Wednesday, January 31

Books Releases in January 2018 + Blog All About It.

Some really good books were released this month! The first month of the year really does set a tone for the rest of the year. There is a list of 200 of most popular book releases this month and I have three of them on my list  (so far). Here are the three books I am looking forward to! Maybe I'll read them before the winter is up. Maybe not. We shall see. 

This month I read one book that was just released yesterday. 

I am excited to see what the upcoming winter months are going to be releasing! :) 

What new releases this winter are you excited about?

Tuesday, January 30

Time for TV Tuesday: The Crown (Season 2)

Recently Finished:
The Crown (Season 2)

Season 1 was pretty good. I enjoyed it and I was dying to get my hands on Season 2. I KNOW what happens next, but I couldn’t wait to watch this interpretation of what happens next. It is always SO fun to compare reality with Hollywood reality. I feel this show has done well so far with the balance of fact and entertainment fact. 

I do love the cast. They do well. I hear rumor they will be replacing everyone with older actors. I will be so sad! They have been a treat. I’ve especially loved the lady who plays the queen herself. Wonderful actress and I hope she does more in the future! 

Phillip is a total asshate and the actor is doing a good job making me be annoyed with him. Phillip gets better for a little while but then when he gets back he becomes an immature brat. Luckily, as we all know, he does become the hubbie the queen needs and deserves. It has taken years, but one scene made me happy. I am still not happy with his treatment to Charles. Poor kid. That episode broke my little heart. He was so bullied and so not happy at that school. I wanted to kick Phillip. The damn security detail was more fatherly to the poor kid. I can see why Charles became what he became…

But anyways, this made me feel more. I felt there was more action and drama then the last one. I really feared for the queen divorcing her hubbie even though I KNOW they don’t. But I was scared. A normal marriage would’ve fallen apart years ago. I’m glad they made it. 
The ending ended well and I would be fine if they did not do another season. Sure, I want to see more, but I felt it ended on a good note. There is more drama ahead but I worry that if they change up the cast to make them older I will not be happy. We shall see….but I am worried. This cast excellent. All of them. No complaints from me. 

OMG! The poor prime ministers. Ugh. I just remembered…they were both so humiliated. Fools though and they should’ve realized they would’ve been tossed under the bus, but you can’t help but feel for them. I especially feel for the one who went to the parody show about him and the other politicians. Yes, it started funny, but then it just got cruel.  Poor guy…between his wife and that….I can see why he seems like a loser and quitter. I would be too. 

What else to say? 

I think my only complaint is the huge time jumps and gaps. I always have to think or look up how long it has been. I wish they would do little “7 months later” or something to indicate how long it has been. The viewer, if not sure of the real history, would be a little confused on why their kids are older now. When the queen and Phillip had a convo about their anniversary I was a little shocked that it has been 10 years!! Umm…mmm. So yes, a little head’s up once in a while would be lovely.

A fun watch. This season was better than the first one I feel. There was a lot of drama within the family and outside of the family. It worked well and made me feel. If they do shake up the cast with older people, I will be worried since I loved this cast so much. I’ll give this season 4 stars. 

Monday, January 29

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford

'You do not leave a sick child alone to face the dark and you do not leave a child at a time like this.'

Deeply in love and about to marry, students Misha and Sophia flee a Warsaw under Nazi occupation for a chance at freedom. Forced to return to the Warsaw ghetto, they help Misha's mentor, Dr Korczak, care for the two hundred children in his orphanage. As Korczak struggles to uphold the rights of even the smallest child in the face of unimaginable conditions, he becomes a beacon of hope for the thousands who live behind the walls.

As the noose tightens around the ghetto Misha and Sophia are torn from one another, forcing them to face their worst fears alone. They can only hope to find each other again one day...

Meanwhile, refusing to leave the children unprotected, Korczak must confront a terrible darkness.

