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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-17 01:51
The Dark Calling Review Ramble
The Dark Calling - Kresley Cole The Dark Calling - Kresley Cole

I'd really been looking forward to the next book in the Arcana Chronicles series and this one just didn't work that well for me. Usually I do a series reread leading up to a new release and didn't this time. Maybe I was behind on a bunch of details? I don't know. TDC just didn't grab me like the last books had. The ending also makes me cranky. Harrumph. 

 

***My review is spoilery and full of rambles. I'm in a weird place after reading this book.***

 

Arcana Rising (book #5) ended with Evie living with Arik and pregnant with his child. :( But we also got confirmation that Jack survived. (Yay!! Happiest of dances!) TDC begins with Evie being suspicious of everyone, especially Paul, the jack of all trades handy-medic-cook who's Arik's assistant. And then no one believes Evie's version of events. She wonders if it's her pregnancy hormones. Ugh. It's kind of an odd start. I appreciated that the villain used gaslighting to torture Evie. It feels timely and is super evil. I also appreciated that Evie was not thrilled to have an unplanned pregnancy during an apocalypse. Kind of a low bar, but pregnancy in romance is so often treated as a fix-all, and in this story it is not. 

 

Evie has a huge falling out with Arik, gets kicked out of the fortress, and teams up with Joules and Kentarch (who shows up with a sweet truck). Paul, our new villain, has tapped into Arik's long-standing distrust of Evie and he (Arik) now hates her and wants to kill her. This set up a huge conflict in the Evie and Arik branch of the love triangle. I get it, but it felt like a retread for them. Also, Arik's actions were super shitty. I know he wasn't in control of himself, but he was awful to her for weeks. Maybe I'm not appreciating how he was controlled by Paul. Just, lines were crossed that couldn't be uncrossed. We've also seen other characters resist mind control, especially for the sake of someone they love. It was meaningful to me that Arik couldn't. He needed another character to get out of it. 

 

In order to contact Circe, who is too far under a frozen moat to talk to, Evie & co venture out to find a big enough body of water for Circe to communicate with Evie. Evie believes that Circe knows how to stop Paul. 

 

Finally, in this book, Evie travels east to the Outer Banks. Along the way, the Arcana run into Jack. I have been DYING for their reunion. It was okay. Maybe the way they find him felt mundane? Argh. Jack is Jack tho: hard to kill, cunning, and gone for Evie. :)

 

Evie felt passive through a lot of this story. She's sidelined by both men in her life at different points and it's frustrating. She's a badass, and she finally uses her skills, and by the end of the book seems to understand how to access them, which is nice. It's odd that so many Arcana are scared of her when they first meet her, but Arik and Jack want to lock her up in a secure location. It's strange that the two people who love her the most don't believe she can take care of herself. (She just did that in the last book!)

 

Okay, so Evie & Co plus Jack reach the shore, LOTS of adventure ensues and Evie hits a turning point in her powers. This was excellent. Also, Evie and Jack reconcile and I loved that. Jack just rolls with her pregnancy because of course he does. Again, another low bar, but it really showed how Jack is focused on the now. He loves Evie. If she has a kid, he'll love Evie's kid unconditionally. Heroic behavior from my fav Cajun. 

 

Arik shows up in spectacular fashion and then there's a lot of emphasis on the love triangle. If you want to read about a heroine who truly loves two people and they accept that about her, here you go. (No, not in a polyamory way.) This was well done. All three of them talk about it with each other in depth. Six books in, I want Evie to pick one--PICK JACK, EVIE!--and be done with it. 

 

They return to the fortress and strategize how to kill Paul without Arik succumbing to his control over him again. I loved how this played out. Evie shows what she can do and freaks everyone out. *shrug* I didn't like how, because she's pregnant with Arik's baby, Jack decides to leave and Evie's reaction is to let him. So frustrating. 

 

Highs: I think my favorite part of this book is the main villain. Paul was scary and twisty and difficult to vanquish. There were other villains who were wonderfully creepy too. I also love Evie and Circe's friendship.  

 

Lows: Richter didn't do anything for me in this book. He comes across as a meathead, so not particularly scary. At times, Jack felt a bit muted. He's not really jealous or possessive, which is good, but he doesn't fight for a future with Evie. I get it that he wants her to be in a safe place, but ugh. Apocalyptic love is rough. Love triangles are aggravating when I'm used to (and prefer) an HEA with one couple. 

 

I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I'll do a reread so I'm ready. I know what I'm hoping for, but maybe I need to prepare myself for a different outcome. Bah. 

 

 

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text 2018-02-15 18:36
Signal Boost by Alyssa Cole $2.99
Signal Boost (Off the Grid) - Alyssa Cole

When technology stopped working, the world as they knew it ended.

