Hideaway Cove by Anna Sullivan

download (2)Title: Hideaway Cove

Series: Windfall Island #2

Author: Anna Sullivan

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb: SOME PASSIONS CAN’T BE DENIED . . .

Jessi Randal walked away from her last relationship with a baby and a broken heart. Now, years later, the last thing this single mom wants is to give Windfall Island—and all its nosy residents—anything more to gossip about. But the moment she lays eyes on the tall, sexy stranger with the slow Southern drawl, she knows she’s in delicious trouble . . .

Holden Abbot is on the island to find the missing heir to the Stanhope family fortune. It’s his job to charm as many secrets out of the town as possible. And if he can charm Jessi into his bed, even better. When all evidence points to her as the heir, a dangerous enemy sets his sights on Jessi and her son. Now Holden will have to risk everything to protect the family he’s come to love.

Thoughts: Even though this isn’t the first in the series, I read this book without reading book #1 and was able to read this as a standalone novel. The backstory (figuring out who is the missing Stanhope heir) continues in book 2, but I believe I was able to pick up the crucial elements of this backstory from book 2. The couple highlighted in book 1 was different than book 2.

Jessi was in love with Lance and ended up pregnant at the ripe old age of 18. She thought they were going to get married, but Lance took off before the baby was even born. Jessi was left to raise her son on her own and deal with a town full of gossip and judgement. Now it’s been 8 years and Jessi is completely devoted to her son and making their life as normal as possible. She doesn’t date and that is ok with her.

Hold is in town working on a genealogy project, which is really a cover for figuring out the identity of the Stanhope heir. Working in close quarters is proving difficult as he’s ridiculously attracted to Jessi and she won’t give him the time of day. He’s determined to find a way into her life, but he’s not ready to make any commitments yet. He’s been burned before, so he keeps a secret. The question is when is the right time for him to share his secret with Jessi?

I have a love/hate relationship with romantic suspense novels. They can range anywhere from boring to way to farfetched for me. I need to be engaged in the romantic element as well as the suspenseful/mystery element. This was more of a mystery than suspense, but the good news for this book was that I did stay interested in both. The mystery of the Stanhope heir is the piece that keeps you guessing. Hold and Benji (yes, Benji, not Jessi) kept me interested in the romantic element. Yes, it’s strange that I picked the kid, but his reaction to Hold and their interaction kept me involved more than Hold and Jessi. Yes, she had her heartbroken by Lance, but it’s been 8 years! I also thought she made some goofy decisions and keeping secrets that seemed juvenile. What I did find honorable about Jessi was her ability to put Benji first and include him on decisions.

Now, let’s move on to Hold. I’m sure he was introduced in book 1 and his role may have been clarified better there, but I didn’t read that one. For me, he started off a little suspicious/creepy. It didn’t take long to see that he was a good guy and I have an appreciation for a guy that goes after what he wants. I also have a thing for nerdy types, so Hold was a nice change of pace from the normal dominate, controlling alphas we see (and love) a lot today.

This isn’t the last in the series and the Stanhope heir is still out there.

Grade: B

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Only with You by Lauren Layne

download (3)Title: Only with You

Series: The Best Mistake #1

Author: Lauren Layne

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb: Love is the Biggest Gamble of All . . .

Cocktail waitress Sophie Dalton doesn’t exactly have a life plan. She’s perfectly happy being everyone’s favorite party girl. But when a Las Vegas bachelorette party goes awry and an uptight businessman mistakes Sophie for a prostitute . . . well, Sophie wonders if it’s time to reevaluate her priorities. Swearing off her thigh-high boots for good, Sophie slinks back home with damaged pride-and a jackpot of a hangover.

Yet what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there. On a trip to Seattle to open a new office, Grayson Wyatt meets his latest employee-who turns out to be the same woman he recently called a hooker. Wealthy and gorgeous, Gray is a man used to getting what he wants. And it doesn’t take long to figure out that smart, sassy, sexy Sophie is everything he’s been looking for. As their late nights at the office turn into hot morning-afters, they realize their Vegas misunderstanding may lead to the real thing . . .

Thoughts: Every once in a while you just need a story that can brighten your spirits and make you laugh a little. This is a perfect book for those times.

Sophie’s in Vegas for her cousin’s bachelorette party and slutty/trashy attire is the name of the game. While heading down to meet the rest of the girls, Sophie ends up in an elevator with Gray, who takes an immediate dislike to Sophie. When they end up getting stuck on the elevator, Sophie figures out that Gray is socially awkward with no sense of humor. She also finds out that he thinks she’s a prostitute.

