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Serenity Holland #2

Construct A Couple

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With a great job at a reputable magazine and a man who’s the perfect match, Serenity Holland thinks she’s laid the foundation for an ideal London life. When a routine assignment uncovers a shocking secret threatening her boyfriend’s company, Serenity decides to leave nothing to chance, taking matters into her own hands. Soon, though, she realises keeping secrets isn't as easy as she thought . . . and the consequences are far worse than she ever imagined.

352 pages, ebook

First published May 1, 2012

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About the author

Talli Roland

18 books304 followers
Talli Roland writes fun, romantic fiction. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine).

Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories--complete with happy endings. Talli's debut novel The Hating Game was short-listed for Best Romantic Read at the UK's Festival of Romance, while her second, Watching Willow Watts, was selected as an Amazon Customer Favourite. Her novels have also been chosen as top books of the year by industry review websites and have been bestsellers in Britain and the United States.

To learn more about Talli, go to www.talliroland.com or follow Talli on Twitter: @talliroland. Talli blogs at talliroland.blogspot.com.

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5 stars
84 (22%)
4 stars
131 (34%)
3 stars
123 (32%)
2 stars
31 (8%)
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7 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for Victoria.
430 reviews
March 12, 2015
So easy to read. Looking forward to reading the last in the trilogy but I'll be sad when it's over.
Profile Image for Aimee.
45 reviews1 follower
February 10, 2021
A super easygoing book! I remember enjoying the first book and wanted to get this one out of my stack. I’m excited to read the last in the trilogy.
Profile Image for Charlotte Lynn.
1,863 reviews37 followers
January 14, 2013
Serenity is happy with her life. Jeremy and Serenity have been a couple for over a year. Serenity has a new job, fact checking for a popular newspaper. While working hard not to make waves in her relationship or job she realizes that by not making waves she could lose what is important to her.

I did not read the first book, Build a Man, in the series but I loved and easily caught onto what was going on in this, the second, book. I will be going back and reading the first book just to see what I missed.

Serenity is a lovable person who seems to get herself stuck in one sticky situation after another. I kept thinking that is she would just communicate with Jeremy a little more so many of her issues would not even exist. Her huge heart made her want to protect Jeremy from everything that could cause him any stress and that actually caused him a lot more stress.

Construct a Couple is a sweet quirky novel that I enjoyed very much. I’m definitely adding the first book in this series to my TBR list. And cannot wait to read the third book, Marriage to Measure.
Profile Image for Medeia Sharif.
Author 18 books426 followers
July 21, 2012
Serenity has a new job as a fact checker at a big magazine and her boyfriend, Jeremy, has a new position at a charity foundation. Life is looking good for the both of them. When a fact-checking assignment uncovers secrets about Jeremy’s foundation, who’s associated with it, and his personal life, the fantastic London life Serenity hopes for is becoming more distant by the day unless she finds a way to fix things. This is the third Talli Roland novel I’ve read, and the author sure knows how to throw her main characters into the heat of squirm-inducing conflicts. I loved the first Serenity Holland book, BUILD A MAN, and was thrilled when this book came out so that I could be in her world again. I look forward to book three.
Profile Image for Nenette.
849 reviews50 followers
February 12, 2013
Certainly true to the book titles, this second installment in the Serenity Holland series is all about relationships between couples and between friends, too. What does it take for any relationship to succeed? Right on the dot, it tells that both parties have to work on the relationship. "It is better to give than to receive" - if this is each partner's motto, any relationship can stand against all odds. Nice read.
Profile Image for Renee.
1,190 reviews18 followers
December 26, 2012
I really liked this book!. It was a little annoyed that I was 20%in and had two spoilers revealed from the previous book. I thought it was a stand alone. Nonetheless I liked it a lot. I will check out the authors other books now too!
Profile Image for Kat.
530 reviews80 followers
September 15, 2013
Really enjoyed this. I can't wait for the third one :)
Profile Image for Samantha March.
1,102 reviews285 followers
July 5, 2012
Talli Roland quickly became one of my favorite chick lit writers with her novels such as The Hating Game, Build A Man, and Watching Willow Watts that kept me thoroughly entertained and waiting impatiently for more. Her latest, Construct A Couple, follows Serenity and Jeremy from Build A Man, as the couple tries to get on solid ground after a shaky start to a romance and Jeremy suffering a stroke. Serenity is stoked about her new job at a reputable London magazine...until she finds out that fact-checker doesn’t mean “reporter-in-the-making” it means, well, fact-checker. But when she stumbles upon a lead that could get her out of Death Row (or Fact Check Row, whichever) she can just imagine herself climbing the ranks. But when Serenity discovers that the business she is about to take down is helping fund Jeremy’s charity for stroke victims, her brilliant plan is about to blow up in her face. Can she really run a story that will ruin Jeremy’s chance at running a successful charity? Maybe it would be easier if she could just talk to her boyfriend about what was happening, but after finding out that his ex-girlfriend is the CEO of the company doing the donating, Serenity starts to doubt more than just her story. Is her relationship with Jeremy as stable as she thought, or will that backfire on her as well?

