Blog Tour: Best Man by Katy Evans – Excerpt

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Title: Best Man
Author
: Katy Evans
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 10, 2019

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When the wedding of your dreams is just around the corner, everything needs to go as planned. Only problem is, the groom didn’t get the memo.Aaron forgot the rings, and Lia is determined to make the long drive home to get them in time for their “I do’s.”

But there’s a catch. There always is with Aaron, isn’t there?

Aaron is too hungover to come, and sends a replacement.

The best man.

Miles Foster. The cocky, arrogant, sexy best man…and the last person Lia wants to be trapped in a car with for hours.

But Aaron insists, and Lia wonders if there’s another reason Aaron wants Miles tagging along–aside from sticking her with a hot, surly babysitter.

Yet how bad can it be? It’ll be over before she knows it, and she’ll never see him again. Just like in college.

But when secrets are revealed, and Lia’s whole world is turned upside down, she realizes she’s been living a lie–and so has her groom.

Miles is supposed to be the best man at her wedding.

But what if he is simply the best man she has ever known? The best man for her?

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Excerpt:

The dress is a strapless Carolina Herrera, with layers and layers of whisper-thin organza. It blows my budget and the “less is more” mantra out of the water, but like Eva said the day we bought it in downtown Denver, when you know, you know. The locale is the sumptuous Midnight Lodge, nestled in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, every tiny detail of the place costing my father more than an entire year of his salary. The twenty-three members of the bridal party are assembled. It’s the scene of every little girl’s fairytale fantasy.

My fantasy.

At least, the one I’d been harboring up until today, when everything changed.

Eva smiles at me. “Ready to make your dreams come true?”

I stare at myself in the mirror. I look like Cinderella, if the wicked stepmother had just materialized at the castle on Cinderella’s wedding day and gunned down Prince Charming in cold blood. I’m also about three minutes away from losing the mimosa I’d polished off earlier that morning at breakneck speed. I go to chew on my nails but then I remember Eva painted them, and the last thing I want is for him to see the chips.

He notices things like that. He’s an observer.

And I want to be perfect for him.

Him.

The wrong him.

Oh, god.

I go to chew on my lip, but I can’t do that because they’ve been lacquered with bubble-gum pink gloss, and he’d probably notice if I got it on my teeth, too. All my normal ways of freaking out are off limits.

This is the day of my dreams, the day I’ve planned to the letter, just so I could avoid any potential calamities that might make me freak out.

But I am freaking out. Oh, lordy, am I ever.

I’ve been waiting my whole life for this day.

This perfect day, where the sun is shining, the snow is melting, birds are singing, and the sky is the deepest blue I’ve ever seen.

But there’s a problem.

A problem in the form of a pretentious, bearded, six-foot-three wall of hot man flesh who stalks around hating the world and thinking he’s better than everyone in it.

My fiancé’s best friend. The best man, Miles Foster.

This is all his fault.

“You okay?” Eva asks.

“I am,” I insist, pushing the infernal veil out of my face for the thousandth time. “This dress is itchy as hell.”

I stand and pluck the dress up under my armpits, hoisting it over my boobs. I try to take a step but…too much fabric, in all directions. It’s a wonder I don’t drown in this sea. In this sea, or in this mess I’ve created for myself. I sit back down on the vanity stool and pout. “I’m stuck.”

In more ways than one.

She gathers handfuls of too much organza and helps me up, depositing the pile of fabric safely in my wake. I shuffle to the full-length mirror and glance at myself. I don’t look like a bride, or even a fairytale princess. I look like a prisoner who just got her death sentence.

“It’s too loose,” I whine. I never had much of a rack, and now it’s super obvious. Why did I decide to go strapless again? “I think I must’ve lost some boobage during my diet. What if the top of my dress falls down while I’m walking up the aisle?”

Eva smirks. “I’m sure Aaron’ll love the show.”

The thought makes the mimosa turn in my stomach. I used to live for what Aaron thought. Whenever I had a choice to make on something, be it a new movie coming out, or a sweater at the mall, or a new hair style, I’d think, Would Aaron like this? But I realize, as she says his name, that it doesn’t matter to me in the slightest what Aaron thinks. The only opinion I care about now is that of the man who will be standing precisely two feet to my husband-to-be’s left.

I am such an idiot.

In less than fifteen minutes, I will be marching down the stone steps outside the Midnight Lodge to a picturesque gazebo at the foot of the hills, on the arm of my father, who has socked his entire life’s savings into making this day picture perfect for his only daughter. I will take the hand of the man I’ve been attached at the hip to for over five years, ever since I met him in a dank frat cellar when I was a wide-eyed little college freshman. I will join with this man—this man I’ve spent all of my adult life with—in holy matrimony, ’til death us do part.

