Chesapeake Crimes : Fur, Feathers, and Felonies by/edited by Donna Andrews, Bob Goffman, and Marcia Talley

Chesapeake Crimes : Fur, Feathers, and Felonies by/edited by Donna Andrews, Bob Goffman, and Marcia Talley
Publisher: Wildside Press
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary
Length: Full length (206 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop

Thirteen members of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime spin tales crime around the theme of animals. A pet groomer. A pet crow. A dog named Rasputin. Exploding cattle. Even an octopus figures in a mystery. Contributors include: Chris Grabenstein (Introduction), Shari Randall, Carla Coupe, KM Rockwood, Alan Orloff, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Robin Templeton, Barb Goffman, Marianne Wilski Strong, Linda Lombardi, Josh Pachter, Joanna Campbell Slan, Cathy Wiley, and Karen Cantwell.

I am not normally a lover of short stories but these were so fun. Each story was long enough to have a plot, yet all were cute and easy to read. Even the table of contents page containing the title of each story was interesting enough to make you want to read them and at least give you a giggle. This is the perfect book to sit on your bedside table, or read on a short commute, or for a lunch break or stuck in with your books when you are supposed to be working on something.

These are all mysteries of a sort and yet each story has its own personality. Each story was complete with different “characters”, quite interesting characters at that. One aspect of this set of short stories is that while each story was complete in and of itself, the flow of the stories in the book was fluid. Nothing ever seemed jarring. It’s as if they are in the perfect order. I have often said I was jealous of an author’s ability to put their thoughts all in order to create a book. This has occurred here even in a book of short stories. I hope this will seem a compliment to both the editors and writers as that is how it is meant.

I’m sure these editors have more compilations in this “Chesapeake Crime” series and I think they are definitely worth checking out.

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full length (320 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum


Gwennore is an Elf able to track down the cause of a certain illness and heal it―a valuable asset to her people. But when she is thrust into the realm of the dragons, she discovers a haunted place of power, passion, and magic―one that is plagued by an ancient curse. When she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, Gwen knows she’s entered a whole new world of trouble. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon. So why does making a deal with the devil feel so good?

Silas has no way of saving the royal family he’s served for years. But when a beautiful, innocent elf comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to desire in a way he’s never felt before. But how can he trust a sworn enemy. . .and how can he live without her, in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by New York Times bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks.

Ooh, I love me some dragons so I had to read this newest book by Ms. Sparks. I knew to expect a wonderful romance and I was not disappointed. What I didn’t expect was to giggle so much about a dragon named Puff.

Once I met General Gorgeous, I was completely hooked. I had a riot of a time watching the interaction between Silas, Gwennore, Dimitri and Aleksi. I was happy to see Brody is in this novel as well. He plays a strong role for a secondary character and he is almost like plot glue. His services and skills were integral in the past two books in the series and he once again helps out in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon. This time it’s Silas and Gwennore who have to figure out how the Chameleon is causing mayhem and stop him. Brody’s nose is very welcomed.

Speaking of the Chameleon, Ms. Sparks has created more mystery and questions because there’s a new revelation in this story. The villain isn’t alone and the external conflict has hints of being more diabolical than anyone knew. Fascinating stuff!

On top of that trouble, Gwennore figured out something scary about the curse that has plagued the kingdom for centuries and it’s not a simple thing. Her bravery is commendable because she still is willing to help even after what she was put through in the first couple of chapters.

As with the two previous books in the series, the heroine eventually finds out a bit of where she came from and who her parents might have been. I figured out one possibility but the second not only blew me away but stunned many of her new circle of close friends in Norveshka.

My favorite parts were when Gwennore didn’t realize Silas could hear her thoughts. Those were the funniest scenes in the novel. Another thing I enjoyed was the ribbing and jesting between Silas, Dimitri and Aleksi. The author made it clear that they were best friends and very loyal to each other. I loved seeing that level of heart, emotion and trust.

Of course all of the trials, tribulations, adventures and suspense wouldn’t be worth it if the romance wasn’t equally as wonderful and satisfying. Indeed, watching Silas and Gwennore fall in love was everything I hoped it would be; fun, sensual and spicy, and of course, romantic. I am glad that the epilogue tied up the happy ever after just the way I like it. Of course, there leaves the question as to which sister is next in finding her other half. I came to the end of the novel with the distinct opinion of who it might be. I can’t wait to find out!

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon has a great title but the book is even better. I am pretty sure that this novel is best read after the other two although if a new reader doesn’t mind a varied and busy cast they might do okay. But seriously, understanding how evil the Chameleon can be and why Brody is integral to the safety of the sisters of the Isle of Moon can only be appreciated by seeing what came before. Read them all. It’s a great experience and not to be missed. Ms. Sparks is amazing!

