Free Book From Cara Carnes! New Dawn – The Arsenal Book 3.5

New Dawn
The Arsenal Book 3.5
USA Today Bestselling Author
Cara Carnes


This is a short, free read to help bridge some of the events after book 3, Blood Vows. And the continuing story arc in Zero Trace.

Intertwined with some steamy scenes of the honeymoon being taken by Mary, Dylan, Vi and Judson at a gorgeous tropical island resort, we get a look at the rest of the players in this series.

First we see Kamryn with TJ and DJ, as she encounters their hoarding of food. Reassuring these two and having them believe that sort of thing isn’t necessary is going to take time. I love the interactions between Dallas and Kamryn, and the love they lavish on their boys.

A girls night out gives us a glimpse of Bree, Addy, Riley, more Kamryn but it’s a little confrontation with Zoey and Gage that perks the interest.

This is a favorite scene.

“Uh oh,” Zoey whispered.

“What?” Bree asked. The blonde peered behind Kamren and toward the door.

“Fuck,” Addy cursed. “What did you do?”

“Me? Nothing!” Zoey declared, a bit too loudly for Kamren to believe.

Red rose in the woman’s face and accentuated the wild pink and purple of her hair. Gage Sanderson prowled through the crowded bar and made a beeline for their table. He offered a curt grunt to everyone as he turned Zoey’s stool around to face him. Hands on the table, he leaned into her personal space.

And waited.

“Oh boy,” Riley said. “Someone isn’t happy.”

“No shit,” Addy replied.

“Wow. That’s hot,” Bree whispered.

Kamren chuckled. Gage glared her direction, then returned his focus to Zoey.

“Get out of my face, Sanderson,” Zoey clipped angrily.

“You and I are having a conversation,” he said.

“No. We aren’t.”

“Who were you talking to?” Gage asked.

“You’re loco.”

Zoey tried to turn her stool toward the table, but Gage put a hand on her knee and stepped forward until his legs interlocked with hers. Heat spread through Kamren as she imagined Dallas doing that with her. It was a possessive statement, one which matched the heated expression in the operative’s gaze as he watched Zoey.

“You put me and my team on hold,” he said.

“Oh boy,” Addy said.

“While we were in the middle of a mission,” he added.

“I did not. First, the mission had not started. You were waiting for the green light—one I hadn’t given. Second, my phone calls are none of your business.”

“Everything you do is my business, Little Bit,” he whispered. “Remember what I told you at your apartment the day we met?”

The woman’s gaze widened. She gulped but nodded.

“You ready to tell me what the fuck is going on with you yet?”

The woman shook her head. “You don’t own me, Sanderson. Back off.”

“Secrets have a way of blowing up in people’s faces around here, Little Bit. The sooner you spill, the better it’ll be.”

“You’re loco,” she replied. “Someone I used to work with needed some help. Okay?”

“You put us on hold in the middle of an op.”

“I didn’t.” The woman’s eyes widened. “It wasn’t like you were in a jungle or a desert. You were in Seattle in a coffee shop. That’s so beyond cliché it’s kind of pathetic, to be honest. You didn’t even need me running the op. It was an easy in and out.”

“No op we do is an easy in and out,” he said, his voice husky. “The Edge and Quillery aren’t around to cover your ass, Little Bit. You need to stay focused on the missions.”

“Noted.” She crossed her arms and glared up at him. “Are you done with me?”

“Not by a long shot.” The man turned and left.

Wowza. Kamren took a swig of beer and looked around at the startled expressions of the women around her. Gage was a ghost around The Arsenal. He’d had Dallas’s back while he searched for his sons but remained far more aloof than the other team leaders.

“What was that about?” Bree asked.

“Nothing,” Zoey answered.

Kamren chuckled.

“What?” Zoey asked.

“That’s so far from nothing it isn’t in the same stratosphere,” Kamren commented.

“Someone’s been studying her words,” Rhea said with a smile.

Heat rose in Kamren’s face as she nodded. She wasn’t close to ready for the GED exam, but the studying had become easier. She wanted to set a good example for the boys, who had an equally challenging uphill battle to wage for their education.

“Why were you laughing?” Zoey asked.

“Last time a man came in here with that kind of frustrated attitude was Dallas when he hunted me down.”

Riley and the other women laughed. Red rose in Zoey’s cheeks.

“It’s not like that.”

Cara Carnes. New Dawn (Kindle Locations 276-311). Heartscape Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.

A wonderful transition between Blood Vows and the continuing story in Zero Trace. It answers some questions and expands on some events.

Lots of heat, it is a honeymoon after all, some fun and I guess you could say some interesting testing.

I am so looking forward to the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

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Coming August 6th!

Check Out These Other Free Reads on Cara’s Website!

Cara Carnes
Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.

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Rose – Daylight’s Crown Book 1 by Ripley Proserpina

Daylight’s Crown Book 1
Ripley Proserpina


A river of poison runs through Rose’s veins.

Ten years ago, Rose Carrado was just a child who made the mistake of trying to catch snowflakes. Boston was overrun by creatures no human had ever seen, or even believed existed. Rose was easy prey. As she lay bleeding—dying—she came face-to-face with an ancient being, one who commanded her to live.

So she did.

Now a young woman, Rose lives with the consequences of that command. Changed by the creature who bit her, she’s a reminder of a time humans want to forget.

But she was left with something else: a connection to those ancient vampires who saved her life so long ago. When brothers Ra, Seti, and Horus return to Boston, the ties that bind them to Rose snap tight. For the first time, they encounter someone who has the power to throw their unending existence into the best sort of chaos, and they won’t allow anything—not life, not death—to take her from them.

Rose is always in pain. It began she was attacked by the demon during the nightmare and survived. The reason she survived was that she was told she wouldn’t die, it was almost an order. She describes that occurence as her guardian angel. That’s not the only thing that happened, there are days when she likens her skin to metal, nothing will penetrate it easily, and she heals rapidly from all injuries.

