A Paul B Review: Marking Kane (Werewolves of Manhattan #4) by A.C. Katt

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

MARKING KANEThe fourth book in the Wolves of Manhattan series by A. C. Katt begins at McClellan High School where Kane Brady is refusing to pass two members of the basketball team just because the coach told him to do so.  The two players, along with the coach, decide this young gay teacher needs to be taught a lesson.  The two players, along with the other three starters from the team, brutally rape Kane as he is walking home from school late one night.

Gabriel Martin is the fourth in the Garou Industries, the werewolf owned company.  Though his territory is small, his position within the corporation is important, as the director of technology.  He has been dreaming of his mate lately and with three other board members having found their mates, he hopes that the premonition comes true.  Driving from the Newark airport into the city, the roads become hazardous in a snowstorm.  Traffic moving at a crawl, he notices a young man staggering out of an alley.  Moved to help the wounded man, Gabriel immediately recognizes the man to be his mate.  He informs his betas of this fact to marshal resources to help Kane.  He brings Kane to the hospital where the pack doctor is working and calls the Alpha to inform him of his discovery.

Gabriel, along with his friends and the previous found alpha mates, try to convince Kane that he would recover better in Gabriel’s penthouse suite while those who abused him are sought out.  After the players and coach have been rounded up, the group convinces Kane to spend the holidays with Gabriel.  Just as things begin to settle down and the big reveal about shifters and mates is to take place, the group receives word that the coach has made bail and is seeking vengeance.  Gabriel and his friends must prepare for the mating ceremony in Atlanta while keeping an eye out for the newly freed coach.  To complicate matters, an alpha with dual citizenship in Russia has recently returned to America to escape the violence brought on by Putin’s homophobic laws.  The Prime Alpha is worried that major trouble for his shifters is just around the corner and must prepare for the upcoming battle.

As usual, this is another fine outing in Ms. Katt’s series.  The story follows the others in that an abused human is rescued by a member of the Garou Industries board.  It is even pointed out by one of the characters that this is a recurring theme in finding the mates.  The mates are also of Irish descent and have various shades of green eyes.  It will be interesting to see if this pattern sticks with the next book.  The supernatural help that Kane receives to help recover from the rape allows for the story to move forward without the trauma of the event preventing the mating from going forward.  The growing bond between all the alpha mates is touching to read as they have all suffered in the past and form a support group amongst themselves.

The cover art by Winterheart Design shows our blond Kane and the dark haired Gabriel above the New York skyline with an image of a wolf superimposed behind our two heroes.  It fits the character of the book well.

Sales Links:  MLR Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details

ebook, 166 pages
Published March 2016 by MLR Press
ISBN 1020160527
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesWerewolves of Manhattan #4

Series:  Werewolves of Manhattan

A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Big Love by Rick R. Reed

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Big LoveWhen Dane Bernard, a teacher at Summitville High School, gets a call from the police telling him that his wife has been killed in an accident, he’s devastated. He and Katy were married for twenty years, and were, in fact, high school sweethearts. Breaking the news to his children was difficult but not as difficult as what he decides to tell them after he’s had some time to come to terms with his wife’s death—he’s gay. And he chooses to tell them now because he’s going to go forward as a gay man out of the closet.

He has no idea how to be with a man, and when new teacher Seth Wolcott arrives at the school several months later, he finds himself attracted in a way he’s never before experienced. But before they even have a chance to get to know one another, and before Seth finds out Dane is gay, one of Dane’s students, a gay teen who has been the victim of school bullies one too many times, is spotted on the ledge at the top of the roof of the school and Dane is the only one outside who might possibly help him. He gets an unexpected assist from Seth and together they manage to get the boy down, but not before Dane shares that he’s gay—and he does it in front of the whole school.

Truman Reid is an effeminate gay teen. He has a wonderful sense of fashion and can put together innumerable outfits from thrift shop finds, but not a day goes by that the jocks and others in the school don’t bully him, laugh at him, trip him, and often beat him up. When he arrived at school that morning and discovered the main bulletin board covered in photos of him in drag, it was his last straw. People might say it gets better, but Truman didn’t think he could wait for that to happen, so he headed for the roof.

Dane and Seth volunteer to spend extra time with Truman to help his mother out. Dirt poor, she doesn’t have enough money to pay for counseling for him, but with the guys offering to act as big brothers, it helps her breathe easier. And after Truman turns the corner, he decides that no amount of hiding or wearing other clothes or acting butch is going to help him, so he takes the opposite stance and flaunts his flamboyance by wearing makeup, T-shirts with hand-printed slogans, and bright, colorful outfits he puts together from thrift shop finds. Though they initially worry about him, Seth and Dane back off when they see he’s doing well and they focus on enjoying their own budding relationship.

