Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!
Donna

Friday, November 4, 2016

ROMA AMOR: A NOVEL OF CALIGULA's ROME by Sherry Christie

02_Roma Amor

Roma Amor: A Novel of Caligula's Rome by Sherry Christie

Publication Date: April 15, 2016 Bexley House Books Paperback; 496 Pages Genre: Historical Fiction

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   READ EXCERPT.

 Marcus Carinna hears a voice whisper, "Your turn," as he rides past his family tomb. An unseen presence also startles the Germanic priestess Aurima, whom he is bringing to Rome. But hardheaded Romans scoff at ghosts, and Marcus can't believe it's a warning from his brother, who killed himself three years earlier. 37 AD: To great acclaim, 25-year-old Caligula Caesar has become Rome's new master. No one is more pleased than Senator Titus Carinna, who helped him succeed to the throne. It's a shame the Senator's older son--Caligula's closest friend--committed suicide after being charged with treason. But that still leaves Marcus, his second son. Headstrong and hot-tempered, Marcus would rather prove his courage by leading legions against Rome's enemies than take his brother's place. Yet when his father orders him to befriend Caligula, he has no choice. Caught in a web of deceit, conspiracy, and betrayal, he will uncover a secret that threatens his family, the woman he desires, even his life... and may bring chaos to the young Roman Empire.


"The first installment in a page-turning saga that revisits the heroes and villains of the grandest city of the ancient world.... Comes alive with the long gone characters who were its lifeblood" -Kirkus Reviews
''Combines current political concerns, the wide lens of the serious historical novel, and emotional maturity and realism with an utterly splendid grasp of what it must have been like to live in Rome under Caligula's reign.'' -Sarah Smith, Agatha Award winner and New York Times Notable author

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

my thoughts:

This first installment takes us to the hills of Rome, to an ancient time and introduces us to people who quickly become like family.  Marcus is an amazing character. He is passionate, intelligent and fascinating.  Even Caligula, a character maligned by history, is larger than life in this book. 
It's a slow read, it must be to absorb all the details.  Take your time reading to enjoy, sit back and be transported to Ancient Rome.  Strangely enough, I see many parallels between ancient Rome and modern day America,hmm...can we learn from history?
I look forward to the next installment in this series.  Sherry Christie has created a story that captivates and enthralls.





03_Sherry Christie


After earning a Phi Beta Kappa creative award in college for an early draft about a nobly born charioteer, Sherry Christie spent many years of research and revision developing ROMA AMOR into the story about fathers and sons that it wanted to be. It's a joy to immerse myself in the lives of first-century Romans--and a distinct change from my day job as a . In addition to writing, Sherry is a professional copywriter. She lives on the coast of Maine with a native-born Viking and two cats. For more information, please visit Sherry Christie's website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 24 Kick Off at Passages to the Past Tuesday, October 25 Review at Historical Fiction Obsession Guest Post at Let Them Read Books Wednesday, October 26 Review at Kinx's Book Nook Friday, October 28 Guest Post at What Is That Book About Monday, October 31 Spotlight at Just One More Chapter Tuesday, November 1 Review at Bookfever Wednesday, November 2 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Friday, November 4 Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views Monday, November 7 Interview at Jorie Loves a Story Wednesday, November 9 Review at Bookramblings Review at The Book Junkie Reads Interview at A Literary Vacation Thursday, November 10 Interview at The Book Junkie Reads Friday, November 11 Review at Beth's Book Nook Review at Jorie Loves a Story Guest Post at The True Book Addict

Giveaway

To win a paperback copy of Roma Amor: A Novel of Caligula's Rome by Sherry Christie, please enter via the Gleam form below. 2 copies are up for grabs! Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US residents only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Roma Amor


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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cover Reveal--THE COMPETITION: DAVINCI'S DISCIPLES BOOK TWO!!

COVER REVEAL!

THE COMPETITION: Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two!

