Friday, 31 May 2013

Torn Book Blog Tour - Review


TORN
By: Amber Lehman

Blurb

A group of Southern Californian teens learn pivotal lessons about sexuality, friendship, love and life.
It was different this time; we weren't acting on a dare. I knew our motive; we were practicing the act, hoping to impress the right boy when it came time. But then something happened in the mix of the moment, in the mix of the alcohol. It wasn't planned, but somehow our kissing experiment turned into something else. Things went further . . . and once they had, once I returned to earth from the euphoria . . . I wrestled with my feelings at that frank realization, questioning whether our said objective was entirely true.
When fourteen-year old Krista McKinley transfers from Catholic school in Ohio to California's public Crestmount High, she discovers she has a lot to learn. Luckily, she is befriended by Carrie and Brandon and things start to look up. But when a simple dare tests Krista's values, it sends her entire world spiraling into a confusing series of events that leaves her questioning her identity as well as the people around her.


Author Info
At age 22, author Amber Lehman began researching and writing what would become the novel TORN. Her writing occurred during a chaotic period of her life and she was often forced to set aside writing time to tend to family and personal matters. It was 5 years before TORN was completed to her satisfaction. It went through too many editing stages to count, and the end result was quite different than what was originally an 1100 page novel. After years of setting it aside, Amber finally revisited it and it was trimmed down to the 404 pages you now see. Then she waited another 9 years before she got the courage to publish it. Although  TORN is closer to what Amber calls “faction” than fiction, TORN draws upon experiences from her life as she observed and participated in the social dramas surrounding her friends lives and past relationships.
A native of southern California, Amber loves to write and illustrate every chance she gets. She spends most of her days conversing with her cat, Mouse. She enjoys German culture and language, and while it’s no secret that she holds a special affinity for the LGBTQ community, she does also look forward to writing books in many different genres.
Author Links
Website / Twitter / Facebook 

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Buy Links
Giveaway (Five Signed Copies) US ONLY
 

Source: eARC for Honest Review
Genre: YA, M/M, F/F, M/F

My Review...

I love the concept of a young girl and her friends finding themselves in a big world of possibilities.  Trying to find their definition of normal where we are brought up with a way that society and religion try to make us conform to their definition of what normal should be.

First there is Krista who is a biracial 14 year old being basically raised by her older brothers because her mom left her for a missionary trip and her dad was a sperm donor.  Her first kiss happens to be with a girl which opens up a world of confusion so what do you do to remedy that but lose your V card to a gay boy and hang out with someone twice your age..


Brandon who was my favorite throughout the book but here is the one thing that bothered me. He was supposed to by gay but he is supposed to come off like no one knew he was gay except his close friends but his dialogue and character through the book was very effeminate which was hard to believe otherwise.  His character is supposed to be popular with both all the females and males.

Now we have Carrie who is just as confused as Krista but begins to make some bad decisions and gets into a world of trouble which only creates a bigger issue for all
Now Nick who was thought to be straight comes out and ends up with Brandon but he too is also super confused and is trying to find his way with his new identity.

Now Ryan I felt his crush on Krista was out of nowhere but hey with teenagers who the hell knows these days but he too became a bit confused with what and whom he wants

Now Daemon who is 28 and yes let me repeat Krista is 14.  This was a hard storyline to swallow for me. The whole Krista/Daemon thing made me cringe while I was reading it. I felt better after Marc's theory of why but until then I felt like my eyes were burning.

Still during this time Brandon is getting around and all over the map with his emotions

The things that frustrated me with this book was there were WAY too many things going on, which made the book slow going and with quite a few timeline and detail inconsistencies (which unfortunately is a bog pet peeve of mine but I do get why it happens).

Again I liked the concept and after reading this book I have discussed it with many others and I realize that unfortunately this confusion about sexual identity, sex, drugs and the idea of love is quite a big deal for teenagers but it was a lot to take in and I will admit it has been MANY MANY years since I was a teenager and in my era these things weren't as a big deal as they are now.

In the end all things come to a head and end up how they end up. Some will have mixed emotions with the end but to me it made sense and I felt it was a good choice for all.