Half a million people lived in the Warsaw ghetto. Less than one percent survived to tell their story. This novel is based on the true accounts of Misha and Sophia, and on the life of one of Poland's greatest men, Dr Janusz Korczak.

My thoughts:
"Finally the ghetto understands what the Germans intend. If they can take the children, they can take everybody."

If that is a spoiler then you need to read a history book. I knew this would be sad, it was Warsaw! All in all, in Poland 90% of the Jewish population was murdered. The question is more, who will survive. Because some did, even though it is really hard to understand how anyone made it through. And once again I do not understand that hate and madness of mankind. Just because they are Jewish! I will never understand that.

I had never heard of Dr Korczak, (or might have in my studies and forgot). He did his best to protect the children in his orphanage and then to try and feed them as the walls closed in. And take in every child he could. Oh he was a wonderful person filled with hope, what a good man! And those children, so happy to be there with him in those dark days.

The book is also about Misha and Sophia. Misha who works for Korczak, and then he meets Sophia. All she wants is to become a teacher and she loves the ideas Korczak has. 

But yes then the war starts. Then the ghetto comes into play. And then the Germans start moving people out.

Still it was not a sad book, I mean obviously it was sad, but it was so filled with hope because of Dr K and his kids. They were the light, while through Misha and Sophia we saw the darker sides.

A book that should be read so we do not forget.

Sunday, January 28

Joint Discussion: White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bacht

Hello all! Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "White Chrysanthemum" by Mary Lynn Bracht. Blodeudd is in red and I am in blue.  
Author: Mary Lynn Bracht
Title: White Chrysanthemum
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
Being Published: Jan 30, 2018 
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Netgalley)

In the spirit of Lilac Girls, the heartbreaking history of Korea is brought to life in this deeply moving and redemptive debut that follows two sisters separated by World War II.

Korea, 1943. Hana has lived her entire life under Japanese occupation. As a haenyeo, a female diver of the sea, she enjoys an independence that few other Koreans can still claim. Until the day Hana saves her younger sister from a Japanese soldier and is herself captured and transported to Manchuria. There she is forced to become a “comfort woman” in a Japanese military brothel. But haenyeo are women of power and strength. She will find her way home.

South Korea, 2011. Emi has spent more than sixty years trying to forget the sacrifice her sister made, but she must confront the past to discover peace. Seeing the healing of her children and her country, can Emi move beyond the legacy of war to find forgiveness?

Ok, so let us begin.


At least we picked a book we can discuss, even if it had faults. I don't even know where to start. Maybe with the Dual POV. Which sucked sooooooooo much. It did not work at all. It ruined parts of the book and made the good parts not as good and took away attention from Hana’s story. It made it not as...oh what to say. It should have been sadder, and now it was not.
The two POVs did clash. I felt it took away from the mystery. Either Hanna is dead or just never came back home for whatever reason. It took away from Hanna’s story the most. I didn’t mind Emi’s POV. But maybe save it for the end. Put it in two chapters or something. IDK. 

 Yes! A prologue and an epilogue. And in between that is Hana’s story. Her full story. Now we got ripped away and I honestly think we did not see as much as we should have. Her time in Manchuria was really short and we never even met that many other women. I want my heart to bleed. Yes there were horrible things, but then came an Emi POV and things moved on. I feel horrible saying it, but more horrible things. Awful things happened and it should have talked about. Instead we barely see anything before she gets “rescued”. All because half the book is about Emi in 2011 going to demonstrations.

Agreed. The 2011 POV made the horrible things in the 40’s feel less horrible because you know it will end. Those who know the horrors fight for their justice. Yes, I was horrified at what was happening the Hanna and the women around her, but I knew it was going to be okay because the war does end and people fight for their justice and demand Japan apologies in some way. 

I did not think about it in that way, but yes that makes sense. I mean we all know the war ended, but when I am engrossed in a book I do not know. I only know the moment. I do not know what will happen. Now I knew Emi had looked for her sister all her life. And that they wanted Japan to be sorry. But I do not want to know that! I want to be there in the moment. I want to cry for the little girls. Feel anger. Feel anything. I do not want a note at the end about how rape happens in every war blah blah blah. Make me feel instead.

