Monday, May 29, 2017

NetGalley REVIEW - Virtual Tour - Scandal of the Season by Liana LeFey

Scandal of the Season
by Liana LeFey
Releasing May 30th 2017
Entangled Select
The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . SCANDAL OF THE SEASON . . . The love they had for each other was unmistakable. The approach to allowing that love to blossom was a bit trickier. Sorin and Eleanor had spent much time together years before. Once he left things changed. The form of connection was letters back and forth. This allowed for a deeper connection between them. With neither seeming to understand the depth of feeling the other had. This was a romance that was built over time, distance, remembrance, and reconnection. The time apart only allowed for the love to become stronger and deeper. I watched as Eleanor worked to make the man she knew she loved to see how she had grown while he was away. There were roadblocks. There were challenging characters along the way. But in the end it was a romance that was beautiful and sweet.

Five years ago, Lord Sorin Latham fled England’s shores to avoid heartbreak and scandal in the form of one Lady Eleanor Cramley. On returning home, he finds the young miss he used to scold for lack of decorum is now a stunning woman who fires his blood. But he must resist temptation or risk losing his honor as a gentleman and the friendship of those he holds dear, including Eleanor.

Lady Eleanor is determined to be the paragon of propriety Sorin urged her to become. But now that he’s back, the man she once thought of as an older brother makes her long to be anything but proper. She must make Sorin see her as worthy of his heart and his desire without losing his good opinion, or her Season will end in disgrace.
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“Eleanor, Charles has told me of your many rejected suitors. You have, to his utter bewilderment and despair, refused to consider any and every gentleman that has expressed interest in you, and I cannot help but feel that the fault is in some way at least partly mine. While it is true that I’d hoped to impart to you a sense of decorum, I never intended that you should withhold yourself so entirely as to become isolated.” In the silence that followed, Sorin braced himself.
But in spite of her reddening face, she spoke with chilling calm. “You confuse reserve with a lack of feeling. Reserve is the veil behind which we conceal those sentiments inappropriate to display, is that not what you said?”
“It was indeed,” he replied, now regretting the fact that he’d ever broached the subject.
“Then consider it fortunate that I maintained my reserve, because to have displayed my true feelings for those so-called suitors would have been insulting to their dignity and very likely ruinous for me.” Her eyes flashed, belying her cool tone. “I’ve given every gentleman before which Charles has paraded me an opportunity to prove himself worthy of my regard. It’s not my fault that all have failed to meet my standards. If I’ve been reserved, it is because I have yet to find a gentleman possessing the qualities necessary to engender my trust and affection.”
Prudence warred with curiosity—and promptly lost. “Might I inquire as to these…standards you’ve set forth? Because it seems to me you’ve set some lofty requirements, if indeed no less than four—six if you count the good reverend’s repeated attempts—proposals of marriage have been turned down due to lack of their fulfillment. Are you certain the fault lies with the gentlemen?”
In an instant, he knew he’d gone too far. Her eyes widened, and the flags in her cheeks brightened to a cherry red that spread to the tips of her ears.
“Perhaps I am too harsh a critic,” she said a bit unsteadily. “My only excuse is that my expectations have been set by the examples with which I was provided in my youth. My father, Charles, and…” A suspicious brightness rimmed her lower lashes for a bare instant before she averted her gaze.
Comprehension dawned. “If you mean to say that I am at fault for—”
“Who else was there?” she snapped, glaring at him through leaf-green eyes that glittered with unshed tears. “Had I been exposed to lesser men, I should perhaps be more willing to accept such a one. However, as I was not, I shall continue to hope for better. Had you been here to see what has presented itself thus far, I would like to think that you would agree with my decision.”
The words had been spoken softly, and yet they cut like the sharpest steel. He took a step toward her, intending only to offer comfort and reassurance, but she quickly edged away.
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Author Info
Liana LeFey delights in crafting incendiary tales that capture the heart and the imagination, taking the reader out of the now and into another world. Liana lives in Central Texas with her dashing husband/hero and their beautiful daughter. She’s also privileged to serve one spoiled rotten feline overlord. Liana has been devouring romances since she was fourteen and is now thrilled to be writing them for fellow enthusiasts.
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(Signed print copy of To Make a Match by Liana LeFey & $20 Amazon Gift Card)
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

