Sunday, March 31

Book Review: That Churchill Woman by Stephanie Barron

Author: Stephanie Barron 
That Churchill WomanTitle: That Churchill Woman
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
Published: January 29th 2019
Where I Got It: My shelf (Netgalley)

Wealthy, privileged, and fiercely independent New Yorker Jennie Jerome took Victorian England by storm when she landed on its shores. As Lady Randolph Churchill, she gave birth to a man who defined the twentieth century: her son Winston. But Jennie--reared in the luxury of Gilded Age Newport and the Paris of the Second Empire--lived an outrageously modern life all her own, filled with controversy, passion, tragedy, and triumph.

When the nineteen-year-old beauty agrees to marry the son of a duke she has known only three days, she's instantly swept up in a whirlwind of British politics and the breathless social climbing of the Marlborough House Set, the reckless men who surround Bertie, Prince of Wales. Raised to think for herself and careless of English society rules, the new Lady Randolph Churchill quickly becomes a London sensation: adored by some, despised by others.

Artistically gifted and politically shrewd, she shapes her husband's rise in Parliament and her young son's difficult passage through boyhood. But as the family's influence soars, scandals explode and tragedy befalls the Churchills. Jennie is inescapably drawn to the brilliant and seductive Count Charles Kinsky--diplomat, skilled horse-racer, deeply passionate lover. Their impossible affair only intensifies as Randolph Churchill's sanity frays, and Jennie--a woman whose every move on the public stage is judged--must walk a tightrope between duty and desire. Forced to decide where her heart truly belongs, Jennie risks everything--even her son--and disrupts lives, including her own, on both sides of the Atlantic.

The cover and the summary hooked me in and I had to read it. I am so glad Netgalley gave this to me!

The story follows Winston's mother, Jennie, who was a legend herself in a different way. She is an American who marries a British politician. She helps shape him and his rise in Parliament. As the Churchills' popularity soars, Jennie is forced to deal with her husband's sanity and health decline. Due to this she walks a dangerous line of duty and desire. 

First of all...I LOVE THE COVER SO MUCH!!! Simple, but beautiful!

Now, I did feel for Jennie....but I didn't really like her much. I understand her loneliness and the whole the heart-wants-what-the heart-wants. Her husband even before he gets sick in body and mind, is a jerk. I get it. However, I wanted to smack her. I also wanted to smack Charles. He was an asshat too. WHAT DO YOU SEE IN HIM JENNIE????? Especially near the end there. Gods Charles was so dumb. Sighs. 

Jennie DID get better when she got a backbone. It took 75% of the book, but I did warm-up to her more. However, I still wanted to give her a lecture. 

Loved Winston's POVs. He didn't get a lot, but as he got older we got to see a young Winston. Bless his heart. I do want to see more from him in his youth. That will be fun. 

I did really enjoy the writing style. The author really did bring the past to life and the characters were really developed. The author showed the horrible and glorious parts of society. Those people could be evil like that Minnie character. Oooo! She was something indeed. 

My biggest issue was the changing POVs. Yes, I did love Winston's, but I really wanted this to solely focus on Jennie. She is our star and I felt she was just another character. Maybe that is why I didn't connect with her until near the end? Not sure, but I do feel like she needed more spotlight. 

Not amazing, but I did enjoy it. It took a bit to get sucked in like I wanted, but I was curious and did enjoy it. This was overall okay. This is a good one for HF lovers like me. I'll give this a 3 overall. 

Friday, March 29

Movie Review: Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse PosterFilm Title: Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse
Length:  1h 57 min
Released: 2018
Genre:   Animation, Action, Adventure 
Rating: PG
Where I Got It: Friend's copy


Teen Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man of his reality, crossing his path with five counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat for all realities.


Oooo Spidey. You are a classic. I loved the cartoons when I was a kid and he is always a part of my heart. I'm bummed my BF's last name is Peter because he is TOTALLY not on board with my idea of naming our future kid Parker. Lameass...that would be fun. Parker Peter...HA! 


Store follows a young Miles who becomes the Spider-Man of his universe after the original dies. Poor Peter. Things happen and Miles comes across 5 of his counterparts from other alternate dimensions. All of them similar but different in a lot of ways. They need to get back to their own dimensions before they are destroyed. 

Now, I will admit here and now, I missed the first 20 mins of the film. I happened to walk in on my friend and his kid watching it. I was hooked though. One funny line and I was drawn in like a moth to the flame. They gave me a quick two second ran down on what I missed and I was up to speed. 

