[Re-read]: The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones

The Dirt on Ninth Grave
by Darynda Jones
Publication Date: January 12th, 2016
Read: Three Times
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Truth be told, I’ve read and re-read the entire series twice now. And still, to this day, book number nine remains my favourite. That’s why when I was invited to do a re-reading blog tour for the series, there was no question as to which book I’d like to revisit again.

Time and again, St. Martin’s Press has been gracious enough to send me an invite for the instalments. But the rub is, the wait for the next book becomes especially longer. Book number eight ended with the mother of all cliff hangers. There were tears, I tell you. Tears. And it wasn’t because the cliff hanger was tragic. It was because of my debilitating need to know what happens next.

So then book number nine arrived in my Kindle via Net Galley. I was only too happy to lose sleep that night just so I can read it in one go.

In here, Charley was an amnesiac who found herself miles away from home. But since she has no recollection of who she was, home is Sleepy Hollow, New York. Her name is Janey Doerr. A waitress with a disturbing addiction to coffee; a predilection to know when a person is lying, and a sick sense in seeing dead people. How she lost her memory is something you need to find out for yourself in book eight.

She is also surrounded by a small army of people who either outright lie to her or give her half truths. But regardless of what they were hiding, she can see kindness and their protective instincts towards her. Except maybe for one regular who, short of snarling at her whenever she’s near, avoids her like she has the plague. But because she also has very little self-preservation instincts, Reyes Alexander Farrow is the flame to her moth.

Charley may have lost her memory but she’s still the same Charley. Trouble finds her every which way she turns, or perhaps she seeks them out. Dead people abounds, waiting to use her like the River Styx. There’s also a family who’s being held hostage by suspected terrorists. Oh, also a cop who thinks he owns her and therefore should be the love of her life. Yeah, good luck with that, buddy.

I’ve mentioned this on my previous review that the best thing about this book is the interaction between Charley and Reyes, per usual. They’re starting all over again so the push and pull was fun to watch. There is no denying that these two are one of my favourite literary couple. Between Charley’s odd and more often sick sense of humour, and Reyes’ infinite love for Charley, it would be difficult to find other couples to love. This series just fires on all cylinders for me. It’s hella funny, scorchingly sexy, and surprisingly still fresh after almost thirteen books.

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[726]: The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
by Darynda Jones
Publication Date: October 31st, 2017
Series: Charley Davidson, #12
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


My perennial favourite series is here!

If not for my being horrendously busy for the last few months, my impatience for this book’s release would’ve been tenfolds. Also, had I not gotten an email from the publicity cogwheels working on this book, I would’ve completely forgotten that this was coming. Thankfully, they reminded me that it was forthcoming along with a link to NetGalley so I can request it. I downloaded this puppy right away and spent a few hours marinating in Charley’s sick sense of humour and Reyes’ out of this world hotness. Sigh. Everything is right in the world again, dear readers. I’m also extra thankful that this book reminded me of what I’ve been missing all this time.

So, about the book…(slight spoiler…maybe?)

Well, at the end of the eleventh book, Charley had inadvertently sent her husband to the literal hell through the god glass (with his permission and insistence). What they thought would be a two-way trip to the hottest dimension turned out to be an extended stay. Thanks to Reyes’ three other personas, he got lost in the shuffle. What came back was nowhere near the Reyes that Charley knew. He was Rey’azikeen, Elle-Ryn-Ahleethia’s immortal enemy and lover extraordinaire. While Charley was trying to get Reyes back, Rey’azikeen was hell-bent on finding the one thing that Reyes was desperately trying to hide from his own self.

Sounds a bit confusing, if you think about it. But it really is not. All you need to care about is whether this instalment delivers in all aspects that matter. Was Charley still wickedly funny? Yes. Did Reyes make me salivate? Fuck, yes. Did the major plot line and the subplots make for an entertaining read as a whole? OMG YES. This is perhaps, the only series that I don’t mind remaining in status quo for the remainder of its life. It will never bore me because Ms Jones keep finding ways to keep the dialogues fresh and the storylines, fabulous. I hope the next one instalment is close. I can’t bear to wait another year. Honestly, these books are my crack. I need another hit, like right now.