This is a sweet story, with the lives of the three men entwined, and lessons to be learned by all. No one—man or boy—is the teacher. Each contributes to the other so that they all take away positive life lessons. There’s no explicit sex, though there is mention of it, and no on-page sex for the underage character. It’s just a romantic story, a coming of age story for both Truman and Dane, though at least twenty-five years separate their age. And the romantic ending provides a happy situation for each of the three characters.

I’d recommend this to those who enjoy tags like coming out, older men, teens, men with children, and those who simply like a romantic story about real people because each of the situations in this story could have really happened to someone we know.

~~~~~

Cover Art by Reese Dante beautifully depicts the two adult MCs as we would imagine them to be.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published April 4th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634769775 (ISBN13: 9781634769778)
Edition Language English

A Lila Review: Prince of the Playhouse (Love in Laguna #3) by Tara Lain

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Prince of the PlayhouseIn this third installment, we finally get to know more about Ru Maitland. He was Shaz’s sidekick and best friend on Knight of Ocean Avenue, and we get to see him again briefly in Knave of Broken Heart. As soon as this story starts, we learned about Ru’s obsession with actor Gray Anson. He had dedicated his free time to watch Gray’s movies over and over for the last couple of years in order to compensate for his lack love life.

Ru is getting ready to present his first collection as part of New York’s Fashion Week. But before he starts working on these designs, he takes part of a charity event, unveiling several designs. This local fashion show opens the door for Ru to be offered the opportunity to create the costumes for an adaptation of Hamlet at the local Playhouse. He has planned to decline the invitation until he finds out that Gray Anson has accepted the lead during opening week.

A random encounter the night of the charity fashion show sets the stage for Ru’s past and present to collide. We get to see him struggle as he tries to deal with all the responsibilities from the play and New York Fashion Week as he manages to keep his ghosts at bay. His world starts to spiral out of control when Gray is added to the mix, and their newfound relationship starts meeting with the life he had left behind.

On the other hand, Gray Anson is set on making his relationship with Ru work. He has a lot of people depending on him, and he feels pressure to keep appearances at all time. As he tries to get a go with Ru, he stays in the closet, using famous females to cover for him. The rumors of his sexuality are taking a toll on him and those surrounding him.

In the end, it’s up to Ru and Gray to keep their individual lives under wraps in order to enjoy their stolen times together.

Prince of the Playhouse is full of clichés, stereotypes, and troupes as the previous books in the series, but they worked well with the main characters and their hopes for a future together. This is an easy read, even when drama is involved. The author did an excellent job filling the gaps between serious topics and situations with a healthy dose of comedic relief.

The secondary characters are outstanding. The characterizations were entertaining and their histories and relationships relevant. Together, they gave the story a frame of reference, setting the atmosphere and helping the plot move forward. Even fillers had a purpose to exist. The setting too played an important role in Ru’s life and the events of the story. We get to revisit some locations used in previous books as well.

One of the reasons I didn’t give this book a five-star rating was Ru’s obsession with Gray. Its intensity was overwhelming before they met in person, but at the same time felt forced. Almost, like the first steps taken by a stalker. And the way Gray got smitten by Ru, seemed a little unbelievable. He had two personalities, his big superstar facade, and his reserved, almost shy private persona.

Overall, this story is worth reading as part of the series. It can be read as a stand-alone or out of order, but it’s easier to understand Ru’s and Shaz’s relationship if read in order. The characters from book #2 weren’t even mentioned here.

The cover by Reese Dante follows suit with the previous two books. It works well as part of a series, and at the same time, give us a clear image of Ru— from his sense of fashion to his confidence.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published: April 4, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781632169648
Edition Language: English

Series: Love in Laguna
Book #1: Knight of Ocean Avenue
Book #2: Knave of Broken Heart
Book #3: Prince of the Playhouse

The Devils Pride MCs are Riding Back with Talk Dirty to Me by Jessie G. (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Talk Dirty To Me - Final - 400 x 600

Talk Dirty to Me (Devils Pride MC #2) by Jessie G.
Release Date: Mid-March (around March 15, 2016)

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Jessie G. Books Inc.
Cover Artist: Andrew Reyna, Dynamic Craft Studios

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is lucky to be interviewing Jessie G author of Talk Dirty to Me. Hi Jessie, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

