A Reaper Made by Liz Long

ReaperMadeGrace had finally gotten used to her new afterlife as a “Made” – a Reaper who used to be human. When Made Reapers and souls begin disappearing, however, Grace and her mentor Tully suspect demons. Grace’s worst fears are confirmed when her living family is threatened.

She’ll have to break every rule in the Reaper book to save them, including using a little magic to become temporarily human. With the help of Tully and her witchy friend Tessa, Grace goes undercover to save the fates of kidnapped souls – only to discover that demons aren’t working alone. Betrayal and distrust runs deep and Grace discovers that sometimes even Reapers are prone to humanity.

I was introduced to Liz Long with her Donovan Circus series. I knew then that she was going to be on my radar. A Reaper Made pretty much cinched it. ;)

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Grace was not only a ‘Made’ Reaper, but a fairly new one. She was still still learning and trying hard to keep her mentor happy. Tully played strictly by the rules, no exceptions. When the only way to find out what was really happening and to ultimately stop it was to break one of the biggest rules… well, that’s when things got interesting.

I really liked Grace. She was strong, loyal and she loved fiercely. Tessa was fun and the perfect side kick. Tully… well, I can’t say I really liked him, but by the end I loved him. Once you read A Reaper Made, you’ll understand.

A Reaper Made had a little bit of everything. Danger, action, magic, suspense, humor, an unexpected evil villain and even a little bit of romance.

I have to be honest and let you know that even though I enjoyed A Reaper Made, I liked Gifted and Burned in the Donovan Circus series more. Looking back, the only thing that sticks out in my mind as far as differences go is the fact that the Donovan Circus series is a lot darker. I’m pretty sure that proves a couple of things. One, my taste is a little warped (that should come as no surprise to anyone who’s visited here before) and two – Liz Long’s talent isn’t limited to one ‘type’ of writing. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

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Gaslamp Fortnight: A Steampunk Book Tour – October 27th – November 7th

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_MG_9451Authors L.A. Witt, Alexis Hall, and Cornelia Grey come together on a Steampunk book tour to celebrate the releases of Precious Metals, Prosperity, and Circus of the Damned.

Join us on adventures through the lawless, untamed, kraken-infested skies! Trek the snowy wilds of the Klondike in the company of a Mountie! Visit a soul-stealing circus where entertainment is at your own risk! Riptide’s Gaslamp Fortnight will tempt you with the steampunk and gaslamp worlds of Cornelia Grey, Alexis Hall, and L.A. Witt.

And Gaslamp Fortnight is featuring a fabulous giveaway! Comment on the tour stops for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to Harlots and Angels Steampunk Corsetry and get your own custom corset or personalized steampunk gear.

About Precious Metals

PreciousMetals_400x600For Constable Paul Benson of the North-West Mounted Police, monotony is a blessing. As a provision inspector below the Chilkoot Pass during the Klondike Gold Rush, he’s seen miserable conditions and gold fever turn civilized prospectors into madmen.

Joseph Starling is on his way to the Klondike to find the men who savagely beat him, murdered his eldest brother, and stole their mining machine. They’ll kill his youngest brother if Joseph doesn’t operate the machine for them—it won’t work without him. With time running out, Joseph must purchase an expensive ticket aboard a crash-prone airship. But the station is miles away through dangerous terrain.

Under orders, Paul grudgingly escorts Joseph, but quickly finds himself intrigued by the young man. As they make their way toward Juneau, it’s not just the need for warmth that drives them closer together. But neither man can draw an easy breath until they make it to the gold fields . . . and there’s no guarantee that Joseph’s brother will still be alive when they do.

About L.A. Witt

L.A. Witt is an author of gay erotic romances, and has been recently exiled from Okinawa, Japan, to Omaha, Nebraska. She resides there with her husband, a telekinetic goldfish, and two incredibly spoiled cats. It’s unclear if the exile was the result of the mostly classified “Aquarium Incident,” or if she’s actually being hidden, for her protection, from the Polynesian Mafia and her arch nemesis, erotic romance author Lauren Gallagher.