NetGalley REVIEW - The Nanny Arrangement (Country Blues, #2) by Rachel Harris

The Nanny Arrangement
Country Blues, #2
by Rachel Harris
Releasing May 22nd 2017
Entangled Bliss
The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . THE NANNY ARRANGEMENT (Country Blues, #2) . . . Let me start this off like this. I did not know that this was a part of a series. I felt this was a complete standalone read that will ride you all the way to the end and then some if you so like. The cover got my attention with the beautiful background and a young couple on. Then it was the title of the book. Then I began reading and found a good read. The band was filled with some very interesting characters. I would like to find out more about them, later. This time I focus on Hannah and Deacon.

Hannah had loved Deacon for a very long time. Now, she no longer wanted to keep that locked away inside of herself. She was going to make a go for the one man she had dreamed of for so long. Deacon missed his BFF and wanted her to take on the role of his nanny. Things most certainly had changed in the time they had been apart. There were a lot of things that had to be aired and cleared between them. The chemistry between the two was a slow gradual build. The romance sweet. The steam and heat were low key but clear. The characters that surrounded them were welcoming and added to the read.

Needing a sweet gentle romance with friends-to-lovers that will give you a good back story and gradual climb upward. Then you need look no further. Pick up The Nanny Arrangement.

Country Blues series:
You’re Still the One – Country Blues, #1
The Nanny Arrangement – Country Blues, #2
You Can’t Hurry Love – Country Blues, #3     COMING  2018

BlurbSoft-spoken and shy Hannah Fisher is determined to make the man she’s loved her entire life finally see her as a woman. With the help of a makeover, a new mission—Operation Find My Happy—and the convenient forced proximity of a tour bus, she vows to win her best friend Deacon’s heart.

Former bad boy and current fiddle player Deacon Latrell has the world at his fingertips: a new gig with a famous band, plus his best friend on tour as his son’s nanny. Life couldn’t get much sweeter. Now if only he could stop imagining kissing the daylights out of his childhood BFF…

