A Free Dreamer Review: The Incredible Real Life Monster Man by L.B. La Vigne

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Monsters are real, and everyone knows it. When Mikey, an employee at the US Department of Fish and Wildlife, is assigned to rescue an abused creature at Samuel’s Carnival Extravaganza, he feels drawn to the sympathetic thing. But, rescuing and nursing the creature back to health has some unforeseen consequences. Not only can Renin talk, but he has the same urges and needs as a human—urges and needs now set on his savior, Mikey. Ones which Mikey can’t say he doesn’t reciprocate. As a creature used to high levels of socialization, keeping him in isolation with little stimulation could be doing him more harm than good. For the second time, Mikey must break Renin out of captivity, bringing him home for…safe keeping. While ending up in Mikey’s home is one of the best things to happen to Renin, multiple forces threaten to tear them apart. Mikey’s boyfriend, for one, isn’t accepting of the creature making itself comfortable in Mikey’s bed. The government is desperate to get their creature back, and will stop at nothing to have him. And then, there’s what’s hidden in the woods—watching, waiting, ready to strike at Renin at the first opportunity. With everything seemingly against them, Mikey may not be able to hold on to his monster for very long.

I’m honestly not sure what to think of “The Incredible Real Life Monster Man”. So please bear with me as I try to muddle through my thoughts on this book.

I liked the rather unusual concept of monsters. They seem to be something between animals and humans, with different levels of intelligence and different species. Sadly, we only ever meet Renin and are only told that other monsters are out there. I really would have liked to know more about those creatures, especially since Renin seemed to be part of a very rare and unusual species. I think this seriously lacked world-building.

The relationship between Renin and Mikey left me a little conflicted. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with how it all started out. There’s cheating on Mikey’s part and somewhat dubious consent and while that is generally not something I mind reading about, in this case it somehow bothered me. And while Renin is just about as intelligent as a human would be, he’s very naive and innocent; a bit childlike, really. But it was obvious that the two of them worked together and really cared for each other. And the sex was definitely hot.

At times I was a bit annoyed by Mikey. His approach to getting Renin to his home was extremely naive and I thought it was really mean of him to not break up with his boyfriend. It was clear from the beginning that he’s not as invested in the relationship as Philip and it would have only been fair to break up once he developed feelings for Renin.

I’m not completely sold on the HEA, the epilogue felt rushed and didn’t make all that much sense to me.

But despite all my misgivings, something about the story just kept me hooked and I found it very hard to put the book down. It was a fast and overall quite enjoyable read. I just think it didn’t quite reach its full potential.

I’m not a big fan of the cover. The feathers look like a cape or something and not like they actually grow on Renin’s skin. And Renin is always naked, while the cover model is clearly wearing jeans. I know you can’t put a completely naked man on a cover, but it would have been better to just show him from the waist up.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book details: e-book, 194 pages

Published February 19th 2019 by Deep Desires Press

A MelanieM Review: Not Gonna Lie (#lovehim #4) by S.M. James

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Everyone has their secrets.

Last year Digi walked out on Webcon, on his fans, and on Gram.

Now he’s back determined to give what they had a real shot, but Gram is more prickly than ever, not willing to risk his heart again.

Despite trying to stay out of the spotlight, the anonymous Public Service Announcements draw Digi back in. As the secrets of the internet’s top celebrities are leaked to the world, it’s only a matter of time before Digi and Gram are next.

To get through it, they have to set their rivalry aside.

Will Digi handle the pressure of the bright lights long enough to find who is tearing their world apart? Or will the threat of full exposure be too much for him to handle?

LGBTQ Enemies to Lovers Romance

Not Gonna Lie (#lovehim #4) by S.M. James is the tale I have been waiting for since I finished To Be Continued (#lovehim 3.5), the so aptly named novella and the first part of Digi and Gram’s story.  At the end of that complex bit of storytelling, Digi walked away from everything, including Gram, in order to find himself after the escalating events of that story.

