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With No Reservations

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There can be more than comfort in food…

What could well-known and wealthy Graham Cooper Jr. have in common with a blogger like Sloane Bradley, a woman with secrets she's kept firmly out of the public eye? That is, besides a love of food. Sloane still can't believe Cooper's the chef at the restaurant she's been assigned to promote. But she's boiling to prove to him that her "little blog" can put his place on the map. She can also fall head over heels for the guy, who has secrets of his own, it turns out…except for one thing. She can't get past the post-traumatic stress disorder that keeps her walled up in her home studio.

384 pages, Mass Market Paperback

Published May 9, 2017

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Laurie Tomlinson

6 books54 followers

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5 stars
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26 (32%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews
Profile Image for Carrie Schmidt.
Author 1 book341 followers
May 26, 2017
Laurie Tomlinson’s debut novel (YAY!) is full of humor, heart, and just the right amount of heat. Fair warning, though – don’t read this book if you’re hungry because it will cause cravings for all the delicious food served within these pages!

Cooper and Sloane are more alike than they first realize – each handling deep grief in ways that affect their daily lives. While Cooper throws himself into work – burning the candle at both ends – Sloane still struggles with PTSD which manifests itself in her OCD behaviors. Together, they make a great team in business and in romance (whew. still fanning over some of those kisses!!) but their respective pain detours them off the easy path to happily-ever-after in both arenas.

As a blogger (though not nearly on Sloane’s celebrity-status level), I could so relate to her on many levels. As soon as she came to this horrifying conclusion …

“Basically, VisibilityNet expected Sloane to shake hands with a lot of highbrow people. In person. Wearing real pants.”

… I knew we would be best friends. (I also laughed out loud because … hello… aren’t pajama/yoga pants everyone’s work attire?) And from the moment, Cooper said these famous last words…

“… in case you want to write about it in YOUR LITTLE BLOG.” (emphasis mine)

…I was solidly in Sloane’s corner, and Cooper needed to win me over as much as he did her. Rules for falling in love with bloggers: #1 – Never refer to their life’s passion as “your little blog”. That right there is grounds for justifiable homicide.

Fortunately for Cooper, Tomlinson kept With No Reservations free from murder and gives him plenty of opportunity to redeem himself! And honestly I fell for him rather quickly after he took his foot out of his mouth. I mean, how could anyone resist a hunky hero who makes mouthwatering food, is willing to be a “Big Brother” and kisses like he does?

But woven between the scrumptious dishes and yummy kisses is a tender message of forgiving yourself and not letting your past dictate your future. It’s about not catering to other people’s expectations but living the life you were created to live, free from regret or reservation. It’s about falling in love, yes, delightfully so. But it’s also about loving the fall, so to speak. About embracing the moments that have defined you – good, bad, or ugly – and not letting failure define success.

Bottom Line: Beautifully constructed, this is a novel that is as sweet as it is savory. Layered characters with charm and depth burrow into your heart, and I’m so hoping this is the first in a series. There are more stories I want to explore in this community of friends and family. Tomlinson’s engaging writing style draws you in right away and captivates you until the last word! Highly recommended for fans of Becky Wade, Nicole Deese, and Melissa Tagg!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)

see my review at Reading Is My SuperPower
Profile Image for Kara.
606 reviews67 followers
July 10, 2018
I was in need of a sweet romance to read and this was perfect! The only downside is it made me hungry. ;) I love foodie stories though and this one only added to the appeal of them. These two characters require some patience as the slow build up of their friendship, which in turn forces them to be honest about their attraction, feels natural with just the right amount of progression. Both have some pain to work through and the beautiful way they inspired each other to press forward was lovely to watch. I loved that their relationship caused each unexpected growth and by the end, both had learned a great deal and become a better version of their self. Also their chemistry was pretty swoony too! Always a plus. ;) I look forward to reading more by Ms. Tomlinson and sooner rather than later, I hope!
Profile Image for Courtney Clark.
570 reviews97 followers
December 4, 2017
With No Reservations was a super sweet romance! I especially identified with the food appreciation, restaurant atmosphere, and blogger processes depicted within the story. But, this couple! Oh, I love it when a story shows two people making each other better versions of themselves by story’s end, not just the sparks of attraction and romance. And the turns the story took to get to the happy end were unexpectedly deep and emotionally engaging —- exploring the depths of grief and its lasting and varied impact on life. I will definitely be interested in whatever Laurie writes next!
Profile Image for Meghan DeWalt.
Author 4 books98 followers
April 28, 2017
With a cupful of heart, sprinklings of twists and turns, and a heaping portion of a steadfast love, Tomlinson's debut leaves the reader satisfied and sweetened.