With one friend set on pushing the boundaries and the other afraid to rock the boat, one thing’s for certain—their story would make one heck of a country song.
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Deacon released a heavy breath. Sometimes the right thing felt a hell of a lot like nausea. Resolved with what he had to do, he looked at the door…then slowly dropped his hand.
He’d give it another few minutes.
Calling himself ten shades of coward, he redirected his steps. A hot shower would clear his head. Maybe he’d even pull a Hannah and rehearse what he’d tell her in advance. It always worked for her, helping her control her stutter, and though Deacon didn’t have that particular problem, he was nervous as hell. If her head was even half as muddled as his was, this conversation wouldn’t be easy.
Frustrated, he shoved open the bathroom door harder than necessary. Fog and heavily scented air rushed to greet him, and it took a second for the reason to register. When it did, he came to an abrupt stop with one hand on the doorknob and one foot still in the hall.
Candy and flowers.
As the steam disappeared through the crack in the door, a vision appeared, plucked straight from his recent fantasies. Creamy skin, pink from the shower and wet with liquid drops, topped anything his imagination could’ve conjured. Damp ginger curls clung to a slender throat that was arched back, making a sexy silhouette as full lips trembled in a silent speech to the ceiling. Dark, spiky lashes lay across a flushed cheek, hiding a pair of expressive eyes he’d know anywhere.
Torture, thy name was Hannah.
Gone was the girl he’d known in high school. Erased was the rock he’d depended on in college. The goddess in the shower was a woman, a beautiful woman, with tantalizing curves, shapely legs, and the most incredible smile he’d ever seen.
The arousal flowing through his veins mocked his previous so-called resolve.
Her name came on a choked breath, but Hannah’s eyes snapped open. Smooth skin turned to stone as she stared at the ceiling, wide-eyed, before slanting those green eyes toward him in horror.
“Deacon!” Frantic, she tried to cover her body, slinging one arm over her perfect breasts while reaching for the folded towel on the counter with the other, only to quickly draw back her hand and slap it over her lower half as well.
It was the hardest thing he ever did, keeping his eyes above her waist. Taking one step forward, he grabbed the terrycloth and handed it over, not trusting himself to get any closer. When she took it from his hands, she could hardly look into his eyes. Deacon’s chest gave a hard kick.
Hannah made quick work of the towel, wrapping the terrycloth around her torso and clinging to the edges. She bit her lip and stammered, “Wh-what are y-you doing?”
It wasn’t remotely funny. The reappearance of her stutter meant she was either stressed or anxious, two things he never wanted to be the cause of. But he couldn’t help the laugh that broke free at the innocent question.
A full-bodied, unstoppable laugh that threw his head back with the force of it.
“What am I doing?” he repeated in amusement, hearing the gruffness of his own voice and dragging in a deep, floral-scented breath. “Oh, Cherry… I’m losing my ever-loving mind.”
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Tasty Q&A with Rachel Harris
1.     Describe yourself in five words or less.
Silly, hopeful, romantic, and loyal.

2.     What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m a homeschool mom (my main job and passion in life), so you can usually find me with a book in hand and cuddled with my children. Or in my SUV driving the streets of Houston to one of their extracurriculars and hoping like heck Google Maps knows where it’s going ;) Family time is very important to me and our days are hectic and full. If I’m not doing any of the above, I’ll be in drinking wine with my husband or in the bathtub reading a good romance (a yummy candle is a must!).

3.     A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.
Love hides in the most surprising places: right under your nose, and sometimes, in the nanny's tour bus bunk #FallingForYourBestFriend #Oops

4.     What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

I’ve recently discovered that I LOVE writing scenes where the heroine is slightly tipsy lol. It’s so much fun to see how my characters act, what they think, and definitely the things they say, where their guards are down and their confidence is high. Hilarious settings and situations are a definite plus!

5.     How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
In some ways, I’ve always been a writer, but I never finished a story or ever considered it a potential career until about seven years ago. My husband bought me the Twilight books and I fell back in love with reading—and I read so much and talked my husband’s ear off so much that he suggested I try writing a book, too. It was summer break for our home school and my girls were very young, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I threw myself into research, studied my favorite books and read every blog post on writing from my favorite authors, and by August of 2010, I started what would later become The Fine Art of Pretending, one of my YA contemporary romances. I finished that by Thanksgiving, started My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by January, and that book released the following year. In 2012, my fabulous editor at Entangled suggested I try writing an adult romance for a new imprint that she was launching, and I’ve been having a blast writing both ever since.

6.     Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Every book I write has some borrowed real life experience, and every character I create has a piece of me. Hannah’s love of silly made-up songs is totally me (I even put in one of my children’s favorites about muffins in the book, ha!), and I used my own memories with my kids for all things nanny. But the biggest experience that I borrowed for the book is probably a particularly epic moment that happens after Deacon and Hannah’s first kiss! I won’t spoil anything by giving it away, but let’s just say what happens after that is a hodge-podge of TWO epic/embarrassing moments that happened in my own life. Hey, what good is it being an author if you can’t write-in your most mortifying moments to share with the world, right?? LOL

Author Info
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing. 

