True Love (Nantucket Brides Trilogy #1)

True Love (Nantucket Brides Trilogy #1)

4.5 141
by Jude Deveraux

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Jude Deveraux, the bestselling author of unforgettable romance, returns with a breathtaking first book in a fantastic new series—the Nantucket Brides trilogy. Set on the magical Massachusetts island, True Love introduces characters from a new generation of Montgomery-Taggerts, the beloved family…  See more details below


Jude Deveraux, the bestselling author of unforgettable romance, returns with a breathtaking first book in a fantastic new series—the Nantucket Brides trilogy. Set on the magical Massachusetts island, True Love introduces characters from a new generation of Montgomery-Taggerts, the beloved family from Deveraux’s classic novels.
Just as Alix Madsen is finishing up architectural school, Adelaide Kingsley dies and wills her, for one year, the use of a charming nineteenth-century Nantucket house. The elderly woman’s relationship to the Madsen family is a mystery to the spirited Alix—fresh from a romantic breakup—but for reasons of her own Alix accepts the quirky bequest, in part because it gives her time to plan her best friend’s storybook wedding.
But unseen forces move behind the scenes, creaking Kingsley House’s ancient floorboards. It seems that Adelaide Kingsley had a rather specific task for Alix: to solve the strange disappearance of one of the Kingsley women, Valentina, more than two hundred years ago. If that wasn’t troubling enough, Alix must deal with the arrogant (and extremely good-looking) architect Jared Montgomery, who is living in the property’s guesthouse.
Unbeknown to Alix, Jared has been charged with looking after her while she lives on the island—an easy task for him, considering the undeniable chemistry between the two. But Jared harbors secrets of his own, which, if revealed, may drive a wedge between the pair.
With a glorious Nantucket wedding on the horizon, sparks fly, and the ghosts of the past begin to reveal themselves—some of them literally. Finding their lives inextricably entwined with the turbulent fortunes of their ancestors, Alix and Jared discover that only by righting the wrongs of the past can they hope to be together.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Jude Deveraux's For All Time.
Praise for True Love
“Jude Deveraux’s Nantucket Brides series will sweep you away. A beautiful island, a sexy man, and plenty of secrets—this is a wonderful writer at her best.”—Susan Mallery, New York Times bestselling author of Three Sisters
“A new Jude Deveraux novel means a very late night turning the pages straight through to the delicious end.”—Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Escape
True Love, with its star-crossed lovers and twisty plot, evokes everything that makes Nantucket so special—the history, the atmosphere, the secrets, and the magic.”—Susan Wiggs
“Destined to be an instant romance classic . . . [It] will haunt you long after you read it.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Deveraux is at her spellbinding romantic finest.”—Booklist

“A novel about star-crossed love, life, death and reincarnation . . . a romantic story of love so deep it survives centuries.”—Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Alix Madsen is an architecture graduate student, but she might be best described as a conscientious multi-tasker. While studying for exams at a charming 18th century Nantucket manor, she finds time to help plan her best friend's wedding, uncover the secrets of recently discovered journals, and slip deep into a crush on a handsome, sexy tenant. With its closely woven plot threads, the first novel of Jude Deveraux's Nantucket Brides Trilogy keeps you enthralled.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Nantucket Brides Trilogy Series , #1
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Random House
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3 MB

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Chapter One

Alix continued weeping as Izzy handed her one chocolate after another. So far it had been two doughnuts, one of those flat bars of sixty percent cocoa, a whole Toblerone, and a Kit Kat. If this kept on Alix was going to start in on chocolate chip cookies, which meant Izzy would join her and would probably gain ten pounds and not fit into her wedding dress. Wasn’t that above and beyond the call of friendship?

They were on the fast ferry that went from Hyannis to Nantucket, sitting at one of the tables by the snack bar. All sorts of delicious, fattening things were within their reach.

Alix had done well in the last few weeks as she and Izzy finished their final semester of architecture school. On the last day before summer break, they’d turned in their projects, and as always, Alix had been praised by the teacher to the point of embarrassment.

