New Release: Maple Summer Wallace, by Jessica Calla – A Uniquely Suspenseful Women’s Fiction Debut

New TODAY from Jessica Calla:

Maple Summer Wallace

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Adventure/Suspense
Release Date: April 30, 2019


Release Week Special! 99c on Amazon,

Available on Kindle Unlimited for Free!

About Maple Summer Wallace

After learning she has only six months to live, twenty-two-year-old socialite, Maple Summer Wallace, plans to spend her remaining time hanging over a roulette table in Vegas and squandering her family’s fortune. Her plan takes a wrong turn when she finds Veronica, her twenty-year-old housekeeper and daughter of her beloved nanny, Lola, hovering over the dead body of octogenarian Randolph Brentwood, the fifth richest man in the world.

Maple, hardened from her own personal loss, resists involvement until she learns that Veronica is pregnant with Lola’s grandchild, an heir to the Brentwood estate. To make good on an old promise, Maple vows to help Veronica. With the assistance of Michael, a handsome and savvy PI, they journey up and down the East Coast, dodging the authorities, a shady lawyer, a cold-hearted hit man, and the powerful widow, Mrs. Brentwood. As Maple’s bitterness about spending her last days saving Veronica dissipates and her friendship with Michael develops, she realizes that on the way to death, she’s found something she’s never had—life.

(Please note: This is not a Romance. It is the author’s Women’s Fiction debut. Further, this book contains serious situations which may affect more sensitive readers.)

Get Your Copy of Maple Summer Wallace Here:

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Goodreads link: Add MAPLE to your TBR list HERE!

An Excerpt from Maple Summer Wallace

Chapter One

What struck me the most about the elderly man bleeding out on the floor of my parents’ multi-million dollar Manhattan penthouse wasn’t that he was the fifth richest man in the world. Nor did it strike me odd that his old, wrinkled body lay naked as a newborn. And I didn’t even care that my housekeeper, Veronica, hovered over him, almost nude and clearly shaken.


What struck me the most was the color of the blood pulsing from his body. Deep, rich, red blood. Healthy blood. He must have been close to a hundred years old, but I’d give anything to trade my twenty-two-year-old blood for his, which now flowed into the cracks of the imported hardwood floor that my parents had installed the year before they died.

Veronica was frozen in place, crouched down next to the body. I scanned her from behind, and despite the blood splattered over her skin, she seemed intact. She didn’t acknowledge me. Of course, it appeared she’d just killed a man—an extremely well-known and connected man—so who knew where her brain was at the moment. Certainly wasn’t overlooking Central Park in the fifteen thousand square foot penthouse on the Upper East Side that I’d inherited. I cursed myself for picking that day, that moment, to walk into my home for the first time in two years—and for the last time ever.

“Did you call nine-one-one?” I asked.

Startled, she twisted and looked up at me from her unflattering position. A knife I hadn’t noticed fell from her hand into the pool of blood, clanking onto the floor and splattering the rich liquid onto her cheek. Her long, black hair stuck to her face, and her dark, tear-streaked eyes widened at the sight of me.

“Sunny?” she whispered. ….

Maple Teaser 1

Maple Teaser 2

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My Review of Maple Summer Wallace

Maple Summer WallaceMaple Summer Wallace by Jessica Calla
My rating: 4.5 Stars


Maple Summer Wallace, Jessica Calla’s first women’s fiction novel, is a riveting, suspenseful story about a young socialite, faced with a terminal illness, who decides to go on one last, wild, adventure and gets much more than she bargained for: a murder, a pregnant housekeeper, a mysterious rescuer, and a plot to destroy them all. From the first sentence to the last, it’s not only packed full of action and suspense, it weaves in some hard-hitting universal truths about life, death, family, and loss. Full of breath-taking, heart-pounding plot twists and painful back-stories, it’s dark and sometimes hard to read, but I couldn’t put it down.

This is not a romance, and the ending is not your typical happy-ever-after, but then you know that going in: Maple Summer Wallace is destined to die. Nevertheless, her journey is meaningful, and in the end, she leaves a legacy far different and thought-provoking than what you might expect. The supporting characters are well-developed and compelling, each with their own motivations, fears, guilt, secrets and desires.

