Monday, February 20, 2012

Margaret Mallory -- Knight of Passion

Rated: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ .   {4.25}
Action: ♠♠♠. / Emotion: ♣♣♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥. / Sensuous: ♦♦. / Suspense: ♠♠♠.
Action: 3.5 / Emotion: 3 / Romance: 3.5 / Sensuous: 2.5 / Suspense: 3.5 // Medieval Flavor: 4.5 / Laughter: 3 / Teary: 1

  The Lories (Best Published) -- 2011 -- Best Historical -- Winner
  The Winter Rose -- 2011 -- Best Historical -- Winner
  Hearts of Excellence -- 2011 -- Best Historical -- Winner
  The Maggie -- 2011 -- Best Historical -- Finalist
  The Golden Quill -- 2011 -- Best Historical -- Finalist
  Award of Excellence -- 2011 -- Best Historical -- Finalist
  The Beacon -- 2011 -- Best Historical -- Second Place
  RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Awards --
            Best British-Isles Set Historical Romance -- 2011 -- Nominee

While Knight of Passion, the third book of Margaret Mallory's trilogy, All The King's Men, was an interesting, enjoyable read, did not like it as much as the first two books, Knight of Desire and Knight of Pleasure.   Part of the problem was that took an immediate dislike to Linnet, the heroine of the novel.   Yes, it was easy to understand that she was incredibly young (fifteen) when she used Sir James "Jamie" Rayburn (a character that already loved from the first two books in trilogy) to show her father, Alain, that he could not force her to marry Sir Guy Pomeroy, a man she detested.

That dislike lessened when Mallory painted a bold, vivid picture of what it had been like for Linnet and François to be destitute children after their grandfather's death in that amazingly well-written way Mallory has of developing a story.   Mallory set the stage for a constant aura of suspense that ran throughout the entire book by featuring Linnet as a strong, determined heroine, whose entire purpose in life was to exact vengeance upon the men who, under the guise of "dear old friends," had ruined her grandfather's business during his last years as he struggled with dementia.

There were several different threads running through Jamie and Linnet's story.   The brightest and strongest thread being, of course, fixing the damaged relationship between Jamie and Linnet.   The second thread being that of Linnet's obsession with finding the man who lead the merchants who stole her grandfather's wealth.   If the reader read the "Historical Note" (at the end of the book), it would explain the appearance of the next two threads in the story.   It was obvious Mallory has done her research regarding this time period and has a magical way of spinning a tale about how things may have happened between several of those historical people by having them interact with Jamie and Linnet.   (Really liked the wonderful addition of "Historical Notes" section that Mallory included at the end of each book of the trilogy -- they were extremely illuminating.)

Knight of Passion was filled with many historical facts and actual historical figures from the 1420s.   Mallory cleverly told the story of how the Duke of Gloucester and Bishop Beaufort of Winchester fought for control of the three-year-old king, by making Linnet the confidant of Queen Katherine (king's mother) and having the Duke of Bedford assign Jamie to watch over the young queen while she was residing at Windsor Palace.   The third thread of the story was woven as Jamie and Linnet tried to prevent the love affair that developed between Queen Katherine and her newly-assigned 'Keeper of the Wardrobe,' Owen Tudor.   Readers of the first book of the trilogy, Knight of Desire, would understand the history behind Jamie's friendship with Owen.   Mallory, however, left the thread of how Linnet came to be a close friend and a confidant of Katherine frayed.

The fourth thread interwoven into the story is a scenario that might explain how the Duke of Glouchester's vain, vindictive mistress, Eleanor Cobham, came to be accused of witchcraft in her quest to sit on the throne.   Mallory intertwined Linnet's and Jamie's lives with that of Guy Pomeroy, a close friend of the Duke.   Because Guy still desired Linnet and hated Jamie for thwarting his efforts to get her into his bed, a sequence of events unfolded which lead Linnet through a secret tunnel to witness a witches' cabal that was tied to Eleanor and several of her clerics.

The characters of Linnet and François somehow seemed not quite as real because they lacked a surname (must be a personal quirk thing).   They had a grandfather, who had no first name much less a surname.   They were the illegitimate children of Alain (again no last name).   Their mother (who must have been the daughter of their grandfather) was a shadowy apparition.   And, finally, Linnet's husband, Louis (the man who financed her business and allowed her to further thumb her nose at Guy Pomeroy), was granted no surname either.