Should you encounter Lauren, don’t tell her L.A. is in Omaha. This bio will self-destruct in 17 seconds.

Connect with L.A.:

Giveaway

Comment on the tour stops for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to Harlots and Angels Steampunk Corsetry and get your own custom corset or personalized steampunk gear. Each new post you comment on earns you an entry into the drawing, so be sure to check out the rest of the tour schedule, too!

Harlots and Angels Bio

veg_tan_watchpocket_emossed2Hello I’m Sharon Ince and I own Harlots and Angels.  We are a UK based company that creates unusual sewing and crafting patterns, clothing, corsetry, props and accessories with a wide range of themes from Steampunk, Sci-Fi, Victorian, Gothic and Burlesque.

We have produced work for a large diversity of clients, including The Disney Corporation, the BBC costuming department, Sky TV, Working Title films as well as several Hollywood production companies and local theatre and film productions.

I have always loved to design and I’m self-taught. In fact I started at the early age of about 5 years old and have never stopped. I love to work with leather, sew natural fabrics, sculpt, and build my house with stone and wood; though my real passion is to design.

promo_pattern_packWhen I am starting out on a new design the hours fly by and I’m lost in the perfect bliss of experimenting, mathematical calculation, followed by the thrill of seeing the idea become reality.

My love of Gothic literature, mad inventors and scientists and all things Victorian has always filtered through my thoughts and designs, so when I first discovered the emerging Steampunk community some years ago many of my creations found their family niche.

Precious Metals (Metals #2) by L.A. Witt

PreciousMetalsFor Constable Paul Benson of the North-West Mounted Police, monotony is a blessing. As a provision inspector below the Chilkoot Pass during the Klondike Gold Rush, he’s seen miserable conditions and gold fever turn civilized prospectors into madmen.

Joseph Starling is on his way to the Klondike to find the men who savagely beat him, murdered his eldest brother, and stole their mining machine. They’ll kill his youngest brother if Joseph doesn’t operate the machine for them—it won’t work without him. With time running out, Joseph must purchase an expensive ticket aboard a crash-prone airship. But the station is miles away through dangerous terrain.

Under orders, Paul grudgingly escorts Joseph, but quickly finds himself intrigued by the young man. As they make their way toward Juneau, it’s not just the need for warmth that drives them closer together. But neither man can draw an easy breath until they make it to the gold fields . . . and there’s no guarantee that Joseph’s brother will still be alive when they do.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I liked the first book in L.A. Witt’s Metals series. Noble Metals did a great job of introducing the  harshness, greed and danger that prospectors were exposed to. Precious Metals drew the same vivid picture, but there was less world building. You can read this book without reading Noble Metals but I think reading it gives the story just a little more depth.

Paul and Joseph had a rocky start as far as relationships go. Joseph didn’t trust Paul and Paul didn’t trust himself around Joseph. Setting off alone brought them inevitably together, but it wasn’t instant love – or even like. The progression of their relationship was only part of the story.

I have to admit that historical fiction isn’t my go-to genre. If it’s steampunk though, I find it hard to resist. Joseph was young, but brilliant. He was stronger than people gave him credit for at first glance. Watching Paul slowly gain respect and admiration for him was what made me grow to like him as a character. Honestly, I wasn’t sure at first. Their journey was full of danger, revelations and just enough romance to keep things interesting.

I really hope that this series continues. I enjoy the break out of my usual reading norm. While you’re here, be sure to check out the Gaslamp Fortnight: A Steampunk Book Tour between now and November 7, 2014. Enjoy!

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Unmarked (The Legion #2) by Kami Garcia

Unmarked

He is here… and he could be anyone.

Kennedy Waters lives in a world where vengeance spirits kill, ghosts keep secrets, and a demon walks among us–a demon she accidentally set free.

