[Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway] Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase


Suddenly Royal

Title: Suddenly Royal
Author: Nichole Chase
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.
Guest Post by Nichole Chase: The Do’s and Don’ts of Dating a Royal

Do: Read up on their protocols and customs.
Don’t: Call the Queen Mother Granny or Home Dawg.

Do: Respect that royal’s privacy.
Don’t: Change your Facebook relationship status to boning Prince Yummy and don’t post that his kisses catch your panties on fire. (Even if he knocks your socks off.)

Do: Ask how much they want the public to know.
Don’t: Purchase shirts that say, “I’m dating Prince Yummy” with an arrow pointing next to you.

Do: Avoid answering media questions when at all possible.
Don’t: Have a gab fest with the editor of a gossip magazine, where you dish about how your new huggy-bear likes to brush his teeth in the buff.

Do: Always act appropriate in public.
Don’t: Never get drunk and call the paparazzi horn toads, Frankenstein, Jean Claude Van Dam Idiots, or anything else belligerent. (Even if they deserve it.)

Do: Dress appropriately.
Don’t: Wear cut off shorts for tea with the Queen or a mini skirt to a state function.

Do: Make sure your friends don’t feel neglected.
Don’t: Send out emails telling your friends that you’re too good for them now that you’re dating a prince.

Do: Make time for just the two of you. Watch movies, picnic, or go cook together. Keep it real.
Don’t: Schedule every date in the public eye.

Do: Make sure they know you’re thinking about them when gone on business trips.
Don’t: Show up at their hotel in nothing but a bow. (Unless you’re safely secured in their room before donning the bow!)

Do: Take the time to get to know their family, not just their public personas.
Don’t: Send them chain letters asking their favorite color.

Do: Be yourself.
Don’t: Forget why he/she fell for you.

Do: Let them know that you would be with them even if they weren’t royalty.
Don’t: Date them just because you want to be a princess.

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[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway] Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines

(Check out the rest of the tour stops HERE)

Twisted Perfection (Perfection, #1) 
Title: Twisted Perfection (Perfection #1)
Author: Abbi Glines
Release Date: April 20, 2013
Life outside of her house was a new experience for Della Sloane. The dark secrets of her past weren’t something she ever intended to share with anyone. They would never understand. No one would ever get close enough to find out. There was always a chance she’d go crazy sooner than they expected…

Woods Kerrington had never been one to be attracted to fragile females. They seemed like too much work. He wasn’t in it for the work just the pleasure. A night full of naughty fun had been exactly what was on his mind when he’d laid eyes on the hot little number that didn’t know how to pump gas and needed some help.

What he didn’t know was she was as fragile as they came.
The carefree girl who spoke her mind and didn’t care what the world thought of her was more breakable than he could ever imagine…

I love Woods. I don't think I've expounded on it enough when I reviewed Never Too Far, but I really do. He's protective, a gentleman, and a good guy to boot. Through reading about Blaire and Rush's story, a part of me just wanted to scream at Blaire to give Woods a chance because he was that amazing. He cared about Blaire without expecting anything in return, and he was the best friend he could be to her when she need one. In hindsight, I remember wishing for Abbi Glines to write Woods his own book, because wow, this is a character I would love to read more about (and I'm sure I'm not the only one!). So yeah, I bet most of you can imagine my reaction when I got an advance review copy of Twisted Perfection...

My god, just when I thought I couldn't love Woods more, Glines proved me wrong. We were already privy to some aspects of Woods' character with the way he interacted with Blaire in the past, but given the fact that we're inside his head this time around, you just learn a lot about him. And to be honest, I loved what I learned. Woods seems like your typical good-looking, rich snob but there's so much more to him that meets the eye. His life may seem perfect, but it's not. His father has been controlling him all his life, and in order for Woods to assume a higher role in the family company, he must continue to let his father pull the strings. Initially, Woods is content to do so, but this all changes when he meets Della. Now, Woods is in a constant state of indecision - should he abide by his father's wishes, or should he actually do what he wants?

