Deadly Obsession

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 May 2019

Member Reviews

This engaging tale kept me interested from cover to cover. Alright everybody. I read a romantic suspense book. This isn't something I do all that often. I suck at figuring out who the bad guy is - which probably explains why I've made such poor dating choices. But anyway, I felt like something a bit different. 

I knew I would be reading this book as soon as I saw the cover. Isn't he gorgeous, those muscles... He can protect me any time. Then I read the blurb and found out his name is Knox. Who wouldn't want to scream his name all night long. And yes, for anyone who is wondering, you will be screaming it all night. 

Anyway, the story was awesome. There's a serial killer and ex-military hero. Did I mention the muscles? It had all the ingredients for a 5 star book. 

Our heroine has a heart condition, and I really appreciated the addition of this to the story line because chronic and potentially terminal illness are so rarely dealt with in romance novels. This isn't a situation where love heals all. 

However, I do have to complain a little bit. You see, as much as I loved the story, I didn't connect with the characters. They felt very one dimensional to me. Nonetheless, I was entertained for a few hours and that's really all I ask for when I pick up a book.
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Deadly Obsession fits into several tropes that I really enjoy.  It’s a brothers best friend romance, and a romantic suspense that features strong themes of family and friendship.  The plot and series revolves around the four Steele siblings Knox, Roman, Liam & Ryder, their cousin Grace and childhood neighbors and friends Cade and Zoey. 

Knox is a former Army Ranger, who despite the fact he is an alpha is also quite vulnerable, and haunted by the decisions he made in his past.  He’s quite sweet and protective especially when it comes to the heroine Zoey. 

Zoey has congenital heart disease.  After her fifth open heart surgery she’s sick of letting life pass her by and is determined to gain her independence, and live life to the fullest much to the disgust of her older over protective brother Cade.  With a new job and new outlook on life she’s drive, and much stronger than she appears.   

Having a child with CHD I connected with Zoey’s character, and found her story to be quite relatable and realistic.  

The series has a lot of potential, I thoroughly enjoyed the witty banter between the characters.  There’s a lot happening in the story line and some points weren’t fully explored and I hope more will be revealed regarding Knox’s past in future additions to the series.  

I was quite intrigued by the chapters that were told from the point of view of the serial killer, who has Zoey firmly set in his sights.
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3.5⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 | Free Review Copy | DEADLY OBSESSION

I’m new to the romantic suspense genre and for no good reason other than failing to pick up a book outside of my comfort zone - I love both suspense and romance so this amalgamation works for me. Thank you to the amazing team at Forever for broadening my horizons and putting this brand new series on my radar!

Deadly Obsession has it all - a steamy relationship between a sharp CSI agent and a hot former Army Ranger, a serial killer hunting the heroine, and family drama. The story is pretty trope-y and I could do with less of the NSA stuff (seems like all the contemporary romance stories are doing this) and more substantive relationships - if you want to be together then do it and stop playing games. Tropes aside, Hunt’s writing is engaging and the characters well developed laying the foundation for more stories to come.

This one is romance heavy and I would love to see more of a romance / suspense balance but I am here for this series and looking forward to Lethal Redemption.
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April Hunt could open a male-order catalogue just by the heroes on the covers of her books. Imagine if any of those dudes from the Alpha Security or Steele Ops series actually delivered the books to your doorstop? Sigh. DEADLY OBSESSION kicks off the new Steele Ops series with a bang, and one of my favorite tropes: best friend’s younger sister. Having grown up the only child of an only child, and having only had one child myself, I’m fascinated by the idea of an older brother being protective. I should say I’m also fascinated by the idea of walking into an elite private security firm because I’m a badass CSI agent, but that’s about as likely to happen as waking up one day with an older brother. LOL. Zoey Wright is a very compelling character. Not only did she grow up crushing heavily on Knox Steele, she is a fighter. Born with a heart defect and enduring numerous major surgeries, adult Zoey has overcome so much to become a CSI agent. But when Knox walks up on her first murder scene—during what is part of a serial killer investigation—he definitely sees the woman she’s become. The stakes are high, emotions boiling over, and romance incredibly satisfying.

