FU: Fixer Uppers – Devon McCormack

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Author: Devon McCormack
Pages: 326

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I stand at the front door, naked. My bro’s roomie, Scott, is pissed about how much noise I made with the girl I just escorted out of their apartment, but I figured we were alone, and I couldn’t help that she liked to scream out to let me know she was enjoying herself. Just like I can’t help that the raging boner I have right now is for Scott, not her. I don’t know what it is about the angry glare he’s giving me that turns me on so much, but I just want to tug on his curly brown locks and hear him call out my name as I show him a good time.

Scott doesn’t want anything to do with me. At least, I think that’s the case, but I learn just how wrong I am one night when we wind up tearing each other’s clothes off and racing for the bedroom. He blows my mind…and well, me too. We spend the next few days messing around before I head back to California. That’s supposed to be the end of it. But after my sister makes a crap investment on a rundown house near my bro’s apartment in Atlanta, I jump at the opportunity to help her fix it up. I don’t want her to have to stay with our parents, who I’ve avoided since I left for college–don’t get me started.

Scott volunteers to work on the project too, which gives us plenty of time to have a little fun together. It’s supposed to be about fixing up the house, but the more time I spend with him, the more I realize it’s not the only fixer upper Scott’s working on. He’s doing something to me–making me better. And even though I’m heading back home when this is all over, I don’t want it to end. Because I’m falling for Scott…so hard.

I don’t usually feel confident towards a book whose blurb is so long and full of useless info, but the cover… The Eye Candy makes me weak and I end reading something that my more sensible senses were telling me to avoid. I must confess that those senses are usually muted, because if the cover catches my eye, I will add it to my TBR list without a second thought.

In this book we follow the story of Mikey, a successful engineer whose sex life is beyond epic; but nothing more serious than that. On the other hand we have Scott, a freelancer graphic designer who is still recovering from a break-up. Mikey lives in California, but he travels to Atlanta for a vacation to meet with the family. Instead of booking a room in a hotel, he prefers to crash in his brother apartment. There he meets the roommate: Scott. In the middle of a lot of family drama, an unexpected love blossoms…

Let’s start dissecting the story. Or better yet, the lack of it. It’s not a short book for the Romance genre, so I was expecting that something would happen. But it’s an endless loop of sex with some really boring and cringe worthy family drama. There is no real development for the characters. They start in Point A full force and by the end of the book they have barely moved from there… The emotional powerhouse of this book were the couple family conflicts of the main characters: Mikey’s parents and their weird relationship and Scott’s father with his “not-good-enough” attitude. I feel you, guys. I really do, but it gets into my nerves the way is handle. The author wants us to root for them, but the only thing I wanted to do was leave, close the door behind me and never look back. Shameful spectacle…

I would like to talk about the romance a little bit, but… what romance? It is rushed in the first chapters and going forward stays in the same position. They just have sex and more sex and more sex… And when they should talk to each other to mention their future, they just have more sex… No wonder they are so fit!! Are they really the perfect match from the first moment? Some disagreement would have made this book a lot better, because the characters would have done something different instead of the same thing over and over again.

And the characters don’t help either. I’ll start with the easy one: Scott. This guy is mostly OK except for his neurotic self-deprecation that drives everyone crazy (not in a good way), Mikey included. The total opposite is Mikey. I have no idea what the author was trying to create here. Such a chimera!! A lot of pieces that barely fit together, but we have to swallow the whole package… In some situations I can’t put up with his behaviour. He is so full of himself! And I don’t mean about his sexual cockiness, which is aceptable. I’m talking about the high horse he is riding whenever his parents are around. He is pretty selfish and shows several times that in his mind, his emotions and well-being are more important than those of his brother and sister. Mikey is incapable of looking beyond his belly button, creating several situatiuons in the book that are embarrassing even for the reader. He is only happy when everything is about him and everybody has pity on him… Veeeeery mature!!