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[694]: Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones

More of the same but a fantastic filler for fans of the series, regardless.


Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
by Darynda Jones

The eleventh sequel to the Charley Davidson series finds our favorite grim reaper living with a newfound reality. That she is a powerful god whose immense power is greater than any god that ever existed makes her question the sanity of anyone who says so. And while she’s contemplating the impossibility of her prowess, I found that at times, I was in a state of disbelief myself as well. Because she doesn’t have full control of her powers yet, she’s hesitant to flex her muscles for fear that she’ll bring forth Armageddon unto mankind.  I mean, she did show some but I think we’ve barely scratched the surface of the scope of her powers. Other than being indestructible, she’s apparently a god-eater. Which means she could potentially retain the powers of the gods she’ll consume (or maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here). Let’s hope we’ll find out in the next few books.

So little Beep is still ensconced under the protection of Charley’s army – both holy and unholy alike. I’m not gonna lie, I wish for more interactions between mom, dad and Beep. I want to read more than just a second-hand account of her growth and development. I mean, if this baby is as powerful as prophesied, I kinda want to see how she grows up. I’m itching to ask Ms. Jones when we can expect the inevitable spin-off. It is, however, so much fun to see Reyes bully Osh since finding out the uncomfortable truth about his future and how it relates to Beep.

 As much as this installment was a load of fun, the overall plot of the series didn’t really move. Aside from the cruel ending that is the precursor to the next book, the entire novel consisted of mini story arcs moving towards an intro to the 12th.  There was a brief but sad story of a toddler who died under a toppled drawers; Ubie being distracted by whatever was bothering him; a creepy stalker stalking Amber, and the emergence of a new character and his role in the life of Reyes’ abductors. (Whom by the way, finally got a somewhat satisfying comeuppance once and for all).

In truth, I was annoyed in some parts of the novel. I hate the unnecessary keeping of secrets as a device to stretch a story arc. It’s like, come on, people. We’ve all been here before. Secrets never end well for everybody involved! Thankfully, they didn’t let it fester for as long as they can. But heck, annoying just the same. Charley also grated on my nerve a little. Sometimes, her off-the-cuff humor was off-putting and not at all funny. I mean it was funny, but it was annoying because I feel like there should be a time for serious business.

Despite all my misgivings, there’s very little that could dissuade me from reading the next installments in this series (and I hope there’ll be lots). I’m a fan and will always be a fan so long as Charley remains the neurotic grim reaper that I’ve come to love, and Reyes remains the smoldering Son of Satan who singes the page whenever he makes an appearance.

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[643]: The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones

24154660-1 The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson, #10
St. Martin’s Griffin | June 24th, 2016
Source: ARC via Net Galley
Adult Fiction | Paranormal | Urban Fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


As a Part-time PI and full-time grim reaper, Charley Davidson has asked a lot of questions throughout her life: Why can I see dead people? Who is the hot supernatural entity following me? How do I get gum out of my sister’s hair before she wakes up? But, “How do I trap not one malevolent god, but three?” was never among them. Until now. And since those gods are on earth to kill her daughter, she has little choice but to track them down, trap them, and cast them from this dimension.

There’s just one problem. One of the three stole her heart a very long time ago. Can the Razer, a god of absolute death and destruction, change his omniscient spots, or will his allegiances lie with his brothers?