Now Kennedy and the other Legion members–Alara, Priest, Lukas, and Jared–have to hunt him down. As they learn more about the history of the Legion and the Illuminati, Kennedy realizes that the greatest mystery of all does not belong to any secret order, but to her own family. With the clock ticking and the life of someone she loves hanging in the balance, Kennedy has to ask the question she fears most: what is it about her past that has left her Unmarked?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Not much time passes between the end of Unbreakable and the beginning of Unmarked. Kennedy is hidden away in a school that her aunt stuck her in, which is fine with her. As much as she wants to be with Alara, Priest, Lukas and Jared, she knows that they’re safer being away from her. Her distance doesn’t last long though and once the group is back together the action doesn’t stop. Neither do the revelations.

Normally when I love a book as much as I did Unmarked I ramble and go off in tangents hoping that something coherent is coming out of the words that get thrown together. With Unmarked, I can’t risk it. So much happens, so many things are discovered, so many secrets are revealed… I just don’t want to give anything away. *sigh*

New characters were introduced that are going to make the rest of this series more than interesting… and no, I can’t tell you who any of them are. You’ll just have to read Unmarked to find out. Oh, and if you’re not a fan of cliff hangers, wait a while. As suspenseful endings go, I’m not sure which one of these books left characters in worse situations. As second books in a series go, Unmarked definitely lived up to the first.

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Billionaire with Benefits (Romancelandia #2) by Anne Tenino

BillionaireWithBenefits_400x600It’s just a friend thing

Before confessing his gayness to his best friend, Tierney Terrebonne’s sex life is strictly restroom. After confessing his gayness to his best friend . . . it doesn’t improve much. Why bother trying when the man he’s loved for fourteen years (see: “best friend”) is totally unattainable? Good thing Tierney is an old hand at accepting defeat; all it takes is a bottle of bourbon. Or fifty. Repeat as needed.

Dalton Lehnart has a history of dating wealthy, damaged, closeted, lying, cheating, no-good, cowardly men, so of course he’s immediately attracted to Tierney Terrebonne. Fortunately, Tierney is so dissolute that even Dalton’s feelings for the man would be better described as pity. Which becomes sympathy as they get to know each other. Followed by compassion, concern, caring, and hopefulness as Tierney struggles to change his life. When the man comes out very publicly and enters rehab, Dalton finds himself downright attached to Tierney. And as everyone knows, after attachment comes . . .

Uh oh.

But post-rehab Tierney can’t handle more than friendship, so Dalton should be safe from repeating his own past mistakes, right? Right?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1You probably noticed that I was one of the stops on the Billionaire with Benefits Virtual Book Tour. Anne Tenino explained in that post that this installment of Romancelandia took a lot longer to write than expected which, in turn, made the time span between Too Stupid to Live and Billionaire with Benefits a little longer. To be honest, I hadn’t noticed. (Don’t judge, I read a lot…) That is, until I started reading this book and realized that I didn’t really remember the characters from the first book. That’s okay though, because there was a fair amount of overlap in the beginning of Billionaire with Benefits. It didn’t take me long to get up to speed. (Plus, it gave me an excellent excuse to re-read the first book – you know, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything important. ;) )

There are a couple of things that draw me into Anne Tenino’s books. The first is humor. Her characters are witty and real. They had dimension and were all well rounded, but none of them took themselves too seriously – for the most part. Which brings me to the second thing that draws me in… there were some pretty tough issues in this book. Bashing, prejudice, abuse (mental, physical and substance.) The humor took the edge off, but it didn’t diminish any of it.

Tierney was broken. Dalton had pulled himself out of a past that he had no intention of repeating. Together they were perfect, whether they knew it at first or not. Having Ian and Sam in the middle of it all kept things interesting. A lot of ground was covered in Billionaire with Benefits. Past and present was woven together perfectly. The dynamic between friends, family, lovers and even enemies kept things interesting and I loved every minute of it.

Just a side note. The title doesn’t really do this book justice. Yes, Tierney comes from money and Dalton doesn’t, but this isn’t your stereotypical ‘have – have not’ romance. It very easily could have been, given Dalton’s history, but it never went there – which is a good thing.