In a secluded cabin, John and his loved ones have survived. He should feel grateful. But his family is in his face 24/7, he has to watch his best friend, Arden, and brother, Gabriel, flaunt their love, and as a techie in a Luddite world he’s pretty much useless. The cabin is brimming with people, but he feels utterly alone.

 

Until he catches Mr. Tall, Blond and Gorgeous raiding their garden. Mykhail is an astrophysics student, he makes John’s gaydar ping like crazy and he thinks he knows what caused the devastation. He’s on a journey to his university to find answers, and John invites himself along. Partly to get out of the house, and partly because he can’t let Mykhail go without acting on the mutual attraction that’s so obvious even John’s mom is playing matchmaker.

 

The closer they get to campus, the more Mykhail lets down his walls. But with answers come secrets both devastating and deadly, and before they can save the world, they’ll have to save themselves.

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review 2018-02-10 14:07
A lovely coffee table book.
America's Greatest Library: An Illustrat... America's Greatest Library: An Illustrated History of the Library of Congress - John Cole

I don't know if the Library of Congress is the "greatest" library but it's a fantastic tourist stop in Washington, DC. It's free and open to explore (relatively speaking, obviously people do work there) with tours and exhibits. This book is a look at the history and background of the LOC.

 

The book is organized chronologically with dates and brief explanations of how the Library came about, what were the changes it has gone through, notable acquisitions and books, various facts and figures and more. There are pictures of the interior and exterior, drawings of what the LOC and surrounding area looked like before photographs, pictures of exhibits, notable people and more. 

 

That's really all there is to it. It's mostly text with a few sentences dedicated to each year/date punctuated with pictures. There are occasional longer writings by various people but it's a mostly chronological look. 

 

This is probably best as a gift for a bibliophile or someone who likes book-related books. I wish there were more pictures (I feel the ones in here don't quite do it justice) but then again it's a place best experienced in-person. If you can't go, though, and you're curious about the place, this seems like it'd be a pretty good resource. 

 

I borrowed this from the library and that was right for me. Thumb through it if you're not sure.

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text 2018-02-07 09:54
NEW RELEASE Seized by Love at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers) by Addison Cole
Seized by Love at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers) - Addison Cole
Fun, Flirty, and Sweet Romance with a Dash of Heat 
NEW RELEASE 
 
Seized by Love at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers) by Addison Cole 
 
"Addison Cole makes accidentally in love look adorably fabulous. Lizzie wants to be loved but is afraid to take the risk. Blue is willing to take the risk, but may not survive the fall. Seized by Love at Seaside flirts it’s way from heartwarming to wisecracking." Isha Coleman I Love Romance
 
"A great book which showcased how two people can come together and get past their differences to create a magical happily ever after. I can't wait to read the next book in this series!" Devorah Bergman
 
Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They're sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you'll be begging to enter their circle of friends! All books can be read as stand-alone novels.
 
In Seized by Love at SEASIDE…
Lizzie Barber runs a successful flower shop by day and secretly hosts the Naked Baker webcast at night to help pay for her younger sister's education. To keep friends and family from finding out about her sexy secret, she's put her social life on hold until her sister's education is paid off and she can stop filming the webcast.
 
Blue Ryder fell hard for Lizzie when he met her a year ago, and he hasn't been able to get her off his mind since. Everything about the feisty little brunette, cuts straight to his heart. Though Lizzie has turned down every invitation he's extended--Blue is not about to give up trying.
 
Renovating Lizzie's kitchen brings Blue further into Lizzie's life, and the oven is not the only thing heating up. One night and one powerful kiss changes everything. But when Lizzie's secret is revealed and the safe bubble she's hidden in shatters, true love may not be enough to put the pieces back together.
 
Seized by Love at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster's steamy romance novel Seized by Love. The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.
 
Read more on the #book, series and author here....
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text 2018-02-07 07:10
Blog Tour - Seized by Love at Seaside
 
 
Dive into the Newest Sweet with Heat Romance!

 

 
SEIZED BY LOVE AT SEASIDE
Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #7
Addison Cole
Releasing Feb 7, 2018

 

 
Lizzie Barber runs a successful flower shop by day and secretly hosts the Naked Baker webcast at night to help pay for her younger sister’s education. To keep friends and family from finding out about her sexy secret, she’s put her social life on hold until her sister’s education is paid off and she can stop filming the webcast.
 
Blue Ryder fell hard for Lizzie when he met her a year ago, and he hasn’t been able to get her off his mind since. Everything about the feisty little brunette, cuts straight to his heart. Though Lizzie has turned down every invitation he’s extended—Blue is not about to give up trying.
 
