Divine Match-Up [NOOK Book]

Overview


There's only one boy for Divine....

When Divine Matthews-Hardison left the Hollywood fast lane to live with her aunt and uncle in sleepy Temple, Georgia, she figured she could say good-bye to dating excitement. Who knew she would find a guy she's crazy about in her ...
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Divine Match-Up

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Overview


There's only one boy for Divine....

When Divine Matthews-Hardison left the Hollywood fast lane to live with her aunt and uncle in sleepy Temple, Georgia, she figured she could say good-bye to dating excitement. Who knew she would find a guy she's crazy about in her small-town high school? Madison Hartford is all Divine thinks about...and he's crazy about Divine, too. But when they get "married" at an online wedding site, their friends think they may actually be crazy!

Is Divine ready for "I do"?

It's not a legal marriage -- more of a role-playing game. But the honeymoon is over when Divine's delicious secret gets out and races around school.... Meanwhile, real wedding bells are ringing for Divine's superstar mother, who's put her painful divorce behind her and found true love. It's all too much for Divine, who's read all about her mom's fiancé in the tabloids and thinks her mother is making a big mistake. But it's Divine who has a lot to learn about what it truly means to love someone, heart and soul.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this fourth installment of the Divine series, wedding bells are ringing for Divinea's mother, a Whitney Houston-like celebrity who has finally gotten her life back on track after a divorce and other well-publicized problems. Sixteen-year-old Divine thinks her mom is rushing into remarriage, but shea's holding onto a secret of her own: Divine has "virtually eloped" online with her boyfriend, Madison. Although their chat room marriage isna't legal, a part of Divine wishes it were, and she wonders whether her Christian convictions will hold when Madison pressures her for sex. Therea's nothing subtle about these characters, but interspersed into this soap operaa's preachy messages about marriage and responsibility is a good dose of fashionista fun. (June 17)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416564546
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 6/17/2008
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 628,333
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • File size: 278 KB

Meet the Author

Jacquelin Thomas' books have garnered several awards, including two EMMA awards, the Romance In Color Reviewers Award, Readers Choice Award, and the Atlanta Choice Award in the Religious & Spiritual category. She was nominated for a 2008 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction in the Young Adult category. Jacquelin has published in the romance, inspirational fiction and young adult genres.
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Read an Excerpt


chapter 1

"Madison and I got married last night..." I announce as Alyssa and I walk down a grassy hill to the sidewalk.

Caught off guard, my clumsy cousin nearly topples to the ground in a spill that you know would've embarrassed her. I reach out to help her while I struggle to keep from cracking up in her face.

Alyssa straightens up, then stops just a couple of feet from her house. "Y'all did what?"

"Girl, you heard me. Madison and I are married." She stands there and looks at me as if I'm wearing bright pink eye shadow or something equally not cool. "I wish you could see the expression on your face." I chew my bottom lip to avoid laughing.

"Divine, stop lying! First of all, you're only sixteen years old, and second, you were home last night with us. I know you didn't sneak out 'cause you're not crazy. You know my parents would chop your head off and mail it back to Los Angeles." She shifts her backpack from one side to the other. "By the way, April Fools' Day was yesterday."

Her metal braces gleam in the morning sun, drawing my attention to them. Alyssa is such a know-it-all sometimes but I'm not about to let her faze me today. I'm on my honeymoon. Some honeymoon. Going to school is not my idea of a romantic wedding trip. At least Madison and I have nights in our private chat room.

"I can't believe you gon' try and lie about something like that," Alyssa continues to fuss. "Like I'ma believe some stupid crap like that."

We navigate away from the brick ranch-style house, making sure that we're out of earshot just in case Chance or Aunt Phoebe comes outside. Alyssa's right about her mom -- my aunt is straight-up crazy. I moved in with them almost three years ago when my dad went to jail and my mom went to rehab. I never thought I'd call any place other than Los Angeles home, but Temple, Georgia, has become very special to me. All my friends think it's just because I'm with Madison. The truth is that I truly love being with my family. Even Aunt Phoebe can be cool at times.