The encounter really impacted Sophie and she decides that she needs to make some changes to her flighty, happy-go-lucky lifestyle. When her sister decides to being her boyfriend to family dinner, Sophie realizes that her sister is dating Gray. At the end of the most uncomfortable family dinner in ages, Gray is pressured into offering Sophie a job, which he hopes she will not accept. Sophie accepts the job hoping to make Gray and her family realize that she’s a lot more than what they always thought.

The sparks are flying between Gray and Sophie, but they are both reluctant to give in. Gray is so reluctant that he continues to see Sophie’s sister even though there is no spark at all. Sophie becomes a lifesaver for Gray in professional and personal ways. After getting pushed together over and over, they get to know each other. When the relationship changes, what does that mean for them at work?

Everybody knows a Sophie or you probably have some Sophie qualities. She was lovable and caring. Gray was so different from so many charismatic heroes in stories. He was awkward and set in his ways. He had flaws…characters flaws and you don’t see that much in romance novels.  Real life – yes. Books – no so much. Sophie has this huge personality and everybody is drawn to her. Even better was seeing the story develop with Sophie’s sister and best friend. I can’t wait for that story.

I definitely want more from this author and series.

Grade: A

Series Saturday – Shifters Series by Rachel Vincent

If your looking for a great Urban Fantasy/Paranormal series then look no further!  The Shifter series by Rachel Vincent is one of my favorites – and one I couldn’t get enough of.  Unfortunately the series is complete….so no more additions to this series.  The good news?  You can devour this entire series without having to wait for the next one to release!  :)

51yQEj2T9CLBook #1 – Stray

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.  Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.  I’d been warned about Strays–werecats without a Pride–constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.  This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back…for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I’m no meek kitty. I’ll take on whatever–and whoever–I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays–’cause I got claws, and I’m not afraid to use them….

51vsjSoDcYLBook #2 – Rogue

Okay, so cats don’t always land on their feet.  I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I’ve made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I’m working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on and off duty.  But not all my mistakes are behind me. We’re beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet–two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear….

51CnzAXw+bLBook #3 – Pride

I’m on trial for my life. Falsely accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend–and killing him to cover up the crime. Infecting a human is one of three capital offenses recognized by the Pride–along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human.  I’m two for three. A goner.  Now we’ve discovered a rogue stray terrorizing the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. It’s up to us to find and stop him before a human discovers us. With my lover Marc’s help, Ithink I can protect the vulnerable girl from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council.  If I survive my own trial…

51nc5hv5oRLBook #4 – Prey

Sometimes playing cat and mouse is no game…Play? Right. My Pride is under fire from all sides, my father’s authority is in question and my lover is in exile. Which means I haven’t laid eyes on Marc’s gorgeous face in months. And with a new mother and an I-know-everything teenager under my protection, I don’t exactly have time to fantasize about ever seeing him again.  Then our long-awaited reunion is ruined by a vicious ambush by strays. Now our group is under attack, Marc is missing and I will need every bit of skill and smarts to keep my family from being torn apart. Forever.

510VfqdmRBLBook #5 – Shift

Being the first female werecat enforcer isn’t easy. Scars accumulate, but I’m stronger in so many ways.  As for my personal life? It’s complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother’s death and my father’s impeachment, it’s all I can do to prevent more blood from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.  With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only real option….

51nqhmxNIJLBook #6 – Alpha

The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder and treason. Yeah, we’ve been busy. But now it’s time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother’s death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.  It’s not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I’m heading for a final showdown that can—that will—change everything forever. A showdown I’m not sure I’m ready for.  But life never waits until you’re ready.

Outback Hearts by Susan Stoker

outback heartsTitle: Outback Hearts

Series: Beyond Reality

Author: Susan Stoker

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb: Sam never thought she’d actually be chosen for a reality show–but next thing she knew, she was whisked away to Australia. Dealing with a producer willing to do whatever he had to do make the show a hit, other women ready to cheat and lie to gain the attention of the bachelor, and a camera operator ready to catch her at her worst every time she turned around, absolutely nothing was as simple as it seemed on TV. Not to mention the pigs, killer rattlesnakes and shoveling manure. Sam wasn’t sure she was going to make it through filming most days–never mind find true love. Alex never thought he’d be on a reality show, but how hard could being surrounded by beautiful women be? A lot harder than he’d thought. The producer changed the rules of the show behind his back, the women were nearly clawing at each other for this attention–and that one contestant he couldn’t get off his mind… Read more

