Wednesday, November 29

Book Review: Gold Mountain by Sharon Cullars

Author: Sharon Cullars

Title: Gold Mountain
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: ebook
Published: Feb 2010
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

In 1865, the hope for gold has spurred many to seek their fortunes in California, the place the Chinese call Gum San or "Gold Mountain." Amidst this backdrop, Quiang, a new Chinese immigrant, works the dangerous rails hoping to save enough money to send home to his parents. In town, Leah and Clara, two enterprising women from New York, have plans of their own to grow a restaurant and laundry business. However, both plans go awry when Quiang and Leah meet one fateful day. What starts as a budding attraction soon grows into tumultuous desire despite the cultural and language barriers between them.

Initially resistant, Leah succumbs to passion following a tragic loss that leaves her vulnerable and alone. With hopes for a future that now includes Leah, Quiang embarks on a perilous path as he leaves the railroad behind for a more profitable position as a courier for The Tong, henchmen for the dangerous Triad. Quiang soon finds that navigating the secretive life of a courier brings more danger than he has ever faced on the railroad, dangers that not only threaten to tear him and Leah apart, but may cost them their lives as well.

I've read a few reviews about this book. Some good, some horrible. I've wanted to read this for myself, but it has never really been available at a library or for cheap, so I honestly forgot about this for a long, long time. Black Friday happened and I found this book again for really cheap on Amazon, so I decided to give it a try after all these years. lol

I am on the fence with this one. I didn't LOVE it and I didn't HATE it. It was simply just okay. I will say that I am glad that I waited for it to be cheap. 

The story follows Leah and Quiang during the Gold Rush. Leah is a young black woman who is trying to make something of herself with her pal. Quiang is a young Chinese man trying to make some money to send to his family back home. Everyone is trying to make something of themselves in this little town. 

I am glad that the author was true to the times. It was a rough time for anyone not white male and of privilege even in the middle of nowhere. There was SO much racism and SO much sexism back then and I am glad the author showed this and didn't shy away from it. Super sad, but in a way it really helped with the love story. It made it feel even more special that these two found each other in a world full of hate. 

Quiang really upset me when he decided to join the Triad. Idiot. Big ol' fool. Bleh!

Now, the story was interesting and I enjoyed the journey. Some eye-rolling moments, but it was going well. And then the last 25% of the story happened and I wanted to throw my Kindle. No! I was reading this to watch the two lovers find their ways to each other and to freedom, but I was robbed. The adventure to get free was literally stopped and then it was the epilogue. Wh....wh...what? *looks around* NO! You can't just do that. I feel SO robbed. Them running away was supposed to be the climatic part of the story and it just ended and fast forwarded to them being old with their children. NO! 

In the end, this was just okay. The ending really ruined the higher rating I was contemplating giving this story. I really feel I was robbed. It left me going, "WHATT?" I also was really upset with the fool Quiang. I loved him at the beginning, but he turned out to be a fool. Sighs. I did like the story a lot before the ending happened. I'll stamp this with 3 stars. 

Tuesday, November 28

Time for TV Tuesday: Victoria (Season 1)

Recently Finished: 

Been meaning to watch this show for a while, but haven't had a chance since it is not on Netflix and I don't have the change it plays on. When this popped up for free on Amazon Prime I jumped on watching this right away because I was horrified it would be taken away. 

I can't help but love good ol' Victoria and her lover Albert. They were the best and a hope that anyone can find love. 

This started off pretty slow even though there was a lot going on. Victoria trying to find her place as queen among a bunch of sexist old fashioned jerks who just assumed that she would fail. The only one who had faith in her was Lord Mellbourne. He stood by her and helped her. Of course she would fall for him! I would've too. He was the only one who believed her even though she was a woman and very young. But yes, the first couple of episodes dragged along. I get that they were setting up the stage and building the story. Makes sense. 

The rest of the episodes were amazing. I couldn't get enough! I wanted more and I was bummed every time it ended. I was charmed by the actress who plays Vicky and I am damned surprised honestly. She has always been barely okay to me. She shined in this though even with her creepy eye contacts to give her blue eyes. 

