranormals themselves -she knows it could turn the tide of war. But to reach it, she and Liam will have to cross into the Beyond itself. In a world full of hostile magic and dangerous foes, she’ll have to channel the powers she once kept hidden in order to survive. New Orleans hangs in the balance, and the storm is growing closer . . .

In THE BEYOND, things really come to a head, and it was one heck of a thrill ride. Everything in the Devil’s Isles series has been building up to this point for the ultimate battle. The stakes were incredibly high, and I enjoyed every moment. Crossing over the Veil added a new dimension to the world, and it was fascinating to see how their world was. Both Claire and I *almost* felt sorry for the paras that left there to escape, almost. But the amount of destruction they caused Earthside is inexcusable and she wasn’t afraid to sock it to them.

In the romance department, things are much better than in previous installments. I had expressed a good bit of frustration in my reviews of the prior books. But this time around things felt much more on track and less wishy-washy. Don’t get me wrong, things weren’t smooth sailing or roses for the pair, but the romance felt much more substantial this go around, which I very much appreciated.

All in all, THE BEYOND was a good finish to the Devil’s Isle series that I greatly enjoyed. Fans of the series will be pleased with this conclusion.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Between Dreams and Reality
     Gizmo's Reviews
     a GREAT read

Previous Books:
     1. The Veil
     2. The Sight
     3. The Hunt

Review: Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep

, by Kt Clapsadl

Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep
Crown of Shards #2

First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.

Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.

But dark forces are at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, Evie’s immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes her wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.

But Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s . . . well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.

Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…

I really enjoyed Kill the Queen, but PROTECT THE PRINCE was even better! I am utterly in love with this series, I just can't get enough. The characters, world, and plot are all incredible. Everleigh in particular really stole my heart this time around. There have been so many challenges thrown at her, and while she questions whether she's enough at times, she never once falters or lets anyone stand in her way of doing what is best for her people. She is truly an admirable up and coming queen and I am delighted to get to see her grow. Each new twist and turn in the story only served as something new for her to overcome, and a new facet of her character. I simply loved it.

When I finished this book I had a strong urge to go back and read book 1 again just to stay in this world longer. To say that I'm dying to get my hands on the next book is an understatement. If you are looking for a phenomenal read full of twists and turns that you can lose yourself in, look no further than the Crown of Shards series!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Gizmo's Reviews
     Between Dreams and Reality
     Debbie's World of Books

Previous Books:
     1. Kill the Queen

Early Review: Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh

, by Kt Clapsadl

Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh
Psy-Changeling Trinity #3

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us on a new adventure in this next novel of the Psy-Changeling Trinity series…

The end of Silence was supposed to create a better world for future generations. But trust is broken, and the alliance between Psy, Changeling, and human is thin. The problems that led to Silence are back in full force. Because Silence fixed nothing, just hid the problems.

This time, the Psy have to find a real answer to their problems–if one exists. Or their race will soon go extinct in a cascade of violence. The answer begins with an empath who is attuned to monsters–and who is going to charm a wolf into loving her despite his own demons.

Some stories in the Psy-Changeling world are very insular, but in a good way, focusing heavily on the romance and the world events take a back seat. Then other stories are very worldly with the couple's romance playing a large part, but the overall series arch really taking the reins. WOLF RAIN was the latter. Memory and Alexei are a fantastic pair, and their banter is very enjoyable. Memory in particular has a feisty, iron will and doesn't let Alexei do anything but toe the line, and it's rather hilarious. They of course have the majority of the page time in this book and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship progress. However, the overall series momentum and plot additions stole the show this time around. It really is amazing just how much depth can be continually added to this world even though we are so very many books into the series. Bravo, simply bravo.

Hands down, Nalini Singh is an incredible talent in the genre and the ever growing Psy-Changeling world never ceases to amaze me. Fans of the series will be delighted with this new installment! I enjoyed this book so much it inspired a re-read of the entire series. A serious delight!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     The Alliterates
     Unstuck Pages

Previous Books:
     1. Silver Silence
     2. Ocean Light

Review: Wild Country by Anne Bishop

, by Kt Clapsadl

Wild Country by Anne Bishop
The Others #7

In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.

I always enjoy returning to The Others world, and WILD COUNTRY was no exception. I especially enjoyed this look into a different town with new characters, but a few returning favorites, and that the timeline ran parallel to Meg's last book. Seeing things from a different perspective is always interesting. It added an extra element to getting to know all of the new characters. I particularly loved the dynamic between Jana and Virgil, and their little Wolfguard pack. Seeing Virgil the alpha Wolfguard trying to figure out how to navigate and deal with a female human member of his police pack was nothing short of hilarious. It definitely added the perfect amount of levity to tense situations in this plot.

It is fascinating just how incredibly stupid some people are in this world. The Others have proven time and time again they are top of the food chain, and yet so many idiots think they can run the show. While sometimes this series at a first glance may seem formulaic with new idiots trying to take things over each book, each new set of "idiots" brought an entirely new element to the series. I have to say the villains of this book may just take the cake in the stupidity, greediness, and absolute arrogance department. The world surely doesn't suffer fools. It was like a train wreck I could see coming a mile away, but I enjoyed every minute of seeing it unfurl.

Anne Bishop has done it once again, and WILD COUNTRY is another fantastic installment in The Others series that is not to be missed!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     All Things Urban Fantasy
     Between Dreams and Reality
     a GREAT read

Previous Books:
     1. Written in Red
     2. Murder of Crows
     3. Vision in Silver
     4. Marked in Flesh
     5. Etched in Bone
     6. Lake Silence

Early Review: Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

, by Kt Clapsadl

Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson #11

In this new installment in the No. 1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves . . .

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.

And a coyote shapeshifter . . . And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn't stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word. We will die to keep it.

I absolutely love Mercy and the entire series. Each new installment is like coming home to old friends, and STORM CURSED was no exception. Mercy has such an entertaining knack for getting herself both in and out of trouble, which is a delight to read. This time around she's found herself tangled up with the blackest of witches. And if that weren't enough there's things afoot with the government trying to control the pack. Plus all the continued repercussions from Mercy's declaration that the tri-cities were her territory and you have a whole lot going on in Mercy-land. As always she handles things with her normal wit and perseverance, and it made for one heck of an enjoyable read.

There were a whole lot of moving parts in STORM CURSED with so many different factions and issues Mercy and co were facing. It really made for and interesting read, and it felt great to return back to the tri-cities after the overseas hijinks from the previous book. As they say there's no place like home, and there's nothing like a Mercy book. Fans of the series will really enjoy this installment for all the action, comedy, familiar faces, and typically Mercy fun. Definitely a great read!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Gizmo's Reviews
     Mrs Leif's Two Fangs About It
     The Bibliosanctum

Previous Books:
     1. Moon Called
     2. Blood Bound
     3. Iron Kissed
     4. Bone Crossed
     5. Silver Borne
     6. River Marked
     7. Frost Burned
     8. Night Broken
     9. Fire Touched
     10. Silence Fallen

Early Review: American Witch by Thea Harrison

, by Kt Clapsadl

American Witch by Thea Harrison
American Witch #1 (Elder Races)

Power can change a person…

For months Molly Sullivan endures the inexplicable: electrical surges, car breakdowns, visions. She even wonders if she might be the cause… and wonders if she might be crazy. Then she discovers her husband has cheated on her. Again. Now Molly realizes she is a newly awakening witch and a woman pushed over the edge.

Revenge can shape a person…

Josiah Mason is a Powerful witch and the leader of a secret coven with a shared goal: to destroy an ancient enemy who has ruined many lives. Josiah lost years to this man, and his sole focus is revenge. He’s prepared for every contingency—except encountering a beautiful new witch who understands nothing of the immense Power building within her or the attraction she wields over him.

Danger can bring them together…

When divorcing her husband, Molly uncovers a dangerous secret he’s willing to kill to protect. She turns to Josiah for help, and they discover a connection between Molly’s husband and Josiah’s enemy.

As they work together, a spark ignites between them that threatens to become an inferno. But Molly is done compromising herself for any man, and Josiah’s mission is his top priority. And the enemy is cunning, cruel, and drawing ever closer.

As the danger escalates, so does the tension between them. Is a lasting relationship possible? Will either of them live long enough to try?

I truly love the Elder Races world, and it's such a treat to meet a new couple and dive into this expansive world even further. This time around things had a different feel as the heroine didn't know about her abilities until her soon to be ex-husband's cheating pushed her over the proverbial edge. And boy did the sparks fly. Molly is an intriguing woman, both vulnerable and emotional, and yet also has a core of steel. It felt like a bit like of a coming of age story, but instead of a teenager, Molly is a grown woman finally living for herself and finding out who she really is. I had to admire her strength with everything that was thrown at her in such a short amount of time. She really is an amazing character.

Onto the romance. I'm a very romance driven reader, and I'm happy to report that the romance more than delivered in AMERICAN WITCH. It's a relatively quick progression, but it never felt rushed or unrealistic, which I appreciated considering everything the heroine is going through. The hero's massive amount of baggage didn't help either, and yet the quicker romantic progression still worked well. And that they started off as somewhat enemies only sweetened the romance for me as that's my favorite trope.

All in all, it comes as no surprise that AMERICAN WITCH was a very enjoyable read. Thea Harrison really is a powerhouse in the paranormal romance genre and I can't wait to see what's next!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Tome Tender
     Smokin Hot Book Blog

Review: Atone in Darkness by Alexis Morgan

, by Kt Clapsadl

Atone in Darkness by Alexis Morgan
The Paladin Strike Team #2

Return to the steamy and suspenseful Paladin series by the USA TODAY bestselling author with this heart-pounding novel following a doctor and her mysterious patient as they try to escape a mysterious military force hell-bent on exploiting them both.

Brilliant doctor Marisol knows nothing about the mysterious man whose vitals she monitors and whose every move she's paid to track—other than the fact that he is brought to death's door each night by a squad of military grade thugs. She certainly can't ask the people who hired her. After all, they run this shady, hi-tech compound where she is now stranded, the only woman among huge, uniform-clad brutes.

Chase Mosely, Marisol's sole charge, knows nothing about who was behind his kidnapping, other than the fact that they want to know about his Paladin's ability to heal. Nor does he know anything about his pretty keeper, who seems to be working for the enemy, but still looks at him with compassion in her eyes.

Both held captive in a remote testing facility, their desperate stories intertwine. And, as they discover that they mean more to each other than they could ever have imagined, the two of them must find a way to escape, no matter the odds.

I’m a huge fan of the paranormal romance genre, and a complete sucker for the enemies to lovers trope, so ATONE IN DARKNESS was right up my alley. This time around the enemies to lover plotline had a bit of a twist in that the heroine is not intentionally an enemy, twisted up in the plight as an almost victim herself. Of course our hero, Chase doesn’t let her off easy, despite his fierce attraction to her. It made for a delicious build up in the romance department, and the high stakes against them only upped the ante. The action takes off from the first page and really didn’t let up until it was over. Definitely a very engrossing read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

If you’re looking for a fast, action-packed read with a great building romance and very high stakes, look no further than ATONE IN DARKNESS.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     1. In Darkness Transformed

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