It was that night that Alix’s boyfriend had broken up with her. Dropped her flat. Eric said he had a different plan for his life.

After the disastrous date, Alix went straight to Izzy’s apartment. When the knock came, Izzy and her fiancé, Glenn, had been snuggled on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn. She wasn’t in the least surprised when Alix told her what happened—she’d even prepared for it by having two quarts of chocolate caramel ice cream in the freezer.

Glenn kissed Alix on the forehead. “Eric is a stupid man,” he’d said before heading off to bed.

Izzy thought she’d be in for a whole night of misery, but an hour later Alix was asleep on their couch. In the morning, she was quiet. “I guess I better go pack,” she said. “Now there’s no reason for me not to go.” She was referring to spending a year on the island of Nantucket. A few years before, right after Izzy had met Glenn—and she’d immediately known she was going to marry him—the girls had made a pact. After their last semester of school, they would take a year off before going job seeking. Izzy wanted time to just be a wife and to think about what she wanted to do with her life.

Alix had always known that she wanted to prepare a portfolio of designs that she’d present to a possible employer. Since most students went directly from school to a job, all they had to show was the work they’d done for assignments, all heavily influenced by the likes and dislikes of a teacher. Alix wanted to show her own work, all of it original.

When Alix was told of the year in Nantucket, she had been reluctant. Going somewhere she knew no one was too much. And then there was Eric. Could their relationship stand so much separation? Alix began to come up with excuses for why she couldn’t go, starting with Izzy needing her for the wedding.

But Izzy had said that this was a once in a lifetime chance and Alix had to take it. “You have to do this!”

“I don’t know,” Alix said. “Your wedding . . . Eric . . .” She shrugged.

Izzy glared at her. “Alix, it’s as though your fairy godmother waved her magic wand and gave you just what you need at exactly the right time. You must do this!”

“Think my fairy godmother has green eyes?” Alix had asked and the two of them had dissolved into laughter. Alix’s mother, Victoria, had emerald eyes. Of course she’d been behind obtaining this year of work and study for her precious daughter.

What made them sure Alix’s mother was behind the hiatus was that she’d been the one to tell Alix about the strange provision in Adelaide Kingsley’s will. Izzy had always been in awe of Victoria. Even if she weren’t internationally famous for all those wonderful, exciting books she wrote, she’d still be magnificent. For one thing, she was gorgeous. She had thick auburn hair, a figure like a Spanish soap star’s, and a personality that commanded a room. Victoria wasn’t loud, wasn’t really flamboyant, but when she entered a room everyone took notice. A hush fell over people as they stopped talking and turned to look. It was as though they felt Victoria’s presence as much as saw her.

The first time Izzy met Victoria, she wondered how Alix would react to her mother getting all the attention, but Alix was used to it. To her, that was how her mother was and she accepted it.

Of course it helped that whenever Victoria spotted her daughter entering a room, she stopped charming the people who’d gathered around her and went straight to Alix. They would link arms and turn away to some quiet corner, just the two of them.

When Alix had first been told about the contents of the will of some woman she didn’t remember, she’d said no. Yes, Alix had always planned to take a year off, but not on some isolated island.

The real problem was that she hadn’t told her mother she had a boyfriend whom she was thinking about marrying. If Eric asked, that is.

“I don’t understand,” Izzy said. “I thought you and your mom told each other everything.”

“No,” Alix said. “I said that I find out everything about her. I am very selective about what I tell her.”

“And Eric is a secret?”

“I do my best to keep my love life with any man away from my mother. If she knew about Eric, she’d be here interrogating him. He’d probably run away in terror.”

Izzy had to look away so Alix wouldn’t see her frown. She’d never liked Eric and she wished Victoria would do whatever it took to get rid of him.

After Alix had finished her designs for the last school year and made her model, she’d “helped” Eric with his. The truth was that she’d almost done his whole project for him.

After the breakup and Alix’s decision to go to Nantucket, she’d been very adult about it. “I’ll also have time to study.” To become a licensed architect, one had to take a series of truly horrific exams. “I’ll do well on the tests and make my parents proud,” Alix vowed.