"That's what this is all about," Alyssa is saying. "Right?"

I shake my head. "This has nothing to do with April Fools' Day. I'm telling you the truth, Alyssa. Madison and I are married. We had a virtual wedding ceremony." I take out a piece of paper from my backpack and hand it to her. "See...this is our wedding certificate. I told you. We're husband and wife."

"So how did you do it? How did you get married so quickly?" Alyssa asks. Her dark brown eyes look like they're about to pop out her head. She pushes a curling black tendril away from her face. Her hair is getting longer and longer, and it's thick. A flash of envy courses through my veins. I wish my own head of hair was thick like that. "C'mon, Divine...tell me."

"There are several places on the Web that will allow you to have a wedding, a reception -- even a honeymoon suite. Madison and I have a suite for two weeks as part of our wedding package. You can get married for free on some sites but girl, you know me -- I have to do it diva style. So I paid fifty dollars for our wedding."

Alyssa gasps. "You paid fifty dollars? I would've just gotten married on one of the free ones."

"Hmmph! I wanted a nice wedding. Besides, it was only fifty dollars. That's really not a lot of money."

"Well, it's a lot of money to me." Alyssa looks at me with a look of surprise on her face. "I can't believe you did it. You and Madison actually got married."

I take a quick look over my shoulder to make sure Chance isn't sneaking up on us. He'll do that sometimes trying to scare us. Lately, he's been big on pranks even though I keep telling him I don't have a sense of humor when it comes to stupid stuff. "Alyssa, you can't tell anyone. Madison and I are keeping it a secret."

"You better hope my parents don't hear about this. I know Mama will lose her mind if she finds out." She shakes her head in disbelief. "You're the only person I know who skipped dating and went straight to marriage. I guess you really meant it when you said you don't half-step."

"I already know he's the person I want to be with, Alyssa. That's all dating is for -- to find your Mr. Right. Well, I've done all that."

"If my parents find out, it'll be the only wedding you'll ever have," Alyssa warns. "Better enjoy it while you can."

"That's why you can't tell anyone. I don't want Aunt Phoebe or Uncle Reed to find out and I especially don't want my mom to know." Alyssa's not only my cousin; she's also my best friend and I tell her all of my secrets.

"I'm not saying nothing," Alyssa vows. "But I do want to know what y'all plan to do. Are you going to try and get your own apartment? Or are you going to keep your marriage a secret until you graduate?"

She actually believes Madison and I are married! I hold back my laughter before deciding to let her in on the real deal. "Even if they do find out, it's not like the end of the world. Alyssa, it's a game. We're role-playing. Our marriage isn't really legal."

Alyssa places a hand over her chest and releases a short sigh of relief. "Girl, you had me thinking you were truly married." We stroll down the street as if we have nowhere to be at any particular time.

"We had a ceremony performed by Preacher David at a cyber-wedding chapel," I explain.

"Divine, how did you find out about this stuff? I've never heard of anybody getting married on the Internet."

"You can find anything on the Internet. I was looking up marriage ceremonies in different cultures for math and came across an article on online marriages in China. They call it wanghun. I was curious so I visited some websites for more information. I think it's pretty cool."

"Why were you doing that for a math class?"

"We had to establish how weddings are celebrated in different cultures, then figure out mathematical problems like how many guests should be seated at a table if only eight tables are available, but ninety guests are expected, or which food a person could buy for one hundred twenty-five guests if the budget's like a thousand dollars. Mr. Monroe doesn't have you all doing that?"

Alyssa shakes her head. "Not yet, anyway. But back to this wedding stuff. I've never heard of waygum...whatever you call it."

"It's pronounced wang-hun. I'm not surprised you haven't heard of it. It's not like you live in a metropolis."

"I know what that means. It means big city."

"You went and subscribed to Word-A-Day, didn't you, copycat?"

"Yeah, but I already knew what it meant. You're not the only smart one in the family."

I check my Louis Vuitton watch. We only have about fifteen minutes to get to school before the first bell so Alyssa and I pick up our pace. I'm hoping to see my husband before first period. Normally, I wear pants to school but I'm wearing a dress just for him. Today is special.

