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BookBlitz: What Secrets has she got?

Secrets of a Duke’s Daughter
The Duchess’s Investigative Society, #1
Samantha Holt
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance
Independent
March 8th 2021

A duke’s daughter must be prepared for whatever life—and love—throws her way…

Lady Cassandra Fallon is finally ready to take control of her life and join her late mother’s investigative society. She’s more than confident she can do the job—even when her first case involves a potentially deadly scandal. What she’s not quite prepared for is her brother’s attractive (and increasingly distracting) friend acting as her self-appointed bodyguard…

When Lord Luke promised his best friend he’d keep an eye on Cassie, he meant it. But the brazen and entirely too alluring woman she’s become is a far cry from the mischievous, freckled girl she used to be. Luke knows a lowly viscount has no business longing for (or touching) a duke’s daughter. But against all reason…he does…

She craves independence. He only craves her. An epic battle of the sexes is at hand. But will love be enough to get them to happily ever after? Cassie and Luke will soon find out…

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A duke’s daughter must be prepared for whatever life—and love—throws her way…⁣

⁣⁣⁣USA Today Bestselling author @samantha_and_duke is back with a new series, The Duchess’s Investigative Society! Book 1, Secrets of a Duke’s Daughter, is out NOW! Get it FREE on #KindleUnlimited ➞ https://amzn.to/3kLvM2F⁣

⁣⁣⁣#Bibliophile #Bookshelf #BookClub #Bookish #Booksy #BookNerd #BookWorm #hisfic #historicalromance #SamanthaHolt #XpressoTours @XpressoTours #Bookstagram #bookstagrammer #BookBlogger #BookQueen #BookLove #BookStack #GoodReads #BookShark #BookCommunity #ReadersOfInstagram #BookBabe #Reading #BookAesthetic #BookishPost

Excerpt One:

“Anton will not be pleased you are keeping secrets.”

“Anton is not here, and even if he were, he would not be as tiresome as you are being.” She shook her head. “I know you mean well, Luke, but I am not going to get into trouble as my brother fears and it is rather tedious to be treated as though I am still a little girl.”

Oh he well knew that. If she were, he would not have to dwell on how womanly she appeared in her powder blue pelisse. More slender than technically fashionable, her figure still teased, the coat hugging under her breasts and offering a hint of curves.

Luke prided himself on being an equal opportunities sort of a man, finding himself attracted to a variety of traits but there was something about the tall length of Cassie that made him want to claw at his gut to rid himself of the itch there.

If he had a penny for every time he’d thought of her naked over the last year or so he’d be, well, still too poor to afford Cassie’s upkeep but it would certainly buy a decent meal. His desire to see her long legs, bare and spread out on his sheets, or those delicate breasts free of their confines bordered on the obscene.

He clenched his jaw and watched their progression through the busy London streets. Drivers cursed one another and pedestrians darted between the vehicles, slowing the journey to an agonizing pace. He needed it over as soon as possible so he could breathe Cassie-free air and rid himself of this madness.

Because, damn it, she was Anton’s little sister.

“I will never understand why you do Anton’s bidding. Surely you have better things to do with your time?”

He allowed a tight smile. Cassie had little idea quite how wild he had been back in his college days and how close he had come to ruining his life forever. He considered that perhaps he should tell her and frighten her away for good, but he couldn’t bring himself to see the disappointment in her gaze.

“I gave Anton my word to protect you, Little Cassie, and I am a man of my word.”

She made a dismissive noise and lifted her gaze to the roof of the closed carriage. “You men and your word. I would rather see action than words.”

Luke’s throat tightened and he swallowed hard, but the knot did not budge. She wanted action. He wanted to give it to her. By some miracle, he managed to remain on his seat and resist the desire to leap across the gap between them and pin her to her chair, ensuring they went absolutely nowhere while he showed her exactly what sort of action he was capable of.

“I am here, in your carriage, escorting you to your friend’s house.” He forced a relaxed smile that felt borderline fraudulent. “That is action, Cassie.”

The redness in Cassie’s cheeks deepened. “Must you be so…relentless.”

“I must.”

“Well, I do not care what anyone has told you, it is a frustrating trait.”

Luke smirked to himself. Frustrated by him she might be, but he doubted Cassie felt even half of the frustration he suffered by simply being in her company.

Today would be a long day.