*Originally published at Frolic: https://frolic.media/spring-romantic-suspense-round-up/
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I really enjoyed this story and the unique twist on who the bad guy was - because I didn't see that coming at all!

My only gripe is that we never really found out what happened that led Knox to disappearing for two years. All was said was that he made bad decisions that cost lives. But what was the decision? How many lives were lost? What happened? All those questions were never answered.

I also found one part near the end to be rather disappointing. When the nurse said...oh your friend who was here last time... I wanted more of a surprise and shock from Zoey, but she barely seemed surprised at all yet we were never given clues that she suspected it earlier.

I also would have liked to read more about their family's reactions to Zoey and Knox being together. But we were only given his brother's feelings on it. 

That said, I can't wait to read the next book in the series. Something is definitely up between Cade and Grace!

** ARC received from Netgalley **
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Zoey Wright has taken charge of her life. Born with a serious heart defect, and having gone through several major surgeries, she has just begun a new job as a CSI agent. In her current case, she is more than a bit nonplussed when someone she had a serious crush on when she was younger is pulled into it. Zoey must fight her feelings for Knox Steele and focus on the fact that a serial killer seems determined to kill as many women as possible.

Knox is in town because he and his brothers are intent on opening an elite private security firm. When he happens upon a crime scene, he is rather disturbed to see that his best friend's little sister is working the case. Well, she is not so little any longer, and Knox must fight his growing attraction to her. As much as this fight is intense, a bigger fight soon presents itself when it seems that Zoey herself might actually become a victim. So, Knox and Zoey end up together - in more ways than one.

While the romance is developing and the search for the killer ensues, readers are introduced to the other members of the Steele and Wright families. This no doubt sets the reader up for future books in this new series by April Hunt. I am thrilled that I got to read it and am eager to continue with this series. If you enjoy intrigue, romance and family, then you will be glad to read this book. I found it to be quite intense and pretty much read this book in one sitting.

Many thanks to Forever and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Wow! Wow! Wow! what a great story.  The story takes off running from the moment Zoey Wright is in the field at the scene of the first murder and looks up to see her old flame Knox Steele. As the killer escalates and Zoey's friends and family try to keep her safe the chemistry and action is off the charts. I just couldn't turn pages fast enough to see what's next. 
The end though was what really rocked my socks. The killer's justifications for the murders and his fascination with Zoey? Wow!  
In case you're wondering I have not overused Wow!. I can't wait to see the rest of the Steele brothers get their comeuppance in future novels to come.
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Zoey has been in and out of surgeries and having issues in the past and has always played it safe. Now she's working on a case instead of being the guy behind the scenes of a case working now as a CSI Agent.  Unfortunately for her Former Army Ranger Knox Steele is back ground a guy she used to have a crush on in the past comes across her while she's working a crime scene. Together they work on solving the case that seems to be getting strangely close to her.

Love a good romantic suspense book. I loved how this book played out. I loved getting to konw the characters and seeing Zoey getting out that shell she was caught in, she played it safe for so long because of her heart condition and is out there doing her thing working on the case. There was plenty going on to keep things interesting with her job, the romance between Knox and Zoey, the family life and drama, and the case that they were working on. I loved that there was little snippets here and there from the perspective of the killer which made the book all the more interesting. Overall it was a pretty great mystery suspense novel, I really enjoyed it.
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Steele Ops #1, This was a great book I loved the characters and the story, it is a great start to a new series. Zoey Wright has CHD (Congenital Heart Defect) it doesn't make her weak it just makes her all that much more of a bad ass. Zoey has been protected her whole life by her adoptive mother and her brother, Cade. Working in the crime lab was not getting her anywhere so she transferred to crime scene tech. Knox Steele finally left the Army Rangers but instead of going home and working with his brother start up their private security firm he decides he going to go to be a Hollywood bodyguard. Despite not wanting to come home he gets pulled home and his first night back he stumbles across a dead body, unfortunately this is not the first one DC has seen like this, the news has already dubbed the killer a catchy name and Zoey fits the type the killer likes. Cade and Knox try and get Zoey to back off but she just digs her heels in, she can help catch this killer even if all she does is collect evidence.  