"I can't wait for prom," Alyssa says. Our prom is scheduled for the last Saturday in May. Seven weeks away. Mom's already ordered our dresses and we have our shoes and accessories thanks to Aunt Phoebe. I'm still waiting on Madison to order his tuxedo. He's such a slowpoke sometimes.

"I hope Stephen and I win Prom King and Queen," Alyssa continues. "We're gonna look so good -- If that boy ever gets his tux. I don't know what he's waiting on."

Shaking my head, I say, "Hate to tell you this, Alyssa, but it'll be me and Madison looking fierce that night. I -- "

Chance comes running up behind us. "Hey! Why didn't y'all wait on me?"

"You were on the phone with Trina so we didn't want to mess around and be late," explains Alyssa.

She's right about her brother. When he and his girlfriend are on the telephone, they don't know how to get off. I know I'm being hypocritical, especially since Alyssa and I spend hours gabbing on the phone too! I don't see why Chance doesn't just wait to talk to Trina on the way to school. He goes to her house every morning to see Joshua. But oh well...

"I wasn't on the phone that long. Trina was just telling me the time of Joshua's doctor appointment. I had to wait for Mom to give me a note so I can leave school early."

"Daddy duty," I mutter. "Aren't you just loving it?"

"It's okay," Chance states honestly. "I love my son so I'll do whatever I have to do."

"Is Trina still trying to get you to marry her after graduation?" Alyssa asks.

"She says little things," Chance replies. The silence between us says what we all know. Trina really wants to get married and has been bugging Chance about it a lot. She's scared he's going to find someone else when he goes off to college in the fall. Chance loves Joshua, but he would've preferred to wait until he was married before having a child.

I guess I can understand why Trina's worried. Chance is a cutie. His new-penny coloring, acne-free complexion, deep dimples and big brown eyes will draw girls to him like a magnet. He's not just cute -- he's smart too. I'd never say any of this to him, but my cousin is a great catch.

"I want to marry her eventually. Just not right now." Chance stops walking long enough to adjust the bulging backpack on his shoulders. "We need to get college degrees so that we're able to take care of Joshua. I sho' don't make no real money working at Wendy's."

Chance is the type of person who doesn't complain about anything. Like I said, he's a good catch, and it makes me angry when I see Trina trying to use the baby to manipulate him. I don't like nobody playing my cousin.

I still talk to her but Trina's gone down a few notches on my friend list. She's lucky to have a boyfriend who stuck around while she was pregnant. Aunt Phoebe would say she's blessed and don't even know it.

Alyssa brags to Chance that she's subscribed to Word-A-Day.

"I signed up too," he responds.

"Haters," I mutter. "You and Alyssa just can't stand the fact that I'm beating you at Scrabble so now you're copying me. Don't y'all have an original bone in your bodies?"

"Don't go around thinking that you are a Scrabble world champ, just because you've won a couple of games. You were lucky, that's all."

"Don't hate, Chance," I reply with a chuckle. "Everybody can't be like me. You can learn all the new words you want -- I'll still beat you and Alyssa. Not only am I cute, but I'm smart too."

"Divine, keep dreaming." Alyssa laughs. "You're a legend in your own mind."

"I see you had some haterade for breakfast this morning." I chuckle. "I guess I wouldn't be happy losing all the time either."

Chance shakes his head and laughs. "Girl, you going down..."

"Me? Never," I respond. "Divine Matthews-Hardison's not going out as a loser. It's totally not my style." Copyright © 2008 by Jacquelin Thomas

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Introduction

Summary

Smitten with her boyfriend, Madison, sixteen-year-old Divine does what any twenty-first-century girl in love would do — she secretly "marries" him in an online virtual marriage ceremony! Her fake-wedded bliss only lasts for a moment, though: fresh on the heels of their pseudo-union, Divine's celebrity mother comes to visit and informs everyone that she is engaged to her boyfriend, Kevin. Divine wants to be happy for her mother, and she likes Kevin, but everything about this situation just feels wrong. She's afraid her mother will get hurt again, and she's wary of another man — especially another celebrity — coming into their lives. Her thoughts are troubled further when news of her "marriage" leaks and ugly gossip about Madison starts spreading through the school. Soon Divine has to figure out how to mend a broken heart, be a responsible role model, and improve her relationship with God, all while balancing the demands of high school life.

