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Reading Reviews for Flaming Quilltips
  
16 Reviews Found

Review #1, by teh tarik Pensieve to Parchment

6th May 2016:
Hello Ysh!

I'm finally here at long last to review your entry for the Epistolary Challenge. First, I must apologise for taking such a long time to come by and read. So sorry! :(

But oh my gosh, this story is amazing! Seriously, THIS is what I was hoping for when I set the challenge! A long, complex story, with more than a little mystery told through the epistolary format, with several writers corresponding with each other. You did an amazing job with the form, and the characterisation of each writer really shone through their letters (or journal entries).

You've got a great sense of pacing, and you know how to unravel the details of the mystery bit by bit, and I LOVE all the references to different aspects of canon, and how you link so many different things together (e.g. Cygnus Black, the potion drunk by Dumbledore in the cave, Hokey the house elf, etc.). Suddenly you've expanded canon so much, and not just expanded, but made it coherent. I believed your story, and your characters. I felt Dorcas's obsession and how desperate she was to uncover the details of her father's murder.

I must really complement you on Dorcas's characterisation: you've portrayed her brilliantly. Her determination, foolhardiness, fixatedness, her self-destructive desire for vengeance...and I also love how you revealed other aspects of her character through the letters of Lily and Benjy. Benjy and Lily see Dorcas as a friend: a brilliant passionate student and friend. It's so sad to imagine her slowly succumbing to her own darkness over the years.

The ending of the story was so heartbreaking. :( Poor Benjy.

This was a truly phenomenal story, Ysh! I'm so glad to have read this, and to have this as an entry in my challenge. Thank you for participating, and keep an eye out for those results. ♥

-teh

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Review #2, by TidalDragon Pensieve to Parchment

24th April 2016:
Howdy! I am here reviewing for the Quill and Ink Challenge and your fic, being first in, was first on my list!

This is the third epistolary entry I've read and I have to say they are quite interesting. Yours was unique among the others because it involved so many people, but that turned out to be a good thing as it helped provide depth we wouldn't have otherwise had.

I also really appreciated your unique portrayal of Dorcas. I think it's easy - and happens too often in the Marauders Era - that when focus is given to the war and the Order and to dark events, to make those who fall on the side of good seem unassailable. Your Dorcas was much more realistic in that she was human and flawed and engaged, even in her own writings, in self-deception. Kudos on that.

Thanks for sharing this with us and participating in our challenge!

Author's Response: Hello Kenny!

Thank you so much for stopping by :D

Epistolary entries are so hard to write, and I'm surprised there are so many talented ones out there who make it look so effortless.

I'm glad you liked my portrayal of Dorcas. you are so right about the Marauders Era characters being idolized too much, and I was actively trying to break that. War and loss tends to break people from within, and I wanted to show that.

Thank you so much for your lovely remarks, and I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

Waiting for the challenge results!


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Review #3, by TreacleTart Pensieve to Parchment

11th April 2016:
Hey Ysh!

I'm here for our review swap! So I've been meaning to come and read this for forever! It's been winning so many awards that I was certain it woudl be amazing...and of course, you didn't disappoint me! This was tragically wonderful.

The first thing that I want to comment on is the excellent job you did of distinguishing the different people who were speaking. Dorcas, Lily, and Benjy were all very distinct and easy to tell apart. That can be really tough to do, but you handled it flawlessly!

I also love the dysfunctional relationship that Benjy and Dorcas have. You can tell how much her cares for her and even though she shuts him down, you can tell she cares for him equally. In fact, before she even admitted to it being hard to see him at the meeting, I had the distinct impression that she was in denial about being in love.

I thought that the journal entries were a really nice touch as well. It was great getting an idea of what was going on inside of Dorcas' head as all of this transpired. It really filled the story out.

It's an interesting idea that Dorcas is basically the person who discovers all of the information about the Horcruxes. She finds Hokey the House Elf. She finds out about the potion that Voldemort uses to protect the locket. And then she passes all of that info on to Dumbledore. Had she not done that, he might never have known how to defeat Voldemort. In fact, this might actually become my headcannon for her now.