Now in Not Gonna Lie, we dive into back Gram and Digi’s lives a year later.  It’s not exactly what we expected to find for both of them.

One thing I will mention immediately is the length of this story.  It’s much longer than any other books in the series and because of that we get a story richer in layers, more plot threads throughout the novel, and on whole just a thoughtful, authentic, beautifully written story. James takes a deeply honest look into the “media culture” of vloggers and their fans, including the dark side of popularity and online mass bullying and attacks.  If you’re familiar with beauty vlogger James Charles, who is people forget only 19, and the current morass he finds himself the center of, then this story will resonate with you. One minute you’re 18 and your yearbook photo goes viral, then you’re a star with a Cover Girl contract and a popular vlog at 18, and then a feud and the loss of millions of followers.  All still at the age of 19.  Such is the fickleness of the media and popularity and James gets it.

And makes it painful and intimately more real for us when we fall back into the lives of Gram and Digi.

What the blurb is not saying is why Digi is returning to Webcom and that is as big a part of this story as his reuniting with Gram.  And yes, it has also to do with the media, and bullying in the worst way.  Everything that Digi thought he was getting away from and had found him again.  It’s hard to mention aspects of this story without giving away details that lead to spoilers because the blurb is so vague that I feel that anything I mention is a surprise and important element that the reader should find out for themselves.

There are so many large things here that S.M. James gets into because of the characters.  It’s not just bullying and cyberbullying but also bulimia and eating disorders, something that Digi has been fighting for a long time (and was brought on in To Be Continued).  Along with this in the story goes cutting and self harm, so if these are triggers for you, please sake note.    Again, I will say that the longer length of the book gives the author the time to delve into the reasons behind such actions and the treatment received. It will make your  heart hurt and hold out hope for others in Digi’s situation.

And still there’s more.  Along with Gram and Digi reconnecting and working through a strained and tumultuous past history (along with their mothers competition as well), we also get a mystery, and the stress and strain of Gram’s new ever higher level popularity and the effects its having on him.  And his crazy fans.

Oh the complexities of this amazing story and all the characters.  Yes, still a romance and oh, so much more.  A social commentary, and perhaps a subtle warning too.

After all the many stories I have been reading in this remarkable YA series, I wasn’t quite prepared for just how exceptional Not Gonna Lie (#lovehim #4) by S.M. James turned out to be. A beautiful continuation of Digi and Gram’s story from To Be Continued, a social commentary on the media, vloggers and the powers of popularity and its whims.  And even more, the stress these days of just being young.  That’s heartbreaking too.

So you can imagine how you feel when a romance posts a win, even a HFN, and it makes your heart soar.  If only for a while.  This is one you will want to read and cheer for the win.

I truly love all the stories that come with this series but this one?  Oh, this one is really something exemplary.  Pick up To Be Continued and then read it and Not Gonna Lie (#lovehim #4) by S.M. James together for an amazing reading experience.  I highly recommend them and the entire series which I have listed below.

Cover art: Story Styling Cover Designs. Brands the series and works for this story.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 430 pages
Published May 16th 2019 by May Books
ASINB07PSMHV8Y
Edition Language English
Series#lovehim #4

Series #lovehim

That Feeling When (Archie and Landon)

No Big Deal
To Be Continued(3,5) Digi and Gram
In Real Life(4.5)  Archie and Landon  coming soon, hopefully.

An Ashlez Review: T.A.G. You’re Seen (The Assassins’ Guild #1) by A.G. Carothers

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Attention: This book contains explicit sexual content between consenting assassins and not so innocent professors. There are depictions of masochistic masturbation, male chastity, breath play, watersports, humiliation, and torture by eighties hair bands with ginger sprinkles on top.

Phew! Now, that that’s out of the way, Hi. I’m Mr. No, your friendly communications agent for The Assassins’ Guild AKA T.A.G.

I’ve been authorized by the head honcho himself, Mr. H, to release approved records from the agent files.