Honestly, I felt bad for Hanna and I was horrified at how one human can treat another. However, I did not cry like I wanted to. I wanted to hurry up and read and see if Hanna makes it. I wanted to cheer for every small victory she would get and feel her pain when she was being hurt. I didn’t though. I already knew she was either dead or could never come home for whatever reason. 

Yes, dead or too broken to come home. But how I wanted to cry, but did not. I felt this book could have been so much better if Hana’s story had been in focus. I know I would have cried then. But now it was more like the author tried to spare us the details and the hurt. Do not spare us. Make us cry instead. [BEGINNING OF SPOILER]Also….did she die? I honestly do not know with that ending. Should be put it in a spoiler cos wtf, I do not know.

LOL I was going to ask you. Ummm...from what I got she lived, but she never came home and prolly died of old age. Someone made a statue of her? I was confused because it seemed like Emi saw her and was talking to her. But then she was young and not real. My guess is that Hanna DID live with that guy who saved her and she had a nice HEA while Emi was in a world full of guilt and had a shitty hubbie. WHICH is not nice. Not nice at all to do to your family. I get being too broken to come home...but for real...write or something, “HEY YA’LL I AM SAFE. DON’T COME FIND ME AND WASTE YEARS OF YOUR LIFE DOING IT! HOLLA!” Just...rude of her honestly. 

Damn it, I hate endings like this. I came to the end and was all what? My theory is that is drowned herself. She did go into the water and was not heard from again. The pic of her was found by those girls she spoke too as Mori dropped it and therefore a statue was made that Emi saw. But sure if she did survive what a shitty thing to do. I get that one does not speak about rape, but come on! Think of Emi! At least send a letter every 5 years or something. Thinking that ok so mum and dad will probably burn these, but maybe they will die one day and THEN Emi will read it and know. DO not waste time out there in the middle of nowhere. So...she drowned, that is what I came to see. But I do not know and I hate it.
And yes Emis life was shit too.

I had that theory too. [END OF SPOILER] I honestly really don’t know. It bugs me that there really was no 100% clear answer. I was hoping that Emi had a good life from Hanna’s sacrifice...but nope. Crappy red-hating man who worked for the government to get rid of commies or anyone who sympathized with them. Emi lived with such guilt, because let’s be real...the mom blamed Emi for sure. That mom LOVED Hanna. The Dad was just sad and whatnot, but the mom SO SO blamed Emi. 

And then at the end when Emi was old and died too from old age. Seriously, I get that people die, but I wanted someone to be happy!

This did not end happy. It ended oddly and I am still scratching my head on what really happened. Sad and confused was what I felt when I was done reading. 

Not a good feeling and that is why it just got an okay grade from me :(

Yeeep same here. But! I am in awe of the character that first “saves” Hanna. That soldier...I don’t understand him. I feel like he was the best character and I want to know more about that baddie. Like if he didn’t rape her and beat her when she tried to escape him...I think I could’ve honestly liked him. LOL I felt a hair bad for him. I think he was insane after what the Americans did to his family. 

Omg. Yes! He was the best. Ok so I wanted to stab him with a rusty spoon since he raped and beat her. But he was the most interesting character. And I felt it was so brushed over. My family was died in a prison camp in the US. And I clearly went insane and think you are a mermaid made for me. BUT Japan is baaaad. That is all I learned from this book. Japan is evil. SO very evil.

Yesss. I wanted him to be a good guy. Apologize for the first rape and say that maybe he was forced or something. Save her and they live HEA. That was what I wanted, but then he raped her more and more after he found her at that brothel. I don’t know. But I was intrigued about that insane character. I wanted ONE glimmer of hope for Japan. Showing that not every man there is a rapist and killer. This book really did make Japan look evil and should burn. I wanted one person to be like, “HEY! WE ARE NOT ALL BAD!” Everyone is guilty during war for horrible things. Look at the US, they pretty much killed that guy’s family in the detention centers. 