Normally, I'd try and leave a bit of CC in my review, but this is pretty much perfect. You've really done an excellent job here and I really enjoyed reading it.

Great work!

~Kaitlin

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Review #4, by SilentConfession Pensieve to Parchment

17th March 2016:
Hello, I'm here for your review request. Sorry for the delay! Work has been hectic recently!

I've been gone from this site long enough I didn't realize the journal/diary rule had changed and I opened this and had a bit of a moment where I'm thinking "how has this story been allowed on the archive for so long?" Clearly though, I figured out that the rule had changed!

I'm glad it did because this was an interesting story to read and so different from what I expected. You interwove the stories here really nicely and I liked how it felt like there was two stories happening at once. Dorcas' narrative and everything that was happening to everyone else while she was searching for answers. It just showed really well how she let everything (love, loyalty, war, life etc) pass her by on her search for the truth. That in itself was quite powerful.

I also really enjoyed the small details you added into your story - the information about the auror names, the picture of the Order, and the potion. These connections are really great because it helps make your entries feel like there is a story going on. It helped an image to appear in my brain for what was happening which I think is important for this type of story since there is very little real action in it.

To answer your question of whether this is believable I would say yes I think this is very believable. You have connected it to canon and it would make sense for Voldemort to kill someone himself because they knew about his horocruxes. It made me sad though - if only she had written to Benjy saying what she had found out! Then the Order would have known much sooner what they were up against!

The only critique I have and this may simply be personal preference rather than anything wrong with your story is that this did mostly feel like an in-depth character study rather than a story.

Be as it is though, I enjoyed reading it and getting to know her character and her inner workings. You managed to characterize her, Benjy, and Lily nicely. It was interesting to see her acknowledge her damage and how her damage has influenced others (Lily, Benjy etc). I liked reading about her obsession with her father's death and her inability to let it go. It showed clearly how she let it fester and control her. It also shows her determination and cleverness that she was able to track down the truth. I thought maybe we'd realize at the end she was so obsessed she wouldn't be able to feel love or love anyone other than her mission. I'm not sure what I feel that we realize she does love Benjy and chose to ignore it for what's she's trying to accomplish. I don't know what is more sad though.

Thanks for asking for the review. I enjoyed reading this.

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Review #5, by Dirigible_Plums Pensieve to Parchment

13th March 2016:
YSH,

So I sat down to read this while I had a quick breakfast and forgot all about food and sustenance because this was so bloody amazing! WHY DID I NOT READ THIS EARLIER.

Seriously.

I am in shock.

This was so brilliantly written and it was such a great and original concept too! Dorcas is basically a blank slate in canon and your portrayal of her is genuinely amazing enough to BE canon. Her story is so tragic and so believable when you think about the time she lived in. I felt so sorry for her as I read about her fixation on finding out just what happened to her dad and why, even if she was cutting herself off from everyone who loved her. It was strangely understandable despite the fact that she was hurting her friends.

And Benjy - Benjy! He was such a sweetheart. As soon as I read his first letter, I just wanted to give him this great big hug, the poor thing.

I swear to God, I have so much to say and don't know how I'm going to put it all down.

Alright, something I really really liked were the allusions to the bits of Voldemort's regime the readers were aware about. Dramatic irony at its finest! Like when Dorcas was frustrated about the relevance of Hokey or the description of the potion. You weaved it in so naturally.

Speaking of which, that last letter broke me. I know for a fact that they only found bits of Benjy and now I know why. My heart = gone.

The part with Cygnus made me sick. I've seen several portrayals of him, a fair few of them rather charming, but he just made my skin crawl here.

Yeah. So this was brilliant to read. It was perfectly coherent and easy to follow - unlike my review! - and the unconventional structure worked exceptionally well. Seriously, if you don't win one of these challenges, I will be shocked. I will.

Plums xo

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Review #6, by TearsIMustConceal Pensieve to Parchment

12th March 2016:
Hey Ysh! I am so sorry it's taken so long but I'm finally here with your requested review.