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Book & Author Details:

AUTHOR BIO:

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Samantha Holt is known for fun, witty, and usually steamy historical romances. She’s been a full-time writer for longer than she ever thought possible having originally trained as a nurse and an archaeologist. She’s a champion napper, owner of too many animals, mum to twins, and lives in a small village near the very middle of England.

She’s usually writing (or napping) but when she’s not, Samantha is plotting (books of course!) with her husband, drinking coffee, climbing hills that are far too high for her fitness levels or visiting stately homes and pretending she’s posh.

You can claim a free book by signing to to her newsletter www.samanthaholtromance.com

If you’re not sure where to start, why not try:

Capturing the Bride (The Kidnap Club #1). A fun Regency read full of spice and an unusual heroine trying to escape an arranged marriage and a hero who has no idea how to keep his hands off her!

You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.

There Are Plenty More Dukes in the Sea (The Inheritance Clause #1) is a fun, steamy read focused on the Templeton family as they fight to save their inheritance.

Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.

To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.

Author links:

https://www.facebook.com/samanthaholtromance/

https://www.instagram.com/samantha_and_duke/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6458884.Samantha_Holt

https://samanthaholt.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=cd4c9a291cda3d8398f6cc6b2&id=497911adeb

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What might you dare? Book Reviews.

All available for free on KU.

Once upon a time there were a series of books about women living in the Regency period who dared. Who dared each other to do something somewhat scandalous in that period of time. There are 12 books in this series – and another series just starting about their daughters. [You should be aware that due to timing of babies and that one marriage had 8 children, daughters were being born just as the oldest daughters were being married – not that wasn’t unusual in those days, it happened to my own grandmother!]

The books are of course rather feminist in tone and include women who dare to break the conventions – to begin with because the original set of ladies were unconventional – bookworms, unmarriageable due to birth circumstances, and so on. So they formed a club – The Peculiar Ladies. Note that birth circumstances in that time included being Irish or Scottish as well as partly Indian, illegitimate, without a dowry etc etc and definitely including having some intelligence and showing it. Remember, this was a time when the law made women effectively chattels. Once married they were ‘owned’ by their husbands. There was no law to protect them from any abuse, their property was controlled by their husbands unless it was legally tied up before their marriage as some fathers did, and opinions were things they should not have. Some men went so far as to forbid their wives to read because it meant they might form their own opinions rather than accepting his.

Now 12 books is too many to review. Suffice to say they are all fun, include some naughty Bridgerton scenes, and I shall indicate by an image for each one, the denouement or a keen clue.

To Dare a Duke (Girls Who Dare Book 1) (29 Mar 2019)

To Steal a Kiss (Girls Who Dare Book 2) (3 May 2019)

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To Break the Rules (Girls Who Dare Book 3) (7 Jun 2019)

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To Follow her Heart (Girls Who Dare Book 4) (9 Aug 2019)

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To Wager with Love (Girls Who Dare Book 5) (13 Nov 2019)

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To Dance with a Devil (Girls Who Dare Book 6) (12 Dec 2019)

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To Winter at Wildsyde (Girls Who Dare Book 7) (7 Feb 2020)

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To Experiment with Desire (Girls Who Dare Book 8) (20 Mar 2020)

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To Bed the Baron (Girls Who Dare Book 9) (24 Apr 2020)

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To Ride with the Knight (Girls Who Dare Book 10) (29 May 2020)

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To Hunt the Hunter (Girls Who Dare Book 11) (3 Jul 2020)

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To Dance until Dawn (Girls Who Dare Book 12) (14 Aug 2020)

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I thought I would just add a rider about marriage and the 3 ways you could marry in Regency times.

According to the Marriage Act of 1754 you could:

  1. Call Banns in a church where you were a congregant. as now.
  2. Have a Special Licence – which enabled you to marry in haste. Archbishop of Canterbury and allowed a marriage to take place anywhere, not just within a place of worship licenced for marriages. A handful were granted each year, usually to members of the upper reaches of the aristocracy. See Jane Austen’s London for more details of Marriage in Regency times.
  3. Obtain a Commons Licence. this was normally issued by one of the following – an Archbishop, an Archdeacon, the Minister of a named parish such as St Paul’s. You went to Doctor’s Commons in London for the Registry. There needed to be no impediments. You had to be over age of consent for marriage. Sometimes you had to provide a money bond. And in theory you needed to be resident in the Parish where you were to be married, for 4 weeks – but often ignored.
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Secrets not always best kept: Book Review

content?id=xTTKDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&source=gbs api - Secrets not always best kept: Book Review The Earl With The Secret Past
Janice Preston
Fiction, Historical, Regency
HarperCollins UK, Mills and Boon, Harlequin
June 25, 2020
368
four star - Secrets not always best kept: Book Review