When they are apart I don’t really like them, but when they are together it doesn’t get better… Mikey is constantly reduced to a bunch of muscles and a big penis. And when I say constantly, I mean constantly. I’m not sure if Scott would be able to describe his partner’s face, because he is always comenting on the same part of his body… And yes, the first time is fun, but after the hundredth… Thankfully the sex is rather good in several parts of the book, although there is so much that getting fed up with it will happen pretty soon, too.

This has been my first book by this author. Not a good first encounter. I will keep trying, though.

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2019 – Book Gallery

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Allegiant – Veronica Roth

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Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #3

Pages: 544

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The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningliess. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Finally!! I have finished this trilogy I started so long ago. I must be honest: it has been quite disappointing. I like reading dystopian young adult books, but there are a lot of better books than these ones in that field. A shame, because the worldbuilding is actually nice, but the author wraps it with an emotionless story and boring characters…

After the second book, the factionless people led by Tobias’ mother are in control of the city and the factions are no more. But now they know there is someone else beyond their walls and Tris’ and company decide to take their chances outside the city to discover what the hell is going on. The Allegiant is a group of rebels against the factionless that want to mantain the factions. That group helps the main characters to leave so they can purchase their new quest.

And what a quest!! The author has left for the end a lot of new and juicy data. A LOT! It seems a totally different world with new governments, new factions, new politics… new everything!! So exciting! I was like a kid with new shoes the first chapters, waiting for the new revelations to mash with the old ones and start a massive conflict that would make me forget why I didn’t like the previous books. 500 pages later I’m still waiting… Why does the author create such a massive new input if it’s barely used? And worst of all: she forgets almost completely about the original city… the place where the action took place in the other books. It feels like she is starting something new with zero interest of finishing the story that came before. The result is a book I’m eager to forget.

And the lack of good characters in the spotlight is also very present in the third book. This time the story is told from the point of view of Tris and Tobias (I think the other books were only Tris’ point of view, but I could be wrong). Those two unnerve me every single page… The most uncharamistic characters I’ve met in a very long time. Their relationship is a pain to read… Always with the trust issues and the yelling… I’m glad the end makes it pretty clear that they won’t be together, because the couple was very unhealthy. I dind’t want to tell this spoiler, but taking into account is the only thing I have liked about it I won’t resist: Tris dies!! That’s the best part of the book. We even get to enjoy a bunch of chapters without this annoying character!! That’s why the book has got a second star.

Maybe it’s cruel, but this trilogy has really pissed me off with the character treatment. The author has zero respect for most of the supporting characters of the saga who are much more interesting than the main couple. It seems everything has to be Tris and Tobias. The rest can go to Hell… So yeah, I didn’t drop a single tear when Tris died. Actually, I was even relieved. I must admit I was extra angry due to Uriah’s situation. My favourite character once again poorly used in the story. Removed from the board in such an absurd way… If I keep thinking about it I will start fuming again.

The book is too focused in Tris’ mother real past. It’s really weird that the characters from the compoung ignore Caleb so bluntly. He is also her son… But it’s Caleb, so making no sense around him is nothing new… I still don’t understand what Veronica was trying to do with him. The absurd change in the second book remains unexplained through this one. I think the goal is to make us hate him, but in my case is just the opposite. Caleb is just a victim of mediocre storytelling.

So, nothing to save here. It’s an end that doesn’t feel like an end. So much wasted potential… If the author didn’t try so hard to sell us Tris as the hero of the tale, maybe she could have spent more time building a better story and doing justice to the huge cast of characters. I have another book titled Four, but I think it is a precuel. Too bad. I would have liked to take peek to the future of these guys, because it doesn’t look very promising. I’ll read it anyway. Not anytime soon, though. I need to chill first and try to forget the parts of this book that make my blood boil.

