Review: Lie for Me: Griff's Story by Romily Bernard

Posted by Dianne on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. Filed under: , ,
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Lie for Me: Griff's Story

Title: Lie for Me: Griff's Story (Find Me #0.5)
Author: Romily Bernard
Publisher: HarperTeen Impulse
Date of Publication: September 2, 2014

A digital-only prequel novella from Romily Bernard, author of the Find Me trilogy.

Griff wasn't always the knight in shining armor Wick Tate thinks he is. He had a whole life before he met her, and even though it's grittier than Wick could have imagined, it also made him into the guy she loves.

This prequel novella grants readers access to Griff's story from his point-of-view—and it includes some scenes from Find Me, which Jay Asher called "a thriller that keeps picking up speed" and Sophie Jordan hailed as "fast-paced and full of twists," and is told from Griff's alternate perspective!

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

Review

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

One of the greatest things about FIND ME, among all the greatest things about it (wow, that sounded so grammatically correct and intellectual but FIND ME was just so !!! for me), was Griff, Wick's love interest. To quote my review:
Find Me has a sexy, slow-burning romance, which was such a feat for me. Mind you, this novel is completely clean and definitely categorized under young adult but why is it that the tension was so palpable? Oh right, it's because of our love interest, Griff. Griff is a hacker, a biker and is basically SSS. Which stands for sexy, smart and sensitive. Their every interaction, while completely for general patronage, oozed of chemistry and attraction, which I guess gave their romance some heat.
SSS. That could also be the sizzling sound this romance makes. Griff was so sigh, as I said, sensitive. It felt like he says the perfect words and that he was perfect for Griff. He was also funny but you knew that there's an underlying deep and brooding character in there. So you cannot even begin to fathom my excitement when I bought this novella and read it right away. It's a prequel novella! It's in Griff's point-of-view! I finished it there and then and in the name of sexy hackers, it was glorious! It was everything I hoped it would be and MOAAAARRR.

First, Griff's voice! It was so fun to view the story from his perspective. Griff has this brand of humor I absolutely dug in Find Me and we get to read more of that here. But aside from that, we get to read Griff's backstory, how his family's all slowly decaying from the inside, how he ended up working for Carson, how he first saw Wick, how he pined for Wick. It's just so revealing of a whole lot more depth and layers to Griff, which I gobbled up and loved.

This is too short and Romily, I demand that a novel be in Griff and Wick's POV. Pretty please??? I need more of Griff, especially with what happened in Remember Me (I've read it before writing this review). I just hope we get more Griff novellas if that's not possible.

So yeah, do I recommend it? Heck yeah! If you liked and especially, if you loved Find Me or even if you didn't but you want some more Griff, I suggest you go read this! It also introduces Milo Gray, which is a character you guys will meet in the second book. It also places everything into perspective. So GO! Buy and read this N-O-W!

About Romily Bernard

I graduated from Georgia State University with a Literature degree. Since then, I’ve worked as a riding instructor, cell phone salesgirl, personal assistant, groom, exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service rep.

So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed.

Review: His Reverie by Monica Murphy

Posted by Dianne on Sunday, September 7, 2014. Filed under: , ,
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His Reverie (Reverie, #1)
Title: His Reverie (Reverie #1)
Author: Monica Murphy
Date of Publication: July 28, 2014
Genre: mature YA contemporary romance

I knew from the moment I first saw her she was the one. The only girl I could ever want.

The only girl I could ever love.

She is light.

I am darkness.

She is innocent.

I’ve done too much.

She is good.

I am bad.

She is my every dream.

I should be her every nightmare.

We come from different worlds. She’s…perfect. And I’m…

Not.

Somehow she wants me anyway. So we’ll grasp at what we can. We’re going to make this summer count. She’s my secret. And I’m hers.

The problem with secrets is they never last for long. And when others discover we’re together, they’ll do whatever it takes to keep us apart. All I know is: I won’t let them.

Because Reverie Hale? She’s mine.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Review

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Monica Murphy, Kelly Simmon of InkSlinger PR and NetGalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

I had fits to strangle someone while reading this book. Too sad and too bad because this is my first book by Monica Murphy and I was pumped to read it because I've been wanting to try her books. The blurb intrigued me because WHY CAN'T THEY BE TOGETHER so I eagerly started it. Oh boy, the disappointment. It didn't help that I just read a book with the same set-up which was obviously better than HIS REVERIE. So what exactly did I abhor about this book?

