Category

Contemporary

My Not So Perfect Life – Sophie Kinsella

My Not So Perfect Life – Sophie Kinsella

My not so perfect life

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Sophie Kinsella is a reliable go to for amusing and mindless entertaining chic lit. Just what I was looking for after reading a few heavy thrillers and being in the mood for something lighthearted. I wanted to laugh, and giggle, and I was not disappointed.

Katie, or “Kat” as she wants to be known now, is living her dream, working in London at a branding company. She is extremely positive despite her long morning commutes, mediocre paying job, and frustrating, yet utterly brilliant boss. So when she gets the flick from her job, everything comes crashing down and she is forced to move back home to the country and help her father and his wife with a new glamping business. Meanwhile her boss Demeter brings her family glamping and funniness ensues.

Look, its not going to win any prestigious literary awards, but My Not So Perfect Life was a fun read. The audio version kept me entertained and I really enjoyed the writing and humour. I thought that perhaps it was a bit tedious in places, and especially around the end at least an hour could have been cut out of it. But having said that it was a sweet story, a cute romance… It was exactly what I was in the mood for reading.

I really liked the glamping part of the story, it was something different and I enjoyed listening to them getting everything ready and entertaining the guests. I guess it was just something I haven’t often read about.

The narrator was really good in this one. I loved her voice and her accent and thought she played all the parts perfectly. Especially Demeter. I also enjoyed how the romance was a bit of a slow burn, and all the missunderstandings that went along with it.

Would I recommend My Not So Perfect Life?

Absolutely, it was a really fun contemporary chic lit and I will probably go back to it again when I feel like a few laughs.

I purchased My Not So Perfect Life at my own expense on audible.com


If you enjoy My Not So Perfect Life, you may enjoy:

Paris Is Always A Good Idea   Welcome to Temptation

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One for the Money – Janet Evanovich

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum #1) – Janet Evanovich (1994)

One for the Money

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

One for the money is one of those popular books that it seems everyone has read except me. So when I was going through a reading slump and couldn’t get into any book that I started reading, I thought I would try this one. Its been on my to read pile for SO LONG. I decided to go the audio version. And I made it through!

Stephanie Plum gets sacked from her job and being desperate, approaches her cousin for a job at his bounty hunter business. Originally intending to go for a filing job she takes up bounty hunting when she sees that she can get a cool 10k for bringing in a particular suspect who has jumped bail. However, the subject is ex cop Joe Morelli who had a fling with once when they were teenagers. So with a trusty gun and the help of a few friends to navigate through the biz, she is on her way to catching the suspect. However she gets herself into a bit of trouble with a psychotic stalker first, and ends up relying on the very person she is meant to bring in. And of course, sparks.

I get it. I really do. Back in 1995 this would have been a great book. Amazing even. But now, in the 2010’s, it is full of inappropriate sexism, sexual harassment masked as “sexual tension”, annoying characters, and bad fashion that belongs back in the 90’s.

Having said that, I can look past all of that and put myself back in the 1990’s and appreciate this book for what it is, an entertaining read that you can just enjoy without getting too much into it.

Sure, Stephanie Plum may be a touch on the annoying side, but for the 90’s, she is kick ass.

I loved the fact that there are no mobile phones, and technology feels like it belongs back in the stone ages. And hey, it may be interesting to see what Stephanie got herself up to in the next 20 years, with the 24th instalment of the series having just been released last year.

The audio version was pretty good. There are two different ones apparently and I chose the more recent. Although reviews for the latter one seem to be better from what I have seen.

Would I recommend One for the Money?

Yes, I think so. Although you may need to ask me after a few more books.

I purchased One for the Money at my own expense at audible.com


If you enjoy One for the Money, you may enjoy:

To die for   Orphan X

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The Last Laugh – Tracy Bloom

The Last Laugh – Tracy Bloom (2018)

The Last Laugh

4.25 Stars (4.25 / 5)

Bittersweet! That’s the main word that pops into my mind when I think about this book. So sad yet so joyful and lovely. Devastating, yet uplifting. I haven’t read many non-psychological thrillers from bookouture, but they have hit the mark on the head with every genre it seems!