.Yup, all I learned is that everyone are rapists. Except for that poor Geisha. Put in at least one good person, ok so there was the Geisha, but one good man then. One man that looks away. Just one guy. Come on. And I wish she had not made Morimoto so creepy, make him insane, and better because I sadly wanted to like him too. He was interesting. 

Ooo I forgot all about that Geisha. She was good, but she didn’t really leave any huge impression on me. I wanted one man in the army to look away or show some sort of kindness. Giving that little girl a pass and not taking her to whoever to rape her. Take one of the older girls. Just something. Yes, I get the author wanted to drive home the fact that these men did horrible things to women because they could. They did. Let’s not sugarcoat it….but there HAD to be one person with a heart. Just one. At first, I thought Morimoto would be. He seemed like he didn’t want to rape her at first. He tried to be gentle. I had hope for him, but then next we see him...he’s a creepy, insane person who “loves” Hana. 

Oh yes, and he claims he loves her but then leaves her in a brothel to be raped daily. Sure, that works with your honor. It so does not. I am starting to feel the author hates the Japanese and shows it here. Maybe some deeprooted hate. Cos I did read this book set in Poland recently and a Nazi gave freaking potatoes to Jewish kids. See, there can be decent people on both sides. Everything is not black and white. There is a lot of gray.

Yesss I agree. She wanted us to hate them to evoke more emotion and make us angry. However, showing that one glimmer of kindness DOES make us hate the bad ones even more. At least...that is what happens to me when I see that. It makes me angry because why can’t they be like that guy? But yes, she did seem to not care for the Japanese…

I am not going to analyze too much, and maybe she did not mean it like that. But I felt like that. Like she wrote it like that and who cares if Japan got bombed. They are evil anyway. I really got the worst caricature pics in my head how they are all monsters. And like you say, if there is one guy looking the other way then yes I would hate the bad ones even more. Now I just felt ill at ease to be honest.

But yeah...I really feel like this had great potential and it was not as good as I thought it was going to be. I did enjoy it for what it was. I enjoyed watching the characters go through their lives. However, it did not impact me as much as it did other readers. I read other reviews and it makes me sad that I didn’t enjoy AS much as they did. 

Same, everyone was loving it and then I felt empty at the end. Yes I enjoyed it, but then I started to analyze and felt letdown. But at least we had lots to discuss!!! That was great. Since some books just leave us meh and nothing to even say. So wohoo, for a great book to discuss.

Lots to talk about. This was good. Just needed an edit. Move the POV or change it. I think that was the biggest issue for me honestly. 

Definitely,  the POv was my biggest issue too. Dual POvs are hard and here it failed.

Agreed, agreed. Super bummer. This would make a good movie I think. The duo POV would work better there. 

Eh, less Emi please or more Emi throughout her life. Present day could have been shorter.

Mmmmm….I think that is all I got. LOL

Good discussion then! I am happy. I might not have loved the book, but that does not matter when there is lots to discuss. So it is your turn next, choose wisely ;)

Wahhhh! I always get scared when it is my turn! My last one was a super flop. 
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.

Saturday, January 27

Movie Review: Godzilla vs Destoroyah (1995)

Film Title: Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
Length: 1h 43min
Released: 1995
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rating: Unrated (I would give this a minimum of a PG-13)
Where I Got It: Watched my friend's copy


The aftermath of the Oxygen Destroyer brings forth Destoroyah, a beast intent on killing Godzilla, who is on the verge of a nuclear meltdown.



Awwww I sometimes forget how much I do like Godzilla. That lovable monster destroying lives and buildings with not a thought in the world. So fun. LOLLL I always enjoy the monster more than the people’s POV even though the dang thing just roars, spits fire, and destroys buildings and other more evil monsters. 