After she is attacked again in daylight, in the arboretum she returns to the hospital where they had taken blood just this morning. Maybe there was something Dr. Stone could learn from the saliva where the creature tried and failed to bite her. He was the only one who believed her, the only one who would treat her or so she thought.

This is a favorite scene.

“All this time you let me think you believed me.” A horrifying thought occurred to her. What if nobody had believed her. Her mom— before she’d died— acted as though she believed her. But what if she hadn’t? For the life of her, Rose couldn’t remember her mother ever saying the words. She was going to be sick.

Standing, she said, “I need to go.”

“You need to let me make sure you’re okay,” he said.

“I’m not,” she replied, and he opened his mouth to reply. She cut him off before he could say anything else. “Physically, I’m fine. You saw me this morning. It couldn’t cut me or bite me.”

“Bite you?” His eyes narrowed again.

“Or whatever I think happened,” she replied bitterly. She walked to the door, grabbing her camera bag on the way there. She didn’t even remember setting it on the floor. Maybe he was right and she was just a head case.

“I can’t force you, but I think you should reconsider,” he said, but she opened the door anyway.

“Thanks for your concern,” she said as her stomach roiled. It was a warning that the pain was about to get much worse. She didn’t want to be stuck on a bus when it hit. “I’ll be fine.”

Dr. Stone sighed but held the door open for her. The back of her neck prickled as she passed by the receptionist and out the door, like they were both watching her.

Making her way to the elevator, she raked her fingers through her curls and found pieces of grass and leaves stuck in it. No wonder people thought she was crazy. She let the leaf fall from her fingers before she pushed the button on the elevator.

God. She was a mess. Her hands were dirty. There was mud on the knees of her jeans. One pant leg had been torn from knee to ankle. The material gaped around her leg, turned into fringe by the thing’s teeth.

There was a ding, and the doors opened. Her head pounded at the sound and a wave of heat, followed by a chill, raced down her back. She needed to get home as fast as she could.

Alone in the small space, she held onto the rails and shut her eyes, willing herself not to throw up and not to curl into a ball.

It jerked to a stop and she opened her eyes in time to see the doors open. She wasn’t expecting the heat that filled her, or the way it would chase away her pain so quickly she swayed.

Two men stood framed between the open doors and stared at her.

She recognized one of them. She’d seen him this morning. Dark eyes. Serious face. Short hair. He touched his chest as he stared at her but then seemed to recover himself.

Did he feel it, too? Was such a thing possible?

He stepped into the elevator, his shoulders blocking her view to see if the other man followed him.

His gaze traveled from her hair to her feet, and he took in a breath. The change that overtook him was instantaneous. His nostrils flared, and his black pupils swallowed up the dark brown. “Who are you?”

“Rose,” she answered, like her name was drawn from her. Why are you talking to him? Nothing about him seemed friendly. Deep frown lines appeared next to his mouth, like he was often displeased.

But his hand was still on his chest, which meant he felt what she did. It had to mean that, right?

The confidence she’d worked so hard to cultivate was gone though. Today had shaken her foundation as much as being attacked the first time, and then later, losing her mother, had.

“You smell like a crawler,” he said, and she held on tighter to the rail.

A crawler. Soft skin. Sharp teeth. Sharp nails. Pain. Burning. Pain.

“She’s panicking, Horus. Back off.” The man was pushed out of the way and another man approached her. Palms out as if proving he was no threat, he moved toward her. “You’re all right. We’re not going to hurt you.”

The warmth in her chest flared, and she touched it. In front of her, the man suddenly winced and touched his own chest.

Just like Horus.

“My name is Seti. This is my brother Horus.” He had thick dark brows that only made his eyes look brighter, and longer hair that fell across his forehead. He smiled as if he was trying to set her at ease, but something was off. How did they know about the creature?

Pain. Burning. Pain.

You’re not going to die.

The world was closing in on her, and she edged toward the row of buttons at the front of the box.

“She’s human,” Horus observed, and panic threatened to overwhelm her. Human? Shit. This was bad. She smacked the buttons, desperate for any floor that would open those doors immediately, but Seti stopped her before she could connect.

“We’re not going to hurt you,” he said again, but Rose could barely hear him. She lashed out mindlessly. The only thing she could think about was getting out.

“Calm.” Horus held his palms out the way Seti had earlier. “You’re safe with us.”


Arms tightened around hers, and she realized Seti held her against his chest. He didn’t squeeze her, or hurt her, but caged her in, keeping her from hitting him.

Part of her thought she should apologize, but the other part, the part that grew up in Boston and had just kicked the head off of some Creature from the Black Lagoon, wouldn’t.

“Okay,” she said, forcing her muscles to relax. Seti loosened his hold, and she let her weight drop. Surprised, he let her go and she dove at the buttons. Somehow, perhaps by divine intervention, she connected.

Placing her back to the panel of buttons, she faced the brothers. “Don’t stop me from leaving.”

“We could easily overpower you,” Horus observed, and Seti cast him a narrow-eyed glare.

“You’re not helping.”

The elevator dinged, and the doors slid open. They were right. Both of them were taller, broad with muscles that their coats couldn’t hide. They could overpower her.

But they didn’t.

Horus wanted to, she suspected. He rolled back and forth on his heels like he was ready to erupt off a starting block, but he remained in place.

Seti let his hands fall to his sides and nodded once. “Goodbye, Rose.”

She didn’t answer but took a step to the side and then off the elevator. “Don’t follow me,” she said. “Or I’ll scream.”

Voices filtered toward her, background noise that would mask anything they said to each other.

Unless she screamed.

Screaming would get attention.

Leaning forward, Seti hit one of the buttons. She stood there to be sure the doors closed, and they stayed true to their word.

The doors shut, and Rose took a stumbling step backward. Then another until the rest of the hospital came into her peripheral vision.


She had to get out of here. Find a safe place and hunker down.

