8 Dark reads for the darker days of winter

Here in Kansas the easy breezy days of summer are gone and have been replaced with sweater weather and heated blankets. When the weather changes, so do my reading habits. I like the darker, grittier books than the typical beach read. So, without further ado, I give you 7 dark readsfor the darker days of winter.

  1. Lisa Gardner’s Detective D.D. Warren series (all of them are excellent) mystery/suspense  http://amzn.to/2iWpVfn
  2. JA Redmerski’s In The Company of Killers series (assassin’s) romantic? suspense http://amzn.to/2A8qzKH
  3. The Girl in the Spider’s Web  David Lagercrantz  http://amzn.to/2xMYjf4
  4. Bry Greenwood’s All The Ugly And Wonderful Things (starts a little slow, but keep going) nontraditional romance (maybe?)  http://amzn.to/2iTEBvI
  5. Alessandra Torre’s Black Lies romance  http://amzn.to/2zZwOj4
  6. JA Huss’ Three Two One twisted romance? action  http://amzn.to/2xNhIg5
  7. E.K. Blair’s Bang Holy wow is this book twisted action suspense romance  http://amzn.to/2xNADr2
  8. CJ Roberts’ Captive in the Dark    dark romance http://amzn.to/2xOhg0Z

There you have it. 8 dark reads for cooler/winter time.

Mr and Mrs Book Review

Mr and Mrs Book Review
Mr. Perfect, Mr. Romantic, Mr. Corporate, Mr. Mysterious, and Mr. Match found what they were looking for and now it’s time to seal the deal. Five Aston hasn’t quite found his happily ever after yet… not quite. But he will. And he’s about to host the party of the century for all his family and friends.

If you loved Happily Ever After, you can’t miss this one either. It’s the delicious cherry on top of the most perfect dessert and all your favorite characters will be back for one… final… swoon-worthy story.
Goodreads

A great epilogue to what happened after all hell broke loose. We get to see Ollie as an adult, and we find out the the original crew are now grandparents. That’s not a spoiler because you find this out on page one.
This book doesn’t have suspense and mystery like all the other books. It may be the most “sweet” book Julie has ever written. Now, it is not all sweet. I’m just saying this is her most sweet book she has written.
If you have read the other books in the series, you are going to love this book. It fulfills our thirst for more story about the crew. If you haven’t read the other books, don’t read this one or it will ruin the series for you.

Book provided to me for an honest review.

five-stars

About JA Huss

JA Huss is the author of the Amazon bestselling Rook and Ronin series, the epic science fiction I Am Just Junco series, and hundreds of kid-friendly science books in subjects such as biology, physics, anatomy and physiology, astronomy, and forensics. She has an undergraduate degree in equine science and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology. She has never taken a creative writing class and she hopes she never will.

Mister Romance by Leisa Rayven book review

Mister Romance by Leisa Rayven book review
Max Riley is the man of your dreams. Or at least he will be, for a price.

As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York's socialites can't get enough.  Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he's careful to keep his real identity a secret.

Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes.

Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn't fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies.

Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story.
Goodreads

Buy it here on Amazon:

http://amzn.to/2qmrDpf

Review:

OMG, I absolutely loved, loved, loved this book. I swooned in so many places throughout this book that I felt like the main character. I don’t know how Leisa does it, but man, I fell in love with Mister Romance too.
I honestly can’t think of a single thing about this book that I didn’t enjoy. That is so very rare for me. So far, this is my favorite book I have read this year. Please give it a read.

five-stars

American Queen by Sierra Simone Book Review

American Queen by Sierra Simone Book Review
It starts with a stolen kiss under an English sky, and it ends with a walk down the aisle. It starts with the President sending his best friend to woo me on his behalf, and it ends with my heart split in two. It starts with buried secrets and dangerous desires…and ends with the three of us bound together with a hateful love sharper than any barbed wire.

My name is Greer Galloway, and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

This is the story of an American Queen.
Goodreads

OMGEEE this book. This book is all the things. I have not thoroughly enjoyed a book in months. Months! I have been in the worst book funk, and I even stopped reading for awhile.
I signed up to review American Queen, so I figured I better read it. I mean, I loved Sierra’s book, Priest, so I knew there was a good chance I would like American Queen.
The book hooked me from the very first paragraph. I mean, if you read the blurb, that should have you 1-clicking this book. It opens up to Greer walking down the aisle to marry The President of The United States and her panties in the Vice President’s jacket pocket. Yes people! Yes!
Even with this powerful of an opening, the book did not wane. Oh no. It did not. It got hot. And hotter. And hotter. It ended on the hottest scene in the book. Sierra can freakin’ write them.
Seriously, I cannot stress this enough. Read this book.

five-stars

Review Wilder by Rebecca Yarros

 

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Wilder

Rebecca Yarros

September 19, 2016

 

 

Synopsis

 

He’s Paxton Wilder.