I will become Mrs. Aaron Eberhart.

But I know I’ll be looking past my husband-to-be to the man who, up until twelve hours ago, I’d thought I hated. Miles Foster.

And I will be wondering What if…

I wish choosing a husband was as simple as choosing a dress.

When you know, you know.

I did know, or I thought I did. Up until twelve hours ago, I thought Aaron Eberhart was my true soul mate, the one I’d happily spend the rest of my life with. That’s when things took an unexpected turn.

Right now? I don’t even know my own name.

And I have a feeling I might be making a huge mistake.

About Katy Evans:

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Katy Evans is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her debut REAL shot to the top of the bestselling lists in 2013 and since then 9 of her titles have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages across the world.

 

 

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The Princess Problem by Christi Barth – Excerpt + Giveaway

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Title: The Princess Problem
Author
: Christi Barth
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 18, 2019

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What girl doesn’t want to wear a tiara? Me. The one who lives in yoga pants and knows she’s not special enough to be a princess.

One minute I’m starting my dream life in NYC, and the next, a man too hot for his own good is banging on my door, telling me that I’m a long lost princess of a country on the other side of the Atlantic.

Not exactly your typical Friday night in the Big Apple.

Suddenly, all of my plans for the future are yanked away. I’m trapped in a life filled with social obligations—and stilettos!—and an uptight royal family I didn’t know existed. They, and the whole rest of the freaking country, have lofty expectations I’m not sure I can meet.

At least the aforementioned sexalicious man, Elias, is my constant shadow, protecting me with his life. The whole situation is overwhelming. So I’ve secretly put him in charge of my happiness, too…and he’s taking my orders very, very seriously.

So seriously, I’m falling for him even harder than the new country I’m coming to…maybe…love.

And that’s a major problem, because he’s crazy about me, too. I may not know all the zillion rules about being royal, but I know one for sure: No way can a princess date her bodyguard…

Excerpt:

“My life—the brand new life I just started—is gone. Nobody seems to care about me,” Kelsey thumped her chest as her voice cracked, “the actual person in here behind the princess title. Except for you.”

Her aching vulnerability tore into Elias like a sword straight through his gut. It tore through the rules and protocol and every layer of common sense.

All that was left was a man watching a lost, lonely woman. It was blindingly obvious what she needed. So he wrapped his arms around Kelsey and hugged her.

She didn’t cry, or even tremble. But she did heave in a deep sigh, and when she let it out, her whole body relaxed into his. Except for her arms, which slid into a tight embrace around his waist.

They sat like that for long moments. Long enough for Elias to notice the determined buzz of a bee overhead. Long enough for a peacock to strut past them, its vibrant green and blue tailfeathers dragging on the ground like a train. Long enough for Elias to also notice how his arms wrapped so far around her small frame that the tips of his fingers grazed the sides of her breasts.

He knew he should move. Readjust.

He didn’t care about should. Elias only cared about making Kelsey feel better. Feel like herself.

Feel that he did, indeed, care for her.

Finally, Kelsey lifted her head from where it rested on his collarbone. “Thank you.”

“You’re—” but before he could finish the phrase, Kelsey kissed him.

It was just a soft, faint brush of lips over lips. Probably meant to be nothing more than a continuation of her thanks. Except that something sparked between them. The one, faint touch instantly morphed into more. Elias honestly couldn’t say which one of them consciously deepened the kiss. It felt organic.

It felt necessary.

It felt right.

They clung to each other, and that soft brush grew into a real kiss. The kind he gave after a date where everything clicked, where he and the woman connected deeply. The kind he hadn’t given anyone in many, many months.

Kelsey’s beauty had struck Elias from the moment that flimsy, splotched apartment door opened. But then, as she stood her ground with such determination, as she sassed him on the plane, as she approached every step of this journey with such bravery, his feelings had changed. The involuntary, primal acknowledgement of wanting her body had flipped over into wanting her.

The pressure between their lips, between their bodies intensified. Elias moved his lips harder against hers. Kelsey pushed right back. They kissed and kissed and suddenly their tongues were tangled, tasting and teasing.

Elias groaned. God, she was delicious. Sweet. Tantalizing. And so soft every single damn place they were touching.

His hands slid up through the silk of her hair to tilt Kelsey’s head back, to deepen his angle. But then he immediately slid one palm down her back to keep her pressed close. To keep those firm breasts rubbing against his chest as she swayed her upper body.