Picture This by Jayne Denker

91bLtc7MalL._SL1500_Title: Picture This

Series: A Marsden Novel #2

Author: Jayne Denker

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb: It’s where everyone knows your business—and remembers everything you’d rather forget. But somehow the little Catskills town of Marsden draws the most unlikely people back home, turns their lives every which way, and helps them finally figure out what—and who—they want most…
As a celebrity photographer’s assistant, Celia Marshall is used to seeing all kinds of weird antics. But subbing as the model in irrepressible movie star Niall Crenshaw’s latest endorsement ad—while wearing his silk boxers, no less—is definitely not in her job description. Neither is falling for him, especially since he’s dating his latest co-star. To complicate things further, Celia is returning to Marsden to keep an eye on her eccentric grandmother—and Niall is driving her there, then staying to judge a talent contest…
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Harder by Robin York

harderTitle: Harder

Series: Caroline and West bk 2

Author: Robin York

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Caroline still dreams about West. His warm skin, his taut muscles, his hand sliding down her stomach. Then she wakes up and she’s back to reality: West is gone. And before he left, he broke her heart.
 
Then, out of the blue, West calls in crisis. A tragedy has hit his family—a family that’s already a fractured mess. Caroline knows what she has to do. Without discussion, without stopping to think, she’s on a plane, flying to his side to support him in any way he needs.
 
They’re together again, but things are totally different. West looks edgy, angry at the world. Caroline doesn’t fit in. She should be back in Iowa, finalizing her civil suit against the ex-boyfriend who posted their explicit pictures on a revenge porn website. But here she is. Deeply into West, wrapped up in him, in love with him. Still
 
They fought the odds once. Losing each other was hard. But finding their way back to each other couldn’t be harder.

Thoughts: This was the first book by York I’ve read and I really liked it.

The book picks up months after the end of Deeper when West leaves Caroline and their school to go back to the small town in Oregon he’s from. Not having read the first book where Caroline and West met and fell in love I was able to pick up their love story and follow along with where they were now.

Six years ago West had to make a decision. It was the hardest thing he’s ever done, but he did it. That decision had ramifications on his entire life, because he had to walk away from the most important person in his life, his little sister. Now he’s back in Silt, and doing everything he can to protect her from their father. In choosing his sister, he had to say goodbye to the person who owned his soul, Caroline. Now his father is dead and he does what he knows he shouldn’t, he calls Caroline.

When Caroline arrives in Silt, all she can think about is being their for West in whatever way she can. She knows he’s going to push her away. That he doesn’t want her there. But if he really didn’t, he wouldn’t have called her. When West does the one thing guaranteed to push her away for good she calls him on his shit and walks away.

There is a lot happening in this book, both West and Caroline are dealing with things that happened before they were together the first time. West can’t forgive himself for the dick move he pulled on Caroline to get her to leave the piece of crap town he was from. When he finally listens to the advice of those around him, who isn’t related to, about what is best for him and his sister, he packs them up and goes back to college.

Watching Caroline and West traverse their new reality, was a pleasure. West knew he’d messed up. Caroline didn’t forgive him right away. But at the end of the day ever action they’d done had been because they loved each other.

While I doubt I’ll go back and read the first book in this series, I really liked West and Caroline where they are when this book starts. I don’t need to read the other one to know what happened in it and how it impacted their lives. I liked watching them forge a new future for them. I really liked how Caroline never gave up on West.

Overall this was a great read, one I couldn’t put down.

Grade B+

BLOG TOUR: Sinful Rewards by Cynthia Sax + Giveaway

SinfulRewardsBlitzBanner

Book:  Sinful Rewards

Publication date: July 15th 2014

Goodreads Link

SRCoverBlurb:  Belinda “Bee” Carter is a good girl; at least, that’s what she tells herself. And a good girl deserves a nice guy—just like the gorgeous and moody billionaire Nicolas Rainer. He is everything she wants in a man.  Or so she thinks, until she takes a look through her telescope and sees a naked, tattooed man on the balcony across the courtyard. Hawke is mysterious, the bad boy she knows will bring only heartbreak. He has been watching her, and that makes him all the more enticing.  But when a mysterious and anonymous text message dares her to do something bad, she must decide if she is really the good girl she has always claimed to be, or if she’s willing to risk everything for her secret fantasy of being watched.

Is her mystery man the reclusive billionaire with a wild side or the darkly dangerous bad boy?

Excerpt:  I allow my gaze to travel up the stranger’s body, over his thighs, groin, stomach, chest. A thick scar slashes through his right nipple and four letters are tattooed over his left pec – USMC – United States Marine Corps. He’s a military man, trained to protect, to kill. This should dampen my unseemly fascination with him.

I want him even more.