Again – loved the book! It was so fun to catch back up with Serenity, who is just a blast to read about. I also really enjoyed the new character – Lizzie – who worked with Serenity as a fact checker. I thought she really added depth to the plot. It was also nice to get some more insight on Serenity’s best friend Kirsty and her family. Kirsty was having a hard time with husband Tim in the previous book, and a pregnancy shocker had her all sorts of rattled. I was really pleased with how their story turned out. And of course, Jeremy and Serenity’s relationship had me all filled with happiness when I got to the end of the book. Such a cute couple, and hopefully now they will learn to communicate! I believe there is another book in this series, and I will wait (impatiently yet again) for that to be released. If you have yet to read something from Talli Roland – quit reading my review and get on it!
**Rating: 4.5 stars**
Profile Image for Sia McKye.
89 reviews12 followers
July 15, 2012
Build A Man
The Hating Game

Construct A Couple is the sequel to Build A Man but you don’t have to read the first to enjoy the second. It stands alone. The story is a fun light read and perfect for summer entertainment.

Serenity Holland, intrepid girl reporter, is a hoot. She has a good heart, she’s funny, and always has the best of intentions—which tend to get her into trouble. Serenity is ambitious and wants to be a journalist covering the serious stories, but is realistic enough to know she has to work her way up. She thinks she has it made when she moves up from sleazy tabloid reporter to working for a well-known paper, Seven Days. While checking the facts of a story written by a staff reporter she wants to be like, she uncovers an explosive angle to the story. This is her chance to show her initiative and abilities and get off of the lowly fact-check row and into the big time. Unfortunately, as the facts of this story unfold it also threatens everything her boyfriend has worked for the past year.

While this story is a light read it highlights the serious issues of trust and communication in a relationship.

I enjoyed the glimpse of London life and seeing the street markets, the goodness of people pulling together for a good cause. What I admire about this author is her ability to create realistic characters with idiosyncrasies and quirks that make them stand out even when their interactions are brief. This isn’t as easy as it might sound when you’re telling the story in first person. She skillfully uses dialog and observations to give a well rounded look to London as well as Serenity’s friends, workplace, and coworkers (I’m thinking I’d want to get Gregor breath mints and some antihistamines or maybe let my cats have a go at burying him in the litter box).

I’d recommend this story to anyone who wants to a fun story that makes you laugh, groan, and worry over the characters and leaves you feeling good at the end.
Profile Image for LindyLouMac.
849 reviews61 followers
November 13, 2012

This is the fourth novel by Talli Roland that I have read and reviewed. I am probably somewhat older than her targeted market, but if you consider yourself young at heart, then like me you may well have read her earlier novels. I find she writes well and that I enjoy her novels, despite the fact that I doubt I would ever have picked them up originally. However invited to review her past work I was pleased to do so as sometimes it is good to step outside our comfort zone. You will see from my previous reviews of her earlier books, that I have come to rely on her novels to provide me with a laugh and my high ratings of her novels are worth it for this factor alone.