**********

Thank you so much for hosting me and my boys.

  • How do you develop your plots and characters? I’m not really sure. My very first book, Past Hurts, came to me in a dream and it’s been a snowball effect ever since. Each new character that appears on page is a surprise and I take the time to get to know them. Once I know I want to write their story, I listen to what they tell me, ask questions, dig and let it unfolds. Each book has led to the next, one series spawned another, so I see it more as an evolution than something I’ve consciously done.
  • Who doesn’t love a good hero? Tell us about your protagonist. Was there a real life inspiration behind them? Snake is everything you want in a big bad undercover agent biker. He’s tall, built like a brick shithouse, he’ll do anything to get the job done and he loves Greg hard. He has no problem getting his hands dirty, encourages his lover to be exactly who he is and not who he thinks he needs to be, and has a strong sense of family even though he once considered himself a lone wolf.
  • What real-life inspirations do you use when world building? My books currently take place in Florida (Miami, Ft. Myers, Tampa, and Orlando). I live here, so I have the details to make it look real, but I take creative license to fit the story. After the release of Talk Dirty to Me, I had a local reader message me from the same breakfast spot Snake and Greg eat at. I thought that was the coolest thing ever.
  • Did you learn anything from this book and what was it? This book made me take a closer look at perceptions—how we perceive ourselves vs how the people who love us perceive us. Greg doesn’t think he’s much of a catch in the looks department, he’s nervous and awkward, and a bit of a nerd. Why would a smoking hot, bad ass biker want him? But Snake loves the whole of him and doesn’t see any of the things Greg dislikes about himself.
  • It’s your last meal on earth. What do you choose? Pechuga de Pollo, Ropa Vieja, Lomo Saltado, Guac and Chips – yeah, just prop me up at a Latin buffet and back away.

Blurb

As a secret agent for the DEA, Snake’s gone deep into Devils Pride MC with the hope of bringing down the head of Miami’s lucrative drug trade and finds himself saddled with the club’s volatile and secretive SA instead. Unfortunately, after years as partners doing shit neither of them wanted to do for reasons neither of them felt comfortable sharing, Snake considers Trick his best friend. Now he’ll do anything to repair the damage his own necessary lies did to their friendship because, while Trick may have walked away from the MC, Snake needs someone he trusts to have his back.

Meanwhile, Snake’s contact at the DEA has him tied up in knots. The sexy voice and inappropriate comments have him walking around with a permanent set of blue balls. Life undercover is lonely and he lives for every phone call, but his own personal Deep Throat is skittish about committing to a date once Snake returns to headquarters. As far as Snake’s concerned, they only have one shot to build something together and he’s not willing to waste it.

Greg knows he’s not Snake’s type, or anyone’s for that matter. Former love interests called him plain, chubby, and boring. More comfortable in his tech cave than with people, he’s a grade A nerd who isn’t exactly GQ material. Normally he would never be brave enough to flirt with anyone—much less the very hot and very dangerous ginger who’d been starring in his nightly fantasies—but Snake needed something to keep him from getting lost undercover. What started out as a helping hand quickly became an integral part of their relationship—if one could call a five year phone conversation a relationship—and Greg is terrified that once Snake’s sees the wizard behind the curtain, he’ll lose the only man he’s ever loved.

Now the DEA has called Snake home to plan the next stage of the mission, leaving Greg no more places to hide. When fantasy and reality collide, will it be everything Snake hopes for or everything Greg fears? The trick will be staying alive long enough to figure out the answer.

 

Pages or Words: 78,000 words
Series must be read in order
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Erotica, M/M Romance, Mystery, Romance (Please note: Snake’s bisexuality is only mentioned. It is not gone into.)

 

Excerpt

Knowing what Gene needed before he actually asked was what made them a good team and his growing personal feelings aside, he believed they worked well together. Greg also knew Gene felt the same way because he never failed to show his appreciation. “Thanks, Sunshine, I knew I could count on you. So, tell me how the move to Tampa’s going?”

Greg sighed and leaned back in his chair to look at the ceiling. He had been working at the DC office since joining the agency and while he enjoyed the work, DC was a stressful place to live. He’d adapted just as he’d done when he went to MIT in Cambridge, but it wasn’t his first choice. When the request to transfer and be closer to the undercover operation he’d been devoting ninety percent of his time to came in, he jumped at it even though he questioned his superior’s motives.

But moving was stressful, fitting in with new coworkers more so, and doing both while keeping up with Gene’s needs was damn near exhausting. It was worth it, but he was more tired than he ever remembered being and none of that was Gene’s problem. As an undercover agent in an outlaw motorcycle club, he had more important things to worry about, so Greg downplayed the stress he’d been under. “Florida’s better than DC, that’s for sure.”