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2018 – Book Gallery

One Man’s Trash – Marie Sexton

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Author: Marie Sexton
Series: The Heretic Doms Club #1

Pages: 343

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After four tours in Afghanistan, Warren Groves couldn’t settle into civilian life. For the last twelve years, he’s survived by working odd and often illegal jobs for some of Denver’s less fortunate. His personal life is equally unsatisfactory. He can barely remember the last time he had sex, let alone the last time he got to use somebody hard and rough, the way he likes. Fate intervenes when a favor for a friend leads him to a pretty young rentboy named Taylor Reynolds.

Taylor’s spent the last few years on his own, working as a hustler, going home with anybody who’ll give him a warm meal and a place to sleep. He enjoys having a bit of force used against him, and he makes Warren an offer he can’t refuse — all the sex he wants, as rough and dirty as he likes, in exchange for room and board.

At first, Warren thinks he’s struck gold. Taylor’s the perfect roommate — he cooks, he cleans, and he’s dynamite in the sack. But Taylor has some dark demons in his head and some even darker cravings. Falling for somebody as volatile as Taylor is dangerous enough, but when Taylor’s urges turn truly self-destructive, it’ll be up to Warren to decide just how far to let things go.

The book is eveything the blurb promises: rough sex, secrets and dark cravings… I thought I could handle it, but it seems I can’t. I’m not a prude (if I were I wouldn’t touch Romance books), but there are several situations in this book thas have rubbed me the wrong way.

But let’s start from the beginning. We meet Warren, a former soldier that spends his days helping other people in barely legal jobs: bodyguard of escorts (a.k.a. prostitutes), muscle for desperate people and many other things. He is lonely and, if you ask me, a bit tired of his life. Then we meet Taylor (or TJ or BJ…), a much younger guy that ran away from his home and became a rentboy. It’s a sex addict that that never says no… Their fates collided and Taylor ended up living with Warren. Free roof and food in exchange of sex.

At least that is how it started. We barely knew them when they were already tearing up each other clothes. The first encounter was pretty impersonal and I was scared that the whole book would be like that. The author spices it up a little bit adding a BDSM element: soft bondage. Warren likes to tie people up to his bed and Taylor doesn’t mind. As a reader, I don’t mind either. The author doesn’t use this to humillate Taylor. It makes the trust between each other grow considerably.

Eveything was starting to look peachy: Warren has a lot of different layers that make him very interesting, the sex is fun, the side stories are enjoyable, Warren’s friends are a pleasure to read… And then it happens: Taylor’s breakdown. I wasn’t epecting it. I’m a guy that enjoys a good shock when reading, but this one left me with a very sour aftertaste. I felt that his cravings were more of a childish behaviour than something dark and serious. Even worse than that: the author has to twist Warren’s behaviour to counteract the crazy tantrum of his roommate… I have to be honest: that made me dislike Taylor.

But the worst was yet to come… The explanation of Taylor’s “bad days” made me sick. It’s not only the incest with his brother when he was still a minor. If that wasn’t enough, the brother was abusive. I guess I should have been able to feel some kind of pity towards Taylor, but his way of dealing with it destroyed any chance of that. He claims he loves him. That no one understands him. He talks as if nothing was wrong. And Warren is nice enough to accept the explanation… I just wanted to scream: “Take him to an expert!! The guy need helps, not a slap on the back!!”. But Taylor’s quest of making me puke wasn’t finish… Do you know what this messed-up guy takes for love? Being urinated by someone who is still inside him during sex… That’s plain gross. And the author talks about it several times… I couldn’t handle it. I was losing my mind yelling at Taylor. My dislike became hatred.

I think I could have ignored Taylor if the side stories were better. I mean, they are good, but so depressing. Were are the happy endings? Susan, Riley… The book feels pessimistic and so unfair that the only one with the happy ending is Taylor… Writing this review I have realized I’m angry at him. He has ruined a nice book about Warren. I actually feel weird after reading the book. Why an emotional story has such a disgusting residue in my memory?