Meanwhile Zoey and Knox try not to give into temptation. Zoey has had a crush on Know for just about forever and Knox has tried to keep his distance but once he realizes Zoey isn't safe he's going to protect her not matter what she says. But being so close to her makes it hard to resist her and before you know it they give in and fall into bed. The killer has an obsession and when he finds out his obsession is with someone else he loses it and any semblance of control he had is gone. That just makes it easier for Cade, the DCPD and Knox to find him or will they be too late?

Overall, this was a great read. Knox has issues with guilt he has to work out with his brothers and that was a nice side story to help with character development and establish what kind of people his brothers are, I look forward to their books. Cade really comes off as an overprotective ass and he has this on again off again going with a Steele cousin and best friend to Zoey, Grace, who is FBI profiler; I hope their story is next. I love April Hunt's writing it's descriptive and has a great third person narrative.
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april hunt kicks off a new suspense series with deadly obsession. the steele ops team is comprised of four brothers and this story begins with knox's return after a two-year absence. it's not a quiet, calm arrival. everyone is kind of mad at him, even though he has his reasons for staying away. i'm not saying they're good reasons, but also i just don't understand the kind of family dynamics at play here because mine are not like these and the level of butthurt is intense for what is happening, but nevermind, because there is an actual serial killer on the loose.

and even worse this killer appears to be targeting zoey wright, and on top of that instead of her safe job in the crime lab she's out in the streets doing crime scene investigative work. just because she's decided to put herself in harm's way doesn't mean that knox will let anything happen to her.

and his protectiveness can be explained by the fact that she's his best friend's younger sister. and also she has a congenital heart defect that has resulted in many a health scare and five open heart surgeries. so like him wanting her to stay alive makes sense. many people have worked hard for her to be alive. but she's not wrong in wanting to enjoy and live her life too. she can't be wrapped in bubble wrap her whole life. she needs to feel and experience things.

and knox has always been the one person she wants to do everything with. their chemistry is hot, and the suspense is kicking. this was a fun, fast-paced read.

**deadly obsession will publish on april 30, 2019. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/grand central publishing (forever) in exchange for my honest review.
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Deadly Obsession by April Hunt is the First book in the Steele Ops Series. This is the story of Zoey Wright and Knox Steele.
Knox left town a few years back to make a life for himself. Now he is back at home being pressured to take part in the the family's Security Firm. Unsure if he is going to stay or take another job miles away is up in the air for him. One thing that is making decisions hard is his best friends sister, Zoey. Zoey is always had to forget but when he finds her in the middle of searching for serial killer it makes him very protective of her. Zoey has always been protected all her life but has not taken to stepping out of the protective bubble to put her wishes first. Which is being a new CSI agent on the hunt to find a killer which is also putting her to be working closely with Knox.
Exciting Read!!
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Deadly Obsession is a great start to a new series from this author! While the tropes covered in this book are familiar, the heroine Zoey is a little bit unique in my opinion. She was born with a congenital heart defect that has resulted in five different surgeries over the course of her life, and the most recent one last year led her to make a promise to herself: to start living more and take the safe path less. 

Of course that decision does not sit well with uber-overprotective big brother Cade, but Zoey has determination and spirit to spare and she will not allow him to make all the decisions in her life anymore. That includes the decision to take a new job that moves her out of the safety of the crime lab and into the field as a crime scene investigator- which she fails to tell Cade about until he arrives on scene to find her there documenting a serial killer's most recent victim. To add to her stress level, her childhood crush/ brother's best friend Knox Steele makes a reappearance in DC at her crime scene.

