How My Rating System Works & How I Write Reviews

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Welcome back!

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of talk about rating systems and reviews. Some don’t understand the process of how someone writes a review and rates a book. So I thought I would explain my process and rating system so you understand me and it may help you with others. Now my Review Policy goes into a lot of detail about what I review and don’t review and how to submit a request. It also explains each heart and kiss meaning. This post is going to elaborate on the ratings and writing of reviews.

My Ratings

I use hearts in place of stars. They mean the same as stars and are just what I prefer to use.  I rate a book on a whole which means that I base it on my overall feeling at the end of the book and how glued to it I was. For example, a book has 4 hearts, but my review looks to you like it should be 5 hearts. There are many reasons it could lose that one heart and usually, it’s in the review as to why. It could be that it was too slow for me, too fast or parts were dragged out. Sometimes it’s because of the hero or heroine just didn’t work for me. At times it can just be as simple as it didn’t leave me wowed, but I still liked it and there’s nothing I can pinpoint to put in the review.

3 heart reviews for me usually have equal positives and negatives in the review. I’m usually split on it where I liked parts but also didn’t like a lot of parts. These tend to be ones that are also affected by my kiss rating, lacking story details, and not liking the hero or heroine for most or all of the story. Too many plot holes without hints of they will be resolved in another book. Many 5 kiss rated books land here if they are mostly love scenes and not enough story for me.

Now my kiss ratings for spice level are going to be different for every reader. What I may consider still on the sweet side others may think it’s too steamy. I use halves at times in my kiss rating because some may be just in between ratings for me. I base my rating on how many love scenes there are, how often they appear and the details in the scenes. These ratings also can affect my heart rating depending on how natural to the story they feel and if they take up too much of the story.

For example, books I give 4 kisses to usually have 3 or more love scenes that are detailed and may have more adult language. The scenes can be close together in books, but they don’t take up pages and don’t take away from the story. They are still natural to the story and characters. 5 kisses usually for me take up too much of the story and the scenes happen too early in a full-length book.

It’s like watching a movie or show and asking myself would I watch it with kids around and would it make my dad uncomfortable. I consider Outlander (the show) to be 4 kisses and it makes my dad squirm and I wouldn’t want kids around for those love scenes. There is full on nudity and nothing is left to the imagination. 3 kisses have nudity but only show from the back and sometimes the side without showing things still. So in a book that would be skimming over details a bit leaving things to the imagination and having 3 or less scenes most of the time.

How I Write My Reviews

When I write reviews I break it into three parts my overall thoughts, the heroine, and the hero. I don’t like to rewrite the blurb or retell the whole story. I try to keep it to the point about what I like without spoilers or going into too much detail. I use the blurb as a guide as to what I can safely mention with more details if needed. My reason is that I want readers to get a taste of what’s in the book with enough detail to keep them guessing. I don’t want to give it all away and a reader not want to read it for themselves because they know what happens. That’s why I say I loved such and such scenes or I didn’t see that coming with whoever. I stay vague so readers will have to read to find out what I’m talking about. If I went into details they would be really long reviews and you wouldn’t have to read the book. I do all that when talking to my brother to organize my thoughts because he’s not going to read the book (and isn’t fully listening) and is being my sounding board.

When I talk about the heroine and hero I talk about their personalities a bit, if I like them, understand them, and some things they do. I do this because I know there are certain types that readers like and don’t like and like to know before buying a book. If a heroine is strong and bold I will talk about that. Same goes for heroes that are misunderstood and come off one way, but change. I don’t go into full details on them but hint at things.

I sometimes add a section about other characters that I loved. How I hope to see them again or wished to have an ending to their story.

I also will include trigger warnings if there is something in great detail and a big part of the story. When I do trigger warnings I still try to avoid spoilers, but I have to mention the specific trigger. I will sometimes praise an authors way of handling a topic if they didn’t use it as an add-in or didn’t ignore the effects it can have. Using it an add-in or treating it as nothing will lower my rating and be mentioned in the review.

I will also praise being historical accurate on things that many don’t even though I understand the reasons for not being accurate with some things. I don’t point out inaccuracies or let them affect my rating unless they are really bad (using modern slag like cool or modern clothing etc).

If you ever have a question about something in a review of mine feel free to ask me by commenting or contacting me.

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Review: The Risk of Rogues (Sinful Suitors #5.5) by Sabrina Jeffries

*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.*

sabrina

goodreads

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋

Buy Links (3)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

Blurb

Lady Anne is shocked when Captain Lord Hartley Corry—her former fiancé who left for India after her father forbade their marriage—returns to England and acts as if everything is all water under the bridge. He never fought for her hand or eloped with her as he promised and he thinks she’d still be willing to marry him? Not a chance.