The poison began to seep back into her system, bringing with it the familiar pain. Turning, she hurried to the exit. Just as she hit the doors, the pain returned full-force, nearly bowling her over.

There was the bus that would bring her home. One foot in front of the other. The only thing she could control right now was her forward momentum, but she had no illusions.

Nowhere was safe.
Ripley Proserpina. Rose: Daylight’s Crown, Book One (Kindle Locations 421-481).

A starling revelation from the doctor, and meeting with Horus and Seti on the elevator has Rose fleeing for safety.

I love the way this book slowly escalates from that initial meeting. Her meeting Ra, the one who told her she would live is not as one would expect. It the immediate relief from pain when the guys are with her that is startling as much as the return of it when they leave here.

It’s great seeing Briar and her family again too. I really have to go back and re-read the Midnight Crown series before the next book in this series comes out.

Action, intrigue and many surprises as the relationship between Rose, Ra, Horus and Seti begins to develop into something more than just friendship.

5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!

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Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.

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Another Free Read from Cara Carnes! Double Tap – The Arsenal Book 2.5

Double Tap
The Arsenal Book 2.5
Cara Carnes


This is a short, free read to help bridge some of the events after book 2, Sight Lines. And the continuing story arc in Blood Vows.

Dallas is so frustrated, every lead on finding his son becomes a dead end. As the Team returns home from the latest disappointment, Mary and Vi’s elation at having their men home is overshadowed by the sense of failure.

I love the support all of them have for Dallas, the determination never to give up the hunt.

This is a favorite scene.

But the tri-county didn’t much care about either Vi or her man. Jud had spent his life as an assassin in a covert organization. And her? Well, she’d spent her life holed up in operational theaters keeping good men like him alive for the sake of honor, country, and keeping everyone safe.

So her friends list was limited (though growing) and her family list was do-not-discuss. His was nonexistent, except for his family. They were pretty awesome.

Maybe they’d go to Vegas instead. She smiled at the thought.

“What are you laughing about?”

“Thinking we’ll go to Vegas for ours,” she whispered. “Can you imagine the Jensens in Vegas?”

Mary and Cord laughed. Vi joined in, because really, Jud’s parents would be hysterical in Vegas. She wished they’d stay at The Arsenal a while longer, but they’d be leaving in a few days. They’d planned to leave yesterday but decided another week would be a good idea. Then they could spend a bit more time with their grandson and son-in-law before they left.

Jud’s nephew Jacob was entrenched deep within The Arsenal. He and his dad were going up to Boston for a few weeks to get things sorted for his studies to continue down here while he worked on his dissertation. The nineteen year old was freaking brilliant.

The momentary bask in merriment watching the two moms offered was halted by the voice on the com. “They’re back.”

Without a word she, Mary and Cord rose. An ugly brew of regret, guilt and shame coated her insides now. She regretted not finding the right target zone, felt guilty she’d failed her teams, and she was utterly destroyed with the shame that she had no idea where to look next. She bit her lips and swallowed her dose of nasty.

Dallas Mason didn’t need any of the toxic emotions spoon fed to him, nor did anyone exiting that plane. They’d been through this before, several times. They never questioned her or Mary on targets. They’d trusted her with the where. Every. Single. Time.

And she’d failed.

Doc Sinclair had been working with her and Mary both on letting go, walking away and leading a more normal life outside the theatre. For the first time in a long while, she wanted to. She craved normal down time with Jud. And Mary wanted to nest. She’d mentioned heading up to San Antonio more than once, maybe shopping for baby clothes—not that she knew the sex. She and Dylan wanted to be surprised.

But there’d be no shopping in San Antonio. Not until they found Dallas’s son and had him home where he belonged. There’d be no normal because no one at The Arsenal was normal, nor would they ever be. They all lived to kick bad people’s asses. Hard, like only they could.

Which was why Vi suspected they’d be going wheels up to another target zone again just as soon as HERA spit out new coordinates. The entirety of The Arsenal (except for those missions they had to take) was focused on one mission—find Dallas’s son.

A smile swept across Mary’s face when they arrived at the makeshift tarmac and watched the team exit the plane. To say her best friend had missed her man was an understatement, one Vi understood because she’d missed the hell out of hers as well.

Even though The Arsenal had scores of operatives who could undertake the mission to find Dallas’s kid, there’d never been a discussion as to who’d go. All his brothers. All the team leads. Only Cord had grudgingly remained behind to help their latest employee Zoey guide the secondary missions.

All thoughts of the future missions to find Dallas’s son fled her brain when Jud prowled toward her. Anticipation, desire and love surged her forward, into his arms. Their mouths collided, a hungered union of tongues and lips that promised much more pleasurable activities would commence soon.

He smelled of wilderness, dirt and sweat. She sighed and inhaled the scents.

“Missed you like crazy, Viviana,” he whispered in her ear.

She smiled. Only he called her by her full name. “Missed you too, Jud. Come on, let’s go home.”

Home was a small cottage not too far from the building which housed the operational theatre. In time they’d likely relocate to one of the larger homes currently being constructed by Burton Construction.

The landscape of The Arsenal was changing in a big way. Cattle were in the process of being sold, houses for the Warrior’s Path were under construction.

Dallas was the last to deplane, as if a part of him refused to surrender the fact they’d left another zone without success. Her eyes burned as she made her way too him. Mary was already there, arms wrapped around him.

He’d never know the woman had spent most of the last few days puking into a bucket beside her computer within the operational theatre. Morning sickness sucked, mainly because it didn’t relegate itself simply to mornings. Mary was The Edge, though. She never quit or surrendered.

Neither did Vi.

Until they found Dallas’s son, they wouldn’t rest. Or stop.

“We’ll find him,” Vi said as she took Mary’s place and hugged him tight.
Cara Carnes. Double Tap (Kindle Locations 59-99). Heartscape Publishing. Kindle Edition.