Questions for Discussion

1. Divine tells Alyssa, "You can find anything on the Internet." (page 4). Do you think that the easy accessibility of things in today's high-tech world affects their value? Are there different standards for what happens online vs. the real world, especially when it comes to friendships and relationships?

2. Wanghun is, as Divine constantly explains, just a role-playing game in which people pretend to be married and even have families online. What concerns do the adults in the novel express about this kind of role-playing? How might this or other types of role-playing games also be useful? After reading the author's note and considering this story, what will yousay if someone at school tells you about virtual marriages?

3. Several teens in this novel remark that they are proud virgins, or as Divine says, "card-carrying members of the Big V Club." What reasons do these characters give for waiting to have sex? Explain whether you agree or disagree with these reasons, and why.

4. On page 30, Kara tells Divine that she's too young to really understand what love is. Has anyone ever said this to you? How does it make you feel? Given what happens in the novel, or what may have happened in your life, why do you think adults say this so often? What do you think about Divine's comeback: that if grown-ups know so much about love, why are there so many divorces and incidents of violence between spouses?

5. As the daughter of wealthy celebrities, Divine lives a lush lifestyle of designer clothes, fancy award shows, and photo ops. If you suddenly became rich and famous, what changes would you make in your lifestyle? Do you think you'd enjoy the attention, like Divine, or would it be an interruption, as it is when Kevin tries to take the girls out to dinner?

6. Whenever someone disagrees with Divine about her mother's engagement, she says they just don't know what she's going through. Do you think this is true, or is it something else? What do you think Divine is really upset about?

7. While Divine insists that the cyber-marriages are no big deal and that she and Madison didn't do anything wrong, Alyssa points out that if that were true, they would not have been so sneaky about it. Do you agree more with Divine or Alyssa? Why? What other reasons might there be for keeping a secret?

8. Divine complains repeatedly that she wishes her family could just be normal. What is normal, really? Do you think her family is as strange as she seems to think it is? Why or why not?

9. Madison tells Divine that because they said vows before a clergyman, all they need to do to make their marriage valid in the eyes of God is to consummate it by having sex. But Divine knows that isn't enough to make a marriage legal in the United States. What is the difference between God's law and the law of the land? Are there situations in which one might take precedence over the other? What does Divine's uncle say about this subject when he finds out about Divine and Madison's "wedding?"

10. When Divine and her uncle have a private heart-to-heart, she argues that some kids mature faster than others, but he reminds her that some kids who think they are mature, aren't. In what ways do the teens in this novel show their maturity, or lack thereof? What do you think you would do in their shoes?

11. Divine desires Madison, but she feels in her heart that she isn't ready to have a sexual relationship with him or any boy. Have you ever wanted something you knew wasn't good for you? How did you handle the situation?

12. Aunt Phoebe, Uncle Reed, and Divine's mother, Kara, are all extremely concerned about the effect of make-believe marriages on their teenage daughters. On page 141, Divine wonders, "Are they right to be worried?" Given what happens in this novel, what do you think? Have you ever witnessed a similar situation in your own life?

13. In this novel, Trina and Madison both struggle with an unexpected pregnancy that disrupts their lives and causes them pain. Do you sympathize with Trina? Do you feel sorry for Madison? What do you think about Madison's insistence that he doesn't love Brittany and doesn't want to be with her, even though she is having his child? Do you agree with Divine's assessment that Trina needs to "stop tripping?" Why or why not?

14. When Divine learns that boys are using the cyber-marriages to trick girls into having sex, she feels responsible. But Alyssa tells her that it isn't her fault, and that everyone has his or her ownmind to make choices with. What do you think? Describe a time when you were positively inspired or negatively influenced by the behavior of someone else. How do you try to live by example?