Agent Code Name Mr. W was recovering from a near death debacle by way of an easy assignment in a small mountain town. Red flags sprang up immediately around the seemingly innocent English professor. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery Jacob Peters presented, Mr. W made plans to do what he did best, watch , wait , and then capture and interrogate.

But even the best laid plans can go awry…

Find out what brought Mr. W to his knees in this first release from the archives of The Assassins’ Guild.

Freaking hell I loved this so much!!!!!!!!!!!!
The beginning of the book intrigued me from the get go – Yoshi was an interesting yet slow paced character.  The first part of the book is from his perspective and you get a taste of who he is, how he thinks, what’s going on in his head, very interesting character.
When part 2 hit you really got a flip  in the script, you could tell it was a different characters thoughts/emotions than the previous part, which I loved, it’s normally pretty hard to distinguish certain characters and they all end up blurring, this did NOT at all blur.  And damn if he wasn’t darn adorable and sweet!!!!!!!!!!!
I was shocked at the comedy parts of this book, for such serious subject matter it was very entertaining – and one line particularly at the end was truly genius and amazing.
I honestly cannot wait until the next book in the series comes out, I want to see Oz and Con and Enrique .. the whole gang and how they’re going to settle down, etc.

Such a great book, such a great book!

Cover Artist: Amai Designs Samantha Santana– at first I didn’t understand it, but after reading the book and seeing it up close it fits – and man the guy on the cover is exactly who I pictured (maybe slightly more muscular)

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 206 pages
Published May 21st 2019
ASINB07QCK8WX4
Edition Language English
Series The Assassins’ Guild #1

An Alisa Review: Love on the Rocks by J.P. Bowie

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Waking up on a pile of rocks with a bullet in his shoulder isn’t something Joe Brady saw coming, but perhaps the cute paramedic who finds him can do more than just help heal his wound.

 

Detective Joe Brady wakes up lying at the bottom of a cliff on a pile of rocks with a blond-haired angel hovering over him. No, he’s not in heaven. The blond is Riley Peterson, and his dog Champ is the one responsible for finding Joe. Fortunately for Joe, Riley is a paramedic and quickly gets him the emergency attention he sorely needs.

Shot by his rogue partner Bob Murdoch when Joe discovered Murdoch was running a protection racket for drug pushers, Joe wants to find Murdoch and bring him to justice, but he’s got a long road to recovery in front of him. While Joe is recuperating, Murdoch is arrested, giving Joe time to get to know Riley, the handsome paramedic. The two quickly bond, but Riley has an ex-boyfriend who wants back in Riley’s life and certainly has no qualms about playing dirty to get what he wants.

Slashed tires, an assault in a parking lot, and a prison break all seem set to doom Joe and Riley’s budding relationship. And when the deranged Murdoch determines to make them pay for his fall from grace—at gunpoint—it seems their relationship isn’t the only thing in danger…

 

Reader advisory: This book contains themes of stalking and harassment. There are references to abusive parenting and an abusive relationship, attempted murder and murder and on-page violence.

This story was okay but I wasn’t able to get into it.  Joe was very confident in his abilities as a detective but didn’t seem to have any faith in his co-workers.  Riley is overly sweet and is not the type of person to intentionally hurt someone.

I did not like how Joe thought he would have to be the one to go after his partner even when his boss told him it would be handled and for him to heal up.  To me Joe and Riley fell into a routine together but didn’t really talk about it and then seemed surprised when the other considered them in a relationship, I mean seriously.  The drama was Riley’s ex was not needed and felt thrown in to have something else going on but was more annoying than it did anything to help the story.  In the end, I just didn’t feel the character’s connection and it felt forced.

The cover art by Erin Dameron-Hill is nice and connects with the title of the story.

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 175 pages

Published: April 2, 2019 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-78651-729-6

Edition Language: English

A Lucy Audio Review Finding Love:The Perfect Size for You by Lily G. Blunt and Sean Crisden (Narrator)

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Rating:3 stars out of 5

A male escort takes on an inexperienced client and breaks the first rule of rent boys: don’t get attached.

