Monday, December 29, 2014

Our "Best of 2014" Picks + Giveaway!



Because it's always the right time for a Harry Potter reference. :)


Anyway, thank you for sharing another year with us. 2014 was full of great reviews, authors, and fun posts.

We celebrated our Six Year Blogoversary back in June.

Around the same time I also had Jelly Design Studios redo the blog; six months later and I'm still loving this new design. I hope you are, too!

Lusting For Covers hit its 200th post back in October. We just can't get enough of the sexy covers! :)


Kame, Pat, and I have put together our list of favorite reads from 2014 -- and at the end post, there's a little giveaway. :D










Kame: 


So it is a few days before Christmas and I can’t sleep so what do I do – well I decide to reflect on the books I read in 2014!

First off I read less books this year – 148 compared to 2013’s 162 (now I did have some super secret beta reads but not enough to surpass 2013) You can check out my 2014 Books Read shelf on GoodReads.

So in reviewing the list of books here are the highlights:


REVIEW

The stand-alone book that just stayed with me and got me thinking: Fractured by Leanne Pearson 


Only -- REVIEW
Mercy -- REVIEW

The series am I anxiously awaiting the latest: HelenKay Dimon’s Holton Wood’s (loved Mercy & Only),  as well as Kat Latham’s London Legends 


Knowing the Score -- REVIEW
Playing it Close -- REVIEW
Tempting the Player -- REVIEW
Unwrapping Her Perfect Match -- REVIEW


The series am I sad to see end – and begging for followup novellas: Sarah M. Anderson’s  Men of the White Sandy


Mystic Cowboy -- REVIEW
Masked Cowboy -- REVIEW
Nobody -- REVIEW
Clarence -- REVIEW


The follow-up to a fantastic 2013 read that disappointed me: Alice Clayton’s Rusty Nailed and Emma Chase’s follow-ups to Tangled


REVIEW


The 2015 release I have been waiting the longest for: Jessica Topper’s follow-up to Louder Than Love (due out Fall 2015)


REVIEW




Authors on my automatic read/buy list in 2015: Jessica Scott, Cristin Harber, Carolyn Brown


REVIEW


Newly published authors I can’t read their books fast enough: Emmy Curtis and Claudia Connor.



REVIEW


I read a LOT of Romantic suspense – that has to be my favorite genre.  I read a lot of romance with a military element too. Then there is my addiction to cowboys!







What are my reading plans for 2015: I do plan on reading Jacked by Tina Reber very soon. I also have promised my friend Jackie that I will give some of my undivided reading attention to Pamela Clare’s historical novels.




Pat: 




The ONE book that just stayed with me: Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor.
There is so much love and caring in this novel, it just moved me in so many ways. I knew as soon as I read it, here was my number one read in 2014.



The series am I anxiously awaiting the latest of: I love Jill Shalvis's Animal Magnetism series


REVIEW


The series I am sad to see end: Again, Jill Shalvis and her Lucky Harbor series.




The follow-up to a fantastic read that disappointed me: Craving Redemption by Nicole Jacquelyn.
Her first, Craving Constellations was awesome, and I was not as excited by the second.  The third in the series is released, I just haven't had a chance to read it.


The 2015 release I have been waiting the longest for: Too many to name!! 


REVIEW


Authors on my automatic read/buy list in 2015: Wow, I have a lot.
Jill Shalvis, Jessica Scott, Laura Florand, Gina Maxwell, AD Marrow, Ava Miles, Pamela Clare......I could go on and on......but I won't!




Newly published authors I can’t read their books fast enough: Claudia Connor, AD Morrow, and Ella Sheridan are the first to come to mind.


Most read genre of 2014: Looks like contemporary, and military romance. 


My Top Books of 2014


  • Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor
  • Risk of a Lifetime by Claudia Shelton
  • Shadowed Heart by Laura Florand
  • Honor Reclaimed by Tonya Burrows
  • A Lick of Flame by AD Marrow
  • Hard to Come By by Laura Kaye
  • The Perfect Ingredient by Ava Miles
  • Teach Me by Ella Sheridan
  • Virtue Falls by Christina Dodd
  • Then Came You by Jill Shalvis



I also have two audiobook favorites: Sweet Release by Pamela Clare and Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks.




What are my reading plans for 2015:  Read and review as much as I can!



TBQ:


This has been a crazy year for me and I admit my reviews have been a bit MIA, especially after I started back as a full-time student this fall. I still had a pretty good year though, finishing 142 books! You can check out all my Read in 2014 books on GoodReads).


The ONE stand-alone book that just stayed with me: Gah, I blame Kame for this question. HOW CAN I POSSIBLE PICK ONE?