A larger tattoo stretches over his collarbone, the design depicting a sun framed by a pair of wings, the ink black and gray and achingly beautiful. The feathers are finely detailed, the softness appearing out of place on such a hard body.

The stranger’s spine is straight, his shoulders squared and his arms raised. A third tattoo encircles one huge bicep, the barbed wire in black ink serving as a warning. Danger. Do not enter. A wise woman would heed this sign.

I should heed this sign. I should look away. I can’t, my gaze drawn to him. The man’s chin is square, brown stubble shadowing his golden skin. His nose is flattened, his nostrils are flared, his—

I step backward, my heart pounding. No, my luck can’t be that bad. I look into the telescope once more. It is that bad. Military-style binoculars cover the man’s eyes. These lenses are pointed directly at me.

He’s watching me. I move away from the window, retreating into the shadows. He saw me looking at him. He knows. Heat rushes over me, making the world spin. This stranger knows I’m a pervert. He knows I’m not the good girl I’ve allowed others to believe. If he tells Cyndi, Mr. Wynters, anyone…

I hold my breath, count to five, and release it, repeating the action until the fog surrounding me dissipates and my rational thought returns. He won’t tell anyone and if he does, who will believe him? He’s standing on his balcony naked. This fact alone disqualifies him as a credible source.

Not that gossip ever originates from credible sources. I twist my lips, disgusted with myself for making this error. This is why I shouldn’t take risks. I take one look through the telescope and I get caught. My mom has one wild night with a bad boy and she conceives me.

Buy Links:  Amazon

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win $12 Gift Card and numerous e-books by various authors!  GIVEAWAY

 

Prodigal Son (The Truthseers) By Debra Mullins

prodigal sonTitle: Prodigal Son (The Truthseers)
Series: The Truthseers bk 1
Author: Debra Mullins
Genre: Paranormal

Book Blurb:

Bounty hunter Rafe Montana is a Seer, descended from the fabled Atlanteans. He uses his inherited power to “see” criminals across the globe and track them down, and he’s just started on a new case. Danny Cangialosi is accused of disappearing with a stolen car…but for the first time in his life, when Rafe goes looking, he is unable to “see” him. Instead, his search leads him to Danny’s stubborn, meddling, and very cute stepsister, Cara McGaffigan.

Cara is looking for Danny, too, but not to turn him in. He is her brother, after all, and she’s convinced he has a good heart. If she can just find him before the cops do, she’ll figure out a way to get him out of this. But Cara didn’t count on a scorching-hot bounty hunter getting in her way. Read more

COVER REVEAL: Sizzle by Sarah O’Rourke

Sizzle Teaser - Molly Inferno lores

Sizzle by Sarah O’Rourke

Release Date:  August 1, 2014

Sizzle by Sarah O'Rourke - COVERBlurb:  Molly Ramsey lives a nice, normal life. Her cat, her dog, and her two best friends are more than enough for her, thank you very much. Working for her brother’s best friend helps pay the bills, even though she often wants to strangle the sizzling-hot egomaniac with his own outrageously expensive tie!

William “Devil” Delancy built his vast empire through sheer determination and corporate takeover. The millionaire always gets what he wants…from women to companies and all points in between. And when he is done with them, he discards them without another thought. So when his sainted, dying grandmother voices her concern about his lack of a wife, he does what he knows best: he takes what he wants! And it just so happens that the woman nearest and dearest to him is his own assistant – the beautiful Molly.

What happens when the Devil asks you to pay your dues? Molly Ramsey is just about to find out! Join this racy, rollicking romantic comedy and see just how far the Devil can push the unsinkable Molly before she sets both their worlds on fire? 

Excerpt:  Fifteen minutes later, the whole sordid mess had been spilled between them and both her friends stared at Molly with a mixture of horror, amusement and curiosity. “Well, say something!” Molly yelled when neither of them said a word. “You’re supposed to be my sounding board, ladies!”

“You’re engaged,” Sami managed to choke.

“To the Devil,” Viv sputtered.

“It could be worse, right?” Molly questioned, looking from one woman to the other and back again. “I mean, he’s not so awful, is he?”

“He’s the Devil,” Vivian breathed, her brown eyes huge on her pixie face.

“That’s not helpful, Viv,” Molly huffed, holding her bottle tucked tightly between her breasts as she sat cross-legged on the middle of her couch. “His nickname is Devil. He’s not really Satan incarnate.”

Fifteen minutes later, the whole sordid mess had been spilled between them and both her friends stared at Molly with a mixture of horror, amusement and curiosity. “Well, say something!” Molly yelled when neither of them said a word. “You’re supposed to be my sounding board, ladies!”