On the day Jenny finds out she has terminal cancer, she finds out her husband is screwing a leggy blonde. Talk about a bad day. So in order to make herself feel alive again, she organises a huge party. Just like the ones she had in her 20’s. She invites all her family and old friends to come along. What transpires is a lovely story of reconciliation, moving through regrets, and of love.

To be honest when I started this book I didn’t like it. I thought that Jenny was a complete dill. How could she act so blaze about a terminal cancer diagnosis. And I couldn’t relate to her not being able to tell anyone about it. But as I kept reading I began to warm to her and the other characters, and by 3/4 through I was laughing out loud.

I really started to enjoy the characters and the dialogue. Although I couldn’t help but feel like her husband was a complete bastard, I was even warming to him by the end. Impending death puts everything into perspective I guess.

The main thing I was surprised about was how much I was thinking about this book after I finished. Not only thinking about the actual book, but thinking about the main theme – How important it is to enjoy your life right now. How you shouldn’t wait to mend relationships and how you should always try to be happy, even when life is really REALLY crappy. I like to think of myself as a pretty upbeat, easy going person. I have seen quite a few people die (occupational hazard of being a nurse I guess…) But I don’t know how I would handle this if it happened to me.

Would I recommend The Last Laugh?

Absolutely. It was a quick, entertaining and upsetting in a good way. Death is a part of life, and I really enjoyed and appreciated this perspective. Great book!

Many thanks to author Tracy Bloom and Bookouture via NetGalley for a copy of The Last Laugh for me to review. The last Laugh will be available for purchase from the 23rd February from: AMAZON | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy The Last Laugh, you may enjoy:

Paris Is Always A Good Idea   The Sun In Her Eyes

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On Dublin Street – Samantha Young

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street #1) – Samantha Young (2012)

1 Stars (1 / 5)

I rarely rate books below 2-3 stars. Not because I enjoy every book, but I tend to abandon books I am not enjoying. Personally I don’t like to give a rating to a book if I haven’t read every word and had the full experience… Well, it’s finally happened. I finished a book and only rated it 1 star! I never thought I would get to the point of continuing on if I really disliked something that much, but here we are.

“I’ll find a nice romance!” I said to myself. “Something with a nice safe high goodreads rating…” EPIC FAIL

So Joss has a rough childhood, losing both parents and her best friend in a few short years. She moves to Scotland and is attempting to write a book. She finds a nice house and housemate on Dublin Street and there starts her encounter with Braden, her housemates brother. Joss has a lot of issues and has trouble letting anyone in, but Braden will force (literally) his way into her heart.

WHAT THE HELL IS SO APPEALING ABOUT THESE MALE CHARACTERS!!?? How come in a “romance” book, “No” means “push me until I cave in” and HOW IS THAT ROMANTIC!??

It was off to a cute start, girl meets guy, sparks fly, bit of steamy tension. And then he becomes Mr Intense Stalker.

And what the hell was with Joss!?? What a complete moron. After the initial tension exploded there was a lot of angst. And not much else.

Why did I keep reading? Because it had a cute subplot, even though even THAT romance had elements of emotional abuse. And by that stage I was almost at the end anyway and I wanted to see where it all went, if it was salvageable in any way. Sigh.

Would I recommend On Dublin Street

Look, if annoying emotionally damaged moronic females and dominating males with emotional and sexual abuse disguised as “intense romance” is your thing, then don’t let me stop you. Apparently tens of thousands of others were completely sold!

I purchased On Dublin Street at my own expense.


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Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Alright, before I begin my review of this book I need to admit something. A secret shame. This is my very first Liane Moriarty book! Yes I know, I know! I can hear you SHARPLY GASP! Her books seem right up my alley, how could I have not read Big Little Lies, or The Husband’s Secret? “SHAME ON YOU MELISSA!” I hear you yell! “She is one of Australia’s most loved authors!!” I have heard such good things, but guiltily have never had the chance or inclination to read them before. However, this means that I came into reading Truly Madly Guilty with an unbiased perspective, and will hopefully give you a run down about what I liked and didn’t like about it as a Moriarty novice!

Something happened at the BBQ that day. Clementine didn’t even want to go, and a major life-changing event occurred. Something that will change all of their lives. This is the story of three marriages, friendship, and the fateful events of one seemingly ordinary afternoon that will become extraordinary in their memories.

Now, if you are after a light, feel good read then look elsewhere. This story is gritty, raw and deep.

Moriarty creates an amazingly charged atmosphere in the first half of the book without actually revealing what happened at the BBQ! I found this SO FRUSTRATING! But not in a bad way! I was DESPERATE to know what happened. So desperate that when it did happen I felt slightly let down, as it went in a different direction than I was expecting. But I assume that’s the point.

I enjoyed the way it switched back and forth in time and from each different characters perspective. It was an extremely character driven novel which I can only assume is a Moriarty trademark by reading reviews of her other work. It was done masterfully. Each character was so inherently unique and imperfect. I was quickly sucked into their lives and relationships.

It touched on SO MANY themes! Friendship, love, lust, family, parenting, childlessness, IVF, marriage, and mental illness just to name a few. However, with so much going on I found it dragged on a little bit for me. I was willing it at times to just get to the BBQ. However once it did get to the BBQ, I found the pace improved, even if it went in a direction I was not entirely anticipating. And there were a few excellent twists that I never saw coming, and that’s always a big plus for me!

Would I recommend Truly Madly Guilty?

Absolutely worth the read! I will be definitely checking out her other books! I can’t believe I have waited so long!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for a pre release copy of Truly Madly Guilty in exchange for my honest review.

Truly Madly Guilty will be released on the 20th July.

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Pan Macmillan | AMAZON AU | AMAZON

It will also be available at all good bookstores.


If you enjoy Truly Madly Guilty, you may enjoy:

Running Against The Tide   Like I Can Love   Beside Myself

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The Family Man – Kelly Eadon – GIVEAWAY

The Family Man – Kelly Eadon

 The Family Man

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I really enjoyed this feel-good romance by the author of “The Wedding Date” Kelly Eadon. It is the second story of the lovely group of friends from the beach town of Belmont USA.

Beth is moving forward from some bad business mistakes and has found happiness selling a small amount of baked goods, teaching kids theatre, and fixing up the odd dress for a bit of money. She has been secretly crushing over Griffin, the owner of a coffee shop that she sells some of her muffins to twice a week. When it becomes clear that the crush isn’t exactly one sided, she soon discovers that Griffin has some baggage of his own. He has a 4 year old daughter and has had custody battles with the grandparents. He is trying to be a good dad to his daughter. Will he be able to let Beth into his heart too? Or will it all be too much for them both?

I thought this book was very sweet. It had some delightful moments and I really enjoyed their saga.

I thought the characters were well written, I enjoyed the continuation of the story of the group of friends from The Wedding Date. Although it focuses on the same group of friends, it doesn’t matter in which order you read them in. They are all individual stand-alone stories.

Loved the romance and there were some very cute and some very HOT moments! (Not for readers under 18!).

The characters frustrated me at times, with all the drama and indecision’s, and at times I just wanted to shake them both and say “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?”. But the journey was fun and the conclusion was ultimately satisfying. And I really want muffins now after reading it!

Would I recommend The Family Man?

Yes for any fans of cute romances, with a bit of tension and a lot of heat! A good way to spend a lazy reading afternoon!

Many thanks to author Kelly Eadon and NetGalley for an advanced copy of The Family Man in exchange for my honest review.

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AMAZON AU | AMAZON US | Book Depository

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Click HERE to enter The Family Man giveaway.


If you enjoy The Family Man, you may enjoy:

The Wedding Date   Going all the way   Welcome to Temptation   image

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Summer’s Child – Diane Chamberlain

Summer’s Child – Diane Chamberlain

Summer's Child

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I purchased this audiobook on Audible.com as it was a special of the day and looked interesting. I had heard of Diane Chamberlain, but have never read one of her books before. After purchasing it I looked at some of my friends reviews on GoodReads, and was disappointed to see that all but one of my friends who read it gave it 2 stars or less! By that stage though, I had already started listening to it and was enjoying it, so I thought I would see how long I could hold out. Well, so glad I didn’t listen to my friends reviews! I thought it was a great book!

On her 11th birthday, Daria goes out to the beach next to her home and discovers a newborn baby near some rocks by the water. When the authorities cannot find who the mother is, Daria’s family adopt the little girl and name her Shelly. Twenty years Shelly is now an adult, and has contacted a friend from Daria’s childhood, Rory Taylor. He is a TV presenter who works solving mysteries and Shelly wants him to help find her biological mother. Thus begins Rory’s investigation into what happened all those years ago, who is Shelly’s mother? And what other secrets is he going to unveil along the way?

I was immediately swept in by this book. I found it to be captivating and interesting. Sure, it had some slow parts and dragged on at times, but I was quite happy going along for the ride.

I found the characters to be great, they all had their secrets and it was extremely entertaining listening to it all come gradually together.

The narrator wasn’t the best I had ever heard, she was slightly dull in her portrayal of the characters and overall narration, however it was still enjoyable and easy to listen to. It didn’t take much away from the story for me.

The romance was sweet, and there was heaps of romantic tension! Fabulous!

There were so many twists and turns and revelations, I love it when I can’t see where something is going, and when the final reveal occurred, I was a bit floored! I actually thought of one part of the correct twist towards the beginning, but dismissed my idea because there were so many other things happening to distract me. Well played Ms Chamberlain, well played.

Would I recommend Summer’s Child?

Yes, absolutely for any fan of sweet romances, and family secrets! I thought it was a great read and am looking forward to reading others from Diane Chamberlain. I have heard this is not one of her best so I would LOVE to see what her best is like!


If you enjoy Summer’s Child, you may enjoy:

Like I Can Love    Running Against The Tide    Romance 50's Style

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The Peppercorn Project – Nicki Edwards – BLOG TOUR

The Peppercorn Project – Nicki Edwards

 

SUMMARY:

One heartbroken woman. One bitter cop. One community to save them.

After the tragic death of her husband, single mum Isabelle Cassidy is bereft and broke. When she hears about The Peppercorn Project – a scheme that offers affordable rent in the tiny but vibrant town of Stony Creek – Issie sees it as her family’s best chance at a fresh start.

Newly singleThe Peppercorn Project police officer Matt Robertson moved to Stony Creek to lick his wounds after a bitter divorce. Wanting only peace and quiet, Matt is against the Project, seeing it as a threat to the peace he’s found in the country town – until he meets Issie. Despite himself, Matt is drawn to the widow and feels inexplicably protective of her fragile family.

Just when Issie begins to imagine a future with Matt, an accident proves how far she has to go before she can move beyond her grief. But the citizens of Stony Creek won’t rest until they see these two broken souls find a new beginning, together.

Can Issie move beyond the pain of her past and entrust Matt with her family, and her heart?

A gorgeous rural romance for fans of Fiona McArthur, Rachael Johns and Fiona McCallum.

 

MY REVIEW OF THE PEPPERCORN PROJECT

This book was JUST WHAT I NEEDED today! I had a few child-free hours to kill (an extremely rare occurrence), so I curled up on the couch with a blanket and The Peppercorn Project and I DEVOURED it in one sitting! It left me in a fabulous mood!

Isabelle and her two kids travel to Stony Creek in an attempt to win one of four houses in the peppercorn project, an initiative to offer struggling families cheap rent for a year in an effort to bring some new people to the town. Following a rocky start, Isabelle and her children begin to settle into life in Stony Creek, albeit with some teething problems. But grief is a difficult process, and when she starts to develop feelings for the local police officer Matt, it brings some difficult things to the surface.

I just thought this book was fabulous. I love a good romance, and this one hit the spot for me. It was written extremely well and had enough drama and enough going on to keep it interesting throughout. It didn’t slow down.

Sure, it was a little corny in parts, but I haven’t read a romance that isn’t! It’s the point! I loved the characters and the people in Stony Creek. The premise was great and it actually had me shedding a few tears at times.

Author Nicki Edwards is a critical care nurse like myself so I can’t believe I haven’t read any of her books before this one! It helped me connect with the main character, and was able to avoid my number one pet peeve – Medical inaccuracies! Woohoo! I must read her other books, especially in the “escape to the country” series.

Would I recommend The Peppercorn Project?

Absolutely! For any Aussie rural romance/drama fan. It was a fabulous read!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for a copy of The Peppercorn Project in exchange for my honest review, and for having me on this blog tour!

5 Stars (5 / 5)

The Peppercorn Project is published by Pan Macmillan Australia and is available HERE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicki Edwards is a city girl with a country heart. Growing up on a small family acreage on the outskirts of Geelong, she spent her formative years riding horses and pretending the neighbour’s farm was her own.
Nicki Edwards
After spending three years in a regional city in New South Wales, her love of small country towns was further developed. One day she plans to escape to the country with her husband Tim and live on land, surrounded by horses, dogs, cows and sheep. Until then she lives vicariously through the lives of the characters in the rural romance novels she loves to read.

In 2006, when Nicki’s youngest child started school, she returned to university, juggling full time study, part time work and raising four small children, to achieve her dream of becoming a nurse. Always a voracious reader, Nicki’s other dream was to be an author.
Nicki writes medical rural romances, and when she isn’t reading, writing or dreaming about rural life and medical emergencies, she can be found working as a Critical Care Nurse in a busy Intensive Care Unit, where many of her stories and characters are imagined.

Nicki and Tim reside in Geelong, Victoria with their four teenage/young adult children. Life is busy, fun and at times exhausting, but Nicki wouldn’t change it for anything.

Her debut novel, “Intensive Care” was released in January 2015 with Momentum, the digital imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia. Her second novel, “Emergency Response” came out in October 2015. The third and fourth books in the ‘Escape to the Country’ series, “Life Support” and “Critical Condition” are available now.

Authors Website   Authors Twitter   Authors Goodreads   Authors Facebook


If you enjoyed The Peppercorn Project, you may enjoy:

Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton    image   The Secret Years    the saddler boys

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Paris is Always a Good Idea – Nicolas Barreau

Paris is Always a Good Idea – Nicolas Barreau

Paris Is Always A Good Idea

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I really enjoyed this cute little book! And yes, It did make me yearn for Paris in a serious way! It is indeed a VERY good idea!

Rosalie has a quiet life in the beautiful French city, running little postcard shop. She is dating a personal trainer, with whom she has little in common, and has grand ambitions of being an artist. She is approached by an old man at her shop, who just so happens to be a famous children’s author. He wants Rosalie to illustrate his new children’s book and she does so happily. However, fate brings her a chance encounter with an arrogant American who accuses her and Max of plagiarism. What secrets will Rosalie uncover from her friend Max and this handsome, annoying American? And will she find the true love she has always wanted?

This book was just what the doctor ordered! It was a quick read, full of humour and cuteness!

I loved the main story of the book and the quest to discover who really wrote it and what the secrets were. I figured out the twist extremely early in the book, and that is usually a pet peeve for me, however I was so swept up in the cute, light atmosphere of the novel, that it didn’t matter at all!

I absolutely loved the writing style. It had a really wonderful light and fluffy feel to it. The whole book reminded me of days wandering around the streets of Paris, turning left, turning right, finding new buildings, new places to eat and beautiful things to see! The author moved backwards a few times in this novel in a way that wouldn’t work normally in traditional novels as it felt a bit disjointed. However in this book it worked well, lots of reflections and memories that all merged together to the present moment and gave the book an extremely different and enjoyable feel to it.

All of the main characters had a nice depth to them and they were all extremely likeable. And the romance! Super sweet, with just the right amount of drama! Thought it was fantastic! There were a few moments where I had butterflies!

Would I recommend Paris is Always a Good Idea?

Yes, for contemporary G-rated romance fans, or fans of cute stories. It was light, didn’t have negative drama and almost no violence. A great escape for a couple of hours! And now I want to go back to Paris for a third time, be surrounded by that beautiful language, and find a little postcard shop.

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan and the author for a copy of Paris Is Always A Good Idea in exchange for my honest review.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicolas Barreau was born in Paris, the son of a French father and a German mother. He studied romance languages and literature at the Sorbonne and worked in a bookshop on the Rive Gauche in Paris but is far from an inexperienced bookworm. With the success of his previous novels, The Ingredients of Love, The Woman of My Life and You’ll Find Me at the End of the World, he has gained a devoted international audience.


If you enjoy Paris is Always a Good Idea, you may enjoy:

the saddler boys   followed by frost  Practice makes Perfect - Julie James   image

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The Wedding Date – Kelly Eadon

The Wedding Date – Kelly Eadon

WeddingDateTourBanner-1

The Wedding Date

Summary from GoodReads:

A LITTLE FAKE RELATIONSHIP NEVER HURT ANYONE . . .

Kate Massie has big dreams-they just haven’t worked out. Yet. In the meantime, she spends her days clerking for a judge and her nights fantasizing about her tall, dark, and sexy gym crush. So when she runs into him one night, she’s shocked to realize he was her shy, nerdy junior-prom date. But that isn’t where the surprises end . . .

James Abell needs a date to his sister’s wedding. So when Kate agrees, he’s relieved . . . until one little lie turns their wedding date into a full-blown fake relationship. Only it doesn’t feel fake-not the toe-curling kisses and definitely not the electricity. Neither of them is looking for something real . . . but they just might fall for their own little white lie.

 

My Review Of The Wedding Date

This book was just what I needed! What a fabulous feel-good, sexy romance that I just got lost in, and finished in one fabulous sitting!

Kate runs into James at the gym and doesn’t recognise him as the young shy guy who took her to junior prom. He has changed… Now a buff sexy hunk, Kate has trouble holding herself together in his presence. When a mutual friend sets them up on a fake date for James’ sisters wedding, James and Kate must pretend to be a couple… But how long can they keep pretending??

What a wonderful little escape this book was! It was sweet, sexy, funny and lovely. Yes, the story has been done before, but that didn’t matter at all because I still loved it!

The characters were great, they all had quite a bit of depth, the romance was sweet, and the hot moments were pretty hot! I loved all the secondary characters also, especially all of James family! I really liked Kate too!

Would I recommend The Wedding Date?

Absolutely for anyone (who is over 18) and who wants a cute romantic escape. I laughed, I swooned, I loved it!

Many thanks to the author Kelly Eadon and the publisher via Xpresso Book Tours for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

4 Stars (4 / 5)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kelly Eadon is a romance writer living in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and a house full ofkelly eadon rescue animals, aka “the kraken”. She swears like a sailor and says whatever pops into her head. In order to counteract her big mouth, she wears high heels whenever possible. In her spare time she spins, kick boxes and attempts to renovate her farmhouse. She hates sanding drywall, loves to cook, drinks lots of wine, gets scary competitive at trivia, and enjoys time spent exploring with her rescued beagle mixes. –

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If you enjoy The Wedding Date, you may enjoy:

image   Practice makes Perfect - Julie James

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