I ended my review of Build a Man by commenting that it had been a light and entertaining read with characters I was looking forward to hearing more about which apparently would start with the future looking much brighter for Serenity Holland.
It did, it is a year later when the sequel starts and Serenity is just about to start a new job with a magazine, another step towards her dream of becoming a successful journalist. Her boyfriend Jeremy still recovering from a stroke is working far too hard in his own charitable business. Serenity thinks that moving from America to London has all worked out perfectly for her, but is their relationship strong enough to survive the fact that they are hiding secrets from each other. Never a good idea, lack of communication with your partner can lead to disastrous consequences, as you will discover if you read this.

Unfortunately I guessed what has happening in two out of three situations, maybe I am just getting too cynical in my old age, but they were rather obvious. Despite that minor gripe it was still a few hours entertainment from a talented young lady who has a delightful writing style and a knack of creating some great characters. Wait till you meet Gregor! If this appeals to you do make sure to read Build a Man first so that you get to know the protagonists, as it will be easier to follow.

Profile Image for Leah.
1,583 reviews293 followers
September 3, 2012
When I read Talli Roland’s third novel Build A Man last year, I thought it was brilliant. I loved Serenity, I loved the plot, I loved how it was just different to most Chick Lit novels. I loved that it harked back to Roland’s debut novel, which was also a unique read. So a sequel was either going to be brilliant, or it wouldn’t work so well. If I’m honest, and that’s all I can be, although Construct A Couple was both readable and enjoyable, I didn’t feel it lived up to Build A Man. There was just something so bang on about Build A Man that was seemingly missing from Construct A Couple.

There’s no doubt in my mind Talli is one of the most talented Chick Lit writers out there. She has a writing style that’s reminiscent of all my favourite authors – Sophie K, Paige Toon, Jane Costello, and I will ALWAYS read her books and hey, don’t get me wrong, Construct A Couple was a decent enough read. Serenity is like a new version of Bridget Jones and Becky Bloomwood rolled into one. Despite her best efforts, she always (somehow) manages to screw up and while it IS fun to see her try and fix it, it’s all a bit seen it before. Because that’s essentially what happened in the first book and must like the first book communication is non-existant and if there’s one thing that drives me utterly nuts it’s no communication between a couple. I mean, come on! It is rather unrealistic. People just don’t go around keeping secrets in the knowledge it will give them a healthy and safe relationship.

I liked the book, but I just didn’t love it. I will read the third Serenity Holland novel, Marriage To Measure, without a doubt and I will go and see just what messes Serenity can get herself into this time around. Because it is mostly fun to see her get herself out of her scrapes, I just wish it didn’t always have to have something to with her and Jeremy’s relationship which, lets face it, hasn’t had the best of starts anyway and it would just be lovely to see them face the world together rather than apart because they’re a great couple and it would be SO. GOOD. to see them together and battling together, fixing Serenity’s problems together.
Profile Image for Tracy.
272 reviews3 followers
June 20, 2012
Construct a Couple is the sequel to Build a man and it follows Serenity and Jeremy a year on from the end of Build a Man.

Serenity thinks she has it all. Her dream man, living in London and she's now landed a proper Journalism job. Life couldn't be better! In her desperation to be a reporter Serenity uncovers a story that puts everything, including her relationship with Jeremy, at risk.

My Thoughts:

I adored this book! Devoured it within days. I love how relatable Serenity and Jeremy are and the issues they face are real issues that everyone in a newish relationship will have probably come across at some point. The way Serenity trys to sort her problems out makes me laugh but it also made the characters seem more real and myself as a reader really came to care for the characters deeply. Even Gregor, Talli wrote him so well that even though I hated him he was still a good character to watch unfold! Also the way Talli wrote about London and mentioned the sights and things, really made you feel as though you were right there as it is happening. Amazing!

This book was a delight and i was unable to put it down. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys chick - lit, women's fiction or anyone who wants a light hearted summer read. This book will keep you gripped until the very end. I'd recommend people to read Build a Man first though to get the background on the main characters. I honestly thought she would not be able to pull off anything else for these characters after Build A Man but Talli does it and she does it so well! If you've never read Talli Roland before get out there now and buy these books!
Profile Image for J.C. Martin.
Author 3 books114 followers
November 30, 2012
With a reputable new job and a loving boyfriend, Serenity Holland’s life in London seems settled and almost perfect. Then a routine assignment turns up something that could threaten boyfriend Jeremy’s charity construction company. As always, Serenity decides to take matters into her own hands, without telling Jeremy. But is Jeremy also keeping a secret from her? And can their relationship survive all this secrecy?