In one word: Reverie. Oh goodness, I hated Reverie's character. Too naive, too it's-been-my-dream-to-fall-in-love kind of girl. Aaaaaaa, I was so frustrated with her character!! I appreciated Murphy writing this in both Nick and Rev's perspectives but Rev's was written in a diary format. She's just too childish and innocent (in that grating way but not that being innocent is bad) then she just turned into a sexy kitten where Nick is involved. I mean, sure, everyone expects her to be shy and clueless and I get that she's not that. She's just sheltered and inexperienced but really, she went from very naive and innocent to being super game and a go-getter. Plus, I like my heroines to not be damsels in distress. Confession: I mostly skimmed Reverie's half of the book because I absolutely cannot stand her. 

Then we have Nick. Honestly, since this is only a mature young adult book, Nick gets a pass from me with all his angst. I know, what a double standard, but I love angst and brokenness in YA but I hate it in NA. What he went through was intense and harrowing. However, I don't like that it felt like he was only ruled by his dick. He just saw Rev and WOAH. Tsk tsk. I mean, sure, teenagers are always horny but it was always about lust then a bit of how Rev is different and amazing and all that. I need more than that. I need to understand why you two are falling in love.

The most irritating thing in here is the noble idiocy. UGH. Oh no, the most irritating thing with HIS REVERIE is that I still want to read the next book because I wanna know what happens. GAH, I hate it.

Anyway, so, I only recommend this if you're a big fan of Monica Murphy and I don't know who'll enjoy this. The writing was good but I just can't stomach everything else. I'm so sorry for being so mean but I read this a month ago but my blood is still boiling while writing this review!

About Monica Murphy

Monica Murphy is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series. She writes new adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson. A native Californian, she lives in the foothills below Yosemite.

Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Posted by Dianne on Friday, September 5, 2014. Filed under: , ,
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Magnolia
Title: Magnolia
Author: Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date of Publication: August 5, 2014
Genre: contemporary YA romance

In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Review

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Simon and Schuster and Edelweiss for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!

I've had a lengthy debate with myself whether to give this 2 stars or 3. Ultimately, I've decided on 3 but I refused to post my review during the tour. Because although I've enjoyed reading Magnolia, I found a lot of things I didn't quite like. The most superficial thing I didn't like is the cover. Now, don't get me wrong, the cover is actually cute and very apt, given that this is a Southern romance with a hurricane involved. All those dark clouds are very foreboding in nature. Really, I just don't like that the guy looks like Liam Hemsworth. Haha!

I like the reverse Romeo and Juliet plot and the forced close proximity trope used during the hurricane. Close proximity, even if it's a cheap trick, never fails to bring a smile on my face. However, I find Ryder a bit of a flat character and Jemma kind of superficial? I mean, sure, Jemma's cool, what with her being the best shot (as in target shooting) in Magnolia Branch, but meh, I just couldn't place myself in the characters' shoes and see what they like about each other. Ryder's hot, Jemma's beautiful, both have their own strengths (Ryder in school and Jemma in film). But nothing. I got giddy at times because they were all alone in Jemma's house during a hurricane but in general, I wasn't down with the pairing. There were hot scenes too, MEHEHE, so that is appreciated, thank you very much. Then I wasn't a fan of the randomness of the events in the novel too. SPOILER ALERT: What the heck? Why did Patrick have to die? We get a death scare with Nan's disease and I thought she'd die to give depth to the novel but then Patrick died without so much as a footnote. I don't get it. It just felt so out of field and the way they dealt with his death was very fleeting and simple. It was like, let's kill Patrick off so Jemma and Ryder can ride off into the sunset. Whuuuuttt??? That was really random and blase. END OF SPOILER

So while I enjoyed reading it for all the shenanigans and the teen rebellion where they could get it (Jemma and Ryder sneaking out because they don't want to give their families the satisfaction of seeing them together), I wasn't convinced with the romance and the story. This was just a bit over-the-top to me. Maybe with a different set of characters or a different set of plot devices, I would have loved this reverse Romeo and Juliet set-up to bits.

About Kristi Cook

As a child, Kristi Cook took her nose out of a book only long enough to take a ballet class (or five) each week. Not much has changed since then, except she’s added motherhood to the mix and enjoys penning her own novels as much as reading everybody else’s. A transplanted southern gal, Kristi lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

That’s the official version–here are some other fun facts:

~ As an undergrad, I majored in History and minored in English at the University of Southern Mississippi. While at Southern Miss, I was a member of Phi Mu sorority, and I was a Dixie Darling. And yep, Brett Favre was our quarterback at the time!