It didn’t make up for the fact they were seated side by side, that their hips and legs and bellies weren’t rubbing together. But it was damned sexy, especially sexy, paired with the breathy little moans she kept exhaling.

“Elias,” she murmured, as his lips moved down the tantalizing column of her neck. God, he just wanted to keep going. Push that prim and proper sweater out of the way and keep lapping at the pale skin that he couldn’t get enough of.

“Princess,” he replied.

And then froze.

His subconscious had just saved him. Tossing out that automatic title had been the necessary reminder that he wasn’t only kissing Kelsey. Elias was making out with a Princess of the Realm.

Also? He was making out with his best friend’s little sister.

Giveaway:

  • Ends November 28, 2019
  • Prize: Princess Basket (includes princess-themed items: journal, pen, mug, tea, candle)
  • Enter HERE

About Christi Barth:

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USA TODAY bestseller Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

 

 

 

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I Fade Away by Elle Keating – Cover Reveal + Excerpt

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Title: I Fade Away
Author
: Elle Keating
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 12, 2019

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After four months, Tia Peterson has been found. The woman who was kidnapped and trafficked has escaped hell only to realize that her nightmare isn’t over. Her story has hit the media and every reporter and news outlet wants to know the gory details; things she doesn’t want to speak of ever again.

But then she meets Trent Reddick.

The former Navy SEAL doesn’t ask too many questions, never pressures her to talk about what happened while she was held captive in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. He just wants to help her get her life back.But the more time they spend together, the stronger Trent’s feelings for Tia become…and that scares him. If he doesn’t find a way to rein in his emotions, be the friend she needs instead of the man he wants to be for her, he may lose her for good.

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Excerpt:

The Feds are gone for now. Because they have what they need. The name of my captor, where they can find the bodies…if there is anything left of them. According to the news, the fire spread quickly, consuming everything in its path. Part of me hopes that they find something, though. Some bones, a couple teeth, anything to prove that they are truly dead. But most likely they will only uncover ash, which leaves me disappointed.

I figure I bought myself a few hours until the agents return to probe me for more information, to ask me the same questions a thousand different ways.

How did you escape?

I ran.

Why did you run?

The house was on fire and I just witnessed three murders. Freedom was through the front door and I took it.

Who shot Edward Gaskill?

His nephew, Matthew.

Where is he now?

I have no idea.

And that is the truth. I don’t know where Matthew fled to. I just hope that wherever he is, he stays there, free to live out his life. I’ll always be grateful for what he did for me, that in the end he had become the man he had always wanted to be.

Was there anyone else in the house?

Yes, Edward Gaskill’s housekeeper and his slave, Aubrey. They’re both dead.

“Okay, Tia. I need to check your vitals again.” I don’t turn to look at the nurse who just entered my hospital room. She has already tried to strike up conversation once by telling me that she likes my name because it rhymes with Mia, her daughter’s middle name. “Tia, we have trained advocates who you can talk to… to be a support…”

I tap out and peer at the world through my hospital window. I can’t listen to another nurse or medical professional talk about the supports and services I should take advantage of because I’m an assault victim. Or stomach the way they look at me, pitying me.

“I already met with psych. I’m fine.” I don’t mean to be a bitch, but I have reached my limit and that is saying something.

“Oh, that’s great!”

I spoke to the psychiatrist, not to purge and express my feelings and relive four months of hell, but to convince the doctor that I’m stable enough to be discharged. Because that is my only goal right now. To leave this hospital, this fucking state.

“You’re almost finished with your last sodium bag. You should be nice and hydrated. How does your neck feel? Still irritated? Do you need something for the pain? On a scale from one to ten, what is your pain level?”

My hand goes to my neck and I touch the raw, sensitive flesh. “I’m fine.”

A hospital is the last place I wanted to end up because I knew this would happen. The questions, the sympathetic stares, tests to determine if I contracted something while I was…away. For a second I wish I had caught something lethal, because then it would be over; the memories, the nightmares. I would never see their faces again when I slept. I could just fade away.

About Elle Keating:

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Elle Keating is the author of romance novels with sexy heroes and fierce females. Her first book, Thrill of the Chase (Dangerous Love, #1), was published by Forever Romance’s digital imprint, Forever Yours, in 2015. She has since expanded the series and released the Dream Duet and the taboo romance, Keeping His Commandments. Elle is currently working on several projects including the sequel to Into Temptation and a steamy forbidden romance that may raise some eyebrows.