After Build A Man made me a chick lit convert, I had high hopes for Construct A Couple, and happily, I was not disappointed. Serenity remains her inquisitive, lovable, Jaffa-chomping self, as she gets herself stuck in another sticky situation. I enjoyed re-visiting her best friend Kirsty and family, as well as new characters like the quirky Lizzie and the snotty (literally!) Gregor, proving once again that Roland has a knack for creating unique, memorable characters. I also enjoyed how Roland included the ins and outs of working for a newspaper magazine in Construct A Couple, which includes lots of details I never knew about.

Construct A Couple is a sweet and fitting sequel to Build A Man, but perhaps it’s because Build A Man was my first ever adventure into chick lit, it left a bigger impression on me. Nevertheless, I’m definitely going to read the third book in the series, Marriage to Measure, as I’m so excited to have Serenity and Jeremy tie the knot!
Profile Image for Heather.
26 reviews3 followers
June 17, 2012

Construct a Couple picks up where Build a Man left off.

Serenity is spending more of her time with Jeremy, who has recovered from his stroke and has started a charity for other stroke victims. As Jeremy puts all his time and energy into the charity, Serenity has finally landed a job as a fact checker for Seven Days, more reputable than her previous tabloid job.
Although life seems to be coming together for the couple, they neglect to share intimate details of their work with potentially devastating results to them both.
Serenity dreams of becoming a successful reporter one day and is thrilled to be working with one of her idols, Helen Goodall. As an attempt to break out of Fact Check Row, she reveals a new angle on her first major story. She is so excited to be taken seriously until she learns that the story could come with a major price.

What I thought:
Construct a Couple brings back our favorite couple of Jeremy and Serenity, as well as other colorful characters to keep things exciting. Serenity and Jeremy both face conflicts throughout and struggle to do the right thing, often missing the obvious.

Construct a Couple shows how dedication in a relationship is sometimes not enough without trust and communication.
Taking on a new adventure in life is better done when shared.
Profile Image for Deava101.
57 reviews11 followers
December 26, 2012
Serenity and Jeremy are back again! This time Serenity is working as a fat-checker at 'Seven Days Magazine' as a stepping stone towards her career of becoming a reporter and Jeremy is running a personal charity for stroke victims. However, when Serenity finds a way to prove herself to her new boss it clashes with Jeremy's charity as her new report involves Julia; Jeremy's ex-girlfriend. Or is she?

The clash provides some problems for both their jobs and Serenity realizes that their relationship may not be as strong as it is when they are not open with each other. Ms Rowland also gave Kirsty and Tim from the previous book another sideline story and it was adorable. They are now a happy family but they are moving from London and their tiny distance apart during the move drew them even closer and inevitably helped Serenity put certain things into prospective.

Once again Talli Rowland had me yelling 'Get on with it!' It might have took me about 40% into the book for my interest to peak but everything after made up for the lack of interest in the beginning. I love how the characters seem so realistic and Jeremy and Ser's 'cheesiness' at the end had me smiling.

Highly Recommended. Can't wait for the next book :)
Profile Image for Meredith Schorr.
Author 13 books480 followers
June 29, 2012
In the sequel to Build a Man, Serenity and Jeremy have now been together over a year. Things are going fantastically in her love-life and on top of that, she is beginning a new job as fact checker for a popular newspaper and is positive she will be a hot-shot reporter before too long. Serenity is so careful not to make waves in her perfect world, opting to protect Jeremy from things that might upset him or disrupt their bliss, but in doing so, she might just lose the relationship as well as her career in journalism.

I was very excited to read this book as I absolutely devoured Build a Man but in my honest opinion, Build a Man was better. That's not to say that I did not thoroughly enjoy Construct a Couple because I did, however, it took me a large of chunk of pages to really get into it and I was a bit nervous I was not going to like it. About 50% in, the excitement began to build, the story moved at a much quicker pace and I remembered how much I really enjoy Talli Roland's storytelling. Whereas Build a Man was, to me, a 4.5-5 star read, Construct a Couple is a solid 4 stars. Looking forward to the third installment, as well as all new books by Roland!
Profile Image for Lucy Felthouse.
Author 266 books756 followers
June 19, 2012
I loved the first Serenity Holland book, Build a Man, so when this was released I grabbed it straight away, to see what happened next. I wasn't disappointed.