First of all, this was incredible. Your writing is always amazing, I am one of your biggest fans but this, this was something else.

Dorcas' voice is so strong here. I don't know much about her but you've given her the most amazing voice that I feel I know her; that I know her struggle to find her father's murderer and her struggle to separate herself from everyone and remain cold towards people she cares about. After reading this, I want to read more about Dorcas and her life and everything. This was just wow Ysh. Seriously amazing. Dorcas just speaks volumes to me and she honestly the best character you've ever written, in my opinion anyway. You just capture her so perfectly.

I'm in love with minor characters anyway so all the mentions; dorcas, benjy, marlene, - it all just gave me feels.

I also love the change in POVs - I think it really adds another dimnension to the letters and diary entries and you really do an amazing job of making each voice stand out so we weren't confused who was speaking at all.

And it was the horcruxes; the horcruxes were the reason both Orestes and Dorcas were killed? That makes so much sense in my head and then there was Hokey and the potion and yeah, have I told you how brilliant and amazing you are? Because you are!

and then the ending, oh Ysh, I knew it was coming but the feels, I wasn't ready for it to happen! And poor Benjy, carrying on her work but to no avail himself because he'll be gone soon, too.

Oh Ysh, this was just incredible and you have nothing to worry about, conerns wise because it was pretty much perfect!

I loved this so, so much!

-Vicki

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Review #7, by Musing Pensieve to Parchment

6th March 2016:
Hello Ysh!! I've wanted to read this story for several days now an I've finally got the chance. This review is for the HPFF Review-A-Thon.

This story was BRILLIANT! I don't think I'll be able to do justice to it in this review, but I'm going to try my best!

Dorcas, Benjy and many other minor characters are often just names mentioned in Marauders' fics. But you've added such a depth to Dorcas and Benjy that they seem like very real people here! This story has so many different things- mystery, thrill, an incomplete love story- bound together beautifully!

The way you portrayed Dorcas is so, so realistic! Any child would be broken if their father is murdered. But, she didn't take it lying down, rather fought it till the end. I loved the way you tied up the prompt- intolerant in the story. It felt absolutely natural. I loved all the story revolving around her father as well. His mission involving Death Eaters and getting on the wrong side of Voldemort feels probable. What did his envelope contain? Was that some sort of information on Voldemort's horcruxes?

The mention of Hokey was a AHA moment!! Same goes for the potion Cygnus Black was working on. "He remembered that there was an additional request that sounded quite strange - he was to make the potion such that the drinkerís throat would burn with thirst." I adored the way you tied up the story to canon in such subtle ways!

Congrats on the FIRST place in twisted Zodiac Challenge. This entry truly deserved it! :D I can't wait to check out your other work!

Lots of love
Emm

P.S. Loved the signature of Lily's leter! Haha! I can fish Jily moments out of such a serious story as well. I'm not a Jily fan for nothing! :P

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Review #8, by Felpata Lupin Pensieve to Parchment

4th March 2016:
Ysh!!!
My awesome, wonderful, amazing, lovely Beta/Betee/friend!!!

Wow! This is just so wonderful!
I loved it the first time I read it, but now it has just reached perfection!!! The flow, the pacing, the style, the different voices... Just perfect!

Just noticed that Dorcas' birthday is the day before mine! :D

I also just realized that if Cygnus had helped making the potion, maybe Regulus saw or heard something I shouldn't have and that's how he put the pieces together... What do you say?

Dorcas' pov was much neater in this last version. It already was before, but now it just flowed so easily and you could really put the pieces together as you read. Brilliant job, seriously!

And Benjy... How adorable is he? I really enjoyed the mix of bitterness, frustration and tenderness in them. One change I noticed was the fact that you expanded a little the part when he says he's been fired. The way you wrote it now worked definitely better. It felt much more authentic.

Lily's fury was great too! And once again you made it come through much more neatly in this version. You really showed how much Lily is affectionate to Dorcas. And you really pictured her exactly the way I imagine her!

Benjy's last letter... *cries* I just loved how you wrote it, how he tries to deny it. So authentic, so moving, so perfect!