Ready (willing and eager) to see the cover of the much-anticipated second book in the Da Vinci’s Disciples trilogy? Well, we hope so, because here it is (be sure to read to the end of the post for an extra special bonus!). But before we get to the gorgeous cover, here’s what the author has to say about the next book in this thrilling trilogy and its cover: “I knew I wanted the second book in this trilogy to be a little more personal, get into the lives of these courageous women, and da Vinci himself, a bit more deeply. Oh, they are still daring to go where women had never gone before in the Renaissance, and they put everything on the line for the love of their art—their marriages, their family relationships, even their lives—to do it, to bring their work out into the open, no matter the consequence. Another form of art is explored through their eyes, through their hands. But in THE COMPETITION, I’ve pulled back more of the layers of their lives and the secrets they may hold. Love bursts to fulfillment, desire is ignited, disastrous illnesses change lives, and familial condemnations are shattered. All set amidst the glory that is Florence during the Renaissance. These women are bold; there can be no doubt. But they are elegant women and this cover, like the first, captures that elegance to perfection. It is the seamless companion to the first, and they look dazzling together.” Ready to see the cover? Not just yet. Here’s the official description first: A commission to paint a fresco in the church of Santo Spirito is about to be announced and Florence’s countless artists each seek the fame and glory this lucrative contract will provide. Viviana, a noblewoman freed from a terrible marriage, and now able to pursue her artistic passions, sees a potential life-altering opportunity for herself and her fellow artists. The women first speak to Lorenzo de’ Medici himself, and finally, they submit a bid for the right to paint it. And they win. The very public commission belongs to them. But with the victory comes a powerful cost. The church will not stand for women painting, especially not in a house of worship. The city is not ready to consider women in positions of power, and in Florence, artists wield tremendous power. Even the women themselves are hesitant; the attention they will bring up) on themselves will disrupt their families, and even put them in physical danger. All the while, Viviana grows closer to Sansone, her soldier lover, who is bringing to her a joy that she never knew with her deceased husband. And fellow-artist Isabetta has a flame reignited, sparked by Lorenzo himself. Power and passion collide in this sumptuous historical novel of shattering limitations, one brushstroke at a time.

  THE COMPETITION: Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two goes on sale April 25, 2017. Pre-order a copy here. Add it to your Goodreads shelf! Now, are you ready to see the cover? Really? Are you sure? Here it is!


02_the-competition



Do you love it?! Haven’t read the first book yet? Now’s your chance at a special reduced price. For the next SEVEN days (beginning November 2 until November 9!), the Kindle version of PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY IS ONLY $.99…that’s a $7 savings! Get your copy now! Read the first critically acclaimed book, fall in love with these daring women, and get ready to fight beside them for the right to be who they truly want to be in THE COMPETITION. “Russo Morin’s elegant command of language and composition left me breathless, but the story itself, with its flawless depiction of power, corruption, defiance, intrigue, and retribution makes Portrait of a Conspiracy an absolute must read.” Flashlight Commentary “...a page-turner unlike any historical novel, weaving passion, adventure, artistic rebirth, and consequences of ambition...a masterful writer at the peak of her craft.”—C. W. Gortner, author of THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE’ MEDICI “This riveting book is filled with art, assassinations, retribution, and a sisterhood of fascinating women who inspire as well as entertain.”—Stephanie Dray, NYT Bestselling author of AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER “In PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY, Russo Morin's prose is as sharp as a Medici dagger...Thwarting danger, finding love, and creating masterpieces, [these women] remind us just how powerful the bonds of womanhood can be.”—Marci Jefferson, author of THE ENCHANTRESS OF PARIS “A 15th-century Florence of exquisite art, sensual passion and sudden, remorseless violence comes vividly to life in Donna Russo Morin's new novel.”—Nancy Bilyeau, author of THE CROWN “In PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY, Russo Morin's rich detailing transports the reader to the heart of Renaissance Italy from the first page.”—Heather Webb, author of BECOMING JOSEPHINE “Illicit plots, mysterious paintings, and a young Leonardo da Vinci all have their part to play in this delicious, heart-pounding tale.”—Kate Quinn, author of THE EMPRESS OF ROME SAGA

About the Author03_donna-russo-morin

Donna Russo Morin is the award winning of author of historical fiction. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, she lives near the shore with her two sons, Devon and Dylan, her greatest works in progress. Donna enjoys meeting with book groups in person and via Skype chat. Visit her website at www.donnarussomorin.com; friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @DonnaRussoMorin.