~ I studied American History in grad school at Columbia University. I *love* history, especially the Civil War era (U.S.) and Regency- and Edwardian-era British history.

~ My all-time favorite book *and* movie is GONE WITH THE WIND. My favorite literary characters are Rhett Butler, Atticus Finch, and Mr. Darcy. I kind of want to add Peeta Mellark to that list!

~Weirdly enough (or maybe not so weirdly?) I’m also a big fan of STAR TREK (the original series). I never can remember if I’m supposed to call myself a “Trekkie” or a “Trekker,” though!


{Blog Tour} Review + Giveaway: Summer in New York Collection by Various Authors

Posted by Dianne on Thursday, September 4, 2014. Filed under: , , ,
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A Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer in New York Collection

Title: Summer in New York Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology)
Authors: Janette Rallison, Heather B. Moore, Luisa Perkins, Sarah M. Eden, Annette Lyon, and Lisa Mangum
Date of Publication: July 15, 2014
Genre: contemporary romance

In USA Today bestselling author Janette Rallison’s delightful novella, JOB HAZARDS, Lydia Robinson is posing as a prostitute. Undercover of course. Lydia’s job as a police officer hasn’t reeled in her prince charming yet. That is, until Harrison Aldridge, old high school flame, pulls up to the corner to rescue the fallen damsel. Lydia can’t exactly give Harrison the truth without blowing her cover, and it takes a series of mishaps and another whole set of misunderstandings before Lydia will even consider letting Harrison back into her life.

In Heather B. Moore’s enchanting novella, A TASTE OF SUN, Winona Grant embarks on a summer-long visit to NYC to house-sit for her great-aunt after a nasty break-up with her boyfriend Paul. But when her aunt commissions neighbor Steve Monti to tour Winona around, they strike a deal. Winona has too many deadlines to play tourist, and Steve is looking for a distraction from his looming gallery opening. So Steve goes on the tours by himself, and Winona reports back to her aunt as if she’d gone too. The longer this happens, the more Winona wants to change her mind. Seeing the city with Steve might be the perfect solution to forgetting about Paul.

In Luisa Perkins’s sweet romance novella, DULCE DE LECHE, Marisol is desperate for another nanny job after being unfairly fired from her previous position. She has only two more semesters of college, but she’s too proud to ask her wealthy parents for financial help. When her potential new employer, a single father working long hours as an anesthesiologist, decides she’s too young and pretty to hire, she practically begs him for the job. Darius finally agrees, and as he watches her work miracles with his Asperger’s son, he realizes there is much more to Marisol than he first believed.

In TAKE A CHANCE, a captivating story by Sarah M. Eden, Miguel Santos has a stopover in New York. When the announcement of delayed flights comes over the PA system, Miguel is looking at spending several hours at the airport. Determined to get comfortable for the long wait, he’s surprised when he spies a familiar face amongst the stranded passengers: Jane Schoonenburg, the last person he expected to see. Three months have passed since he asked Jane to marry him—three months of misery. And now he knows that he must talk to her, if only to find out why she broke his heart.

Annette Lyon’s entrancing novella, FIRSTS AND LASTS, begins with Dani’s last week in New York. She’s failed in her dreams to catch a break as an actress and is now ready to return home and dust herself off. As she visits the places on her final to-see list, she meets Mark, another New York City transplant with big dreams. Except Mark hasn’t given up on his. As they spend the day together, Dani realizes that even though she hasn’t hit the “big time” she might be living her dream after all. Only problem: she has a one-way ticket back home.

In Lisa Mangum’s whimsically titled story: &, Lucy is riding a wave of success at having found a bestselling novel in the slush pile at an exclusive New York publishing house. If only her personal life was storybook perfect as well. Her relationship with Devon is on the rocks, and even though she's been put in charge of the house while her boss is gone on business, Lucy isn't sure she's up to the task. It will take a chance encounter with a handsome wordsmith to help Lucy claim the courage that has always been a part of her heart.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Review

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Thank you to Lisa Mangum for touring this book with Oops! I Read Again Tours! Having received a copy in exchange for an honest review did not affect my views of the novel.

Feel-good. That's how I'll describe this collection of contemporary romance short stories. It was a quick read and you'll read all six stories in one go because you won't realize time has passed by. With six short stories, it was just right in delivering that dose of romance into your life. Of course, the characters aren't as developed as we'd like them to be, given the nature and length of the stories but they all got me smiling. I'll rate and review each story as I go.