After updating his Rent Boy blog profile, well-endowed porn star Ty receives a text from a sexually inexperienced client. Andy, the client, asks Ty to provide him with the necessary know-how so should he ever get a date with the guy he’s attracted to, he’ll be fully prepared.

Little does Ty know that this hookup will lead to a friendship that will subsequently change his life.

This is a short story, 70 pages long and just over an hour on audio.  The length and the amount of sex work against it because there isn’t a whole lot of time to feel the connection between these two.  I could see them as friends but I didn’t see them as partners. 

Andy was the highlight of the story for me.  He’s young looking and nerdy to the point that when Ty shows up for their paid hookup Ty believes him to be the son of the man who hired him.  Whoops!  Andy wants to become well versed in the art of sex so he can woo and win the guy he’s been lusting after. Ty, as a rent boy and porn star with the title mentioned perfectly sized big dick, is the one he hires.

There is a lot of sex here as is to be expected due to the subject matter and the scenes were good enough that I actually listened and didn’t skim.  There’s a couple times I did roll my eyes with things but all in all, the friendship development was believable.  The biggest change is Ty’s, from total focus on money to realizing there is something more important. 

This ends with a HFN and one that I was dissatisfied with.  Others may not mind it as much but combined with the fact that I didn’t feel these guys as a couple anyway, I didn’t see this as a long term thing.

Narration is by Sean Crisden, a favorite of mine and as always he does a wonderful job differentiating voices and making the story come to life.

Available FREE in the Romance Package

Audible US

Audible UK

Audio Details:

Audible Audio, 2 pages
Published May 16th 2016 by Lily G Blunt (first published January 28th 2014)
Original TitleThe Perfect Size for You
ASINB01FMUK0B6
Edition Language English

Jodi Payne on Writing, Romance and her new release ‘Stable Hill’ (author guest blog)

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Stable Hill by Jodi Payne

Dreamspinner Press

Published May 21st 2019

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Jodi Payne here today talking about writing, romance, and her latest novel, Stable Hill.  welcome, Jodi!

 

Hi all! Thanks for coming by to read a little about me and about my new contemporary MMM ménage, Stable Hill! Today, I’m answering some interview questions.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

It depends on what I’m reading. If it’s a short piece—a short story or a shorter novella, I am perfectly happy with HFN. The short form is like that, you get a quick bite and the rest is left to your imagination. I love short fiction. But, if I’ve invested my time in a longer novella or full-length novel, I want the full resolution. I want to know for sure the amazing partnership I’ve been wishing and hoping for is forever. The only exception for me is a series, but I still need to feel like the MCs are solid, even if I know they’ll be tested in Book 2.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I read them as a teenager, but as an adult, while I do read romances, I read much more in the mystery/forensic thriller genre and non-fiction. I have to turn my brain away from Romance once in a while to keep things fresh. I find I get lots of new character ideas from other genres too.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I like real people. Real people aren’t perfect, they say the wrong thing sometimes, make a bad decision sometimes, are occasionally selfish… all of these things are part of being human and I don’t think I could write a character that didn’t have some of these flaws. I like to make them grow in the book as they grow into a relationship. I like to see the ways in which a lover, and falling in love, changes them.

What’s next for you as an author?

I have more in my pipeline than I ever have, thanks to my wonderful writing partnership with BA Tortuga. Our next book is called Land of Enchantment, it’s a romance between two young men, one of whom is a college student on the run from the east coast and the other is a bull rider and business owner who is firmly rooted in his chosen home in New Mexico (naturally, hence the title). I’ll be jumping into some independent publishing this year as well, keep an eye on my website (jodipayne.net) or in my Facebook author group (Jodi’s Gents) for more about that.

Stable Hill Blurb:

Will three men from very different backgrounds find a home and a future together?

After losing his husband to cancer, Oscar Kennedy has his hands full with their four girls, the house, his job, and his mother-in-law. When he loses his father too, keeping Stable Hill, the old horse farm where he grew up, becomes impossible. Oscar hires Jeffrey Stokes, a slick-looking real estate broker with a roll-up-his-sleeves work ethic, to get it on the market.