Auctioned to the Bad Boy CEO by Doris O’Connor

Auctioned to the Bad Boy CEO by Doris O’Connor
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (145 pages)
Other: M/F, spanking
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Hannah Watson has little time for romantic entanglements. After all, she hasn’t met a man yet who can beat her little battery-operated friend.

Until the new CEO arrives. Known for his ruthlessness in business, he’s also every woman’s wet dream—hers included. His temper alone should be a turn off, but her libido is not listening to reason.

Logan Bryce doesn’t tangle with his employees—ever—until curvy little Hannah makes all of him sit up and take notice. Who knew the starchy, always respectably dressed Ms. Watson had such a naughty side? Her proposal to auction off willing celebrities and suitable staff for a ‘date’ has appeal, especially with Hannah, herself, on the auction block.

The terms of the auction are clear—a twenty-four hour commitment—plenty of time to get her out of his system.

What can possibly go wrong?

Logan is the new boss and Hannah is his employee. From first sight spark fly. When Hannah proposes to auction off staff members for charity and her proposal gets accepted, it’s a surprise. However, it is more surprising to Logan when he discovers she is on the auction list.

24 hrs! Anything he wants – except it does not go according to their plan. Family problems come into play and their date changes into something more when they are thrown together on an unexpected path.

The book is not just an erotic romance; it has multiple plots, their love/relationship and the little girl’s case. I won’t say more than this. But the addition of the little girl made the whole story more rounded off. I loved seeing different sides of both the characters which would not have been possible if the little girl was not in the story.

The plot is something that I have read before, but Auctioned to the Bad Boy CEO is very well written with characters, both main and secondary, that capture your attention. I recommend this book.

Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman

Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman
Publisher: Choc Lit
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (288)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Quince

Do nice guys stand a chance?
Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles.

Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and-coming Hollywood bad boy by her side.

But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?

I have to admit that the “friends to lovers” plotline is not my favorite, but there was something fascinating in the synopsis of Too Damn Nice so I decided to give this story a try. Furthermore, the blurb seemed more like a good chick-lit than a romance novel and I wanted to read a chick-lit. I am glad that I decided to read this story even though it’s far, far away from being chick-lit. I can say that I got way more than I expected.

Too Damn Nice is story about how two friends, who loved one another for a long time, finally get together. That is just a part of it. After they got together they broke up, only to find another way to true happiness. This is not a funny or a cheerful story but it’s truly not depressing either. On top of that are all the misunderstandings between Lizzie Donavue and Nick Templeton which push the story into sad territory.

Lizzie and Nick are complex characters. They both have their own deep insecurities. Nick thinks that because he is a boring accountant, Lizzie does not care about him. While Lizzie thinks that because she did something wrong in the past, she does not deserve Nick. Sometimes they are so rude to one another. But, there are times when Nick does not act like such a darn nice guy, and Lizzie is not full of guilt. That’s really good because if the characters had stayed in their predefined roles the whole time, the story would not be so darned good. I refer especially to Nick’s character. If he’d been nice all the time it would have been just too much.

I applaud the author. Kathryn Freeman did a wonderful job of keeping the story interesting and on a high emotional level the whole time. In the first part of the book she balances very well the subtle balance in Nick and Lizzie’s relationship. It’s a relationship in which both of them wanted to cross that line of friendship and enter the lover’s territory, but they just didn’t dare. Each time when they were on the verge of becoming a lovers another unexpected twist happened. Later on when the line is finally crossed, the author again did great work in focusing on their doubts and fears. By resolving them the path to their HEA was finally open. There are so many places in the story where the author could have fallen in the trap of cliche, but she successfully avoided it. So once again, I applaud the author.

Too Damn Nice was my first hidden gem this year. This highly sensual and deeply emotional story was a great read. I am definitely putting Kathryn Freeman on my ‘to read list’. If you like contemporary romance featuring friends to lovers and opposite attracts, I highly recommend this story.

Going Off Grid by SJD Peterson

Going Off Grid by SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short length (78 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Rimming
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Clay and Elliott are working toward a dream—working sixty-hour weeks for one of the oil companies that recently sprung up in North Dakota. The pay is good, but is it a fair trade for never seeing each other? The point becomes moot when the company folds, like so many others, and the couple is left with a difficult choice.

Should they find comparable work somewhere else, or is it time to throw caution to the wind and go after their goal—years earlier than they intended?