I'm not the tiniest bit surprised that you won the zodiac challenge. And I'm quite sure you'll do just great in both other challenges as well!

Congratulations, my dear! And thank you so much for all the praises you sent my way! I really did nothing, you are just a great writer! I'm so incredibly proud of you!!!

All the love, hugs and kisses!
Your Beta/Betee,
Chiara

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Review #9, by ScorpiusRose17 Pensieve to Parchment

2nd March 2016:
I am finally getting around to reading and reviewing the entries for my challenge! :)

I really enjoyed this! I enjoyed the build up. Sure I knew what was going to happen in the end, but seeing it play out through the letters and diary entries was a wonderful way to portray the story and really give it depth!

The thing that I liked the most is how you interwove details that later play a major role. Cygnus Black's potion, Why Voldemort would get angry about someone poking around about information on that. It makes me think of Dumbledore in the cave and the unfortunate demise of a one Regulus Black. You even took the time to include Hepzibah Smith's House Elf... Well played. Well. Played!

I am glad to see that this challenge challenged you! I am grateful that you entered and for the entry! I liked the way that you interwove the negative trait and showed it as a positive. It really shines in the right spots!

Good Luck in the challenge!!!

-Jenn

Author's Response: Hello there Jenn!!

Eeps! Reviewing for the Challenge? *sits up straight and leans closer to the monitor*

I'm so glad you enjoyed this story. Given the format I was writing, it was quite challenging for once because I couldn't really use big words or flowery descriptions or body language.

Ahh yes, that was the key to this story. We know that Dorcas was killed by Voldemort personally, but what I wanted to show was why, and by including Cygnus Black, I wanted to indirectly draw attention to Regulus... and I'm glad it did.

I'm so happy you found this a good read... and yes, incorporating the negative as a positive was the hardest part!

Thank you so much for your lovely review, and looking forward to the results!

~Ysh


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Review #10, by ABlack Pensieve to Parchment

29th February 2016:
Hey Ysh!

Iím here for another of your challenge reward reviews. I really love the feel of this story right from the start. The diary entries give just enough tantalizing information to make me want to race through reading, but Iím forcing myself to slow down, to note the dates. You packed a lot of information in letter from Benjy. I absolutely adored the part where he notes that Aurors take fake names in the line of work. Itís believable and perfect and just turns up the mystery factor for me.

It feels like Dorcas was not only damaged by her fatherís death, but that it has festered for some time. There is this sense that she is chasing death itself, and in doing so, is living two lives: on the outside as an Order member, interacting with Dumbledore and others on a limited basis; on the inside, itís a different story. No one seems to get past the walls sheís erected.

Ah yes, in the 97th entry, even Dory accepts sheís damaged. Itís heart wrenching to see she wants to be with Benjy and yet wonít let herself, not until her personal mission is done. Itís wonderful to see how Lily takes Dory to task for not responding, and even threatening to pull a Dorcas. :p But then she pleads and even swears, all like a concerned friend would. I could well imagine Lily wanting to shake some sense into Dory!

And I know I didnít mention it earlier with the scene with the Order meeting and photo that was taken, but you weave in so well those iconic moments weíve only heard in passing. Same with the potion that Voldemort uses with the Cave and locket. So very clever!

Of course, the ending was just a blow to the heart. I wanted her to somehow evade the inevitable even as I knew she wouldnít. But thatís a nod to how well you wrote this. Itís incredible how you managed to address three challenges at the same time as well. Good work all around!

:hugs:

~Alexis

Author's Response: Hello Alexis,

Thank you so much for stopping by :D

I am so glad you feel that the pacing is just right. I was initially worried that I packed too much information into a letter or two, but your feedback gives me a relief.

Ooh, I'm so glad you got the essence of the Dorcas I was trying to portray. You're absolutely right about the fact that she's chasing death herself. There's something to be said about her recklessness akin to that of Sirius'. She isn't self-destructive, but can easily be.

I simply couldn't resist putting in Lily as the concerned friend. I felt it could add more dimention to the Dorcas I portrayed, and I'm glad you see it that way too.