Serenity is one of those women who seems to get into trouble a lot. She kind of reminds me of Bridget Jones (which is a compliment - I LOVE Bridget Jones).

She's now been with Jeremy for a year. He's recovering from his stroke, and Serenity is doing her best to look after him. However, when she starts her new job, fact-checking at a magazine, her desperation to be a reporter leads her into a mess which may affect everything she holds dear, and this book is about what happens next.

This was another fab read from Talli Roland. Her writing style means you can breeze through the books in a couple of days. Construct a Couple is a fun, light-hearted book and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys chick lit/women's fiction/contemporary fiction (whatever they're calling it these days!). Though you'll want to read book one first - everything will make more sense!
Profile Image for Nikki Bywater.
406 reviews13 followers
September 24, 2012
Following on from Build a Man, we are back in the some what calamity of Serenity Holland’s life. Now settled in London with boyfriend Jeremy, Serenity has just started working on a great job at a well known magazine and things are looking good. Serenity thinks she has found the perfect story, a story that will help her move forward in her career and enable her to work with some of the best known reporters. However when she finds out that if the story breaks it could cause damage to the charity that Jeremy help set up, she must pull all stops out to prevent the story being published. But by doing this alone and not speaking to Jeremy could she be complicating her relationship?

Another fabulous fun novel from Talli Roland a romantic comedy full of humour and wit that make Talli Roland’s books enjoyable and entertaining. I am glad to hear that there will be a third book in this series, because I have come to like the character of Serenity Holland a lot, and can not wait to see what she does next.
Profile Image for Rachel.
Author 51 books151 followers
June 24, 2012
For all the fans of lovable, quirky and dare I say walking disaster Serenity Holland, fear not, for she has returned, journalist pen and jaffa cake in hand.

Construct a Couple starts off rosy with Jeremy on the mend, him and Ser loved up and happy, and a new job in journalism to boot. But as always, things are not as they seem and poor Serenity soon finds herself in a orange jam of a situation, but can she get out of it this time with her relationship, and indeed, Jeremy himself, intact?

Reading a book by Talli Roland is like having a mate round for wine and letting her tell you a hilarious story. Her writing voice is excellent, it's easy reading with a heart and a dirty laugh to book. Marriage To Measure is her 3rd book in the Holland series out in 2013, and I have already marked it one to read. Talli Roland is the American version of Marian Keyes, and I intend to read the rest of her books in ernest.
Author 10 books3 followers
June 23, 2013
I ordered this book as soon as I'd finished "Build a Man" so I could continue on with Jeremy and Serenity's story. This book was fast-paced and funny, but not as funny as "Build a Man," mainly because of Serenity's B.O. jokes about Gregor. That just isn't my kind of humor and was a little mean-spirited on Serenity's part even though (thank God!) she didn't make her jokes out loud.

I liked the quirky secondary character of Lizzie, and the author's depiction of life working for a newspaper/magazine. I love the way Jeremy and Serenity grow as a couple and I could relate to Serenity feeling like her world is ending when she learns that Kirsty, Tim and little Jane are moving back to the U.S. When my best friend moved back to New York years ago, I was devastated. More recently, another friend for more than twenty years moved to Arizona and I had to get my other friends to promise they wouldn't leave town...ever.

I look forward to the next book!
Profile Image for Cat Lavoie.
Author 8 books143 followers
June 25, 2012
A new Talli Roland novel is always a cause for celebration and (after having thoroughly enjoyed Build a Man) I was looking forward to reading its sequel. I loved this book!

Serenity Holland is a great main character: she is flawed, funny and endearing. You can't help but cheer her on as she tries to make a life for herself in London. I love reading books set in London and (as mentioned by a previous reviewer) the city comes alive in this book. I felt like I was walking right beside Serenity as she rushed to the tube or wandered through Primrose Hill. Talli Roland's writing is full of warmth and charm and this book had me laughing out loud more than once.