What they’ve always wanted is to be together and have time to enjoy it, so they follow their hearts. They’re going off the grid and fixing up an old cabin so they can be self-sufficient. But when they go from all the conveniences of the modern world to outhouses, solar power, a shoestring budget, and more mosquitos than they ever thought possible, will they find there’s such a thing as too much time together?

Clay and Elliott had been together for seven years and both working themselves extremely hard. Saving every penny, their dream was to do up their cabin and retire in style while they were young enough to still enjoy it. When the oil business went downhill fast their decision was forced onto Clay and Elliott a little early. But by going off grid – no power or cable bills – they could possibly make it work. Can they both survive going off grid and making their dream a reality?

This is an interesting and character-driven story. I really liked the concept of two six-figure-earning men upping their roots and going off grid into a cabin in the woods. Clay and Elliott were both completely normal men in a solid and stable long-term relationship, but I still found the direction they wanted their life to go in quite interesting. Nowadays I’ve noticed there are a lot of people interested in sustainable living and taking care of their own needs, so seeing these two high-powered men ready to do the same thing was quite interesting to me.

I also really appreciated how while there’s certainly a bit of polish to the story (Clay and Elliott managed to fix up the old log cabin fairly quickly and easily and the bigger-ticket items such as solar panels, connecting water lines etc all went rather smoothly and with minimal fuss) at no stage did I feel like there was an unrealistic sense to the story. While it all went smoothly, the gents *did* have to do upkeep and renovations, make preparations and outlay a fair chunk of their hard earned money. They didn’t simply wander out there into the middle of the woods with a car-load of gear and jump right in; they thought about it and planned it out. So while not gritty or in any way difficult, neither did it feel like the whole move was simply glossed over. I found this a good balance and I have to admit, I would have absolutely liked the story less had there been disaster after disaster – I enjoyed watching Clay and Elliott make their dream a reality and I loved to watch them both get to live and relish it.

Readers who like a plot-heavy or conflict-driven story might not find this as good a story as I did. While there’s some smoking hot sex scenes – the plot really does revolve around Clay and Elliott updating and upgrading their small cabin and making it liveable and the work they put into building and deepening their relationship. Having worked opposing shifts for many years and barely spending more than a handful of days together at a time they each knew they needed to invest plenty of time and energy into their relationship and this change of life pace was exactly what they both wanted deep down.

Personally, I loved watching the cabin and their relationship flourish under their time and care and found this a great book I will happily reread many times in the future.

The Beauty of Forever by Elyzabeth M. VaLey

The Beauty of Forever by Elyzabeth M. VaLey
A Christmas Realm Tale Book 1

Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal
Length: Short story (89 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Once dead, always dead.

Christopher Beaufort works in what could easily be the most cheerful place on earth, Santa’s Christmas Realm, but as a vampire, he is nothing more than a shadow among the living.

Worn out by the demands of his job as Chief Toy Officer, Santa assigns a human woman to help him, Samantha Kraus. Tantalized by the fiery red-head, Christopher makes it his business to seduce her, but as he does, something within him begins to stir.

Life is a gift in which every moment counts.

When Samantha Kraus accepted the job of assistant manager at Santa’s, she expected elves, fairies and maybe some shifters, but definitely not vampires. Least of all did she imagine her boss would be one of them or that she’d be attracted to him.

Though she tries to remain professional, Samantha finds herself falling for Christopher. But, can a vampire’s heart ever beat again?

Not just a romance but a holiday romance set in the North Pole with Santa, elves, vampires and more…

It’s a whole other world with magic! It definitely surprised me when reading about vampires at the North Pole. It was a first for me. It is not just an erotic novel, it’s much more than that and I loved that aspect of the book.

When Santa appoints a human, Samantha, to work under Christopher, it was apparent that he did not like the decision, even if he liked her. However, with every page more of the wonders of the North Pole showed up and I became as astonished as Samantha with the new world. I would have loved to have read more about their world and the different species that live together.

Samantha and Christopher are attracted to each other but all Samantha wants is to try to focus on her work and making his work easier. That is not easy. With them working together, it was inevitable that they get together. That being said their relationship heals each other. The climax to the relationship wrapped up nicely and it was satisfying to see them go through the motions of positivity and end up with each other.

This book is a wonderful story for a Christmas romance that any erotic reader would absolutely love.

