Cover Image: Here to Stay

Here to Stay

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Member Reviews

I really enjoy Adriana Herrera's books and I was excited to pick this one up. It stars Julia, a non-profit director, and Rocco, the consultant hired to get rid of her programs.

Julia recently moved from New York to Houston to follow her fiance. She finds out that he was cheating on her and decides to stay in Houston and make the most of the situation. She is a social worker who has worked hard to become a non-profit director for Latinx families. She misses her family but craves the freedom of branching out on her own.

Rocco is a consultant hired to determine if the fashion company that supports the non-profit foundation is ready to go public with its stocks. He is torn between the twin CEO's who support the non-profit and the CFO and other members of the family who want to go public to earn more executive bonuses for the board. Rocco is attracted to Julia but tries to keep distance because he needs to succeed at this job so he can get a promotion and better support his sister and niece.

I enjoyed the "found family" aspect of the book. Julia is lonely and decides to create an ex-pat New York friend group. Rocco joins the group, even though he is in Houston short term, and their friendship grows. Eventually, Julia decides to lower her guard and give in to her attraction. Of course, this leads to drama as Rocco is literally there to get rid of her job. There was a lot of drama here. Rocco acted like a martyr and Julia was wishy washy with her feelings for most of the book. 

In the end, this book was okay. It wasn't my favorite of her books and honestly I think I like her gay romances better than her straight romances. I struggled with the connection between Julia and Rocco and it kind of fell flat.
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Complementary copy given for honest review and opinion. 
Great book about romance and culture. It did drag on some but it was a good read. I enjoyed it.
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I absolutely loved "Here to Stay" by Adriana Herrera, a sweet, funny, emotional, and well-written story featuring incredibly well-developed, relatable main characters and a fantastic slow burn romance. Both Rocco's and Julia's misgivings about starting a relationship were completely understandable, but eventually neither of them could resist the pull of their attraction. It was easy for me to root for them, both individually and as a couple, as they worked to overcome the obstacles that stood in the way of their HEA.

Rocco was a man with many layers, and it was interesting to see each of them revealed over the course of the story. He came across as very cool and confident when he first met Julia at work, but beneath that he was so sweet and almost shy. He was also fiercely protective of the ones he loved, especially his younger sister and toddler niece. Rocco fit in very well with Julia's family, who I adored. They may have been a little overwhelming at times, but it was obvious how much they loved and supported each other. I especially appreciated how warm and welcoming they were as soon as they met Rocco. It was like he was already a part of the family from the first time they met him. Julia herself was smart, funny, compassionate, and hard-working, and more than a match for Rocco in every way.
 
In addition to Rocco and Julia's romance and getting to know Julia's family, I loved the "found family" aspect of this book. The Gotham Exiles group that Julia created was so much fun, and the way they so quickly came together and supported each other was amazing. There were a lot of big personalities in that group, but I loved every one of them and the way that they seemed to complement each other. Julia's best friend in New York, Alba, was awesome too. She seemed like the very definition of a ride or die! 

Overall, I highly recommend "Here to Stay" for all fans of contemporary romance. This was the first book I've ever read by Adriana Herrera, but it definitely will not be the last. 
 
*ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Julia hasn’t been living in Dallas very long, but she’s getting used to it. She loves her job, and she has a whole crew of NYC-to-Dallas exiles to hang out with. 

And then Rocco shows up. He’s also from NYC, and he’s been hired as a consultant to advise on Julia’s job going from a privately owned corporation to publicly traded. Julia wants to hate him, since his opinion might mean her position (and the entire charitable foundation) being eliminated, but as they start hanging out, it gets harder for her to resist his charming ways. 

Given that I love everything that Adriana Herrera writes, it’s no surprise that I loved this book. The banter between Julia and Rocco is top-notch, and there’s a lot of banter because it takes them a long time to finally hook up. So, attention all fans of the slow burn trope: we’ve got a winner here. But yeah, the banter is hilarious, and I was grinning throughout the entire book. 

