Contemporary

#Review : The Time Of Our Lives by @PortiaMacIntosh #TheTimeOfOurLives @HQDigital

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Hello everyone! Today I have the great pleasure to be sharing my review of The Time Of Our Lives by the wonderful Portia MacIntosh, so grab a cuppa and let me tell you about this gorgeous book.

Love is in the air…?

Luca is used to being the ‘single one’ at weddings – it happens, when all your other friends are engaged, married or taken. But when she bumps into Tom, her friend from university who broke her heart into a million pieces, she finds herself wondering what could have been.

It’s ten years later, surely she should be over that Tom by now? So why is he looking even more gorgeous than ever – and why doesn’t he seem to be able to keep his eyes off her either?

And as the champagne flows and old secrets resurface, Luca realises that perhaps the time to take a chance on love and life is…now?

The laugh-out-loud new novel from bestseller Portia Macintosh

Well, Portia MacIntosh you have gone and done it again, this is good, so good! I will admit that I am very late to discovering Ms MacIntosh’s work after only reading my first of her work at Christmas, but I am definitely well and truly a fan of hers.

The story is split between two times of Luca’s life; present day and then it flits back to her university days and I really love how this is written, it really gives and insight into what was going on and how Luca found herself where she is in her life. I found that the flashbacks to her university days really brought Luca to life and you began to understand her and her friends all the more, at times this kind of writing can be a bit confused for the reader but Ms MacIntosh has nailed it.

I really like Luca, she is a down-to-earth, likeable and very real character, she is a woman whose life hasn’t exactly gone to plan she has headed way off the planned path of life – I think every single one of us can relate to that in one way or another! Single, in a job she has come to pretty much hate and surrounded by happily married/coupled people, something she is used to, so when she is invited to the wedding of one of her oldest university friends she knows that it will end up being a reunion – and she is ready for being the only single one left amongst their little circle. She is ready to blow their socks of at what a successful woman she has become – even if that does mean buying an out fit that could make her go hungry for the next few months, but hey; she can always take it back to the shop! What she isn’t prepared for is to unexpectedly bump into the very person her broke her heart all those years ago, a man whom she says she is over but deep down she is in fact still that heartbroken young woman and seeing him again at the wedding is a real punch for her. It is bumping into Tom; the one who broke her heart, that really makes Luca start evaluating her life.

This is a great story, the present is set during the wedding and we all know what mayhem weddings can bring on their own, let alone mixing in a bunch of old friends, ex’s popping up left right and centre and a bit of a romance blossoming – but from what direction is this romance? You will just have to read it to find out! The main message I got from this above the romance, the heartbreak, the emotional upheaval was that true friendships can last forever, no matter where you are going in life, those special friendships will always be there when needed.

The Time Of Our Lives is a fun, engaging and very sweet romance that I am positive readers will relate to in some way, there is a realism about it – or more accurately about lead character; Luca. I know that a lot of readers will probably say the same, but there is something very real about Luca, she is one of those character’s that you can instantly see a certain aspect of yourself in and you just know and understand her in every way. This is so rare to find and I absolutely applaud Portia MacIntosh for writing this wonderful story, for bringing Luca into the world where we all can sit back and say; ‘That is so me’ or ‘My, goodness, yes I think that too’. I literally finished reading this, sat back and heaved a sigh, wiped a tear at the perfect story I’d just read.

Ms MacIntosh is an astounding writer, she really captures Luca in this she is so real to me, it is so rare to really connect with a character from the very first page but here I instantly did. The story really does pull at the heartstrings, you will be laughing out loud, blubbering like a baby with it’s intricately woven tale of love and friendship, there are secrets and lies some of the best wedding scenes ever – honestly think Four Weddings and a Funeral and you will know what I mean about fun and love at a wedding.

Overall, this is one of the best romantic comedy’s I have read, highly recommended and one that you will be pulling of the bookshelf to re-read.

This was am Arc from the publisher, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Time Of Our Lives is available now and can be found at Amazon, and do grab a copy.