It took me awhile to even begin to like Maple, the reluctant heroine of the story; and several chapters to understand and sympathize with her partner in crime, Veronica. Early on, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to sympathize or appreciate the perspective of either of these women. But that’s what makes this story so unique, dramatic, and emotional. The conflicts within and between each principal character are relatable, even if the characters themselves are not. For me, there was only one drawback, and that was the author’s occasional deviation from showing to telling, which momentarily pulled me out of this otherwise riveting story.

I’ve enjoyed every one of Jessica’s novels, especially her romantic and emotional Sheridan Hall series. And while I can’t say I exactly “enjoyed” Maple Summer Wallace, it was well worth reading, a unique and welcome departure from typical women’s fiction tropes, with an unforgettable storyline, compelling characters, and a meaningful message. It was a bold, worthwhile leap for the author, and I look forward to more.

View all my reviews

About Jessica

Author Pic She Laughs in Pink Jessica Calla

Jessica Calla (THE LOVE SQUARE, The Sheridan Hall Series) is a contemporary romance and women’s fiction author who moonlights during the day as an attorney. If she’s not writing, lawyering, or parenting, you’ll most likely find her at the movies, scrolling through her Twitter feed, or gulping down various forms of caffeine (sometimes all three at once). A Jersey girl through and through, she resides in the central part of the state with her husband, two sons, and dog.

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Michael Teaser

Suicide Ride , by E. Llewellyn – A Must-Read M/M Epic Series by E. Llewellyn

A photo banner ad for the Suicide Ride series, by E. Llewellyn

Introducing The Suicide Ride Series, by E. Llewellyn

Author E. Llewellyn has TWO stories … the first is fictional – the epic Suicide Series, a M/M Hollywood-based action-suspense-romance; the other is non-fiction, tragic, and personal – the loss of her husband to CJD, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, at age 55. Both stories are remarkable in their own way. Read on to discover this spectacular series and its amazing author.

Book 1: The Platinum Man

The road to Hell is paved with Platinum
And Norman Dimond is dying to Ride.

“You, my big beautiful butch boy, are a platinum man, to the core.” ~ Norman Dimond

An older man with no future and nothing to live for …
A younger man with a past and a death wish …
Two lives about to collide in a SUICIDE RIDE.

SuicideRide-Platinum ManNorman Dimond is used to getting his way—with men and women. A charismatically sexy semi-retired music mogul, he’s got time on his hands. And what hands they are! Hands that know how to tease, please, and drive a lover to his knees.

Then comes Gellis—Johnny, to be exact: the most beautiful man Norman Dimond has ever laid eyes on. From head to toe, this big bad boy measures midway between six feet and seven—and every last delectable inch is Daddy Dimond’s dream of heaven. Never mind his tired, sore eyes: all he wants to do is lay his huge, rock-hard hands on this fantasy-man’s hot-rod bod. But …

Johnny “Cock Rock” Gellis is straight—adamantly so. And this beaut of a brute takes orders from no man. What’s a desperate, hard-up, lovesick Daddy to do?

Who’s your Daddy now?

Excerpt  from The Platinum Man…

Crawling back over him into bed, he cuddled up again. “What’s the C stand for—Cock?”

Johnny was too spent to joke. “Caillen.”

Norman repeated the name. “I like that,” he purled, worshiping in the gilded tabernacle of his ear. “Johnathan Caillen Gellis. That’s pretty and rare, like its namesake.”

Johnathan Caillen Gellis brushed the hair out of his eyes. Norman David Dimond helped him by stroking it. “What are the pills for? Are they tranqs?”

He pecked his wooden head. “Benzodiazepines. Downers. Like Valium.”

“Valium I know. What are you taking ‘em for? Or do I need to ask?”

This son of a doctor wiped under his dry eye. “Isn’t it obvious?”

His sigh trilled. “I’m fucked up, Norman. I mean it. You don’t wanna get too close. I’m bad news.”