When Elle isn’t torturing her heroes and heroines (don’t worry, there’s always a happily ever after), she is a public school administrator and enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children in New Jersey. For more on Elle and her books, visit ellekeating.com.

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Most Ardently by Susan Mesler-Evans – Release Day Blitz + Excerpt

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Title: Most Ardently
Author
: Susan Mesler-Evans
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 21, 2019

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Elisa Benitez is proud of who she is, from her bitingly sarcastic remarks, to her love of both pretty boys and pretty girls. If someone doesn’t like her, that’s their problem, and Elisa couldn’t care less. Particularly if that person is Darcy Fitzgerald, a snobby, socially awkward heiress with an attitude problem and more money than she knows what to do with.

From the moment they meet, Elisa and Darcy are at each other’s throats — which is a bit unfortunate, since Darcy’s best friend is dating Elisa’s sister. It quickly becomes clear that fate intends to throw the two of them together, whether they like it or not. As hers and Darcy’s lives become more and more entwined, Elisa’s once-dull world quickly spirals into chaos in this story of pride, prejudice, and finding love with the people you least expect.

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Excerpt:

Charlene had gotten stuck dancing with Colin again. Well, maybe “stuck” was the wrong word. He’d been very polite about asking, and he was actually a pretty good dancer. And they’d been right next to a speaker, so the music was able to drown most of his latest speech out.

She had ducked into the bathroom, and was about to leave her stall to wash her hands when the door opened again, and three sets of feet walked in. They all stopped at the mirror, doing their makeup. And gossiping.

“I can’t believe Bobby has been talking to her all night,” a familiar voice said. It was either Cora or Louise, but Charlene had no idea how to tell them apart. “It isn’t her birthday.”

“I know. And she’s not even as pretty as his last girlfriend,” the other twin said. “And her family.”

“God, I know. I’m embarrassed for them. Even the one that’s not actually related to them.”

“The middle sister is so boring. And ugly.”

Charlene felt her chest tighten on Maria’s behalf.

Option 1: Burst out of the door and scream at them both for being judgmental brats, and probably prove their point.

Option 2: Stand here and do nothing.

Ugh. This is bullshit.

“And the youngest… God, what a train wreck, am I right?”

Both twins laughed.

“She’s a teen pregnancy waiting to happen. I hope Bobby gets over Julia or whoever soon. Then he can go back to girls actually worth his time, right, Darcy?”

That explained who the third girl was.

“I don’t do gossip,” Darcy said.

“Oh, come on, we’re alone.” Charlene barely repressed a snort. “You can be honest.”

“Yeah, didn’t you get stuck dancing with the fat one?” the other twin asked.

“Her name is Elisa,” Darcy said, voice suddenly sharp. “And I wasn’t stuck. I could’ve said, no.”

“We saw her screaming at you earlier.”

Oh, Elisa, what did you do now?

“She wasn’t screaming. It was just a disagreement. Very mature.”

“She looked really pissed off.” There was a pause. “What are you thinking about? You have that look on your face.”

It was a moment before Darcy answered. “Not much. Just the… joys of a spirited girl and a pair of fine eyes.”

One of the twins snorted. “Man, you’re weird. Who talks like that?”

“I knew getting her that word-a-day calendar was a bad idea,” the other said. “Come on, Cora, let’s go dance. I think they’re back to good music.”

Cora and Louise left, and Darcy was quick to follow. Finally free, Charlene popped out of the stall, and washed up as quickly as possible so she could find her friend. She couldn’t stop thinking about what she’d overheard. She had a bad vibe from Cora and Louise right from the start, but she’d tried not to judge too much. (Leave that to Elisa.) But it looked like in this case, her first impression had been correct. Darcy, however, had been a surprise. Not only did she not participate in the Benitez family trash-talking, she’d even kind of stood up for them. Well, for one of them.

And Charlene was willing to bet all the money she had that she knew exactly who that spirited girl was, and who those fine eyes belonged to.

She paused, going back-and-forth in her head. She’d never meddled in Elisa’s love life before, but that was mostly because she had no love life to speak of. Her first instinct was to let her know she had an admirer – but given that the admirer wasn’t her favorite person, was that really wise?

But they did have a lot in common.

Those two dating would be kind of amazing. Or it could lead to the end of all human civilization.

Win-win.

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About Susan Mesler-Evans:

Susan Mesler-Evans is a writer, college student, D&D enthusiast, theatre nerd, and horrific procrastinator. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Susan now lives in Florida, and can often be found reading, scrolling through Tumblr until 2 AM, overanalyzing her favorite fictional characters and relationships, bingewatching comedies on Netflix, thinking about writing, and even, on occasion, actually writing. Most Ardently is her first full-length novel. You can find her at susanmeslerevanswrites.com.