 

Twenty-two-year-old, tattooed, smoking-hot leader of the Renegades.

 

Five time X Games medalist.

 

The world is his playground—especially this year—and for the next nine months I’m stuck as his tutor on the Study at Sea program.

 

He’s too busy staging worldwide stunts for his documentary to get to class.

 

But if I can’t get him to take academics seriously, I’ll lose my scholarship…if I don’t lose my heart first.

 

Six unlikely friends on a nine-month cruise with the Study at Sea program will learn that chemistry is more than a subject and the best lessons aren’t taught in the classroom…but in the heart.

 

 

Goodreads

wilder-teaser-6

Purchase Links

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2d8eDgN

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2daVmhB

Nook: http://bit.ly/2cu1kIw

iBooks:

 

Connect with Rebecca

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1Y5zmlV

Website: http://www.rebeccaelizabethyarros.com/

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaElizabethYarros

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/327562767450842/

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/23mt0Qh

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RebeccaYarros

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebeccayarros/

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1Uw8NXZ

Review

Wilder is just proof of why I love Rebecca Yarros.  She takes you on an adventure and at the same time can provide a sweet romance with a little bit of angst and suspense that is guaranteed to get your heart rate going.

Paxton Wilder is the leader of the Renegades.  He lives for the rush and excitement that doing extreme sport stunts that him and friends perform.  Doing the School at Sea program will allow him to do stunts all over the world and be able to finish college.  That’s where Leah Baxter comes in.  In order to pay for the program, Leah is signed up to be a tutor and is assigned to Paxton for the year.  Leah, who has been a recluse for the past couple of years, is using this as an opportunity to come out of that with her best friend Rachel.  She definitely wasn’t expecting that within a few minutes of meeting Paxton she would become part of his stunt.

I absolutely loved this book. With Paxton we get guy who lives for the dangerous, while Leah is almost content in staying in her comfort zone.  The attraction between the two is there from the start, but I love that it is slow build starting with friendship.  We find with Paxton, there are two sides to him.  We have Wilder who plays to the crowd, and Paxton who is honestly is a smart, hard-working, thoughtful and passionate guy.  Leah can definitely hold her own with him, and doesn’t let Paxton get away with anything.

As the story progresses, we find out just why Leah was handpicked to be Paxton’s tutor and I just have to say….plot twist.  I amnot going to give anything away because I want you to read and experience with wild ride that only Wilder can provide. This defintitely  got 5 stars as this a book that I would want to read over and over while wishing that I could experience it like its the first time.

five-stars

About Rebecca Yarros

Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and a lover of all things coffee, chocolate, and Paleo. She is the author of the Flight & Glory series, including Full Measures, the award-winning Eyes Turned Skyward, Beyond What is Given, and Hallowed Ground. She loves military heroes, and has been blissfully married to hers for fourteen years.

When she’s not writing, she’s tying hockey skates for her four sons, sneaking in some guitar time, or watching brat-pack movies with her two daughters. She lives in Colorado with the hottest Apache pilot ever, their rambunctious gaggle of kids, an English bulldog who is more stubborn than sweet, and a bunny named General Fluffy Pants who torments the aforementioned bulldog. They recently adopted their youngest daughter from the foster system, and Rebecca is passionate about helping others do the same.

Rebecca is represented by Louise Fury of the Bent Agency.

Wide Open Spaces by Aurora Rose Reynolds Review

Wide Open Spaces by Aurora Rose Reynolds Review
That moment your life changes.

That moment that changes your life.

That moment you love someone more than you love yourself.

That was the moment we gave our son up for adoption and the moment I was left bare. A wide-open space that would forever be empty.

There are moments that define you as a person, moments that prove just how strong you are, moments you push yourself to keep going forward when all you really want to do is give up. It was in one of those moments when I reached out and found him waiting for me.

When Shelby Calder left home fifteen years ago, she never planned on returning to the Alaskan town she left behind. But after the death of her grandfather and a bitter divorce, she hopes going home will be a fresh start for her and her ten-year-old son.

