Review: The Governess (Wicked Wallflowers #3) by Christi Caldwell

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

The Governess by Christi Caldwell

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋💋💋

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Regina (Reggie) Spark has loved Broderick Killoran, the resourceful and protective proprietor of the Devil’s Den, ever since he saved her from the streets and made her his right hand at the notorious gaming hell. For just as long, Reggie has never admitted her true feelings for him. Nor has she revealed her spirited ambitions—to buck convention and expectations and open a music hall.

While Broderick built his gaming empire with ruthless cunning, his loyalty to his employees is boundless. So when he learns of Reggie’s plan to leave his side and take charge of her own future, the betrayal cuts Broderick to the core. He responds as he would to any business rival…with swift retribution.

Instead of wilting, the savvy Reggie rebounds with a fury that shocks Broderick and stirs a desire he’s been holding in reserve for only ladies of nobility. But as their seductive battle of wills ignites under the harsh spotlight of the London Season, secrets are exposed as well—ones that could be ruinous in decent society but invaluable for the heart. 

Three of my favorite tropes in one! friends to lovers, rags to riches, and my all-time favorite a redeemed bad boy. These two will keep you on the edge of your seat with the back and forth and you wonder if they will kiss or not. They are two stubborn people going to battle and neither one wants to open up. I loved when Reggie’s secret came out and how Brodrick reacted. My heart almost dropped when he went to the opera because I thought he was going to listen to his sister.

Reggie will not let her secret ruin the family or let Brodrick control her life. I loved her from the start because she won’t give up or run from anything. She had a heart of gold and slowly everyone saw why she was trying to leave.

Brodrick melts my heart. We’ve gotten to know him a bit from the other books, but this time his story really comes out. He is stubborn to the core, but when kissed her that first time I knew his walls were coming down. I loved when he told his story.

Little Stephen breaks my heart in this one. He is struggling so much and taking it out on everyone at every chance. I loved seeing more of his story and hope he one day gets his own book.

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Review: The Leading Lady (Half Moon House #2) by Deb Marlowe

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

The Leading Lady by Deb Marlowe

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice level:💋💋💋

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Passion and secrets swirl–and the battle between Hestia Wright and her enemies continues–in another delicious installment of the Half Moon House series.

Miss Callie Grant has hidden her true identity her entire life, but now elements from her past are threatening to destroy England’s future. To save someone she loves, she agrees to a dangerous mission–and to masquerade as the bride of Lord Truitt Russell.

Lord Truitt wants only one thing–to restore his honor. Only the capture of the Wicked Lord Marstoke will do the job. But the intimacy of playing husband to the gorgeous, infuriatingly independent Callie Grant proves a temptation difficult to resist. In the end, which will he choose? Honor or Love?

I was on the edge of my seat from the moment Callie questioned the two men. This is not a love at first sight story, more of a loath at first sight that takes you on a whirlwind. Once they got to know each other it was clear they were perfect for each other. As always I love reading Hestia’s diary and getting to know her story more and more. I was holding my breath a couple of times because I didn’t know what Marstroke was going to do next. OMG the ending shocks you so much!

Callie is fiercely independent and won’t hesitate to take down someone if needed. I loved her right away with how she made it clear how she felt and what she wanted. She knew things had to change.

Tru hates that he was tricked in the past and will do anything to end Marstroke. I love how he understood her and didn’t want try to control her. He saw things that most didn’t.

ARC Review: To Ruin a Gentleman (The Scarlet Chronicles #1) by Shana Galen

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

To Ruin a Gentleman by Shana Galen

Releases January 15, 2019

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋💋💋

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The true story of the Scarlet Pimpernel . . .
Angelette, the recently widowed Comtesse d’Avignon, only invited Viscount Daventry to her country house party as a favor to her sister. When the handsome British lord arrives—two days late—he’s full of unnerving tales of unrest and violence in Paris. Angelette assumes it’s all exaggeration…until her chateau is attacked and her life threatened. Daventry rescues her, and the two are forced to run for their lives. But when danger closes in, will the viscount stand at her side or save himself?