An admitted bookaholic and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!
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NetGalley REVIEW - Virtual Tour - Without Words by Delancey Stewart

Without Words
by Delancey Stewart
Releasing May 22nd 2017
Entangled Select
The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . WITHOUT WORDS . . . I had the blurb that got me in. Then I read a couple excerpts from the book. Then one excerpt had me saying that I must read this one. This man was in pain, feeling tortured, found the one, and his soul knew it deep down. The sorrow in his inner thoughts were just enough to keep me wanting to read more. I could feel his devastation in losing that first chance to say hello.

This one read had a solid foundation with emotions raw and pure. Good characters. Roberto was one character that spoke to me without many words. He inner thoughts were telling. He was a male that had life happen to him and had to learn to cope with it in a new and different way. Music and her.

Dani was the calm that he needed to set things almost back to right. She was the salve that he needed to make thing a bit more bearable. Dani and Roberto embark on a true friendship that becomes more with time. They calm each other but in different ways. He becomes her rock and her his sunshine.

This read was something different that I needed to mix things up a bit. You will not pick up a read like this every day. It got to my soul and stirred me in ways that makes me want more of the book and at the same time not. This couples romance was beautiful and emotional. There were the ups and downs. There were even times when you really wanted to have a stern talking to Dani. I usually want to smack the male but this time Dani earned all those rights herself. The dual POV makes things feel more intimate and personal while providing more insight to both characters a bit more.

Looking for a read that is different and not the normal everyday romance. This one has a few struggles and even obstacles but the romance is there.

Sometimes love speaks for itself…

After an accident in the line of duty, firefighter Roberto DeRosa’s life is turned upside down. His career fighting fires is over, and he’s left with an uncertain future and an injury that makes communicating difficult for him. The only time words flow easily is when they’re lyrics and he has a guitar in his hands. Talking to women is definitely out, especially if they have bright blue eyes that seem to see right into his soul.

Dani Hodge is on the brink of realizing her dream of opening a small combination wine and book store in San Diego’s funky Ocean Beach neighborhood. But before she can open the doors, there’s work to be done, more work than she can do herself.

When the tattooed guy who completely ignored her at a bar walks by and offers her a hand wrangling a tile saw, Dani can’t afford to say no—and why would she say no to Mr. Strong and Silent when his stare conveys more than words could?

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I caught Trent’s attention at the bar, putting my back to the girl and focusing on getting my heart to slow down, letting my blood cool.
And just when I’d gotten control of myself again, she was right fucking next to me, and my mind went blank.
Or most parts of my mind, at least. The parts in charge of caveman stuff—the parts that screamed at me to pick her up, throw her over my shoulder, and find a wall to fuck her against—those parts were working fine. Unfortunately.
“Hi,” she said.
Shit. Shit, shit, shit.
I stared at her. I was blank. I reached for a word to give her and my mind was empty. Even the one word she’d said would have been fine. I could have parroted it back to her. But it had fluttered up into the noise and light inside the bar and evaporated. Even that one simple word was out of my reach.
I watched her expression change. She’d said “hi” like she was extending a bridge, a thin filament I might just be able to risk stepping onto. But as she waited for me to return her greeting, to say fucking anything at all, the bridge dissolved.
And her face closed up. The sparkle in her bright eyes faded, and her energy pulled back inside her, leaving me cold again. A mixture of fear and surprise replaced the glow on her face, and I felt both guilty and monstrous as I watched what it did to her. She let other words fall between us. Nonsense, really. I’d made her uncomfortable, unhappy. And I already knew she was a girl I never wanted to see unhappy.
Finally, she turned around and went back to her table, pulled the other girl toward the door, and disappeared into the night beyond. And the strange light that had filled the club was extinguished.
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Author Info
Delancey Stewart writes contemporary romance from her home outside Washington D.C. In a house populated by two tiny pirates and one full-sized Marine aviator, inspiration for her heroes is never hard to find—though quiet time to write often is!
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Monday, May 22, 2017

NetGalley REVEIW - Virtual Tour - When a Lady Dares (Her Majesty's Most Secret Service, #2) by Tara Kingston