Hartley is equally shocked to literally run into his past love upon arriving at his brother’s house. Though he yearns to take advantage of this second chance to woo his beloved, he can hardly admit that he is secretly a spy—at least not until he can be sure he trusts her. But convincing Lady Anne to let him prove his sincerity by courting her respectably all over again might be his undoing. Because all he wants is to show her how much of a rogue he can be when the right woman is in his arms…

My Review

I love old loves finding each other again and this one is no smooth ride. This is a fast-paced story that will keep you on your toes. I loved how they found each other again and that they got to know each other again.  They have changed over the years, but are still drawn to each other. I loved the ending and how everyone was there to see it.

Anne never knew the full truth of what happened when he left. She is ready to be on the warpath with him, but her heart can’t let go that easily. I loved that wasn’t afraid to question his boss, but she was still scared.

Hart is all heart and did what he thought best years ago. I loved him from the start with how he wasn’t going to stop and wanted to tell her the truth. He didn’t realize how many had his back.

Disclaimer

 

Where Have I Been & Amazon Troubles

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Where have I been? I know that’s what you have been wondering for the past week. If you’re not friends with me on FB then you have been wondering why no reviews suddenly. I got hit with a bad summer cold that wore me out and I couldn’t read. I’m talking horrible sore throat for days followed by a bad cough and congestion after that. My mom was hit with Strep so there was the worry about me having that too. I just started to really feel better a couple of days ago, but wanted to give myself a good amount of time to rest.

I had planned to read yesterday and last night for a review today. But I was woken up at 7am yesterday to my mom taking my brother to the ER. He had gotten hit with this cold too, but he got a nosebleed that would not stop and wasn’t a little one. Good news is it was nothing serious but took almost two hours to stop it and most likely due to a sinus infection. The focus was on him for the day and making sure he was okay.

I will have a review for you on Friday.

Now my Amazon troubles. In short, I’ve been banned from reviewing on Amazon. This happened at the same time that I got sick so I’ve been dealing with that too. I contacted them three times before I heard back about why all my reviews were gone and why I couldn’t post any. I was told that elements of my account indicated that I have a relationship to sellers, publishers, and other reviewers. Or that I received compensation for my reviews or requested free or discounted products in exchange for reviews.

Do I have a relationship with these people? Not in the sense of being a close friend or family member. I’ve never met a single one in person. I’m a fan, reader, and blogger. My reviews show that I read the books and aren’t always 4 and 5 star reviews so they are honest too. I have bought many of the books and products I’ve reviewed on my own because I wanted them. Not because I was asked to review them.

Am I compensated for my reviews? No. I would never take payment for a review. I am given books to review, but I voluntarily review them. They are honest reviews which means authors don’t expect glowing reviews just because they gave me the books. The only money I make is as an affiliate and that is very little ( a few cents at a time). That’s not for reviews and is just links I post for things I love.

Have I requested free or discounted products in exchange for reviews? No. I know some bloggers will approach authors and publishers for books they want to read. But I don’t do that as I don’t feel its right to do. If I want to read a book I will buy it if there hasn’t been an opportunity to review through a tour, street team, or author asking me if I want to read it. I do have on my blog that if an author submits a book they need to provide a copy. This is standard for bloggers as we can’t possibly afford to buy every book and we usually buy the ones we love.

ARC Review: A Tangled Ruse (The Beckett Files #4) by Laura Beers

*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.*

laura

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A Tangled Ruse by Laura Beers

Releases July 1, 2018

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋

Buy Links (3)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Blurb

After a failed abduction attempt, Lady Rachel is sent into hiding on her uncle’s estate near the sleepy village of Rockcliffe on the shores of Scotland. As she struggles to cope with the nightmares of her past, she unwittingly stumbles into even greater danger than she left behind. And this time, Shadow isn’t around to save her.

Luke Beckett, the Marquess of Downshire, was content running his stud farm in solitude, far from the scheming of the devious women of Society. That is, until his neighbor’s infuriatingly contrary niece rides into his life. Hiding behind the guise of a common horse trainer, he begins to form a peculiar friendship with Lady Rachel, without the constraints of his title. However, the longer the ruse continues, the more Luke realizes there is much more at stake than just their friendship.

