Review | A Cowboy For Christmas by Jennie Marts

A Cowboy For Christmas (Page Turners, #3.5)

Title: A Cowboy For Christmas (Page Turners #3.5)
Author: Jennie Marts
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Short Stories
Publishing date: 1st December, 2014
Published by: CreateSpace
Pages: 71

My Rating: 3/5 stars  

 


Synopsis:

Holly Adams returns to her hometown with a simple to-do list from her therapist: 1) Return to your roots, 2) Face your fears, and 3) Listen to your heart. But Holly hasn’t been back since a tragic accident claimed the life of her young husband. Returning home is one thing. Facing her fears and giving her bruised heart a voice are quite another. Cowboy Levi Garrett remembers Holly as the brazen girl who once stole a kiss at a high school party, and barely recognizes the heartbroken young widow who ends up stranded at his ranch on Christmas Eve. All he wants is to remind Holly of the fearless girl she used to be. It’s holiday magic when a winter storm traps the pair together, but will Holly be able to hear her heart when it asks for a Cowboy for Christmas?


My Take:

A perfect holiday read! ❤

Light and heart touching. The reading is light but the emotions are not. You will feel deep emotions as you keep proceeding. You can feel Holly’s grief, her struggle with moving on, her efforts in trying to move on, her inner self giving her strength when she tries to chicken out, you can feel her defenses weakening, you can feel her falling in love with Levi, you can feel her fear for what she is feeling, you can feel her hesitance, in short you can feel a lot of things in this book.

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Levi is such a sweet character. If it wasn’t for Levi, Holly might not have been able to accomplish the list her therapist gave her. Sure, she returned to her hometown, ticking off the first thing in the list. The second thing is facing her fears, she has a fear of horses because her husband died riding one. Levi helps her get over it. He is so patient with Holly that you can’t help liking him. With the second thing ticked off there’s only one thing  left on the list.

Listening to her heart. Will Levi help her achieve that. Him being sexy is a great help along with being a nice person.

“What was it about guys in jeans and cowboy boots.”

I enjoyed reading this book. The writing is simple and it compliments with all the feelings in the story. Overcoming the fears, getting a grip of yourself, learning to deal with grief and moving on, falling in love…

She remembered the Barista asking her what she wanted for Christmas.Would a cowboy be too much to ask for?

A little co-incidental magic seals the deal. 😉 Some predictable proceedings help set the plot but it still plays out beautifully. ❤ 🙂

“It’s a special bell. It’s got Christmas magic. You can only hear it when you listen with your heart.”


Why would I pick it up?

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For all the feels! 😉 😛

ARC Review | Being Lovers by Rachel Carrington

Being Lovers

 

Title: Being Lovers (Discovering Emily, Book 2)
Author: Rachel Carrington
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publishing date: 18th December, 2015
Published by: Rachel Carrington

My Rating: 4/5 stars  

 

 

*ebook received from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Escaping my past has become a full-time job for me. Ever since my boyfriend died, I’ve been running from something—his father, a hired hitman, the truth. If I didn’t have Adam, I don’t think I would have survived. He’s become my lifeline.

It only took us weeks to fall in love. Yes, it was quick, but love doesn’t tell time. At first, it might have been two desperate people coming together, but now, I know it’s real. I wish I could say we’ve lived happily ever after since. But there’s a price on my head.

Protecting me from a sniper has become Adam’s sole purpose in life, and I hate that our relationship is surrounded by guns, blood, death, and lies. Add betrayal to the mix, and I begin to wonder if what we’ve found, this unique bond we share, will last.

One thing is certain. Someone is trying to kill me, and losing Adam will do just that.


My Take:

I talked about how much I loved the format of summary and I am glad that it is continued. I complained about insta-love in the last book, that is the first book of the series, Connecting strangers. In this book summary there seems to be a kind of explanation in the words of Emily herself.

It only took us weeks to fall in love. Yes, it was quick, but love doesn’t tell time. At first, it might have been two desperate people coming together, but now, I know it’s real.

Okay, but still not acceptable. Anyways this book is much better than the last book. In this book we get a lot more action, well, the action in the last book was more in the bedroom but here we get real action. Finally Adam gets to put his cop skills to use. I was much impressed by Adam in this book.

In this book their romance doesn’t overshadow all the other aspects of the story like in the first book. I feel like all the complains that I had about book one was solved in this book. The author has really gotten the potential of the book out. Even if you haven’t read the first book, this will still be easy to read. I think it does better as a standalone because then you don’t have the first book to compare to.