I’m not sure if I will read the second book. The main characters will be different, so I guess it’s safe to assume that I won’t find another Taylor. But I’m honestly scared of picking it up…

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2018 – Book Gallery

Sexy Beast – Ella J.

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Author: Ella J.
Pages: 183

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Yeah, I did it.
I signed on to be an “intimate companion.”
Desperate times and desperate measures lead to crazy choices.
Really, though, it’s not that crazy. Someone has to pay my brother’s bills after the wreck, and I’m the only someone left.
My first job: snuggle up to a sexy beast of a billionaire at one of his luxury ski resorts.
I can do that.
Except I’m not so sure he wants me to. The Ice King barely looks at me. He rarely speaks to me, and when he does, he says he doesn’t want me in his bed.
Okay then.
I keep my head held high, my shoulders squared, and my bruised ego under wraps—until I stumble onto secrets.
James Harrington is hiding devastating secrets.
I get too close. I get involved. I take a risk, and I give him more than he paid for.
For a moment, it’s too perfect to be true.
But there’s one more secret—and it’s the one I never saw coming.

This one is going to be hard to review. I need to be direct: I didn’t like the book. But I’m in a mood and I’m afraid this review is going to pay the price. I have just watched the tenth chapter of Star Wars: Rebels season 4 and I need to yell at something. Anything!! Maybe that way I will stop crying…

In this short book we meet Darcy, a woman that has to take care of his brother who needs a lot of money to pay for his treatment. Due to that desperation, she has to accept a job as a high-profile escort. Her first client is James, a richer than rich guy that is about to open a mountain resort for people with lots of money to waste… He is going to throw several parties and needs something pretty to decorate the place…

I kind of like the starting point. Darcy’s sacrifice to make his brother’s life better is admirable. And the fact that James is very distant and cold makes things much more interesting. I thought it was going to be the classic billionarie that thinks everyone loves him just because he is rich. I loved those tense first times they meet each other. Too bad that doesn’t last long…

It’s an Erotica book so I shouldn’t be surprised about the amount of sex in it. But it lacks charisma or chemistry or any kind of spark… It’s just sex and after the first naughty scene the rest are just to print more pages… Nothing interesting in that department. Not for good, or bad. Just plain. In this kind of book, that is actually pretty bad… Sex shouldn’t leave you indifferent in the Erotica genre. At least that’s my opinion.

I was dreading a boring reading, but sudenly… BOOOOOOM!!! WOW!! What a twist!! Way to leave me breathless and in shocked. I didn’t expect that punch in the gut and the pain was very welcome. The book was alive again, ladies and gentlemen!!! I was salivating. I love me some drama!! Those hard moments usually end in really good make up situations!! Sadly, my hype was extinguish so fast I dind’t even have time to enjoy it… The author resolves the conflict in such an easy and boring way… One moment seems the Apocalypse and the next, everything is forgotten. The best and worst part of this book happen almost in the same page!!

I didn’t lose my hope, though. It was all so sudden it was obvious the main characters needed to talk about it once their hormones were settle. So, I turn the page waiting for the other shoe to drop when something even more unexpectd happens: THE END!!. Wait, what?? Is that all?? But according to my Kindle there are still more than 50% to read… What the…? Half of this book is just a preview for another one!!! HALF!!! Really??

I know that kind of marketing is pretty common in Romance Books (some authors are very busy wirting…), but more than the 50% is way too much for previews. I don’t like reading previews, so I felt robbed. This book made me so angry for so many reasons in such a short time…

The good part: it’s not the usual story of billionaire meets (buys) girl. The worst part: it ends when it was about to start…

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2018 – Book Gallery

The Phoenix Project – Jacquelyn Frank

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Author: Jacquelyn Frak
Series: Morphate #1

Pages: 142

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Held captive, Amara is subjected to bizarre experiments that test the limits of her sanity. But nothing prepares her for being locked away–naked–with a sexy ex-cop… after they’ve been pumped full of drugs that increase their sexual appetites to animalistic intensity…

Yes, I promise that is the blurb of the book. Honest!! That meager paragraph was enough to make me curious. I wanted to know how the author was going to deal with those animalistic instincts for her characters, I mean, that is a loaded gun. You can make a really hot book that makes you thirsty while reading. Or you can have a sex festival that makes you dizzy in all the wrong ways. This book is not one thing, nor the other. It’s a simple: meh!.