That, Norman would not hear. “Too late now, baby—I’m hooked. From now on, I’m on this ass like white on rice. Yes, sir!”

Once more, he cupped his butt cheek. “I’m sticking to this, baby. I’m sticking so close you’re gonna think I’m your goddamned five-o’clock shadow. No way I’m letting go of this sweet ass—and I’m damn sure not about to let anybody else grab hold.”

Rolling him over, he stared into his swamp-black eyes, his own sky-blue ones kindling.

“You got a problem? We’ll fix it. That’s what I am: I’m your Mr. Fix-It, I’m your Daddy. You need a doctor? We’ll get you a doctor. Your real daddy can go to Hell, for all I care. Whatever you need, I got—and if I don’t, by God, I’ll fucking move heaven and earth to get it—you can count on that.”

This time he grabbed his basket. “Anything to keep this giant junk in my bed.”

~ © E. Llewellyn, from SUICIDE RIDE: The Platinum Man, Second Edition, 2014

Two’s company; three’s allowed! Crawl in bed with Norman and Johnny. Get your jollies here…

Buying Links – The Platinum Man

#FREE on Kindle Unlimited, or  Buy it TODAY on Amazon US or Amazon UK

Teaser from Suicide Ride

Book 2:  The Fix

“You got a problem? We’ll fix it. That’s what I am: I’m your Mr. Fix-It, I’m your Daddy. You need a doctor? We’ll get you a doctor. Your real daddy can go to Hell, for all I care. Whatever you need, I got—and if I don’t, by God, I’ll fucking move heaven and earth to get it. You can count on that.” This time he grabbed his basket. “Anything to keep this giant junk in my bed.” ~ Norman Dimond

Book Cover Photo - The Fix, by E. Llewellyn

Johnny Gellis is Hell on wheels. Straight, obscenely beautiful, and musically gifted, he’s made a shambles of his life in Atlanta and has landed in L.A., where he hopes to make a fresh start in the music business.

There, he’s met the charismatically sexy alpha-Dom Norman Dimond, a mostly gay, semi-retired record label owner. In spite of some initial antagonism, the two have managed to hit it off. Dimond desperately wants to sign him to a record deal, but before he can, Gellis goes to pieces in his hands.

By now, the haughty and aloof Norman Dimond has fallen hopelessly, lopsidedly, in love. But Johnny Gellis is hiding something, running from a past so dark even he isn’t fully in touch with its peaty, macabre underbelly. Norman’s one great task is to fix him—to spin him away from the black web of Southern Gothic intrigue woven into his DNA long before he was born. Beyond that, he must school him in the byzantine art of homoerotic love: daunting tasks all.

But if Norman isn’t up to the challenge, no mortal man is. What Johnny lacks in homosexual inclination, Daddy more than makes up for in love—and determination.

Find out what secrets lie buried in the spook yard of Johnny’s past—and whether Norman can save his foundling’s soul. Will his unconditional love be enough to bring this lost boy home? And will it win his heart? And where his heart goes, can his body follow?

Excerpt from The Fix

“The door to their bedroom was open. From the hallway, he watched Johnny tossing the few clothes he had come here with—mostly blue jeans, tee-shirts, polo shirts, and button-downs—into his old leather suitcase, flung open on the mattress. Still naked, he strutted back and forth between the closet and bed, completely uninhibited with his marvelous body. Indeed, he had no reason to be self-conscious. He had no visible imperfections to be ashamed of, no folds or love handles to hide. His flaws—his wounds, his scars—were all of a more secreted nature. This knowledge nearly ate Norman’s heart out. All he had ever wanted to do was salve this beautiful boy’s hurt, running places with his tongue. Now it looked like he was never going to get inside Johnny Gellis again.”

Will Johnny let Norman in? Find out in Book 3 of the #SuicideRide series, The Hit, coming in 2016. Get up to speed now!

Buying Links

Get it FREE on Kindle Unlimited, or Buy SUICIDE RIDE: The Fix on Amazon US or  Amazon UK

#PrepareToTakeTheHit. #HitchYourRide and #GetYourFix. #OneClick this #MustRead #MM #rock #romance #series today!