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Hating the Boss by Kristen Granata – Release Day Blitz + Excerpt + Giveaway

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Title: Hating the Boss
Author
: Kristen Granata
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 30, 2019

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One night.

That’s all it was supposed to be.

Imagine my surprise when Mr. Sexy in a Suit breezed through the door on the first day of school.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my new boss.

Not only does he instantly recognize me, but he accuses me of stealing something valuable from him the morning I walk-of-shamed out of his apartment.

When bullying me into a confession doesn’t work, he turns my life into a living nightmare – as if that will coax me into returning what I supposedly stole.

But this is my school, and the only thing I’ll be returning is payback.

Game. On.

There’s only one problem. I wanted him before I hated him, and even now, a part of me still wants him. Somehow, through all of our fighting, through the anger and the pranks, I think I’m falling in love with the enemy.

Excerpt:

I’ve been out of my office for most of the day. There must be a full moon coming tonight because the kids in this school are feral. I’ve had to sign off on six conduct reports and three incident reports.

At one o’clock, I fall into my comfy rolling chair behind my desk. My door is closed, and I’m hoping to catch up on e-mails and make a dent in this paperwork piled high on my desk.

I place my hand on my mousepad, feeling around for the mouse.

What the …?

Where’s the damn mouse?

I check under my desk and inside the drawers, but it doesn’t take too long for realization to set in.

“Goddamnit.”

I tear open the door and stomp down the hallway.

Raegan’s at the whiteboard in her classroom in the middle of a math lesson. She doesn’t look surprised when I barge into her room and start searching through the drawers in her desk.

She does, however, look like a cat who’s been caught with a mouthful of bird.

With a bounce in her step, she waltzes over to me. “Good Afternoon, Principal Waters. Can I help you? What is it that you’re looking for?”

Glancing at the class briefly, I give her a hard stare and smile. “You know exactly what I’m looking for.”

“I can assure you that I don’t.”

I edge closer to her, lowering my lips to her ear. Her warm, sweet scent wafts into my nostrils, and I fight the urge to run my nose along her neck. Focus, Waters. Jesus. “Give it back, or things are going to get a lot worse for you around here.”

Her eyes blaze as they lock with mine. She closes the gap between us, her chest almost pressed flush against me, and she whispers, “You don’t scare me.”

A shiver racks through my body. I can’t decide if I want to strangle her or fuck her right here on her desk. I’m starting to gain a better understanding of people who have a choking fetish.

“Hi, Principal Waters!” Hannah’s waving at me with Joshua at her side.

I clear my throat and straighten my tie. “Hi, Hannah. Hello, class. I hope you’re all having a great day full of fun and learning.”

Raegan chokes back a laugh as she saunters back to the whiteboard.

Laugh it up now. You won’t be laughing for much longer.

Giveaway:

  • Enter here
  • Prize: 1 (one) signed copy of Hating the Boss
  • Ends October 4, 2019

About Kristen Granata:

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Kristen Granata is a teacher by day, and an (exhausted) author by night. Known for writing emotional New Adult Romance, she loves creating realistic, flawed characters who struggle through the darkest parts of life and come out stronger on the other side. Kristen is a self-proclaimed “bitter cynic trapped in a hopeless romantic’s body.” Her characters pack a sarcastic punch, make you laugh, make you think, make you ugly cry – and they will always live happily ever after. If you’re a lover of moving, inspirational reads, Kristen’s your girl.

Kristen was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1986. She moved to Staten Island with her family and lived there for almost twenty years. There she attended community college and became a teacher. Despite her passion for writing, and despite her professors strongly suggesting she become a writer, she took the more sensible route (bitter cynic, remember?) After going through a difficult divorce when she was only twenty-nine, Kristen returned to writing. The raw story that poured out of her led her to publish her debut novel, Collision, in March of 2018. Soon after in August 2018, the sequel, Avoidance, was published. Her third novel, The Other Brother, released in April 2019.

Kristen openly shares her mental health struggles with depression and anxiety with her Instagram following. Her message is a beacon of hope to anyone who is suffering: You are not alone. She delicately weaves this theme into her writing, and demonstrates the ability of love to heal trauma.

When she’s not teaching or writing, Kristen is reading, Instagramming, indulging in her messy love affair with popcorn, and annoying her wife and step-daughters by incessantly singing along to The Greatest Showman soundtrack.

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