Cover Reveal Hosts

Book Lovers Paradise Book Nerd Books, Dreams, Life Broken Teepee CelticLady's Reviews Curling up by the Fire Let Them Read Books Passages to the Past So Many Books, So Little Time The Book Junkie Reads The Maiden's Court The Reading Queen Unabridged Chick
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Monday, October 31, 2016

02_A Song of War

A Song of War: A Novel of Troy

by Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, SJA Turney, and Russell Whitfield Foreward by Glyn Iliffe Publication Date: October 18, 2016 Knight Media, LLC eBook & Paperback; 483 Pages Genre: Historical Fiction/Ancient History/Anthology


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 Troy: city of gold, gatekeeper of the east, haven of the god-born and the lucky, a city destined to last a thousand years. But the Fates have other plans—the Fates, and a woman named Helen. In the shadow of Troy's gates, all must be reborn in the greatest war of the ancient world: slaves and queens, heroes and cowards, seers and kings . . . and these are their stories. A young princess and an embittered prince join forces to prevent a fatal elopement. A tormented seeress challenges the gods themselves to save her city from the impending disaster. A tragedy-haunted king battles private demons and envious rivals as the siege grinds on. A captured slave girl seizes the reins of her future as two mighty heroes meet in an epic duel. A grizzled archer and a desperate Amazon risk their lives to avenge their dead. A trickster conceives the greatest trick of all. A goddess' son battles to save the spirit of Troy even as the walls are breached in fire and blood. Seven authors bring to life the epic tale of the Trojan War: its heroes, its villains, its survivors, its dead. Who will lie forgotten in the embers, and who will rise to shape the bloody dawn of a new age?

Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo



my thoughts:

Another winner for the fabulous H team.  I LOVE anything to do with the Trojan War, and the story of the despicable Helen, (I usually dislike her character, no matter who tells the story). This telling allows greater access to the minds of each character.  We get the best from each writer.   Each of the seven 'songs' or chapters is told from the unique viewpoint of a character. 
My personal favorites are the story of Cassandra, Priam's sad, mad daughter, and the story of Agamemnon. I almost feel sorry for him, a character I've come to loathe from other versions of the story.  Hector is still, in my opinion, the most noble character of all, but Aeneas is a close second.  I am not going to single out any particular author, just bear in mind that each chapter is a fascinating look into the mind of both the Trojans and the Acheans (greeks) At the end of the novel, each author explains how they created their individual character.   If you have any preconceived notions or ideas, leave them behind when you begin this novel. It's a fun read.  If you like good writing, a good story and the Trojan war, this one's a must read!

About the Authors

CHRISTIAN CAMERON was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1962. He grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, Iowa City, Iowa,Christian Cameron and Rochester, New York, where he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School and later graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in history. After the longest undergraduate degree on record (1980-87), he joined the United States Navy, where he served as an intelligence officer and as a backseater in S-3 Vikings in the First Gulf War, in Somalia, and elsewhere. After a dozen years of service, he became a full time writer in 2000. He lives in Toronto (that’s Ontario, in Canada) with his wife Sarah and their daughter Beatrice, currently age four. And a half.

  LIBBIE HAWKER was born in Rexburg, Idaho and divided her childhood between Eastern Idaho's rural environs and the greater Seattle area. She presently lives in Seattle, but has also been a resident of Salt Lake City, Utah; Bellingham, Washington; and Tacoma, Washington. She loves to write about character and place, and is inspired by the bleak natural beauty of the Rocky Mountain region and by the fascinating history of the Puget Sound. After three years of trying to break into the publishing industry with her various books under two different pen names, Libbie finally turned her back on the mainstream publishing industry and embraced independent publishing. She now writes her self-published fiction full-time, and enjoys the fact that the writing career she always dreamed of having is fully under her own control.

  KATE QUINN is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance detailing the early years of the infamous Borgia clan. All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate has succumbed to the blogging bug, and keeps a blog filled with trivia, pet peeves, and interesting facts about historical fiction. She and her husband now live in Maryland with two black dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.

  VICKY ALVEAR SHECTER is the author of the young adult novel, Cleopatra's Moon (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2011), based on the life of Cleopatra's only daughter. She is also the author of two award-winning biographies for kids on Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta. The LA Times calls Cleopatra's Moon, "magical" and "impressive." Publisher's Weekly said it was "fascinating" and "highly memorable." The Wall Street Journal called it "absorbing."