When a Lady DaresHer Majesty's Most Secret Service, #2
by Tara Kingston
Releasing May 15th 2017
Entangled Select Historical
The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . WHEN A LADY DARES (Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service, #2) . . . This spy, mystery, romance was just a touch off the beaten historical romance path. We have it all in the title of the series Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service. There was intrigue, a plot-line. A story that pulled you in to find out what exactly was going on. At the same time watching Gavin in his pursuits of or not of Sophie. Sophie had a job to do. It was of the utmost importance. Being ensnared by a very alluring male was not part of the assignment. The two team up and find that working together may just provide them both with something either ever expected. This was a satisfying read with a mystery seasoned with romance.

Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service series:
When a Lady Deceives – Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service, #1
When a Lady Dares -  Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service, #2

BlurbSophie Atherton knows a liar when she sees one. Perhaps because she’s so skilled at deception herself. Searching for clues to a string of mysterious deaths, the secret operative for the Crown has connived her way into a phony medium’s confidence. When a dashing archaeologist seeks out the charlatan’s services, Sophie suspects he’s after more than a long-lost heirloom. Their electric attraction storms her defenses, but loving the rakish scholar would threaten her investigation and the life she’s crafted.

Gavin Stanwyck is a man on a mission. Masquerading as a treasure hunter to trap the spiritualist, he's drawn to the medium’s enigmatic assistant. As treacherous forces close in, passion awakens his hardened heart—he’ll protect Sophie at all costs, but he cannot give her his love. Uniting to survive a sinister plot, they must tear down their defenses and learn to trust their hearts.
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“The way I see it, you set forth a challenge. I am debating whether or not to accept it.”
“A challenge?” She frowned. “I don’t follow.”
He unfolded his arms and stalked to where she stood. Gently, his hands draped her shoulders. Strong, but without pressure. Without violence. “You said I would have to try harder for you to be convinced I am a scoundrel. What is that, if not a challenge?”
Words hovered on the tip of her tongue but failed to escape her lips. He shouldn’t be holding her, regardless of how warm his hands were against her body. He shouldn’t be so very near. She drank in subtle notes of sandalwood on his jaw and his throat. He shouldn’t be studying her with those perceptive eyes, a glint of sensual interest darkening his sapphire irises.
She drew in a breath, even as he held her closer still. If she’d detected any hint of danger, she would’ve brought him to the ground with a well-placed knee or a calculated swing of her weighted reticule against the pulse point behind his ear. But this man did not present that nature of a threat.
No, the danger in his touch was more subtle. More insidious. And ultimately, far more powerful. She could not betray the effect he had on her. She could not give him that weapon against her.
“I meant what I said.” A miracle, how steady she held her tone. “When I look at you, I do not see a cad. I see a man in need of answers. The only question is, what are the answers you truly seek?”
“And if I kissed you? Would you think me a rogue?”
The heat in his gaze kindled a spark deep within her, but she steeled herself against the sudden and powerful need. She could not let on how delicious his breath felt against her cheek, how good…how right…it felt to be in his arms.
“No.” She lifted her gaze to lock with his. “I would think you a man, with a man’s desires and needs. Nothing more. Nothing less.”
“You are a temptation I could not have anticipated.” A tiny muscle in his jaw tensed. “And I…well, I am a bloody fool.”
His hands slid lower, settling on her leg-of-mutton sleeves, and he dipped his head. She might’ve imagined the sound, but his breath seemed a sigh. And then, his lips claimed hers in a kiss.
Oh, my, such a delicious caress. Shock rippled through Sophie’s veins, coupled with an instinctive alarm. Not fear. Far from it. Rather, this man’s touch should not feel so very tempting, so very tender. So maddeningly right.
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Tasty Q&A with Tara Kingston
Can you tell us a little about your book?
I’d love to tell you a bit about When A Lady Dares. The story is set in London during the late Victorian era, a few years after Jack the Ripper roamed the alleys of Whitechapel. The heroine of the story, Sophie Atherton, is an undercover agent for a secret government agency called upon to pursue criminals who pose a threat to England—cases that require specialized expertise and resources beyond the realm of Scotland Yard.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?
It’s a tie between three songs, depending on my mood:
Paperback Writer (The Beatles)
Don’t Stop (Fleetwood Mac)
Roar (Katy Perry)

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.
My e-reader…I always have to have a great book on hand.