“But?” Gene asked knowingly and Greg sighed. He should have known better than to think he could bluff his answer. They’d been talking multiple times a day for almost a year. If there was anyone who could tell just by the tone of his voice what he was feeling, it was Gene.

“When I first got this assignment, it seemed odd that I wasn’t immediately transferred to a closer office. Not that location really mattered in the past, but our partnership was a first in the agency. Normally, undercover agents have full use of the entire Intelligence Division and everyone in ID works together so nothing falls through the cracks.” Maybe he was becoming more like Gene, because he was seeing shadows everywhere lately. “That didn’t happen and it obviously wasn’t necessary because I was able to do whatever you needed from DC. So why, out of nowhere, did Crockett and Stimer request me in the Tampa office? If they wanted me closer to your operation, why not Fort Myers or even the Miami office?”

Gene didn’t immediately respond and Greg knew he was choosing his words. Lately, they’d begun to wonder if someone within the agency, or any branch of law enforcement, was working with Durango. Crooked agents were an unfortunate fact of life and the more information he uncovered about Durango and the MC, the more things didn’t add up. Namely, putting an agent in what they had to know would be a long term undercover operation only to bitch about how long it was taking him to get the job done. It was like they were setting him up for failure and that didn’t sit well with Greg at all.

He was fully invested in doing the best job he could and that was only solidified by the growing personal feelings he was developing for Gene. The last thing Greg wanted was to see him get burned by the agency they both joined in the hopes of doing something good.

“I can hear those wheels turning from here, but we both know how dangerous it is for you to go poking around into Crockett or Stimer. You’re the new face in the office so you have no allies you can trust. If anyone catches wind of what you’re doing…”

“They won’t.” Greg wanted to sneer at the suggestion that he didn’t know how to cover his tracks. The only thing that stopped him was the knowledge that Gene cared about the risks he might be taking. That concern was a foreign concept that he didn’t know how to deal with. “I know how to hide a trail, Gene.”

“I don’t doubt your abilities for a second,” Gene assured, taking the wind out of any potential argument between them. “I just don’t want to see you get hurt. If Crockett or Stimer or someone else has a hidden agenda, you’ll find it in the work we’re already doing. You’re already cherry picking the information you put in the files, already deciding what they can and can’t be trusted with, right?”

“Yes,” Greg grudgingly admitted. He just didn’t know if those precautions were enough.

Gene chuckled at his tone. “You and I both know if they’re in any way involved in Durango’s business, if they’re doing anything to hinder the case, you’ll uncover it in the intelligence you’re already gathering. I know it’s not enough, but I’m already in play and there’s no way to step back now. If you go digging and someone catches wind of it, you paint a target on both our backs.”

Which was the only reason he hadn’t already gone digging and why he was coming clean now. The very last thing he wanted to do was make Gene’s job more dangerous than it already was. “Fine.”

Gene laughed at him again and he found himself pulling up a photo of the agent. It was unfair how good looking the man was. Tall, broad, scruffy, with piercing eyes and a strong chin, and lips made for doing sinful things. Gene was all of Greg’s weakness wrapped up in a hard body that made his fingers itch to touch.

A soft sigh and the sound of a bed creaking brought his attention back to their conversation. “I’m done thinking about this for tonight. Tell me something good before we hang up.”

Buy the book:

 

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Meet the author:

Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: to be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With three series in the works and a full schedule of releases planned for the next two years, it’s been amazing to have made this dream my reality.

I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics, and happily ever after. I’m a lover of strong secondary characters, and series filled with families—biological or chosen. All are themes you’ll find throughout my books.

Where to find the author:

Author Pages:

 

RC
Tour Dates & Stops:

14-Mar: Sassygirl Books, Carly’s Book Reviews

16-Mar: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

18-Mar: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Foxylutely Book Reviews

21-Mar: Alpha Book Club

23-Mar: V’s Reads

25-Mar: The Dark Arts

28-Mar: Oh My Shelves

30-Mar: Happily Ever Chapter, The Hat Party

1-Apr: 3 Chicks After Dark, Velvet Panic, MM Good Book Reviews

4-Apr: Full Moon Dreaming, Outrageous Heroes, Mikky’s World of Books, Nephy Hart,

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Book Lovers 4Ever. Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words,

Up All Night, Read All Day

6-Apr: Man2ManTastic, The Novel Approach

8-Apr: Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Joyfully Jay