The rest of the cast was amazing. It took me a while to warm up to the guy who plays Albert, but I guess that works because we weren't supposed to love Albert right away. No one did. He was hard to love at first and then when he showed his true and warm heart then everyone loved him. Ernest is an adorable rouge with a big heart. Poor guy. 

I also really loved that this followed other characters like the staff. It added a lot to the story. I loved the little romance between Francatelli the cook and Nancy. DEAR WRITERS....PLEASE FIX WHAT YOU BROKE DARNIT! *Shakes fist*

The last episode of the season made me tear-up. They tore my heart apart in two different directions. There was happiness and joy and then sadness and despair. HOW? WHY? WAH! 

This was for sure worth the watch. I am desperate to watch Season 2. I may have to rent it or something. Gah. 

I'll stamp this with 5 stars. Super good! Loved it. 

Monday, November 27

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Miss Mary Whitsun is far too intelligent to fall for the rakish charms of a handsome aristocrat. But when the gentleman in question approaches her in a bookshop, mistaking her for his fiancĂ©e, Lady Johanna Albright, the flirtatious encounter only raises more questions. Could Mary, a servant raised in a St Giles orphanage, actually be Lady Joanna's long-lost twin sister? If so, Mary has been betrothed since birth—to the rakishly handsome artistocrat himself.

Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He's drawn to her sharp mind, indomitable spirit, and the fiery way in which she dismisses him—ladies simply don't dismiss Lord Blackwell. But as Mary makes her first hesitant steps into society, she can't help but wonder if she truly has a place in Henry's world—or in his heart. 

ebook, 100 pages
Expected publication: November 14th 2017 by Forever Yours
Maiden Lane #12.5
Historical romance

My thoughts:
A short novella about Mary Whitsun, but then weren't they all called that. I did move from book 1 t book 8 but I do recall this Mary...I think.

Mary seems to be a missing Lady, and on top of that she gets a fiance. A hot one. Lucky girl.

Since it is only a 100 pages we get to see her at her new home, with her new fiance, and with something more...drama, spoilers.

I liked Mary. I liked Henry.  A good match.

Every chapter has a part of a fairytale, I usually like the, but this one, eh.

There is romance and danger. A very nice novella that did not feel too short.

Sunday, November 26

Book Review: A Very Country Christmas by Zara Stoneley

Author: Zara Stoneley

Title: A Very Country Christmas (Tippermere #2.5)
Genre: Romance
Pages: ebook
Published: October 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

A short Christmas story of three courses.

Love is in the air in Tippermere as Lottie dreams of a white Christmas with no trimmings – other than her hot and hunky eventer, Rory. But things are never quite that simple on the Tipping House Estate.

Festive fervour takes over and it isn’t all seasonal peace and goodwill as expectations rise and it soon escalates from cosy dinner for two, to all the trimmings for ten!

With missing turkeys, loose horses, troublesome terriers and randy huntsmen, Lottie is hard pushed to find time for a kiss under the mistletoe, let alone find the opportunity to woo Rory with her sexy Santa costume.

But there is only one thing Lottie really wants for Christmas, and only one man can deliver it…

Here I go again reading a book in the middle of a series. At least this one was pretty decent as a standalone, so I don't feel I missed a whole bunch. There were some references and back story I could tell I was missing, but the story still did well without it. 

This story follows Lottie and her family. I liked her and her beau Rory a lot. I was rooting for him to give her the one thing she really wants!

The story was fun a few slow parts that seemed to drag on and on. I had to skim a couple of times for my sanity. After a while I did get used to the occasional lull in the story, it seemed to be a part of the author's writing style. 

Honestly? This made me in the mood for Xmas. LOL It was very Christmas-y, but done in a good way where it wasn't obnoxious. I may put up my tree a little sooner than I normally do this year ;) So yes...this is a good way to start your Xmas reading for sure. 

There were some lulls, but I enjoyed the story and the characters a lot, so I found it was worth the read. It helped that this was a freebie lol! I loved that this was a quick read even with the lulls here and there. 