  STEPHANIE THORNTON is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel. Her novels, The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora, Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt, The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan, and The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great, tell the stories of history's forgotten women.

  SJA TURNEY lives with his wife, son and daughter, and two (close approximations of) dogs in rural North Yorkshire. Marius' Mules was his first full length novel. Being a fan of Roman history, SJA decided to combine his love of writing and love of the classical world. Marius' Mules was followed two years later by Interregnum - an attempt to create a new fantasy story still with a heavy flavour of Rome. These have been followed by numerous sequels, with three books in the fantasy 'Tales of the Empire' series and five in the bestselling 'Marius' Mules' one. 2013 has seen the first book in a 15th century trilogy - 'The Thief's Tale' - and will also witness several side projects seeing the light of day.

  RUSSELL WHITFIELD was born in Shepherds Bush in 1971. An only child, he was raised in Hounslow, West London, but has since escaped to Ham in Surrey. Gladiatrix was Russ's first novel, published in 2008 by Myrmidon Books. The sequel, Roma Victrix, continues the adventures Lysandra, the Spartan gladiatrix, and a third book, Imperatrix, sees Lysandra stepping out of the arena and onto the field of battle.

Blog Tour Schedule

  Saturday, October 15 Review at Just One More Chapter Review at Flashlight Commentary
  Sunday, October 16 Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
  Monday, October 17 Review at Leeanna.me
  Tuesday, October 18 Review at A Book Drunkard
  Wednesday, October 19 Excerpt at A Literary Vacation
  Thursday, October 20 Review at Peeking Between the Pages
  Friday, October 21 Review & Excerpt at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
  Saturday, October 22 Review at 100 Pages a Day
  Monday, October 24 Review at Unabridged Chick
  Tuesday, October 25 Interview at Unabridged Chick
  Wednesday, October 26 Review at The Maiden's Court
  Friday, October 28 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
  Monday, October 31 Review & Excerpt at Book Lovers Paradise
  Tuesday, November 1 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
  Wednesday, November 2 Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
  Thursday, November 3 Review at Jorie Loves a Story
  Monday, November 7 Review at A Bookish Affair
  Tuesday, November 8 Interview at Let Them Read Books
  Wednesday, November 9 Review at Historical Readings & Reviews
  Friday, November 11 Review at Broken Teepee Spotlight at The Book Tree
  Saturday, November 12 Excerpt at The Reading Queen Review at The True Book Addict

Giveaway

To win a paperback copy of A Song of War: A Novel of Troy by the H Team, please enter via the Gleam form below. Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. A Song of War


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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Avelynn's story continues....

02_The Edge of Faith

Avelynn: The Edge of Faith by Marissa Campbell

Publication Date: September 26, 2016 eBook; 302 Pages ASIN: B01KUC6N9Y Genre: Historical

Romance/Medieval Series: Avelynn (Book Two)


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     Avelynn: The Edge of Faith, a stand-alone Viking Romance from author Marissa Campbell. It's the year 871. Charges of treason, murder, and witchcraft follow Avelynn into exile as she flees England with Alrik. Arriving in Wales, they find refuge among Alrik's friends in the Welsh nobility. Cast out by his half-brothers, Alrik seeks to regain his honor and earn favor with the gods. When war threatens, Alrik embraces gold and the opportunity for his crew to become mercenaries, aiding the Southern Welsh kings in their fight against Rhodri the Great. Desperate to return home, Avelynn seeks to find a way to prove her innocence, but she is pitted against Alrik as their desires for the future clash. With battle looming, Avelynn's faith in their relationship is further tested through a bitter struggle with Marared, a jealous lover from Alrik's past. Marared's threats turn deadly, and Avelynn runs afoul of magic and sorcery, causing her to question her beliefs and role as priestess. When Avelynn and Alrik are betrayed, Avelynn is captured and Alrik is charged with regicide. The two become separated, a chasm of greed, deceit, and ambition driving them apart. In an act of harrowing faith, Avelynn will stop at nothing to find her way back to Alrik and break them both free from Wales's bloodthirsty grasp. AVELYNN: THE EDGE OF FAITH is a stand-alone novel and #2 in the Avelynn series




my thoughts:

     I love the characters in AVELYNN, THE EDGE OF FAITH.  Avelynn has grown into an amazing woman. I love her spunk and her take charge attitude.  I love reading books about strong women.  
As a reader I was captivated by the story of Alrik and Avelynn. I loved the manner in which Marissa Campbell combined the historical aspects of pagan religion and the new Christianity faith. This is a book full of twists and turns. There are obvious villains, characters I, as the reader, wanted to see destroyed.  