This story is a very visceral read with elements of absent parents, confusion, drugs, loss, hope, rape, incest, homosexuality and love.

3.5 Thumbs up! 
thumbs upthumbs upthumbs up. 5
Lauren





Excerpt
Sunday night. I sat perched on the chair behind my desk with only the faint glow from my reading light. By 10:00 p.m. the night air was crisp as it floated through my bedroom window. I had been by myself for hours now.
I closed my math book and abandoned my homework. I couldn’t concentrate; wandering thoughts continued to distract me. I bit my lip and thought about my options. I wanted to talk. I needed to talk, and Brandon was the only person in whom I could confide. It was late, but I picked up the phone and dialed, praying he would answer.
After the third ring, Brandon said, “Hello?”
“It’s Krista.”
“Hey, gorgeous.” He sounded remarkably awake.
“I can’t sleep.”
“Daydreaming about Daemon?”
“Try bored. Josh is on a date and basically told us not to expect him home. Marc had an emergency call from the hospital. Just thought I’d see if you wanted to come over—hang out.”
After a moment he said, “Sure.”
“You’re the best, Brandon.”
“That’s what they all say.”
I couldn’t help smiling. “See you when you get here.”
I hung up the phone, then sat back on my bed and began thinking. I was scared to be alone in the house at night, but I had other things on my mind, too. Tonight would be the perfect opportunity to talk to Brandon. I had a daring question for him—that is, if I got up the courage to ask him. I’d been tossing around an unlikely idea in my head ever since he had surprised me with his boyishly sweet kiss. Just as Carrie and I practiced I began to wonder how things might be if I were doing the same thing with a boy.
Was it horrible of me to consider it? Was it something I had no business asking? Would he hate me or be offended if I did? I was afraid. I couldn’t be sure how he would react. Well, there was only one way to find out.
Twenty minutes later, Brandon rang my doorbell.
“Coming,” I yelled, sliding down the tile of the foyer in my stocking feet to come to a skidding halt at the door. I flung it wide open.
“Hey, you,” he said through a brilliant smile. He wore well-fitted blue jeans and a silky, short-sleeved, button down shirt in a deep shade of blue. He looked beautiful in blue. He came inside and closed the door behind him. We hugged in greeting, and I inhaled a sweet hint of his cologne.
“Thanks for coming.”
“No problem.”
“You can pick the movie,” I said as we walked into the living room. “Over by the cabinet.” Brandon headed toward the entertainment center while I went into the kitchen.
I returned with two cans of Coke, then flopped down Indian-style on the couch. “Did you find one?” I said.
Smiling, he handed me Can’t Buy Me Love.
“Again? We’ve only seen it a hundred times.”
“But Patrick Dempsey’s irresistible in this role.” He gave me one of his ridiculous grins.
“Fine. But I’ve never understood your taste in men.”
Brandon put the movie in, then sat down beside me. I tossed him a bag of Skittles. The usual hard-fast rules about not talking didn’t apply to this movie, since we knew it by heart. Sometimes it seemed as if we played it solely for background atmosphere. I made myself comfortable as the opening credits began to roll.
“How’s Carrie?” he asked.
Carrie hadn’t been at school for the past two days. In fact, her school attendance over the past month had been erratic. I really had no answer. When I had called Carrie’s house, her mother stated that she wasn’t accepting phone calls. So far, she hadn’t let me in on what was going on.
“She still hasn’t talked to me about it.”
I turned my attention back to the television and watched half-heartedly.
The movie had been on for a while as I considered my dilemma. I wrestled with the idea of approaching the subject; it had the potential to turn things weird, real quick. Brandon laughed at a scene from the movie.
I made a tentative beginning. “Brandon.”
He turned to look at me. “What’s up?”
“I kind of . . . need to talk to you.”
“So talk.”
“How many girls have you slept with?” Not very subtle. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to,” I added quickly.
 He studied me. “That question’s left field even for you,” he said.
I shrugged.
“So what’s up?” Grabbing the remote control, he lowered the volume.
“Just curious, I guess. You’ve never really talked about it.”
“There isn’t much to tell.”
“But you have. . .”
“Yes. Twice.”
I reached for my soda trying to act casual. “Did you like it?”