That's what makes Della so different from the other girls Woods has dated. She challenges Woods to stand up for himself, to fight for the things he believes in. On the flipside, it is because of meeting Woods that Della finally figures out how to live, after having been cooped up all her life. At first, I wasn't that convinced that Woods and Della's relationship would be anything but physical, but they were quick to make me believe otherwise. The instant connection was there - it was apparent from the getgo that they could talk to each other about anything, and it was soon made clear to me that both Woods and Della wanted each other irregardless of all the baggage from the past and the obstacles of the future .

Truth be told, I didn't quite like Della as much as I liked Blaire. It was difficult for me to fully grasp her character - at times she seemed like a strong, independent woman, but there were moments when she acknowledges that she was starting to be dependent on Woods. Though she is not afraid to speak her mind, sometimes she is just fragile and scared beyond relief. However, I have to admit, because I couldn't quite understand Della, that just makes me want to read about her more.

I thought that this novel would be a stand-alone, but after that major cliffhanger, I'm obviously wrong. I'm actually glad that Glines is continuing Woods and Della's story because there's so much more to explore. While both characters have already come to terms with their past, their future is in no way secure because there's still a lot they both have to figure out. Moreover, given Della's background, her character development is in no way complete. As early now, I'm already salivating for the sequel!

Rating: 4 Stars

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Waiting on Wednesday [17]

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. Yes, from this week forward, WoW is once again a regular feature on my blog! (*throws confetti*)

Today's WoW spotlights Spirit (Elemental #3) by Brigid Kemmerer:

Spirit (Elemental, #3)

Title: Spirit (Elemental #3)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Published By: KTeen
With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…
I love Hunter, even after that whole revelation near the end of Spark, and I just want him to be buds without the Merricks. So yeah, as you obviously can see, I'm quite invested in this series of novels and I just want Spirit in my hands now!

[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway] Broken at Love by Lyla Payne


Broken at Love (Whitman University, #1)

Title: Broken at Love (Whitman University #1)
Author: Lyla Payne
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Lyla's Twitter / Lyla's Facebook
When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.

College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.

But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?

Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.

To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.


I have never hated a book character like I did Quinn after reading that first chapter. Seriously, what a jackass! That whole game of his just reeked of bad taste and insensitivity, and the callous way he treated all those girls grated at me. In fact, I wanted to somehow reach into my reading device, grab him by the collar, and punch him (and his half-brother Sebastian too while we're at it) because what he was doing was just goddamn awful. I mean, a little part of me can see why Quinn was so pissed off at life, given that his tennis career ended prematurely, and as a result, he was dumped by someone whom he thought loved him, but that does not give him the right to play that fucked up game. God, I hated him. I really did.

Well, I didn't hate him throughout reading the entire book. After learning more about Quinn - how he viewed life, how he viewed himself, and how he thinks of the game as something that gets him through some of the more painful weeks of his life, my hate quickly morphed into pity mixed with tinges of pain. Payne did a great and thorough job of peeling the layers off the character of Quinn - it was fleshed out, and we get to see him at his worst, and we ultimately slowly come to terms as to why the way he is. Slowly but surely, I understood him and why he did certain things. I may not condone all of them, but I did understand where he was coming from.

Of course, Quinn doesn't count on someone like Emilie blindsiding him. Somehow, she sees all through the bullshit, and she doesn't act like he expects her to. Everything starts off as a game, but that quickly changes. Emilie's the only one who actually cares, and that throws Quinn off. He doesn't feel like he deserves someone like her, and he does all he can to push her away, because he thinks he can never be good enough for her. Emilie doesn't give up on him easily though, and that's what I love the most about this book. Sometimes, what a broken person needs is someone who will have faith on him or her, and that was what Emilie was to Quinn. Even though it would have been so easy to walk way, Emilie stands by Quinn, and lets her know just how much she believes in him.

I loved Broken at Love but while reading it, everything felt a bit rushed. I guess that has something to do with the timeline, given that the major plot points occurs during the four tennis grandslam tournaments, and these tournaments are months apart. It also bothered me that Quinn practically never stood up to Sebastian, even though it was adamant that he was getting tired of Sebastian's many schemes. He could have gotten out of Sebastian's thumb if he had tried hard enough, but he was content enough to feel sorry for himself instead of actually trying.