The story is about Amara, a woman with no resources who was kidnapped by mad scientists. They perform experiments on her on a daily basis. And she is not the only one. The baddies have a huge on-going operation that is hard to believe is a well kept secret. Nick is a cop that is investigating weird disappearances and he founds himself kidnapped for the same project as Amara. The doctors change their DNA and put them together to see what happens. They become morphates. Kind of a mix between a vampire and a shifter…

Some of those changes are: enhanced senses, strength and stamina, much greater sexual drive, claws, fangs and even penis enlargement… They become ferals in all the possible meanings. Which is the goal of such a change? No idea. The author never explains it. Do they want a supersolider or a sexual slave? The mix doesn’t make any sense… The mad doctor says they are getting closer to the ideal result, but I’m incapable of seeing how can the morphates be profitable. No one wants a lover so rough that could break your bones by accident… Or a soldier whose sexual appetite could make him mindless at any moment. So, no idea what this Pnoenix Project wants to achieve.

90% of the book is just plain sex. Very boring sex if you ask me. It’s too primitive, too rough and aggressive for my taste. There is not an ounce of eroticism in all the sex scenes of the book. And there are plenty… They weren’t bad per se, except for the last one. The author should have ignored the epilogue. In that last chapter, Nick has sex with Amara against her will. Yes. he rapes her. There is not another way to describe that. She didn’t want to have sex because it was period time and didn’t want any kid. Nick, to show that Amara can trust him, forces himself into her and rape her… I couldn’t believe what I was reading… The worst part is that Amara accepts Nick’s motives and forigves him… The epilogue ruins the book.

Even though it lacks story development everywhere, the book has some interesting foundations that could make the next books bearable. I would love to know more about the Dark Cities. It seems that in the future, a wall-loving politician decides to put walls around several cities of the USA to lock criminals from the rest of the country. Those are called the Dark Cities and the morphates are now the ones in charge to keep them in check. Why do I have the feeling is going to be a free buffet for them?

I know I was going to find something simple and blunt, but I guess I wasn’t prepared for such overwhelming lack of sweetness… I still don’t know if I will read the next books of this saga. I must admit I’m still curious…

 

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2018 – Book Gallery

Spider – Ilsa Madden-Mills

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Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Pages: 264

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He called himself Spider. I just knew him as the sinfully gorgeous guy with eyes of fire that fate sat next to me on the airplane. I didn’t know who he really was…rock star…my stepbrother.

He kissed me because he thought we’d never see each other again. We would.

Everyone warned me about him.
They said he was ruthless and cold and screwed up.
They said he’d leave me with a hole in my heart.

Maybe I should have listened.
Maybe I should have built up a fortress to keep him out.
But I crumbled instead.

Some have said there’s an unbreakable thread that connects those who are destined to meet. If that’s true, then the moment he sat next to me, we were bound together forever.

He just had to figure it out before it’s too late…

I think I have already said over here that I’m not a fan of the New Adult genre. But I keep trying over and over again. Should I take the hint already that this genre is not for me? Naaaaaaaah… I know that sooner or later I will read a New Adult book that I will really enjoy. Spider is not that one. Quite the opposite, actually.

This book is about Rose, a 16 yeras old girl who has had a very difficult childhood; but has been adopted into a rich family. On the other hand, we have Spider; a rebel rock star. His presence means trouble. He doesn’t have the best relationship with his father, but he is forced to meet his father’s new wife and stepsister. Yes, Rose is his stepsister (as every avid Romance reader should have guessed by now). The attraction between those two comes fast and with a fury. Rose is easily awed, but Spider has a huge commitment issue. Due to Spider’s problem with drugs and alcohol, the parents are not very fond about those two becoming something and try to break them.