Those are just a few of the questions Charley must answer, and quick. Add to that a homeless girl running for her life, an innocent man who’s been charged with murder, and a pendant made from god glass that has the entire supernatural world in an uproar, and Charley has her hands full. If she can manage to take care of the whole world-destroying-gods thing, we’re saved. If not, well…


Ah…Charley. My love for you and your husband is so complete that there is no possible way Ms. Jones could ever do anything to make me hate you. Save for maybe a sudden introduction of the most annoying plot device in the history of writing (love triangle),  I just don’t see myself ever rating your books less than 5 stars (knock on the wood). I can’t tell you how happy I was when I learned that there were to be two releases in one year for this series. I don’t know why Ms. Jones did that, but I’m not going to complain. If anything, I want to go Kathy Bates on her ass and chain her to her writing desk until her fingers bleed. Sadly, I hear that kind of thing is frowned upon and would apparently land me in jail, so I guess I have no choice but to wait with the rest of the peasants.

back to reality

This is a month after Charley’s memory came back. Back to regular programming. The human race’s  survival rests upon a month-old baby in hiding. And Charley came back with a few secrets – which strains her relationship with Reyes – who, by the way, seems to be avoiding her like the plague. That in itself is a little tough to do considering they’re married. But what was once a very sexually active relationship has cooled down considerably. Charley has no idea why, but at the same time, she’s terrified to ask. Because that would  entail Reyes consequently asking questions of his own.

little bo beep

In the meantime, Beep is still hidden and guarded by a whole army of …well, guardians. Charley and Reyes are attempting to deny their longing for their child, but they both know that they would only be leading their enemies directly to Beep. I’m excited for what this little person could do! At least, from what the story has been leading up to. The possibility of her being more powerful than her parents and her fated romance with Osh. It reminds me of Jacob imprinting on Reneesme, to be honest [insert uncomfortable giggling here], but I don’t really care one bit. I do wonder if there’s going to be a spinoff featuring Beep when she’s a little bit older. Oh, the possibilities!

in retrospect

This is one of those series that I wouldn’t mind reading forever. It could go on and on until I have an entire Charley Davidson-Farrow library. It’s hilarious, sexy, and so much fun. You’re always guaranteed a good time with every installment. Ms. Jones, as usual, has a cachè of fresh sarcasm and wit. It’s never the same so you’re always treated to her comedic brilliance. Keep them coming is what I say!

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[592]: The Dirt on Ninth Grave Darynda Jones

23848452 The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson, #9
E-ARC via Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 12th, 2016
Adult Fiction | Paranormal Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she’s more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn’t help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she’s lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.


At the beginning of 2015, I decided to discover some really good Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series. Charley Davidson, though well known amongst bloggers that I follow, was something I’ve always felt like a series I would not be able to enjoy. But the increasing noise from others about the books could no longer be ignored. In March, I gave in and picked up the first book. It only took one book and the rest, as they say, is history.

*** Warning: Some spoilers up ahead ***

THE DISAPPEARING ACT OF CHARLEY DAVIDSON

The end of book 8 showed how Charley lost her marbles when she had to give up their daughter for hers and the world’s sake.  She unleashed unimaginable sorrow with the choice they had to make.  She literally vanished into the thin air, to Reyes’ heartbreaking woe. Ms. Jones, at least, made sure she gave us a glimpse of where Charley ended up. So you can only imagine how anxious I was for the 9th book.

SLEEPY HOLLOW, NEW YORK

Meanwhile, Janey Doerr was found in a back alley without any memories and recollections of who she was. But with the small town spirit and the generosity of strangers, she was able to find a place to live and a job waitressing at a diner. In an honest-to-goodness Charley Davidson fashion, Janey was able to make friends left and right. There’s Cookie and her husband, Bobert; the diner owner who lets her get away with a lot of things; the handsome strangers who she seems to keep bumping into; and the few dead people who hones on her like a heat-seeking missle. Oh and there was that dead dog with the affinity to showers and a thirteen-year-old angel who propositions her any chance he gets. So maybe not remembering things about your life wasn’t so bad after all.

STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN

If you’re one of those people who have followed this series and have been feeling blasé about the last few instalments, you’re in for a treat! Reading book 9 is like starting anew. I especially enjoyed watching Janey and Reyes pussyfoot around each other. It’s like Ms. Jones gave us an alternate universe where Charley is newly discovering the hotness that is, Reyes. It is also fun to watch her discover her powers (mostly by accident) and meet all the dead people that sought her light. At the same time, I would’ve liked to see her react differently to the unsualness of meeting dead people. I thought Janey could’ve at least tried to act terrified at first because she wasn’t used to seeing them all her life.