Russell White manages the day-to-day at Stable Hill. Russ had loved Oscar’s dad like a father, and took on even more responsibility when the old man fell ill. He is shocked and saddened by Oscar’s decision to sell.

All three men have a stake in Stable Hill, and it’s not long before they start to invest in one another too. But their complicated relationship doesn’t make having to sell Stable Hill any easier. Will the fragile triad they’re building last when the farm that brought them together is gone?

✒︎

About the Author

Jodi Payne spent too many years in New York and San Francisco stage managing classical plays, edgy fringe work, and the occasional musical. She therefore is overdramatic, takes herself way too seriously, and has been known to randomly break out in song. Her men are imperfect but genuine, stubborn but likeable, often kinky, and frequently their own worst enemies. They are characters you can’t help but fall in love with while they stumble along the path to their happily ever after.

For those looking to get on her good side, Jodi’s addictions include nonfat lattes, Malbec and tequila any way you pour it. She’s also obsessed with Shakespeare and Broadway musicals. She can be found wearing sock monkey gloves while typing when it’s cold, and on the beach enjoying the sun and the ocean when it’s hot. When she’s not writing and/or vacuuming sand out of her laptop, Jodi mentors queer youth and will drop everything for live music. She lives near New York City with her beautiful wife, and together they are mothers of dragons (cleverly disguised as children) and slaves to an enormous polydactyl cat.

Tagline: You’re gonna love this guy…

Book Links:

Universal Books2Read Link: books2read.com/StableHill

Dreamspinner

Social Media Links:

Website: www.jodipayne.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/payne.jodi

FB Author Group: www.facebook.com/groups/jodisgents

Twitter: @JodiPayne

Instagram: @jodipayne1800

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jodi-payne

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/267617.Jodi_Payne

Love a Little Thrill in your Romance? Check out the Blog Tour for T.A.G. You’re Seen (The Assassins’ Guild #1) by A.G. Carothers (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: T.A.G. You’re Seen (The Assassins’ Guild, Book 1)

Author:  A.G. Carothers

Cover Artist: Amai Designs Samantha Santana

Release Date: May 21, 2019

Genre/s: MM Thriller Romance MM BDSM Romance

Trope/s: criminals and outlaws, first time, forbidden love, hurt/comfort, rescue, thrill of the chase

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Add on Goodreads

 

 

 T.A.G. You better hope you’re not it!

Blurb

Attention: This book contains explicit sexual content between consenting assassins and not so innocent professors. There are depictions of masochistic masturbation, male chastity, breath play, watersports, humiliation, and torture by eighties hair bands with ginger sprinkles on top.

Phew! Now, that that’s out of the way, Hi. I’m Mr. No your friendly communications agent for The Assassins’ Guild AKA T.A.G.

I’ve been authorized by the head honcho himself, Mr. H, to release approved records from the agent files.

Agent Code Name Mr. W was recovering from a near death debacle by way of an easy assignment in a small mountain town. Red flags sprang up immediately around the seemingly innocent English professor. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery Jacob Peters presented, Mr. W made plans to do what he did best, watch , wait , and then capture and interrogate.

But even the best laid plans can go awry and what Mr. W discovered derailed his plan to kill Jacob.

Find out what brought Mr. W to his knees in this first release from the archives of The Assassins’ Guild.

 

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

 

Excerpt  

Shortly, after the cock cage incident, Dad sat me down to have The Talk. I knew by then that I liked dick. At first, I thought maybe it was because I was around men all the time and hardly ever any women, but one day I pulled up cameras from the women’s locker room just to see. Yeah, even the more masculine looking females did nothing for me. I got off my dad’s laptop quickly before he caught me and went back to my room to look at the gay porn I had smuggled from the sex shop. So, my dad sits me down and I’m worried. Even as isolated as we were on the compound, I had access to the outside world. I knew how homosexuality was viewed. Yes, there were changes being made and it was more accepted now, but I still worried.