Hopefully there won’t be as much of a time lapse between Billionaire with Benefits and the next and final book in the Romancelandia series. Regardless, I’ll be waiting patiently for the next installment. ;)

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Before Midnight (Blood Prince #1) by Jennifer Blackstream

BeforeMidnightLoupe always dreamed of getting married. She yearned for a caring husband who would take her away from her servant-like existence at home with her stepmother and two stepsisters, a man who would love her forever. Those dreams ended the day she was bitten by a werewolf. Now she’s a mindless beast on the night of the full moon—a condition that forever prevents her from sharing a marriage bed. Not even the attentions of a handsome and endearingly strong prince can convince her that the life she wants is still possible. 

Etienne is a prince in need of a werewolf. A werewolf himself from birth, Etienne and his family have protected their kingdom with tooth and claw—literally—for thousands of years. Unfortunately, the spell of a well-meaning witch is slowly turning him human. Only the bite of a cursed werewolf, one who was not born with the beast inside, can save him from becoming human. He has no time for anything that will not lead him to a cure for the curse. Not even the beautiful maiden whose gentle nature soothes his soul can take his mind from his goal.

Love cares little for the best laid plans or the impossible. A grand ball. The stroke of twelve. A magic “slipper.” All kinds of things can happen when you don’t leave the ball…Before Midnight.

Blood Prince is a series with a lot of potential. I loved the prologue. It wove an intricate story that I can’t wait to continue. Supernatural princes that are all flawed. Each one needing to find their princess for various reasons. That introduction made me want to get to know each one of them.

Etienne was cursed/blessed by a well meaning witch. Loupe was cursed by a werewolf. The story was unique, but familiar. There were enough differences in the story that it kept me guessing. Some of the story was borderline corny – some if it made me roll my eyes, but I still enjoyed it. There were things that happened that I wondered about (no spoilers – you’ll have to read it to totally understand), but all in all Before Midnight was a great start to a series that I will be checking out in the future.

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Coffin Hop 2014: Custom Kindle Giveaway!

Originally posted on Michelle Muto:

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Welcome to Coffin Hop 2014! October 24th-31st.

Every year, I participate along with hundreds of other horror/paranormal writers. For us, it’s a way of connecting with fellow horror/paranormal authors, having a great time, and showing you our dark side–what we write. For readers, there are new authors to discover and contests galore. The more blogs you visit, the more treats you will find. But there’s more to it than that. You’ll find creepy articles, stories, and who knows what else. This is a Halloween celebration after all! In fact, I couldn’t wait to start, so I’m posting a few days early.

All month long, I’ve been posting Friday Night Frights. Go check them out! From freaky and fun Halloween themed videos to creepy gifs, or great movie and book suggestions, there’s something for everyone. Watch the book trailer for THE HAUNTING SEASON. Read excerpts from my novels

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By creativedeeds

Billionaire with Benefits Virtual Book Tour

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Voodoo-KenHello, and welcome to the Billionaire with Benefits Blog Tour! *fanfare, etc*

You might have noticed this book took me a while to write . . . or maybe you didn’t notice, but take my word for it, it did. That might be why it ended up longer than it needed it to be. Ultimately we trimmed over 15,000 words from the original Billionaire manuscript, so posts from me (as opposed to spotlights and reviews) are all going to be cut scenes from the book. Sort of like the extras on a DVD, but, you know, not.

A list of stops on the tour can be found here. Why would you want to follow the tour? Well, because I’m giving away a fabulous, one-of-a-kind Voodoo Ken Kit, which the winner can use to seek revenge on any or all of their exes. How do you win? Check the bottom of each tour post for details.

* * *

Billionaire with Benefits

It’s just a friend thing

BillionaireWithBenefits_400x600Before confessing his gayness to his best friend, Tierney Terrebonne’s sex life is strictly restroom. After confessing his gayness to his best friend . . . it doesn’t improve much. Why bother trying when the man he’s loved for fourteen years (see: “best friend”) is totally unattainable? Good thing Tierney is an old hand at accepting defeat; all it takes is a bottle of bourbon. Or fifty. Repeat as needed.

Dalton Lehnart has a history of dating wealthy, damaged, closeted, lying, cheating, no-good, cowardly men, so of course he’s immediately attracted to Tierney Terrebonne. Fortunately, Tierney is so dissolute that even Dalton’s feelings for the man would be better described as pity. Which becomes sympathy as they get to know each other. Followed by compassion, concern, caring, and hopefulness as Tierney struggles to change his life. When the man comes out very publicly and enters rehab, Dalton finds himself downright attached to Tierney. And as everyone knows, after attachment comes . . .

Uh oh.

But post-rehab Tierney can’t handle more than friendship, so Dalton should be safe from repeating his own past mistakes, right? Right?

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/billionaire-with-benefits

* * *

I originally wrote the following scene thinking that one of the characters in it—Dalton’s roommate, Vance—would have a larger part to play in Billionaire. Why should you care about Vance? Because Vance will care very much about Miller in the third (and final, swear to God) book in the Romancelandia series.

At any rate, this was the sole surviving scene with a peek at Vance, until we cut it. Now, Vance is only mentioned by Dalton a few times in the final Billionaire product. C’est la vie. You’ll get enough of him eventually.

Quick set-up: this scene is in Dalton’s POV, and it’s a couple days after his third meeting with Tierney, during which they agreed to “use” each other for emotional support. The rest of the details should explain themselves.

Tierney didn’t call, not in the first two days after their parking garage encounter. Dalton had never entered into any sort of friendship on the premise of using someone and being used in turn, but it seemed to him the protocol required that the one with the bigger need initiate contact. Apparently Tierney didn’t need him.

It really shouldn’t bother him, should it? Too bad it did.

When he got home from work Thursday night, he went directly to his room and his cat, avoiding his housemates. Instead he lay on his bed, letting his pet comfort him. Or rather, taking comfort from giving affection to his pet, since it didn’t usually work in reverse.

“I found the perfect apartment for us,” Dalton said into Blue’s fur while he scratched the cat under the chin. The potentially ideal apartment had lived up to his hype. “They’re checking our credit history now. Well, my credit history.”

Blue purred in agreement, kneading claws into Dalton’s chest, generally making himself comfortable on his person’s stomach. “Mrrow.”

As Dalton asked, “What is it, baby cat?” the beast rolled over onto his stomach. Of course, he wanted a belly rub. And of course he alternately luxuriated in sensation and mauled Dalton’s fingers, grabbing them in his claws and biting Dalton’s knuckles. Blue was only playing, but he wasn’t the type of cat to pull his punches. The best Dalton could hope for was that his skin didn’t get totally shredded.

“Why am I such a sucker for men whose bark is as bad as their bite?” he asked. Blue twisted, flipping in one fluid motion from supine to the standard, Egyptian cat-god pose. On his haunches, front paws planted over Dalton’s heart, tail wrapped around himself. The way the tip of it whipped back and forth and the slit-eyed expression gave him away though. “Sorry,” Dalton apologized. “How about: ‘Why am I such a sucker for bitey, snarly strays’?”

Blue blinked and looked away, surveying his kingdom, apparently content with that depiction of himself and Tierney. Unconcerned about dishing out abuse, because he knew Dalton would always be there for him. Rub his tummy if he meowed the right way. He dug into Dalton’s abdominal muscles, leaping off him and heading for the door, looking back at his person. Dalton realized the noise he’d only half-heard and barely registered a few seconds before was his last roommate leaving the house. Now that the place was empty, Blue was willing to allow Dalton to feed him in the kitchen.

He shoved himself off the bed. “Time for dinner?”

Blue had finished bolting down his food and had begun licking his paw, then swiping it over his face, before Dalton was done making himself a sandwich. When the back door opened and Vance walked into the house, the cat went on instant alert, paws planted wide, hair standing up, hissing at the intruder before racing down the hallway back to the safety of Dalton’s room.

Vance rolled his eyes. “I just don’t get what you see in that cat.”