There are other surprises in here as well. Dylan’s Mom and now Judson’s have been planning a plotting. Mary and Dylan were more than happy to surrender their wedding plans to his Mom, but now something is in the works and Vi and Mary can’t figure out what they’re up to.

I love all the little things in this one that form the bridge between Sight Lines and Blood Vows. Lots of emotion, and plenty of heat will have you turning the pages.

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming August 6th!

Check Out These Other Free Reads on Cara’s Website!

Cara Carnes
Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.

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Dark Prison – Dark Falls, CO Book 8 by Lori Ryan

The Dark Falls, CO series
is a multi-author series set in Dark Falls, CO.
Bad things happen there,
but there are heroes that rise
when the darkness comes.
Follow the series to meet these heroes
and the heroines who claim their hearts.

Each book in the series can be read as a standalone, but readers may enjoy the series best if read from the beginning.

Dark Prison
Dark Falls, CO Book 8
NY Times Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan


Kemal Goodwin

The last thing he needed was another cop in his life.

Growing up with his dad on the force was hard enough on Kemal. And with the shape his dad is in now, the last thing Kemal wants is someone around to remind his dad of his glory days as a detective in the Dark Falls PD. So when Eve Scanlon shows up with a lead in the one cold case his dad never let go, he’s going to make damned sure she doesn’t get his dad involved.

Eve Scanlon

Eve doesn’t care what Kemal Goodwin wants or doesn’t want. She’s got a job to do and the body of a woman who vanished decades before, not to mention evidence of a child out there somewhere in danger. If Kemal thinks he’s going to get in the way, she’s got a wake up call for him. Her former mentor might be retired, but he knows this case better than anyone.

Solving a case with thirty-year-old evidence and not a whole lot of leads. Yeah, that’s hard. Dealing with the feelings for Kemal that she definitely doesn’t want and absolutely isn’t going to act on? That might prove to be damn near impossible.

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This book opens with the find of a body related to a cold case. Eve’s retired partner Glenn had continued to work this case long after it went cold and until he retired.

Now Captain, Eve is reopening the case on new evidence and she needs to talk to Glenn. She hasn’t visited very often lately, her busy schedule has made that difficult. Glenn hasn’t been the same since his wife died and his son, Kemal doesn’t like her talking about the job but this time he doesn’t get the choice.

This is a favorite scene.

He stepped closer to her, using the height he held over her to his advantage. “He’s not the man you used to know, Eve. That man died with my mom.” He always made a point to remind her that she used to know his dad.

Normally, she’d backed off for a while. But she couldn’t back off today. Not this time.

Eve sometimes couldn’t believe the man Glenn’s son had become. There was a time she was welcomed here for Sunday dinners with the family. A time they all used to laugh around the table, taking a much-needed break from the hell she and Glenn were immersed in at work. Kemal was a different man then. Dahlia Goodwin’s death had left a gash so deep and so painful in this family, it was struggling to survive.

Still, today wasn’t a day when she could let him have his way. And she knew what it would take to get in the door. “Sorry, Kemal, but this can’t wait. We just identified the body of Samantha Greer.”

She didn’t need to tell him who Samantha Greer was or why it mattered to his dad.

He knew the name Samantha Greer as well as she did. Not because he’d known Samantha. Not because she’d been anything more than a runaway teen to him, but because his dad had never stopped looking for the girl the rest of the city had thrown away.

Glenn Goodwin had never forgotten the case. Twenty-one years hadn’t changed the fact he’d committed to bringing the lost girl home someday.

Kemal wasn’t swayed. “He’s having a bad week. Things will turn around in a few days. You can come back then.”

Eve tried to relax her jaw. Her dentist had told her she had to stop clenching it so tightly or he wouldn’t be able to undo the damage she was doing to her teeth. Let the man try dealing with Kemal Goodwin, then he could talk to her about meditation and relaxation.

“We’ve got a body now. We’ve got new evidence. Do you know what that means to a cold case? I can’t wait a week, Kemal. I need to move now.”

He crossed his arms over his chest. Was he really pulling this crap with her?

“Do you really want to do this? Do you need me to pull out my badge and remind you that it’s a crime to interfere with a police investigation?”

The anger that crept over his face was harsh, taking what had been dull, tired eyes and making them crystalline chips of granite.

Eve blew out a breath and softened her tone. “Don’t let your dad to read about this in the paper. How do you think he’ll feel when he knows I didn’t come straight o him with this the minute we found her?”

Kemal scrubbed his hands over his hair and then down the back of his neck, looking at the ground, not at her.

“I’m sorry, Kemal. If I thought it would be better not to tell him, I’d do that, but he needs to know this.”

He nodded, but didn’t speak. With a final breath out, he walked up the steps and unlocked the door, swinging it wide to let Eve enter first.

The house was dark and quiet. “He’s probably still in bed,” Kemal said quietly, moving past her. “I’ll get him. Help yourself to a drink in the fridge.”

He took the stairs two at a time and Eve made her way through the living room to the kitchen at the back of the house. She opened curtains as she went. The house was neat and clean, but she had a feeling it wouldn’t be if Kemal hadn’t moved in with his dad.

She put her fingers to the photos of Kemal’s mother that lined the hallway as she passed them. She had liked Dahlia a lot. It would kill Dahlia to see Glenn like this.

Eve started a pot of coffee. It was already past noon, but she could use it and she had a feeling Kemal and Glenn could too.

It was ten minutes before she heard them coming back down the stairs. She wasn’t prepared for seeing Glenn. Kemal was right. It wasn’t a good time. The man who’d always been meticulous about his clean-cut hair and shaved jaw was now sporting an ungroomed beard of a couple of inches and his hair looked like he hadn’t combed it in a week.

He wore sweatpants and a t-shirt and he tried for a smile when he saw her.

He glanced at the coffee pot. “Sorry, Eve. If I’d known you were coming, I’d have tried…” He seemed at a loss and she wondered if he was trying to figure out what he would have tried to do to prepare for her.