Sloane and Cooper's hearts bear unique, deep burns, cuts and bruises. And they meet at a highly inconvenient, tense time in both their lives, but bond over a shared passion for food. Cooper loves inventing and improvising in the kitchen, while Sloane prefers the exact culinary art of baking instead. And they both need each other and their talents--they don't realize it at first. Which is just a smidgen of what made this romance so dear to my heart.
My most treasured takeaway from this foodie romance?
The way that the truest of loves is depicted as someone who sees the deepest, darkest parts of you, chooses you and believes in you not in spite of, but because of your scars?
Well, it left a truly lasting impression, this tasty debut from the incredibly talented Tomlinson. So excited to read more of her work in the future!
Profile Image for Toni Shiloh.
Author 50 books1,096 followers
January 22, 2018
I'd give this 4.5 stars!
I didn't read the blurb before reading this book so I was completely surprised by the story. I loved how Ms. Tomlinson tackled a heavy subject, PTSD, and grief. This book was fantastic and orginal for those two reasons and the romance that sparks between Sloane and Cooper made it even beter.

*I won a free copy of this book and was not required to write a review.
Profile Image for Susan Snodgrass.
2,002 reviews198 followers
April 30, 2017
Laurie Tomlinson's debut novel is a definite winner! Rarely do I see a first novel written so well. It's a joy to dive into one and discover that, hey, this is good! Tomlinson has created a cast of characters that live in these pages, particularly her two main characters, Cooper and Sloane. Their emotions dig deep into your heart and take up a place there.

Cooper is the son of a business magnate, but he has some very serious issues and is struggling not to give into the demons that torment him and fall back into old destructive life patterns. Cooper has started his own restaurant, but needs help getting the word out, to ensure its success.

Sloane is the perfect person to help Cooper. She has a huge following on her blog, stages food, cooks and does it all with great skill. However, Sloane is bound by huge issues, too. She never believes she will be free of these. She agrees to help Cooper, knowing that her internal pain will continue to keep her prisoner.

As Cooper and Sloane navigate the waters of trying to make his restaurant a success, their issues rear their heads, threatening to destroy the precious relationship that has tentatively become so wonderful in their lives. No wonder neither of them actually believe it. Can they trust that their feelings for each other will help them overcome these obstacles that have arisen or will they give up in defeat and sink back down into the despair and non-life that has become their constant companion?
I enjoyed every minute of this book and I look forward to what Tomlinson has to offer next.

*I received a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to leave a positive review. My opinions are my own and honest.
Profile Image for Trisha.
405 reviews33 followers
April 17, 2017
With yummy food, and kitchen delights this book will encourage even the most reluctant foodie to dust off the old recipe book and try something new to excite the taste buds. But behind the kitchen are real people, with real problems. Can their love of food bridge a gap and draw them closer together?

Sloane hides a world of hurt and regret behind her blog. A "safe" place she has constructed to keep out the world. Until the fame of her blog, forces her out and into the spotlight.

Graham Cooper Jr. carries a past that he's not proud of and one he's desperately trying to rewrite and cover-up with a new independent restaurant project that he hopes will regain his parent's respect and love.

This is a clean contemporary book, with characters that are well-developed, realistic and multifaceted; dealing with real-life struggles and hardships.

See my full review: joyofreadingweb.wordpress.com

(I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author/publisher for review. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
Profile Image for Natalie Walters.
Author 10 books948 followers
April 7, 2017
Oh, the culinary delights of this delicious romance gave me all the feels. Let's put aside the mouth-watering foodie moments for just a second and get to the heart of this story-it's real. The depth of character development author, Laurie Tomlinson, delivers gives this story life.