Is not the one you’ve been told. 
Hugh Daventry visits France frequently to import wine for the family business. On his way out of the country, he stops at the comtesse’s house party out of obligation. But after meeting the raven-haired beauty, he tries to persuade her to leave France with him. When the peasants attack, he realizes he’s already too late, and now he must protect Angelette, whose sharp tongue is far from angelic. Too soon the couple is caught up in the rising revolution, dodging bloodthirsty mobs, hiding from soldiers, and embroiled in the attack of the Bastille. Hugh wants nothing but to leave tumultuous France for the calm of England. He knows Angelette is intelligent and resourceful—a survivor. But can Hugh survive without her? 

Be prepared for a wonderful story time that hooks you from the start and surprises you in the end! I love that it starts with Hugh telling his son the story. You will fall right into the brutal story of the attacks and riots and be holding your breath afraid of what will happen next. They are a couple at odd from the start with him trying to save her while she is determined to stay. There are many times that you think the story will go one way and it takes a turn in another way. The ending to their story will totally surprise you and it’s sweet at the same time.

Angelette is very loyal and it’s almost to a fault. She didn’t understand what was coming until it was too late, but she was different than her friends. You won’t love her right away, but you will in the end with how she surprises you.

Hugh lost his heart quickly and didn’t even know it. I loved him right away because he kept trying to make people understand what was coming. No matter what he kept coming back to her.

Review: The Gentleman’s Seduction (Seduction #4) by Lauren Smith

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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The Gentleman’s Seduction by Lauren Smith

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ Spice Level:💋💋💋

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Blurb

‘Tis the season…for revenge. 

Eleven years ago, during Christmas, Martin Banks’ family was thrown into the streets by wealthy landlord Edwin Hartwell. Now, this holiday season, Fate has handed Martin an unexpected gift. Vengeance. Defeating Hartwell at cards gives Martin the chance to financially ruin the man—but, damn, instead of money, Hartwell offers his daughter as payment. And, double damn, Martin stupidly accepts. How did retribution turn into seduction? Martin refuses to let himself fall in love, so there must be rules to this game.

And perhaps a bit of romance. 

Desperate to save her father from ruin, Livvy Hartwell agrees to accompany Martin as his paramour. She long ago accepted that a penniless bluestocking like herself had no chance for a well-suited marriage. If a few passionate months with a man like Martin is all she’ll ever have as far as romance, it’s an opportunity she will take. But she must guard her heart. He might be handsome as the devil and tempting as sin, but she can’t be a typical mistress and doesn’t want Martin to call her such. In fact, she has a list of rules.

My Review

Christmas time definitely brings the magic in this one. Their meeting and the whole arrangement is very shocking but makes the story perfect. There is an instant spark between them and it’s just a matter of time before they lose control. I could picture his face when she told him what she would do at the fair and l love it. They are a very passionate couple and you may need a fan for some scenes. I was not expecting what happened near the end and her father will shock you in many ways. The ending is one of my favorites too with the surprise of it.

Livvy is a bold woman that will do anything for her family. I loved her right away because she didn’t hesitate and made it clear what she expected in the arrangement. She saw the real him and understood him more than others.

Martin tries to come off as cruel and cold, but his heart wins every time. He is definitely tempting as sin with how he teases and can turn any moment into seduction. I loved him when he made it clear that he was going to make her happy.

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Review: The Earl and the Reluctant Lady (Lords of Vice #3) by Robyn DeHart

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The Earl and the Reluctant Lady by Robyn DeHart

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My Rating: ❤❤❤ Spice Level:💋💋💋

Buy Links (3)

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Blurb

He knew he could never have her…

From the very moment Agnes Watkins walked into his life, Fletcher Banks, Earl of Wakefield, has wanted her. Agnes is not just beautiful, she’s clever and determined. Despite her uncommon beauty, she refuses to conform to society’s standards. She’s also the sister of the man who holds Fletcher’s career as a spy in his hands. And that makes her completely off-limits.

She thought she could change him…

Tall, impossibly broad, and handsome as a sin, Fletcher Banks is a brazen scoundrel. Known for his reputation as the greatest lover in London, he’s the only man who’s ever proved a temptation for Agnes. Her duties with the Ladies of Virtue means she can’t overlook his lustful ways. The time has come to reform this rake.

Together their desire is undeniable.