I loved the emphasis on family; even though Julia is living 1500 miles away from her family, they’re still a big part of her life. Julia’s amicable situation is a stark contrast from Rocco’s dysfunctional family, which makes his achievements more significant when the odds were against him. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Adriana Herrera book is there weren’t over the top descriptions of food. Once again, reading about all that food made me hungry, and Herrera really needs to start putting recipes at the end of the books.

I mentioned the slow burn, but I didn’t get a chance to share that Julia and Rocco’s chemistry is H-O-T. Like off the charts scorching. Wow, do those two work well together. It was definitely work the wait.   

I would absolutely recommend Here To Stay. This is a standalone romance, so there’s no backstory or previous books that need to be read in order to understand this one. It’s super charming and cute as hell, and you’re going to love it. 

I received a copy of this book from Carina Press/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I adored Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera!

Single and with her dream job on the chopping block, it's safe to say things in Texas aren't going according to plan for New Yorker Julia del Mar Ortiz. First her boyfriend dumps her and runs back to New York City for his side chick. Now a consultancy firm is looking for ways to make the high-end department store she works for more profitable before taking the company public and their first order of business is examining the charitable foundation Julia runs. If Julia has any hope of saving her job and the foundation that helps so many immigrant families, Julia will have to make consultant and fellow New Yorker Rocco Quinn see the foundation's true value. As Julia and Rocco spend more time together, the two enemies realize they have more in common than not and that fighting the growing attraction between them is going to be a losing battle. 

The chemistry between Julia and Rocco jumps off the page from their first elevator ride together. The push and pull of the enemies-to-lovers trope at work in HERE TO STAY kept me turning the pages and I loved the banter between them. I couldn't help but root for their HEA!

I also loved the found family element in HERE TO STAY. You can tell Adriana Herrera to incredible care in writing each character of the Gotham Exiles Club to showcase their genuine affection for each other and deliver a wonderful take on the fish out of water trope. I'm keeping my fingers crossed we get love stories for the other members in the near future.

In addition to a wonderful found family, Julia also comes from a fantastic family. I thoroughly enjoyed all the hilarious scenes with her family and how they welcomed Rocco with open arms. Rocco's family situation was heartbreaking and that made his HEA with Julia even more impactful because he was finally getting the family life he deserved.

Thank you NetGalley, Carina Press and Adriana Herrera for the chance to read this digital ARC.
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A talented author; I've read 80% of their books. I think this was too SJW for me. It takes away from the romance and at times it feels like the white heroes in her books are made to be too cool or go out of the way to be the beacon of allyship/honorary non-white.
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I think Here to Stay just may be my favorite from @ladriana_herrera so far! If you’ve read any of her other books, you know that they are full of vibrant, hilarious, and endlessly supportive friend groups, a focus on family (found or otherwise), and deliciously detailed descriptions of food that will leave you feeling hungry for days. Herrera’s books will make you smile like an idiot and belly laugh and swoon and burn and cry—they are truly wonderful. Julia and Rocco are tied for my favorite couple with Nesto and Jude. Julia is selfless and driven in her personal and professional life, but keeps her heart fiercely guarded.  Rocco is equally selfless and a self conscious sweetheart who is also an unexpected master of dirty talk and I am here. For. It. These two are strangers who feel an instant mutual attraction, but are unable to pursue one another due to a serious professional conflict of interest. The chemistry between them is 🔥 🔥🔥from the beginning and the tension MY GOD THE TENSION. I loved this one so much and I highly recommend it to all of you. It’s out next week so do yourself a favor and order it! Thank you so much to @ladriana_herrera and @harlequinbooks for the advanced review copy!
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I've never picked up any of Adriana Herrera's other books, but I have heard tons of good things about her writing so I was excited to get a chance to pick up this one!