It is quite sad the end that befell Benjy and Dorcas, but the little we know of them through the books opens up such amazing opportunities to explore them as people.

Thank you so much for your lovely feedback, and I'm really happy you found this enjoyable!

:hugs:
~ysh


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Review #11, by cherry_pop94 Pensieve to Parchment

24th February 2016:
Hello Ysh!

Wow this story was great! I love the format with the letters and diary entries and newspaper clipping. It really formed a full story in my head and because of the format, so much suspense!

It's horcruxes, isn't it? Orestes Meadowes was killed for knowing about the horcruxes and so was Dorcas. Wow. That's a brilliant idea there. And how you weaved in Hokey and the potion! That was just absolutely brilliant!

So much happened in this story. Dorcas's investigation, so much about her character, the Death Eaters' beginnings, Dumbledore searching for Hokey, Dorcas and Benjy, Lily and Dorcas! how you've managed to squeeze all this into a one-shot is incredible!

Such a great story, thanks so much for the swap!

Stefanie

Author's Response: Hello Stefanie,

The swap was entirely my pleasure, I love your work!

Ahh, the format helped build suspense? Wow, thank you so much! I hoped to bring that effect about and I'm glad that came across!

Yes, Horcruxes!! She was killed personally by Voldemort and I always felt that had to account for something.

I did wonder if including Hokey and the Potion was stretching it a bit too much.

I'm really glad you enjoyed this story, and so happy that everything I intended has come across.

Thank you so much Stef,
Love
Ysh


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Review #12, by adluvshp Pensieve to Parchment

24th February 2016:
Hey Ysh! Sorry for the delay in getting to your story!

So, I really loved this! Wow. I had no idea you were such an amazing writer! Your characterisation of Dorcas is brilliant. Despite the fragments, I think this flowed very well. Also really like the portrayal of Benjy. Such an interesting character, I can't wait to know more of his story, and of course Dorcas' too.

It's awesome that you're showing different point of views in this story and keeping equal focus on the main characters. The concept of expressing the plot through the letters is a great idea and works very well. The narrative was great.

Overall, this was a great first chapter and I'm curious to see how the story shapes up further. Great writing!! Keep going!

10/10
Cheers
Angie

Author's Response: Aww Angie, you flatter me too much. This is darker than the usual stories I write, so your approval is quite heartening.

With letters, the narrative couldn't be as flowery or poetic as I would normally write it... I'm glad you feel that this format worked well for the plot reveal itself, because that was my biggest concern.

Ahh yes it is a one-shot like I clarified, but some aspects of this story might just be revealed in my WIP, if I'm hit with the right inspiration :D

Thank you so much for stopping by, Angie. Glad you enjoyed this story, and thank you for such a great review!

Love
Ysh


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Review #13, by victoria_anne Pensieve to Parchment

24th February 2016:
That was... simply incredible. I don't even know where to begin.
I love how we heard from four different people, and even through their letters I had a sense of who everyone was and what they were like. I love how the story came through even though it's an epistolary fic and I think it could have been done very badly, but in your capable hands, it read like a dream.

I must admit, I don't know a lot about Dorcas Meadowes, but you've made me want to find out more about her, and I love the tie-in with Hokey and the Emerald Potion - things we recognise and so relevant to what was going on in the Order and the wizarding world at the time.

Absolutely stunning piece. Bravo!

Author's Response: Bianca, your reviews and PMs and responses never fail to make me smile.

I'm really happy you enjoyed this tale. It is so different from anything I've ever written so it makes me feel good that you think it's well done.

Ah Dorcas is just a name thrown in by Moody when he shows Harry the photo of the Order in OotP. Since Theia/Erin wanted minor characters, I thought I'll go with her because I've already incorporated her into my Once Upon The Marauders, and developed a little bit of a headcanon for her as well.

Thank you so much for stopping by :hug:


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Review #14, by Lee Jackson Pensieve to Parchment

21st February 2016:
This story is bit like a collage, but it flows very well and the reader is left with a clear idea of what happens in the story. It's a very unusual story, but it works really well.