REVIEW


Okay, I'm going to go with . . . A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai. Because REASONS. So many smexy, awesome reasons. :D


REVIEW


A close second would be Best Laid Plans by Cara McKenna. For even more smexy, awesome reasons. :D


All Broke Down -- REVIEW


The series am I anxiously awaiting the latest: Fall or Break Series (Barbara Elsborg). Rusk University (Cora Carmack). Stage Dive Series (Kylie Scott). And at least a dozen more!


Storm -- REVIEW
Spark -- REVIEW
Spirit -- REVIEW
Secret -- REVIEW


The series am I sad to see end: Hm . . Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental Series. I still have to read Michael's story (Sacrifice). I'm holding onto it since it is the last! :)


New Genre: M/M. I've fallen hard for M/M this year, and I regret NOTHING. :) I've read some great books and have a dozen more on my list to try next year. A few of my favorite M/M romances:

  • Falling by Barbara Elsborg ➜ My review will go up March 20th, but I loved this one!
  • No Such Thing by A.M. Arthur ➜ REVIEW
  • Long Time Gone by S.E. Jakes ➜ REVIEW
  • Secret by Brigid Kemmerer ➜ REVIEW


Top 2015 release I'm dying to read: Oh wow. So many . . .

  • There You Stand by Christina Lee (M/M)
  • Deep by Kylie Scott (NA)
  • Breaking by Barbara Elsborg (M/M)
  • Two of Hearts by Christina Lee (Contemporary)



Authors on my automatic read/buy list in 2015: Again, so many. How about some authors I've just added to my auto-buy list?

  • A.M. Arthur -- M/M
  • S.E. Jakes -- M/M
  • Cora Carmack -- NA
  • Suzanne Wright -- PNR
  • Christina Lee -- NA
  • Samantha Young -- NA



Most read genre of 2014: Close tie between contemporary and NA. 



What are my reading plans for 2015: To enjoy what I read, but still get more reviews up. To find time to read PERIOD between Spring classes and life! 





THREE winners will each receive a $10 GC to either Amazon or BN. Open to US and INT readers. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



We've showed you ours . . . now it's your turn! Share at least ONE amazing book you read in 2014.

Here's to another year of romance fun! 



Enjoy!



Until Next Time,

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  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

66 comments :

  1. Both are on my list to read! :) Who can resist the Ward? And I love Cole's books.

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  2. Errggggh! I'm having trouble narrowing the list down! Umm...okay. Darynda Jones (Sixth Grave From the Edge and Seventh Grave and No Body), Julie Ann Walker (Hell For Leather and Full Throttle), Laura Kaye (Hard As You Can and Hard To Come By), Gena Showalter's The Darkest Touch, and Dianne Duvall's Night Unbound

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  3. ;) It's the hardest question of the year. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.


    I've heard a lot of great things about Darynda Jones; I'll have to bump the series up my list. And you can never go wrong with Kaye or Showalter. :) Both are favs of mine, too.

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  4. Ooh, so many that I need to check out, thanks for the recs!

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  5. puddle jumping by Johnson Amber L. and Rush too far by Abbi Glines

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  6. ;) I have a few of Abbi's on my Kindle, really need to try her books in 2015

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  7. Gosh I always hate having to pick the favorites of the year! I love the Hard Ink series by Laura Kaye, I also absolutely love the Firebrand series by Elisabeth Naughton, I will definitely be downloading more books by her!

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  8. I finally started reading NA books and some of favorite reads include Kristen Callihan's "The Hook Up" and Sarina Bowen's Ivy Years series. Also enjoyed a few contemporaries like Cara McKenna's "Lay it Down" and Jaci Burton's "Hope Ignites."

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  9. Ooh, I'm reading The Hook Up right now and LOOOOVING it. :D


    I definitely need to read more of McKenna and Burton's books because I tried both of them for the first time this year and enjoyed them. A LOT.

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  10. I know, it's such a hard thing to do! :) Love her Hard Ink series, too, though I'm behind. Hope to catch up in 2015!

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  11. I'd have to go w/ Night Broken by Patricia Briggs, Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews, and The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen :) Thanks for the fun post and giveaway!