She moved to him and put a hand on his upper arm, giving a squeeze. “I never need you to put yourself out for me, Glenn. I’m sorry I stopped by without calling first.”

Eve didn’t mess around with any more niceties. She dove right in. “We recovered the body of Samantha Greer.”

She watched the blood drain from Glenn’s face. He closed his eyes for a second before opening them and sinking into one of the chairs at the counter island that took up much of the room.

“Where was she?”

“There’s a small cemetery on the upper west side of the city.” She could feel Kemal’s eyes on her as she spoke. He might be pouring coffee, but he was listening. “A grave was dug four days ago in preparation for a funeral. When the workers uncovered the plot the following day for the burial they realized it wasn’t as deep as it should have been. They hopped in to finish the job.”

“Wasn’t empty?” Glenn asked.

Eve accepted the cup of coffee Kemal handed her and sipped. The man made a damned good cup of coffee. “No. Someone had dumped a body and put enough dirt over it to cover it, probably hoping they’d just put the coffin in and fill it without noticing.”

Eve hated the look on Glenn’s face. He’d looked so long and hard for Samantha after her disappearance. She was a foster kid most people had written off as a runaway, but not Glenn. Eve had a feeling he’d always held out hope she would turn up somewhere, alive and well.

Glenn cleared his throat as if prepping himself for his question. “Cause of death?”

“Blunt force trauma to the head.” She took a deep breath. “Glenn, she didn’t die when she was fifteen. We’ve got a rock-solid ID from her dental records so we know it’s Samantha Greer, but she was somewhere in her late twenties or early thirties when she died.”

Glenn was struggling with the news and she didn’t blame him. The look on his face was haunted. “She was alive. We could have found her.”

Eve didn’t say anything. There wasn’t anything she could say that would alleviate the guilt he would carry over that. She could tell him he’d done all he could, and she knew that was the truth. He’d never given up. But there were some burdens words wouldn’t alleviate.

Glenn looked to her. “Where was she all those years? And where has her body been all this time?”

Samantha Greer had vanished twenty-one years ago at age fifteen. So, she’d been somewhere for ten to fifteen years before she died, give or take based on the pathologist’s estimate of her age.

“And where was her body before it was moved?” Eve asked, knowing he wouldn’t have any more answers than she did.

Glenn’s eyes flashed dark. “She wasn’t a runaway and this proves that, Eve. You need to fight to reopen this case and give it the attention it never got. She deserves that much. Hell, she deserves more.”

Eve raised a hand, palm out to stop him. He was one of the few people who could get away with talking to her like that, but still, his ire was misplaced. “We’re reopening the file. She’s got head trauma we need explained and someone dumped her body. There are things here that need answering. I’ll make sure that happens. In the meantime, can I call you when I have questions about the case?”

She saw Kemal stiffen but ignored him. He was wrong if he thought working on something like this was bad for his dad.

Glenn gave a curt nod. “Yeah. You can call me.
Lori Ryan. Dark Prison: Dark Falls, CO Romantic Thriller Book 9 (Kindle Locations 195-256).

In spite of Kemal’s protests, Glenn is going to help all he can with this investigation.

What Eve doesn’t expect is her almost overwhelming attraction to Kemal. I loved the internal battles they both seem to have.

As we learn more about this case we also get to see some of the hot racial topics that are in the news almost daily, these are handled with grace, dignity and truth.

Plenty of frustration and intrigue, laced with some family drama and a relationship that sizzles.

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

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Lori Ryan

Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance with steamy love scenes and characters you won’t want to leave in the pages when the story is over.Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and ​has fallen in love with writing.

​She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series; the Heroes of Evers, Texas; and the Triple Play Curse Novellas, a set of novellas with sexy baseball players at their core as part of Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World. She has also published in Melanie Shawn’s Hope Falls Kindle World and in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Kindle World.

She lives with an extremely understanding husband, three wonderful children, and two mostly well-behaved dogs in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.

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Point Blank Range – Ranger Ops Book 3 by Em Petrova

Point Blank Range
Ranger Ops Book 3
Em Petrova


If hate is a game, this special ops man and ATF agent are out for blood. Or maybe they’re just fighting to see who will be on TOP.

Special Ops Sergeant Lincoln Reed, aka Linc, doesn’t want to talk about how small, dark places make him want to blow shit up. He wants to forget about that time of his life and get back to his team. But now he’s trapped in an elevator with the annoying—and strangely pretty—ATF agent he’s spent weeks trying to get off his back. She’s a know-it-all on a power trip… and has he mentioned she’s pretty?

One minute Nealy finds herself in a defunct elevator with a volatile special ops man and the next she’s in his arms… with her naked thighs wrapped around him. Now she’s forced to work even closer with him and the Ranger Ops team. She can’t think of anything worse than a bunch of chest-thumping gun-toting tough guys taking credit for her bringing down the biggest illegal weapons smuggler the US has seen in decades.

As their investigation takes them through two states and across the Mexican border, Linc and Nealy are forced into an even tighter situation and have no choice but to see it through till the end. But she’s still a know-it-all, even if she can kiss the lips right off him. And she could do without the soft spot growing inside her for the man who’s all mouth and muscles. Can she close the door on this case and keep her heart intact?

This book is loaded with white hot, explicit scenes. I recommend 18 years of age or older.

Badly injured escaping from arms dealers, Linc finds himself in a Bethesda Hospital burn unit. Recovery is a painful and tedious event, made worse by the constant presence of a persistent DEA Agent asking the same questions over and over.

After being passed over for promotion, Nealy is given the case of a lifetime. Operation X is the one that could elevate her career so the next promotion would be hers. The biggest lead on these arms smugglers/dealers is currently in her neighborhood recuperating from burns acquired while getting away from these men.

With Linc discharged and back in Texas and her bosses wanting results, Nealy heads to Texas to join with the Ranger Ops to take down those involved in her case. She doesn’t exactly get a warm welcome.