IN RESTROSPECT

This was a wonderful instalment that shows how long series should be done. Ms. Jones was able to freshen it up without veering away from the story arch she’s started. You will laugh, you will cry and in the Reyes-Dutch fashion, it will get you hot under the collar!

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Waiting on Wednesday [9]: The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones

23848452


 

The Dirt on the Ninth Grave \ Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson, #9 \ January 5th, 2016


In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she’s more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn’t help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she’s lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.


WARNING: EXCESSIVE USE OF EXCLAMATION POINTS AHEAD. 

A blurb! A cover! Oh happy day!!! Y’all know I don’t do WoW that often. But when I do, you know it’s a big freaking deal. This book is worth the goat sacrifice, y’all! That pesky cliff hanger at the end of book 8 was just plain torture, and the only thing that can absolve Ms. Jones of her misgivings is to amend that quick by throwing a copy my way! So if you run into her, please do let her know.  So so so many things I’m looking forward to. I can’t wait to see this relationship between Ms. Charley and the cook! *wink, wink*

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[559]: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

12986492 Death and the Girl Next Door [Darklight, #1] by Darynda Jones
St. Martin’s Press | October 2nd, 2012
Paperback, 272 pages
Young Adult Fiction | Paranormal
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


Sophomore Year Was Never Supposed to be This Complicated.

Ten years ago, Lorelei McAlister’s parents disappeared without a trace, and she is finally beginning to accept the fact that they’re never coming back. Life must go on. She’s got her grandparents and the support of her best friends, and high school is not quite as painful as she thought it would be.

But This is What Happens When You Fall for the Angel of Death.

Until the day the school’s designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, tough, sexy Jared Kovach – comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other, and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.

Life as She Knows it is About to Change Forever.

What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can’t have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real? Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Death and the Girl Next Door proves Darynda Jones is a force to be reckoned with.


I am a huge fan of Ms. Jones. She’s a brilliant story teller and a master in the art of sarcasm. Why it’s taken me a long time to read this book escapes me. Going into this book, I was expecting more of the same. I was expecting Lorelei to be like a teen Charley Davidson: hilarious, sarcastic, and one with a huge personality. I’ll tell you right now that if you’re going to keep the same expectations prior to reading this book, you’ll be in for a disappointment. Lorelei is nothing at all like Charley Davidson. She’s more reserved and a bit on the shy side. Even if they share the same beginnings, their supernatural roles differ.

One of the things that made me wary of this book was the cover. As you know, I detest love triangles. The cover certainly implies something of that sort. Well, rest assured, there’s none. What it has is a couple of boys who are — well, crush-worthy. Only one of them vies for Lor’s attention, which was reciprocated the first time they met. Basically, one is the Angel of Death (a grim reaper of sort) and the other, a niphilim hybrid who has a bone to pick with the Angel of Death. How does Lorelei fit into the all this madness? Well, she’s the last living bloodline of the Prophet, Arabeth. She’s protected by a secret society that she didn’t know of at first. I quite like the mythology here. While it may have echoes of her adult PNR, she’s done her best separate both.

The book was a fast read, addicting, even. Just don’t expect to bust out laughing as you would reading Charley Davidson. The first book was more laying out the foundation for the series, so there wasn’t much of a plot direction to speak of. So much so, that the poltergeist thing near the end looked more like an addendum than an original part of the plot. No matter, I immediately ordered the second and third book soon after reading this.

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Giveaway: Charley Davidson Series

MugandSeries

Hello, friends!

So, I’m sure you know by now how much I adore this series. I have been obsessed with it since I decided to check it out in February. I’ve featured it as a series that I’ve been obsessively trying to scour heaven and earth for on one of my Friday Finds posts. You can say I’m hopelessly, utterly, smitten with these books. Thanks to Big Honcho Media, I managed to procure myself an ARC of Eighth Grave After Dark, which I read in practically one sitting. I don’t know how else to convince you to read this series.