Loved Miles. He was a fun character. I loved all the other Spider-Mans too. They were all fun. They had me laughing and feeling. I think my favorite was the brown-haired Peter Parker who let himself go a little. He was a hoot. 

The animation was amazing. So comic-like and cool. It was clever and done well. I especially liked how the animation for each of the SMs was different based on where they came from. For example, the anime girl Spider-Man was anime. It was nice. 

The ending was good. As per normal, there is room for another movie if they decide to. I really would like to see Miles more and see him maybe visit his new friends in their dimensions. That would be fun. 

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this. I highly recommend this film if you like Spider-Man. You'll get a kick out of it. I'll give it 5 stars. 

Thursday, March 28

Audiobook Review: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network
Author: Kate Quinn 
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Title: The Alice Network
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Pages: Audiobook
Published: June 6th 2017 
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the matter where it leads.

I have had my eyes on this book for a long while. Finally got my hand's on it thanks to Audible. 

The story follows Eve and Charlie. Charlie is a young lass who has a problem that she is being forced to get rid of by her parents since she is unwed. However, Charlie has her own plans in mind. She is going to find her missing cousin. Her only hope is Eve who was a spy in WWI and is now old and angry and drunk. During their travels, we get to see Eve's young spy career as well. 

I love spies. Always have, always will. However, people forget that spies live a rough life and always living close to disaster. It is a rough time and I worried so much for Eve and her spy family. I will admit I liked this part of the story better. I did enjoy Charlie's but it took me a while to really warm up to that part. 

This really made me feel. Ooooo poor Eve! Poor Charlie! Poor Rose! Poor hot Scottish car guy (why am I blanking on his name). War is hell and did a hell of a number on these guys. I will admit I did tear up near the end there! Ooooo dear. Can't say why, but it broke my wee heart. Damn War!

Grr! That baddie made me shake my fists. He was evil but I loved hating him. 

This author really knows how to write a historical fiction! She really knows how to bring the past to life and make you care about these characters even when they are flawed and torn-up.

The narrator was amazing. Loved her voices. Her accents seemed amazing and she changed flawlessly. I feel like I have listened to her before? If not I must listen to more! She is great. 

I really had no issues. The beginning was a touch rocky, but once we got rocking and rolling, I was hooked. If you are looking for a good historical fiction, I recommend this one! I'll stamp it with 5 stars. 

2019 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge
Book 6 of 16/25

Wednesday, March 27

Joint Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Hello all! Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "The Cruel Prince" by Holly Black. Blodeuedd is in brown and I am in blue. 

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)
Author: Holly Black 
Title: The Cruel Prince
(The Folk of the Air #1)
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: ebook
Published: January 2nd 2018
Where I Got It: Borrowed from the library

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

After Maas *shudders* I wanted to try a YA Fae fantasy again, so we gave it a go ;) And I was pleasantly surprised! It was by no means amazing, but I’d say it was good enough.

It was a million times better! I actually didn’t do a lick of skimming like the other one ;).

Lol, no skimming from my part either! It was a light easy read with lots of darkness, but the writing flowed and she is a good author, I will give her that.

It was a light, easy read. Very dark though and I liked it. I’m glad she didn’t chicken out on that and make it fluffy. Faes are jerks and she really made sure we knew it. I liked her writing style a lot. Great world-building and the dialogue was good too.

Very interesting world, with lots of different Fae. And they are cruel and it shows. I liked the darkness. No fluff, I mean Maas was dark, but it was so DAMN fluffy in its darkness. Here it was more darker somehow.

It was a more honest and realistic darkness. No dark to just be dark.

Yes! Exactly, not dark just to be dark. You nailed it.

Ugh speaking of realistic-ness….I hate the majority of the characters. But I liked hating them. They were jerks! Jude was okay...but she was naive.

Haha, yes. Jude was ok, but I was not all I want to be her friends. Nah, she was too much of an idiot. Our dear cruel prince is an ahole by the biggest means. But I liked hating him and I understood him more at the end. Her twin, blergh, I hated her most of all. She puts women to shame. My favorite was Madoc, it’s just something about a man who kills his former wife and lover and takes care of their kids. Messed up

I have hope Jude will be better in the next. She is young and is messed up in the head. Hated the Prince. I do not want them to end up together. It does not compute in my brain! He is horrible and tried hurting her really bad. She would be a dummy to fall for that! And he hates humans. SOOO? Sighs. Ugh her twin “sister” was horrible. Madoc was fun. He was such a complex character and I adored it. Murdering, but loving. He was fun. I’m curious to see what is next for him.