I must admit that I don’t like either of the main characters. Rose is obsessed with the idea she has of Spider and Spider… He is a drug and alcohol abuser. That should be a big warning sign for very decent person to stay away. And it should be even a bigger sign for Rose. Her mother was killed by an alcoholic boyfriend who one day took too much… How can Rose tell his foster family that she doesn’t care about Spider’s problem? It doesn’t make any sense. In that moment I realize that Rose was incapable of judging with a clear mind what she wanted when Spider was around. Scary. Am I suppose to support the main character of the book? Because I’m not going to. I’m with Rose mother all the way in that matter.

And Spider… The guy that loves Rose SO much that he accepted 500.000$ to ignore her… An act of love according to him. And it seems that Rose bought his explaining, because they end together several years later. I must aslo admit that I have a huge problem with smokers… Those characters always need to work extra hard to get my respect. I’m not too annoyed about Spider being one, except when he states that he is a long distance runner… As if his damaged lungs could endure that… Luckily, the author doesn’t write him smoking very often, so I can give Spider a pass. What I can’t understand is Rose saying that she likes his smell… smoke and all. It’s gross and it makes me angry that that smell is considered sexy in the book.

What about the love story? you may ask. I would answer: What love story? That is not love… is obssesion and infatuation. I don’t feel they are a real couple… just a bunch of crazy hormones unleashed. I even like way more Trenton than Spider as the love interest. The author tries to make him a villain by the end of the book, but I’m not buying it. I feel he has cared much more about Rose than Spider has… and he deserves a happy ending, too.

There is nohing worse in Romance that not liking the main characters of the book. That is the case with this book penned by Ilsa Madden-Mills. That issue is something common with New Adult novels… at least the ones I have read. I haven’t enjoyed this book. At least it’s a short one.

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2018 – Book Gallery

C*cky Author – Fettucine Holliday

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Author: Fettucine Holliday
Pages: 13

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This totally original book is about a cock…sure man who is caulky, cocked up, and above all else, confident. He lays it into a lady real good, and leaves her satisfied(c).

This is a totally great comedy erotica story that in no way infringes on a certain word, no sirree, not at all.

I guess this short story needs a little bit of explaining. Why someone with a totally fake name has written this? Let me tell you the story of the writer Faleena Hopkins. That writer pens the romance series called Cocker Brothers of Atlanta, whose titles all contain the word “cocky”. That author, wrongly worried about the lack of intelligence of her readers, thought that those poor souls were confusing other “cocky” books with her own. So, how could she avoid that? Put a trademark in the “cocky” word, so nobody can use it without paying Faleena first. I would need thousands of hands to count all the times the word “cocky” is used in Romance, so you can imagine that legal barrier wasn’t feeling any good among the romance writers. An indie author that is also a lawyer paid quite a lot of money to nullify Faleena’s actions and liberate the “cocky” word. The hashtag #cockygate will give you all the juicy details.

So, Fettucine has writen a couple of short stories to rise money for the cause. I know these stories are meant to be jokes, but the price for such a short book is no joke at all, so I will give it an honest review.

Everyone is saying this book is like the funniest thing ever… Well, it is not. I didn’t laugh at all. I was promised some good laughs, but not even a smirk was drawn in my face. There are several good winks to the “cocky” debacle, but that’s it. The rest of this short story is just a guy having sex with a lady. And there is nothing remarkable about that scene, either.

Besides, I know this was written in a hurry to ride the peak of the wave; but some revision shoud have been made to avoid some errors that are quite painful even for a guy who doesn’t speak English as his first language. Seriously, I have to point out again the price of the book (almost 4$). Yeah, it’s a clever joke about a serious matter, but the buyers need some respect…

 

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2018 – Book Gallery