Really hated that Mallory did not more fully develop François's personality and feature him a bit more in the book.   François may have looked almost identical to his twin sister, but he was her complete opposite in personality -- a laid-back kind of guy, whose life seemed to revolve around enjoyment rather than business.   One note: really liked the way Mallory described François's personality (reminiscent of Stephen in Knight of Pleasure).   After having read the first two books of this trilogy, this seems to be one of Mallory's trademarks -- to introduce a fascinating supporting character, but to minimally develop that personality, leaving the reader wishing to know so much more about him/her.

Another cute character that would have enjoyed reading more about is Martin, Jamie's squire.   This young man was a wonderful addition to the cast of characters.

Another constant theme that ran through the book was that Linnet was a very atypical medieval woman.   She did not care about being demure and following the rules.   In fact, it was quite obvious that she not only flaunted convention, but seemed to take great pleasure in "poking a stick in the hornet's nest," which seemed to land her in trouble with regularity.   In fact, the reason she turned down Jamie's marriage proposal in the prologue was because she did not want to be a boring, 'stay at home and listen to her husband repeat his dull war stories'-kind of wife.

And while it was easy to understand why Jamie walked out on Linnet when it was obvious she used him by making sure her father and Guy found her naked in bed with Jamie, there were a few times that Jamie was not as understanding as a man in love should be.   Again, Mallory used the jealously factor extensively (as she did in book one, Knight of Desire) -- Jamie (like his stepfather, William FitzAlan) had a bad case of assuming the uber-beautiful Linnet was sleeping with each man with whom she interacted.   And while it made sense that Jamie would demand that Linnet make a choice -- him or revenge, -- why didn't he see that he could have prevented Linnet from walking into dangerous situations as she sought retribution by joining in her quest.

Since Jamie and Linnet were unable to keep their hands off each other in spite of their best efforts, it was no surprise that their story was peppered with many love scenes.   Mallory has an amazing talent for writing heated, intense love scenes that were incredibly sensual, slightly graphic, and had a bit of sizzle.   The fact that it was obvious that Jamie and Linnet were meant for each other and quite often found themselves fighting about their roles in their relationship, it was no surprise that their lovemaking was extremely emotional as well.

Was pleasantly surprised when Mallory introduced several more slightly-developed secondary characters to add more depth and intricacy to the story.   First there were the Staffords.   Bishop Beaufort made tentative arrangements for Jamie to become betrothed to Lady Agnes Stafford, the 'I don't want to get married to a man -- I want to marry the church' daughter of the malicious Sir Charles Stafford, who had significant holdings in the north near the Scottish border (near Uncle Stephen's lands), which would give Jamie his own estate.

The biggest surprise, however, was when Jamie's parents (William and Catherine), came to him to introduce him to his paternal uncle.   Was really surprised when Mallory tied up this loose end that she left straggling way back in the first book of the trilogy.

In sooth, do not know what else to write in this review.   This has been a review fueled by a writer's block attitude of "don't really want to be doing this right now -- would rather read another book."   The words are forced -- the ideas just aren't flowing.   Nevertheless . . .

Would recommend any book written by Margaret Mallory.   Knight of Passion has all the requisite features that make for a great read:   {1} a hunky, strong-willed, skillful warrior for a hero; {2} a beautiful, intelligent, determined, self-sufficient heroine; {3} a bit of action that adds flavor and interest to the story; {4} a strong thread of suspense runs through the story: {a} how will Jamie and Linnet ever mange to overcome their difficulties to get their happily-ever-after; and {b} who is the ringleader who orchestrated Linnet's grandfather's ruin; {5} a strong romantic and emotional connection flowed between the hero and heroine; {6} several spicy, heated, sensual lovemaking scenes; {7} intriguing, but not fully-developed supporting characters; {8} seamless incorporation of interesting facts and details about men and women from the history books; {9} the inclusion of heros and heroines from the previous two books of the trilogy; and {10} an action-packed intense finale that closed with a happy future for Jamie and Linnet.