Even if you don’t read the first book, you won’t be missing much because the second book does a good job for both of the books.

The ending will keep you perched on the edge of your seat, the climax is going to give you an adrenaline rush. The supporting characters’ stories is also explored in this book and they are not just the convenient, god send creatures that they were shown as in the first book.


Why would I pick it up?

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To make up for the disappointing first book in the series.

 

Book Review | Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

 

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publishing date: 26th February, 2013
Pages: 328

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 


Summary:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.


My take:

I read this book because of the hype surrounding it. I don’t know what I feel. I kind of have mixed feelings for this book. It was a good read actually, it went smooth and I liked the switching narration of Eleanor and Park. 🙂

It’s been a while since I read this book so I had to search a lot and find out if people quoted something that even I liked and quoted in my copy because I lost all of my highlights. Reading those quotes made me connect to the book again on a personal level.

There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…

If you’ve ever been in love, true love, your first love, you will get what I am saying. It’s so nerve-wrecking and comforting at the same time. All those feelings leave you scared but that person drives all your fears away. First love is really a very pure experience and people who have experienced it are lucky. These quotes that I picked out are a mass acceptance because everyone seems to have loved these lines. I think it really connects with people. You go through these feelings when you are in love and it’s quite frightening until you know it is mutual, even then you need some time to digest the fact that you have such a wonderful person with you to hold and be held forever. ❤ 😀 ❤

This book had all those feelings, the words had feelings and lots of them to be honest. Just read these lines if you haven’t and you will understand… 🙂

“I don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I…” – her voice nearly disappeared – “think I live for you.”
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
“I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together,” she whispered. “Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it’s been like sixty hours since I’ve taken a breath. That’s probably why I’m so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we’re apart is think about you, and all I do when we’re together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”
He was quiet. He wanted everything she’d just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with ‘I want you’ in his ears.”

These words. ❤ Now that I read it again I know exactly what Eleanor meant. This fear of the person, that is giving you all these feels, not wanting you like you want them and leaving you is real. It’s only them that can drive that fear away and that’s what Park does. I love it how Eleanor opens up to Park and how Park tries to solve all her problems and wants her to experience the beauty of little things. May it be reading comics to her pace or making her a tape of the songs he thinks she might like or thinking about asking for batteries as Christmas present so that Eleanor could listen to songs… really, it’s the little things that matter in the long run. Park wins with flying colours in that aspect. Him kicking his friend’s ass for bullying Eleanor is an added bonus. I was impressed with that kick. ❤

“Nothing was dirty. With Park.
Nothing could be shameful.
Because Park was the sun, and that was the only way Eleanor could think to explain it.”

These lines by Eleanor are something that every person in love feels. How you get comfortable with things you were uncomfortable with and how you start liking them. Love does get you to a new level of comfort with a person. 🙂

“My girlfriend is sad and quiet and keeps me up all night worrying about her.”

This reminds me of something. 😀 🙂

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice.She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

Park really has a way with words. I don’t think he could have found better words as to describe the way Eleanor dresses. To be honest, her style is too loud for someone who doesn’t want to get noticed. The same goes for Park. The guy who was focused on not being noticed starts wearing eyeliner which will surely get him noticed, I felt like he did it to piss his dad off. I don’t know I just felt like the scene was forced.

The ending, when Eleanor realizes who the person was behind all those little mean notes she got and the night she goes to bed and finds it out had me on edge. The book made me nervous from that point. I was scared for everyone involved and the actual ending seemed bland in comparison to the climax. Eleanor spends considerable time with her dysfunctional family so at this point they were all an important aspect of the story, forgetting them completely once Eleanor is out of the mess wasn’t exactly a good idea. I wanted to know what became of her mother and siblings, how they were, and what about her stepdad? Through Park we do know that they left but that seemed like lazy writing. Instead of delving into their story, the characters just disappeared with a vague explanation.

All in all I loved the love they share and the bond they have but the story… I need more. I need to know what happened to Eleanor’s family and what became of Eleanor and Park. I felt it was kind of wrong on Eleanor’s part to not reply even once and then start the interaction after months. I know she had problems but you don’t leave the only person helping you miserable. I am not sure how I feel about the ending. I felt like there’s always hope for love and felt sorry for Park.


Why would I pick it up?