“The first time was kinda weird,” he said as if he were summoning some far‑off memory. “Very vague. I don’t know . . . I was really drunk. Barely have any recollection of it at all.”
“So if you liked guys, why did you bother with girls?”
“I guess because I was kind of lost. I knew I felt differently, but at the same time, I was afraid someone would find out, so I tried to ignore it. Basically went along with what everyone else was doing. All anyone ever talked about was how great sex was. There was always talk about what girls did what.” He shrugged. “My curiosity got the better of me. I figured I was missing out on something.”
“And . . . ”
His lips crooked into a smile and then he laughed. “It was . . . interesting.”
“When was that?”
“Two years ago.”
“Were you nervous?”
“Considering I had no idea what I was doing, yeah, I’d say so.” After a moment he added, “Well, at least I tried it.”
“But I saw a talk show that made it sound like gay men are totally turned off by women.”
“You watch too many of those damn talk shows. I can’t speak for everybody, but not all gays feel that way.” Brandon studied my eyes. “Am I going to have to drag out what’s bugging you?”
My stomach fell and my heart rate quickened. A lump formed in my throat.
“Does this have to do with Carrie? You know. . . I’ll help in any way I can.”
He might live to regret those words. “Thanks,” I managed to say. This was it. If I was ever going to have the nerve to ask him, it had to be now.
“Are you feeling well?” he said suddenly.
My voice, barely audible, struggled to get the words out; I had officially reached panic mode. “I need to ask you a favor.” Looking down at the couch, I picked at the fabric. “A big one.”
“All right. What is it?”
I couldn’t look at him, but I mustered up all the courage I had and took a deep breath. “Would you . . . ” I stopped, cleared my mind and tried again. My voice was barely audible. “Will you be my first?”
Heat rushed to my cheeks so fast that I thought I would surely pass out during the awkward silence that followed. I felt like an ass. I flicked a nervous glance at him. His face was utterly blank.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have mentioned it.” Why had I opened my mouth?
“Kris, you can have any guy you want. Why me?”
“I trust you. I don’t know . . . all these things have been going on with Carrie . . . it’s so confusing,” I said. “Anyway, I—I want it to be you.” There. I said it. “Will you do it?”
There was no way to know what he was thinking because he didn’t answer me for a while. His voice had lost all humor. “You kinda caught me off guard.” He looked at me again. “How long have you been thinking about this? Have you actually thought this through?”
I ignored his first question. “I have. I’m completely sure.” I wasn’t, but I had to do something. “If I’ve offended you . . .”
“It’s not that.”
He sat perched on the edge of the couch, tipped forward with his elbows resting on his knees. He stared at his hands, brows pursed in concern. “You’re serious.”
“Dead serious.”
“I can get the keys to the beach house on Monday. We’ll—”
“No.” I swallowed hard. “It has to be now. You know Carrie and I are leaving for dance camp next week and I want to know…well I don’t now what I want to know but I want it to happen before then. And tonight, no one will be home tonight.”
He fell back into the couch, almost pale. “Tonight?”
“I need to know before I see Carrie again.”
Brandon opened his mouth but silence filled the air. He closed it when he couldn’t find a thing to say.
“Kris . . . ”
“I understand. It was ridiculous of me to think . . . ” I looked down, shifting my attention to my fingers. I finally made the admission. “At the party, I tried with Eric, but—”
“What? You really must’ve been on drugs! That’s craziness, Kris. I can’t believe you even considered it.”
His vehemence surprised me, and I sat there, silent.
“You’re afraid,” I said finally.
“Terrified.” He rubbed his hands together. “For more than one reason. If anything went wrong, I’d hate myself for it. And won’t you regret it not happening with someone you really like, maybe even someone you love?”
“I thought you didn’t believe in love.”
“We’re talking about you.”
“I just want to experience what most girls do. Doesn’t that make sense?”
“Make sense? You really don’t believe this a typical request, do you?”
“I’m not expecting it to be perfect. I know the first time is generally a disappointment. I read Seventeen magazine.”
His expression was wary. Maybe he didn’t want me to decide my sexual preference based on an experience with him.
He rubbed his hands over his face. “We’ll see what happens,” he said.