An unexpected inheritance An explosive reunion. Hardworking architect Adam Monroe’s world is shaken when he inherits an Earldom! Thrust into the ton, he bumps into widow, Kitty Fenton – his lost love. Years before, he’d refused to elope with Kitty to save her from ruin, and was heartbroken she’d married so soon after he left. Perhaps fate has given him a chance to discover the truth – after all beneath the hurt the sparks of attraction are as strong as ever…

This is another version of the historical trope with an unexpected inheritance of a title. The Earl as he becomes, was not expecting to inherit but instead to work for a living, but a death up the line – his father in fact, thrust him into the role. It turns out his mother had been lying to him all his life about who is was…
And the horror of this lack of knowledge had meant that he had paid the price in his youth for not marrying the girl he loved, as he thought himself too lowly in society for her. And of course, she then went on to marry someone else.
But now she was a widow and he had the chance to gain her back. So the trope begins. But Kitty was not the girl he remembered. In her marriage she had grown up to be a woman of strength and ideas, and marrying again was not one of these ideas. So a courtship begins. And ends as we all expect with a marriage.
Nicely written with the nice initial plot twist layering onto the trope.  

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When a horse is aristocratic

content?id=ULAHEAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&edge=curl&source=gbs api - When a horse is aristocratic Ten Days with a Duke
12 Dukes of Christmas
Erica Ridley
Fiction, Romance, Regency
Erica Ridley
November 13, 2020
200
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From a New York Times bestselling author: a second chances, enemies-while-lovers reunion romance where nothing is as it first appears, and everyone’s motives are suspect… Olive Harper's family has been feuding with the Westons for decades. The Westons’ stud farm is the biggest, but the Harpers’ is the most famous... and she's the sole heiress. Or was, until her father brokers a truce by offering the Weston heir the Harper farm. The only way to get it back is to marry the knave who kissed her and humiliated her, twice—or prove to her father that some rifts can never be healed. Scholar and botanist Elijah Weston is dreadful at feuding. For one, he prefers horticulture to horses. For two, he's been desperately in love with his mortal enemy ever since he kissed her—and, yes, publicly destroyed her—all those years ago. When he's given ten days to win Olive's heart, he arrives with marriage license in hand. But where lies and double-crosses abound, how can lifelong rivals learn to trust their hearts? The 12 Dukes of Christmas is a series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village. Twelve delightful romances… and plenty of delicious dukes!

So we are back in Cressmouth aka Christmas where we have a horse ranch that that we have we have heard about before as they supply the horses that pulled the sledges up the very steep High Street; and of course Prinnie, the Prince Regent, wanted to buy Duke the amazing stallion who doesn’t like anyone to ride him – apart from one person – that is the person who nursed him through his foal- hood, who bottle fed him and who trained him. Our heroine in other words.

However as we know, in Regency times we have come across this problem before – women cannot inherit or own property  – they need a man, and so it’s necessary for our heroine to find a man. Also her father thought she should be married so that she could then own the horse farm through him, or at least that’s what he told her.

He had long ago had a major argument with his partner which had led to the horse business being split into 2;  one part in Christmas and the other part in London. He now contacted his ex-London partner to facilitate a rapprochement, and suggested that his son might marry our heroine and this is where the Story starts. There is one problem however with the London son – he’s a botanist doesn’t really like horses. He is concerned with a major avenue of research – finding a herbal remedy for when the placenta is retained in childbirth – as this leads to the mother bleeding out – as his own mother had. Of course, this does not please his father, but he continues, and is in need of money to hire the necessary scientists for his project. He thus agrees to woo the heroine in =exchange for funding from his father.

 I’ve looked into some of the plants that are mentioned here in the book to see which ones do have some medicinal impact and some of them certainly do, others are really just decorative. The first one mentioned is nelumbo nucifera also known as the sacred Lotus or Indian Lotus. It is completely edible in all its parts and may be an antidepressant or anti diabetic; the second plant mentioned is olea sylvestris which is in fact the wild olive and as we know olives are very edible indeed. There is a mention of the grass that the horses have in their pasture – phleum pratense,  this is a perennial grass and actually isn’t all that good for horses to eat when it is still green. It is sometimes called cats tail and is especially good when added to hay as it produces fibre and is good for the horses teeth as it is rather tough.