All in all, this was a pretty easy read. I enjoyed reading about both Emilie and Quinn, and I loved the ending - it was spectacularly done! The dual POVs also enriched the story, and while I wish I could have learned a little more about both characters (I learned enough but I just honestly wanted to get to know them more!), I was ultimately satisfied with this novel.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

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Stacking the Shelves [11] + Blog Round-Up

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's a great way to show other people the books that you've bought or received for the past week.

And... wow. The last time I had StS on the blog was January, and a lot has changed since then. First and foremost, I got a job (my first ever - yay me!) so I have more money to spend towards books. (And I'm now practically a pauper since I literally can't stop myself from going into bookstores and coming out with heaps of books... but yes, this is a discussion for another time.) Anyway, I know I've previously mentioned that I would only be doing this meme at the end of every month, but yeah, beginning May, I think I'm going to try putting up these haul posts twice a month instead.

Also, feel free to follow me via bloglovin' - the follow button's on my sidebar.

Anyway, without further ado... here's my haul for the past month!



Awakening by Kelley Armstrong                      Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Salvation by Anne Osterlund                           The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand                              The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer                             Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer



The Bloglovin' Bandwagon

Here's another way for you to follow my blog, since apparently GFC is about to croak or something -

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Published by: HarperCollins
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


Honestly, I hate myself for taking so long to buy myself a copy of this book. Once I finally did, I then let it sit on my shelf for how many weeks before I even picked it up. So why did I do just that, you may ask? Simple.. Bloggers have been positively raving about Shatter Me since I started blogging (that was six months ago!) and it had somehow become engrained in my brain that books that are hyped aren't good. Crazy analogy, huh? (This is the reason why it took me forever to pick up The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer as well.) Too hyped - it can't possibly live up to the hype!, I couldn't help but think. And if it's not adamantly obvious by the very first statement of this review, Shatter Me lived up to the hype surrounding it. In fact, I'm going to go one step further and state no-holds-barred that this novel blew me away.

First and foremost, I loved how Mafi didn't try to make her dystopian world so utterly complicated. Plenty of authors make that mistake - they suddenly throw out all of these names and terms that make no sense to first-time readers on the first few pages - no background whatsover, I might add - and they don't realize that most often than not, they lose these readers due to the fact that their worlds are too perplexing to grasp. I love how this world portrayed in Shatter Me is so simple, yet Mafi made sure that we had enough background to know just why the world we live in came to be the world she built. I found it easy to lose myself in this particular fabricated world - every single detail about it was absorbing, and I honestly couldn't read about it enough.

I loved the writing. I loved how unconventional it was, and it fit Juliette's personality to a T. I know that some people found it to be a bit too exaggerated, but that wasn't the case to me. It perfectly showcased Juliette's loneliness, desperation, and self-hatred. Labelled a murderer because of her fatal touch, Juliette is deemed too dangerous to be amongst other people, and she was thrown into isolation. Via the writing, you see how 264 days in isolation affected her - she had no one to talk to but herself all those days, and Juliette merely had a pen and notebook to keep herself company. Furthermore, we were also privy to the difference between how Juliette herself wants to think, and how she was taught to think by those around her. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, Juliette is a step or two away from complete and total insanity, all because of what she went through in life. After such a long time living in her cell by herself, Juliette is thrown into a loop when she is suddenly joined by another prisoner by the name of Adam.

I think it couldn't be more obvious that a relationship, a connection, would develop between Juliette and Adam. What else could you expect between two people locked together in confinement? What I was interested in was how Mafi would write about this said relationship - how exactly would she develop it? I'm not going to lie - I was expecting insta-love, but that couldn't be further from how Mafi portrayed Juliette and Adam's budding relationship. A lot more things are at play between the two. Well, sure, there is a bit of insta-love from Juliette's side of things, but hey, can you blame her? How long has she been without another person beside her? However, just because Juliette is attracted to Adam, that doesn't change the fact that she's almost forgotten how to act around another person, and that she is wary of other people, simply put. Their initial interactions were minimal at best. That of course changes as time goes by, but you get my drift. I appreciate that Mafi's writing was true to Juliette's character and background through and through.