The Steele family lived across the street from Zoey and Cade's foster mother, and they are really just one big extended family. The author lays the foundation for this series by introducing us to all 4 Steele brothers as well as Steele cousin Grace who is also Zoey's best friend and Cade's ex (oh my, there are major unresolved issues there!). Everyone involved has a special skill set of some sort: the brothers are all veterans of different branches of the armed services, Grace is an FBI profiler, Cade is a police detective who served in the Rangers with Knox, and we already covered Zoey.

Knox's return after a 2 year absence is met with animosity from his brothers. Yes, Steele Ops was his idea. Yes, he stayed away for a few years. Maybe it's because I am an only child, but the drama associated with Knox's return felt a bit overdone to me. Cue the "will he stay or won't he" moments here. Of course he has always had a soft spot for Zoey, and seeing her now does nothing to help make his decision easier. He carries guilt for mistakes of the past and he doesn't believe he is good enough for someone like her. When it becomes clear the serial killer's focus turns to Zoey, he will have to make a choice.

Knox and Zoey have great chemistry, and I love her feisty spirit. Knox is a great mix of alpha protector and supporter as he tries to balance his need to keep her safe with her need to take charge of her own life where she can. I think mystery lovers will be able to pick out the killer's identity fairly easily but it was still fun watching it happen! Deadly Obsession was a quick and entertaining read, and I am hoping that Cade and Grace are next up on the list for this series.
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I really enjoyed this book. 

Sometimes Romantic Suspense is a letdown for me but in Deadly Obsession we are given a super creepy bad guy, a down to earth heroine, a grumpy good guy, and the complex family that surrounds them. I definitely look forward to reading more in this series and by this author.
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Knox Steele is back home after staying away for so long and he’s determined not to stick around, but only one person can throw a wrench in his plans – Zoey Wright- and now that it’s obvious that someone dangerous is fixated on her, he’s determined to make sure that she is safe before he leaves.

Zoey is fighting for normalcy after a lifetime of being sick and while her bid for independence is understandable, the over-protectiveness of her brother and the Steele boys is also something a reader can empathize with. In fact, my favorite thing about this book is that even though Zoey is cleared cherished by her brother and the Steele boys, they still give her room to explore what and how she wants but are ready to step in and protect her if needed.

This book is literally the best thing I’ve read all year and it’s not even close. Ms. Hunt combined a number of tropes – best friend’s younger sister, ex-military black ops, security firm, stalker – but somehow it worked, and the creepy factor was especially through the roof. 

Knox’s rationale for staying away from his family could have been explored a little deeper than was done, but it did not really impact the overall story in my opinion. The story was straightforward, and the stalker was easy to guess, but I think it served to draw me into the story and it was like screaming at the TV when characters cannot see the danger lurking, but you can.

First books in a series can be a hit or miss since there is a heavy focus on building the series up, but this was a hit in every way and Zoey and Knox’s storyline did not suffer at all while the author was laying the foundation for the series. If anything, I’m counting down the days to the next book in the series and I’ve been inspired to go back and re-read the author’s back list.
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Why haven’t I been reading romantic suspense before?? When asked my favorite genre - I always say a tie between mystery/thriller and romance. This is the genre that combines the two!!

Deadly Obsession was a great place for me to start with the genre. Zoey is a new CSI tech who is on the task force to find DC’s serial killer. At the same time, Zoey’s brother’s best friend is back in town after being gone for years. His name is Knox Steele - is that the best romance hero name or what?!?