The book has a fulfilling end, but leaves enough open for a third installment.  I reread the first book prior to reading THE EDGE OF FAITH.  While this is a wonderful book on it's own, you will understand more if you read the books in order. I enjoyed Marissa Campbell's writing style and look forward to the next book.









Amazon (Kindle) | Barnes & Noble (Nook) | Kobo

About the Author

Marissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day. Her debut historical fiction AVELYNN, was published through St. Martin’s Press, September 2015. Look for the second book in the AVELYNN series, releasing Fall 2016. She is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7. When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun! For more information visit http://marissacampbell.com. You can also follow Marissa Campbell on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 26 Review & Excerpt at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Tuesday, September 27 Review at Just One More Chapter Excerpt at What Is That Book About Wednesday, September 28 Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book Spotlight at A Literary Vacation Thursday, September 29 Review at A Chick Who Reads Review & Excerpt at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium Friday, September 30 Excerpt at Diana's Book Reviews Monday, October 3 Review at Curling up by the Fire Tuesday, October 4 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Wednesday, October 5 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective Thursday, October 6 Excerpt at Let Them Read Books Friday, October 7 Spotlight at The Reading Queen Sunday, October 9 Review at 100 Pages a Day Tuesday, October 11 Spotlight at Books, Dreams, Life Wednesday, October 12 Review at Kristin Un-Ravelle'd Thursday, October 13 Review at Broken Teepee Friday, October 14 Spotlight at The Book Tree Tuesday, October 18 Review at Book Nerd Wednesday, October 19 Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing Friday, October 21 Review at CelticLady's Reviews Excerpt at Jorie Loves a Story

Giveaway

To win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Avelynn: The Edge of Faith eBook, please enter via the Gleam form below. 1 gift card and 5 eBooks are up for grabs! Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open Internationally. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Avelynn: The Edge of Faith


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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Love's Prayer by Melissa Storm


Love's Prayer by Melissa Storm
The First Street Church Romance, Book One
Genre: Inspirational Romance


BUY THE BOOK:



ABOUT THE BOOK:  

From acclaimed author Melissa Storm comes the first in a brand-new series of sweet and wholesome small-town love stories with the community church at its center…

Summer Smith is at a crossroads in life. Fresh out of college with no idea what comes next, she agrees to take over her aunt’s flower shop for the season. She arrives in the small, close-knit community of Sweet Grove, Texas, hoping to find some answers.
Ben Davis has lived in the shadow of his family’s mistakes for years. Forced to give up everything he ever wanted for himself, he begins to consider taking his own life in a final effort to end all the pain. A desperate plea sent to the God he isn’t even sure he believes in is soon answered by a series of miracles that bring Summer and Ben crashing into each other.

Love’s Prayer offers a dramatic story about two people who must find a way to believe in each other and in themselves in order to finally find the place where they belong. This novel of finding faith, hope, and—ultimately—love in the darkest of times is sure to tug at your heartstrings and leave you craving more from the First Street Church Romances!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Melissa Storm is a mother first, and everything else second. She used to write under a pseudonym, but finally had the confidence to come out as herself to the world. Her fiction is highly personal and often based on true stories. Writing is Melissa’s way of showing her daughter just how beautiful life can be, when you pay attention to the everyday wonders that surround us.

Melissa loves books so much, she married fellow author Falcon Storm. Between the two of them, there are always plenty of imaginative, awe-inspiring stories to share. Melissa and Falcon also run the business Novel Publicity together, where she works as publisher, marketer, editor, and all-around business mogul. When she’s not reading, writing, or child-rearing, Melissa spends time relaxing at home in the company of her two dogs, five parrots, and rescue cat. She never misses an episode of The Bachelor or her nightly lavender-infused soak in the tub.


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