This is a favorite scene.

Lennon clapped him on the back, and Linc pivoted his head to look at him. “You did good for your first day back. Any pain?”

Linc shook his head. They stopped walking as an SUV pulled up. A window rolled down, and Linc stepped forward, thinking to see the politician.

He drew up short as his gaze fell on the woman behind the lowered glass. Their stares connected, and lurid images flashed through his mind as a dark heat crawled through his groin.

He pushed out a sigh. “Now you’re showing up on my jobs?”

She narrowed her eyes. “I need to speak to your captain.”

Like hell, was Linc’s first thought. Suddenly, he realized Sully would be left with the headache and Linc wouldn’t have to deal with the annoying woman.

She turned in profile and said something to the driver. Then she got out. Beside him, he felt Lennon go still as he stared at the woman.

Oh hell no. His brother could not be looking at the ATF agent as a woman, could he? She was plain at best.

Except Linc remembered very well how soft her curves had felt under his hands in the dark elevator.

And how pretty he’d thought she was before stepping onto the elevator.

She looked to his brother, and Lennon extended a hand. “You must be Lennon,” she said.

He grinned and clasped her hand.

“Yeah, my twin and the guy who doesn’t have time to stand around talking to you,” Linc cut in, shouldering his brother aside.

Lennon and Nealy stared at him. At that moment, the rest of the guys approached, bulked out with gear and grins on their faces as they ripped on each other.

Linc pointed out Sully. “That’s the guy you wanna talk to.”

He turned and walked away. A second later, Lennon jogged up beside him.

“So… she have freckles?”

“Shut up, Lennon.”

“That’s a yes. Freckled everywhere?”

“Dude, you’re about to get decked.”

He continued on to the Ranger Ops SUV, peeling his sling holding his automatic over his head.

“Another yes.”

“Look, she’s an irritating woman who came by the hospital in DC asking me questions about the guys who took me.”

“Oh shit.”

“Yeah. I don’t have fuzzy feelings toward her.”

“Sure looked that way when you saw her.”

Fuck—just what Linc did not need. He hoped to hell Nealy hadn’t noted anything of the like, because it was false to the max. There weren’t feelings involved—it was sex in an elevator, and since then, he’d often wondered why he’d even done it. He liked women, but he wasn’t one to take advantage, especially if he disliked the woman. He had some moral code, after all.

They reached the SUV, and Linc opened the back to stow away his weapon. After that, he made the mistake of tossing a glance over his shoulder—to see Nealy looking at him.
Em Petrova. PointBlankRange (Kindle Locations 642-669). Kindle Edition.

Plenty of intrigue, suspense and white hot heat flares between Nealy and Linc whenever they are together.

There’s also hints of an information leak that is jeopardizing every mission.

This is a very sexy read, with enough action and intrigue to keep you turning the pages.

4 Contented Purrs for Em!

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Em Petrova Em Petrova

Em Petrova lives in backwoods, Pennsylvania, where she raises four kids and a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff. Her dream is to buy an old pickup and travel small-town USA meeting people and hearing their stories. Her heroes are hardworking—in bed and out—and she is known for panty-scorching erotic romance.

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Merk’s Mistake – Heroes for Hire Book 3 By Dale Mayer

Merk’s Mistake
Heroes for Hire Book 3
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Time never fades…

After months of recovery, Merk is moving from mission to mission, happily back in his active life again. But when his ex-wife sends out a panicked call for help, he rushes to meet her – only to see her snatched away in front of him.

Katina has only one person in mind when she finds herself in trouble. Merk. They haven’t spoken for ten years, but time hasn’t changed some things. The attraction between she and Merk is as deep and strong as it was back then. Even more so. But with her life on the line, she can’t focus on him… and can’t get her mind off him.

She has something others want, and they will do anything to get it back. No matter how nefarious. No matter how evil. No matter who they kill.

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No one is more surprised than Merk when he finds voice mails from his ex-wife on his cell when he returns from a mission. When he finally reaches her, he agrees to meet. Unfortunately that meeting turns into a kidnapping with Merk on their tail.

After taking care of that issue all he had to do is get her safely ensconced at Levi’s Compound.

This is a favorite scene as she meets the crew.

He was making her crazy again. He’d been like that eleven years ago, and they’d only known each other for a day.

She followed him in. He took a left and laid all the boxes in the middle of the room. She turned and looked at the contents in fascination. Like a huge garage but with workbenches and more, as if they did some fancy development work here.

As he walked toward her again, she eyed him carefully and asked, “Just exactly what do you do for a living?”

“Private security,” he said simply.

“Oh.” He took her hand and said, “Come on.”

He walked with her into what appeared to be a kitchen with a long bench. In the center of the room were at least half a dozen people.

She stood awkwardly beside Merk as the goddess-looking woman turned and saw her.

“Hello, my name’s Ice. Who are you?”

And the words that flew from her mouth were not what she had ever expected to say. “Merk’s wife.”

The room froze.

And then she realized what she’d said. “Ex-wife. I’m Merk’s ex-wife,” she said hurriedly. “My name is Katina Marshal.”

“Welcome, Katina. We made a place for you at the table, so come and sit down.” In a smooth voice Ice turned to Merk and said, a twinkle shining in her eyes, “Merk, get your wife a coffee.”

Katina winced. “Sorry, Merk.”

With an irritable shrug, he said, “They were bound to find out sometime. So, whatever.”

But would they? If they were surprised, it meant he hadn’t told them about what happened eleven years ago. When Katina finally sat, Merk handed her a large cup of coffee. Black just the way she liked. She wondered at that. She had remembered all kinds of little things about him too. Deciding not to bring it up, she huddled over the cup and blew on the top. She’d really like to drink it, but it was hot.

When they were all seated, that air of expectation hung over the table. She looked at Merk and shrugged.

He just said, “You brought it up. You explain.”