Today, let me give you the opportunity to try and win this amazing prize pack. Thanks to St. Martin’s Press , you now have a chance to win this entire series and a branded mug! All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:

  • Open to US residents only, and must be at least 18 years old to enter.
  • This giveaway  is sponsored by St. Martins Press.
  • NO purchase necessary, and void where prohibited by law.
  • Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to reply back or another winner will be drawn.
  • Host will not be responsible for items lost during shipment.

In the meantime, keep reading for some more info on this wonderful series!

Eighth Grave After Dark:

22922356

About the book:
“Sometimes I wonder if the purpose of my life
is to serve as a cautionary tale to others.”
–T-shirt

Charley Davidson has enough going on without having to worry about twelve hellhounds hot on her trail. She is, after all, incredibly pregnant and feeling like she could pop at any moment. But, just her luck, twelve deadly beasts from hell have chosen this time to escape onto our plane, and they’ve made Charley their target. And so she takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. Of course, if hellhounds aren’t enough, Charley also has a new case to hold her attention: the decades-old murder of a newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows of the convent.

Add to that the still unsolved murder of her father, the strange behavior of her husband, and Charley’s tendency to attract the, shall we say, undead, and she has her hands full…but also tied. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders like evil sentries, so Charley has been forbidden from leaving the sacred grounds. Luckily, she has her loyal team with her, and they’re a scrappy bunch who won’t let a few thirsty hellhounds deter them.

While the team scours the prophesies, searching for clues on the Twelve, for a way to kill them or at least send them back to hell, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. Their presence is comforting. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life…


Charley Davidson Series

CompleteSeriesIntroduction to the series:

First Grave on the Right is the smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper..

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

About the author:

DaryndaJones_CREDITDonitaMasseyPrivett
Photo by Donita Massey Privett

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author DARYNDA JONES won a RITA Award for best first novel for First Grave On The Right. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Jones lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Connect with Ms. Jones!

Twitter: @Darynda  Website: Darynda Jones  Facebook 


Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Big, huge thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the prize pack for letting me be a part of this wonderful event.

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[526]: Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

DSC00163

GOODREADS SUMMARY | St. Martin’s Press | ARC paperback, 278 pp. | May 19th, 2015 | Adult Fiction | Paranormal Romance | Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


It was both a comfort and torture to be back in this world. Comfort because everything was so familiar, and torture because of the impending doom that’s been a few instalments in the making. It’s hard to believe how long it’d taken me to get to these books. I just discovered them in the latter part of February this year, and finished them off in the beginning of March.  It only took reading the first book to get me hooked. Charley’s sometimes, ill-timed humour is its major draw. And of course, there’s the son of Lucifer, Reyes whose dark sensuality is unparalleled, if I may say so, myself.

In this instalment, we see them ensconced in sacred grounds. The Twelve has been sniffing around ready to unleash holy hell on Earth. They’re after Charley and their unborn child, who’s believed to be the one prophecised  to bring forth the end of Lucifer (who happens to be her grandfather). No worries though, because she’s surrounded by a group of supernatural and human beings who are only too happy to give up their lives for her and Beep.

Charley is also worried about Reyes. He’s getting hotter and hotter in the literal sense, which leads her to believe that he’s sick. By the end of this book, some questions will be answered; most will not. You will laugh (lots) and cry (really). You will be frustrated due everyone’s tendency to hide things from Charley; secrets that more often hurt more than they help.

We’ve been given a clearer background on exactly what kind of being Charley is, but still no scope of the magnitude of her power. The next few books (I don’t know how many) will probably give us an exact picture. But like a well-seasoned author who knows exactly what would get her readers coming back for more, Jones will probably give it to us in small increments. I can’t freaking wait!

I have a feeling that the next few books will take on a darker tone based on how it ended. I don’t think Charley will ever be the same after what happened in this book. It was heartbreaking, and sad. I felt a little lost afterwards (that’s not ominous at all). I think that Ms. Jones will reinvent Charley in the coming books, but I do hope she’ll not lose her humour, because it’s what I love about her (among other things).

 

 

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