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#BlogTour : #Review What We Find by Robyn Carr @RCarrWriter #WhatWeFind @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonInsiders

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I have the great pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour, I will be sharing my review of What We Find by Robyn Carr. So grab a cuppa and let me tell you about this sweet little book.

Under extreme pressure, neurosurgeon Maggie Sullivan knows she needs to slow down before she burns out completely, and the best place she can do that is Sullivan’s Crossing.

Named for Maggie’s great-grandfather, the land and charming general store at the crossroads of the Colorado and the Continental Divide trails now belong to Maggie’s eccentric father, Sully. She relishes the opportunity to indulge in his simple way of life.

But Maggie’s world is rocked and she must take responsibility for the Crossing. When a quiet and serious-looking hiker, Cal Jones, offers to lend a hand, Maggie is suspicious of his motives—until she finds out the true reason for his deliberate isolation.

Though Cal and Maggie each struggle with loss and loneliness, the time they spend together gives Maggie hope for something brighter just on the horizon…if only they can learn to find peace and healing—and perhaps love—with each other.

This is sweet little, easy to read romance that will be perfect for those who are just starting to read the romance genre. But, for me I thought it was a little too predictable and a little too sweet. Don’t get me wrong it is a lovely story, with a satisfying ending, and the scenery and setting is beautiful, but for me it just lacked a certain magic. This is actually the first I have read by Robyn Carr and even though this particular story didn’t rock my romantic soul I would happily read more from Ms Carr.

Neurosurgeon Maggie is on the verge of a breakdown, she has so much piled on top of her, so much that has happened – some which are absolutely heart-breaking – and she knows that if she doesn’t just step back, take a breath and just remove herself from her stressful life she will burn out completely. So, she packs up and heads home, back to her childhood town – which is what we all do right? When life gets difficult we head to the one place where we are happy and that is usually home. From the beginning your heart really goes out for Maggie, she has had to face some really terrible things – things that would have broken many other’s long before now. But she is strong, maybe not at first but I like how as the story goes along her inner strength really comes out.

Once home at Sullivans Crossing all doesn’t exactly go to plan when, yet again Maggie is knocked over by another tragedy, when her father has a heart attack forcing her to stay on and look after him and the family business. This is where charming Cal walks in and offers a friendly helping hand, usually this is where I would go into a huge detailed chapter of how much I liked the couple and how much I loved the hero, but I felt that I couldn’t really envisage Cal – or Maggie for that fact – there isn’t a lot of description about who they are, yes there is a lot of back ground to tell you how they came to be where they are, but that didn’t enlighten me to who they are, what they looked like. And because of that, I couldn’t connect with them or their romance as I usually would. This is what the story was missing, I am a very visual reader, I like knowing who a character is and what they look like but I couldn’t see the character’s.

Overall a basic, sweet romance, a little cheesy and predictable at times but enjoyable none the less. Perfect for those readers who are more about character history and their past journeys instead of readers like me who like to connect and visual the book.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Sanjana and the Mills and Boon Insiders team.

What We Find is available now and can be found at Amazon.

#Review Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin @jaxandwillsmum #RosiesTravellingTeaShop #RomCom #Romance @HQDigitalUK

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The trip of a lifetime!

Rosie Lewis has her life together.

A swanky job as a Michelin-Starred Sous Chef, a loving husband and future children scheduled for exactly January 2021.

That’s until she comes home one day to find her husband’s pre-packed bag and a confession that he’s had an affair.

Heartbroken and devastated, Rosie drowns her sorrows in a glass (or three) of wine, only to discover the following morning that she has spontaneously invested in a bright pink campervan to facilitate her grand plans to travel the country.

Now, Rosie is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, and the chance to change her life! With Poppy, her new-found travelling tea shop in tow, nothing could go wrong, could it…?

A laugh-out-loud novel of love, friendship and adventure! Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin

This is wonderfully funny and original story all about taking chances, grabbing life and just basically coming out of your comfort zone to do something new, something which will set your heart and soul alight with joy. I am ashamed to say this is the first I have read by Rebecca Raisin and it will not be the last, I was instantly enchanted with her easy reading, entertaining and vibrant writing.