With the looming threat of a French invasion, Luke and Rachel must work together to stop the tangled web of treachery before it is too late. When the truth is finally revealed, will they have the strength to trust each other with their hearts, or will the fear of rejection destroy their relationship before it has a chance to begin?

My Review

Oh, what a tangled mess leaving out a bit of information can become. With every book in this series, its get better and better. Laura just gives you more characters to love and nail-biting adventure that brings the spies together again. I couldn’t put it down from the moment Rachel started talking on the way to her uncle’s home. I knew it was going to be fun and a wild adventure. Their first meeting is one of the best I have seen and makes it clear they are going to be put through it all. I loved the twist on his ruse with how many people were involved and why. As with the other books, you will not see anything coming and will find yourself cheering, laughing, and crying throughout the story. Many answers are in this book, but just as many new questions to keep you asking for more.

Rachel definitely has been through it all, but it hasn’t killed her heart of gold. She is a woman that makes her own choices and is not your typical Lady on the ton. I was excited to see her get her own story and get to know her more. I loved that she wanted to help everyone, but wouldn’t hesitate to lay into them as needed. She didn’t give up easily and did things she never imagined she would have to.

Luke has a hard shell and won’t win you over right away, but you will love him as you get to know him. He hates what society expects and wants to avoid marriage and women for the most heartbreaking reasons. I loved that he didn’t realize how much he could scare people and when he was cornered by his siblings. He would give up everything for her even if it meant himself.

I will never get tired of the Beckett family or Mr. Larson. I hope to see more of Rachel’s cousin because of his story and David’s sister because she seems like she will be fun.

Disclaimer

An Affair with a Spare (The Survivors #3) 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.*

shana

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An Affair with a Spare by Shana Galen

Releases July 3, 2018

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋 1/2

Buy Links (3)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

Blurb

He’s turned seduction into an art form…

Rafe Beaumont, fifth son of an earl, uses his irresistible charm with the ladies to glean dangerous war secrets. Now he’s putting those skills to the ultimate test: capturing an elusive assassin by seducing his daughter. The problem? She’s entirely immune to Rafe’s flattery.

Never before has Collette Fortier met a man as attractive as Rafe. But her father’s life is at stake, and succumbing to Rafe would be disastrous. But when Rafe turns the tables on her, offering support and friendship instead of a fleeting affair, Collette finds herself tempted in ways she never could have imagined…

My Review

The seducer has met his match and jumped without a thought into the flames. I couldn’t put it down from the start wondering what would happen between them and when. They both had reasons for avoiding each other, but to everyone else, they were stupid to try. I was on the edge of my seat when they came up with their plan. At every turn, they were met with a fight and sometimes a friend, but it was always a surprise. I wanted to scream when he went back to London, but the talk he had with his stepmother and other were so worth it. The ending was perfect especially with what she made him do. I hope to see them again and Grimes was an interesting man.

Collette will do anything to save her father even shielding her heart. I loved her right away because she tried so hard to find what she needed and wouldn’t give up. She let fear and her mission blind, but not completely.

Rafe always wanted the exciting mission he just didn’t realize this one would turn into one. He will break your heart with his reason for not wanting to marry and win you over with his charm and kindness. I loved that he was willing to do anything to help.

I can’t wait for the next story!

Disclaimer

Tour and Review: The Gambler Wagers Her Baron (Craven House #4) by Christina McKnight

Gambler_Badge.jpgWhen happily ever after is the name of the game, gamblers must risk it all in this emotional conclusion to Christina McKnight’s bestselling Craven House series.

Out June 26th – Regency Romance, The Gambler Wages Her Baron by Christina McKnight.

Follow the tour and enter to #win one of three print copies of The Thief Steals Her Earl

Enter at:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29542/

Gambler_1600x2400Title: The Gambler Wages Her Baron
Series: Craven House
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Release Date: June 26, 2018

WAGERS GO AWRY

Payton Samuels has always known she wants more out of life than being the youngest daughter of the ton’s most disreputable family. While her siblings are content to bet their future happiness on marriage, Payton learned early on from her mother that love is fleeting and leads only to disappointment. She’s got a different plan: she’ll work as a governess for Baron Ashford’s children, but only long enough to win her fortune at one of his infamous masked gaming parties. When she loses big, Payton sees her chance at an independent life go up in flames—until Lord Ashford surprises her by paying her debts.

WHEN LOVE IS IN THE CARDS.

Since the tragic death of his wife, Damon Kinder, Lord Ashford, has been a man made of ice. His determination to never be hurt by love again runs so deep that he can’t even connect with his children. When they quickly take to Payton, he thinks he’s found a solution: she’ll give them the affection and support he can’t. As he spends more time around Payton, his heart begins to defrost, and he can’t stop thinking about the captivating governess.