Yes, it has been a while since I’ve actually sat down and watched a full one of these movies beginning to end. In my youth, I only watched what I caught on TV or at someone else’s house. They are fun and this one was a lot of fun, but darker. Very dark.

But yes, this is a 90’s movie so the cheese is still there in regards to effects. However, they are SO much more advanced compared to the older ones. Also, the acting is good and I watched the English version and the dub was not horrible. 

Back to what I was talking about earlier. This film was decently dark. It was really sad and I admit I cried! GAH! NO! I hated that baddie SO much!!!!!!!! EVIL, EVIL BASTARD! *shakes fist* 
I hated what happened to the little Godzilla. He did nothing to no one!! He was a simple, kind-hearted monster. HE IS JUST A BABY DARNIT! HE LEGIT HAD HURT NO ONE! HE HAD A CHANCE WHEN THERE WAS A BEACH FULL OF PEOPLE AND HE LEGIT JUST WATCHED THE PEOPLE FOR A MINUTE AND KEPT GOING!!!! EVERYONE LOVES HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!! GAH! I can’t say what happened, but it made me so sad. 

I felt SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bad for the big Godzilla too. Poor thing was in so much pain. It hurt me to watch it suffer so much. 

This was fun. With these older movies, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Cheesy effects and the dubbing isn’t also the greatest. I prefer watching the original language and just reading the translation, but alas, beggars can’t be choosers. 

I can’t give this a full 5 stars like I want. I physically can’t, because it was too sad and baby Godzilla was a victim just like the people. I’ll give it 4 stars. The cheese factor was at a minimal, acting was done well, and I actually enjoyed the people’s stories. It was dark and the baddie was certainly a baddie indeed. I hated it, but it made the story scary and fun. Wasn’t sure how it was going to be defeated! 

Friday, January 26

Book Review: Mask of Duplicity by Julia Brannan

Author: Julia Brannan 
Title: Mask of Duplicity (The Jacobite Chronicles #1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: ebook
Will Be Published: June 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

Following the death of their father, Beth's brother Richard returns from the army to claim his share of the family estate. However, Beth's hopes of a quiet life are dashed when Richard, dissatisfied with his meagre inheritance and desperate for promotion, decides to force her into a marriage for his military gain. And he will stop at nothing to get his way.

Beth is coerced into a reconciliation with her noble cousins in order to marry well and escape her brutal brother. She is then thrown into the glittering social whirl of Georgian high society and struggles to conform. The effeminate but witty socialite Sir Anthony Peters offers to ease her passage into society and she is soon besieged by suitors eager to get their hands on her considerable dowry. Beth, however, wants love and passion for herself, and to break free from the artificial life she is growing to hate. She finds herself plunged into a world where nothing is as it seems and everyone hides behind a mask. Can she trust the people professing to care for her?

The first in the series about the fascinating lives of beautiful Beth Cunningham, her family and friends during the tempestuous days leading up to the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, which attempted to overthrow the Hanoverian King George II and restore the Stuarts to the British throne.

It’s been a while since I’ve done this format, so why not give it a go for this review? 

The Good
- Even though this book centers on Beth trying to find a hubbie, this didn’t feel like your typical HR book. There was an actual plot. The courtship was legit and felt real. Sometimes one needs in a romance. 

- I liked Beth. At first, she seemed like a perfect character waiting to happen, but as the story goes along she wasn’t perfect which made me happy. 

- Sir Anthony is the best. He seemed like just an atypical British dandy…but I grew to adore him. 

- Same with Beth’s female cousins. They seemed bleh, but they were fun and I loved how they really did like Beth. 

- I hate Richard. How is this a good thing? This story needed a baddie to get the ball rolling. As things went along, he did show a human side that he did feel a hair bad for the wrongs he did. GOOD! You evil, nasty fellow. *sticks tongue out at him and throws pebbles*

- The middle of the story was the best. The beginning was okay too. 