 

Rosie is a high achieving chef, hard-working and a perfectionist, who believes she has everything she could ever want in her life. Great job, she sort of loves. Nice husband, who she doesn’t really see too much of, but when they do it’s OK, but she does love him. So she is left reeling and speechless and lost when her husband tells her in no-uncertain terms that their marriage is over, that he has found someone else – who Rosie soon finds out he has been seeing behind her back, and more than that her whole friends network knew about it. Some friends, best get shot of those! Callum basically blames her for their failed marriage, typical man it’s never his fault that he can’t keep his trousers zipped. Without a backwards glance the rat leaves, leaving Rosie devastated not just at the end of what she had always thought was a happy marriage, but also hugely upset over what her soon to be ex-husband said about her. She is staid, a bit set in her ways, predictable and not very adventurous. It is those and other harsh words that lead her to one night after a few too many drinks, she buys a pink camper van called; Poppy and has a whole plan to go on the road selling tea.

 

All very good when you’re full to the brim with wine, but really? Is that even do-able?

 

As it goes; yes, it is. And so, with Rosie takes the plunge, one thing leads to another and she is on the road with Poppy. Which is where the fun and romance really starts, she meets up with some brilliant people, some which are a little eclectic, individual and who have real good hearts especially her new friend and owner of the travelling book shop – really these two are a match made in heaven, tea and books; how perfect is that? Plus she meets someone who she allows herself to have feelings for again, yes there is a wee bit of a romance in-store for Rosie and yes the man she finally ends up with is utterly delectable, but her journey of self discovery isn’t exactly all is as it seems. I can’t say too much as I never like to give away spoilers and I wouldn’t wish to spoiler your reading, but there is a bit of a sinister twist. It is one of those sub plots which really make you think about who you begin chatting to and exactly how much you should share about yourself to others – especially those you meet online.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this, it is in all essence a great romantic comedy. But the difference with this to other’s I have read in this genre is that the author has tackled some pretty taboo subject’s which are more or less unheard of in romance books, such as being victim of a catfish – you need to read the book to find out what all that’s about. This is a fast paced, funny, romantic, heart-warming and realistic book that will have you not only laughing out loud but glued to the page. I loved the character’s, Rosie is a lovely young woman who the reader can really relate to. The writing is fresh, charming, engaging and very enjoyable.

 

This was an Arc from the author via Netgalley, thank you Rebecca.

 

Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop is to be released on 3rd March and can be pre-ordered from Amazon.

#Review Magnolia House by Angela Barton @angebarton #MagnoliaHouse #Contemporary #Romance @ChocLituk

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I have the great pleasure to share with you all my review of Magnolia House by Angela Barton, grab a cup of tea and let me tell you about this emotional book.


When you open up your home and your heart …
Rowan Forrester has it all – the happy marriage, the adorable dog, the good friends, the promising business and even the dream home after she and her husband Tom win a stunning but slightly dilapidated Georgian townhouse in London at auction.

But in the blink of an eye, Rowan’s picture-perfect life comes crashing down around her and she is faced with the prospect of having to start again.

To make ends meet she begins a search for housemates, and in doing so opens the door to new friends and new beginnings. But could she be opening the door to new heartbreak too?

Magnolia House is a wonderfully emotional and up-lifting book, which will stay with you a long time after shutting the last page. This is the first I have read by Angela Barton, so I came into this book with open eyes and I am so pleased to say that Ms Barton has grabbed my attention with her heart-warming story of moving on after heart-break and I know without a doubt that I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

The story opens to Rowan who basically has everything a woman could want; adoring husband and happy marriage, gorgeous dog, a plan to open her own business and winning her dream house at an auction. All is going more or less to plan, their Georgian house; Magnolia House may be in a bit of a state and need some work, Tom; her husband may be a little pre-occupied but this is their dream and they will make it work. That is until the worse thing that could ever happen to Rowan, does happen, and she is alone with a dilapidated house, no income and having to deal with a double heart-break.