“You’re engaged,” Sami managed to choke.

“To the Devil,” Viv sputtered.

“It could be worse, right?” Molly questioned, looking from one woman to the other and back again. “I mean, he’s not so awful, is he?”

“He’s the Devil,” Vivian breathed, her brown eyes huge on her pixie face.

“That’s not helpful, Viv,” Molly huffed, holding her bottle tucked tightly between her breasts as she sat cross-legged on the middle of her couch. “His nickname is Devil. He’s not really Satan incarnate.”

Sizzle Teaser - suit

Garden Spells By Sarah Addison Allen

garden spellsTitle: Garden Spells
Series: N/A
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Book Blurb:
In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.…

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures. Read more

Sunday Snippet: Forget Me Not by Heather Ashby

One of the things I love most about this column is being able to share a snippet from from an author you might not have heard of. Heather Ashby is a new to me author and I can’t wait to read this book after reading this scene. 

The yowling outside his window the night before had Sky wanting to take the freaking cat down to the ocean and drown it. He’d been attempting to entertain his chick-du-jour, but the ruckus on the porch distracted him from making that little baby purr.

Distractibility had earned Brian Crawford the nickname “Skylark” at the Naval Academy after one too many demerits for skylarking: daydreaming, “not keeping his eyes in the boat,” and pretty much having his head up his ass at the wrong time. Suffering from ADHD, he’d always had problems with focus—except at the controls of his Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter.

Last night’s honey first conned him into feeding the cat, then she made him promise to take it to a vet and find it a home. If the woman was such a bleeding heart animal lover why hadn’t she taken the damn thing. Never mind. It wouldn’t go with her anyway. The cat growled and hissed at her, and Sky would eventually learn it feared all women.

Smart cat.

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Series Saturday – Sealed With A Kiss Series by Erin Knightley

When it comes to regency romances, you can’t get any better than Erin Knightley.  This week we are featuring her Sealed With A Kiss series, so if you haven’t read it yet – well, now is a perfect time!

13073214Book #1 – More Than A Stranger

When his family abandoned him at Eton, Benedict Hastings found an unexpected ally in his best friend’s sister. Her letters kept him going—until the day he had to leave everything behind. Years later, Benedict has seen his share of betrayal, but when treachery hits close to home, he turns to his old friend for safe haven….
After five torturous years on the marriage circuit, Lady Evelyn Moore is finally free to live her life as she wishes. So when her brother shows up with a dashing stranger, she finds herself torn between her dreams…and newfound desires. Despite his determination to keep Evie at a distance, Benedict cannot deny the attraction that began with a secret correspondence. Yet as they begin to discover one another, the dangers of Benedict’s world find them, threatening their lives, their love, and everything they thought they could never have… Read more

One Night In Buenos Aire by Amanda K. Byrne

cover49554-mediumTitle:  One Night In Buenos Aire

Series:  N/A

Author:  Amanda K. Byrne

Genre:  Romance

BlurbAs a reward for a hard-won contract, best friends Drea and Joe head to Buenos Aires for sun, wine, and the tango. But their week of relaxation is off to an ominous start when a reservation mix-up leaves them with only one option: one room…and one bed.  Exhausted from travel, the two friends figure it won’t be a big deal to share a bed for one night—right up until they wake wrapped around each other and seconds away from, well, you know.  When the two decide to follow through on their impulse, they protect their friendship by agreeing that when the vacation’s over, the fling’s over. While Drea’s convinced it’s nothing more than a mutual itch, Joe discovers Drea might be everything he’s ever wanted. Now all he has to do is convince her that what happens in Buenos Aires doesn’t always have to stay in Buenos Aires. Read more

Queen of Wands by Katee Robert

18594485Title:  Queen of Wands

Series:  Sanctify Series Book #2

Author:  Katee Robert

Genre:  Romance/Sci-Fi

BlurbWhen Jenny O’Keirna gets a chance to slip her older brother, the new king of Hansarda’s, leash, she jumps at it, even if it means playing babysitter to a too-smart-for-his-own-good inventor. She’s not expecting the attraction that sparks between them—or that Sanctify is just as desperate to take him for their own.  Never in Mac Flannery’s wildest dreams did he imagine Jenny would be the one sent for him. He sees beyond the mad grin the sexy princess of Hansarda presents to the world, and that combination of vulnerability and wicked humor is a siren call he can’t resist. But Sanctify is always three steps ahead of them. On the run—and unable to keep their hands off each other—Jenny and Mac devise an insane plan: kidnap the leader of Sanctify, and stop this war once and for all. Unfortunately, they’ve just played right into his hands… Read more