Thursday, May 30, 2013

Swatch & Review: Revlon Moon Candy "Moon Dust" (#200)

This was one of those polishes that I saw in the store and immediately had to have it.  It was new, it was pretty, it was sparkly and I needed it.  The first time I tried it, I loved it.  I really did.

Two coats of the black, two coats of the glitter & two coats of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.

After using it again... I hated it.  Nothing in me wants to use this polish again.  I'll use the black because I currently don't have any others, but I hate the glitter part.  It was so hard to apply, I had to dab and dab and dab to get enough on for it to even be noticeable.  After all that, it was gloopy, thick and stuck up everywhere.  I applied two coats of Seche Vite on top and still couldn't get it all down.  It was such a pain.  And it emptied really quickly.  I've only used it twice and the glitter side of the bottle is already a little less than half full.

And I absolutely could not get a good picture of it.
I will probably use it again, as much as I don't want to, just to empty the bottle.  Or I'll find some other use for it.  It really isn't the black side, I use it quite a bit.  It's the glitter.  After one night with it on my nails, I wanted to take it back off.  I regretted putting it on instead of something else.  I probably won't be buying anymore of the Moon Candy polishes.

(I got it at Walmart for $7.)

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Swatch & Review: Sinful Colors "Snow Me White" (#101)

Unfortunately when I made the move to Louisiana in February I left the bag that contained ALL of my nail polish and accessories, so I've been slowly rebuilding my stash.  One color I always like to keep on hand is white.  It comes in handy in so many different situations and honestly, I just really love the look of white on my nails.

Since I needed to re-buy a white, I opted for Sinful Colors "Snow Me White".  I honestly wasn't being picky in store.  It was on the rack I was looking at and it was like, $1.50 (I'm a fan of cheap polish!).

Two coats Snow Me White & one coat Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat.

It was hard to get a good picture of the polish on my nails because it kept photographing really bright and flashy.  My camera was being wonky as well.  Every photo turned out like this.

I really, really like this polish.  I don't know what it is about it but I really do.  These pictures were taken before I did an ombre gradient manicure over the white (post to come) and honestly, as soon as I put the other polish on top, I regretted it.  I loved the look of the white so much that I instantly regretted covering it.  I definitely plan to redo this polish and possibly add some nail art that plays with the white instead of covers it.

Snow Me White had a great formula and went on so smooth and creamy.  I had not one problem with the application and it dried pretty quickly.

$6.48 on
(I got it at Walmart for like.. $1.50).

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Swatch & Review: Sick Lacquers "Graffiti"

I won this polish in a giveaway hosted on Me and My Nail Polish.
Thanks again!

I'm not going to lie.  I was so insanely excited when I won this giveaway.  Never in my life have I ever used an indie nail polish and I was extremely eager to expand my collection.  I'm a big supporter of indie polish makers (and books, as you will see) so I get extremely giddy to try indie polishes.  In this giveaway, I won two polishes from Sick Lacquers; Graffiti and Sugar Rush.  I plan on swatching Sugar Rush soon, so be on the lookout for that!

I didn't try it as soon as I wanted, but once I did get a chance, I jumped at it.  I decided to use it as an accent nail along with a blue/white ombre mani.

One coat "Graffiti" over Sinful Colors "Snow Me White" & top coat.
The polish went on super easy, I didn't have to mix it up in the bottle or anything.  The above photo is only one coat and I was so happy with how it turned out.  I did end up adding another coat, but honestly, I was perfectly happy with just the one.

Two coats "Graffiti" over Sinful Colors "Snow Me White" & top coat.
I really can't wait to swatch "Sugar Rush" and hopefully in the future I'll get to try more polishes from Sick Lacquers.  I had a great first impression of Indie polishes and I'm excited to try more in the future!

Available in the Sick Lacquers shop:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)
Cover Source:
Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and The French Kiss #1
Version Reviewed: Finished, paperback

GoodReads Summary:
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
I had heard so much hype about this book that when I finally got a chance to get my hands on it, I couldn't resist.  I am a sucker for YA Contemporary Romance so there was no reason for me not to read it.