With Agnes setting her virtuous sights on him, Fletcher can’t ignore her any longer. Maybe spending more time with her will release him from his infatuation with her without falling further from her brother’s good graces. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is to deny that this infatuation may be more than lust…

My Review

It’s a charming story, but there are things I just didn’t like and somethings that went unanswered. I love a forbidden love that is forced together story like this. There’s a bit of a mystery with someone threating the group and a man that wants her for himself that brings them together. I loved that he had loved her for so long and that everyone sees it so clearly. Her brother was just like I thought he would be when it came to her. I also loved her friends seeing what she wasn’t seeing.

To me, they just seemed mismatched and I didn’t really get the passion between them that I would expect. The thing of needing to change him just rubs me the wrong way. I love a reformed rake/rogue, but the setting out to change him I don’t like. The Ladies of Virtue group doesn’t fully make sense to me because it’s not explained enough.

Agnus lives in the shadow of her mother and is constantly hounded by men thinking she is like her mother. She just wasn’t my cup of tea because she came off cold most of the time. I didn’t like how she was ready to take on things but then turned around and mad decisions that made no sense to her kind of character. Just a little too naive at times for me.

Fletcher has been beaten down by his grandfather for years and only wants to prove himself. I loved him right away because he was so naturally charming and spoke his mind. He never doubted his feelings and fought for her when he needed to. I only wish the stuff about his grandfather had been explained because it would have made it easier to understand him at times.

Overall it wasn’t my kind of read, but I know many that would love this kind of story.

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Frequently Asked Questions: What is a Beta Reader and What Do They Do?

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Today I’m answering questions that I get a lot. I get asked a lot about beta reading so I thought I would explain it and how I work.

What is a beta reader?

A beta reader is someone that reads the book and gives feedback to the author so they can adjust things, fix details, remove or add details. Usually, it’s an unedited version of the book and it’s getting ready to go to the editor.

What a beta reader does

Beta readers are not like regular reviewers. Authors want honest feedback on the books. Sometimes on specific things and they want details on the feedback. Depending on what the author wants will change a bit of what we look for and how we look at it. We don’t read it for enjoyment as much as we would normally. We have to look at it from what most readers like along with what we like.

For example I recently beta read for two authors. One wanted to make sure the flow was good and that the language was fitting for the time. Plus my overall thoughts on the story and if I figured out something in it. The other asked for fresh eyes on a specific character to make sure they were likable. Then she came back with specific questions about certain things that she didn’t want to give away beforehand so I wouldn’t be looking for it.

Sometimes a beta reader will beta read the same book multiple times as changes are made. But there comes a time when they’ve read the book too many times. Just like the authors, we lose the fresh eyes to the book and might not be able to beta it as well.

What’s the difference from an ARC review

ARCs tend to be unedited or proofed like beta reads, but they are very different.

Reviews – You see on my reviews that I tend to be vague on details that aren’t in the blurb. I say my overall thoughts, what I like about the hero and heroine, and favorite scenes without giving away anything. Even with books I didn’t enjoy I try to stay vague so I don’t ruin it while saying what I didn’t like.

Examples: I loved what happened to her father. I didn’t like the heroine because of the way she acted during most of the book. See I don’t like to include details that could give away a plot point.

Beta Reads – Unlike reviews in beta reads there are details, corrections about things, feedback on the way they talk and everything else. We look for plot holes and things that aren’t needed. No sugar coating or overlooking details that might go unnoticed in a review.

Examples: This character doesn’t add to the plot in any way and I don’t feel it’s needed. This name is wrong and such and such part isn’t completed in the end. I love how different this character does this. I don’t find this character to harsh and love it.

How do they beta read?

Most beta readers have a list of things they look for if the author hasn’t given specifics or they use that in addition to the author’s specifics. Beta reading can take longer than a review because we might go back to check something while doing our notes. We also have to stop and write notes at times or highlight an area of the book is using a program to mark certain spots.

What about reviewing the book later?

Now each beta reader is different in how they handle this. Some review based on the beta read and some buy the book later on to review. I personally don’t like the idea of reviewing based on the beta read because there could be changes in the final book. What I do is if it’s a book I would like to review then I buy the book when it comes out and read it again. That way I can read from just a readers point of view and enjoy it. I’m not looking for details and taking notes.