The Bad and the Ugly
- That ending. Holy dragging on and on and on. Sure a lot of things happened, but OMG I just wanted it to end. 

- There are FOUR MORE BOOKS IN THE SERIES ABOUT BETH AND HER HUBBIE! WHAT? WHY? Ugh. I feel like this was good enough as it is. Maybe the others are good too? But I just feel like this good enough and maybe there could’ve just been an epilogue.

- Richard. Yes, I said I liked his character, but then I loathed him and one scene really, really bothered me. I feel the writer didn’t need that part…I felt it was too much and not realistic. Any other lady would’ve run away screaming to the police or priest or someone. It bugged me.

- I’m not really sure if I liked Alex’s POV. Hard to say why without giving it away, but I honestly think there could’ve been a different way to go about this that made it more of a shocker and a twist! It was easy to figure out and connect the dots. 


This was a fun story about a lady trying to make it in the world of political unsteadiness. I enjoyed Beth and her journey. I am torn. I wouldn’t mind reading more, but the story dragged at the end, so I am unsure. I’ll stamp this with 3 stars. 

Wednesday, January 24

*Blog All About it 2018 Challenge*

Blog All About It 2018
Blogging Prompt Challenge (details)
hosted by The Herd Presents
January to December 2018

vvb32 brought this to my attention! I've been looking for a fun little challenge. :) I highly encourage you join and play! It is flexible and all up to your own interpretation. There is a word or phrase given each month and you make a post centered around it. You can post it whenever you want in that month. I think I'll post mine at the end of the month on the 31st. 

The Prompts:

January-- Winter 
February-- Red
March-- Favorite Scent
April-- Art
May-- Organize
June-- Growl
July-- Spirit
August-- Beginning
September-- Escape
October-- Trees
November-- Truth
December-- Shine/Sparkle

Tuesday, January 23

TMST: How Do you Beat the Winter Blues

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

How do you beat the winter blues?

Like many people I do suffer the winter blues. However, I really feel that it takes a huge impact physically, mentally, and my joy/hope. During the winter months here in Michigan, I get soooooo drained and soooooo tired and sooooo hopeless. I always end up feeling like it will be miserable outside forever.

Besides for the obvious medicinal remedies like OJ or whatever, I have to take some serious doses of happiness to try to get me out of the winter blues.

1)      Read, watch movies, and watch TV. I need to escape to warmer lands or watch other 
         people be miserable with me in the winter wonderlands.

2)      Go traveling…if I can (this is a rare and desperate move on my end)

3)      Drink! Lots of booze with friends is an excellent key. Maybe not precisely the BEST  

4)      Eat. Not good for the waist, but chocolate brings me joy, so the waits can suffer for 
         the moment.

5)      Hot bathes. Nothing gets me more toasty warm then scolding myself in a flaming bath 
        of doom. It feels so nice, especially with a book and bubbles. I DARE YOU TO BE 

6)      Daydream. I need to daydream about my plans this summer. Sure it can be make 
         believe! But it doesn’t hurt to dream.

7)      Tea. Tea is a good medicinal but it also helps sooth the soul. The British know what 
          they are doing.

8)      Curse and scream. Sometimes you need to just let it out! Screaming and throwing 
         curses at the devil in snowflake form is the best medicine I know!

A little delayed in sharing...but Mamyia trying to behave...

What about you guys? What helps you rise above the winter blues? 

Monday, January 22

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: The Lovelist Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

It's true that Anna Trent is a supervisor in a chocolate factory . . . but that doesn't necessarily mean she knows how to make chocolate. And when a fateful accident gives her the opportunity to work at Paris's elite chocolatier Le Chapeau Chocolat, Anna expects to be outed as a fraud. After all, there is a world of difference between chalky, mass-produced English chocolate and the gourmet confections Anna's new boss creates. But with a bit of luck and a lot of patience, Anna might learn that the sweetest things in life are always worth working for. 