Which is when she decides that the only way she is going to be able to pay the mortgage and all the bills that comes with owning a house and able to afford the work that is needed on it, she opens up the door to flatmates. My heart absolutely went out to Rowan, she has been through the mill anyone who reads this book will shed a tear of how cruel life has been for poor Rowan. She is a good woman, she is just trying to start a whole new life for herself and tragedy strikes and her whole world collapses, any other woman in Rowans’ position would have given up, yet she faces each change with a proper stiff upper lip. She refuses to allow her grief to take control and govern the way she lives her life.

After careful consideration she chooses the people who will share her home -the home she always thought she would share with Tom. Soon between them they start to move forward, forging new relationships and friendships. As Rowan again faces some tough trials ahead of her, some hard truths and skeletons coming out of the cupboard. She also struggles with her mixed feelings for James; one of her flatmates as well as feeling that she is betraying her husband with how she is feeling toward James.

There is a lot of up’s and down’s for Rowan, this book really tugs at the heart-strings, anyone who doesn’t get a lump in their throat after meeting Rowan then they must have a heart of stone. This is emotional, beautifully written, heart-breaking and heart-warming story. I love how realistic the plot is, Rowan’s personal story could happen to anyone, the reader can really relate to her. All the character’s are beautifully created and very likeable, even the secondary character’s such as Tom’s sister Libby who goes through her own issues. Magnolia House is a story that is full of hope, love and compassion, highly recommended!

This was an Arc copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Liz.

Magnolia House is available from Amazon.

#Review A Late Summer Night’s Dream by Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead @MadameGilflurt @e_harkstead @PridePublishing #MMRomance #AlateSummerNightsDream #ContemporaryRomance

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Today I have the very great pleasure to be sharing my early review of ‘A Late Summer Night’s Dream’ by the wonderfully talented Eleanor Harkstead and Catherine Curzon.

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 79 pages

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Release: 19th February 2019

Among Oxford’s dreaming spires, can a widowed professor and a wide-eyed scholar make their own dreams of love come true?

Simeon Shakespeare is living his academic dream. As an Oxford scholar, he spends his days in libraries and whiles away his nights at the theater. A mix-up over a seat number leads to a very awkward first act, but that’s nothing compared to what happens when the lights go up.

Professor Anthony Meadows is finished with love. Shattered by the death of his husband, he divides his time between his book-lined study and Oxford’s theaters. The last thing he needs is an annoying research student bickering with him over who should sit where.

When Anthony and Simeon discover they have more in common than a shared love of the Bard, it looks as though the stage is set for romance. Yet with the memory of Anthony’s lost love keeping the professor from moving on, can Simeon’s love mend his broken heart?

Pride Publishing / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

I do love reading these two fine ladies work, whether its historical, contemporary or even supernatural (Read The Captains Ghostly Gamble ;-)) Curzon and Harkstead together are such a treat for the romance reader and this is a wonderful addition to their ever-expanding CV.

A Late Summer Night’s Dream is another wonderful novella, set in picturesque Oxford. A love-at-first-sight tale, which sees a young wide-eyed, who is living the scholarly dream, who meets a handsome, widowed professor at the theatre.

I love the concept of this one; meeting a gorgeous stranger who not only dresses well but smells divine – which is so important, don’t you think that they smell nice? And could very well be ‘the one’ because of a mix up with seats at the theatre, giggling and joking through a bad performance of ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ all the while having a hard-boiled sweet chomping woman beside you giving you the evil eye, and finally ending up in the pub sharing a pie supper; just how perfect is that? Now, that is my kind of date! But there is more to this merry little, exceedingly English tale then getting to know one an other over pie and peas there is a real sadness to the tale that pulls at the heart-strings.

When scholar Simeon Shakespeare (Great name!) arrives at the theatre a tad late he finds a nice smelling, suit wearing gorgeous man sitting in his seat. The nerve of the man! But is it his seat, really of has there been a mistake on Simeon’s part? Honestly it can happen, believe me. But the seating mistake is soon pushed behind him as he and the god beside him soon find that they have a lot in common, and as happens in this case one thing leads to another and after the play and a meal they head off to Simeon’s.