I hope this helps you understand beta reading/

Review: To Redeem a Highland Rake: A Historical Scottish Romance (Heart of a Scot #2) by Collette Cameron

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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To Redeem a Highland Rake by Collette Cameron

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My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ Spice Level:💋💋

Buy Links (3)

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Blurb

One forbidden kiss sets them on a path from which there’s no return.

In a desperate final attempt to force her cruel betrothed to call off their arranged marriage, Arieen Fleming deliberately creates a public scandal. Aware she’ll likely be shunned by Society and remain unmarried, she kisses a dashing swashbuckler at a masked ball. What she doesn’t anticipate is her powerful fascination and sensual reaction to Coburn Wallace. And she most certainly doesn’t foresee her father casting her out as a result of her madcap scheme.

Coburn Wallace is a man who enjoys life and women to the fullest. As cousin and second-in-command to a laird, he has no need or desire to marry and produce an heir. When a beautiful female pirate demands he kiss her, who is he to refuse such an unexpected gift? Upon learning Arieen’s been disowned and is destitute, he’s seized with an inexplicable urge to protect her even as his honor demands he marry Arieen for his unwitting contribution to her ruination.

Arieen has no choice but to accept Coburn’s offer, and though they can’t deny their overwhelming, mutual attraction, dare they hope for more? Can attraction blossom into love in a marriage neither wanted?

For an enthralling, emotional Scottish Highland adventure you won’t want to put down, read this second book in the Heart of a Scot Series.

Though this book is part of a series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

My Review

Desperate times call for desperate measures and they might just redeem a rake. I was hooked from the moment her plan was revealed and her back up plan. That spark between them ignited from across the room and they were goners as soon as they kissed. I was completely shocked by every word that came out of her father’s mouth when he saw them. When Coburn showed her where he came from and told her he couldn’t let her be homeless made my heart melt. The way they got married is one of my favorite scenes and I rarely see that way of doing it. A tiny part of me wished someone would really knock her father down a few more pegs, but I loved how it all ended.

Arieen will not stand by and let her father trade her like property to a man that didn’t care about her at all. She is not shy at all and has no problems saying what she heard or thinks. I loved how she kept her head up after everything her father said and with the gossip going.

Coburn may love women to the fullest, but he has a heart of gold and won’t let her suffer. He knew he wanted her and would do anything to protect her. I loved how he was just as blunt as her and that he went to great lengths to make her happy.

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On the Way to the Castle by Ava Stone part of The Duke of Danby’s Holiday Hijinx (The Duke of Danby’s Christmas #1)

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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On the Way to the Castle by Ava Stone

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My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ Spice Level:💋

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Blurb

Identical twins, Ladies Lily and Amelia Woodward may look the same, but they’re as different as night and day. Ever-dutiful Lily is resigned to whatever destiny their great-uncle the Duke of Danby has in store for her, while free-spirited Amelia is determined to fight His Grace every step of the way. With Christmas upon them, the Woodwards set out for Danby Castle and stumble across an overturned coach and a pair of handsome gentlemen in peril. Will this fateful encounter alter the future for both sisters and the likely plans the duke had in store for all of them?

My Review

The Duke of Danby is at it again and this time it’s double the work. I think this is the most we’ve heard him talk or leave his study. You have two romances going on at once, but they blend perfectly together. Brought together because of a carriage accident their brother Jamie is going out of his mind trying to watch his sisters for different reasons. Lily and Richard are a love at first sight couple that are perfect for each other. They just have misunderstandings and a curse to get past.  Amelia and Daniel’s romance is more lust filled because she’s loved him from afar and he just now see her for her. Theirs is one that is fast, but sweet and you know they are going to be happy.

Lily takes life as it comes and is very level-headed. She doesn’t hide her feelings and has no secrets. I loved how she is with everyone and doesn’t hold back with him. She is the opposite of her sister and the center of her family.

Richard had a plan that was derailed as soon as he met Lily. I loved how he instantly was taken with her and quickly regretted his plan as soon as it was out of his mouth. He needed the Duke without realizing it.

Amelia is dramatic and afraid of what the Duke has planned for her. She can come off as childish, but really isn’t and is very sweet. I loved how she just came up with a plan and didn’t hesitate to ask.