Two broken characters, with a past that has left them scarred figuratively and literally, finding purpose in their pain to keep putting one foot in front of the other. The overall arc of these characters develops authentically and offers discovery true to the story and in a way that resonated with me as a reader.

The plot packs a punch as it weaves emotional moments with witty banter that had me fully invested until the very end. For her debut novel, Ms. Tomlinson serves up a winner!
Profile Image for Melissa Henderson.
Author 7 books147 followers
April 2, 2017
The past has a way of staying with you until you let go and move on. This is a great story that shows hope can be found even if hope seems lost forever. The characters are well developed and the story touches the heart. While reading, I was reminded of all the things in life that hold us back from truly living and showing love to others and letting others love us, too. Bring the tissues while reading this one. I received a copy of this story from the author and this is my personal honest opinion.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Ludwig.
Author 50 books118 followers
April 11, 2017
What a great book! I loved Sloane Bradley and Graham Cooper. The characters are both so flawed—which is exactly what makes them perfect for each other. Tomlinson did a wonderful job of keeping the dialogue fresh and realistic. Very nice debut from a talented author.
Profile Image for Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective).
1,137 reviews59 followers
May 2, 2017
What is not to like? Food blogger, new restaurant, good food, secret pasts, love, swoon worthy moments, and meddling parents. Need I say more? This book was so sweet, so charming, and made me hungry!! I will definitely be looking forward to more books from this author. It did not seem like a debut novel to me at all, seemed like a seasoned pro!

I loved the way that Cooper and Sloane's character met, and almost feel perhaps mamma had a hand in that! Here were two people that were just trying to get by without letting their past consume them. In reality I don't think either character was great at that, until they realized they had a reason to look towards the future. Although their pasts were different, the way they were handling it was similar and I thought this was a great way to have them connect. It was very innocent, sweet, and for the most part professional, although I have to admit I wouldn't have minded a few more romantic scenes!

What I enjoyed the most was the fact that Sloane was a blogger, and I felt a little connection to her because of that. But she had all these weird quirks that didn't even both Cooper, and I loved her for them! It's great to have a female lead have some quirkiness to her instead of being "normal" because she feels more human. But I think for the most part she embraced them which I found wonderful. If she were a real girl, you may want to consider purchasing stock in sanitizer!!

Now, I do have to warn you. There is a lot of talk about food. I mean, we have a food blogger and a restauranteur so that seems pretty obvious. But, the way it was discussed, and the author described it made my mouth salivate a little bit. Good thing I wasn't too hungry while reading otherwise bad things might have happened! What I'm getting at here is the author is extremely smart about flavor pairings, food descriptions, and even food blogging information. Whether that was researched, or she just has experience not know, but it was very well presented.

All in all this was a fantastic book. I do hope you'll give this sweet author a chance!! I'm certainly glad I did 😀. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
351 reviews17 followers
May 26, 2020
Love love and love this story!! We all have moments in life where we wish that we could go back and do things differently. Anything to avoid hurting ourselves and those we love by the choices that we've made. Unfortunately we'll never be able to do that, but there is no past so broken that it cannot be healed. God is full of love and the opportunity for a new beginning. He doesn't hold our past against us, so we need to forgive ourselves as well. He has all the hope and love that we could ever need, we just need to simply ask Him for it.
Profile Image for Books and Spoons.
1,613 reviews28 followers
May 8, 2017
With No Reservations was a sweet story that I was eager to read with the food theme fascinating me, as you can imagine. It is a good story, easy to get lost in it and enjoy the moment with the (mostly) likable characters (Yes, I am talking about you, Mr. Cooper Sr.!).
The protagonists Graham Cooper Jr. and Sloane Bradley were both complex characters with a pass that was shaping up their present as well as their future. I liked how they supported each other and challenged each other to be the best possible version of themselves.
I wish there would have been a little bit more about the obsessive disorder Sloane had, and how she developed it after the accident. Also, the family relationships with the Coopers were mighty dysfunctional and could have used more light into the problems and solving them.
I really liked Cooper's mom, she was down to earth, loving, caring mom, I liked her ease with Sloane as well.
The charity they were involved with warmed my heart, I know how much that kind of work means to children, teaching them about cooking and nutrition is so rewarding, being done it myself in the past.
Reading about the food bloggers routines, plans, and life as a food blogger was fun. No, my life is very little like hers, I could say the planning and photoshoot areas at home and looking for the best light being just about the only things I was familiar with. But I got a kick out it anyways.
I honestly don't get it how Graham Cooper Sr. got away with the bullying he did in the business world. It came so easily to him it was nearly frightening to think about. There were some other questions as well that I had in my mind at the end, I really would have loved to find out more about the problems between the twin brothers because that was such a big thing in Cooper's life.
A charming story about love, life, family, loss, recovering from the past, learning from it, and moving on with life. It touches some heavy topics, but with a gentle hand, it made me think, and it made smile. A good story with lot to give to the reader
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Profile Image for Amy.
679 reviews38 followers
April 10, 2017
3.5 stars