About E. Llewellyn

Photo of author E. LlewellynE. LLEWELLYN is an essayist, poet, and writer of literary criticism and fiction. She is the author of the epic multi-volume Hollywood-based rock ‘n roll series, SUICIDE RIDE, comprised thus far of The Platinum Man and The Fix. The third volume, The Hit, is coming soon. Further additions to the series will follow in 2016 and beyond.

Affectionately known to her fans as “Elle,” her next project will be a nonfiction memoir entitled I Don’t Know My Name: The True Story of L Todd Pittman and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, dedicated to her late, beloved husband, a successful international business executive who succumbed on March 19, 2015 at the age of fifty-five to CJD, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Elle wishes to express her undying gratitude to the world-renowned experts at the National Prion Clinic in London, England (; the National CJD Research and Surveillance Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland (; and the incredible caregivers at the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice ( in Farnham, Surrey, who nursed both Todd and Elle through his last days with saintly empathy and compassion.

Like AIDS before it, CJD is a little-known but devastating fatal illness for which no treatment is currently available, only palliative care. Classified as a type of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (, it is essentially an accelerated form of early-onset dementia that too often claims its victims within mere weeks of diagnosis.

While working in Berlin, Germany, on January 7, 2015, Todd experienced a brief episode of short-term memory loss, initially misdiagnosed as “harmless” Transient Global Amnesia. On February 20th, his condition deteriorated so rapidly within a single day, he had to be abruptly hospitalized on an emergency basis. Yet the diagnosis of CJD was not officially confirmed by the aforementioned experts until March the 6th. By the 19th of the month, being unable to eat, drink, speak, or move, Todd passed peacefully to paradise while cradled in his wife’s arms. Nicknamed “Smiley” as a child, he died with a radiant, beatific, teeth-baring grin on his blissful face. As Elle often remarks, “He came in smiling, and went out smiling.”

I Don’t Know My Name: The True Story of L Todd Pittman and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease will tell his extraordinary tale, chronicle his amazing achievements, and educate the general public about this most horrendous of dementias. His loving wife hopes the book will make CJD the AIDS of our era and encourage charitable contributions to fund the research desperately needed to develop life-prolonging treatments and eventually uncover a cure. Until that blessed day, she aspires to comfort and support the families of other victims of this illness, who can do little but watch in helpless horror as their stricken loved ones lose first their memories, then their capacities to speak, move, and even swallow—invariably within weeks or sometimes days. Unlike Alzheimer’s patients, they do not long linger with us for us to nurture and cherish throughout their slow, pitiful decline. Tragically, they die rapidly but torturously of starvation and dehydration, plunging those they leave behind into a deep state of inconsolable grief and debilitating shock.

Although the odds of contracting CJD are roughly 1 per 1 million, when it does strike, it’s a California wildfire: it razes everything and everyone in its path. Todd truly was one in a million.

For more information, please visit the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation webpage @

Follow E. Llewellyn and the Suicide Ride Series here:


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Suicide Ride Page on Facebook

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Praise for the Suicide Ride Series

“What is someone supposed to say when they’ve read the best of a genre? Somehow ‘OMG! I LOVED IT!’ feels paltry and weak in comparison to how rich the experience was for me as a reader … SUICIDE RIDE is fiction unleashed. It is lyrical madness. This? This is not a book. This is literature.” ~ Shandra Torbett, Reviewer, This Redhead LOVES Books


“E. Llewellyn is a literary force to be reckoned with in this astonishing debut as a novelist. She does for Gay Literature what Kubrick did for cinema—redefines and elevates, and constantly undercuts your expectations of the genre, making believers out of blowhards. Unfettered, unflinching, bristling with emotion, she rocks your world. Turning the concept of the Bildungsroman on its head, this literary tour de force explores the nether regions of characters who live on the edge. These are the people your parents used to warn you about.” ~ Mark Peter Krasselt, author of Kubrick: Lessons of a Sentient