Thursday, 30 May 2013

Never Say Never Blog Tour- Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Never Say Never
By: Aimee Duffy

Blurb

When pretend turns to desire, heartbreak is unavoidable.

Sander Chase needs a date for his ex-fiancĂ©e's engagement party, but he doesn't have time for a woman in his life. Between working on the TV show Do You Have What It Takes? and his band reforming, he's too busy for a relationship. What he needs is a pretend girlfriend. He thinks he may have found the perfect woman for the job, and the bribe he offers means she's sure to accept.

After losing her job in the film industry, breaking up with her movie star boyfriend, and finding out her mum has dementia, Chloe Butler returned to the UK determined to put her life back together. The last thing she needs is to parade around London on the arm of a celebrity, and after the heartbreak caused by her ex, she swore she'd never again date a star. But when Sander offers her a chance at her dream job, it's not something she can turn down.

As Chloe gets to know Sander she learns he's nothing like her scumbag ex. But she struggles to fight her attraction to him, knowing their relationship is only for show and their separation date is closing in fast.

Ignoring the insane chemistry between them should be easy for Sander, especially since he carries a secret that means there can be no future for them, but the more time he spends with Chloe, the harder it is to keep his hands to himself.

Content Warning: contains more denial than you'll find in a courtroom, more sexual tension than most people could handle, and explosive sex that some readers may find long overdue.



Excerpt

Chloe Butler’s mouth dropped open. She struggled to remember how to close it as she stared at the man with the expectant expression on his avenging angel face. She couldn’t have heard him right. Sander Chase would never ask someone like her out on a date.

“Excuse me?”

He flashed his Hollywood smile. “Come on. Don’t make a guy ask twice.”

Nope, she’d not misheard him, nor had she gone mad. Months of serving him coffee and this was the first time he’d shown any kind of interest in her.

“I’m sorry.” She retreated a few steps. She couldn’t date a celebrity, not after what happened the last time. She was just beginning to get her life back together. Not to mention the fact her mum needed her around more than ever. “I can’t. Thank you for the offer.”

Chloe tried to smile politely, but it was harder than usual. She turned to head back to the counter to get on with her work. If her boss Richard caught her talking to a celebrity, he’d get the wrong idea and hand her a P45 before she could explain. After all, the coffee shop was a classy place. Not even the press were allowed in.

A large, warm hand ensnared her wrist and drew her to a halt. Electrified jolts shot up her arm from the contact.

“Can’t or don’t want to?”

She turned back to Sander and saw his brow was raised and amusement glittered in his baby blue eyes. Pushy, wasn’t he?

“Don’t want to,” she replied, determined not to give him any hope.

Can’t left wiggle room, and there was definitely no wiggle room. She’d sworn off men after the last one had taken her for a mug.

Her reply seemed to please him. His grin grew huge and her heart sped. She frowned at the reaction and put it down to the stress of the situation. After all, as far as she was concerned, her libido was extinct.

“That’s perfect.”

Was he mad? From her experience, celebrities could be a little…odd. But she’d never met a full-blown lunatic before. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean.”

Why wasn’t she backing away? Better yet, why wasn’t she demanding he let go of her arm? She darted a glance around the coffee shop. Most of the customers’ attention was on their morning papers.

“I don’t need a date. I need a pretend one.”

Hmm, definitely time to call the men in white jackets. Sander had clearly lost his marbles. “I really have to get back to work.”

She couldn’t believe a man who’d been in one of the best male vocal pop groups of all time had lost his mind. Or maybe that’s what the pressure of it did to him. She vaguely recalled the rumors surrounding their split, but hadn’t paid much attention to the international news. At the time she’d been in LA and stupidly in love with a jerk.

Sander released her arm and sighed. “I’m not saying this right, am I?”

He raked a large hand through his golden hair and blew out a breath. She smiled at his exasperation, but still didn’t move away. Chloe shook her head in answer to his question.