Name three things on your desk right now.
My laptop, a variety of multi-colored post-it notes with my scribblings on them, and a very old folder with Han Solo’s picture on it, just because… after all, who wouldn’t want a large picture of Harrison Ford on their desk?

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
When I’m not writing, I love to spend time outdoors with my husband. We ride our bicycles, hike in the state parks near our home, take long walks, and generally, enjoy nature. I also like to head to the beach every chance I get—a day at the beach is good for my soul. I enjoy watching a good comedy, and in the fall, I love getting together with friends to watch football and cheer on my favorite team.

If you could have dinner with any three authors (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?
Jane Austen —I’d love to discuss her inspiration for Mr. Darcy and get her thoughts on a matter of great importance—who’s the better Darcy—Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen? For the record, I’m Team Firth.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley — She wrote Frankenstein… need I say more? Discussing her inspiration for the novel and the characters would be fascinating. I’d also love to get her opinion on the great portrayals of the monster in film… who’s her favorite—Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Peter Boyle, or Robert DeNiro? Personally, I have a soft-spot for Peter Boyle’s portrayal in Young Frankenstein (or is that Fronk-en-steen?)
Charlotte Bronte — Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorite novels. I’d be thrilled to discuss the inspiration for Mr. Rochester with the author who created him…simply fascinating!

What 5 things should readers know about you?

~ I am hopelessly devoted to Fox Mulder and have watched every episode of the X-Files.

~ I can cook, but it’s a pretty rare occasion when I make anything from scratch. I’d rather be writing, biking, walking, laughing at a good comedy, reading on a beach, reading on my porch, painting furniture… pretty much anything but standing in the kitchen.

~ I do not like sad movies and books. I’d much read a happily-ever-after or enjoy a movie comedy or a rollicking adventure—Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of my favorite movies of all time. The adventure, the gorgeous hero (yes, I adore Harrison Ford, as evidenced by the fact I possess a years-old folder with Han Solo on the front), and the touches of humor make it an ideal movie for me.

~ We have two kitties who were incredibly innocent-looking when we adopted them from the shelter, but the pair quickly began to compete for the title of “bad kitty”. We’ve actually had to child-proof a cabinet in the kitchen to keep one of them from opening the door and walking right in, and trust me, you do not want to see what they will do to a bag of treats that’s left out on the counter. But they make up for their naughtiness with their sweet, loving ways. They really are cuddle-bugs.

~ As a child, I loved to read Nancy Drew books non-stop. Even then, I enjoyed stories with clever heroines and a good mystery. This has definitely carried over to my own novels. I love to read and write romance with strong heroines and an air of mystery threaded through the story.

Author Info
Award-winning and best-selling author Tara Kingston writes historical romance laced with intrigue, danger, and adventures of the heart. A Southern belle-out-of-water in a quaint Pennsylvania town, she lives with her real-life hero and a pair of deceptively innocent-looking cats in a cozy Victorian. A former librarian whose love of reading is evident in her popping-at-the-seams bookcases, she’s thankful for the invention of digital books, thereby eliminating the need for yet another set of shelves. When she’s not writing, reading, or burning dinner, Tara enjoys movie nights, cycling, hiking, DIY projects, and cheering on her favorite football team.
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(a $15 Amazon GC + Print copy of When a Lady Deceives, book #1 in the Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service series. (US Only))
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