But every seasoned gambler knows that eventually, luck runs out. Can two souls so burned by past loves forge a new future together?

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

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

I think this is my favorite in this series! A man of ice just needs a little melting and Payton is just the warm heart that can do. You know when children are involved that its going to be a fun time. I was hooked from the start with her in the closet and couldn’t wait to see what she did. The spark between them will leave you breathless and so will the words between them at times. Theirs is an intense story from his heartbreak and protecting her to her gambling and the fight in her.

Payton has her eyes on a better path, but she just doesn’t know the end is so close. She will win you over right away with how she doesn’t hold back and loves the children. I loved when she realized that she had found the right path.

Damon is a shattered man that thinks he is protecting his kids and himself by being a man of ice. Don’t be fooled by him at first because he will melt your heart once you hear his story and get to know him. I loved when he opened his heart again even if he didn’t know it.

I can only imagine what these children will be like when they are older.

Copy provided for an honest and voluntary review

More from the Craven House series:

The Thief Steals Her Earl – JUST 99CENTS!!

The Thief Steals Her Earl

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

The Mistress Enchants Her Marquis

The Mistress Enchants Her Marquis

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

The Madam Catches Her Duke

Madam_1600x2400

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Christina Photo Small (1)Author Bio:
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Christina McKnight writes emotional and intricate Regency Romance with rebellious women and maverick heroes. 

Her books combine romance and mystery, exploring themes of redemption and forgiveness. When not writing she enjoys coffee, wine, traveling the world, and watching television.

You can visit her online at the following places: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Follow the tour and enter to #win one of three print copies of The Thief Steals Her Earl

6/25/18
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Random Friday Review: Dead Men Do Come Back by Steven C. Levi

*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.*

dead

goodreads

Dead Men Do Come Back by Steven C. Levi

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Buy Links (3)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Blurb

 Why would someone kill a miner, freeze his body solid on a glacier and then drop it alongside the Juneau wharf, the one place where United States Marshal Gordon Whitford would be sure to find it?
Does it have anything to do with the 250 pounds of gold that have just been extracted from the Alaska Gastineau Mine? And how were both the frozen body and the gold able to disappear off a steamship that made no stops between Juneau and Seattle?
Now there is another shipment of 250 pounds of gold bound for Seattle – along with the miner’s frozen body that has been recovered – again – floating just south of Juneau. Will Marshal Whitford be able to solve the murder and the robbery before the next shipment of gold vanishes into thin air?

Steven C. Levi’s debut novel is a riveting historical thriller set in 1910 during the Alaska gold rush.

My Review

This is definitely a thrilling mystery that I couldn’t completely figure out. I really liked the Marshal and getting to know him and the way he sees things. I thought I had it all figured out but was nowhere close until the end to knowing who all was involved. There’s a lot of moving parts to who killed the miner, why, and how everything happened. This is not a book ou fly through because you will miss details. The ending didn’t quite satisfy me and left me wondering what was going to happen afterwards. I was shocked when it was revealed who was involved because I didn’t see it coming.

If you love a good mystery and this time setting then I think you will like it.

Disclaimer

Review: Bed of Flowers (Sweetness and Light #1) by Erin Satie

*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.*

erin

goodreads

Bed of Flowers by Erin Satie

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋

Buy Links (3)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

Blurb

Bonny Reed is beautiful, inside and out. 

A loyal friend and loving daughter, she’s newly engaged to her small town’s most eligible bachelor. She’s happy for herself—but mostly for her family, who need the security her marriage will bring.

An old enemy shatters her illusions. 

First Baron Loel cost Bonny’s family her fortune. Now he’s insisting that her fiancé has hidden flaws, secrets so dark that—if she believed him—she’d have to call off the wedding.

How will she choose? 

When the truth comes out, Bonny will have to choose between doing what’s right and what’s easy. Between her family and her best friend. And hardest of all—between her honor and the love of a man who everyone wants her to hate.

My Review

This is my first book by Erin Satie and OMG! This story shows love can survive anything that is thrown at in its path. Both of them will pull at your heart with heartbreaking stories and how they find each other in a cruel world. I was hooked from the start with her work and how she and her friend were. You will go through many emotions with how people treat them and following their story until the end. That spark between them just got stronger as time went on and they could take on anything. They both had amazing friends that stood by them no matter what. The ending left me wanting more in a good way because I wanted to see them rise higher than before.