Dalton laughed and gave his favorite roomie a bro-hug. “I guess I have a thing for bad-tempered males who’d prefer to hide in the closet.” His high school boyfriend (a closeted cheerleader, of all things), most of his exes, Blue, and now here he was being pulled to yet another man with major issues about his sexuality.

He really needed to change his habits. Stop being attracted to the angry, wounded creatures in life. Other than Blue, of course.

“What are you doing tonight?” Vance asked, stealing a piece of ham from Dalton’s sandwich.

“Nothing. Wanna hang out?” He could use the distraction.

But Vance made a face. “I can’t. I have a paper due.”

Another reminder of the current, discordant state of his life—he had roommates who were years younger than him and in a stage Dalton had moved past. Yeah, things really needed to change.

He went back to his room with his sandwich and dug out one of those books Sam had recommended, because it was probably his safest bet for romance in the foreseeable future.

* * *

Want a chance to win Voodoo Ken? Well, keep looking, because this isn’t the post with the magical question. FYI, I’ll ship worldwide, so anyone can enter.

* * *

webvatarRaised on a steady diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino was—famously—the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.

Anne’s husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne’s need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. However, other than occasionally stealing Ken1’s strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference.

Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.

Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her site. http://annetenino.com

Links:

Riptide http://www.riptidepublishing.com/authors/anne-tenino
Dreamspinner Press http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2446
Twitter https://twitter.com/AnneTenino
G+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/115349772749167236252/posts
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/anne.tenino
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Tenino/e/B005FQZOHS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1381004707&sr=8-2-ent

By creativedeeds

Stand by You (Belonging #3) by A.M. Arthur

StandByYouThree months after his rescue from an abusive boyfriend, twenty-two-year-old Romy Myers has landed his first legitimate job bussing, tables at his friend’s new coffee shop. The job has brought him some stability after years of abuse have left him feeling damaged and broken. He’s working hard on his panic and social anxiety, and those things are often tempered by the big, burly presence of Brendan Walker.

From the moment ex-football player Brendan helped rescue Romy from his ex’s abuse, he’s wanted to protect him. And he does, from a distance, with joking text messages, a new gym routine to toughen him up and a genuine friendship. So far it’s been easy but Brendan’s feelings aren’t just friendly anymore…

When an argument spirals out of control, a hot and heavy make-out session causes Romy’s friendship with supposedly straight Brendan to reach a new level. The last thing Romy wants is to fall for another guy who could potentially shatter him, but Brendan also wakes up a part of him he thought had been destroyed by violence, his heart.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Yep, another series that I jumped into head first without reading the first two books. This is one that I will back-track to be sure. Not just because I want the set-up and to figure out what I missed, but because I love all these guys and really want to get to know them better. *sigh* Honestly, other than a little bit of set-up and getting emotionally attached to the supporting cast of characters, this could almost be a stand alone. Almost….

What Romy went through before his story unfolds in Stand by You was horrific. His ex-boyfriend’s abuse was bad, but his back story was heart breaking and A.M. Arthur gave it to us in small bits and pieces. That’s a good thing because I don’t think I could have taken it all at once. Readers got the story as Brendan did and he didn’t get it until Romy was ready to trust him with it and he was strong enough to recount it. Yeah, it was that bad.

Brendan was the strong, silent type. He also had a big heart and a need to protect those he cared about. He also reached out to people in the community that needed a helping hand. The closer he got to Romy and the more of his back story was revealed, the more I liked him.

The romance between these two was sweet. Brendan had to come to terms with who he really was and Romy had to come to terms with everything. There were some ups and downs and both of them made some mistakes along the way, but their relationship grew from friendship to something a lot stronger.

There were characters that I hated and some that I really loved. One of them was Brendan’s mom. I admired her for her strength and her beliefs. I wasn’t sure at first, but by the end of the story she was the one who had me in tears.

As for the rest of the characters in this group of friends? No Such Thing and Maybe This Time, the first two books in the Belonging series,  have already made it to my TBR list.

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