Izzy thought that Alix’s parents couldn’t be more proud of her than they already were, but she didn’t say so. When Alix finally said she was going, it was her depressed, fatalistic tone that made Izzy decide that she would travel with her friend and stay in Nantucket until Alix got settled. She wanted to be there when Alix finally broke down.

It happened when they stepped onto the ferry to Nantucket. Until then there’d been so much to do to get ready for the trip that Alix hadn’t had time to brood about Eric. Her mother had covered all expenses, even shipping their luggage to the island, so the two young women would only have to deal with overnight bags. And they’d left days earlier than the original plan because Izzy was afraid Alix would see Eric again.

Alix had seemed to be doing well until the ferry pulled away from the dock. When she looked at Izzy, there were tears running down her cheeks. “I don’t understand what I did wrong.”

Since Izzy had known this was coming, she had a big Toblerone bar in her bag. “What you did wrong was to be born smarter and more talented than Eric. You intimidated the hell out of him.”

“I didn’t,” Alix said as Izzy opened the chocolate and they took a seat at a table. It was still early in the season so the big boat wasn’t packed with people. “I was always very nice to him.”

“Yeah,” Izzy said. “You were. That’s because you didn’t want to hurt his teeny tiny ego.”

“Come on,” Alix said, chewing. “He and I had some great times. He—”

“He used you!” Izzy’d had to stand back and watch Eric cuddle up to Alix while she practically did his work for him. All the other males in their classes were intimidated by her. Her father was a successful architect, her mother a celebrated writer, and, worse, Alix’s designs won every competition, every prize, and were praised by the entire school. “And what did you expect from him when you were always in the top five in your class? I thought Professor Weaver was going to kiss your feet when he saw your last project.”

“He just appreciates designs that can actually be built.”

“Well, duh. That thing Eric designed before you started helping him couldn’t have been put together by the crew that built the Sydney Opera House.”

Alix gave a small smile. “It was rather like a spaceship, wasn’t it?”

“I expected it to go into orbit at any second.”

Alix seemed to be recovering but then her eyes turned sad again. “But did you see his date at the farewell party? She was barely twenty, if that.”

“Go ahead and say it,” Izzy said. “She was dumb. Really stupid. But that’s what Eric needs for his fragile ego. To make him go up, others have to come down.”

“I don’t know if you’re a therapist or a guru.”

“Neither. I’m a woman and I see things. You’re going to be a great architect and the only way you’re going to find love is with a man who is in a completely different field.” She was speaking of her own fiancé, who sold cars. He didn’t know Pei from Corbusier from Montgomery’s latest organic masterpiece.

“Or I could find an architect who is so good he isn’t intimidated by me,” Alix said.

“Frank Lloyd Wright is dead.”

Alix gave another small smile and Izzy was encouraged to change the subject. “Didn’t you tell me there was a man living in the guesthouse of where you’re going to be staying?”

Alix sniffed as she bit into a chocolate muffin Izzy had bought for her. “The lawyer said that Miss Kingsley’s nephew is staying there and that he can answer any questions I have. Or if the house needs repair he can do it. He’s called Mr. Kingsley.”

“Oh.” Izzy’s voice showed her disappointment. “If Adelaide Kingsley was ninety-something when she died, that means her nephew is at least sixty. Maybe he’ll give you a ride on his electric scooter.”

“Don’t make me laugh.”

“I’m trying to. Is it working?”

“Yes,” Alix said, “it is.” She looked toward the snack bar. “Do they have any chocolate chip cookies?”

Groaning, Izzy silently cursed Eric the ex-boyfriend. As she went to the counter she muttered, “If I gain weight, I’m going to put hair gel in all his glue. His models will fall apart.” She was smiling as she took four big plastic-wrapped cookies out of a basket and paid for them.

By the time the ferry docked, Alix had stopped crying, but she still looked like a martyr about to be led to a stake.