I was sitting at the kitchen table when Dad came in with a dildo in one hand and a weird looking toy in the other one. It looked scary from afar. He put them down on the table along with a condom and a bottle of lube before he sat down. I was already blushing and ready to make a dash back to my room, but he pinned me with that look he got when he was dead serious and started his explanation. He showed me how to put a condom on, which I rolled my eyes at because duh. That was proceeded with a long talk on all STDs, how you can catch them in non-sexual ways, symptoms, and pictures. He pulled up pictures on his laptop. I was mortified, but damn if I was going to make sure I used condoms no matter what.

He then picked up the item that I had been avoiding looking at. It was multicolored and just weird looking. It turned out to be a big silicon asshole more or less. It was weird. Later, I found out why it looked so weird, but that’s just not something I want to think about. Although, I did end up buying a few dildos from the fantasy dildo company it was from when I got older. But back to my horrifying sex talk with my dad. He opened the lube and briefly went over the best kinds of lube to use and when. At this point, it hadn’t occurred to me how my dad knew all this stuff. He was my dad. He knew everything as far as I was concerned. He then showed me how, if I were to have sex with another man, how to prepare them or myself for it using the silicon asshole of course. He explained things like the prostate and other key erogenous zones of the male genitalia. By the end, I knew I was scarlet and dying of embarrassment. If my dad was embarrassed in anyway, he didn’t show it. He was very clinical about it. He used his instructor voice and could have been going over the parts of a P-90, he was so unphased.

He never once said anything about women. The next day, I went to his office and asked him, “How did you know?”

He quirked an eyebrow at me and said, “Yoshi, do you really think Mr. Th (that was his assistant) got you stuff from the adult store in town without my permission?”

I turned beet red and stuttered, “No, sir.” I thought I was in huge trouble and kept my eyes on my feet.

My dad pulled me into his arms and hugged me tight, surprising me. “I’m not mad. I’m glad that you went to him rather than try to sneak off on your own or do something irresponsible. I figured you weren’t ready to talk to me about those kinds of things and that’s okay. Just know that I’m always here if you need me and I’ll never judge you.” I nodded and hugged him tight, not realizing that I had started crying. I hadn’t really thought how much I was worried about it until I felt the relief his words brought me.

“I love you, Dad.” The words came out more of a whisper than I intended.

He pushed me to arm’s length, so he could see me and wiped my eyes. “I love you too, Son. Now, go out to the range. You have a test tomorrow.” I nodded and headed to the door. I had my hand on the knob when he spoke again. “Just so you know, I’m gay too.”

I turned my head in shock. The surprise evident on my face, my eyes wide. He furrowed his brows at me. “What? Did you not think I had a love life, too?”

I tried to pick my jaw up off the ground to answer. “No, Dad. Honestly, I never thought about you having a relationship much less sex.”

Dad burst out laughing then. “Well, I do.”

I stuck my fingers in my ears and started singing, “Lalalalala. I don’t want to know, Dad.”

My dad sobered then and cleared his throat. “Do you think if I found someone I really liked that you’d be okay if I brought him round?”

I took my fingers out of my ears and went back and threw my arms around him again and squeezed tight and then let go. “Yeah, Dad.” Before things could get any more awkward, I dashed out the door and closed it behind me. I hissed traitor as I passed Mr. Th’s desk and went out to the range.

 

About the Author

A.G. Carothers is actually a dragon very cleverly disguised as a human. They are a non-binary author of LGBTQIA Romance and Urban Fantasy, who enjoys writing original and entertaining stories. They are very excited to share the worlds they’ve created with you.


A.G. currently lives in Tennessee with their platonic life partner, who is not a dragon. They yearn to live back in Europe and will some day. In their spare time they are addicted to losing themselves in the lovely worlds created by other authors

A.G. is committed to writing the stories they see in their head without restrictions. Love is blind and doesn’t see gender, race, or sexuality.

 

Author Links

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Readers Group

Twitter: @ag_carothers

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