15. If you've read previous novels in this series, how do you think Divine has been changed by her experiences? In what ways do you see her responding differently to situations?

Activities to Enhance your Book Club Experience

1. As the daughter of popular celebrity parents, Divine gets to enjoy the "high life," even though she's now far from the everyday glitz of Los Angeles. Get a taste of the celebrity experience by asking your parents to take your book club to the swankiest restaurant or teen-friendly nightclub in town. Try searching on www.city search.com or www.zagats.com for the right place, make a reservation, don your nicest outfit, and don't forget the sunglasses!

2. Many characters in this novel find the solution to their problems by letting God into their lives and involving Him in all their decisions, even the little ones. At your next book club meeting, go around the circle and share your own stories about the moments when you've felt God's presence in your life.

3. Take some time to browse the author's websites at www.jacquelinthomas.com, simplydivinebooks.com, and www.myspace.com/simplydivinebooks.

Jacquelin Thomas is the national bestselling and award-winning author whose many adult novels include Defining Moments, Saved in the City, Soul Journey, A Change Is Gonna Come, The Prodigal Husband, and Singsation. Her short fiction is featured in the Pocket Books anthology Have a Little Faith. A driving force in the world of Christian fiction, she is the founder and producer of the annual Faith-Based Arts Conference, an event showcasing authors in the field.

Visit her website at www.jacquelinthomas.com.

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Reading Group Guide


Summary

Smitten with her boyfriend, Madison, sixteen-year-old Divine does what any twenty-first-century girl in love would do -- she secretly "marries" him in an online virtual marriage ceremony! Her fake-wedded bliss only lasts for a moment, though: fresh on the heels of their pseudo-union, Divine's celebrity mother comes to visit and informs everyone that she is engaged to her boyfriend, Kevin. Divine wants to be happy for her mother, and she likes Kevin, but everything about this situation just feels wrong. She's afraid her mother will get hurt again, and she's wary of another man -- especially another celebrity -- coming into their lives. Her thoughts are troubled further when news of her "marriage" leaks and ugly gossip about Madison starts spreading through the school. Soon Divine has to figure out how to mend a broken heart, be a responsible role model, and improve her relationship with God, all while balancing the demands of high school life.

Questions for Discussion

1. Divine tells Alyssa, "You can find anything on the Internet." (page 4). Do you think that the easy accessibility of things in today's high-tech world affects their value? Are there different standards for what happens online vs. the real world, especially when it comes to friendships and relationships?

2. Wanghun is, as Divine constantly explains, just a role-playing game in which people pretend to be married and even have families online. What concerns do the adults in the novel express about this kind of role-playing? How might this or other types of role-playing games also be useful? After reading the author's note and considering this story, what will you say if someone at school tells you about virtual marriages?

3. Several teens in this novel remark that they are proud virgins, or as Divine says, "card-carrying members of the Big V Club." What reasons do these characters give for waiting to have sex? Explain whether you agree or disagree with these reasons, and why.

4. On page 30, Kara tells Divine that she's too young to really understand what love is. Has anyone ever said this to you? How does it make you feel? Given what happens in the novel, or what may have happened in your life, why do you think adults say this so often? What do you think about Divine's comeback: that if grown-ups know so much about love, why are there so many divorces and incidents of violence between spouses?

5. As the daughter of wealthy celebrities, Divine lives a lush lifestyle of designer clothes, fancy award shows, and photo ops. If you suddenly became rich and famous, what changes would you make in your lifestyle? Do you think you'd enjoy the attention, like Divine, or would it be an interruption, as it is when Kevin tries to take the girls out to dinner?

6. Whenever someone disagrees with Divine about her mother's engagement, she says they just don't know what she's going through. Do you think this is true, or is it something else? What do you think Divine is really upset about?

7. While Divine insists that the cyber-marriages are no big deal and that she and Madison didn't do anything wrong, Alyssa points out that if that were true, they would not have been so sneaky about it. Do you agree more with Divine or Alyssa? Why? What other reasons might there be for keeping a secret?