There were a few things that required a healthy suspension of disbelief - but I was along for the ride. It seemed like a great mix of romance and suspense. A couple parts got creepy enough that I couldn’t read it right before bed. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series!! 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance review copy in exchange for my honest review. This book is available now!
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A wonderful start to the Steele Ops series! One of the best romantic suspense stories I've read this year. I enjoy this time the author took to develop each character and prepare you for the series. The chemistry between Zoey and Knox is off the charts, and I love that she doesn't put up with any of his crap. A mystery with romance on the side, with a sassy female lead character...sold!
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**3.5 Stars**

Romantic suspense is one of my recent favorite subgenres. Since it’s a newer fave, I am always on the hunt for new-to-me authors and series to fall in love with. DEADLY OBSESSION fit the bill, the first book in a new series about two families starting an elite private security firm. This story follows CSI agent Zoey and former Army Ranger Knox Steele, her childhood crush. Bonus, the book is set in Washington, D.C., where I live, so I enjoyed a little taste of home while reading.

The pros: I really enjoyed the banter and seemingly effortless world building in this book. The romance was definitely front and center, and the yearning between the main characters was giving me life. Zoey and Knox have a lot of family and friends who seem like they’ll all get their own books (fingers crosses) but the introduction of each character was easy to follow along with and the characterization was strong for each of them.

I also loved the addition of Zoey’s congenital heart defect. From the author’s note, I could tell that Ms. Hunt was exceptionally well educated on the subject. She pulled off the difficult task of making a serious medical issue an interesting part of the plot and Zoey’s character without weighing down the story.

The cons: While I thought the suspense plot was well done, I was a little disappointed in the early heavy-handed hints about who the killer was. I enjoyed the book a lot more when I was still guessing. I also thought the crime scene protocol/Knox’s ability to just jump into a police investigation was a little ridiculous. I tried to suspend my disbelief because it is fiction, but there were a few times I rolled my eyes.

Overall, this was a solid start to what will hopefully be a fun new series. I really like Ms. Hunt’s voice as an author and I think it will only get better from here! You know I am hoping the broody brother gets a book next.

**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
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“Deadly Obsession” by April Hunt

I obtained a copy of this book from my friends at Net Galley and the publisher. I have not read any books by this author before and this is the first novel that I have read from her. I have to say that I found the description to catch my attention right off the hop. Action, serial killer and romance… sounds like a promising plot if I ever heard one. The cover was also eye catching and although it had a strapping young specimen on the cover, it was not just a man with no clothes on.  This review does contain spoilers! 

I appreciate the split perspectives of Knox and Zoey. I always find that having a novel written these way allows us to see both sides and really relate to the characters. The plot is also action packed and full of great openings to develop other minor characters. I honestly loved this book. From start to finish, it captured my attention. Zoey is relatable and I admire the strength and perseverance of her character. Often we see female characters fall into needing the strong hero to save her. Unfortunately for Knox and her brother, Cade, Zoey had other things in mind. Zoey has felt as though she has been placed in a bubble since she was a child due to her heart problems and has started to feel suffocated by her friends and family handling her with kid gloves. She is done with being afraid to grab life by the reins when Knox re-enters her life. 

Knox, a former Army Ranger and best friend to Zoey's brother, Cade, returns to DC after two years of radio silence. His whole thought process around feeling as though it was better for him to stay away, could have been explained a bit more, but I got the idea. His brothers and family aren’t happy to have him return without any explanation for his absence. Eventually, they all mend fences, with his relationship to his younger brother, Roman still requiring some work. 

The pair fight their attraction to one another for different reasons. Zoey doesn’t want to get attached to a man who is only going to break her heart when he leaves, and he has made clear his intentions to leave. Knox doesn’t want to betray his best friend and start something that he can’t finish. But… eventually they come to agreement on “no strings” sex. Considering how intertwined their lives are with each others, I suspected that would not be the case. Great idea - Incorrect outcome.

I love a good complex plot and this story did not fail to meet all my expectations. There is a serial killer element, which lends to some serious suspense throughout the novel. I always got the suspicion that the killer was her cardiologist *SPOILER ALERT*. There is also the surprise of Cade and Zoey’s father showing up. I did not see that coming. At. All. 