I immediately fell in love with Julia, her relationships with both friends and family and her internal dialogue. I loved the way Herrera wrote her characters and really gave them dimension. Throughout the book I was really invested in the relationships, as well as the company that Julia worked for, which says a lot about the story Herrera was telling.

I was rooting for Julia and Rocco from the beginning, especially the more we got to find out about him. I also really appreciated the representation of diversity and all the different personalities we got to meet throughout the story. I will definitely be picking up more from Adriana Herrera in the future!
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¡Me encantó! I adored this funny, sexy, feel-good romance about the joys and trials of "real" families and found families. I couldn't stop smiling as these two compassionate, stubborn souls fall in love and find a home.
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This was a fun, sexy read! I loveedddd Rocco and the Gotham Exiles. It was awesome how Julia came up with that idea and how well it worked for them! Let talk about the sexual tension between these two! Despite being on opposite sides of a work thing. They made it work and it was amazing. I loved the friends and her family hahahaa so so funny!
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So usually Adriana’s books make me hungry. This one was no different. But this one also had the added bonus of making me horny because holy moly, this book is hot y’all. And amidst all the hotness is one super sweet hero and an ending that made me cry.

Julia is a native New Yorker who relocated to Dallas for her boyfriend, only to find out he’d been cheating on her and was leaving her stuck with the lease on their new apartment. Julia decides to make the best of it, helped along by her kickass job working for a non-profit funded by a luxury department store. But when the department store decides to go public, all of their charitable programs are in danger of being cut. And the person who is going to make the recommendation about whether or not to make said cuts just happens to also be a New Yorker, and a super sexy one at that. Rocco is only in Dallas temporarily, to nail this job and earn a promotion so he can help his sister and niece escape a very toxic situation with their parents. Julia and Rocco have an immediate attraction to one another, that only grows as they form a tight bond with the other former New Yorkers living and working in Dallas. But the conflict of interest is intense. Rocco needs to find a way to make these cuts in order to secure his promotion, but making those cuts will cost Julia her much loved job. Along with some *steamy* sex scenes, we also see Julia and Rocco face some tough family drama, but in the end they (of course) are able to find a way to work it all out and live happily ever after.

So have I mentioned how hot this book is yet? Seriously, I was fanning myself during some of these scenes because yowza do Julia and Rocco have some tangible sexual tension. For a minute, I was so wrapped up in the sexy times, I almost didn’t notice just how much my heart was squeezing at the real emotional connection between the two characters. Rocco has that whole I’ll never be good enough for you thing going on, which I am a total sucker for, and he won me over with his devotion to his sister, Julia, and the cat he rescues from a parking lot (for reals). In addition to all of that magic, there is a strong found family in this book which is another one of my favorite things ever. Basically, reading this made me happy, and these days, what else is there?

Overall Rating: 4.5 stars
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Another new-to-me author that makes me want to read more of her books. While this story was a bit of a slow starter for me, once it gained momentum, I didn’t want to put it down. And that was by the 25% mark, so it didn’t take all that long.

Julia and Rocco are both amazing characters. Tough, kind, funny, compassionate, smart. They tick all the boxes. They are desperately attracted to one another in a physical sense well before they even get past knowing each other’s names. And each thought the other wouldn’t be interested for a variety of reasons, plus neither was looking for a relationship.

After years of on again/off again with the same guy, Julia suffered the ultimate betrayal when he left her for another woman…after she had totally rearranged her life for him. So, it’s no wonder that she’s gun shy. There are a few times I think she’s a bit too resistant to giving love another try, but it’s understandable so I tried not to hold it against her.

Rocco wouldn’t mind some love in his life, but he doesn’t understand what that really means. He’s always been one to give love and care and security, never one to get the same in return. And he has a sister and niece back in New York relying on him to get out of a bad situation. Rocco is such a generous and kind person, it doesn’t even occur to him that his sister can or will adjust to his wants so he doesn’t have to give up the things he wants in order to help her. It’s so black and white for him.