Renovating Lizzie’s kitchen brings Blue further into Lizzie’s life, and the oven is not the only thing heating up. One night and one powerful kiss changes everything. But when Lizzie’s secret is revealed and the safe bubble she’s hidden in shatters, true love may not be enough to put the pieces back together.

Seized by Love at Seaside is the sweet edition of the steamy romance novel Seized by Love by Melissa Foster.
 
 
 
 
 

Sneak Peek, Seized by Love at Seaside

 
 

Chapter One:

 

THERE WERE SOME nights when Lizzie Barber simply didn’t feel like donning an apron, black-framed glasses, and high heels, covering her shiny brunette locks with a blond wig, and prancing around nearly naked. Tonight was one of those nights. Gazing at her reflection in the mirror of her basement bathroom, Lizzie tucked the last few strands of her hair beneath the wig and forced her very best smile. Thank goodness her elfin lips naturally curled up at the edges—even when she wasn’t smiling, she looked like she was. And tonight she definitely wasn’t in the mood to smile. Her oven had been acting up for the last few nights, and she prayed to the gods of all things sugary and sweet that it would behave tonight.

 

Tightening the apron tie around her neck and the one around her waist, to avoid wardrobe malfunctions, and tugging on the hem of the apron to ensure her skin-colored thong and all her naughty bits were covered, she went into the studio—aka the miniscule kitchen located in the basement of her cute Cape Cod cottage—and surveyed her baking accoutrements one last time before queuing the intro music for her webcast and pasting that perfectly perky smile back in place.

 

“Welcome back, my hot and hunky bakers,” she purred into the camera. “Today we’re going to bake delicious angel food cupcakes with fluffy frosting that will make your mouth water.” She leaned forward, flashing the camera an eyeful of cleavage and her most seductive smile as she crooked her finger in a come-hither fashion. “And because we all know it’s what’s beneath all that delicious frosting that counts, we’re going to sprinkle a few surprises inside the thick, creamy centers.”

 

Lizzie had mastered making baking sound naughty while in college, when her father had taken ill and her parents had closed their inn for six months to focus on his medical care, leaving Lizzie without college tuition. Her part-time job at a florist shop hadn’t done a darn thing for her mounting school loans, and when a friend suggested she try making videos and monetizing them to earn fast cash, she drew upon her passion for baking and secretly put on a webcast called Cooking with Coeds. It turned out that scantily clad baking was a real money earner. She’d paid for her books and meal plan that way, and eventually earned enough to pay for most of her college tuition. Lizzie had two passions in life—baking and flowers, and she’d hoped to open her own floral shop after college. After graduation, Cooking with Coeds became the Naked Baker webcast, and she’d made enough money to finish paying off her school loans and open a flower shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts, just like she’d always dreamed of. She hadn’t intended to continue the Naked Bakerafter opening P-town Petals, but when her parents fell upon hard times again and her younger sister Maddy’s educational fund disappeared, the Naked Baker webcast became Lizzie’s contribution to Maddy’s education. Their very conservative parents would have a conniption if they knew what their proper little girl was doing behind closed doors, but what other choice did she have? Her parents ran a small bed-and-breakfast in Brewster, Massachusetts, and with her father’s health ping-ponging, they barely earned enough money to make ends meet—and affording college for a child who had come as a surprise to them seven years after Lizzie was born had proven difficult.

 

Lizzie narrowed her eyes seductively as she gazed into the camera and stirred the batter. She dipped her finger into the rich, creamy goodness and put that finger into her mouth, making a sensual show of sucking it off. “Mm-mm. Nothing better than thick, creamy batter.” Her tongue swept over her lower lip as she ran through the motions of creating what she’d come to think of as baking porn.

 

During the filming of each show, she reminded herself often of why she was still doing something that she felt ashamed of and kept secret. There was no way she was going to let her sweet nineteen-year-old sister fend for herself and end up doing who knew what to earn money like she did instead of focusing on her studies. Or worse, drop out of school. Madison was about as innocent as they came, and while Lizzie might once have been that innocent, her determination to succeed, and life circumstances, had beaten it out of her. Creating the webcast was the best decision she’d ever made—even if it meant putting her nonexistent social life on hold and living a secret life after dark. The blond wig and thick-framed spectacles helped to hide her online persona, or at least they seemed to. No one had ever accused her of being the Naked Baker. Then again, her assumption was that the freaky people who got off watching her prance around in an apron and heels probably rarely left their own basements.

 

She was proud of helping Maddy. She felt like she was taking one for the team. Going where no girl should ever have to go. Braving the wild naked baking arena for the betterment of the sister she cherished.