“E. Llewellyn does not want her thoughts and ideas to insinuate and suggest; she wants them to strike and batter our hearts … A soul alive cries here. Art can offer us nothing more passionate and spiritual than [the work] of E. Llewellyn. She knows how to ‘break, blow, burn’ us. She knows how to break and move our hearts and minds with sheer love and hate.” ~ Ricardo Mena, author of Ver, Begin

“Some debut novels are hard-hitting, balls-to-the-wall, no-holds-barred brilliance in action only for their successors to fall flat on their faces because how does anyone top what has already come before? If the author has already thrown it all out there, what else is there to give?

There was this hesitance in me to read SUICIDE RIDE: The Fix because all I could think was: there is no way this will be as good as the first one, SUICIDE RIDE: The Platinum Man.

I was wrong.

E. Llewellyn is one of those writers who can decimate all barriers of language to expose a rich, seedy underlayer of literature no one else has dared to tackle. She’s fearless. She’s fierce. Her work is a manic masterpiece of lush descriptions, rich, haunting characterizations where those who are depicted don’t have to be the good guys all the time! We, the readers, are allowed to see these characters have flaws! They are not simple ‘nice guys’ or ‘alphas’ who tell their ‘boys’ to get in line. They are men! Tough, rough, sexual, sensual men who don’t fit into the standard molds because this author doesn’t feel the need to pigeonhole her characters into generic boxes to satisfy a generic audience.

When I read these books, I don’t feel as if the author is pandering to a reader base to sell more copies; I feel as if I am strapped into the ride right beside her as we scream together, neither of us knowing if we’re going to live or die until it’s all over.

This series isn’t a book series for me. It’s an experience. It’s a breath-taking, eye-opening, thrilling experience which I feel unimaginably grateful to be able to take with the author and her cast of characters, which only gets more enticing as the series goes on.” ~ Shandra Torbett, Reviewer, This Redhead LOVES Books

What is someone supposed to say when they’ve read the best of a genre? Somehow ‘OMG! I LOVED IT!’ feels paltry and weak in comparison to how rich the experience was for me as a reader … SUICIDE RIDE is fiction unleashed. It is lyrical madness. This? This is not a book. This is literature.” ~ Shandra Torbett, Reviewer, This Redhead LOVES Books

“PHENOMENAL! Like nothing I’ve ever read: gritty, raw, crude, crass, and in your face.” ~ Robyn Roze, author of HellKat

“E. Llewellyn is the Quentin Tarantino of gay literary erotica: yet her fiction is anything but pulp.” ~ Todd Lawrence, Reviewer

“I was enthralled with Elizabeth Llewellyn’s first offering, SUICIDE RIDE: The Platinum Man. I didn’t think it could get any better. I was wrong. From the beginning of SUICIDE RIDE: The Fix, the reader is treated to the emotional turmoil of a man who knows what he wants and knows he can’t have it—at that moment anyway. We’re allowed inside Norman Dimond’s head, and what a head it is. Norman’s desire short circuits his common sense at every turn, and we see the beautiful culmination and subsequent ruination it creates through the eyes of a superb storyteller. I can smell their sweat, hear their groans, and feel their frustration with the turn of every page.” ~ Deanndra Hall, author of the Love Under Construction series

#‎Bisexual ‪#‎Bisexuality ‪#‎DownLow ‪#‎BiCurious ‪#‎Bi ‪#‎Lavender ‪#‎Gay ‪#‎LGBT ‪#‎GLBT ‪#‎Queer ‪#‎QueerLit ‪#‎Rainbow ‪#‎PRIDE ‪#‎Homosexuality ‪#‎Fiction ‪#‎LiteraryFiction ‪#‎ContemporaryFiction ‪#‎Literotica‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Darkest Before Dawn, by Maya Banks – Book Review

THE ALL-NEW KGI NOVEL from the “incredibly awesome” (Jaci Burton) #1 New York Times bestselling author of When Day Breaks.

Darkest Before Dawn Cover

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.

Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.

Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they’ve known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock’s true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he’s been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She’s the only woman who’s ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he’s spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”

Author: Maya Banks  Genre:  Action-Suspense, Contemporary Romantic-Suspense

Release Date: October 27, 2015

My Review


This is the first book I’ve read by Maya Banks, a very popular author with a loyal fan following. Since this is the tenth book in the series, I jumped into the deep end, without the context of a backstory or any idea what to expect. That may have been a slight disadvantage, but it didn’t prove to be an obstacle: this book can stand on its own. Maya provides enough (actually, more than enough) information about the history of Hancock and his relationship with KGI to fill in the gaps between ‘then’ and ‘now,’ and to capture the complete transformation of this very dark anti-hero.

The book starts with a bang – literally. The aid center where Honor works is hit by a powerful terrorist group. She is the only survivor, barely escaping discovery and inevitable execution while everyone around her is brutally killed. Although her situation seems hopeless, she finds the strength to free herself and, although badly injured, she escapes under cover of darkness, determined make her way to the closest American outpost, whatever it takes. She has the advantage of being fluent in the languages and customs of the region – but the likelihood of eluding her would-be assassins until she reaches the border, and the fact that she is forced to travel on foot, in pain, with no other resources and no one to trust makes the journey perilous every step of the way – more so once she becomes a folk hero – one American woman in a violent, male-dominated society where even locals fear for their safety on a daily basis. A woman who has humiliated members of a group thought to be powerful enough to take over the region – a woman marked for death.

At precisely the right moment she is ‘rescued’ by Hancock and his men – at least she thinks she is. She is forced to trust him because there are no other options for a successful escape. But little does she know that Hancock’s mission is not about her rescue – she is the pawn in a game between arch enemies – and she is closer to death than she was on her own in the desert.

Their ‘rescue’ mission is fraught with suspense and the kind of violence you’d expect from the situations they find themselves in. There are so many ways for things to go horribly wrong – and sometimes they do. Hancock’s inner struggle is heart-wrenching to witness. Honor’s reaction when she learns the truth about the mission is unexpected – more than shocking, nearly unbelievable. But this is a battle, internally and externally, between good and evil – there is no room for doubt, no shades of gray. It’s gritty, frightening, and relentlessly blunt. Some scenes are so packed with suspense you may be forced to set the book aside and take a break. It will keep you guessing until the very end. It will possibly give you a good, long cry; you can’t help but hurt for Hancock and Honor.

There are times when the story takes dark and deadly turns. There are several agonizing moments, featuring deep internal and violent external struggles that go straight to the heart. For all of these reasons, it makes for a completely engaging read – once you are able to ‘get into the story.’  Its main drawback is that it takes too long to get to the first meeting between Honor and Hancock, describing the characters’ histories, actions, and conflicted emotions in far more detail than necessary. There is also a bit too much repetition of events from the past, of the inner emotions of each principal character. But, I’d definitely read it again. If you take your time and apply some patience, you will be rewarded with a breath-taking story.

I have to say, I also loved the conclusion – with the exception of one unresolved question – and it’s an important one. How did the enemy stay ahead of Hancock’s team, right up to the point of no return? Was there a ‘mole’ in Hancock’s team – or was another ‘outside informant’ monitoring their movements? The question lingered after the worst of the suspense was over. As a reader, I wanted to know exactly who betrayed them, how the team figured it out, and what came after. I don’t think I missed it – I went looking for it, but I’d really love to know the answer. (Leave me a comment if you find it!)

Will I read more of this series? Definitely. And because I now know that Guy Hancock is not the cruel, heartless robo-cop he was thought to be, I will be better prepared to appreciate him for his strengths, rather than focus on his weaknesses. The storyline was relevant and timely – it was as gritty and raw as the world it’s set in, and its characters were anything but one-dimensional. It evokes the deepest of emotions – fear, sadness, and loss. But even in its darkest moments, it won’t allow you to lose hope. In the end, story matters, and this is a very ambitious story – it takes a good author to tell it well. The story alone – especially the redemption of Hancock – makes it well worth reading despite a few flaws.

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