The Bachelor’s Unexpected Family by Lisa Carter

The Bachelor’s Unexpected Family by Lisa Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full length (220 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Second Chance Family

Young widow Kristina Montgomery moves to Kiptohanock, Virginia, hoping it will give her and her teenage son, Gray, a fresh start. She longs for the peace and quiet only a small town can provide. But her plans are thwarted by her new neighbor, Canyon Collier, a former Coast Guard pilot and a crop duster. Gray is instantly drawn to the pilot and his teenage niece, Jade—and Kristina’s not far behind. She and Canyon are soon bonding over parenting their charges and their spark becomes undeniable. Could it be that the spirited pilot is just what Kristina needs to teach her heart to soar again?

Love is being thwarted by the past; a widow’s grief and guilt, and a man’s burden from his family’s reputation. One needs to let go and the other needs to believe he’s not defined by the choices of others. The thread woven throughout The Bachelor’s Unexpected Family is faith. Faith in dreams, in neighbors, in love and in God, can work miracles even when they are no bigger than a bouquet of flowers.

This is a very sweet romance between Kristina and Canyon. I enjoyed watching them when they were together. When it was just them away from everything else; when they forgot about their hang-ups, worries and their tendency to overthink things; I got the solid sense that they truly would be perfect and wonderful for each other. Their easy camaraderie and playful banter was engaging.

I liked how Canyon took to the role of being a parent and how Kristina’s son, Gray, made her realize the rut she had gotten them both in. Jade, Canyon’s niece, and Gray are great secondary characters. As for the hero and heroine, they each had a gaping hole in their hearts that needed healing. The heroine lost her first husband and couldn’t find a reason to move forward, and Canyon never had a healthy family role model so it left him feeling like he was on the outside looking in. How could he be a good father figure to Jade? After seeing the love of a mother for her son, as Kris is to Gray, he felt his insecurity more keenly. Those levels of heartache aren’t a good thing and the author made that very clear. Ms. Carter also made it quite apparent that God has some definite plans and he is working through the townspeople of Kiptohanock. There were some wonderful people there including Kris’s brother, but Margaret especially so.

The one moment where I felt the book didn’t reach me is the moment supposedly where Kris has this great epiphany. It sounded so powerful and firm, and there was this great moment of opportunity, and then … dud. Seriously? She choked? All that and she couldn’t say the words? Grrrr. It’s a good thing there was at least one little kiss in the story that showed me that the chemistry is strong enough to stir their passions so they’d work harder at getting together.

There’s a little drama to spice things up; again showcasing the strong points in each of the main characters as they face their worst fears. It was a relatable plot conflict because high school kids do get into that type of trouble. It was well written and effective.

I’m quite satisfied with the story, the romance and the happily ever after that I found within the pages of The Bachelor’s Unexpected Family. I liked that all the plot threads were tied up, and Kris finally got to touch Canyon’s hair as she’d been wanting to all through the book. Heck, I actually had the itch to do that myself, the writing was that convincing. All in all, this is a really nice romance to spend an afternoon with.

Her Best Friend’s Husband by Doris O’Connor

Her Best Friend’s Husband by Doris O’Connor
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (77 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/M/F, Ménage, Anal Play, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Your best friend’s wedding is not the time to realize how much you love him…

Wedding organizer Naomi Young is not only head-over-heels in love with her best friend, she lusts after his husband.

Which is all kinds of wrong—isn’t it? Maybe not. Especially when she discovers the attraction is not as one-sided as she thought.

Dom Dawson Monroe has never had a problem going after what he wants. Both he and his new husband Josh Garrison enjoy a woman’s soft touch, so who better to satisfy that need than the one woman Josh is madly in love with? Time to claim them both as his submissives.

Convention be damned. Happiness is to be found in the soft curves of Naomi’s body, as long as they can convince her that this is forever. Only time will tell if the loving twosome can become an even more loving threesome.

A surprise of a lifetime…

Naomi is a dark-skinned woman with curves everywhere who agrees to organize her best friend Josh’s wedding to Dawson. The only thing is she never thought that upon returning they would make a move on her. Both of them!

Dawson is a Dom while Josh and Naomi are both subs. This is a BDSM story. The chemistry between Dawson and Naomi was the first thing I noticed when I started reading the book. There were instances where I was sure he was attracted to her but then there were other occasions where he sounded more annoyed or angry with her. The wedding was a bit confusing but the book also had some off-the-charts sizzling scenes.

The book tried to show how the relationship between Josh and Naomi progressed from best friends to lovers. I would have very much liked to see more of how Josh and Naomi’s relationship changed. A highlight for me was when it showed Naomi and Dawson getting to know each other and becoming more attuned to each other.

The author did a wonderful job in portraying the chemistry between the characters and pulling the reader into the love story even though this book had a short length. There definitely was a romance here.

This is a smooth and steamy read and I would love to read more about these characters.