 

A while later, as Lizzie checked the cupcakes and realized that while the oven was still warm, it had turned off—her stomach sank. Hiding her worries behind another forced smile and a wink, she stuck her backside out and bent over to quickly remove the tray of cupcakes from the oven, knowing the angle of the camera would give only a side view and none of her bare butt would actually be visible. Thankfully, the oven must have just died, and the cupcakes were firm enough to frost.

 

Emergency reshoot avoided!

 

Smile genuine!

 

A few minutes later she sprinkled the last of the coconut on the cupcakes, narrating as she went.

 

“Everyone wants a little something extra on top, and I’m going to give it to you good.”

Giving one last wink to the camera, she said, “Until next week, this is your Naked Baker signing off for a sweet, seductive night of tantalizing tasting.”

 

She clicked the remote and turned off the camera. Eyeing the fresh daisies she’d brought home from her flower shop, she leaned her forearms on the counter, and with a heavy sigh, she let her head fall forward. It was after midnight, and she had to be up bright and early to open the shop. Tomorrow night she’d edit the webcast so it would be ready in time to air the following night—and she needed to get her oven fixed.

 

Stupid thing.

 

Kicking off her heels, Lizzie went upstairs, stripped out of the apron, and wrapped a thick towel around herself. A warm shower was just what she needed to wash away the film of shame left on her skin after taping the webcast. Thinking of the broken oven, she texted her friend Blue Ryder to see if he could fix it. Blue was a highly sought after craftsman who worked for the Kennedys and other prominent families around the Cape. When Lizzie’s pipe had burst under the sink in the bathroom above the first-floor kitchen while she was away at a floral convention for the weekend, Blue was only too happy to put aside time to handle the renovations. He was like that. Always making time to help others. He was still splitting his time between working on her kitchen renovations and the cottage he’d just purchased. He had work to do at his cottage tomorrow, but she hoped he could fit her in at some point.

 

Can you fix my oven tomorrow?

 

Blue texted back a few seconds later. He was as reliable as he was hot, a dangerous combination. She read his text—Is that code for something sexy?—and shook her head with a laugh.

 

Smirking, she replied, Only if you’re into oven grease.

 

Blue had asked her out many times since they’d met last year, when she’d handled the flowers for his friends’ quadruple beach wedding. Turning down his invitations wasn’t easy and had led to more sexy fantasies than she cared to admit. Her double life was crazy enough without adding a sexy, rugged man who was built like Magic Mike and had eyes that could hypnotize a blind woman, but her reasons went far deeper than that. Blue was more than eye candy. He was also a genuine friend, and he always put family and friends first, which, when added to his drop-dead good looks and gentlemanly demeanor, was enough to stop Lizzie’s brain from functioning. It would be too easy to fall hard for a caring, loyal man like Blue Ryder. And that, she couldn’t afford. Maddy was counting on her.

 

She read his text—Glad you finally came to your senses. When are you free?—and wondered if he thought she was being flirtatious.

 

Time to nip this in the bud, she thought. Her finger hovered over the screen while her mind toyed with images of Blue, six foot three, all hot, hard muscles and steel-blue eyes.

It had been way too long since she’d been with a man, and every time Blue asked her out, she was tempted, but she liked him so much as a friend, and she knew that tipping over from friendship to lovers would only draw her further in to him, making it harder to lead her double life.

 

That was precisely why she hightailed it out of her house on the mornings before he showed up to work on her kitchen. Leaving before he arrived was the only way she was able to keep her distance. He was that good-looking. That kind. And that enjoyable to be around. Not only didn’t she have time for a relationship, but she was pretty sure that no guy would approve of his girlfriend doing the Naked Baker show. Of course, the mornings after taping her shows, she left him a sweet treat on the counter with a note thanking him for working on her kitchen.

 

Even though Blue couldn’t see her as she drew back her shoulders and put on her most solemn face, she did it anyway to strengthen her resolve as she typed a text that she hoped would very gently set him straight. After work, but this is REALLY to fix my oven. The one I cook with! Thank you! See you around seven?

 

She set the phone down and stepped into the shower, determined not to think about his blue eyes or the way his biceps flexed every time he moved his arms. Her mind drifted to when she’d arrived home from work yesterday and found Blue bending over his toolbox, his jeans stretched tight across his hamstrings and formed to his perfect rear end. She got aroused with the thought. He’d been the man she’d conjured up in her late-night fantasies since last summer. What did it hurt? He’d never know. She may not have time to date, but a little midnight fantasy could go a long way…

 

To continue reading, buy Seized by Love at Seaside

 


Start the series for FREE with 
Read, Write, Love at Seaside
 

 

 

 

 
Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.    
 

 

 

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