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  12. I Hate having to come up with lists that narrow things down. Just for a change of pace how about a historical: What a Lady Needs for Christmas by Grace Burrowes. And lots more. :-)

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  13. I don't know what it is, but I love seeing everyone's Best of 2014 lists. Snoopy, I guess.
    Hrrm, for me, this type of list is tough. Books that really stood out for me this year are Roni Loren's Loving on the Edge series, ZA Maxfield's Cowboys series, Deborah Blake's Baba Yaga series, Jessica Scott's Coming Home Series, Tammara Webber's Contours of the Heart series, Christina Lee's Between Breaths series, KA Tucker's Ten Tiny Breaths series, Joanna Wylde's Reapers MC series...seriously, there were a ton. Many of those were new to me. I explored New Adult, Bikers, BDSM, Menage, and Historicals more this year. I indulged a lot in my military romances and paranormals.
    I've already decided that I plan to continue reading a ton of books, but I'm going to accept less review requests and read more from my own personal stash. There will be a few must buys as soon as they're released, but I really need to get to the good ones that I already have. So hopefully I'll stick to my guns. ;)

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  14. *nods* In that case, I'm snoopy as well!


    So many series that I love as well, and so many others I need to read! :)


    That's what I need to do, too. *glances at towering pile* I need to tame that beast before it collapses on me . . . LOL

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  15. Grace Burrowes is on my list to read! :)

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  16. First two are on my list, not heard of the last, but now I must go look it up. Thanks!

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  17. Eep! My beast just blocks out all sunlight it is so tall particularly the Kindle beast.

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  18. Ssssh, we won't mention the Kindle beast . . . It's best that way. Because, denial, obviously.

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  19. *nods* Yeah, okay, denial- river in Egypt, right?
    No, I don't have an addiction. I can stop anytime I want.

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  20. Marie Force's Green Mountain series is fabulous. Love Laura Kaye's Hard Ink series, too.

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  21. I discovered Anne Perry in 2014. Love her stories.

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  22. One of the blogs I write reviews for just posted their "best of" lists as well, here's mine:
    http://smutbookjunkie.com/2014/12/29/smut-book-junkie-reviewer-tinas-2014-favorites/

    I also compiled a list (short) of the elite 2014 5-star books
    https://www.facebook.com/UnboundPassion/posts/330426273816113

    I will add to that...


    Biggest Impact:
    Worth the Fall - Claudia Connor
    Julie's Butterfly - Greta Milan
    Cowboy Take Me Away - Lorelei James


    Series I hate to see end:
    Rough Riders - Lorelei James
    Snowberry Creek - Alexis Morgan (Not 100% sure, but I'm thinking it's over)

    Series I look forward to continuing:
    All three of Tonya Burrows's series: DIE Squadron, HORNET, Wilde Security
    Hope - Jaci Burton
    Animal Magnetism - Jill Shalvis
    KGI - Maya Banks
    BKI - Julie Ann Walker
    McKinney Brothers - Claudia Connor


    Biggest Disappointment of 2014 in a series:
    Straddling the Line - Jaci Burton (*cringe* - I love Ms Burton, this series and her work, but just was NOT happy with this book)


    AutoBuy Authors of 2015:
    Tonya Burrows
    Claudia Connor
    Lily Everett


    2015 MUST READS (so far):
    Worth the Risk - Claudia Connor (2/3)
    Broken Honor - Tonya Burrows (2/24)
    Brash - Laura Wright (3/3)
    Holding Strong - Lori Foster (3/31)
    Still the One - Jill Shalvis (4/7)
    Lawless in Leather - Melanie Scott (5/5)
    Darkest Before Dawn - Maya Banks (6/2)
    Last First Dance - Maggie McGinnis (6/30)


    Genres: I love Romantic Suspense, but read a lot of contemporary as well. I began delving into the world of Dark Erotica, Young Adult and New Adult and had decided that it really does depend on the author's writing style if I liked it or not. In 2015, I'd like to read a few more M/M to broaden the blogs' review base.

    2015 goal: 180 books- blending old and new releases, Debut authors, new-to-me authors and my favorites. I want to be more selective of my ARCs so I have time to catch up on the titles I've won, been gifted, and/or purchased over the past 6 months.

    Tina J / Unbound Passion

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  23. Anything by Carolyn Brown - she had at least 3 books out this year! Also, Christmas at Tiffany's by Karn Swan, Boys Like You by Juliana Stone. Samantha Grace's Rival Rogues books, Marin Thomas' The Cowboy's Destiny. Terri Osburn's Anchor Island series.

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  24. Hunted by Lorenz Font and Tormented by Lorenz Font has been absolutely favorite books of mine to read this year!

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  25. My one book would be Worth the Fall Claudia Connor. Wonderful story, characters that stick with with you heart and soul.

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  26. *nods* Yep. That's our story and we're sticking to it! :)

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  27. Oh, I need to read Marie Force; I know I have a few of hers on my Kindle, but I don't think it's the Green Mountain series. Thanks!: )

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  28. Another author I've not heard of; this is why I love Best of Recs. I can find a lot of new authors this way!

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  29. So many great ones -- and ones I need to read! :) Thanks for the list, Tina.