Zach Watters has made a lot of mistakes in his life. But when he sees Shelby Calder, looking more beautiful than ever, standing outside her childhood home, he promises himself that letting her go won't be a mistake he ever makes again.

Some things never change and love is one of them.
Goodreads

Wide Open Spaces is the second book in her Shooting Stars series.  You don’t have to read the first one to be able to read Wide Open Spaces.  I’ve read Fighting to Breathe, the first book, and honestly couldn’t wait for this book to be released.

Shelby left her home fifteen years determined to never return. But a turn of events, her divorce and her grandfather’s passing, has her returning home and facing the reasons she left in the first place.  One of those reasons was Zach, and on her first day home learns that he is her next door neighbor.  Over the past fifteen years, Zach has not forgotten Shelby nor the love that he has for her. Now that she is back, he is not letting her slip through his fingers again.

It is not an easy feat for Shelby to take that chance again.  Years ago, both her and Zach had to make a torturous decision and she is still feeling the after effects, and isn’t sure she can open her heart to Zach again the way he wants her to.  Add in ex’s who make things difficult on both ends, you wonder if they are truly meant to be.  But as Zach and Shelby deal with the repercussions of their decision, they find that they are truly healing themselves and each other.  That empty void both Zach and Shelby have is filled by their love for each other.

I was glad that I kept tissues nearby because a few times I had to stop because tears were freely falling.  Aurora wrote a beautiful second chance love story that deals with something that many people face in society.  She truly pulls at your heartstrings and you wonder just how much love you have in your heart for the people in and not in your life.  It is a second chance romance in many ways, along with redemption and acceptance.  I give this book 5 stars because even after I read it, it stayed with me for several days and is easily on my list of rereads.  I have read all of Aurora’s books and I think with the material written about, this is the best she released.  I can’t wait to see what more we can expect from her.

five-stars

About Aurora Rose Reynolds

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

The Aftermath by R.J. Prescott Excerpt and Giveaway

The Aftermath by R.J. Prescott Excerpt and Giveaway
Cormac "The Hurricane" O'Connell's star is on the rise. Billed as the most promising young boxer of his generation, his new career is taking him to places he never dreamed. But O'Connell only needs one thing in life: his wife.

In her final year of college, Em cannot follow him around the world but together they make it work. Just when everything they ever wanted is on the horizon, the past resurfaces to haunt them, and O'Connell realizes that justice might not be a part of his happy ever after. He couldn't protect Em once before, but in the aftermath of the hurricane, he will make sure that never happens again.
Goodreads

THE AFTERMATH Banner

THE HURRICANE SERIES

The Hurricane, #1

The Aftermath, #2

The Hurricane Series

BUY THE BOOK HERE (AFTERMATH)

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iBooks

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Excerpt:

It never occurred to me that mail was something to fear. Not until the day I came home and found Em sat on the floor, her arms wrapped around her knees, and a ripped open white envelope on the bed behind her.

“Sunshine, what’s wrong?” I asked. She swallowed hard and sniffed a few times like she was trying to hold back tears long enough to talk to me. I reached for the envelope, thinking it would give me some clue as to why she was so clearly freaked out.

“Don’t,” Em croaked. “Please,” she added pleadingly. I knew then, as a tear rolled down her cheek, that whatever was inside had to be bad. Contained within a folded sheet of plain white paper were about a dozen or so photos. They were different sizes and all taken at different times, but Em was in every one of them. The earliest photo was of a smiling happy nine year old. Just a normal kid out riding her bike. When the next one showed the same kid, fast asleep in her bed, I felt sick to my fucking stomach. The older that Em was in the pictures, the more invasive they became and none of them looked like they were taken with her knowledge. The last photo was really grainy, like it had been through a window maybe, or within a really bad camera, but it showed in intimate detail, her frail, bruised body taking a shower.

“Mother fucker,” I yelled, wanting to fucking hit something. Anything. I grabbed the envelope looking for some clue who’d sent it, like I didn’t fucking know. Frank was still in prison, pending trial, so someone on the outside must have sent this for him. The postmark on the envelope read London, which didn’t tell me much. The knuckles on Em’s hand were white where she gripping hold of her legs so hard.