Now that have finished Mallory's All The King's Men Trilogy, am looking forward to reading her next series, Return of The Highlanders.
--Vonda M. Reid (Wednesday, January 25, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.)   [209]

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All The King's Men Trilogy
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.07-2009Knight of DesireWilliam Neville FitzAlan, knightLady Mary Catherine Rayburn, Ross Castle
02.12-2009Knight of PleasureSir Stephen Neville Carleton, knightLady Isobel Hume, expert swordsman
03.06-2010Knight of PassionSir James "Jamie" Rayburn, knightLady Linnet

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Knight of Passion Quotations:
4"Why do men never believe what you say?   They persist in believing "no" means "perhaps," and "I despise you" means "I want you to write me bad poetry."
52"he was a lost man."   . . .   "There was no one for him but her.   There never had been.   There never would be."
85. . . Owen spreading charm like a farmer spreads manure -- and Queen Katherine wallowing in it like a happy hog.
122He wanted her to sit by her window and long for him, ache for him.   To dream of him, despite herself.   To know that no other would ever satisfy her completely.
He wanted her to suffer as he did.
148"You are braver than I am in so many ways . . . But you are a coward when it comes to love."
254"True love does not come last."
314"Do not live a life of regret like my brother did."

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Characters Found In "Knight of Passion"
Character / Location Description / Relationships
Sir James "Jamie" Rayburn[Hero] stubborn sense of honor (1) strong lines to handsome face; violet blue eyes (3) dark hair (4) 3 years older than Linnet (10) battle-hardened knight (15) grew up in bosom of large, politically powerful family (19) long dark hair; striking midnight-blue eyes; all hard angles; face leaner; body more muscular; confidence; fearlessness (20) not yet 24-y-o (70) could read and write (88) eyes color of deep-blue velvet; strong lines and planes of his face; never boasted; walked with confidence; not afraid to fight; chose side of right (126) wiser; jaded (157) powerful; skilled; agile; quick (235)
Lady Linnet[Heroine] beautiful (4) bastard; merchant's granddaughter (6) not quite 16 (10) // white-gold hair fell to her hips (13) happiest in midst of tumult and trouble (14) tangy scent of citrus in her hair (16) direct, ice-blue eyes (18) cornflower blue eyes; looked unnervingly like twin (45) stubborn; independent (66) determination (88) wiser; jaded (157) no delicate flower; tore through life, leaving a burned trail behind; fiery nature; strength; unwillingness to follow rules of her class and sex (223) silky white-gold hair (258) a face men would go to war for; soft blue eyes; straight nose; full bottom lip; high cheekbones (259) fierce in her loyalty; awesome in her determination; courageous; clever; witty (346)
. . . . . .
Alain[One Appearance] Linnet' father (2) claimed Linnet and François as children when legitimate sons were dead (5) nearly 60-y-o (292)
Alderman Arnold[Rare Appearances] Linnet wanted to question in regard to her quest to avenge her grandfather / short; well-fed man; alderman (105) would know if Flemish cloth changed hands without proper payment 10-y-a (106)
Edmund Beaufort[Actual Historical Character / Secondary Character] [Historical Fact: carried on a flirtation with Queen Katherine.] [Book: calculated moves to gain control of king via queen, i.e., flirtation; flirted shamelessly with Linnet / young; handsome; brilliant; unmarried; brightest hope for next generation of Beauforts (24) 19-y-o; last 7 years as hostage (28)
Henry Beaufort,
Bishop of Winchester
[Actual Historical Character / No Appearance] [Historical Fact: Henry V's half-uncle; had an important place on the Council] [Book: perseverance (43) Duke of Bedford's uncle (171)
John, Duke of Bedford[Actual Historical Character / Brief Appearance] [Historical Fact: One of Henry V's surviving brothers; was appointed senior regent of the realm and was in charge of the ongoing war in France.] [Book: sent Jamie to London to: {1} report on crisis between Bishop, Gloucester; {2} keep young, widowed queen safe / Henry's eldest surviving brother; difficult task of governing French territories and prosecuting the war there (11) Gloucester's brother (175)