Her eyebrows shot up toward her hairline. “I would rather we not have to. Isn’t it obvious? We were married. Now we’re divorced. It’s a closed book.”

“How long ago was this?” Ice asked curiously. “I’ve known Merk for a long time.”

Katina laughed. “When we were both dumb and stupid. As in Vegas stupid, eleven years ago.”

That startled a laugh out of everyone at the table. Merk just rolled his eyes. She grinned. “Hey, the Elvis Presley Presley Wedding Chapel was damn good that night.”

“Yeah, how many margaritas did it take for that to look good?” Merk teased her.

Under the glare of fascination from everybody around them, she shrugged and confessed, “I don’t remember.” That brought everybody into full gales of laughter.

Sheepishly she grinned and said, “Still, when I ran into trouble, I knew exactly who to call.” She looked across at Merk and said, “Thank you for saving my life today.”

As a conversation stopper, it was a killer. Complete silence swept through the room.
Mayer, Dale. Heroes for Hire: Books 1-3 (pp. 487-489). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Now the team needs more information if they’re going to help Katina. She’s not very forthcoming and has issues knowing who to trust.

The travels and dangers as Merk attempts to keep her safe as the information she finally gave them does what it’s supposed to do. The attraction between these two is palpable and leads to much sizzling heat. There’s also some laughs and fun mixed in.

I loved seeing all the guys and the visit with Gunner was very informative. It seems Katina has a gift that I can see being useful in future books.

I have been buying these in the collections so I’m now starting Rhode’s Reward, book four in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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SEAL Hard – Silver Seals Book 9 by JM Madden

Welcome to Silver SEALs!
The New Wave From The Suspense Sisters!

Retired silver fox US Navy SEAL Commanders who sign on with the Department of Homeland Security to lead missions to protect the homeland.

Silver SEALs Book 9
JM Madden


Former Navy SEAL Commander Jack Bishop thought he was done with the government shenanigans that cost him part of his mobility. So when he’s presented with a new case thanks to the Bone Frog division of the Department of Homeland Security, he’s less than enthused, until he learns that Navy SEAL families are in danger. But there’s a more personal connection. Somehow his best-friend’s widow is involved and no matter how hard he has to fight his need for her, he has to be there to help her out. He has no desire to rejoin any part of the government, but there are lives at risk, as well as a personal connection he can’t ignore.

Andrea Winters knows that something hinky is going on in her high traffic coffee shop. As a former Navy SEAL wife, she knows something feels off. She reports her feelings to a man she thinks she can trust, and suddenly she’s running for her life. Is there a conspiracy afoot? Or is she just overreacting to a strange set of circumstances? Things begin to turn around when Jack Bishop returns, looking even more handsome than he did years before. In spite of his scarred, inscrutable exterior, she still sees glimmers of the man she thought at one time would help her rebuild her life after her husband—his best friend— was killed.

Will he help her understand what’s going on now? Or just confuse her further with his hungry looks and even more demanding hands… more importantly, will he stay this time?

They’re in a race against time to save lives, and possibly hearts…

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One of the things I really love about these books is how the Commanders asked to handle things are always doing something really relaxing when they get the call. I almost feel sorry for them.

In this book we meet Andrea Winters, she is the widow of a SEAL who now owns a coffee shop in a college town. When she overhears something ‘hinky’ she does some cleaning up of the tables near the guy and later calls one of the people she knows can take care of the situation.  This doesn’t end well.

Jack is called in when CIA Agent Roger Mann is found in a dumpster behind Andrea’s shop, and there is no sign of her anywhere. It’s Jack who knows where she might go, her husband was his best friend and they were all more like family than just friends. When she calls him from the road, he confirms where she’s headed and rushes to join her.

This is a favorite scene.

Two hours later, she was pacing the mostly dark house but she was feeling better. It was late, but she had no desire to lay down. She didn’t think she could, not until Jack got there. She’d taken the time to jot down notes about what she’d observed at the murder scene. The man on the motorcycle was the same man she’d overheard inside the Daily Grind. She had no idea how Roger had found him but the motorcycle was the same. The man who killed Roger was wearing a helmet but it didn’t have a visor and she’d recognized him immediately.

If they didn’t figure out what the hell was going on, there was a chance she could end up as dead as Roger.

She wasn’t sure what made her turn around, but Jack was suddenly just there, in the living room with her, holding out his strong arms to her. If he’d approached her any other way, she’d have been okay. Instead he came in and disarmed her, offering her comfort she knew she shouldn’t take. But after the past day and night, she couldn’t help but take it. Wrapping her arms around his waist, she turned her head into his heavy chest and sobbed.

Andrea hated feeling weak in that moment. It was everything she’d grown up fighting against and it contradicted everything she’d tried to teach her daughter and the young women that worked for her— Be strong and be able to support yourself without a man in the picture.

She’d been alone for so long though. And this wasn’t something she could deal with on her own.

Jack smelled as good as he always did, like man and the outdoors. For a second she forgot about everything that had happened and just basked in being held in his arms. Yes, she could support herself on her own, but sometimes it was nice have someone else to bear some of the weight.

Jack give her time to cry herself out. He didn’t pull away and he didn’t shift uncomfortably under her tears. His hard arms were locked around her. Andrea couldn’t remember the last time she’d cried so hard. Actually, she could. Jack had held her then as well. It had been when Dorian had been killed.

“You’re always holding me when I cry,” she whispered.

“It’s all good,” he told her roughly.

For moment, she thought he meant something else, something more. No, that wasn’t what he meant. Reluctantly pulling away, Andrea scrubbed her face, wiping away tears. “Sorry, Jack.”