“Shit love. You okay?” I said, hating that she looked so fucking scared. She nodded unconvincingly, but didn’t answer. I gathered up the pictures and stuffed them back into the envelope, not wanting her to see them anymore, but I knew we’d need to give them to police as evidence. The idea of her being on display like that to the police and the prosecution lawyers was as bad as knowing what she’d been through. Sitting down next to her, I wrapped my arm around her tiny body and pulled her into my chest. She was stiff as a board and shaking slightly. Rubbing up and down her arms, trying to get her warm I waited for her to talk to me. That was the way of it sometimes with Sunshine. She needed to think shit over before she could get it off her chest.

“I didn’t know about any of them. He’s been taking pictures of me for years. How could I not know? How could I let that happen?” she asked me.

“You didn’t let anything happen. He’s a violent, abusive rapist who’s sick in the fucking head. He did what he did because he’s a fucking whack job. Nothing you said or did gave him permission to do this.” I could see by her face that the pictures shamed her. Fuck that. There wasn’t a single fucking thing for her to be ashamed of.

“It was bad enough dealing with what happened, but he could have hundreds of these pictures and God only knows what he does with them. As if that’s not bad enough he knows where we live. Even in prison he can get to me. I’ll never be free of him will I?”

“Sunshine, even if it means killing him, I swear he will never touch you again. This is just a sign of desperation. In a few more months he’ll be too concerned about how to pick up the soap in the shower without getting arse raped to worry about getting you back. He’s going away for a very long time and there’s fuck all he can do about it. This kind of shit just gives the barristers more ammunition against him.” I did my best to reassure her, but as I was as freaked out as she was. The fact that he could get hold of the pictures and post them from prison had me worried about what else he could do from the inside.

She wiped her eyes and leant across to give me a quick kiss.

“You’re right,” she told me. “A few more months and this will all be over.” It had to be, because I hadn’t been exaggerating. If Frank came after her again, I’d kill to keep her safe.

 

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five-stars

About R.J. Prescott

USA Today bestselling author R.J. Prescott was born in Cardiff, South Wales, and studied law at the University of Bristol, England. Four weeks before graduation she fell in love, and stayed. Ten years later, she convinced her crazy, wonderful firefighter husband to move back to Cardiff where they now live with their two equally crazy sons.

The Girl In The Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz, Stieg Larsson (Creator) Book Review

The Girl In The Spider’s Web by  David Lagercrantz, Stieg Larsson (Creator) Book Review
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO IS BACK WITH A UK NUMBER ONE BESTSELLERLisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist have not been in touch for some time.Then Blomkvist is contacted by renowned Swedish scientist Professor Balder. Warned that his life is in danger, but more concerned for his son's well-being, Balder wants Millennium to publish his story - and it is a terrifying one.More interesting to Blomkvist than Balder's world-leading advances in Artificial Intelligence, is his connection with a certain female superhacker.It seems that Salander, like Balder, is a target of ruthless cyber gangsters - and a violent criminal conspiracy that will very soon bring terror to the snowbound streets of Stockholm, to the Millennium team, and to Blomkvist and Salander themselves.
Goodreads

Those who spy on the people end up themselves being spied on by the people. There’s a fundamental

democratic logic to it.

This book is personally my favorite out of the series. Right now I’m really obsessed with all things hacker. My favorite show is Mr. Robot, we have the NSA hacks and now the DNC hack. Hacking is all around us right now. It would be stupid of us to brush what is happening under the rug.

The Girl In The Spider’s Web brings to the forefront what hackers and the rest of the world are truly capable of. They can bring down our banking systems, hold people’s personal information hostage until a ransom is paid or they can and are using it for corporate espionage.

This book explains all that can and does happen in a easy to digest way. It has all kinds of technical information that you can apply to your everyday life, but does it while reading an incredible suspenseful book. The pace of this book is definitely faster than the previous.

In the book you get to learn about hacking, savants, quantum mechanics, black holes, investigation and the NSA. It’s all very interesting and makes for a great read. 5 stars!