Joanna Belknap[Rare Appearance] Queen Katherine's lady-in-waiting (190)
Roger Bolingbroke[Actual Historical Character / Rare Appearance] [Historical Fact: accused of sorcery, as co-conspirator with Eleanor Cobham; hung, drawn and quartered. ] [Book: cleric; pointed beard; Oxford scholar in astrology (104)
Brokely:[Brief Appearance] mastermind behind scheme to ruin Linnet's grandfather; mayor's father in law (348)
Isobel Carleton[Rare Appearances][Heroine of Book 2] Stephen's wife (67)
Stephen Carleton[Rare Appearances][Hero of Book 2] Jamie's uncle (67) ten years older than Jamie; more like brother (276)
Carter[Brief Appearances] man Linnet hired to protect her when Jamie left / her escort; huge (305)
Lady Eleanor Cobham[Actual Historical Character / Secondary Character] [Historical Fact: Eleanor Cobham was an ambitious woman. She became Humphrey's mistress while she was lady-in-waiting to his wife, and then his duchess when his first marriage was invalidated.] [Book: Took an active dislike towards Linnet because of Humphrey's interest in her / Humphrey's lover (42)
Joanna Courcy[Rare Appearance] boldest of queen's ladies-in-waiting (143)
Mayor Coventry[Brief Appearances] Linnet was trying to gain access to question regarding fabric merchants / broad back gone to fat (218) dark hair; fat cheek, pink with health (219)
Lady Elizabeth[No Appearance] Lady Agnes would be staying with her while in London
Lady Catherine FitzAlan[Rare Appearances] [Heroine of Book 1] Jamie's mother (174)
William FitzAlan[Rare Appearances][Hero of Book 1] Jamie's step-father; a good man (171) hair cropped short (262) huge; formidable; hard, handsome face; fading tawny hair (269)
Bridget [FitzAlan][One Appearance] Jamie's 3-y-o sister (257)
Elisabeth [FitzAlan][One Appearance] Jamie's sister (257)
Nicholas [FitzAlan][One Appearance] Jamie's brother (257)
François[Secondary Character] Linnet's brother (5) twin (20) cornflower blue eyes; looked unnervingly like twin (45) "if swept ashore in a strange land, he'd know half the criminals and be invited to sup at the king's table within a week." (105) straight white teeth (129)
Geoffrey[Brief Appearance] Isobel's brother; joined a monastery in Northumberland (263) big, barrel-chested young man; tonsured hair (307) ever the peacemaker (308)
Duke of Gloucester
[Actual Historical Character / Secondary Character] [Historical: During Bedford's absence, the government of England was headed by Henry V's other surviving brother, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, who was appointed Protector and Defender of the Realm. His duties were limited to keeping the peace and summoning Parliament.] [Book: tried to get Linnet in his bed by saying had information on merchant she was looking for / king's youngest brother (5) drunk; Protector and Defender of England (42) full of bombast and bluster; wandering eye (43)
Jacqueline de Hainaut[Actual Historical Character / No Appearance] married Gloucester even though King Henry had forbidden the marriage (163)
Higham[Rare Appearances] one of men Linnet saw in London house years ago; unusual silver-tipped cane (95)
John Hume[Actual Historical Character / Rare Appearance] [Historical Fact: John Hume, turned informant against Eleanor Cobham and her co-conspirators.] [Book: cleric; weasel; clerk in Gloucester's household (105)
Sir John[One Appearance] present in Curfew Tower when Jamie found Pomeroy to publically challenge to a duel / big man from Northumberland; knew father well; fought with Jamie in France (226)
Margery Jourdemayne[Actual Historical Character / Rare Appearance] [Historical Fact: Since this was Margery Jourdemayne's second offense, she was burned as a relapsed heretic.] [Book: old woman's apprentice; gave Cobham potions she wanted (62) "Witch of Eye" (138)
Master Leggett[No Appearance] one merchant in London Linnet could trust; had helped grandfather, Linnet, François escape London to Calais (95) was actually part of grandfather's ruin (106)