Okay - this review would be in no way complete if I don't talk about Warner. Warner, Warner, Warner. Pretty much all my friends who have read Shatter Me are gaga over Warner and want him to end up with Juliette, but I really can't say the same. It's not that Warner isn't an intriguing and fascinating character (because he IS, and I want to learn everything I can learn about him), but I just don't think he's a good match for Juliette.Warner is TOO infatuated with Juliette, and this infatuation seemingly stemmed from merely his admiration of her power, and I do not like that (of course, I could be wrong, given that I haven't read the sequel). He's practically obsessed! Besides, Juliette is (for the lack of a better word) broken. In my opinion, a guy like Warner - power-hungry, domineering, sly and dangerous, amongst others - can't possibly help Juliette love herself more in the long run.

All in all, I LOVED this novel. (And I just love Tahereh!) I can't wait to see how Juliette will continue to grow as a character, and I'm positively excited to know more about both Adam and Warner. I don't usually like dystopia, but this one sets itself apart from other books from its genre. I'm definitely following this series to the end!

Rating: 5 Stars

[Blog Tour: Review] The Love Game by Emma Hart

The Love Game (The Game, #1) 
Title: The Love Game
Author: Emma Hart
Release Date: March 29, 2013
His challenge? Make her fall in love with him.
Her challenge? Play the player.
Until life changes the rules of the game.

Maddie Stevens hated Braden Carter on sight. Arrogant, egotistical, and the playboy of the University of California, Berkeley, he's everything her brother Pearce has taught her to despise. So why, when the girls challenge her to play the player, doesn't she say no? She doesn't know either.

Braden wanted fiery little Maddie the second he laid eyes on her - and he'd do anything to have her, hence why he's agreed to make her fall in love with him. After all, it's the only way he'll get what he wants. Sex.

But, as Braden discovers, there's more to the girl from Brooklyn than he ever imagined - and he can't help but care about the broken girl behind those pretty green eyes.

Maddie finds Braden isn't just a walking erection - he actually has feelings. He can be sweet, funny and his good looks don't exactly hurt. That means trouble - but when her brother Pearce turns up in Berkeley begging for her help, she realises Braden and Pearce aren't so alike anymore.

And maybe, just maybe, they're exactly what each other needs.

The plot of The Love Game reminded me somewhat of John Tucker Must Die (which I consider a favorite - yes, I am rather passionate towards chick flicks, don't judge!) so upon seeing the blurb, I knew I had to give this one a shot. It's not that I have no idea what will ultimately happen to the characters (because you just know that the heroine will fall in love with the jerk of a hero), but I was curious to see how this particular story would unfold. I wanted a quick read - nothing too serious, but not too shallow and superficial either - and I think The Love Game fits that description to a T. It's not without faults by any means, but I'm pretty sure that a lot of people would love this one.

So yes, let me begin with the plot. After seeing and hearing too much about Braden Carter's douchey womanizing ways, three girls decide to do something about it... and they enlist the help of Maddie. Maddie accepts her friends' issued challenge to play the player - Maddie has to make Braden fall in love with her, and at the end of the day, toss him to the curb. It's not a wholly original storyline, but I still find it interesting in the sense that there are just so many things that can go wrong with the three girls' plan of teaching Braden a lesson, and yet they somehow don't give a damn about that. They're blase, carefree, and I don't know... so young. (I know, I know, I'm not old by any means but college was practically a lifetime ago.) The way they approached their lives - guns blazing and everything - made me a little wistful, I guess. Anyway,  unbeknownst to the girls, the guys issued a challenge to Braden of their own, and of course that complicates things. (I'm talking about Maddie's friends throughout this paragraph, just to be clear.)

It's not that I didn't enjoy the novel, because I mostly did, but I wasn't really fond of certain plot points - a major one of which is the storyline revolving around Maddie's relationship with her brother Pearce. Her whole dilemma with her brother (which stemmed her desire to teach Braden a lesson) was a bit weak, and it most definitely wasn't explored enough. As a matter of fact, it felt out of place. Maddie kept on comparing Braden and Pearce even though they were not the least bit alike, and this whole notion just felt forced. When the time came for Maddie to come clean to Braden about Pearce and her family, I just couldn't make myself feel anything - in my opinion, it would have been better if Maddie's past was revealed bit by bit and not in just one outburst. Readers would be able to empathize with her more then.