Gone on Sunday by Tower Lowe

Gone on Sunday by Tower Lowe
Publisher: eiffeltowerpublishers
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary
Length: Full length (293 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop

Polio disabled Cotton Lee’s leg, but not her sexuality, not her mind, and not her ability to connect the murder of her friend Little Mary in 1972 to that of Bead Baker in 1932. Gone on Sunday follows the lives of the Baker family, their black servants, and the townspeople they knew in Homeville, Virginia. Alternating between 1972 and 1932, Cotton Lee’s investigation into the murder of Bead Baker brings out secrets kept for decades. With suspects ranging from a housewife, to a cook, and even a rumored witch, Cotton Lee needs to find the solution to the first murder in order to know the history of the second.

Family can mean everything…or not.

Does saying I read this book in a day give you an idea how much I enjoyed it? Maybe not, but I read it in a day because I couldn’t put it down. I just had to know what happened. This is truly a “sit on the edge of your seat” crime mystery set in the deep South. While trying to solve a crime in 1972 a crime of a similar type in 1932 becomes of interest. This is a story about some realistic but ridiculous prejudices. Some were quite typical of the times. A southern small town full of prejudice and many secrets, mixed with people that like to tell secrets and hurt others can make quite a story. None of these were going to keep Cotton Lee from continuing to search for the murderers.

Really an enjoyable book with interesting and very likeable characters. I liked Cotton Lee. She’s strong, a little mouthy and a little over the top sometimes but she has more to prove than others might. There are also a few detestable characters as every good crime mystery should contain.

This book does switch decades of 1932 and 1972 from chapter to chapter. This is not written as you might think. It’s not the “oh no another flashback” type of story. While I did have to turn back a page to check what year I was in occasionally I can’t say this bothered me. Nothing ever seemed unclear and I think this is because Lowe has the characters so well-defined. It would be very difficult to mix up characters in this story as her plot made it very clear who was in what decade, what story, forty years apart. This is really two stories all about the same murders. Both entwined but never complicated.

This is Book 1 of the “Cotton Lee Penn Historical Mystery Series”. I am in great hopes there will be a Book 2.

Arctic Spirit: Arctic Ice Book One by Elena Kincaid

Arctic Spirit: Arctic Ice Book One by Elena Kincaid
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short story (71 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

Charlotte Austen has been in love with her two best friends, Chris and Drew Malcom, since high school, but choosing between them was never an option. The day she said goodbye to them was a painful one, especially since she thought she would never see them again. Ten years and one visit later changes everything.

Alaskan tiger shifters, Chris and Drew, have never gotten over Charlotte. The fact that they were both in love with her was never the problem … being destined for a mate, however, was. They reach out to her, hoping to find a way to resume their friendship. The three of them get an unsuspected surprise when they see each other again.

The trio’s happy discovery does not come without a price. Jealousy and prejudice threaten to destroy the budding romance. Will Chris and Drew be able to stop the threat before they lose the love of their lives forever?

Tigers on ice. So very nice.

Charlotte had always gravitated toward Chris and Drew Malcolm. When her father was transferred away from the small town where she had spent many of her formative years, it was devastating to them all. But when fate opens up a chance to reunite with her long lost best friends she jumps at the chance.

Drew and Chris are not your average small town boys. Tiger shifters at heart, they long to reconnect with their mate, Charlotte. Enter complication: Char is human and that is going to be a trick trying to explain their powerful bond. Growing up together with secret crushes is one thing but full on mating? Can the woman they love accept them both as tigers and men? But when a danger threatens Charlotte, they are forced to act, laying it all out on the table, for better or for worse. The question is how will Char react?

These questions kept me reading. In the human world, having two husbands is for certain not the norm and Charlotte really struggles with the fact that she has adored both brothers since she was a teen. Distance seemed safer but now that she’s back for a visit, she realizes that mere friendship is not enough. Que in sexy romp music. The seduction of Charlotte was smexy and hot, drawing me deeper (no pun intended) into the story.

The only issue I had was only two of the three characters had POV. I wanted to know all three characters as individuals. That and the anal sex scene was glossed over in such a way that I had to read it again to figure out just who was putting what where, and the sensations of said act were not described, adding to the confusion. There was also a reaction by Charlotte’s parents that didn’t quite seem on par with the human world but it didn’t detract from the overall storyline.

All in all, I enjoyed the read. This shifter world has some unique rules I have not seen before and would like to see again. The first in a new series, I look forward to the next installment and will keep an eye open for hot new tigers and dragons. (Those were uber cool!) New adventures and smoking new shifters…bring it on.