A match made in food heaven! Sloane Bradley may have never thought in a million years she'd give Graham Cooper the time of day for a brief conversation, let alone a kiss. She is a well know & successful food blogger, and has been pulled in to assist Coop to get his new restaurant 'Simone' off the ground.

Both of them have a past. Dark and full of grief. Both of them are fighting to live their lives to the fullest, yet there's this constant abyss threatening to swallow at the slightest turn.

Cooper is at least seeking help and is further along the road of healing that Sloane. As he shares advice with Sloane, this line struck me as something that could be applied to whatever the personal battle you are fighting : 'Recovery isn't a sprint, it's not even a marathon. It's the movement you make every day...... Even if you only crawl'.

I liked that concept. Quite often we feeling like we are crawling through something, and not making a fast enough progress towards resolution. Yet, crawling is going to be more beneficial in the long run. That way, we can deal with each thing, and not have it rear its ugly head later on.

I enjoyed the inclusion of the volunteer work that she & then Cooper gets involved with. I imagine cooking is very therapeutic for kids in need.

There was a few sections that felt a little tedious, but overall a good read from Laurie Tomlinson. I particularly enjoyed Coopers mother's character, Marian - and it was refreshing for once for the mother to be so warm and loving.

Thank you to Netgalley & Harlequin for the eARC. This is my honest review.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
129 reviews
August 9, 2017
This I is Laurie's debut novel, but it doesn't read like one. At times debut novels can be good, but they can feel a bit choppy or a little "rough". This novel is polished and well written. I will definitely be watching for more by her.

I have been trying to figure out how to put into words how well she wrote the aspect of OCD brought on by emotional trauma, and I'm not sure I can do it justice. I've read several fiction books dealing with the subject, but they don't seem to get to the heart of the issue. They "tell" us the character has this issue, but they don't "show" the depth of it. Laurie did an amazing job "showing" the OCD and how it "looks" for someone struggling with it. She also connects the OCD with the emotionally traumatic event which brought it on. That doesn't come close to me articulating what I want to convey, but unfortunately I think that is as close as I will get.

The other thing I appreciated was that Sloane meeting and building a friendship/relationship with Cooper didn't magically "fix" her OCD. Cooper's care and patients helped her begin to work through and take charge of it but didn't just take it away. Laurie shows us that it will be a process, but it can be addressed.

So that was a lot about the OCD aspect, but that was (in my humble opinion) such a great take away. I really enjoyed this book. The storyline moved at a steady pace. The characters were great. In fact, I would like to see Owen's story someday. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge to the author. :) The descriptions of food made me hungry. Over all great book book, I look forward to more by Laurie.
Profile Image for Beth | Faithfully Bookish .
869 reviews178 followers
May 2, 2017
Full review on FaithfullyBookish.com 5/2/17

Sloane is quirky to the max, super organized, and a food blogger extraordinaire. Sloane is tired of being trapped in the past but, bless her heart, she can't break free. Cooper is an uber-talented chef and corporate bigwig within his family's massive restaurant franchise. Between his family drama and busy professional life, Cooper has several irons in the fire yet he's compelled to help Sloane when he recognizes a familiar turmoil just below the surface.

Seriously readers, the food in this story is going to make you drool. This book's romantic thread possesses a perfect balance of physical attraction and emotional depth and substance. With No Reservations has earned a place among my all time favorites and I'll be eagerly watching for Laurie Tomlinson's next release!

I requested the opportunity to read this book through the author. The opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Elizabeth "Eli" Olmedo.
363 reviews31 followers
October 11, 2017
With No Reservations combines two of my favorite things — food and romance! Laurie Tomlinson pens a decadent tale of love, hope, and redemption in her debut novel. Flawed yet relatable characters kept me invested in their journey. Sloane displayed the perfect balance of strength and vulnerability, and I rooted for her not only to find love but to overcome her past.

Though tackling deep subjects and even deeper hurts, Tomlinson managed to keep the novel light. A cute story in the vein of Hallmark movies, I would recommend With No Reservations to romance readers searching for a quick and sweet read.

A word of advice, stay away from the kitchen while reading this. The mouth-watering dishes and heavenly aromas wafting from the pages might tempt you to eat your way through the story.

Review copy provided by the author. Thank you!
Profile Image for Nicole.
Author 21 books1,370 followers
May 2, 2017
If you are not a foodie at the start of this book... you will WANT to be one by the end. My stomach growled more than once while reading the rich (and tempting!) descriptions of treats both savory and sweet. But Tomlinson's knack for combining complementary flavors extends far past the walls of her kitchen. Her characters are relatable, witty, flawed, and mostly importantly, connected to each other in a way that has a reader rooting for them until the last page is turned. While this heartwarming romance is full of many fun-loving and spontaneous moments, the undercurrent of forgiveness and grace won't be missed. A truly delightful read!
Profile Image for Anne.
Author 1 book20 followers
May 31, 2017
To be clear, I'm a biased reader/reviewer since I was honored to be there when this story was in brainstorming stage, in first draft stage, and now in published form! Laurie's voice and writing style won me at "Irish Butter" (I'll say no more, no spoilers. Suffice it say, I now use Irish Butter), and with her easy way of sliding the reader into a scene almost as easily has watching a movie on the screen.
Enjoy this sweet romance between a heroine and hero who are slightly imperfect, but together ready to work out the damage of their pasts. Cooper and Sloane, a restaurant owner and a food blogger, are a great pair you'll love to follow as they find love and redemption.
Profile Image for Harlequin Books.
16.5k reviews2,793 followers
June 27, 2017
"Tomlinson makes a strong Heartwarming debut with her latest release, which may also leave the reader hungry (for food, as well as more books!). This is a sweet tale full of relatable main characters, well-integrated secondary characters, good chemistry and some surprises along the way. It’s also easy to visualize the (yummy) scenes" (4 stars @ RT Book Reviews).
Profile Image for extraordinary ordinary whimsy.
126 reviews126 followers
May 20, 2017
Such a good book. Well-written, thoughtful, romantic, and passionate. So many authors rely on sex to convey passion. Laurie doesn't. She doesn't rush her characters either. She gives them time to develop and finish. The result is something really perfectly sweet and satisfying.
Profile Image for Carla Laureano.
Author 18 books852 followers
March 18, 2017
I loved this book! Sweet, sexy, and heartfelt... what a great debut!
Profile Image for Kate Vale.
Author 24 books75 followers
May 9, 2017
If you like to be teased with partial recipes, this is the book for you. In almost every chapter, I found myself salivating at certain descriptions of dishes. Graham Cooper, one of the Cooper sons, wants his own restaurant, different from the franchising behemoth his father has built up for years. But to do so, he still has to keep doing his father's bidding while fighting the alcoholism that plagued him for years. When his mother urges him to contact a food blogger for assistance advertising his restaurant, he makes the mistake of assuming that what she does isn't all that important.

When he meets Sloane, he realizes she is far more than she appears, that her little blog with the spectacular recipes and pictures can make his restaurant in ways he never could. But her OCD is worrying, though he's not sure why she hides in her house most of the time.

As they get to know each other, Cooper gradually learns what is behind Sloane's behavior, but when she finally opens up to him, his father's insistence on uncovering what happened to her more than a decade earlier threatens to ruin everything: her life, her friendship with Cooper, maybe even his soon-to-open restaurant. How all this is resolved is beautifully handled.
Profile Image for Leslie McKee.
Author 8 books57 followers
November 12, 2017
I reviewed this for RT Bookreviews Magazine: https://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-re...

Tomlinson makes a strong Heartwarming debut with her latest release, which may also leave the reader hungry (for food, as well as more books!). This is a sweet tale full of relatable main characters, well-integrated secondary characters, good chemistry and some surprises along the way. It’s also easy to visualize the (yummy) scenes.

Graham Cooper Jr. is hoping to make his restaurant, Simone, a success so he can break away from under his father’s thumb and the family business. He is less than impressed to meet Sloane Bradley, who’s been hired to help promote his restaurant on her blog. He does not believe her “little blog” could be of any use. She is not happy either, but she needs the job and is determined to make the best of it. Both are guarded, due to hidden guilt and secrets. Will their pasts return to haunt them, or is it possible for them to help each other move forward? (HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING, May, 384 pp., $6.99)
Profile Image for Nike Bentley.
37 reviews
May 10, 2017
Laurie Tomlinson has created two deeply flawed, loveable characters that slowly draw you into their own histories while simultaneously encouraging you to examine your own. This book is crafted as beautifully as Simone's restaurant is described, as delicious as the exquisite dishes featured, and as gentle as the waning of grief.

Sloane is an introverted food blogger hiding from grief and the guilt that comes with it when she is forced to take a very public position in order to keep her cushy online job. Cooper wants to build his own legacy while trying to make up for his destructive past and prove himself to his family. Tomlinson expertly weaves their stories together using food, humor, and empathy. She gives us just enough at a time to keep us wanting to know what happens next.
Profile Image for Kella.
216 reviews6 followers
May 4, 2017
Be prepared to get a case of the munchies while reading this delectable debut novel by Laurie Tomlinson! With No Reservations is a delightfully sweet tale full of passionate characters and food that will make your stomach growl. No, really – you’re going to find yourself looking up recipes similar to what Laurie describes because they sound that delicious! If this is Laurie’s debut novel, I can’t wait to see what heartwarming story she writes next!

I was graciously provided a free copy of this novel from Laurie Tomlinson in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
763 reviews1 follower
May 28, 2017
This book captivated me from the start and kept me engaged to the last page. From the creative setting and premise of the story to the lovable and endearing, but flawed main characters, I was hooked. Then with some scrumptious sounding food thrown in and a heaping dose of forgiveness—of self and others—it was definitely a satisfying read.

This is Laurie Tomlinson’s debut novel, but I’m already looking forward to more stories from her. She definitely hit the mark with this one and proved herself to be a talented writer.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jessica Patch.
Author 68 books528 followers
May 4, 2017
Tomlinson's debut is a hit out of the park. She did not produce cardboard characters where everything is neat and tidy in their lives. She constructed relatable, complex people who don't always get it right, who have pasts bleeding with deep hurt. Mix that in with a dazzling romance and a happily-ever-after and it makes for a scrumptous read that will leave you craving seconds from this author.
Profile Image for Kelsey.
151 reviews4 followers
August 3, 2017
This book is definitely out of my usual genre, but I found myself easily swept up in the seamless storyline, the endearing characters, and all the new things I learned about food! Seriously. I had no idea food bloggers did so much and could be so successful. If you want to read a book that makes you goofy-grin happy in the end, this is the book for you.
Profile Image for Kimberlee.
60 reviews3 followers
September 25, 2017
My favorite quote of the book: "I wouldn't have made it without letting really good people in on what I was going through." I have found this to be true as well. Keeping our problems secret and hidden doesn't help us in any way, even though that is usually our instinct. It just allows us to dwell and focus on our problems more-bringing things into the open allows for a more complete healing.
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