Because… Love! ❤

Blog Tour | Book Spotlight and Excerpt | When Love Matters Most by Kate James

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Now More Readily Available in Print

This is an exciting time for Harlequin Heartwarming. Thanks to the loyalty of our readers, for the first time, our January releases, including When Love Matters Most, are available as mass-market paperbacks through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Harlequin.com. Also, When Love Matters Most will be available in select Walmart stores in the United States in February! Please check the Harlequin website for the location nearest you. Thank you to all our readers who made these advancements possible for us!

— Kate

When Love Matters Most (The K-9 Trilogy, #2)When Love Matters Most
(K-9 Trilogy #2)
by Kate James
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
January 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Keeping her safe at all costs

Could their backgrounds be any more different? Rick Vasquez, a K-9 unit sergeant with the San Diego Police Department, fled drug-related violence in Mexico as a boy. Madison Long, who recently became primary veterinarian to the SDPD’s canines, is the privileged daughter of a judge. Rick has dedicated his life to curtailing cross-border drug trafficking and preventing other young boys from being drawn into the dark world of the cartels.

But everything Rick and Madison value, and the growing love between them, is threatened by the dangers of Rick’s job, and the risks he’s determined to take…

Kate James spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result, Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Her writing has been recognized with a number of awards, including first place honors for Silver Linings in both the First Coast Romance Writers’ Published Beacon Contest and Ancient City Romance Authors’ Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award. Her November 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release, A Child’s Christmas, received first-place honors from Southern Magic, the Birmingham Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, for the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, placed second in the Ancient City Romance Authors’ Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award, and was a finalist in RWA’s Desert Rose Chapter’s Golden Quill Award and the Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence. Finally, her October 2015 release, When the Right One Comes Along, the first book in her K-9 trilogy, has received a Best Book of 2015 award in the contemporary category.

She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors with their beloved Labrador Retrievers, Harley and Logan.

Kate would love to hear from you! You can connect with her by e-mail, through her website, her Facebook page, Twitter, or mail at PO Box 446, Schomberg, ON, L0G 1T0, Canada.


 

Excerpt

Enrique flinched at the burst of gunfire. That slight motion nearly made him lose his balance. He’d been hiding in the corner of his closet for a while, as high up as possible, bracing himself with his back against one wall and his feet against the facing wall. It wasn’t the first time he’d hidden there, trying to avoid discovery, but at twelve he was almost too big to fit. His muscles spasmed from the exertion. He rubbed his thigh, trying to get the blood circulating.

The next round of gunfire sounded as if it came from the hall. Despite the stifling heat in the dark, cramped space, he felt icy perspiration on his brow. The door to his room banged open, accompanied by a rapid exchange in Spanish and the clatter of booted feet rushing in. He bit down on his lower lip to keep from crying out. He heard a swooshing sound, which he guessed was the cover being torn off his bed; under it, he’d stuffed a couple of pillows to resemble a body. He’d prayed they’d take their shot and not bother to check if he was there.

He wasn’t that lucky.

A loud crash—likely a piece of furniture toppling—startled him. Movement halted as the cartel enforcer yelled again to someone outside the room.

Then he heard heavy footsteps approaching. His closet door was yanked open and light flooded in. Looking sideways, he saw the barrel of a machine gun slide in and ruffle the hanging clothes that were concealing him.

The barrel paused a mere six inches from his hip. He knew he was as good as dead if they found him. Petrified, the boy held his breath…

And waking from his nightmare, the man bolted up in bed, drenched in sweat and gasping for air.

Rick Vasquez raked back the damp hair from his forehead with both hands and glanced at the glowing red numerals of his bedside clock. Still shy of five in the morning. He’d barely had three hours’ sleep, but getting any more was out of the question. This was not how he’d hoped to start his day.

He swung his legs over the side of the bed. With his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands, he gave himself a moment to let the vestiges of the nightmare fade and his heartrate level out.

Sniff, his narcotics detection canine partner, scurried to his side and nuzzled him.

Rick straightened and stroked the yellow Labrador retriever’s head. He felt Sniff’s tension subside. He and Sniff had been working together since the day he’d joined the San Diego Police Department’s K-9 Unit six years ago. They were as connected as it was possible for any man and dog to be. The contact steadied him as much as the dog.

Sniff slid down and stretched out across Rick’s bare feet, head nestled between his paws.

Rick exhaled heavily. It had been a while since he’d had the nightmare. He recalled the fourteen-year-old kid he’d caught the night before, crossing the San Ysidro border from Tijuana into San Diego with a kilo of marijuana, and he should’ve expected that the nightmare would revisit him.