Well...I was immediately sucked into the story line and read it every chance that I got.  I have to admit that the writing style irked me a little bit at first, though I'm not exactly sure why.  I loved the characters, the setting and the story so much that Anna and The French Kiss was a very quick read for me.

I don't think I'm as crazy about it as a lot of people are, but I can't deny that it was a damn good YA Contemporary.  I would definitely read it again.

Character:  St. Clair.
Rating: 4 Stars.
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*I bought this book with my own money.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Blog Tour (Spotlight): Skin In The Game by Jackie Barbosa

I was actually supposed to review the book for the tour but I was admitted into the hospital due to pregnancy complications.  I was just released, so I didn't get to finish the book.  Review will be posted sometime this week.

Title: Skin In The Game
Skin in the Game
Cover Source:
Author: Jackie Barbosa

GoodReads Summary:
Angela Peterson was always the quiet, shy kid growing up in Harper Falls, crushing on the high school quarterback and honing her football strategy skills. Now grown up and coaching the high school team, she’s shocked when that same sexy quarterback returns to Harper Falls asks her back to his hotel room. And then tries to steal her job.
Injured NFL quarterback Cade Reynolds is in Harper Falls to take over as interim head coach, and he never thought the tall, blond bombshell he propositioned would offer up any resistance. Not to a repeat of the amazingly wild night they shared and certainly not to his coaching position.

But the Harper Falls High Eagles are Angie’s team, and even the hometown hero won’t take that away from her, no matter how hot he is. As the two engage in a battle of wits and wills, this is one game neither is prepared to lose.

Photo Source: Photo was provided by the publishers..
About The Author: 

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer when I grew up, but there were plenty of times when I wasn’t sure I ever would be. As it turns out, it just took me about twenty years longer to grow up than I expected!

On the road to publication, I took a few detours, including a stint in academia (I hold an MA in Classics from the University of Chicago and was a recipient of a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities) and many years as a technical writer/instructional designer for a data processing company. I still hold my day job in instructional design, but my true passion is writing steamy romances–both historical and contemporary.

I learned to believe in love at first sight when I met the man of my dreams twenty years ago and to believe in happily ever after when I married him. I live in Southern California with my husband, our three children, and an ever-changing menagerie of pets.

I am represented by Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Cover Reveal & Excerpt: Darker Days by Jus Accardo

Cover Source:  Cover was provided by the publishers for the reveal.
Title: Darker Days
Author: Jus Accardo
Series: Darker Agency #1

Publishers Summary:

Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...
When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.
Seven deadly ones, in fact.
They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...
There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything.

Find Darker Days

About Jus Accardo
JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her path lay with fiction, not food, and passed on the spot to pursue writing. Jus is the bestselling author the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing and is currently working on the first book in a new adult series due out summer 2013. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Find Jus Accardo 

I really like this cover.  It has a real urban fantasy look to it and pretty, vibrant colors.  =D

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cover Reveal & Excerpt: The Rising King by Shea Berkley

Cover Source: Provided by the publishers for the reveal.
Title: The Rising King
Author: Shea Berkley
Series: Keepers of Life #3

Publisher's Summary:
The summer before Dylan Kennedy’s senior year in high school is turning out to be anything but boring. Ridiculously hot girlfriend? Check. Killing evil Dark Souls who suddenly have aspirations of taking over the magical realm of Teag because its protective spell is gone? Check.
Not even Teag’s King, Dylan’s father, Baun, can stop them. People are dying, and a dark magic that his girlfriend, Kera, received from Baun is growing stronger. Dylan wants to believe Kera is suppressing the darkness that’s in her, but every day he sees that control slip just a little more.
Baun sends Dylan to find a powerful magic that stop the Dark Souls, a magic so strong that Baun hid it so no one else could use it. When Dylan doesn’t expect to find along with it, are consequences that could end the lives of those closest to him.