One of the things being researched into are plants that can induce Labour. Sometimes midwives will recommend castor oil or raspberry tea, or blue cohosh tea. However, there are no reliable studies to support that any of them actually work.

There are two orchids that are also mentioned, a Costa Rican orchid also called the Easter orchid –

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– and an epiphytic orchid from the Asian Sub Continent which is miniature and very floriferous called vanda ampullacea.

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This series is fun and the Dukes in question are often unexpected. In this particular book, the Duke is a horse. I always enjoy this writer and is interesting to see that she has brought into the story plants from the part of the world in which she lives – Costa Rica. Which is a wonderful plant friendly  part of the world!

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By definition – a Rogue is naughty..

The Taming of a Wicked Rogue
(The Lords of Scandal Row, #1)
by Samantha Holt
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance
Publication date: November 10th 2020

Synopsis:

Forced to leave friends, family, and a life of privilege and fun, Rebecca Fortescue’s world changed overnight nearly ten years ago. Now, with the tightening of a noose, it’s changed again, but she needs to make amends for what her father did.

Which means returning, secretly, to the place where he did the most damage.

And to the residence of one Lord Leonard Moncrieff—the only man she’s ever loved.

She’s certain she won’t see him again, though. Nicknamed a Lord of Scandal Row, it’s clear to her, he’s no longer the boy she knew, and never returns home. The last thing she needs it to be distracted by a man deemed one of the most attractive men in London.

Unfortunately for Rebecca, Leo has been practically banished from London under the orders of his mother thanks to a scandal that, for once, had nothing to do with him. Now he has to spend his days playing the country gent and trying to avoid the female of the species.

It will be harder than he expected, given a sudden influx of young ladies to the area. He might be a rogue, but he has no desire to upset his delicate mother and will, albeit begrudgingly, play the dutiful son. He can avoid a few pretty faces, surely?

At least, until he discovers the beautiful Rebecca hiding in the stables. She’s in need of help, and he cannot resist, despite the fact she once shattered his young heart. The pull between them is as strong as ever but anything between them is impossible.

Or is it?

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Excerpt One

WHY WAS LEO here? Rebecca had followed his pursuits in the newspapers. He never came to Langmere. Ever.

She pushed her back against the wall of the stables. A little brick dust rained down upon her. She wrinkled her nose and held her breath. The lamplight only offered her a hint of his features as he ducked into the building that was shrouded in darkness by the late hour.

He still made her heart skip. Even after all these years. It shouldn’t have surprised her that it did. He always did that to her, and the years had been kind to him, hardening his jaw and filling out his shoulders.

He wore a shirt, slightly untucked and rolled up at the sleeves, revealing muscular forearms dusted with hair. He murmured something to the horse, and her stomach did a tumble. If she closed her eyes, she would be six and ten again, listening to him speak to his horses whilst perched on a milking stool and watching him with such admiration. Their love of animals had brought them together but that had swiftly turned into something else.

Sometimes, she suspected Leonard Moncrieff would be the only man she ever loved.

However, just because he was still kind to animals did not mean he was the same man. It pained her to read every column devoted to him and his dalliances, yet she could not help herself. They had not spoken in nearly ten years and she could not help but want to know every element to his life, even while it stabbed at her heart to read of the rake he had become.

He stilled and turned, the golden light dappling over his face. She sucked in a breath. No wonder women swarmed to him. The attractive young man she had known had grown into the most handsome man she had ever seen.

She clapped a hand over her mouth when his brow furrowed. He lifted the lamp and peered at the shadows. She waited, her heart pounding against her chest so loudly that she feared he would hear it.

Then he shook his head, returned the lamp to the plinth and turned back to the horse, smoothing strong hands down the animal’s flanks.

Rebecca inhaled a shaky breath through her nostrils. And regretted it. Instantly. The brick dust and hay combined made her nose tickle and her eyes water. She pressed a finger under her nose but to no avail. A sneeze burst from her, cracking through the stillness.

She jolted away from the wall with the intention of escaping but too late. Leo descended upon her and grabbed her arm. “Who are you?” he demanded.

She tried to wriggle free of his strong grip, but he grabbed her other arm. When she went to push past him, he shoved back, and she lost her footing and tumbled onto a pile of hay. He fell with her, the sudden tumble dragging him down. The breath left her lungs at the impact of his body atop hers, his strength and height utterly apparent.