Construct a Couple was a great read and I can't wait for Serenity's next adventure!
Profile Image for Sue.
Author 15 books533 followers
August 29, 2012
I found Talli Roland’s style of writing, first person present, refreshing and a nice change from the usual third person I tend to read. Although written with a light touch it did look at deeper problems within a relationship. I felt I really got to know Serenity and could empathise with her as she tried to do the best all the time and found herself between a rock and a hard place.

I liked the plot behind the story and the setting, together with the supporting characters which all contributed to a really rounded novel.

I wasn’t sure about Jeremy and several times I felt that Serenity should tell him to push off. Whether she did or not, you will be able to find out by reading this gentle and sweet novel.
Profile Image for Lisa.
159 reviews7 followers
July 9, 2012
As a huge fan of Talli’s, and of Build a Man in particular, I had high hopes for this book, and it didn’t disappoint. I wondered if it would be possible to top Serenity’s previous antics, but Roland pulled it off with aplomb.
The main character Serenity is lovable and relatable, and her hilarious exploits were a delight to read. She makes mistakes, and tries desperately to clean up after herself, and there were points in the book that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. I also particularly liked the character of Gregor, I thought he was brilliantly described, and I loved to hate him.
A wonderful sequel to Build a Man, I hope to read more about Serenity Holland in the future
Profile Image for Joo.
397 reviews
June 11, 2012
Construct a Couple is the sequel to Build a Man and follows Serenity as she starts a new job and meddles a bit too much in her boyfriend's life.

At times I was frustrated with Serenity as she was just too meddlesome and not talking things through with her man. But then if she did talk to him, this would be a short story lol. I thought she was a bit selfish at first, but she soon turned my feelings towards her around.

I was getting a bit bored of chick lit and heading towards the "cosy mystery" genre, but this has revived my interest. If only all chick lit could be this enjoyable.
Profile Image for Vicki Lesage.
Author 13 books91 followers
August 5, 2016
I really enjoyed "Build A Man" and was excited to find out what happened next with the characters. I suppose if you hadn't read the first book, you wouldn't be as invested in these characters but having read the first book, I knew all I needed to know and was ready to dive into their next adventures.

True to form, Talli Roland writes an engaging story with characters I can relate to and keeps me turning the pages. Not to mention some cute ways of saying things and some funny predicaments. Very enjoyable read!
Profile Image for Gina Dickerson.
Author 18 books188 followers
July 10, 2012
I really enjoyed this book, the second in the Serenity Holland series. I have read all of Talli Roland's other books and enjoyed them. I really like the main character in this tale and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series! I enjoy the way the author creates believable characters and I finished this book with a "feel good factor". A fun, entertaining read!
Profile Image for Elle Field.
Author 5 books271 followers
July 9, 2012
Construct a Couple is the follow-up to Build A Man and has everything you could want in a book - likeable characters (and some not so likeable ones but only because they are the baddies!), vivid scenery, and a plot that makes you want to sit down and read it in one sitting to find out what happens! A great read and a definite page-turner. Looking forward to the follow-up: Marriage to Measure.
Profile Image for Justine Dell.
Author 8 books53 followers
January 22, 2013
When I read "Build A Man", I didn't realize it would be a series. So I was excited when I won this book in a giveaway. I loved Serenity and Build A Man, so I couldn't wait to see what else Talli had in store for these characters. Needless to say, she didn't let me down. I love the humor in her stories as well as her depth and character emotions.
Profile Image for CuteBadger.
763 reviews14 followers
July 19, 2015
Like Talli Roland's first book, I got this free for my Kindle and it had been there unread for 3 years. While on holiday I finally got round to reading it and found it the usual Chick Lit By Numbers fare. I still don't warm to the heroine so was again reading about people I didn't much care for. I found it no more than OK and in all likelihood won't read anything else by this author.
Profile Image for Clarissa Draper.
Author 2 books41 followers
June 14, 2012
I didn't realize that this was to be a series. I read the first in the series "Build A Man" and thought it was good but I did like this one a lot more. There is another one to come, can't wait to pick that one up as well.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews

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