If you need a good, quick Xmas book this is the one for you. Fun characters and a fun story to get you in the holiday mood. I'll stamp this with...mmmmmmm....3 stars.

Saturday, November 25

Movie Review: Handsome (2017)

Film Title: Handsome
Length: 1 hr and 21 mins
Released: 2017
Genre: Mystery and Comedy
Rating: TV-14
Where I Got It: Netflix

Gene Handsome is an LA homicide detective who tries to make sense of his life as he solves crime. Handsome's knack for solving mysteries is matched only by his inability to make sense of his own problems.


A random movie that we decided to watch. I enjoy the main actor and I do love a murder mystery so I was not opposed to giving it a watch. 

It wasn't much of a murder mystery because they legit TELL you who did it in the first 2 minutes of the movie. Er? there goes the mystery part of the story. The only mystery left is figuring out how the investigators figure it out. Boring. 

The comedy was meh. I had some good chuckles here and there, but it felt very forced and unrealistic but trying to be realistic all at the same time. Just not at all what I was expecting. Bummer. 

The characters were okay and I did enjoy the main character's story. Poor guy. He just wants to lose weight and maybe a woman. His sidekick was fun too.

I enjoyed some of the journey in finding the truth, even though we already knew WHO did it, but overall just....not as good as it could've been. They had a great line up of actors and characters, but the writing failed them in a lot of ways. 

In the end, if you are looking for something to just be in the background while you do some chores or going to sleep, this would be something to watch. This had a lot of promise, but the comedy was scarce and the murder mystery wasn't really a mystery at all. I'll stamp this with 2 stars.

Friday, November 24

Book Review: Kilts and Kisses by Victoria Roberts

Author: Victoria Roberts
Title: Kilts and Kisses (Kilts and Kisses #1)
Genre: Historical Romance and Short Story
Pages: ebook
Published: August 2015
I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

Since the deaths of her parents, Ceana Gunn has lived in the shadow of her uncle and his family. She wants nothing more than to see her clan the way it was when her father was still laird. But her uncle has other ideas. Ceana soon discovers that the only refuge to be found is in the last place she expects—the arms of her enemy. 

Luthais MacKay wants to be left alone. His only interest is training his prized hawks. He certainly doesn’t have time to listen to the petty squabbling of his clan when his father travels to Edinburgh and leaves him in charge. But when Luthais discovers a mysterious woman on his lands, he’s determined to unravel her secrets…one layer at a time.

I've enjoyed some of the author's other works so when this popped up as a freebie I could not resist. 

This was a short novella that follows Ceana and Luthais. Ceana is an orphan living with her uncle and his family. The uncle is suspicious. The aunt is an enabler. The cousin is a snot. Luthais is being forced to find a wife since he is next in line to be the Laird of the MacKay line. 

Things happen and Ceana and Luthais fall in love but there are innocent misunderstandings that happen. They were a cute couple and I'm glad they didn't let the misunderstandings really pull them apart for long. They communicated and it was resolved. Yayy! A couple that talks through the issues. That is a rare gem. They will last I know it!

I want a HEA for the snotty cousin, because I feel like in the end she redeemed herself. Maybe she'll get with Luthais' friend. That would be cute. She needs a guy like that to keep her in line. 

The big twist/reveal bothered me. I had my guess that it would happen, but I really feel it is overplayed and an easy way out. 

This was a fun, short read. Don't expect a huge crazy story. Just a love story with some betrayal and redemption. I do want to read the next one. I'm not sure who it is about, but I'm still curious. I'll give this....mmmmmmm 4 stars. 

Thursday, November 23

Happy Thanksgiving...Be Thankful Always

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Yes, I love this day not only because of the food and having some days off (yayy for 4 days off *throws confetti*). I love hanging out with my family (and sometimes the occasional friend who joins us). I also love taking a moment to remember to be thankful for all I have and everything I have obtained. Everyone should be thankful always, but sometimes life gets in the way and makes us forget all the good things we have. 

The most recent thing is buying a house with my love. It took lots of hours at work and lots of penny-pinching, but it has been worth it.  Made you this is a picture before it become ours, so it looks WAY sunnier and warmer than it truly is today. LOL Too cold to go out and get a new photo ;)

WHAT are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 22

Book Review: Dangerous Decisions by Margaret Kaine

Author: Margaret Kaine
Title: Dangerous Decisions
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 352
Published: October 2013
I Got It: My shelf (Won in a giveaway)

Helena Standish knows that a good marriage will complete her father's social standing, but she s her papa's daughter and not about to accept any fool. Marriage to the handsome and charming Oliver Faraday appears to offer a perfect match, so what cause does she have for misgivings?

Dr. Nicholas Carstairs has scant patience with frivolous pleasure-seekers and an upper class that closes ranks against outsiders. Why then is he haunted by the lovely girl in the window, someone entirely beyond his reach?

A champagne celebration at Broadway Manor marks the start of a happy future for Helena, but what no one can predict are the consequences of her decision or the appalling danger it will bring.

This has been sitting on my shelf for a little bit and I honestly forgot about it. After unpacking my books recently, I looked at this and remembered how badly I wanted to read it. So I got started reading right away.

I was honestly hooked from page 1. The first 90% of the book was addictive. I could hardly put it down even in the more boring parts. 

The last 10%? Meh. Sure that was supposed to be the most exciting parts with all the suspense and etc, but I simply did not care. I honestly just wanted it all to end and Nicholas to get a win. Poor lad was so mistreated since page 1 LOL! Sure, Helena too got stuck with psycho-Magee, but at least she wasn’t alone like Nicholas. 

Oliver was indeed a crazy person and I could see that from the moment he arrived on the scene. He was off and IDK how Helena and her dad didn’t see it. Fools I say, FOOLS!
This was sad, but a realistic sad. It felt very, very real and I enjoyed the journey even though the ending was a little bit rocky. .

I was also in love with the author’s writing style. Very fluid and easy to read, but she sure could build a world and her characters. I am curious to see what else the author has out there. 

In the end, this was good. Not amazing, but it was really worth the read. I enjoyed how realistic it felt and how alive the characters and world were. The ending was, well, rocky at best, but it was worth it for the rest of it. If you like Historical Fictions or just a good people story, this is a good one. I’ll give this 4 stars. 

Monday, November 20

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes

Julian St. David, Duke of Haverford, is barely keeping his head above water in a sea of inherited debts. Though he has a long-term plan to restore the family finances, his sister has a much faster solution: host a house party for London's single young ladies and find Julian a wealthy bride.

Elizabeth Windham has no interest in marriage, but a recent scandal has forced her hand. As much as she'd rather be reading Shakespeare than husband-hunting, she has to admit she's impressed by Julian's protective instincts, broad shoulders, and, of course, his vast library.

As the two spend more time together, their attraction is overwhelming, unexpected... and absolutely impossible. With meddling siblings, the threat of financial ruin, and gossips lurking behind every potted palm, will they find true love or true disaster? 

Kindle Edition, 360 p
Expected publication: November 7th 2017 by Forever
Windham Brides #3
Historical romance

My thoughts:
I liked Grace Burrowes books because they are sweet and the couples talk, a lot. I like that. These couple actually seem to get to know each other. I can believe them falling in love.

Elizabeth is getting closer to spinsterhood, not that she cares. She loves her books and you can still steal a kiss or two without being married. Elizabeth! I am shocked.

Julian may be a Duke, but he is poor as dirt. The only thing he has is books, so many books, so many many books. Dang those books, they ruined his family.

Booklover meet Duke with books (Duke who hates books.) A lovely house party where he and his sister should find love (and a party they can not afford). 

There is also the villain, every story needs a villain, and I felt sorry for him the entire book. He was such an idiot and thought of ages old revenge. He needed someone to take him under his her wing and tell him how to behave. I also felt he needed to find love and a woman who can get him to see things. Cos he was not a bad guy, he was just without guidance.

I enjoyed this story. I always do


Sunday, November 19

November Book Discussion: Juliet in August by Dianne Warren

Happy November ya'lls!

This month Blodeuedd and I read and discussed "Juliet in August". I am in blue and Blodeuedd is in black. 
Author: Dianne Warren
Title: Juliet in August
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 336
First Published: 2010 
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Dollar Tree)

Juliet, Saskatchewan, is a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of town dusty oasis on the edge of the Little Snake sand hills. It’s easy to believe that nothing of consequence takes place there. But the hills vibrate with life, and the town’s heart beats in the rich and overlapping stories of its people: the rancher afraid to accept responsibility for the land his adoptive parents left him; the bank manager grappling with a sudden understanding of his own inadequacy; a shy couple, well beyond middle age, struggling with the recognition of their feelings for each other. And somewhere, lost in the sand, a camel named Antoinette.

Damn girl, this was pretty boring.

I knooooooooooow! Gah. It sounded SO good.

It did have promise. I did feel her writing was good, but aghhhh, the story itself was sooooo dull.

Really? I feel like her writing was just meh. The story was okay. I feel like she should’ve stuck with one or two families/people.

I felt like I could roll with her writing, there was something there. And yes one of 2 families would have been excellent. And for something to actually HAPPEN in that dang book.

It did feel like there was ALL this build-up like Antoinette was going to save a small child or something. There was all this tense and build-up and then it just….ended.

Yes! Why even mention Antoinette, when nothing happened? It was just so boring. That town sounded boring. The people sounded boring. Take a story and make something of it. Like Lee’s real parents. Who? I wanted to know. Now I got nothing. And make him find love or something too. And that woman who bought the horse...what? Make a story from it.

I wanted to like this book SO much, but...sighs...I could barely get through it! The people were boring, but they had potential. I felt like I was just waiting and waiting. Honestly...I felt like I was at the airport just waiting and then I was miserable.

Lol. That is a good way of putting it. I’d say waiting at the Bank. Nothing happens. They are late as always. Your phone is dying. And the people around are all grandmas who look sleepy.

Yess. The phone is dying and you just want it to be over and go home. LOL

And you are hungry! And too cold, or too warm. Nothing is quite right. Might throw in a headache there too.

So much misery but you have to do it. I had to finish the book because I kept thinking that SOMETHING has to happen. I also wanted to see if the camel came back. But then it was just over.

Or at least find the camel’s corpse! Like the Lee story, I thought something would happen, but he just rode that horse.

Yesss! I did like Lee a lot, but he was boring too. He was an interesting boring though...if that makes sense

He was pretty boring, but he had the story with potential. But like with everything, nothing happened.

Nope. I wanted Lee to be a hero or something. Save a little kid or save Antoinette...or something. But again...nothing.

And that sums up the book. You keep waiting for something to happen and it never does.

Oo! I was intrigued by Hank and his wife (*blanking on name*). He had cheated on her in their youth and now she thinks he is cheating again. I wanted to find out more about them. See...I really think she should’ve stuck with a couple of people to follow. There was a lot of stuff happening, but nothing happening at the same time. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.

You know what I do not even remember them. Was that the couple with too many kids? They all melt together in my head now.

No - he was the rodeo guy and now they are old and he doesn’t do it anymore, but she suspects he is cheating.

Lol, still nothing. Wait the couple with the preggo daughter?

I think their daughter is preggo. I can’t remember. LOL! We are bad people. xD

Because we do not care….

Valid, valid.

I do not have a lot more to say. I skimmed towards the end so the book would END.

Neither do I. All I can say is that I am sorry! LOL! And do not read this book unless you want to sleep. I nodded off 4 times. It is a small book and it took 5 days for me to read it. Too long. Anything else for you?

Lol, nodded off. I struggle all week. The first day went fine then it went slooow and slooower. So yes do not read this book.

Unless you need a nap. ;) LOL Well….your book is next! Hopefully it will be a good one!

Nope, it is that book from NG. That is your book next then ;)

Oh noes! I am excited to read the next one though! It should be good….*fingers crossed*
The end?

The end

About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.