8. Divine complains repeatedly that she wishes her family could just be normal. What is normal, really? Do you think her family is as strange as she seems to think it is? Why or why not?

9. Madison tells Divine that because they said vows before a clergyman, all they need to do to make their marriage valid in the eyes of God is to consummate it by having sex. But Divine knows that isn't enough to make a marriage legal in the United States. What is the difference between God's law and the law of the land? Are there situations in which one might take precedence over the other? What does Divine's uncle say about this subject when he finds out about Divine and Madison's "wedding?"

10. When Divine and her uncle have a private heart-to-heart, she argues that some kids mature faster than others, but he reminds her that some kids who think they are mature, aren't. In what ways do the teens in this novel show their maturity, or lack thereof? What do you think you would do in their shoes?

11. Divine desires Madison, but she feels in her heart that she isn't ready to have a sexual relationship with him or any boy. Have you ever wanted something you knew wasn't good for you? How did you handle the situation?

12. Aunt Phoebe, Uncle Reed, and Divine's mother, Kara, are all extremely concerned about the effect of make-believe marriages on their teenage daughters. On page 141, Divine wonders, "Are they right to be worried?" Given what happens in this novel, what do you think? Have you ever witnessed a similar situation in your own life?

13. In this novel, Trina and Madison both struggle with an unexpected pregnancy that disrupts their lives and causes them pain. Do you sympathize with Trina? Do you feel sorry for Madison? What do you think about Madison's insistence that he doesn't love Brittany and doesn't want to be with her, even though she is having his child? Do you agree with Divine's assessment that Trina needs to "stop tripping?" Why or why not?

14. When Divine learns that boys are using the cyber-marriages to trick girls into having sex, she feels responsible. But Alyssa tells her that it isn't her fault, and that everyone has his or her ownmind to make choices with. What do you think? Describe a time when you were positively inspired or negatively influenced by the behavior of someone else. How do you try to live by example?

15. If you've read previous novels in this series, how do you think Divine has been changed by her experiences? In what ways do you see her responding differently to situations?

Activities to Enhance your Book Club Experience

1. As the daughter of popular celebrity parents, Divine gets to enjoy the "high life," even though she's now far from the everyday glitz of Los Angeles. Get a taste of the celebrity experience by asking your parents to take your book club to the swankiest restaurant or teen-friendly nightclub in town. Try searching on city search.com or zagats.com for the right place, make a reservation, don your nicest outfit, and don't forget the sunglasses!

2. Many characters in this novel find the solution to their problems by letting God into their lives and involving Him in all their decisions, even the little ones. At your next book club meeting, go around the circle and share your own stories about the moments when you've felt God's presence in your life.

3. Take some time to browse the author's websites at jacquelinthomas.com, simplydivinebooks.com, and myspace.com/simplydivinebooks.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 14, 2013

                 This book is incredibly realistic.. It captures lif

                 This book is incredibly realistic.. It captures life in a whole different perspective.. But also it gives you a real life demonstration.. This book is basically based on real life situations and relationships and what they go through and how they made it better..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Playas at Play

    In this novel Jacquelin Thomas give us another great read. The characters, story-line, and conversations are expressing modern occurrences in our culture, with lively interactions with the characters. The leading character learns, through experimentation that "play" marriage may make you desensitized to the "tricks" of the opposite sex to engage in pre-marital sex and cause you to engage in behaviors you may not be comfortable with. This book is helpful in encouraging you to avoid situations that make it hard to maintain your choice to be sexually abstinent. Great insight is provided in this novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2008

    otstanding author

    jacquelin thomas is a wonderful author, she writes her books based on whta teenagers like myself go through. while writing these books that relate to us she also was able to let us know the corret way of handle the situation. lastly if a character in the book did the wrong thing, she would crealy state all of the consequences the character faced.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2008

    Outstanding book Outstanding Author

    I finaly think think that Divine will find her 'Mr. Right' and have a divine match up. I enjoyed reading the other books in the series and I cannot wait until this one comes out. I think the author did a great job on this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 20, 2013

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    Posted October 25, 2010

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    Posted April 18, 2009

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    Posted February 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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