Mistress Leggett[Brief Appearance] Linnet questioned about merchants since her husband had died / huge, hamlike hands; jowls (106)
Lily[Brief Appearance] Mychell's daughter; Linnet encountered her in grandfather's old house on Strand where she grew up / 7/8-y-o girl; shiny red curls (36) precocious; full of life
Lizzie[Brief Appearances] Linnet's maid (305)
Louis[No Appearance] Linnet married for money and independence (33) reasons Linnet married Louis: {1} funds to start business; {2} house in Calais; {3} foothold in Flemish cloth market (68) 70-y-o (70)
Martin[Secondary Character] Jamie's new squire (26) father died when a babe (230) natural skill with sword (279)
Master Mychell[No Appearance] One of the merchant's Linnet set out to ruin / lackey; not clever enough to plan demise of business; grandfather's house was his reward; greasy-haired rodent (34)
Guy Pomeroy[Secondary Character] Linnet had Pomeroy fearful of begetting different heir when she married Promeroy's great-uncle / snake; close to Duke of Gloucester (5) powerfully built; violent (7) lecherous; devil-eyed (19) smelled of onions, dank sweat, covered by gagging heavy scent (46) powerful; skilled (235)
Anne [Rayburn][Epilogue: Brief Appearance] Jamie and Linnet's daughter (382)
John Alan [Rayburn][Epilogue: Brief Appearance] Jamie and Linnet's 4-y-o son (382)
Sir Robert[No Appearance] [featured in Books One and Two] Linnet and François left in his care for two years (292)
Rose[Rare Appearances] went to Linnet's home to return letters Alain had written to her grandfather / Mychell's daughter (290) prettier than Lily; 19-y-o (291) voluptuous; mirror image of Lily (333)
Thomas Southwell[Actual Historical Character / Rare Appearance] [Historical Fact: accused of sorcery, as co-conspirator with Eleanor Cobham; died in Tower. ] [Book: cleric; physician; canon of St. Stephen's church in Westminster Palace (104)
Lady Agnes Stafford[Secondary Character] Only daughter of Charles Stafford; father negotiating to betroth to Jamie; would father join church / pretty; very fair skin; dark soulful eyes (177) dour expression; tiny thing (179) big breasts (213)
Sir Charles Stafford[Secondary Character] Negotiating with Bishop Beaufort; considering Jamie as man to marry his daughter / paid sentage in lieu of serving; significant holdings in the north near Scottish border, near Uncle Stephen's lands; no male heir (172) stout; florid complexion of man who drank too much; spoke too loud (177) churlish, malicious disregard for daughter's feelings (178)
Mother Therese[No Appearance] Agnes Stafford quoted often / resided at Saint Mary of the Woods, near Stafford lands (181)
ThunderJamie's warhorse (11)
Owain ap Tudor /
Owen Tudor
[Actual Historical Character / Major Secondary Character] [Historical Fact: had four or five children with Queen Katherine while serving as her Clerk of the Wardrobe. While it is generally believed the two secretly married, there is no record of it.] [Book: one of King Henry's squires of the body; will join queen's service; handsome Welshman; devil in his eyes (55) good-humored man; wit; charm (56) fine build; jaunty air (80) muscular thighs (189) heavy, muscular frame; lightheartedness; good humor (191)
Queen Katherine de Valois[Actual Historical Character / Major Secondary Character] [Historical Fact: King's mother; as Charles VI's {French} daughter, was viewed with considerable suspicion by English nobles and prevented from having a full role in her son's upbringing.] [Book: fragile-looking; 24-y-o (17) astonishingly lack of interest in politics (20) sister to the dauphin (22) flirtatious nature; girlhood in convent; charming; pretty (24)
Lady Anne Wheaton[One Appearance] Charles' wife; frail; light, sweet voice; icy hands, light as a feather; warmth and laughter in her hazel eyes (310)
Sir Charles Wheaton[Brief Appearance] Jamie went to meet his paternal uncle / Richard's brother (265) same unusual shade of blue eyes as Jamie; black hair streaked with gray (309)
Richard James Wheaton[No Appearance] Jamie's birth father; monk; unusually contained life (265) kind (311)
Master Woodley[Secondary Character] Linnet's clerk / old man (12)

