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Friday, January 27, 2017

Book Review: California Dreaming: Crucible of Change #3 by Noelle Alladania Meade

California Dreaming: Crucible of Change #3
by Noelle Alladania Meade
November 29th 2016
by MuseItUp Publishing
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
After battling mutant slime creatures, eco-terrorists, and a ruthless mage bent on making her the guest of honor at a human sacrifice, Olivia Mitchell was looking forward to a nice, long, all-expenses-paid vacation in southern California. Frank is busy training for his role in the latest Warblade venture – a reality series called Dungeon Raiders. While Frank learns the skills he’ll need for the show, it’s time for Olivia to decide what she wants to do with her new life.

Olivia planned to relax, do a little artwork, and bask in the glow of expectant motherhood. She forgot that a ‘trouble magnet’ doesn’t have an off switch and relaxing isn’t in her genes. With the help of a powerful mentor, Olivia is taking her magic skills to another level – studying harder than she ever did in college. At the same time a mysterious gallery owner promises to bring Olivia’s artwork to a new audience. It would be fame beyond her wildest dreams – if she’s willing to pay the price.

Television cameras attract all manner of crazy. Olivia wasn’t prepared to obsessed fans, and she didn’t expect the crazy team politics or would-be romantic rivals. Add a doctor with the world’s worst bedside manner and Olivia's life behind the scenes far more dramatic than anything that's actually part of the show. The chaos also cloaks a very real threat: a twisted mage from another world, intent on putting Olivia and her children on display in his personal menagerie.

It's time for Olivia to get her Mommy Rage on - and this time, she's killing for three.

I still find it hard to believe I finished this story. I had just finished one of the author's other books which was pretty much a straight erotica read and this started out similar. Then a story developed and It was like a train just can't look away. Don't get me wrong, there was still a lot of sexual escapades but somewhere it cloaked a story about gamers and real supernaturals.

There was never much background on the characters and their "change" (when they acquired their powers) but it was as if the author created a "Survivor" like game and interjected paranormals, erotica and a rather twisted love story.

The main character is a dark elf pregnant with twins. Her "baby daddy" is a well endowed troll who seems like a pretty nice guy for a troll. Of course in his previous life he was a college professor so ...there you go! They are recruited to join a TV (?) reality production of "Dungeon Raiders" where contestants are divided into 4 groups to battle it out for a chance at a dragon's treasure.

Lots of erotica, dysfunctional personalities and shreds of a storyline that could have made for a really good straight paranormal story. As a matter of fact, halfway through I thought the author decided to change from erotica to straight paranormal (I mean, how far can you really go with a pregnant main character?!). As I said, I did finish it and the ending left me thinking the author may have an idea of continuing this thread.

Getting 3 "what the heck am I reading" sheep.


About the Author:
MuseItUp Publishing
Noelle usually has several irons in the fire at any given time. She likes to spend her time reading, writing, crafting, running two online shops to sell her crafts, and gaming. Life took a turn for the quirky in 2000 when she had her daughter, who turned out to have autism.

As a child, her ambition was to be the first woman President of the United States. When she got older and learned more about politics, she recovered from that particular insanity.

Her teens were spent on historical romances, science fiction, fantasy, and writing angsty poetry. In middle school, she had her first introduction to tabletop gaming in the form of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. As she explained to her dad, with all seriousness, it gave her the chance—as a terminally shy person—to try on different personalities and experiment with being a stronger person.

From the time her daughter was born until mid-2014, Noelle worked out of her home providing IT support for a small local software company. She’s finally working in an office again as an administrator, and rather likes it. It’s nice to spend the day around adults who are mostly grown-ups.

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