I never considered Dorcas or Benjy interesting or write-able characters, but you've definitely caught my interest. Great story!

Author's Response: I'm glad you feel that this works really well. Since there was no dialogues or description to be included I was a little nervous. I'm happy to know I've caught your interest.

Thank you for stopping by with a review :)


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Review #15, by DragonPoxPixie Pensieve to Parchment

19th February 2016:
I adore it! Seriously, when I first read it I really liked the idea and how you built the story and now I love it. You did a great job giving all the characters their own voice and showed the personality of each very well. This is such a challenging format to take on but you did an amazing job, it is easy to submerge yourself in the story and follow Dorcas on her quest.
The ending is still so so sad but perfect all the same, it's a seemingly perfect fit.

Great job! And thank you for mentioning me in the AN, positively took my be surprise! I'll keep my fingers crossed for good results in all challenges.

Author's Response: Pixie!

Your review put a smile on my face. Thank you so much for all your help with this tale, I couldn't have done it without you and Kirstin. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and found the storyline believable. Thank you so much for everything

Love
Ysh


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Review #16, by marauderfan Pensieve to Parchment

18th February 2016:
Hi Ysh! Just wanted to stop by and say how wonderfully this all turned out. Most of my PM was concrit so now I get the chance to gush about all the amazing things in the fic!

This is so much more polished and now reading it this time I'm struck by how well the voices speak off the page. You've done well differentiating the different character voices. I think it really exemplifies the interesting part of epistolary fics in that you can't necessarily picture the details of a scene, but it's all about how characters relate to one another, and the different relationships between the characters are really well defined here. Without showing the whole history, you've hinted at Lily and Dorcas's longstanding but lately suffering friendship as they're no longer very close, and the feelings still present between Dorcas and Benjy and how each of them is dealing with it, and the way Dorcas' father's partner kind of looks after Dorcas' safety in a paternal way but also knows that it's pointless to stop her. Letters can say so much, and you've used the format in the best way here.

And you've given such a beautiful story to these minor characters who are so rarely thought about. It's clear that a lot of work went into developing their backstory and that's so important. I mean, Dorcas was killed personally by Voldemort, so she had to be important even though she's mentioned maybe twice in the books.

I know you were the most worried about the intolerance aspect, so I want to point out that it was much more highlighted here than before and I definitely think you got your intended point across.

One typo - I found this unfinished sentence in diary entry 80: I joined the order t

That ending still kills me and I'm so sad about Benjy Fenwick's fate as he's so driven to carry on Dorcas' work and has no idea that the end is near for him as well. GAH.

Great work on this story, you really did an excellent job with it. Wishing you best of luck in all those challenges! :)

Author's Response: Hello Kirstin,

It's so sweet of you to drop by and leave a review - above all the help you did for this story. This was my first time NOT writing a teen romance, so I was very nervous and your suggestions were mighty helpful.

Isn't that the best part about an epistolary fic? When I started out, I was a little nervous because well - no dialogues, no description? Heck, what was I supposed to do? I'm so glad the voices stood out now, compared to when you had read it earlier. I wanted to bring in all aspects of Dorcas' relationship in here, at least by mentions.

It was my personal headcanon that Dorcas stumbled onto something big to be killed personally by Voldemort. I thought it could do with catching one of the death eaters, but my story Once Upon The Marauders has her father dying in her second year, so I thought why not link it up with the Horcruxes. I mean, Regulus and Dumbledore couldn't be the only ones who figured it out, could they? I am glad you liked the backstory.

Oops, thanks for picking up on the typo, I have fixed it up.

Ahh yes, I was initially on the wall whether to make Sirius her love interest or Benjy, but since it was for a minor character challenge, and given the way Benjy dies, I thought I'd throw him in as well for a bonus minor character :D I'm glad that seemed to work out well as well.

I'm happy you feel the intolerance part comes across well. I hope Jenn feels the same way too :)

Thank you so much for all your valuable comments and feedback on this story - and thank you for enjoying it as well :)

Love
Ysh


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