Izzy, full of cookies and hot chocolate—she couldn’t let Alix eat alone—had never been to Nantucket and she was looking forward to seeing the place. With their big leather bags (gifts from Victoria) over their shoulders, they stepped onto a long, wide wooden wharf. Little shops that looked like they used to be fishermen’s shacks were filled with shirts with tasteful logos of Nantucket on them. She would have liked to stop to buy her fiancé some caps and sweatshirts but Alix was plowing on, chin up, eyes straight ahead, looking at nothing, just walking.

Izzy saw some kids come around a corner, ice cream cones in their hands. Maybe if she could get Alix settled with a cone, she could do some shopping.

“This way!” Izzy called and Alix followed her. There was a little ice cream place on the edge of the wharf and Izzy sent Alix inside. “Butter pecan for me,” Izzy said.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Wonderful praise for Jude Deveraux
“Deveraux’s colorful cast and easy way with words shine.”—Publishers Weekly, on Scarlet Nights
“Another guilty-pleasure romance of suspense that will hook readers and leave them with a smile.”—Booklist on Scarlet Nights
“Deveraux has a sure hand evoking plucky heroines, dastardly villains and irresistible heroes. . . . The pace moves quickly and the romance sparks with enough voltage to keep readers turning pages.”—Publishers Weekly, on Days of Gold
“Readers get everything they could want from the consummate storyteller: memorable characters, sharp dialogue and a wonderful story. This is entertainment!”—RT Book Reviews, on Days of Gold
“Likeable characters and satisfying endings . . . make this a memorable read.”—BookPage, on Days of Gold
“Jude Deveraux knows what her readers want . . . quick dialogue, interesting settings, and plot twists . . . She’s brought romance with a touch of class.”—Deseret Morning News, on Lavender Morning