“Get off me,” she grunted, struggling against his hold.

“What are you doing here, boy?”

She stilled at the word. He hadn’t recognized her. She supposed the shadows were too dark. And that meant her disguise had worked. With any luck, she could make her excuses, leave, and he would be none the wiser of her presence here.

“Just seeking shelter,” she murmured, keeping her voice low.

He kept her pinned, fingers curled around both wrists. The awareness of his hard body atop hers sizzled through her despite herself. She squirmed once more and he cocked his head, releasing her arms suddenly. “You’re no boy.”

Excerpt Two

“You do not have to stay,” she murmured between forkfuls of lukewarm but beautifully spiced duck.

“I told Alexander I was taking a stroll about the parkland.” He lingered by the window, his hands clasped behind his back, despite there being nothing for him to view from such a position.

She sighed and gestured to the chair opposite. “You had better sit then. It feels mightily odd eating with you towering over me.”

He lowered himself onto the chair, his frame seeming too big for a piece of furniture that had likely been designed for a woman.

She forced her attention to the food. Tomorrow she had intended to hunt down a woman with whom her father had been connected, and it would likely involve walking into Grasmere so she would need her strength.

“How are your brothers?” she finally asked when the silence stretched too long.

Not that it was uncomfortable, at least not in the traditional manner. It left her feeling oddly achy and desperate for the days when they had been able to talk and touch freely.

“Well enough, though I cannot say they would confide in me were they not.”

She frowned, gesturing with her fork. “But you used to be so close, especially to Adam.”

“We are all busy these days.” He lifted both shoulders. “Alexander is forever hunting out his next adventure, probably determined to kill himself so he does not have to worry about siring an heir, and Adam still enjoys cards.”

“And you, what do you do?”

“I thought you knew all about me.” He smirked. “You have read all about me in the gossip columns after all.”

“Well, yes.” Warmth spread into her face, and she eyed the glossy table top until she could get the heat under control. “But only briefly,” she lied.

Leo leaned back and laced his hands behind his head. “Then I am sure you know it all.”

“The horses,” she blurted, motioning so fast with her fork that a few remnants of meat flung off it and splattered against the curtains. She grimaced and gently lowered the fork.

His lips curved but he said nothing of her disastrous manners.

“What I was trying to say was there are so many horses. Are they yours?”

He nodded. “We are so seldom here that Alexander does not mind me using the park land for the horses.”

“For racing?”

“No. They are too old. I purchase those who are at the end of their racing or working careers and they live out their retirement here.”

“Of course you do.”

Rebecca should not have been surprised really, but she almost wished there was some selfish reason. It would make it all the easier to ignore this pull toward him as though he had lassoed a rope around her and was slowly hauling her in with his every word and action.

He lifted both brows. “You sound almost disappointed.”

“Well, it does rather ruin your image as the seductive rake.”

“And that disappoints you?” His gaze clashed with hers, making her chest feel tight.

“No, it is just—”

“You want to know why I bedded all those women over the years?”

“Leo—”

“Because of you, Rebecca.” His jaw twitched. “To forget you.” He shoved a hand through his hair, leaving it in disarray. “I needed to get you out from under my skin, but I’ll be damned if I succeeded.”

She inhaled a sharp breath that seemed to sear her lungs. It all could be a lie, she supposed, but she did not think so. His confession had the loop tightening, drawing her closer still until she could fight him no longer.

Perhaps, just for now, she did not want to fight him.

“I never forgot you either,” she confessed.

The words escaped without thought and she should have regretted them, but when his gaze darkened and she knew precisely what his next move would be, she could not bring herself to.

She held herself still and waited.

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AUTHOR BIO:

USA Today Bestselling author Samantha Holt lives in a small village in England with her twin girls and a dachshund called Duke. If you’re not sure where to start why not try…

▶ Amelia and the Viscount (Bluestocking Brides #1) for a fun, slightly hot shorter length read. Meet the Chadwick sisters and follow their adventures in each of their standalone stories.

▶ You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.

▶ Sinful Confessions is the first in the Cynfell Brothers Series. These are all novella length and standalone–ideal for a quick dip into the world of the sexy Cynfell brothers.

▶ Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.

▶ To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.

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Author links:

https://www.facebook.com/samanthaholtromance/

https://www.instagram.com/samantha_and_duke/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6458884.Samantha_Holt

https://samanthaholt.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=cd4c9a291cda3d8398f6cc6b2&id=497911adeb

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