Job Hazards by Janette Rallison (4/5 stars): This is the most fun story out of the six. Lydia never thought she'd be posing as a hooker in order to catch guys as a police officer. All's fine, until her ex-boyfriend from high school dropped by her dark corner. It was so fun to see Lydia and Harrison interact, especially when Harrison thinks she's lost her way and turned to prostitution. He was there to save her and talk to her, while Lydia can't drop her cover. It was all sorts of sweet too by the end, when they were in the process of getting back together.


A Taste of Sun by Heather B. Moore (3/5 stars): There's just something about how mature and how Winona and Steve just clicked. They were both lying to Winona's aunt so as not to disappoint her -- Steve lying that he's been touring Winona and Winona joining him. Until they actually went to a tourist-y trip and found themselves enjoying. Cute!


Dulce de Leche by Luisa Perkins (3/5 stars): Okay, nanny romance is one of my favorite tropes in chick-lit. Ha! Got me. Add to that that Mirasol was treated like a princess back home but she decided to work hard for everything by herself in New York and you certainly got me. I love characters who want to establish something for themselves. Fine, that's too much pride and everyone should be thankful for what they got and probably use it to forward their career and all that, but hey, I'm a very prideful person too so I get it. Then Darius is a doctor, with a son with Asperger's and sigh, my brother has autism so I love these kids and I get them and I love reading about them. I guess the writing was a bit just-fine for me so this only got 3 stars.


Take a Chance by Sarah M. Eden (3/5 stars): Aaaaaww, second chances. <3 Broadway actors singing in an airport. Just, catching up and taking that leap for the second time around. And I want to adapt the game they played at the airport souvenir shop. This is all sorts of cute and smile-inducing!


Firsts and Lasts by Annette Lyon (3/5 stars): Uhm, this would be my least favorite out of all. I guess I just wasn't relating to the characters that much.


& by Lisa Mangum (4/5 stars): I pretty much worship Lisa Mangum. She can just bring that smile to my face. I absolutely adored the plot to this novel and the characters!! I was so swooning.


I'd say SUMMER IN NEW YORK COLLECTION was able to start strong and end strong, as my favorites were the first and last story. I recommend this for fans of contemporary romances looking for a fast read.

Giveaway

Follow the Tour

{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Giveaway: Forever Kinda Love by Clara Stone

Posted by Dianne on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. Filed under: , , ,
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Forever Kinda Love

Title: Forever Kinda Love (Lovelly #1)
Author: Clara Stone
Date of Publication: August 13, 2014
Genre: mature YA contemporary romance

Life’s. Little. Surprises.

The last thing seven-year-old Carrigan "Ace" Casper foresaw was an eight-year-old Heath Lovelly walking into her life the day her mother died. From that moment on, Heath sticks by her side, slowly becoming her strength, her confidant, and her entire world. What she doesn’t know is, she's his saving grace, too.

Ten years later, Ace is handed another crippling challenge that threatens everything in her almost perfect life. Only, this time, she doesn't turn to Heath, hiding the truth instead. But Heath knows Ace too well and won't back down easily. He's ready to do whatever it takes and will stay by her side until she accepts that their love is the kinda love worth fighting for.

Will he be her forever triumph or her unexpected downfall?

Two lives.

One story.

And an unexpected journey to falling in love.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Excerpt

Heartbreak.

They say it's the worst kind of death, because the pain has a way of leaching everything out of you.

Hope.

Fear.


Love.

Everything.

But that's not the worst of it. No, the cruelty lies in watching someone you love beaten down, one layer at a time, until there's nothing left of them but a shell. I know. I've watched my loving father become a heartbroken machine since Mom died.

About Clara Stone

Clara Stone lives in the beautiful city of Boise, ID. Unlike what most believe about Idaho, it’s more than a sack full of potatoes. When she’s not writing, you’ll catch Clara reading YA and NA books, mostly romance, and enjoying time with her family. She is a proud CW TV addict.

She also writes YA paranormal romance under the name Priya Kanaparti. She is published through Reuts Publications.


Giveaway


Review + Playlist: The Real Score by Kesh Tanglao

Posted by Dianne on Monday, September 1, 2014. Filed under: , , ,
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The Real Score (Gezellig, #1)

Title: The Real Score (Gezellig #1)
Author: Kesh Tanglao
Date of Publication: August 28, 2013

Caitlin's friendship with Marcus, the de facto frontman of the world's biggest boy band Gezellig, has long been an object of scrutiny by almost everyone--their friends and families, the media, and his fans--ever since they "went public" a couple of years back. Who wouldn't be interested? She was a nobody, catapulted into the limelight of his fame when he struck an unusual friendship with her.