 

 Tour Giveaway

– $40 Amazon eGift Card & signed copies of The Truth About Hope and When the Right One Comes Along
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Blog tour | Book Spotlight and Excerpt | For the Love of Dixie by Shyla Colt

Click on the banner to see the complete tour schedule. 😀

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for the book “For the Love of Dixie” by Shyla Colt , hosted by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours. 🙂 


 
For the Love of Dixie (Kings of Chaos, #3)

For the Love of Dixie
by Shyla Colt
Genre: Contemporary Romance

After having her heart broken by Echo, Dixie Dunn makes a new life for herself, away from the Kings Of Chaos. Now, she must return in order to get her stubborn father back to fighting shape after a heart attack. She knows she’ll have to face Echo, as he has made it clear over the years that she still belongs to him. But she refuses to give him any chance to crush her heart again.

Echo, Joel Spencer knows that Dixie hates him, but he also knows she yearns for him. After being forced by his hateful father to practically leave her at the altar when they were teens, he realizes that he has his work cut out for him. One thing is on his side, he knows what she wants and needs. This time, he WILL make her his again, and to hell with whoever gets in his way.


 

Author’s Bio:

Shyla Colt grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, but has lived a variety of different places thanks to her wanderlust, interesting careers, and marriage to a United States Marine. She’s always loved books and wrote her very first novel at the age of fifteen. She keeps a copy of her first submission letter on her desk for inspiration.
After a lifetime of traveling, she settled down and knew her time had come to write. Diving into her new career like she does everything else, with enthusiasm, research and a lot of prayers, she had her first book published in June of 2011. As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there’s never a dull moment in her household.
She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company. A self-professed rebel with a pen. Her goal is to diversify romance as she continues to genre hop, and offer up strong female characters.
You can interact with Shyla Colt online via her website

Meet the author: | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog|  

Get the book on: | Amazon | 


 

EXCERPT

Echo

My father was a proud example of what a King of Chaos should be: loyal, strong, and ready to take care of business, or defend his own. At one time, he was the apple of my damn eye. I didn’t realize till much later in life how fucked up his views were.

We lost my grandfather in his prime to a fucking robbery of all things. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and caught a bullet to the brain. They found the guy; a black man strung out on heroin. I think that’s where his bullshit beliefs about keeping races separate, and blacks being inferior started.

Growing up, I thought he wanted to protect us from people who meant us harm. It was a familiar concept I could accept because it was an extension of us versus them. Civilians and the club. Then I saw how he treated Dixie Rose. Suddenly, I understood what he felt and taught was corrupt and wrong. A hate that knew no bounds. It wasn’t about him protecting those he loved from the outside world, or the people who’d hurt Grandpa. It was an uncontrollable hate for anyone with the wrong color of skin. It screwed with me, divided my loyalties. I’d always been drawn to Dixie Rose. She was a brilliant ray of sunshine, always laughing and smiling. I never understood why my father acted so gruff with her. I made a career of hiding our relationship. Maybe that’s why I thought I could have my cake and eat it too.

I was dead fucking wrong.

Parked in my car like a little bitch afraid to face the consequences of his actions, I try to form a plan. We’re welcoming Hoss back into the fold officially. It’s the perfect diversion to get her alone. With all the carrying on, I can get her back to my dorm. She’s angry and obstinate, the only way I can get her to sit still long enough to speak with me is by force. I can’t blame her really. I fucked us royally. I’d make good on it if she would let me.

I need to prove to her I’ve changed.

I wasn’t the man she needed me to be before. That’s changed. Ready to get things started, I step from the car and amble inside.

I walk through the club, shaking off the questing hands of the blonde I’d been nailing on a regular basis. The years apart have only reinforced that. I spot her in the corner sipping on a bottle of beer as she watches Slick line up a shot.

Her hair is pulled up on top of her head revealing her slender neck. The swell of her full breasts in the form fitting black tank top with the KOC emblem and the tight black pants have my dick twitching. She looks like royalty. Her face isn’t caked with makeup … there’s a delicate beauty to her. With her full lips painted red, and the fringe of eyelashes accentuating those brown orbs that never miss a thing, she is a goddess to me.

She’s a part of it, but separate. I want to change that. She deserves to be immersed in the culture she was born to. I walk up on her blindside and lean against the wall beside her.

“Here I thought you weren’t going to show,” she drawls.

“Good to know you were looking for me,” I say.

She scowls. “Don’t flatter yourself. I like to know where my enemies are.”