Once Rocco and Julia start being thrown together, the train starts picking up speed. So much so that you know it’s going to barrel out of control sooner or later. Their ragtag group of friends Julia is responsible for getting together becomes a beautiful family. I love them all and really enjoyed their interactions. They were like interfering siblings, teasing and pushing the couple together while also being extremely supportive.

There is so much to love about this story. It’s beautifully sweet one moment, and on fire the next. The chemistry is obvious from the first moment we see Julia and Rocco interact. Not only were the friends given a ton of depth, so were both families. The author did an amazing job of writing the love of Julia’s family and the unpleasantness of Rocco’s. I could feel both in my gut.

I’m really looking forward to reading some of this author’s earlier stories. She definitely has a way with words.
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I loved this book, I am here for this romance. I have grown a fond appreciation for enemies to lovers trope. I think Adriana Herrera did a great job writing this. It is a very overly saturated trope, but she found a way to make it seem fresh and new.  Thank you to Harlequin Books for gifting me a copy. I've never read Herrera's books before, but I am now a forever fan!
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Julia Ortiz and Rocco Quinn should have been enemies not lovers. But their chemistry wouldn’t let them be. Adriana Herrera’s latest is high is heat and humor and humanity. Rocco is a management consultant hired to help the luxury retail company Julia works for get ready to go public. Julia runs much needed charitable programs threatened with extinction given the new emphasis is on the bottom line. Though their business interests don’t align, they get along in every other way and it’s a joy to watch them work things out.
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Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera is a workplace romance centered on Rocco Quinn and Julia del Mar Ortiz. Julia is the programme leader for the clothing brand Strum's charity foundation and Rocco has been brought in to assess the company as the owners are pushing to go public as an IPO. I liked the concept working in finance and being interested in charity work I could vibe with both the roles that Rocco and Julia had. I also really liked Julia's character, her relationship with her family, her focus on her Dominican Republic roots and the Spanish that was scattered throughout the book. This was really warming and enjoyable and it felt homey that she had such a supportive and loving family (as so often in romance novels, the family of the MC are terrible).

However, this book just fell a little flat for me. I thought it could have done with a fair bit of editing down to tidy up some of the dialogue and draw in the relationship a bit more. I liked both Rocco and Julia as characters, although Rocco could be a little bit irritating at times. I just found some of the scenes really unrealistic for an otherwise fairly realistic novel in their relationship. I also felt like the pacing was really slow on this one. I really wanted to like it more, but sadly it just fell a little flat for me.

Thanks to Netgalley for the eARC.
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I’ve enjoyed every single one of Ms. Herrera’s books, and this one is no exception. From her love of NYC to her relatable characters to the FEELS, this book is a treat!

Julia left her Dominican family in NYC to follow her boyfriend to Dallas… only for him to dump her and move back shortly afterwards. While her love life may be reeling, at least she loves her new job running an afterschool program for undocumented kids and their families as part of a department store’s charity foundation. But an IPO is on the horizon, and the board’s brought in consultants to give their verdict on how to get the company ready for it – and all signs point to them stripping the foundation of funding. Rocco knows finishing this job up quickly will get him back to NYC faster and get him the promotion he needs. If only he could keep his eyes… and thoughts… and hands… off Julia.

“Rocco had that lethal combination of boyish good looks and a slight edge. Like he could mow my lawn for me and then walk into the house and do unspeakable things to my body. And good Lord that was not the reel I needed going through my head right now.”