Bonny has the biggest heart and doesn’t turn her back on someone in need. I loved her right away because she truly cared about others equally no matter their social status. She was extremely brave in many ways and stood her ground when it came to finding the truth and doing what she wanted.

Loel suffered horribly and was still paying for an accident from years ago and should want revenge, but his heart won’t allow it. He had me the moment he kissed her wrist and I loved him as he told his story of what happened after everything. He learned to understand her and would do anything for.

I can’t wait for the next one and hope to see them again. This is going on my all-time favorite list.

Disclaimer

Review: My Duke’s Seduction (Wicked Lords of London #1) by Tammy Andresen

*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.*

tammy

goodreads

My Duke’s Seduction by Tammy Andersen

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋

Buy Links (3)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Blurb

 Can her gentle tenacity unlock a duke’s heart?

Lady Tricia Riley is the sweet daughter of a duke until her family’s ailments force her to breech societies’ dictates and go where no lady should… the docklands. When a tall, strong and handsome stranger helps to keep her safe, she agrees to keep their meeting, secret. She’s no interest in marrying a tall and darkly handsome stranger. Actually, she has no intention of marrying at all. Instead, she plans to dedicate herself to charitable pursuits.

Ryker Pembroke, Duke of Landon, will marry eventually, as duty requires him to do. But it is a fate, he regards with a certain amount of dread. That is, until an auburn haired minx bursts into his life. Her warmth, charm and giving nature draws him to her even as he attempts to maintain a safe distance. She is entirely wrong for him with her impulsive nature and blatant disregard for her own safety makes her a terrible choice for a wife… doesn’t it?

This is a stand-alone romance with a lovely HEA! The heroine does appear in the Earl of Sussex: Wicked Earls’ Club. And the books that follow will all be connected with the Earl of Sussex and his lovely bride, Tabbie.

My Review

This a lovely quick story that is a great start to a new series. Their first meeting was very different and led to a mystery that I couldn’t figure out and a whirlwind romance. I loved how they were with each other from the moment they met. They were perfect for each other. This story will hook you on wanting to know what else will happen in the series.

Tricia is on a mission and no one will stop her. I loved that she was the quiet daughter but quickly showed her true colors. She thought she knew exactly what she wanted to do in her life. I loved her from the start because she didn’t run from anything.

Ryker is a mysterious man that keeps to himself and does a great job at finding people. He quickly made his mind up about her and would do anything to protect her. I loved him right away because he is not the typical Duke.

Disclaimer

 

ARC Review: A Lady’s Prerogative (Lord Love a Lady #2) 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.*

annab

goodreads

A Lady’s Prerogative by Annabelle Anders

Releasing June 18, 2018

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋

Buy Links (3)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

Blurb

IT’S NOT FAIR!
Titled rakes can practically get away with murder, but one tiny little misstep and a debutante is sent away to the country. Which is where Lady Natalie Spencer is stuck after jilting her betrothed.
Frustrated with her banishment, she’s finished being a good girl and ready to be a little naughty.
Luckily she has brothers, one of whom has brought home his delightfully gorgeous friend.
After recently inheriting an earldom, Garrett Castleton is determined to turn over a new leaf and shed the roguish lifestyle he adopted years ago.
His friend’s sister, no matter how enticing, is out-of-bounds. He has a run-down estate to manage and tenants to save from destitution.
Can love find a compromise between the two, or will their stubbornness get them into even more trouble?

My Review

A heart-melting Earl with a heartbreaking story meets his match with a lady rake that is just what he needs! I was so happy to see Natalie get her own story and she does not disappoint. They are like to halves to a whole heart from the start even though you wouldn’t think so by the way they act at first. I loved getting to know both of them and uncovering their own stories as they did with each other.  They came from two very different upbringings, but both had scandals that put them at risk. I was holding my breath wishing for a certain twist and wanted to jump up down when it appeared. I did not see the twist of what happened with the trunk coming and was worried for a bit. I laughed when it came to her mother and godmother coming up with a plan. The ending was perfect and I hope to see her brothers again.

Natalie did what she had to so that two people that truly loved each other could be happy. She just didn’t expect the rules and lectures that followed. I loved her right away and especially as soon as she decided to take control and be free. She never shied away from anything and really understood him more than anyone.

Garrett is free from his father, but not the scandal that surrounded him. He broke my heart with his fears and reasons for not wanting to marry. But he also was heart-melting with how he listened to her and asked the questions that no one else did. When he discovered the truth it was like a weight off of his shoulders and he had the support he needed.

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