“I’m many things, but your enemy has never been one of them.”

“I don’t know, people who hurt me aren’t my friends.”

Her words hit their target, but I refuse to let it show. “Not what you said the last time we had a run in.”

“So, you make my pussy wet. You taught me all I know; it’s a matter of muscle memory.”

I lean down and whisper in her ear, “Fucking bullshit.”

“I’m sorry, did I hurt your feelings?” she retorts.

“Takes more than that. I want to bring this shit out in the open.”

“What?” She blinks owlishly. “No, you can’t do that. I won’t let you do that.”

“You think you control me?”

“Fuck this.” I lift her up and toss her over my shoulder.

 

 

 

Blog Tour | Review | The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor by Anna J. Stewart

Click on the banner to see the complete tour schedule. 😀

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for the book “The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor” by Anna J. stewart , hosted by Prism Book Tours.

Let’s get on with the review, shall we? 🙂 


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Title: The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor
Author: Anna J. Stewart
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publishing date: 1st December , 2015
Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming
Pages: 368

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

 


Summary:

Can people truly change?

Two things keep Holly Campbell grounded: her precocious son and preserving her forty-year-old family diner in the face of expansion and change. She doesn’t need a blast from the past like Luke Saxon, who’s back in Butterfly Harbor after more than a decade away. The hard-luck kid who nearly destroyed her family, leaving her to pick up the pieces, is taking over as sheriff. She can’t trust him, even if Luke’s ideas for the town’s upcoming anniversary seem to show he’s trying to give back to their community. Has Butterfly Harbor found its unlikely savior? And has the widowed single mother finally found a man she can believe in, rely on…and love?


 

My Take:

This is a really beautiful book, beautiful in the sense of how the story was told with so much simplicity and genuine emotions. This book revolves around second chances, forgiveness, acceptance, and moving on. 🙂 Something that’s a very important thing and not many people find it in them to do.

The author let’s the story build throughout the book. There is nothing rushed. Most of the books under romance category or even sub category rush love from the start. Which isn’t exactly how life works for everyone. When you have your own demons to fight you don’t have enough energy left to venture into other feelings as well.

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That was what I loved the most about this book. Luke and Holly but slowly and with the help of each other fought off guilt, blame, hatred and all the negativity between them that was brewing for more than a decade because of a mistake Luke made that cost a lot of people something. After clearing out the air between them did they start accepting each other. 😀 The spark was obviously there from the start but it didn’t overpower the main story. The romance started way later, at about 70% of the book.

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I liked the characters, all of them did their job well. The variety of people you need in your life. The bunch of people who spice up every story enough to keep the reader’s attention. I loved Holly’s son Simon, quite a bomb for a 8 year old. 😛 😛

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The characters, the situations, the settings, the story building, I couldn’t find anything that would make me not like it. The issue of having abusing parents and how even one person unterstanding the victims can change life is pressed throughout the book. 🙂

It’s a very thoughtful and sweet book. While it’s an easy read it will give you a lot to think about. 😀


 

Why would I pick it up?

The kind of book you read when you don’t want to read anything heavy and yet read something meaningful. The easy pace writing style definitely makes reading the parental issues, fighting off the guilt, accepting the past, making peace with it, and moving on not so boring. It succeeded in keeping my interest while discussing a serious topic. 🙂 😉


 

Author’s Bio:

You’ve met Anna J. Stewart (or someone like her) before. She was the girl who spun in circles on the playground hoping her Wonder Woman costume would magically appear before playing cops and robbers a la Charlie’s Angels–as Sabrina (she was the smart one). Anna was the girl in the back of the class with a paperback romance hidden in her algebra book (and yes, she failed algebra).
Growing up in the 70′s and 80′s meant there weren’t a lot of YA books, so she ventured early into mainstream fiction and read Stephen King’s CARRIE at the age of 8. Discovering Nora Roberts and romance novels early in high school opened her eyes to the wonders of storytelling and the beauty of a happily ever after.
So here she is, many years later with an English degree from CSU Sacramento, an RWA Golden Heart nomination behind her, countless stories in her head, and a serious addiction to STAR TREK, SUPERNATURAL, and SHERLOCK. She recently wrapped up a nearly 8-year stint working as assistant to NYTimes bestselling author Brenda Novak where she helped run Brenda’s annual online auction for diabetes research. When she’s not writing or reading (which she never has enough time for!), she’s working on dollhouse miniatures and tolerating her overly-affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it’s Snickers who tolerates her).

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