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True Love 4.5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings. 141 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
True Love is a brilliantly developed tale! Basked in the history of the beautiful ghost ridden island of Nantucket, you can't help but fall in love with the island, characters and the story Jude Deveraux wove for us to enjoy. Drenched in family bonds, you have the feeling of homecoming as you turn the pages. Superb story of love, friends, happiness and home! Don't miss your chance to take a trip to Nantucket, you'll be glad you came! Alix is not too thrilled about spending one year in a beautiful old home in Nantucket--an arrangement in the will of a woman she hasn't seen since she was four years old--but since it came on the heels of a nasty breakup with her boyfriend and she's just graduated architectural school, she figures why not. World famous architect/womanizer Jared Montgomery Kingsley is temporarily staying in the guesthouse, waiting to inherit the mansion after Alix's year is up. Jared doesn't want to be a hero; he just wants to be "a guy." Let me add here that Jared doesn't know he's one of THOSE Montgomerys, and doesn't meet his extended family for the first time until halfway through the book. He's much more concerned with the Kingsley side of the family, which includes a ghost, a legacy, and a mystery. If you like this author, then you will like this book. It is a love story as well and it will touch your heart.Jude Deveraux is one of my favorite romance authors. Her characters are fun, intriguing, and usually get themselves into some kind of trouble.  The people in this trilogy come from all different backgrounds, and the Nantucket setting is the perfect backdrop for these stories. I'm anxiously awaiting to see which couple the next book focuses on.       
Traann More than 1 year ago
True Love by Jude Deveraux is the first book in her Nantucket Brides Trilogy.  It is set on the Island of Nantucket off of Massachusetts and after reading the book I think I need to visit Nantucket.  Jude paints such a vivid picture of the Island and its residents I feel as if I had been there and met all of it’s full time residents. The story revolves around Alix Madsen, an architectural student who has just finished school and is getting ready to take her certification tests, and Jared Montgomery Kingsley, a world renowned architect who is uncomfortable with Alix moving into his ancestral home and becoming his new neighbor for the next year.  He is torn between being attracted to her and not wanting another “fan” following him around, treating him like a superstar.  Alix and Jared finally come to an agreement and that allows the relationship to unfold. If you are a Jude Deveraux fan you will not be disappointed, in fact, you will be thrilled, excited, enchanted and grateful to be reading another of her books that centers around the next generation of the Montgomery and Taggert families.  True Love brings us right back into a story that involves a Montgomery cousin and a family ghost.  There is a mystery to solve, danger to overcome, secrets, tension between Alix and Jared and a wedding to plan. This book sets up the next book in the trilogy and I guessing it will be about Toby and Grayson, Crown Prince of Laconia, who meet at the end of the story.  You don’t have to read all the books in the series but the family history adds to the richness of the characters and excites you with looking for your favorites to show up and behave in a way you remember.  It is like attending a family reunion.
suzie32 More than 1 year ago
Jude is Back!!! I could not put this book down. I was so excited to see her writing about the Montgomery family again. She won me over with the Velvet Series. All her books that had the Taggarts and the Montgomery were my favorite. It is visiting with family members when you read them. I look forward to more of this series. Thank you for going back to the stories that you made us all fall in love with.
ornerylibrarian More than 1 year ago
For over two hundred years a lonely spirit has waited to reunite with his lost love. Caleb was lost at sea when he tried to sail home to his lady. Now he haunts the Nantucket family home waiting for her return. Adelaide Kingsley was the owner of the home and in her will she left a stipulation that Alixandra Madsen (who visited the house as a child) be allowed to live there for one year and try to solve the mystery of Valentina Montgomery's disappearance (who was Caleb's love). Only then can the true heir, Jared Montgomery Kingsley, take possesion of the house. This lively tale has a host of characters that one assumes will be seen again in the next two books of this series, The Nantucket Brides. Alix and Jared's story has a lot of twists and turns with a pleasant surprise ending. Ms. Deveraux has done it again. This one is a winner and I look forward to the next two stories in the Bride series.
Dommo More than 1 year ago
I like this book fine but felt it didn't need to be as long as it is. Also I wasn't truly convinced that a character like Jared Montgomery would fall madly in love with Alix Madsen. I felt her character wasn't as developed as some of the others. I did like the relationship between Jared and his ghostly grandfather Caleb. I also like the vivid strokes Ms. Devereaux gives to the island of Nantucket. Overall, I do recommend the book and will read the 2nd in the series. The authored has piqued my interest in reading about Toby and her partnered groomsman (can't recall his name!).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took me nearly a week to read this book. Normally, when I read a JD novel, I can't put it down. This time I felt the opposite. It was a chore to read this to its conclusion. There was no real chemistry to the main characters. I found myself more interested in the supporting characters.
arbjamesAJ More than 1 year ago