Julia’s my favorite kind of heroine. She’s smart, hardworking, and snarky, and she has a plan. Still smarting from her ex’s behavior, she’s sworn off romantic relationships in favor of focusing on finding new friends in Dallas. Enter the Gotham Exiles club, her attempt to connect with fellow ex-NYCs now stranded in Dallas. The only problem is that one of those exiles – even if only temporary – is Rocco, who she’s lusting over like crazy, and it’s obvious quickly that the attraction is returned. Rocco may act tough, but on the inside he’s an ooey gooey cinnamon roll – the type of guy who’ll rescue a probably flea-infested kitten. While he’s not Latinx, he grew up in Corona just like Julia, and his family background gives him a more empathetic perspective than your average white guy. What I think I loved the most about this couple is that while they’re both extremely competent at their jobs, they are absolute messes in their personal lives – and that’s OK! It’s something both need to come to terms with as part of their relationship. As for the steam level, this book is thirsty as all get out. There’s quite a bit of a slow burn as they navigate whether they could or should get into a relationship. But once we hit the “oh, I’ll just sleep with them once to get them out of my system” trope – I mean, we all know how that ends up, right? – it gets downright steamy.

“It’s great that you’re doing this with them. With poor kids, even when people are trying to help, the focus is always on food, or clothes, if they have a place to live. And don’t get me wrong—I know how necessary all those things are. It’s just nice to be seen as more than a problem to solve. For someone to remember you need oxygen in your lungs too, you know?”


Like most of Ms. Herrera’s books, it’s also a bit of a love letter to NYC, even though it’s almost entirely set in Dallas. And those NYCers of the Gotham Exiles club are a great example of found family. The secondary characters were well-rounded, distinct, and had some pretty hilarious interactions. Julia’s family, especially her parents, were especially well written, and just so amazingly supportive. The author’s background in social work, as usual, shines through here again, from the political shenanigans of every big foundation to the reminder that kids – especially kids with trauma backgrounds – need more than just food and shelter to thrive. As for that conflict, there’s a good balance and commensurate pacing between each character’s internal conflicts and the external conflict.

Overall, I enjoyed the heck out of this book and eagerly awaiting the next one. I’m honestly hoping that this will become a series with more from the Gotham Exiles!

I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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This is the first book that I’ve read from author Adriana Herrera and I must say that I enjoyed it.  I enjoy finding new authors books to read. 

Julia leaves NYC with her boyfriend for Texas who later leaves her and returns to NYC thus leaving Julia in Texas.
Julia and Rocco are both native NYC and find themselves in Texas.  As the people say small world. 

Rocco is the gorgeous handsome consultant that was brought in to downsize the company that Julia works for a charitable foundation that she is running and Julia’s will probably be the first job to go.  Sparks are there from the beginning with Julia and Rocco and it makes for a great office romance.

If you like short romantic reads then this is book you should be reading that will you turning the AC on high.  Why not pick up your copy today and find out for yourself.

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for the ARC to review.
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I found myself at first thinking that this was not going to be a very interesting read. For me, the beginning of this book was a little slow. You have Julia Ortiz moving to Texas with her boyfriend only to have him leave and leave her with a lease to the apartment. Already having a job she dives right in and sets up programs and as she has everything up and running she now has to have a suit from the company that provides the funding for all of their non-profit programs coming in to look and see exactly what it is that they do.
  Turns out that the man she meets in the elevator and in the hall, Rocco Quinn is her downfall, or could be. He is the man from the company who is there waiting to be shown around so he can give the board of directors an honest assessment of the entire company and if they should take their company public on the stock market.
    After meeting her they then next meet again at a small gathering that Julia has set up for all of the New Yorkers who have moved to Texas and want to get together. Here is when they want to be friends but at the same time don’t. it stays this way until her family from New York arrives and then he is invited to thanksgiving. It is after this that the story picks up as well as the heat between the two of them. The rest of the book is a fun fast-paced story with laughter, sadness and wondering what will happen between Julia and Rocco and with the company and the agency that she works for? A very good book with really good characters and little storylines inside the bigger ones, very much worth the read.
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Heat Factor: It’s bordering on a slow burn, but not TOO slow.
Character Chemistry: There are so many ways these two are complimentary for one another that it’s hard to summarize.
Plot: Julia left NYC with her ex and moved to Dallas only to get dumped and left with a spacious apartment and a new job at a charitable foundation she absolutely loves. However--the consultant hired to take the company affiliated with the foundation public is super dreamy, etc, and it’s a big hot mess because Julia and Rocco want to make a big hot mess with each other while their jobs are on the line. It’s a whole thing. Hard to explain. Better just read it.
Overall: This book was really, really good and I highly recommend it.

First of all, I spent this entire book hungry. Like, I had to keep telling myself to stop thinking about Dominican food. (“This is a ROMANCE, not a COOKBOOK, get WITH IT, INGRID!!”)

So eat something before you read it. PSA handled.
This is what I loved about this book--these poor loves are genuinely in a pickle. Julia’s job does tremendous good in the community, and it’s a non-profit that is run really well. As a reader, it’s understood that Julia knows that the nonprofit world can be fickle and it’s not like she’s going to hate Rocco if he can’t save the foundation. But for him to see it and appreciate it and understand the value and then recommend they cut it? It just feels wrong. And Rocco...this guy had my heart all knotted up. If he saves his job, the foundation gets cut. If he cuts the foundation, his sister and her daughter lose the security his job has been providing. Just a really excellent quandary.

Julia and her family are warm and loveable. As a major introvert from a Midwestern family, I was jaw-to-the-floor aghast when her whole family showed up from NYC as a surprise and stayed with her in her apartment but I mean, they cook all this food and then they go outlet shopping, and I kind of felt like I would  have willingly participated with enthusiasm if I had the opportunity to? I felt like I was actually invited into a real person’s life, and it was warm and accepting and someone kept handing me plates of food...mmm...

While the book description involves a “smart-mouthed consultant”, I will say that that is not how I would describe Rocco. He starts out on the aloof side of the spectrum, but it’s short lived. He’s a complicated cinnamon roll, honestly. Also, you know how many reviews we have on this very site suggesting characters go to therapy? Well, ROCCO IS IN THERAPY. And it’s not presented as a big deal or even as an integral part of the story. He’s in therapy because he had a complicated and difficult childhood, and emotionally responsible adults who have that kind of baggage GO TO THERAPY so they can have healthy relationships and make good choices. And it’s not a big deal at all, and in fact I would argue that the way the author executes this makes Rocco a significantly more interesting and sexy character. (He can check your budget AND check his emotional responses in an argument. It’s hot.)

(Admission: Did you know that when I read that Rocco was in therapy I actually physically punched in the air like a lunatic winning an imaginary race because I was so gosh darn excited about seeing this in a sexy romance? Now you do.)

I closed this book quite a while ago and I’m still thinking of all the little signs I saw that Rocco and Julia are going to grow all old and grey together--so I can’t help but highly recommend it.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

This review is also available at The Smut Report.
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Here to Stay is my first novel from Adriana Herrera. It was really cute and different from what I've been reading lately. Julia is a New Yorker by all standards, but for the last year she's been living in hot Texas after she moved for her boyfriend's job. Shortly after the bf up's and leaves her for his ex and Adirana's world comes crumbling down. She enjoys her job, but she doesn't know how to feel now that she's been told that her company may be on the chopping block. The person to make that decision is the ever so handsome Rocco, who she can't seem to stop thinking about. 
Rocco also feels the same way, but both of them know that they shouldn't be feeling like this. It just won't work, but pretty soon they both give into their desires and the flame burning between them only intensifies. Especially after Adriana starts a group for relocated New Yorkers. 

The family trope in this book was amazing. There's nothing better than reading about families whose bond is so strong. It makes me happy while reading. I wouldn't mind seeing some backstories from everyone because it's just that interesting. The chemistry between Rocco and Adriana made the writing so much better and dynamic. Herrera did a great job and I wouldn't mind reading more form her. Huge thanks to NetGalley, Carina Press, and Harlequin Blog Tours for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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