Overall, I would give this book a five star rating. It was a great read and held my attention throughout the whole book. I did not roll my eyes once… well, maybe once. The whole no strings agreement was a bit ridiculous and I could already tell where that was headed. The publisher and editor did a great job finishing the product. I found minimal grammar and spelling errors. It is a well written book and it has me anticipating the next one that April will grace us with. Fantastic read for anyone looking for something more complex than the contemporary romance.
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3.75 stars--  DEADLY OBSESSION is the first instalment in April Hunt’s contemporary, adult STEELE OP romantic suspense focusing on the  Steele family. This is CSI investigator Zoey Wright, and former Army Ranger Knox Steele’s story line.

Told from several third person perspectives including Zoey and Knox DEADLY OBSESSION follows the best friends’ little sister/ forbidden relationship between CSI investigator Zoey Wright, and former Army Ranger Knox Steele.  Two years earlier Knox returned State side when a military mission went all to h*ll but in that two years Knox refused to go home believing himself unworthy. With his brothers’ insistence, Knox comes back to Washington DC to help set up their new security business, a business Knox wants no part of now or in the future. Rekindling his friendship police officer Cade Wright brings our hero face to face with the woman who has starred in all of his fantasies and dreams but a woman off limits by way of friendship and love.  When a serial killer ups his MO, and the victims resemble our story line heroine Knox makes it his mission to protect the woman with whom he is falling in love. What ensues is the friends to lovers relationship between Knox and Zoey, and the potential fall-out when Zoey is targeted by a twisted mind.

Zoey Wright has struggled most of her life with cardiac issues. Several surgeries and an over-protective brother meant Zoey found herself surrounded by protectors including the man with whom she will fall in love. Knox Steele hadn’t planned at sticking around but threats against the woman that called to his heart meant Knox wasn’t willing to risk the people he loved.

 The relationship between Zoey and Knox is forbidden by a friendship, a promise and threats against Knox’s life. Zoey and Knox have lusted after one another from afar but Zoey’s brother Cade is unwilling to let go of the alpha attitude when it comes to protecting his little sister. Knox knows his time in DC comes with a deadline but he is willing to go after and protect the woman he loves. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

We are introduced to Zoey’s brother, police officer Cade Wright, as well as Knox’s brothers: retired Navy man Liam ,  retired Marine Ryder  and  US soldier Roman, as well as their cousin FBI agent Grace Steele;  Zoey’s doctor  Phillip Samuel;   Lieutenant Mason, and  ADA Francine Smoke. Cade and Grace’s story line is next in LETHAL REDEMPTION.

The world building followed several paths including the building relationship between Zoey and Knox; the fractured family dynamics between the Steele brothers, as well as the hunt for a killer whose ultimate target and infatuation is our story line heroine.

DEADLY OBSESSION is a story of family, friendship, betrayal and obsession.  The premise is entertaining and intriguing; the characters are broken but strong, energetic and colorful; the romance is captivating and passionate.  DEADLY OBSESSION is a suspenseful and thrilling story to a new series by April Hunt.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

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The first book in a new series is always fun as you get the main story as well as the building of the setting, secondary characters abd the overall feeling of the series. The suspense was from and centre in this book and Ms. Hunt had me trying to decide which of two characters was the serial killer. Add in the best friends sister, love interest and things were heating up nicely. On my toes the entire read.

Knox has returned home for the first time since he was discharged two years ago. To say his brothers are pissed at him for staying away so long is an understatement. His fear of not being enough have kept him away for too long. He has held a special place for his best friends little sister, but seeing her now really knocking him out kilter. Will he be able to stay away this time.

Zoey has heart issues and has found herself in and out of the hospital over the years. After the last scare she has decided it is time to live her life. Taking a new position and getting herself out in the field collecting evidence is exciting. Her over protective big brother isn't to happy. Is she too close to the case?

Will they find the killer? Will Knox be convinced to stay?

I am excited for the next brother to get their story. 

Advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
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