Simeon has just come out of a not-so-happy relationship with a man who claimed him to be boring, honestly the nerve of the man, he finds peace in trips to the theatre, in disappearing into books. He isn’t looking for love but he knows that the moment he sets eyes on the gentlemanly Anthony that this is the man for him. He senses there is something about him, there is sadness behind those pearly blue eyes. A sadness that Simeon would love to help heal and which makes his heart bleed for him.

Professor Anthony Meadows is attempting to regain his life after the terrible loss of his husband four years earlier to brain cancer, Anthony knows that Iain; his late husband wouldn’t want him to disappear into his shell, he would have wanted Anthony to carry on and live again; which is the reason why he finds himself at the theatre that night. Anthony is shocked that gorgeous, vivacious and young Simeon would want to be with an older guy like him. As soon as meeting the young scholar; Anthony begins to feel himself enjoying himself again, he is flattered by the attention but he is also confused by that and feels he is betraying his late husband’s memory and he can’t take the relationship further. It is at this point where you think “No, what the hell are you doing Anthony, you fool. Get back in there, Simeon’s brilliant!But never worry, all will come right in the end.

The budding relationship between Anthony and Simeon is so lovely to see blossom, each of them have initial issues, Anthony especially. Not only because of his sadness over his late husband but also because he is very aware of the large age gap between them, that aspect of the story along with Simeon’s patience and how he encourages Anthony to just be himself is so beautifully written.

Curzon and Harkstead just gel together, there is always something very special about their writing. Plus it always is so very realistically and wonderfully English in tone, I could hear Anthony’s plummy tones in my mind as I read – which to me oddly enough sounded something along the lines of a younger James or Edward Fox, weird I know! With a realistic plot, witty and sensual dialogue between the characters this is a charming and delightful read, that ended far too soon.

Definitely another winner!

This was an Arc copy from the authors in exchange for an honest review; Thank you Catherine and Eleanor!

A Late Summer Nights Dream is to be released on 19 February and can be pre-ordered from Amazon; links at beginning of review.

#Review Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak (@FrancescaHornak) #BlogTour #SevenDaysOfUs #Christmas #Romance @LittleBrownUK

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I have the great pleasure to be sharing my review of Seven Days Of Us by Francesca Hornak as apart of this wonderful blog tour.

It’s Christmas, and the Birch family is gathering for the first time in years.

Olivia, the eldest daughter, has returned from treating an epidemic abroad and must go into quarantine for seven days. Her mother has decided it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some ‘special time’ together. Her youngest sister wholeheartedly disagrees. Her father isn’t allowed an opinion.

When no one can leave the house, seven days for the Birches feels like an eternity.

Especially when they’re all harbouring secrets. One of whom is about to come knocking at their door…

LOVED it! Warm and humane, funny and sad, with a great, twisty plot, Seven Days of Us is absolute pleasure reading from beginning to end. Francesca Hornak is a true talent. Just gorgeous!‘ Marian Keyes

I have read my fair share of emotional books, but this really is up there with the best. Seven Days Of Us is a roller coaster ride of emotions; funny, happy, sad, it fills your heart with so much warmth and makes you really evaluate your own relationship with your family. This is the first I have read by Francesca Hornak and it will definitely will not be the last, in fact I am looking forward to reading more from this talented author because this book is a pure joy to read.

For the first time in years, the Birch family are gathering to spend the Christmas holidays together, but not exactly in the way that they would have wanted. Eldest daughter; Olivia has just retuned from helping to treat a Haag epidemic and she must go into quarantine for a week, just in case she has caught the decease. So the whole family must be locked away in their family home for the week over Christmas, which would be fine if the whole family weren’t keeping secrets from one and other, secrets that could turn their worlds up-side down.