Jack Bishop was a massive figure. Not as tall as Dorian had been, but built almost twice as heavily. He’d retired from the SEALs almost five years ago now, then she thought he’d joined Homeland Security for a couple years, but that had seemed odd to her. Last she’d heard, he’d been retired, moving around here and there. Helping out as a contractor on a few things. Overall, after Dorian died, Jack had gotten away from the Navy. He’d been in the same accident that had killed Dorian. Jack had been left with a mangled lower leg and foot and half a dozen bullet holes in his body, but he’d been there for her when the body of her husband had come home, standing in a cast to hold her, though she should’ve been the one giving him comfort and care. They’d both been grieving.

Jack looked good now though, broad and strong, his rough face tanned. It was obvious he was outside a lot. His iron gray hair was short, but still looked thick. His face was the same, lean and scarred, hard silver eyes unfathomable. Years ago on a mission to Kuwait Jack had been attacked by a terrorist with a machete. The terrorist had gotten a lucky swipe in before Dorian had taken him out. The cut had started on his forehead and gone straight down over Jack’s right eye and cheek, then the back swipe of the machete had left a line along the left side of his face and taken the pinky and ring finger of his left hand, as well as a corner of his palm when he held his hand up to protect himself. It was a miracle that he hadn’t lost more and his eyes hadn’t been damaged. It had taken over a hundred stitches to pull Jack’s face back together, and another fifty for his hand and other fingers. Then, because he’d been so far from real medical care, he’d gotten an infection the antibiotics hadn’t been able to kick for a long time.

The facial scars had never bothered Andrea, but she knew they had changed Jack. Before that attack he’d been quiet and reserved, but after that his personality had taken on a dangerous edge. His tolerance was shorter and it was almost like he shut people down before they had a chance to reject him. It had broken Andrea’s heart at the time because Jack was already stone hard, but after the accident, there was very little give to him at all. For the most part, women avoided him, although there were a few that had pushed his boundaries. He’d been married once, but it had been a corrosive relationship that hadn’t lasted. Dorian had said he’d had hookups, but no actual close relationships, and that included the marriage.

It made her sad because as tough as Jack appeared to be he had a soft heart.

“We need to talk,” he told her, nudging her toward the couch.

Andrea sat down on the soft cushions, for the first time feeling some of the tension leave her body. The past fourteen hours had been crazy.

“Why don’t you start at the beginning,” Jack prompted her, settling down beside her, his big body dwarfing hers.

Andrea related everything that had happened, all of her suspicions and the whispers she thought she’d heard. Jack didn’t say anything, he just let her talk herself out. When she reached the part about getting into the beach house, she allowed her voice to trail away.

“What do you think,” she asked finally.

Jack leaned back against the couch, folding his hands over his lean belly. “I think you did everything exactly right,” he told her, eyes direct, mouth an unforgiving line. “It’s not unusual to have terrorist cells working independently across the country. And it’s as you suspected, they come in to use the free WiFi, just like everybody else. I’m not sure what Roger Mann had a chance to implement before he was killed but I assume he was coming to talk to you about what he had done, and figured out. Obviously, he got close.”

Andrea nodded. “That’s what I thought, too. I’m heartsick I dragged him into this.”

Jack gave a hard shrug. “It’s a part of the game,” he said simply. “It’ll always be us against them and people will fall. It’s just nice when they screw up sometimes,” he said pointedly giving her a look.

Andrea gave him a bit of a smile, but it was hard to be lighthearted when a man had just been killed. “So, what do we do?”

“Well,” Jack said, “first thing I’m going to do is call Si and see if he’s learned anything.” He reached down beside the couch and lifted up a bag she recognized. ”I grabbed a few things from your apartment I thought you might need.”

Andrea sighed as he handed the bag over, loving that he’d brought her a piece of home. This was why she knew what a good heart he had. In the midst of a crisis he worried about her having her things.

“And here’s your cell phone.”

Andrea swiped through the security and into her messages. Luke was freaking out but promised to keep things running until she notified him otherwise. Her son had texted her a silly meme. And she had three text messages from unknown numbers.

One was from Mann.

Andrea, I know it’s late but I need to come by and have you identify a picture. I think I know who your hat guy is.

The next two texts sent chills through her and she began to shake. They had come in within the past two hours, since she’d been running. And the address said it was from Roger’s phone!

ANDREA, such a pretty name. Sorry I left a mess in your back alley. But then, that’s what you get for spying on me. Doesn’t matter, you have stopped nothing.

Wordlessly, she handed the phone to Jack. His mouth tightened and his silver eyes flashed with anger.

“Everything will be okay,” he told her firmly, but she wasn’t sure she believed him.

A hard hand gripped her chin and he forced her head up. She met his eyes. “I’m not blowing smoke up your ass, Andrea. Yes, we’re in the shit now, but I will protect you.”

Andrea nodded, tears filling her eyes again. She was so emotionally overwrought. When Jack dragged her into his arms again she didn’t protest like she knew she should. He just felt so good…
J.M. Madden. SEAL Hard (Kindle Locations 410-475).

Things heat up almost right away in the form of an attack at the beach house. More information from the captured attackers and a quick move to another location. With the help of another Bone Frog, they start piecing together what the possible plan could be. It’s devastating.

As they face the almost impossible, Andrea comes to the realization that she wants a relationship with Jack. Jack is more than a little reluctant but time will tell.

Scary, emotional, heartrending, with hold your breath action, tears and a simmer to sizzle romance. Do not miss this book!

5 Contented Purrs for JM!

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J.M. Madden

J.M. Madden writes compelling romances between ‘combat modified’ military men and the women who love them. J.M. Madden loves any and all good love stories, most particularly her own. She has two beautiful children and a husband who always keeps her on her toes.

J.M. was a Deputy Sheriff in Ohio for nine years, until hubby moved the clan to Kentucky. When not chasing the family around, she’s at the computer, reading and writing, perfecting her craft. She occasionally takes breaks to feed her animal horde and is trying to control her office-supply addiction, but both tasks are uphill battles. Happily, she is writing full-time and always has several projects in the works.

She also dearly loves to hear from readers! So, drop her a line. She’ll respond.

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