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Margaret Mallory

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Knight of Passion Reviews:
RatedPostedSiteNotes, Comments, Etc.
5.0006-02-2010A Journey of Booksalso on: Amazon, Good Reads
3.5005-...-2010A Romance Reviewreads like regurgitated rhetoric review
4.28 average{18 reviews}Amazonas of: February 18, 2012
4.18 average{11 reviews}Barnes and Nobleas of : February 19, 2012
3.5006-...-2010Bella Online 
--06-14-2010Book Junkie[book release blog tour] {author interview}
--06-14-2010Broken Teepee[book release blog tour] [qv]
3.5007-01-2010Caught In A FAB Reviewalso on: Amazon, Good Reads
--06-14-2010Chick With Books[book release blog tour] [uv]
4.0006-19-2011Coffee Time Romance 
4.0006-14-2010DK's Book Reviewsalso on: Amazon, Good Reads [book release blog tour] [qv]
3.0006-02-2010Fiction Vixen[book release blog tour] {guest review}
3.0006-09-2010Find The Time To Read[book release blog tour] [qv]
----Fresh FictionFresh Pick
3.27 average{48 reviews}Good Readsas of: February 19, 2012
3.86 average{51 reviews}Google Booksall reviews are found on Good Reads and
----Hachette Book GroupAll The King's Men Extras
--06-17-2010Heart To Heart: BN Romance Blog 
--06-02-2010History Hoydenssee: Last Article {Interview}
4.5006-11-2010In the Hammock Book Reviewsalso on: Good Reads [book release blog tour]
3.50 / C05-29-2010Jandy's Reading Room 
3.0006-07-2010Just Jennifer Readingalso on: Good Reads [book release blog tour]
3.5002-17-2011Let Them Read Booksalso on: Amazon, Good Reads
4.08 average{6 reviews}Library Thingas of: February 19, 2012 [shame on aromagik]
--06-14-2010Maria's Space[book release blog tour] [qv]
4.0006-09-2010Martha's Bookshelf[book release blog tour]
--06-09-2010Martha's Bookshelf{author interview}
4.2506-07-2010Michelle and Leslie's Book Picsalso on: Amazon, Good Reads [book release blog tour]
5.0006-14-2010My Book Addiction and Morealso on: Amazon [book release blog tour] [qv]
--...-...-2010My Shelf 
--12-15-2010Not Another Romance Blog{Author Preview Article}
--06-09-2010Our Guilty Pleasures[book release blog tour] [qv]
5.00 average{1 reveiw}Overstock . comas of: February 19, 2012
4.00 average{2 reviews}Paperback Swapas of: February 19, 2012
--06-06-2010Readaholic[book release blog tour] [qv]
5.0006-05-2010Rex Robots Reviewsalso on: Amazon, Good Reads [book release blog tour]
4.5006-16-2010Romance Junkies 
A Keeper05-17-2010Romance Reader At Heart{like}
--05-25-2010Romantic Crush JunkiesGiveaway and Interview
4.5 / Top Pick--RT {Romantic Times} Book Review2010 British Isle Set Historical Romance Nominee
--06-03-2010Seductive Musings[book release blog tour] {author interview}
3.50 average{8 reviews}Shelfarias of: February 19, 2012
4.5008-02-2010Single Titles 
3.0006-14-2010Sky Reads and Readsalso on: Good Reads [book release blog tour] [qv]
5.0006-14-2010Starting Freshalso on: Amazon, Good Reads [book release blog tour]
--06-05-2010The Avid Reader[book release blog tour] {author interview}
4.0006-...-2010The Bibliophilic Book Blogalso on: Good Reads [book release blog tour]
dnf07-01-2010The Eclectic Book Loveralso on: Good Reads [book release blog tour] {not a HR Reader}
4.5006-11-2010The Fiction Enthusiast[book release blog tour] [qv]
--07-12-2010The Romance Dish{fifth entry} [synopsis, not a review]
3.00--The Romance Readers Connection 
9 / Top Pick--The Season For Romance 
--02-03-2010Unusual HistoricalsArticle: Katherine de Valois and Owen Tudor
5.0006-17-2010Yankee Romance Reviewersalso on: Good Reads [book release blog tour] [qv]
----You TubeBook Trailer
4.2502-20-2012Wolf Bear Does Booksshorter post on Amazon, Good Reads, Shelfari

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♥  Disclaimer:   I Purchased This Book
♥  Very Subjective Rating
♥  Willing to share Cheat Sheet
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♣  Will add your Knight of Passion review link to table, just ask

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I hope you enjoyed it. Things have been a bit crazy recently, but I have a TON of new reviews to get posted. I like your reviews, you give so much great information! Hope to see you on my blog again sometime soon!!!