I love that this is written in the perspective of each family member, so you don’t just see the story unfold through one set of eyes but from all sides and that to me really makes this story as captivating and engaging as it is. Each character is beautifully created, and the relationship each have with the other members of the family is realistic and it’s wonderful seeing their individual stories progress throughout, which takes the reader on a wonderfully intense journey, which at it’s heart is family and the trials that the Birch’s go through as one and separately.

I absolutely loved it!! It is a heart-breaking, emotionally wrenching, warm, funny and beautifully written story of family and love. I shed far more tears then I expected, especially with Olivia’s story which for me was the one that really packed a punch and the ending is heart-breaking, and the epilogue is perfect with a hint of sadness. I cannot recommend this book enough, Seven Days Of Us is one of those that anyone can read and instantly fall in love with and I can guarantee that you will need a box of tissues at the ready.

Fabulous!

This was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Beth!

Seven Days Of Us can be purchased from Amazon.

 

Do check out the rest of the blog’s on this blog tour.

#Review The One by Maria Realf (@MariaRealf) #Contemporary #Romance #TheOne @HarperImpulse

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You never forget the one.
You’ll never forget this book.

’A beautiful, believable writer…5 stars’ THE SUN

Fall in love with this beautiful love story. A must read for fans of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and Cecelia Ahern’s PS I Love You

Lizzie Sparkes should be the happiest girl in the world – she’s three months away from marrying The One in the wedding of her dreams! But then The One before the One walks back in to her life with a bombshell.

Alex’s unexpected return changes everything and now Lizzie faces an impossible dilemma. Because how can you leave the past behind you, when it’s standing right in front of you…asking you for one more chance?

My View

Wow, just wow! What an incredible, moving, heart-wrenching and highly emotional book, and by far one of the best contemporaries I’ve read. Not just this year, but one of the best I’ve ever read! This is the first I have read by Maria Realf and it will definitely not be the last. The One had me reaching for the tissue’s with every new page, it is a book that makes you think never to take anything for granted as you don’t know what’s around the corner.

13 weeks before her wedding to Josh; Lizzie is on cloud nine she is going to be marrying the love her life, nothing could go wrong. That is until Alex; the man she always saw as being her ‘The One’ comes back into her life after years apart, but he hasn’t come to break her or Josh up he has come with devastating news, news that will change her life. Lizzie is now torn between the man she is set to marry and supposed to live happily ever after with and the man she has always loved, the man who stole her heart then went on to break it.

I love the way this is written, you follow Lizzie as she is getting ready for her big day, as she struggles with her feelings for both men and as she is trying to get her thoughts in order to decide what she must do. Then the story briefly jumps back to when Lizzie and Alex met, their relationship through University and above all what happened to break them apart – which is in itself deeply sad and beautifully written. The reason why Alex has come back is heart-breaking, and I will admit that the ending was deeply emotional and I did shed a tear or two – note to reader; stock up on the tissues you are going to need them! The split between them was difficult on them both but there was a reason for his sudden leaving the country.

Lizzie is a good woman, she has a kind honest and loyal personality and a heart of pure gold, she wants to do right by everyone. Her heart has always belonged to one man, but when Alex left he did break it, I did get the feeling that Josh was sort of a close number two where for Lizzie. She loves him dearly, she is so happy with him but there is a piece of her that still belongs to Alex and you pick up on that within the first few pages when she finds herself in a complicated and difficult position.

The One is a touching, honest, emotional, heart-breaking, loving, poignant story all about true love, about second chances. Ms Realf’s writing is flawless, she has a real gift for pulling at the heartstrings and drawing the reader into her story, the character’s are brilliantly portrayed, realistic, likeable, humbling and engaging whether that be the leads of the secondary character’s, each character is beautifully created.

This book is simply stunning, if you love the likes of PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern and When I Fall In Love by Miranda Dickinson (which are two of my favourite books) then this is the book you need to read, I can guarantee you will love it and be moved to tears. I really cannot recommend this enough, it is a book that everyone needs to read.

Perfect!

This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Maria!

The One can be purchased from Amazon, go and buy it.