“My manager called today.” Sander waved his hand to urge her closer. She obeyed. “He wants to get the group back together.” His hot breath caressed her neck and she shivered. The smell of espresso mingled with his spicy aftershave resurrected those bloody extinct hormones. “One of his conditions is that I attend Paul’s engagement party next Friday to show the world I’m over our…fallout.”

Buy Links
Amazon: (Coming Soon)
Barnes & Noble (Coming Soon)

Author Info
About me (snooze—can you tell I hate the me stuff? Lol)

For as long as I can remember, I've had a good book in my hands. In primary school I loved Roald Dahl. In high school my English teacher introduced me to Charles Dickens, Stephen King, Jane Austin, Emily Bronte, and Shakespeare. It was then that I discovered my love for romance and I've wanted to pen my own imaginary heroes and heroines for others to enjoy ever since. Only in the last few years was I lucky enough to meet some fabulous and encouraging people to help me gain the skills to make that dream possible.

I live in sunny Scotland in a small town near the Ochils and work nine to five in a solicitors office. In my free time, you'll find me on Facebook, stalking *cough* following friends on Twitter, and may even catch me shoe shopping.

Feel free to follow me on:


Giveaway
Aimee will be hosting a TOUR WIDE COMMENTER Giveaway for a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card


Source: eARC for honest review
Genre: Adult
My Review...

When I read this it was just what I needed. A light quick love story.

This book is technically book 2 of a series but I have not read the first one nor did I feel it affected my reading experience.

It was a cute story about two people who put up walls to protect themselves as well as the illusion of protecting others with these walls.

The story was a bit predictable but like I said exactly what I needed with no huge drama or heartbreak.

Sander would be considered very successful to everyone but to his parents and to himself.  He feels like a disappointment and failure.  He was part of a successful pop band until his fiancee cheats on him with another band member.
 Insert Chloe who is a gorgeous make up artist/ coffee barista who is guarding her heart from celebrities.  Sander needs a date for publicity to his ex-fiancee and ex-friends engagement party and Chloe doesn't want a relationship so this sounds like the perfect solution.  Until...
Well of course that is the idea until emotions get involved then all hell breaks loose with their hearts.

But Chloe can see through the potential of Sander and likes him for who he is and not for what he portrays.
With Chloe's love it opens Sander's heart to the possibility of so much more.


3.5 thumbs up!
thumbs upthumbs upthumbs up . 5
Lauren

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

You Look Different in Real Life - Review

You Look Different in Real Life

by
For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life.

The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There'd be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.

Now sixteen, Justine doesn't feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.

But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what's on film. They've all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else's eyes.

Smart, fresh, and frequently funny, You Look Different in Real Life is a piercing novel about life in an age where the lines between what's personal and what's public aren't always clear


Source: eARC for honest review from edelwiess
Genre: YA

My Review...

I loved the concept of this book.  It was based on the lives of 5 teenagers who participated in a reality type film that made them famous and shaped their lives forever.

"... that it would change me. That instead of my life shaping a film. A film would shape my life. "


It is in present time but it goes back in time to make reference of why they are they way they are today.  There were so many emotions throughout this book as you were watching the characters grow.  Each one had their own strengths and weakness as individuals but as a group they shined.

This book was about them finding themselves and realizing what they want or need and not what others think they should be or feel.



 
 

The past movies had changed their lives and not for the better by pulling them apart from one another but they didn't realize that what they needed was each other.


It was a very unconventional sweet story about loss, hope, friendship, second chances and love.


4.5 Emotional Thumbs Up!
thumbs upthumbs upthumbs upthumbs up . 5
Lauren
 



Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Dangerous Submissions Blog Tour - Review, Excerpt & Author Question


Dangerous Submission
by Lori Toland

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

British Agent Drake Steele never thought when he was hired on at the Serious Organised Crime Agency that his job would involve spanking a co-worker. But when the colleague is Lord Robbie Covington, the sexy red-headed computer hacker for SOCA and MI-6, Drake can't agree fast enough to pop Robbie's cherry and pull him into the sensual world of BDSM.