Daniel isn’t really as perfect as he appeared back in Lady Grace’s Husband Hunt. He has a very passionate side that comes out around Amelia. I was so happy to see him get a happy ending.

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Review: The Season of Lady Chastity (The Undaunted Debutantes #4) by Christina McKnight

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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The Season of Lady Chastity by Christina McKnight

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My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ Spice Level:💋1/2

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Blurb

For years, Lady Chastity Neville has stood in the shadows of her dour older sister. But while bluestocking Prudence might be content to wile away her hours alone with a book, Chastity secretly yearns to shed her wallflower ways. When she finds an old letter indicating her mother may have had a scandalous past, Chastity is drawn to the mystery of the woman she never knew. This Christmastide, she’s determined to uncover the truth—and start a scandal of her own.

Bastian Stanhope, the Earl of Mansfield, has lived his life in accordance to the wishes of others. Caring for his ailing mother is his main responsibility. But when he meets Lady Chastity, he’s drawn to her compassion and adventurous spirit. For the first time, he’s thinking of his own future. ‘Tis the season for merry mischief, so to win Chastity’s heart, he’ll have to be a little bit wicked.

With kisses underneath the mistletoe, Chastity’s scandalous quest might just turn into the love of a lifetime…

My Review

A forgotten letter was all it took to ignite Chastity and pull her from the shadows. These two are very different, but also alike in many ways. Their first meeting set the tone for the story and it does not disappoint. I loved how they brought out the best in each other and some of the wickedness too. It hurt my heart to see her and her sister at odd, but it just makes me more excited for the next story. I laughed at their brother with how he was acting and absolutely loved the ballroom scene.

Chastity is ready to be herself and have some scandalous fun at the same time. She really struggled after finding that note, but without it, she would still be in the shadows. I loved that she was ready to take on anyone and didn’t care what others thought.

Bastian is one of the shyest and quiet lords I’ve seen. He puts everyone else first and doesn’t think he’s worth notice. I loved seeing him go from shy and quiet to ready to fight because of her. He needed her more than he knew.

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ARC Review: Hell of a Lady (Devilish Debutantes #4) by Annabelle Anders

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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Hell of a Lady by Annabelle Anders

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Releases December 12, 2018

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ Spice Level:💋💋💋

Buy Links (3)

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Blurb

Regency Romance between an angelic vicar and a devilish debutante: A must read if you love sweet and sizzle with an abundance of heart.

THE DEVILISH DEBUTANTE
Miss Rhododendron Mossant has given up on men, love, and worst of all, herself. Once a flirtatious beauty, the nightmares of her past have frozen her in fear. Ruined and ready to call it quits, all she can hope for is divine intervention.

THE ANGELIC VICAR
Justin White, Vicar turned Earl, has the looks of an angel but the heart of a rake. He isn’t prepared to marry and yet honor won’t allow anything less. Which poses something of a problem… because, by God, when it comes to this vixen, a war is waging between his body and his soul.

SCANDAL’S SWEET SIZZLE
She’s hopeless and he’s hopelessly devoted. Together they must conquer the ton, her disgrace, and his empty pockets. With a little deviousness, and a miracle or two, is it possible this devilish match was really made in heaven?

My Review

This book takes place at the same time as Hell’s Belle so I was excited to see what happened between these two. I’ve never seen a story with a Vicar turned Earl so that was definitely something new that I loved. These two clearly have something between them from the start, but they have battles to win first. I loved how much confusion there was between them about everything. There was a couple of times that I was afraid of what a certain person would do. Her father was a total shock and I wanted to wack him. A real surprise was her mother and I loved her for it. There are some fun twists with the ladies and a well-deserved end for one person. The ending left me laughing and happy to see them all happy.

Rhoda is almost a shell of herself, but there is still a fire in her. I loved how she opened up to him and was ready to battle the ton. She needed someone that would understand her and help her get over the past and see she is safe.

Justin had loved her longer than anyone knew and he would do anything for her. He came to her resue in more ways than one. I loved how he always stayed positive and didn’t give up.

There are a few scenes that could potentially be triggering to some. There are attempted sexual assaults, but they are brief and not graphic.

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