 

Other books in the Millennium Series:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Girl Who Played With Fire

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

The Girl In The Spider’s Web

five-stars

Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner Book Review

Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner Book Review
How do you vanish a family? Ten minutes after walking the elite Back Bay townhouse and investigator Tessa Leoni already doesn’t like what she sees. Signs of an abduction. Clearly the work of professionals. At best, the entire family has been kidnapped. At worst…How do you disappear a marriage? The more Tessa learns about the Denbe family, the less she likes their chances. What might have looked like the perfect existence—a powerful CEO, his adoring wife, their angelic child—is not what it appears. Husband, wife, daughter—magazine perfect, but each hiding dark secrets…How do you erase a life? Tessa knows more than she’d like to about families riddled with lies. What she doesn’t know is where the Denbes are and if any of them are still breathing. She’ll have to climb over unbending feds and territorial local cops to find out, and if she’s not fast, the Denbes’ chances of survival will quickly become little more than…Touch & Go
Goodreads

I have so much to say about this book, but I can’t say much without giving away the plot. This book had me by the grips the whole way through. I’m actually really good at guessing the endings of books, but there was no way with this one. The plot was just too good.

Gardner waits until the very end to tell you who did it. Uhh. I know. But she kept you completely engrossed and turning that page every single second.

Hmm….what else can I say. Read this book. If you have a day or two and want a great book to read, Touch and Go is the book to read. Perfect for the beach or hiding out in your hotel room away from the family.

five-stars

About Lisa Gardner

New York Times bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of eleven bestselling suspense novels.
Readers are invited to get in on the fun by entering the annual “Kill a Friend, Maim a Mate” Sweepstakes, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa’s latest novel. Every year, one lucky stiff is selected for literary immortality. It’s cheaper than therapy, and you get a great book besides. For more details, simply visit Lisa’s website.
Lisa lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family, as well as two highly spoiled dogs and one extremely neurotic three-legged cat. Lisa graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in international relations.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven | Book Review

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven | Book Review
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.
Goodreads

AMAZON

Buy the book from Amazon here!

 

 

I’m a day late returning this book to the library, and the fine I incur is 100% worth it.

This book is one of the few books that make it into the 5+ stars category.

Not to be cliché, but All The Bright Places is ….”all the colors in one, at full brightness.”

I went into reading, “All The Bright Places” blind, not knowing one thing about this book, other than it was Goodreads young adult winner. I can say with complete truth that I am so glad I went in blind because if I knew what this book was about, or knew where it was going, I would never have read it.

All The Bright Places is a sad book. Overall it isn’t, but when you get to the end you will be crying your heart out. You will need a towel to dry your eyes because a tissue just won’t be enough. Don’t let this scare you. It would have scared me and I would not have picked up this incredible book, but I’m so glad that I did.

We start the book out with Theodore and Violet meeting for the first time on top of the school bell tower. Theodore is contemplating if today is the day he should end it, and we don’t know what the heck Violet is doing up there. It is raining and freezing cold outside, making the top of the bell tower even more dangerous. When Theodore see that Violet is having a hard time getting down from where she has perched herself, he comes to her rescue and lets the school population that Violet had come up to talk him down from jumping. The bell tower is where the relationship between Theodore and Violet begins.

Through the book we learn about mental illness and depression. We learn just how dangerous it really is. We also learn that friendship is a beautiful thing and we should embrace others instead of pushing them away. Others are not better off without you here.

Not many of you know this, but I hail from the state of Indiana. All The Bright Places takes us on a journey of discovering Indiana, or wandering Indiana. I lived there for 15 years and did not know any of the places Theodore and Violet visited existed. Of course I lived there from birth to 15 and didn’t have a chance or the know-how to see these places. Back before the internet existed.

Theodore and Violet wander Indiana as part of a school project, but it turns into so much more. We learn about all the amazing places that Indiana has to offer, from the beautiful to the bizarre. I found myself looking the places up and feeling jealous that I missed out on these places when I lived there.

Theodore has a mental illness and suffers from major depression, while Violet has her own demons to battle. The two struck up a friendship during the project and took it from wandering to 2 places in Indiana to much more. It was interesting to read about all the places they went to. One location was this natural rock pool and I want to see it so bad. When I go visit my sister I’m going to have her take me to a couple of locations because Jennifer Niven makes them sound amazing.

I’m not sure how to wrap up this review for the book and convince you to read it, without giving much of the story away. There comes a turning point in the book that takes away the sadness and makes it into a beautiful story. You will still find yourself crying your heart out, but you realize that it has taken a really crummy situation into something beautiful. It is going to be an amazing movie. I’m glad that I read it before it comes to theaters because if the movie is anything like the story that came to life in my head, it’s going to be awesome. I’m excited Indiana is going to get some positive press instead of the negative it has been receiving lately.

So to summarize, read this book! It is a once-in-a-lifetime read. It is epic. It is sad. It is beautiful. It is “all the colors in one, at full brightness.”

 

 

five-stars

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