When Alix finds herself the resident of a haunted Nantucket mansion for a year after a nasty break-up, she has no idea how much her life is going to change.  Charged with solving a 200-year-old mystery, Alix is charmed by the island as well as the house's ghostly inhabitant.  Then there's the guy in the guest house, Jared, who just happens to be Alix's hero.  Why does the ghost of Captain Caleb still walk?  Can Alix solve the mystery of what happened to Caleb's beloved Valentina while at the same time opening her own heart to love with Jared?  Will true love truly conquer all? I had read some of Jude Deveraux's books many years ago but drifted away from that genre.  I was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly I got caught up in this story.  It has so many elements that I enjoy in a good read--romance, mystery, humor, and just enough paranormal happenings to spice things up.  I enjoyed all the descriptions of Nantucket, although I do think that too much time was spent describing all the meals they characters ate (it's a wonder they could still fit into their clothes with all that rich food they ate!).  All of the family connections were a bit hard to keep up with, but I imagine they will be expanded upon in future volumes.  
Anonymous 11 months ago
I was thrilled to get to read any story that has the Taggert & Montgomery family in it. I just didn't fall slap dab in love with these two as I have ALL the rest in the series. I'm taking about goin all the way back to The Dutchess & The Maiden! I was starved for it, I loved em so much. Still do. Do u remember Judith& Gavin?! Raine? Come on, we need that strong & pasionate of chariters back. I've loved Jude Deverax since 85! So I do exspect the BEST. Rhop
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book helped me escape from stress and become immersed in the lives of the characters within the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very rarely have i ever been disappointed with Jude Deveraux's books!! This one was wonderful, was so glad to be reunited with the montgomerys and the taggerts can't wait for the next one!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always love the way she includes the older characters in her new books. The Montgomerys and the Taggarts go way back to the early books. I could hardly put it down.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
[June 21, 2015] Name:Alice L. Age:17 Birthday:unknown  Gender:Female Species: Human Looks:Long layered blonde hair that covers her ears, it is normally worn down and is straight, it reaches her lower back. Her side bangs cover her right eye((It's a slight emo style-> long bangs that are slightly layered)) She has a black headband with a large bow on the right side((if You're facing her)). Cream-colored skin with a skinny, petite figure. Bright blue enchanting eyes and a cute button nose. Short about 5'0"-5'1"((closer to 5'1")). Wears a light blue cold shoulder dress with a sweetheart neckline that has a small amount of lace around the edges, the dress has a flare skirt that has ruffles on the bottom it ends at the upper thigh. She has a white waist under bust corset with straps and at the top in the middle there is a bow. The flare skirt is the same light blue as the rest of the dress but a large portion of the middle in the front is white. Her tongue is pierced. Wears blue nail polish on occasion. Wears a black choker, and a bracelet on her left upper arm ((below the cold shoulder sleeve)) it has a the four card symbols. She has black and white striped tights and black combat boots. Personality: She is relatively innocent and nice, she has a dark side that only a few people have ever seen. Can be stubborn but is generally cheerful. She is shy and more or less keeps to herself but is talkative with friends. Easy to blush in certain situations. Weapons/powers: Her favorite way to kill involves poisons some of which cause hallucinations. She uses her kind nature to lure people into a false sense of safety and when she poisons them they tend to see terrifying demons and die slowly and painfully((this is only to those who she has a job to kill and she has poisons that are fast acting)). She makes the poisons herself. Along with the poisons she has throwing daggers as well as as a hunting knife for combat and quicker kills they are still poisoned blades. She keeps a potion that allows her to shrink ((to help with sneaking around)) and grow((to help with larger opponents)). Pet peeves /dislikes: The Red Queen, god-mods, forced social situations. Likes:Drawing/Arts, animals, poison making, exploring, knife throwing, her buddehs, her cat. Pet: The Cheshire cat. Friends:You know who you are. Enemies: Doesn't have any, yet. ~Okay that is all for now. Anything you wish to know just ask.~ Thanks for reading. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a HUGE fan of Jude Devereux for over 15 years. She is one of my FAVORITE WRITERS!! Books like Remembrance & A Knight In Shining Armor are some of the best stories I have EVER read, and I have read thousands! I LOVE HER BOOKS!!!! With this being said, I must say that I was very disappointed with this book. There was just too much going on! Too many characters and side stories. This story was also sort of boring. I was so sick of hearing about architectural features and house plans, that I actually started skipping big chunks of the book! This book was just not up to Ms. Devereux's usual standard of excellence.
MaggieSueMP More than 1 year ago
I have loved and enjoyed every Jude Deveraux novel I have ever read. But not this one.  It took me weeks to get through it as I just was not that interested in it to pick it up that often.  The story was long and drawn out.  Trying to keep remembering who was who reincarnated was tiresome.  Sorry, but I cannot recommend this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jude Deveraux weaves romance with family ghosts to create a fascinating story.
Revette More than 1 year ago
As usual, when I read Jude Deveraux, I loved the book! The characters were very believable Nantucketans, and the descriptive terms used to make the Nantucket island come to life were very colorful. I was kept interested all the way through the book, and couldn't put it down until I absolutely couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. Then I continued reading the book at my next possible chance, until I finished it. I was kept under suspense with the unfolding plot all the way to the end, but with a light and enjoyable method of keeping me "reeled in." The ghost in the attic was a very believable character, and was a big plus in getting me to read it to begin with. If you've enjoyed other books by Jude, don't miss this one. I've already purchased the next in the trilogy for my Nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many smiles, chuckles, and tears.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book because it had an interesting story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago