Waiting On Wednesday # 160 – Hard to Break / Black Widow: Forever Red

Bella Jewel's Alpha's Heart series is about girls who have a "man's job." I loved the first book, dying for this once after reading the first chapter!
Black Widow sounds like fun! Who doesn't love super heroes?
Hard to Break (Alpha's Heart, #2)
Title: Hard to Break
Author: Bella Jewel
Series: Alpha's Heart #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Expected Publication: October 13th 2015

Quinn has spent her whole life working in her dad's garage, leaving her more comfortable with a carburetor than a curling iron. Her world is turned upside down when her beloved garage is bought by none other than world famous, sexy as sin, custom car builder, Tazen Watts. He's the one man she can't stand...even though he makes her hotter than a high performance engine in top gear.

Tazen has no use for Quinn, at least not professionally, and he's making sure she knows it. But there's a spark between them that she's finding hard to ignore. She's determined to prove her talent is as impressive as her sassy mouth. When she finds out Tazen is hiding a secret that could bring down his career and everyone involved in it, she wonders: is falling for him is going to be work the risk?

**Hard To Break is a full-length standalone romance with a HEA**

Black Widow: Forever Red
Title: Black Widow: Forever Red
Author: Margaret Stohl
Genre: YA Superheroes
Expected Publication: October 13th 2015

Enter the world of the Avengers' iconic master spy

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world's most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow's infamous academy for operatives.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn't really the big sister type.

Until now.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava's dreams. . . .

Black Widow:Forever Red features all the heart-pounding adventure readers expect from Marvel, written by #1 New York Times best-selling author Margaret Stohl. Uncover a new side of the Marvel Universe that will thrill loyal fans and newcomers alike, as Stohl reveals the untold story of Black Widow for the very first time.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine where I have the chance to spotlight upcoming releases that I’m eagerly anticipating.
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Slashed by Tracy Wolff ~ Review & Teaser Tuesday

Luc and Cam's story is here in the third book of the Extreme Risk series! I love Tracy's writing and closed this one with a satisfied sigh!
Title: Slashed
Author: Tracy Wolff
Series: Extreme Risk #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: September 29th 2015
Buy Now - Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Do nice guys always finish last? In the new Extreme Risk novel from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff, a burnt-out underdog and a vulnerable tomboy defy the pressure to be perfect and go after what they really want.

Bighearted and easygoing, Luc Jennings is falling behind in a family of serious overachievers. While he may be decent enough at snowboarding to turn pro and rack up some sponsors, he’s never topped any podiums—unlike his friends Z, Ash, and Cam. Luc’s always been head over heels for Cam Bradley, but she’s never seen him as anything more than a friend. Now, after years of coming in second, Luc can’t take it anymore—especially if it means watching Cam chase another guy.

Cam hangs out almost exclusively with dudes, and that’s fine by her. She’d much rather be shredding at the Olympics than primping in the mirror. Cam’s wildest dreams have a way of coming true—except when it comes to getting her longtime crush and best friend, Z Michaels, to notice her. Then her mother suddenly shows up after being gone for, like, ever, and Cam’s whole world comes crashing down. Desperate for a place to lay low, she turns to the one person who’s always had her back.

It has been over twelve months since the release of the first two books in this series, and I was excited to dive back into the lives of the snowboarding champs: Z, Ash, Luc and Cam. Slashed is Luc and Cam’s story, where two best friends explore their feelings and realise that they have something more than just friendship.

Cam is one of the best female snowboarders in the world. She’s focused on her career and loves to hang out with her friends. They are all close and they begin this story on the water wake boarding. I love to hit the water myself, so I found it easy to relate to the characters in this one! Luc has lived in the shadows of his friends, but has harboured feelings for Cam for a long time. They had a moment where Cam fled, and now he is afraid of trying again.

What I discovered about Luc and Cam was that they were both reserved and scared of being rejected. They haven’t been a priority in their parents’ lives. Luc’s mother was more concerned about his sister and her career. Cam’s mother has been absent for 17 years and her father was quick to push Cam away. They both feel alone and Cam turns to her best friend despite the rift in their relationship.

Slashed was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for both Luc and Cam. There was a definite connection and the passion between them was hot, but then one or both of them would withdraw into their shells. It was sad to see that they thought that they weren’t good enough in a few instances. Their stubbornness tears them apart, but there’s no denying that they belong together.

Once again I enjoyed this story by Tracy Wolff. I didn’t find it as heart wrenching as the previous books, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. I had an inkling that the twist was coming, but it didn’t affect the way I felt about the story. I love how close the friends are and support each other with everything they do. I always enjoy the alternating perspectives so I can get inside both characters minds. If you enjoy sporting reads, you should jump into this series and try it for yourself.

Complimentary copy provided by the Publisher, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

He’s always so careful with me, always so tender, and I don’t know how to deal with it. How to react. The whole world treats me like I’m titanium—tough and hard and impossible to break. Even my family. Even my best friends. But not Luc. Not right now.
No, he’s treating me like I’m soft. Like I’m breakable. Like I matter. And I don’t know how to react to that.

Kindle Arc Loc  566

Hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm
Tracy Wolff collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. By ten she’d read everything in the young adult and classics sections of her local bookstore, so in desperation her mom started her on romance novels. And from the first page of the first book, Tracy knew she’d found her life-long love. Now an English professor at her local community college, she writes romances that run the gamut from contemporary to paranormal to erotic suspense.

Other reviews featuring Tracy Wolff
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Menagerie by Rachel Vincent ~ Release Week Review & Quote-tastic

If you are looking for a new type of Urban Fantasy read, you must pick up this new book by Rachel Vincent, and enter the world of Menagerie... it was a fantastic beginning to an exciting new series!
Title: Menagerie
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Menagerie #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: September 29th 2015

Buy Now - Amazon | B&N 

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent comes a richly imagined, provocative new series set in the dark mythology of the Menagerie…

When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger's Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she's forced to "perform" in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions"—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she'll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale.

I have been hooked to Rachel Vincent’s work since I devoured the Shifters series back in 2010 and the Soul Screamers series since then. Rachel has a magical way of creating fantasy worlds and she takes you on an incredible ride that sticks with you long after you close the book. Menagerie is a new series, unlike anything I’ve read before which takes us into the world of a travelling Menagerie, and the people and creatures that bring the show together.

Crypto’s (fantasy creatures) have no rights in the US. There was a reaping that occurred in 1986 that has everyone on edge, even after all these years later. Now, any magical creature is captured and they can be bought and sold like property. One of the places that these creatures are kept is in a Menagerie, where they are showed off to humans, treated like cattle and the possession that they are.

Delilah’s world was turned upside down from the very beginning and life as she knew it would never be the same. Although she spent her life wanting to know more about crypto’s (fantasy creatures), she never expected to experience what they go through. Delilah was a character I came to respect, because she could see past the monsters locked in a cage, to the hearts of the creatures they were. My heart ached for Delilah, seeing her suffer, but she was strong and wouldn’t break.

Delilah’s perspective is one of a few in Menagerie. There are a lot of others that give us a better insight into the carnival and what their purpose is. Rommily the oracle gave me chills with her cryptic talk; Eryx the minotaur knows more than he lets on; Gallagher was a bit mysterious; and Atherton the deputy doesn’t see things as just black and white. There is a mix of characters that I met, and not all of them are good.

Menagerie was not an easy read; it was heartbreaking to see what the creatures endure and I shed multiple tears. I was blown away with this book and the way Rachel pieced it together. The journey was difficult, friendships were formed and they all experienced loss. Menagerie was an incredible first book in the series, which has set up the world for future books. I look forward to see what happens next as they begin a new journey together.

Complimentary copy provided by the Publisher, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really loved Gallagher... he tries to keep his emotions hidden!

“We’re running out of time, Delilah.” The urgency in his voice stole my breath. “If you can’t perform by next week, they will take you aw—”
Gallagher’s mouth snapped shut so quickly I wasn’t sure what I’d almost heard. “They’ll sell you,” he finished. “And I won’t be able to protect you.”

Kindle Arc Loc 2566

Hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Rachel VincentRachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her # 1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy—but social media is a close second.

Other reviews featuring Rachel Vincent
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Naomi’s Weekly Wrap Up 156

I've survived my first week of school holidays... barely! Haha! Don't you love it when they fight! Oh well, we did a bit of cooking today, which was great and we're off to visit the cousins for the weekend. 

Blogging wise... all going well, scheduling November at the moment, feels great to be ahead! 
Pure Abandon by Jeannine Colette ~ Review & Quote-tastic
The Shadow Aspect by Melanie Karsak ~ Review & Teaser Tuesday
The End Game by Kate McCarthy ~ Review & Teaser
Waiting On Wednesday #158 Ms. Manwhore / A Thousand Nights
Chasing River by K.A. Tucker ~ Review & Swoon Thursday
Bad, Wicked, Twisted by Ilsa Madden-Mills ~ Excerpt & Giveaway
Menagerie by Rachel Vincent ~ Release Week Review & Quote-tastic
Slashed by Tracy Wolff ~ Review & Teaser Tuesday
Waiting On Wednesday #159
Blackmail Boyfriend by Chris Cannon ~ Review & Swoon Thursday
Unwritten by Lauren Runow ~ Teasers & Giveaway
Repentance: The Story of Kace Haywood
Simon & Schuster sent a couple of beauties this week! 
The House by Christina Lauren
The Sun in Her Eyes by Paige Toon

Naomi’s Weekly Wrap Up is a combined meme with the Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book ReviewerBought, Borrowed and Bagged hosted by Braine @ Talk Supe and Stacking The Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.
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Bad, Wicked, Twisted by Ilsa Madden-Mills ~ Excerpt & Giveaway

The first three books and the novella in the Briarcrest Academy series have now been released in a boxset. I have loved all the books I've read so far and am excited to share this with you all! Get it for just $2.99!!
Title: Bad, Wicked, Twisted
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Series: Briarcrest Academy Box Set (Books 1-3)
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Published: September 20th 2015
Buy Now - Amazon | Amazon UK 

Each book in the Briarcrest Academy series is written as a stand-alone love story following a new couple.

1: VERY BAD THINGS (Nora and Leo)
2: VERY WICKED BEGINNINGS (Dovey and Cuba--prequel novella)
3: VERY WICKED THINGS (Dovey and Cuba)
4. VERY TWISTED THINGS (Violet and Sebastian)

VERY BAD THINGS (Amazon Top 5 Book and #1 in New Adult and College Age Romance)

Leaving behind her mansion and Jimmy Choos, Nora Blakely becomes a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and meaningless sex.

Then she meets her soulmate, but he doesn’t want her.

Sexy gym owner Leo Tate has one rule: never fall in love…until Nora shows up with her list of bad things. He resists the pull of their sizzling connection, hung up on their age difference.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where the best things in life are VERY BAD THINGS.

VERY WICKED BEGINNINGS (Prequel Novella: Amazon Top 100 Book and #1 in Urban Fiction)

When wicked ballerina Dovey Beckham meets football star Cuba Hudson, she didn’t plan on having her heart shattered into a million pieces. He’s the bad boy with a dark past and when he falls for Dovey, he knows she can’t be part of his future.


VERY WICKED THINGS (Amazon Top 100 Book and #1 in Urban Fiction)

Dovey Beckham is a ballerina from the wrong side of the tracks with a scholarship to prestigious Briarcrest Academy. She gives her body but never her heart. Cuba "Hollywood" Hudson is a wealthy football player with fast cars and even faster girlfriends.

Until the day he meets her, and she offers him something he's never tasted: true love.

Their passion is electric, their connection deep, but once in a lifetime kind of love doesn't come easy, especially when dirty money, past sins, and old flames come calling.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy…where the best things in life are Very Wicked Things.

VERY TWISTED THINGS (Amazon Top 100 and #1 Urban Fiction)

Violet St. Johns is a talented violinist hiding out in a Hollywood mansion, struggling to forget the devastation of her parent’s sudden death.

Vital Rejects front man Sebastian Tate never imagined his music video would go viral, skyrocketing him to instant fame. Okay, maybe he did. He’s a cocky dude, and he knew his name would be in lights someday.

When he sees the elusive girl in the mansion next door playing her violin nude, they begin an erotic game of spying.

When they finally come face-to-face, sparks fly and clothes comes off. But giving his heart to a girl isn’t Sebastian’s plan; falling for a guy who craves attention isn’t Violet’s.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy….Hollywood style….where the best things in life are VERY TWISTED THINGS.

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Chasing River by K.A. Tucker ~ Review & Swoon Thursday

I am an instant fan now that I have read my first book by k.A. Tucker! I need to read more of her work! I loved River and Amber, and I will DEFINITELY read more from this world and author! 
Title: Chasing River
Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: Burying Water #3
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Published: July 7th 2015 (July 15th 2015 in Aus)

Buy Now - Amazon | B&N

Armed with two years' worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn't let her die, but he also couldn't risk being identified at the scene—so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move.

Maybe it's because he saved her life, or maybe it's because he's completely different from everything she's left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone. And River isn't the kind of guy she'd want to catch.

Why has it taken me so long to pick up a book by K.A. Tucker? After finishing Chasing River I want to go back and read them all! Right from the first chapter I was sucked into this world, hooked to the writing style, the characters and Ireland! I could see that I was going to like River, he had a kind heart. Amber was fulfilling a life dream of travelling around the world and found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Amber has always played it safe; she was the good girl in her family, her twin brother Jesse was the bad boy (from Burying Water). She dated good guys and went to college. After a break up she decided it was time to travel, like she always planned and set off on an adventure through Canada before landing in Ireland. What I loved most about her trip was ‘Amber’s Bucket List’, and you know the number one item is involving a fling! So it was amusing to see her contemplate it once she crossed paths with River again. Amber usually follows the rules, so it was nice to see her change her ways slightly and she opened her eyes to the bigger picture.

River… I loved him from the first moment I met him. He’s passionate about his family; even though his brother is a bit of a bad egg, he doesn’t want to see him slip into his old ways. He showed selfishness when he crossed paths with Amber, and I could see the sparks fly when they met under better circumstances. I loved how he encouraged Amber to learn more about the history of Ireland, both on her own and with him. It was sweet to see their relationship grow throughout the course of the book.

I really enjoyed learning the politics of Ireland, understanding some of the struggles that they have had to deal with over hundreds of years. How the new IRA group has taken matters into their own hands and how they are always fighting with other groups. Although this book just scrapes the surface of it, I was intrigued and wanted to know more.

I loved seeing Amber and River’s relationship grow gradually in this book. They took their time, despite the attraction they both felt for one another. But I didn’t see the twist coming and I was left gasping at the new information. Amber made a friend from her home town too, and it was great to see them work through the issues they had from school. River’s brother Rowen was another great character too. He’s confident and I enjoyed the brotherly banter between him and River!

Chasing River was an amazing read, one I found very hard to put down. The whole book was woven together perfectly and I didn’t feel the plot slow at all. The characters are easy to like, despite their pasts and being from different countries. I was smiling most of the way through this book, but there was a moment when tears welled in my eyes. Well done K.A. Tucker… you have found a new fan in me!

Complimentary copy provided by Simon & Schuster Australia in exchange for an honest review.

*Snickers* This was a sweet moment between Amber and River... she's getting a bit of confidence!

He simply smiles at me. Not moving closer. Not pulling away.
Waiting for me to make the first move,I think.
I do, leaning in to steal a kiss and elicit a soft groan from him. His grip around me tightens, his fist clenching the back of my shirt as he pulls me into his body, his erection pressing against my stomach.
Really? He wants me that much? Knowing that excites me.
And then he breaks free suddenly. “See ya.”
I grin, parroting him. “See ya.”

Paperback Page 149

Hosted by YA Bound

K.A. TuckerBorn in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. 

She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit.

Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

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The End Game by Kate McCarthy ~ Review & Teaser

I purchased The End Game during the week of it's release. It took me a while to get around to reading it, but I had to bring my review to you as soon as I could, because I enjoyed it so much! You need to grab this book for yourself and fall in love with Kate McCarthy's writing, characters and the world that she created, like I did!
Title: The End Game
Author: Kate McCarthy
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Published: September 8th 2015

Buy Now - Amazon | B&N iTunes | Smashwords

“Professional athletes are pillars of their respective communities. They are heroes in the eyes of boys and girls and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that positively represents their community.”

The public loves a good scandal. Seeing someone fall from the pinnacle of success makes a great headline. No one knows that better than I do. What started out as a promising career in college football, spiraled into scandal and shame.

But being a hero is easier said then done. Especially when there are those who expected to see the great Brody Madden fail. I craved nothing except being the best—willing to do anything to prove them wrong. But I went too far, and I tried too hard, and it broke me.

“At the time of going to print, Jordan Elliott was unavailable for comment.”

I met Brody Madden in my senior year of college. An Australian native on an international scholarship, I was the female soccer sensation with stars in her eyes and no room for a hotshot wide receiver with a chip on his shoulder.

But a heart bursting with ambition and a driving fire to succeed isn’t made of stone. I became his strength, his obsession, and the greatest love of his life. Only I wasn’t there when he needed me most.

This is a story about love and a game that takes everything. Where the path to glory is paved with sacrifice. Where pressure makes you, or breaks you, and triumph is born in the ashes of failure. Where two people’s end game will change everything.

The End Game was my first Kate McCarthy book, and it was a brilliant and emotional read. I could feel the passion from both characters through the pages; their fears, the pressure they were under and the deep love for one another. It was beautifully written with twists that I didn’t see until after they hit me.

Jordan is an Aussie on an international scholarship in the US. This detail hooked me from the beginning; my daughter’s name is also Jordan and we are Aussie’s too! Having that little connection with Jordan from the beginning really made me like her. Throughout the story I saw her grow; she was passionate about soccer and determined to achieve all her dreams. The more time she spent with Brody though, I could see a slight shift in what she wanted and Brody became part of her dreams.

I always like the cocky jocks, and Brody sure is one, but there is more to him than that. He has a bit of a learning disability, and is on the brink of failing his final year of college. I liked seeing him work with Jordan on his studies, but he lacked belief in himself, which made me sad… The pressure really got to Brody and it was difficult to see him struggle through it all. His parents… they are not nice people, especially his father; I wanted to jump straight in there and have a word to them, I tell you! I’m just glad, despite some issues that he had Jordan to draw strength from.

I loved every moment of reading The End Game. It was one of those reads I couldn’t put down. Brody and Jordan had a difficult journey, under constant scrutiny from the press and the public. There were plenty of twists and hurdles for them to work through to stay together. Brody struggled the most, but his cousin Jaxon and his friend Eddie were both there to support him through everything. I really enjoyed Kate McCarthy’s writing. She drew me into her world and I felt like I knew her all the characters. This book touched me, unlike any book I’ve read in a while and will stay with me for a long time. I hope there are more books from this world, because I love all of these characters! 

I had to share a sweet moment between Brody and Jordan... he really was sweet!

“This,” he says, his breath ragged.

I stare down into darkened eyes, my head in a fog. “This?”

Brody slides his hands down my back until I’m wrapped up tight, his arms a steel band that locks me close. “Home,” he whispers and closes his eyes. “This is what home feels like.”

Kindle Loc 3523

Hosted by YA Bound

Kate  McCarthyKate McCarthy grew up in a small town outside of Port Macquarie, Australia. Raised in a house just a short walk to the beach, Kate enjoyed the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere and friendships that come from being raised in a friendly, small town area.

She now resides in Brisbane, Australia, a city in the state of Queensland where she works as an accountant, along with a sideline wedding cake business and her writing.

She has two children, two dogs, and a house in the suburbs, and a pile of friends and family dotted all over the country that help keep her sane.

When she’s not busy running after naughty kids, filthy dogs, crunching numbers, piping buttercream and writing books, you can find her curled up in bed in the early hours of the morning reading new books and re-reading old favourites.

Her favourite authors include (and are not limited to) J.R. Ward, Nalini Singh and JD Nixon. Her favourite books are the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward in which she longs to eventually join the brotherhood and change her name to Phierce Mutha. 

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