Audio CD, 10h
Published January 18th 2018 by Tantor Audio (first published January 1st 2013)
Women's fic /romantic fiction
For review

My thoughts:
OH I can still hear Anna's voice in my head! She sounded so fun, and like we would have a jolly good time together.

Let us begin. Anna has an accident and spends some time at a hospital and re-connects with an old French teacher of hers. She kind of floats through life, sure working at a choco factory is fun (omg, that would be so amazing!), but what else?

The book has another POV too. A young Englishwoman in the 70s who falls for a handsome Frenchman, and well it is obvious how it connects, and kind of sad too.

I liked Anna and her new life in Paris. She has no idea what to do but she just goes for it. She truly finds something to be happy about.

I also liked the 70s story and wondered how it all would work out...

Sweet, and bittersweet. Fun and I need to go to France and eat REAL chocolate. Oh and food.

Narrator:  Beverley A Crick
Oh her Anna voice was so fun! Yes, like I said, Anna and I would be amazing friends. Her voice was just perfect. Shy, happy, confused, sad and witty.

She really made this book fun

Sunday, January 21

Book Review: The Lion of the South by Jessica James

Author: Jessica James
Title: The Lion of the South
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
Will Be Published: April 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

One woman holds the fate of the country in her hands.
Can she let her brother to die so the Confederacy might live?

As the Civil War grinds into its second year, an audacious and mysterious figure known only as the Lion of the South emerges from the shadows to rekindle the Confederacy's spirit of defiance.

Julia Dandridge returns to the Virginia home where she was raised, only to discover that the war has changed everything—and everyone—once dear to her.

With no one to turn to and nowhere to run, Julia is caught in a tangled web of secrets and deception. The only way to save her beloved brother from the hangman's noose is to unmask the Lion. But who is he?

When she finally discovers the enigmatic hero's true identity, Julia sets off on a desperate journey to stop the vengeful plot she unknowingly helped set in motion. But time is running out. The elusive Lion is walking straight into the Yankees' trap.

Despite the danger, Julia is determined to save the two men whose lives hang in the balance—and redeem herself from the deadly mistake she has made.

Not sure where to begin really…mmmmmm

Well…let me start off with how much I adored this book! It reminded me so much of an old favorite of mine The Scarlet Pimpernel. That book started my love of spies in my history books. Can’t help but love a charming spy now.

Instead of being set during the Reign of Terror, this one is set to America’s own reign of terror known as the Civil War. The story follows Julia and Landon who were childhood friends separated by an evil mother. Things happen and years go by. The two are brought together again, but things are different. 

Landon is home from the war and is depressed because he blames himself for his brother’s death. Julia is no longer the tomboy Landon remembers. She is now a sophisticated Northern lady. Ooo Sallie, I get you wanted to bring Julia to stay with you guys, but….it is a little sensitive having “enemies” together. Landon fought against the North and bringing a Northerner into the house? Mhmmm. Not your best idea dearie.

I felt bad for Landon. He is so depressed.

I felt bad for Julia especially learning something (will not spoil it), but I was proud of her in the end after learning the full truth.

Sallie was a silly girl, but I did like her. 

The baddie was certainly a baddie. He made my skin-crawl. 

This was a fun adventure and there is some romance, but like The Scarlet Pimpernel, it does take FOREVER for the two to get over their differences and find love again. I’m glad the romance aspect didn’t take over the plot too much.

MORE SPIES PLEASE! It took a while to get to the espionage because there was a lot of character-building and world-building that needed to be done first. I get it and in the end, I'm glad I had to wait because when it happened I was drawn more into what would happen and how everything would be fixed. But during I was aching for more action to go on! 

I want a sequel and I want the Lion of the South to go on some more raids. Sure, I know the outcome of the war, but it is fun to see the Lion get some good hits in before the finale of the war.

In the end, this was worth the read if you love spies and historical stories. It takes a bit to get to the espionage bits, but it was worth the wait to get the world-building and the character-building. So good!  I’ll give this a solid 4 stars today.