    Ooh, I'll be interested to see how your exploration of M/M goes for 2015. I'm new to the genre this year, but loving it. If you want a recommendation, I have a few. :)

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  30. *writes books down* So many I need to try! Brown, especially; I think you are the fifth person in the last week alone to recommend her books. Obviously I'm missing out! :D

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  31. Ooh, never heard of Font, but must look into the books. Thanks!

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  32. :) Yep, definitely pushing this one up my list. Between Kame and Pat both loving the book, and others recommending it this year, too, it sounds like one that I should not miss!

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  33. If you like cowboy books, she is the best! I always feel happy when I read them. Try How to Marry a Cowboy. Hysterical!

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  34. I really liked The Dark Duke by Laura Landon and Deadly Ruse by E. Michael Helms. Thanks for having the giveaway.

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  35. Landon's on my list, so I'm glad you enjoyed The Dark Duke!

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  36. Grace is one of my few autobuy authors no matter how much the book costs. I admit to having a huge list of authors whose books I snag when I find them on sale!


    Happy New Year!

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  37. I'm much the same way. :) Happy New Year!

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  38. MAYBE THIS CHRISTMAS by Sarah Morgan and THREE WEEKS WITH LADY X by Eloisa James

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  39. Oh, I adored that entire series from Morgan. And you can never go wrong with an Eloisa James novel. :D

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  40. Wulfe Untamed by Pamela Palmer was my favorite of 2014. I read every one in the Feral Warriors series and the suspense just kept building and building to an epic showdown. I was sad to see the series end, hopefully the rest of the Warriors will get their own HEAs in the future. Also sad to see the end of Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series. Those books always tops of list of favorites, just the right amount of fun and sexy filled with drool-worthy heroes! Thank goodness for a revisit with Chloe and Sawyer! :-) Looking forward to more great books in 2015!

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  41. I'm still so behind on Palmer's series; must catch up this year! :) And Shalvis's books are ALWAYS a hit. :D

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  42. MMMMMM some good books and looks like some fun reads!!

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  43. oops. Say yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

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  44. Dead Ice! by Laurell K Hamilton

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  45. I've heard a lot of great things about Say Yes. Love Dare's historicals. :D

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  46. It's been a long time since I've read Hamilton. Glad you enjoyed Dead Ice so much! :)

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  47. Loved Marie Harte's McCauley Brothers series. Looking forward to the next Fool's Gold trilogy from Susan Mallery and the next Animal Magnetism book from Jill Shalvis too! And definitely going to miss one of my all-time favorite series, Jill's Lucky Harbor.

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  48. Oooh! I loved Cinderella Screwed Me Over by Cindi Madsen and Love Potions by Michelle Pillow - both reads were hilarious! AND then there was The World of Fae by Terry Spear - every one was a delight! AND The Gods' Trilogy by Debra Holland and The Winter King by C.L. Wilson - these last two were epic! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  49. Karie - great choice - and please check back for our review of Worth the Risk! It was AMAZING!

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  50. That was a good one - Her first of 2015 - will be reviewed here next week!

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  51. A whole bunch in there I loved or still need to read. So many pretteh pretteh books. Hope yall all have a fabulous 2015!

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  52. From all of us to you -- thanks, Anna, and here's to a fabulous 2015 for you as well. :)

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  53. So many I've not heard of; putting them on my list now, thanks Linda!

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  54. It's always hard to see a beloved series end!

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  55. The Last Good Knight by Tiffany Reisz. Anything by Tiffany is always a favorite. Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren was pretty amazing. And any Roni Loren. *sigh* I can't pick just one.

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  56. Oh, Reisz is a GIVEN for my all-time favorite list. :) I haven't read TLGK yet though. :)


    I have Lauren's book on my pile, so I'm looking forward to reading it. And Loren's books are all on my wishlists, because EVERYONE recommends them. I'm hoping to read a few this year as a reward after catching up on some review copies. :D

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  57. I absolutely loved Miranda Neville's The Duke of Dark Desires. It was the last book to read of the year. It's reread worthy.

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  58. Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare! Loved it! Thank you for the contest!!

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  59. I adore Dare's books -- still need to read that one! :)

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  60. Definitely going on my list then. It's been a while since I've been hooked by a historical; for some reason I've just not been in the right mood for one in the last . . . wow, year or so? I've read a few, but none that were reread worthy. :)

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  61. Rodeo Dreams by Sarah M. Anderson was a great book.

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  62. Yes! I really enjoyed that one, too. :)

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  63. Worth the Risk was Amazing! If I had to choose between Matt and Steven, I would go Stephen all the way. 💕

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  64. 😊 you are correct, it's a must read for sure! 💕

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  65. I am waiting for JT - but if I had to chose I would say Matt

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