Find Shea Berkley

The Marked Son (Keepers of Life #1)
Barnes and Noble:
The Book Depository:

The Fallen Prince (Keepers of Life #2)
Barnes and Noble:
The Book Depository:

Honestly, I'm a little confused because this cover is also posted on under the title The Bastard King.  I think I'm out of the loop on some information there.  Either way, the cover looks really nice and fits really well with the rest of the books in the series.

What do you guys think of the cover for The Rising King?

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Guest Review: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

Guest Reviewer:
Today's guest review was written by my amazing husband, Brad.  He doesn't have his own blog or anything, but he loves to read just as much as I do, is addicted to video games, the same shows as me, and good music.  To put it plain and simple... he's totally awesome.  :)

The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus, #1)
Cover Source:
Title: The Amulet of Samarkand
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Series: Bartimaeus #1
Version Reviewed:  Finished copy, paperback

GoodReads Summary:
Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training, sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five and sent to live as an apprentice to a master. Powerful magicians rule Britain, and its empire, and Nathaniel is told his is the "ultimate sacrifice" for a "noble destiny."

If leaving his parents and erasing his past life isn't tough enough, Nathaniel's master, Arthur Underwood, is a cold, condescending, and cruel middle-ranking magician in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The boy's only saving grace is the master's wife, Martha Underwood, who shows him genuine affection that he rewards with fierce devotion. Nathaniel gets along tolerably well over the years in the Underwood household until the summer before his eleventh birthday. Everything changes when he is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace and betrayed by his cowardly master who does not defend him.
Nathaniel vows revenge. In a Faustian fever, he devours magical texts and hones his magic skills, all the while trying to appear subservient to his master. When he musters the strength to summon the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus to avenge Lovelace by stealing the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, the boy magician plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything he could ever imagine.
The author painted a picture in my mind of an age where magicians rule and common folk are like ants in a hornet’s nest. The book seemed very long but every time I put it down, I wanted to pick it back up again.

The scenes of the chasing, eating, and the descriptive commentary of the djinni at the bottom of the pages made it seem as if the story were as real as this review.

My only real complaint would be that I don’t have the other two books in the trilogy, so I can’t finish it. But I would recommend this book to anyone, be they twelve or seventy years old. The storyline is easy to follow and the characters are a delight.

Favorite Character: Bartimaeus
Rating:  4 Stars.
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*I bought this book with my own money.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Review: A Shimmer of Angels by Lisa M. Basso

A Shimmer of Angels (Angel Sight, #1)
Cover Source:
Title: A Shimmer of Angels
Author: Lisa M. Basso
Series: Angel Sight #1
Version Reviewed: ARC, eBook

GoodReads Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it’s more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can't admit to seeing?
I requested this book on NetGalley but was initially a little unsure about it. I'm not big on the whole "angel" thing (with the exception of Hush, Hush) but I decided to give it a try anyway. I have to say that I'm really glad that I did because I actually really enjoyed A Shimmer of Angels.

I really liked the storyline and the characters (Kade = yum) but the leading female did get on my nerves a few times. Obviously not enough to deter me from the rest of the book, but something that did stick out to me.

I might have to rethink my stance on angel books because I really enjoyed this one a lot and definitely plan on reading the next in the series.

Favorite Character: Kade
Rating: 3 Moons.
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*This book was provided for free by the publishers for review.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: A Love By Any Measure by Killian McRae

A Love by Any Measure
Cover Source:
Title: A Love By Any Measure
Author: Killian McRae
Version Reviewed: Finished Copy, eBook

GoodReads Summary:
An Irish lass. An English lord.
A love that overcomes all boundaries, but at what cost?
Lord August Grayson, English landlord, has secretly, and much to the dismay of his father, held in reverence the object of his first fancy: poor Irish tenant Maeve O'Connor. Returning to Ireland for the first time since his youth, August discovers that Maeve has grown into a woman of beauty and tenacity. He understands, however, that he could offer Maeve nothing but shame if her pursued her. But when circumstances allow him an opportunity to indulge his fancy, even if only in a limited scope, August finds himself unable to resist the temptation.

Maeve,for her part, knows the danger falling for August holds, but finds her heart and her good senses becoming confused the longer she spends in his company. As two hearts become hopelessly entangled, both Maeve and August are forced to question the costs of their love. As consequences of their romance manifest, both struggle with the pain and difficulties their love causes, both for themselves and those who care for them.
Killian McRae's delve into historical romance will challenge reader's presumptions of the genre. A title garnering controversy due to McRae's preference towards historical truth versus genre-standard "love despite the realities of the day" perspectives, it asks at what cost winning love is justified. "A Love by Any Measure" is an exploration of a romance that strives to overcome divisions of cultural, socio-economic, and religious differences in an era where options for lovers in such situations were limited.
The fact that a lot of this book was set in Ireland was one of the first things that attracted me to it. I have always held a fascination for Ireland and Killian McRae did a wonderful job of satisfying my indulgences. Her characters and her words were beautiful in their English and Irish brogue.
The book starts out with quite a bit of sexual intimacy, but as you read on, it becomes something more. I found myself completely taken for a ride in the middle of the book and I was wondering what the heck was happening. The story line throws you for a loop with it's crafted twists and beautiful turns. I even found myself tearing up on more than one occasion.

I found it reminiscent of The Kissing Tree by Prudence Bice, which I also loved. If you enjoyed that one, you definitely need to read A Love By Any Measure.

Memorable Quotes:
"We are all equal in the sight of God. It is only in the eyes of man that we find the faults of the world within."
Favorite Character: August and Mauve.
Rating:  4 Stars.
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*This book was provided for free by the author for review.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review: A Soul For Trouble by Crista McHugh

A Soul For Trouble (Soulbearer, #1)
Cover Source:
Title: A Soul For Trouble
Author: Crista McHugh
Series: The Soulbearer Trilogy #1
Version Reviewed: Finished Copy, Paperback

GoodReads Summary:
When you’re a witch named Trouble, chaos follows.
Arden Lesstymine (known to everyone as Trouble) likes attention as much as the next girl, but this is getting ridiculous. When an insane stranger is murdered at the inn where she works, Trouble becomes the next Soulbearer for the disembodied god of chaos, Loku. Yes, it comes with the ability to channel the god’s limitless power, but at the cost of her sanity — literally. Now she has a sexy but cynical knight claiming to be her protector, a prince trying to seduce her to his cause (and his bed), and a snarky chaos god who offers a play-by-play commentary on it all, whether she wants to hear it or not. To make matters worse, a necromancer wants to capture the soul of Loku for his own dark purposes, and the only way he can get it is by killing her first.
A Soul For Trouble is the story of a witch named Arden (Trouble) that becomes the new Soulbearer. Her body becomes the home of Loku, the god of chaos.
I was excited when Crista McHugh asked if we could read and review the book for Starcrossed, so I accepted as soon as I could.
I really enjoyed this book. It took me a while to finish it, but definitely not because it was boring. A Soul For Trouble is filled with action and is very well written. The characters were great and the story was very enjoyable. Fantasy usually isn’t my selected genre, but Crista McHugh is a great author and I cannot wait to read more from her in the future.
The second book in The Soulbearer Trilogy comes out in December 2012 and I’m excited to see what comes next!

Favorite Character:  Cinder and Dev.
Rating: 4 Stars.
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*This book was provided for free by the author for review.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review: A Child Called "It" by David Pelzer

A Child Called "It"
Cover Source:
Title: A Child Called "It"
Author: David Pelzer
Series: David Pelzer #1
Version Reviewed: Finished Copy, Paperback

GoodReads Summary:
This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it."
Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive--dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.
A Child Called "It" is one of those books that I have been dying to read for quite some time. About ten years actually, since I first heard about it in Middle School. I finally got my chance.
This book is absolutely heart breaking. It's one of that makes you remember your own childhood in a different light. I was so angry whil reading this boook that I almost wanted to stop reading it. But there was no way I couldnot finish it. The more I read, the angrier and more heartbroken I became. What this man had to go through and deal with at such a young age, at home AND at school, is unbelievable. I can't imagine surviving the things he lived through as a woman, much less as a child.

I finished this book while on my lunch break at work and had to explain to my co-workers why I had tears in my eyes. I vowed, with the last turn of that page, that I would never read this book again. Not because it was bad, but because it was so good. 

Favorite Character: David.
Rating: 5 Stars.
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*This book was borrowed from a friend.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Photo Source: Church Media Designs
Just wanted to give a quick shout out to all the wonderful moms and soon-to-be mommies out there.  I hope you have an amazing day and that you get to relax a little bit!  Happy Mother's Day!

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 31

Overview:  Been a busy couple of weeks.  Had my normal doctor's appointment and found out that I have gestational diabetes so I'm now on a really strict diet.  I also have to check my blood sugar four times daily.  I had to go see a dietitian and a GD lady that teaches people how to use glucose meters and everything they come with.  We had a 4D ultrasound planned but just like always, Bella absolutely would not cooperate.  She kept her face smushed into the placenta and refused to turn or move, so we ended up with only two pictures.  One of her smushed profile and one of her vagina (still no problems showing that off!) and they weren't even in 4D.  I'd like to say it was a waste of our time, but anytime I get to see my daughter and be reassured that she's healthy is worth it.  My next doctor's appointment is on the 16th and we have another 4D scheduled for the 23rd.  Also scheduled my baby shower!  May 19th.

Cravings:  Extra cheese pizza, Oreos (horrible cravings for them!), strawberry milkshakes, chocolate cake, honey buns, raspberry tea, spicy McChicken sandwiches and pickled bologna.

Symptoms:  Pelvic girdle pain, frequent urination, horrible heartburn has started back up, leaking colostrum.

Movement:  Oh, I have been feeling her like crazy.  Sometimes it feels like she doing flips in there!  There have even been a few times where she moved or nudged so hard that it has actually hurt.  I've kind of figured out her sleep pattern now too.  She sleeps when I do, wakes up when Daddy is leaving for work and she wakes up right before I do (I know this because most of the time her movements are what wakes me).  I have felt long little legs and elbows.  So crazy how different I feel her now.  

Pre-Pregnancy Weight:  148 lbs.
Current Weight:  160.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Review: A Spy At Home by Joseph Rinaldo

A Spy at Home
Cover Source:
Title: A Spy At Home
Author: Joseph Rinaldo
Version Reviewed: Finished Copy, eBook

GoodReads Summary:
When Dad becomes the lone caregiver for a dependent adult son, Dad has to answer the terrifying question: What happens if I die first?                       A retired CIA operative comes to believe he wasted his professional life not only promoting questionable American policies, but missing life with his family. Suddenly, his wife is gone, and he must learn all that she knew about caring for their mentally retarded son. After a life of planning for contingencies, the former spy must deal with the possibility that he may die before his son. Who will care for the son when the dad spent a life out of the country and now has no one to lean on?
A Spy At Home is a very different type of book than I would normally read. It was out of my genre range, written differently than I prefer, yet when I got a request to read and review this book, I accepted it. Normally I wouldn't accept the book if it was so far out of my "league", so to speak. But I did and I will admit that I thought this book was going to be completely different than what it was.

Aside from it being out of my genre range, the only real problem I had with this book was how it was written. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was written badly. It got the story through, made it's point, and actually brought emotion out of me. I just felt like it jumped back and forth a bit and I felt myself getting confused quite often. Again, it wasn't written badly. It just wasn't the way I like my books to be written. People are completely different, so a book I had trouble with, another person will understand completely.

This book really did bring out emotion in me. There were honestly a few chapters that I felt myself tearing up. Between the circumstances surrounding Louisa's death, Arnold, and Noah, it was very heartbreaking. I loved Noah's character. I really wish things had turned out differently for him and his family because with each page I read further into the book, my heart continued to break.

One thing that I really do love about A Spy At Home is that it genuinely brings to light the secrets of families with children who have Down Syndrome. With Noah and his family you were able to witness what went on behind closed doors and eventually his decline with Alzheimer's. Again, I teared up.

Favorite Character:
Rating: Two Stars
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*This book was provided for free by the author for review.

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