To both Caitlin and Marcus, what they have is a "perfect little thing." But then something comes along and threatens it.

In a no-holds-barred interview, will they finally be forced to settle the score?

Purchase from Amazon | Kobo | Smashwords

Review

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sab has hounded me to read this book ever since she loved it and gave it 5 stars back in December. I don't even know what took me so long but I finally bought it last June when Kesh approached me to tour it and the second book in the series. I felt so embarrassed that I haven't read the book so I started it during a very boring meeting at work. #modelemployee

But then I didn't even get past the first chapter because I got scared: WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE IT? I don't read the books I tour before the tour because I know for a fact that if I didn't like the book, I won't be able to promote it AT ALL. It would feel so fake for me so I'd rather not know anything of the book I'm touring than hate it.

And I hate that I even feared about not liking The Real Score because oh boy do I love it. I couldn't sleep and no for-review books on my Kindle were calling out to me. While I was browsing the ebooks I bought, I saw TRS and dived in and I finished the book while rolling and squealing in my bed until five in the morning. KESH TANGLAO, YOU OWE ME SLEEP. Just jeez, THIS. BOOK.

Now, anything with a celebrity in fiction is a guilty pleasure of mine. I just love that trope so so much. A celebrity, whether an actor, a musician or an athlete, and a commoner falling in love. So it's pretty much a given that I'll like this book but it exceeded all my expectations and here's how Kesh Tanglao just made a fan out of me.

1. Caitlin is a Filipina and it's mostly set in the Philippines. REPRESENT! I guess it makes it even easier to imagine myself in Cait's shoes because she's a Filipina and that we share the same values. Close family ties, filial responsibilities and a whole lot more.

But fear not because even if you're not a Filipina, you'll still relate to Caitlin. She's four years older than Marcus and is already a very mature person. She knows that she's very lucky and she's not taking everything for granted. She's been hurt before and so she's afraid to start something more than friendship with Marcus. But through it all, you will root for her and be on her side. She's perfect for Marcus and we really see it because Kesh Tanglao spent a lot of time chronicling how they work to make their long-distance friendship work.

2. Marcus!!! Now, Marcus is all sorts of swoony and I now get why Sab has him for a book boyfriend but what I love about him is that he isn't perfect. There were multiple times when I wanted to kick him in the nuts while I was reading the book because he hurt Caitlin and just ugh, he frustrated me.

3. Well-paced. Even though The Real Score is just a novella clocking in 150+ pages, we get to know the characters fully and we get to see them undergo lots of plot arcs, which made me a very satisfied reader. Some bits were sad and bittersweet, which made the pay-off even more glorious. I thought they'd be together at a certain point then they didn't and I ended up wallowing with the characters. They're just so damn human and relatable!

4. THE ENDING. Just perfect. P E R F E C T GAAAAAAAAHHHH. When everything came around and you realize why the title is the title, goosebumps!!! I LOVE IT I NEED MORE MARCUS AND CAITLIN!!!

For fans of contemporary romance and just about anyone who wants to swoon and sigh and squeal with that effervescent feeling feel-good romance stories give you, you have to read The Real Score. It's such a breezy and super satisfying read, which will put Kesh Tanglao in your auto-buy list and in your radar when you're in need of some lovin'. Go get it, go read it, go love it. Just like I did.

Playlist

Of course I just had to make a playlist because I love the book and I felt like I had the perfect songs for it. I was supposed to put songs sung by guys for Marcus and songs sung by girls for Caitlin but I just had to make one exception for Butch Walker. Anyway, you'll understand whatever I'm babbling about in a bit. I've included some of the lyrics so you can see just how apt these songs are! I'm so excited to share these songs and I hope you'll like them. Just go under the cut to continue!

Stacking the Shelves (38)

Posted by Dianne on Saturday, August 30, 2014. Filed under:
2 Comments

Here's my August haul and I love all the books I got! Yay!




For Review

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder
Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant (ARC)
The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil



Won

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater (ARC)








Bought

I'll Be Right There by Kyung Sook Shin
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Three by Kristen Simmons
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
The Ruining by Anna Collomore
Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
Inbetween by Tara Fuller
Forgotten by Cat Patrick
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
*signed* Proxy by Alex London
*signed* Guardian by Alex London
Fateful by Claudia Gray
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont, MIRA Ink, Rachel, Fully Booked, all the awesome online booksellers, Powerbooks and of course, to National Book Store for #AlexLondoninPH! I had so much fun and Alex was so great I miss him already. Share your haul in the comments section below so I can check them out! Thanks for dropping by!