Now they are caught up in a web of lies as they pose as members of the jet-setting crowd. Drake and Robbie have to race against the clock to stop a weapons haul that could threaten the safety of all Europe. As their covers begin to fade and danger is closing in, protecting Robbie is Drake’s most important task, but neither man is ready for the moment when their hearts are put on the line. 


I asked Lori what she thought makes the perfect partner and here is what she said...


Topic:  What makes the perfect partner?

What goes into making the perfect partner is really difficult but I come from a long line of people who have met their life partners. So I have some experience in watching real life HEAs. Most of them managed to luck out and marry the right guy or girl on the first try, which is great! Then comes the hard part: staying together for the Happily Ever After.

While books are fantasy, what makes our characters great is how readers can relate to the problems. They want to cheer for our heroes as they come together, only to find love. But a lot goes into developing the relationship between my book couples.

First there has to be chemistry between the two characters. Between all the books I've written and the ones I'm planning, trying to play matchmaker for all these guys running around in my head is almost impossible. But somehow they meet in a book and the attraction hits and BANG. The couple is off and running.

Then they have to overcome obstacles to be together and the harder they are to overcome, the better the feeling is when they finally make it together. In The Long Con, Bradley and Tony's obstacle was the borders between the US and the UK -- and a very big ocean. Dangerous Submission is all set in Europe and both characters are UK citizens, but Drake and Robbie live in different worlds. How can Robbie, the son of a duke, fall in love with Drake? Robbie just may have to take the reins in this relationship and teach his partner a thing or two about love.

Thanks for having me by! J


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

CEO by day, erotic romance writer by night, Lori Toland lives in Orlando where the summers are hot but the romance between her characters is even hotter. Writing since the tender age of 13, Lori somehow finds time to play video games and watch movies while taking care of her beloved cats and a husband who will forever be her hero.

Website: http://www.loritoland.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/loritoland

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tolandlori

Link to purchase:

Dangerous Submission - http://loritoland.blogspot.com/2013/03/dangerous-submission-dangerous-affairs.html

English Chaps (Sequel to The Long Con) Free Short Story from Loose Id - http://loritoland.blogspot.com/2013/03/english-chaps-dangerous-affairs-12.html

Sneak Peak into Dangerous Submissions...


Oblivious to my desire, he turned back to his suitcase and dragged out his tuxedo. “This party we’re going to tonight, it’s a black-tie ball, right?”

“Yes, it is.” I turned my back to him, trying my hardest to ignore how much my cock loved him nearly naked with just a scrap of cotton covering his bits.

“Do you think there will be dancing?”

God, I hoped not, because I was an awful dancer. Robbie would run away screaming from me if he saw me try to waltz. I mumbled something under my breath, hoping that would satisfy him.

He was persistent with his line of questioning, though. He let out a sigh. “What I’m trying to ask is…do you know how to dance?”

“Not really.”

“Maybe I should give you a quick lesson.”

Unable to hold back my horror, I groaned. “We don’t have to do that. It’s not a requirement to dance at this party, I’m sure.”

“No, it probably isn’t, but we aren’t supposed to be wallflowers either. We should try our hardest to fit in.”

“I’m six foot five, and you’re a redheaded royal. Do you really think we’re going to blend in?”
 

Source: eARC for Honest Review
Genre: M/M and BDSM

My Review...

So I said yes to this review because I will admit I am a fan of the m/m genre now add in a little BDSM and love and BAM you get quite the combo.

This was book 2 in the Dangerous Affairs series.  I never read the first one and I didn't feel that it affected this story. It could have helped with a bit more background of the series but I feel I had everything that I needed still to love this story.


Even though Drake acts like he is tough as nails and doesn't need anyone.  It isn't until he meets Robbie that he truly realized what he is missing in his personal love life as well as in his private world of BDSM.  He tries to keep Robbie at bay to not get either of them hurt professionally and personally but the pull between the two can not be denied.


Their chemistry was sizzling and their love for one another was very heartwarming at the same time.

This book had mystery, suspense, hot factor BDSM and pure sweet love between partners.

4 thumbs up!

thumbs upthumbs upthumbs upthumbs up
Lauren