Another peeve of mine was how it was Braden's best friend, Megan, who concocted the plan in the first place. I don't know about you guys, but I would never set up my best friend to get his heart broken. That's just wrong in so many levels, despite how good your intention might be. Here we have Braden making it known to everyone how much he adored and respected Megan, and on the other hand, we have Megan who made a game of Braden. I couldn't get past this development no matter how hard I tried, because setting up to intentionally hurt someone is just... evil in my book.

Up to this point, you may be asking me if I truly liked this novel because I have a bunch of qualms about it, but I truly liked the parts wherein we get to see just how strong Maddie's friendships with the rest of the girls are, and I also enjoyed reading about Braden and his friends. I loved reading about the big group's trip to Vegas too. In short, I enjoyed reading the 'fun' parts, if you may, where things weren't too serious, and the bets were just that - bets, and there were no deep back stories in tow. I can't help but this book was trying too hard to be dark, and a lot of character and plot development were rushed because of that. Why not just play the player because the Maddie simply felt like it or something, and have her character grow from that? Maddie's reasoning behind agreeing to the challenge just felt off-kilter.

As I have mentioned, this novel isn't without its faults, but I can truly see a lot of people enjoying reading it. While I would have preferred The Love Game to be a bit more fun (I really should find another synonym for fun), hey, everyone has his or her own opinion, right? Overall, this is still an intriguing beginning to a series, and I think the next book would probably be about Megan, which I will most definitely read because I want to get inside her head. The last passage of The Love Game is a favorite too, so make sure to look out for that!

Rating: 3 Stars

[Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway] Love's Forbidden Flower by Diane Rinella

(Check out the rest of the tour stops HERE)

Love's Forbidden Flower (Forbidden Flower #1)
Title: Love's Forbidden Flower
Author: Diane Rinella
Release Date: November 28, 2012
Published by: Midnight to Six
The heart cares not what society forbids.

Lily nurtures a secret love for a flawless man—the one who is her soul mate. Donovan is gorgeous, charismatic, and delights in all of Lily’s talents and quirks. Their innate knowledge of each other is almost telepathic. Together they interlock like fine threads creating luxurious silk.

But society dictates this picture-perfect adoration is the ghastliest of all possibilities.

As Lily embarks on a quest for the romance the heavens intended, her suitor turns reluctant. Desperate to uncover why Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hiding decayed from a tender-hearted gentleman into a ferociously self-serving, cocky bastard, Lily is prepared for battle when it comes to the salvation of her soul mate. However, Donovan traps Lily in a mental game of chess, leaving her to question his sanity. When Lily’s revelations about Donovan’s destructive alter ego lead to an inconceivable truth, can she help Donovan survive fate’s cruel joke?


Feeling every bit of my being becoming weak, my mouth forces out the subject closest to my heart. He's roller coastering; meaning if I stay strong there is a chance of getting to his core. I'm learning him all over again. “Then why are you pulling me so close only to shove me back so hard? I don’t understand why you're becoming so cruel. It is like you—”

“Lil, look. You and I, we can’t happen. Nothing has happened. Nothing can. It's time you faced that.”

He stops me from interjecting. He’s about to shatter my heart, again. “No, Lil. You have to listen.” Swallowing his pride, his emotions mutate before me. With both of my hands in one of his, he caresses my hair with his other. “You need to find a guy who you can really love and who will care for you. Don’t give your love to just anyone. Make sure he’s worthy.” He leans in and seems to absorb my fragrance as he delicately kisses my cheek, allowing his lips to linger before forcing himself to pull away.

My lips pinch together to mute my true emotions. I'm hurt. I'm angry. Worst of all, I'm swooning, but I can't let him see that. My agitation requires acceleration so his will remain low. “What, like that bimbo is worthy?”

“Really, Lily. It’s not what you think, and it’s not what I want, but it has to be this way.”

He couldn’t possibly have meant the words that are now stamped into my mind. He's my shelter, my sanctuary. How could the power of our emotions possibly evade him? I exaggerate the size of the lump in my throat so I can ride his sea-saw. “No. No, it doesn’t. You know it doesn’t.”

“Yes, Lily. It does.” Placing his forehead to mine his tears sting as they trail down my face, merging with my own. The fragments of two hearts that have been shattered into millions of pieces lay on the floor before us.


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