11-Apr: A.M. Leibowitz

13-Apr: Divine Magazine, Unquietly Me

15-Apr: Bonkers About Books

18-Apr: Kirsty Loves Books

20-Apr: Cathy Brockman Romances

22-Apr: Dawn’s Reading Nook, MM Book Escape

25-Apr: Molly Lolly, Books A to Z

27-Apr: Prism Book Alliance

29-Apr: Love Bytes, My Fiction Nook,

2-May: TTC Books and More, Bayou Book Junkie

4-May: Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Inked Rainbow Reads, Hearts on Fire, Making It Happen,

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

6-May: BFD Book Blog, Multitasking Mommas

Final

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Early Morning Coffee Sip and Book Break: A.M. Leibowitz ‘What Once Was Lost’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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OnceWasLost copy

What Once Was Lost by A.M. Leibowitz
Release Date: March 11, 2016

Goodreads
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Jared Rackler

Blurb

Following a volatile break-up with his partner, Casey has been raising his son, Ryan, mostly on his own. While Ryan is on a camping trip in the Adirondacks, Casey and Brook make another attempt to work through their differences, with disastrous results. But when Ryan and his friend disappear in the mountains, Casey and Brook travel together to find him. The tension leads to an opportunity to listen to each other, reconcile their history, and recover the love they once shared.

 

Pages or Words: 21,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance

Excerpt

It couldn’t be real. It was a vision or a nightmare or maybe stress-related, but that could not possibly be his former lover standing on the porch with his hand raised to press the bell again. That was not the man who continued to haunt both his dreams and his nightmares. He shuddered; the previous night’s mental sleep wanderings had been a horrifying mix of erotic and sorrowful, and he wasn’t in a hurry to relive them in the flesh. In confusion, Casey slammed the door shut.

“Open the damn door, Case,” the man on the other side said.

Casey growled and opened it again. “What the hell are you doing here, Brook?”

“I came to get my kid for the weekend because you failed to drop him off.”

“We talked about this weeks ago.” Casey glared at Brook. “Ryan’s going camping with Annie, Chuck, and their kids. You knew about this.”

“Maybe I decided the answer is no.” Brook crossed his arms. “You never gave me the choice–you just told me what was going on, same as always. I’d like a say in what happens this time.”

“Not gonna happen. Also, you have no business showing up at my door. We agreed to a neutral location for a reason.”

“Oh, right, because we couldn’t stop pissing each other off every time we were together. I’m glad to see you’ve gained some maturity since then,” Brook shot back.

No, you ass, Casey thought. It’s because if I let you in my house, and you begged to stay, I’d have taken you back and gotten my heart crushed again. “Go home,” he said. He made to close the door again.

Brook blocked it with his foot. “He’s my kid too. I should’ve had a say in it. This is my weekend.”

“First of all, he’s not yours in any legal sense. Second, you lost the right to have a say the minute you fucked someone else in our bed.”

Brook’s mouth dropped open, and his eyes flicked to the stairs behind Casey. When Casey turned his head to follow Brook’s gaze, he sighed. Ryan was standing in the middle of the staircase, staring at them. His mouth was set in a thin line, and he had a deep scowl.

“Ry, I’m sorry,” Casey said. “You don’t need—”

“I don’t need what?” Ryan asked, crossing his arms. “The truth? Is that why Pop left?”

Both men were silent, but from the look on Ryan’s face, neither of them had to say anything else. Ryan scoffed and turned around to thunder back up the stairs.

“Charming as always, I see,” Brook said.

“Fuck off. I didn’t invite you here today. You showed up unannounced right before Ry’s weekend trip. But hey, I guess you don’t care whether you ruin it for him. Kind of like everything else.”

“God, I forgot what a whiny ass you are,” Brook said, sneering.

Casey wanted to punch him, but that wouldn’t do anything to improve things with Ryan. “Look, this isn’t the time. You want to have some drawn-out argument where we both accuse each other of random shit from the whole span of our relationship? Great. I’ll pencil you in for noon tomorrow, when my son is happily off in the woods with his best friend’s family. Until then, get the hell off my porch.”

Buy the book

MLR Press | Amazon | AReBarnes&Noble |  Kobo

Meet the author:

A.M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. Ze keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, ze blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, books, and hir family.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, My Fiction Nook, Oh My Shelves, BFD Book Blog, Bayou Book Junkie,

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, The Jena Wade, Kirsty Loves Books, Alpha Book Club, Unquietly Me,

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews, Happily Ever Chapter, Mikky’s World of Books,

Nautical Star Books, Making It Happen, Full Moon Dreaming, Molly Lolly, Three Books Over The Rainbow,

Velvet Panic, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Outrageous Heroes, Louise Lyons, Dawn’s Reading Nook

 

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