It was my biggest fear. And I am sure it will happen, I hope it will make sense it does happen cos now, damn woman, are you stupid! WTF, stay away from him, do not even think it. DO NOT EVEN!

I was looking on Goodreads and there are so many fans that want them together to at least bang. NO!!!! Run woman run! I can’t see any scenario where he can justify all the terrible, horrible things he did and said. That is abuse and Madoc should’ve kicked his royal butt!

Ugh, ok so if it does happen, I hope she like sees the light and kills him or something.

Me too. Or maybe he’ll get knocked outside the head and become a different person? HAHAHA. That would be hilarious and karma-rific.

I like that, I guess even aholes can be forgiven if they grovel enough and if they ever say one aholey thing then let them hang

I suppose. But still. Bleh. And how will he forgive HER at the end there. No spoilers...but that is tough.

He is Fae, he should have striven to it. But yes let them not get together. But they so will, how could it else end? Arghhh I actually really need to know this! That is a good, the book made me want more. I bow to you Holly Black. I hate most of the characters and the main character is meh but I am still curious

Me too. That really does take a good storyteller. Not liking the characters, but still intrigued and wanting more. Kuddos there! I also really want to explore more of the world. There is so much more! I didn’t expect so many other kingdoms and whatnot. That was fun.

Then we shall read more! Please no stupid angst, pleeeeeease

Yess I beg. The summary looks promising….but. You never know! I want Jude to be a cool, cruel gal. I want her to be like Madoc. A soft-spot for family, but no one else.

Yes I am intrigued, I do wonder what will happen. ...anything else?

That is the problem with these books when they are so good! You don’t want to spoil anything! Ummmm….I was hooked from page one. There was a lull for a couple of chapters before the tournament, but after that I was hooked again. Beware the lull and push through! Totally worth it!

The lol for me is a certain romance part, no thanks to that. But yes a good book, I read it fast. I hope it keeps on improving and not fall into second book syndrome

Oooo that would be bad. *fingers crossed*

The end? :D

The end! :D Quick discussion today!

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.

Tuesday, March 26

Time for TV Tuesday: Knightfall (season 1)

Recently Finished:

Knightfall Poster

This has been burning a hole on my TW list. Finally decided to check it out. 

The story follows Landry, his fellow Knight's Templar, and the French royalty. 

The first 7 episodes were awesome. I binged them. Things happened and kept me from moving forward. Darn life! But weeks went by and I didn't have the heart to go back. 

Finally attempted to go back and I couldn't get through them. I walked away. Did chores. Fell asleep. By the time I realized what was was over. I just didn't care. Things got too insane and weird and I didn't care anymore. 

I am soooo bummed! The first few episodes were so fun and unique and I was addicted. But alas, the last couple had me bored and rolling my eyes. 

Honestly? I feel the writers tried too hard to make it dramatic and crazy. Meh. 

Overall, I am highly disappointed. Maybe someday I'll go back and try the other two episodes again? But at this point, I didn't pay attention and I didn't care much anymore. The storyline got too coocoo for me.  I'll give this 2 stars. Mainly for the first few episodes and how amazing they were!

Monday, March 25

Blodeuedd's Monday Review - In Another Time by Jillian Cantor

Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld, George Newbern
Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 03-05-19
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio
Historical fiction
Thank you Harper for this review copy

My Thoughts
Going into this one I guessed it could be sad, and because of that I did not want to put it down. I needed to know what would happen to Max and Hanna!

It starts in 1931 where Max meets Hanna. He is a Christian (even if he does not care about religion), and she is Jewish. But most of all, this is Germany. This is bad and I kept bracing myself.

Because then suddenly it is 1946 and Hanna wakes up without any memories. What happened during the war? Where is Max...WHERE IS MAX!? Did Max get her out?

I did have my suspicions since Max seemed to know things, but the worst thing is that Hanna goes on with her life and what we get is 1932..1933...1936. 

I just wanted these two to be together. They loved each other so much. Stupid nazis! Stupid Laws!

Ok so I did not cry, but my heart did break.  Poor Hanna, poor Max.

And yes there is a secret in this book, I liked that aspect. It was different and tragic too.

Final thought
I could not put it down. All I knew was, what happened t Max?

I ave listened to Saskia before and I like her narrative style. She does it well
George was new to me, but he did Max well. They took their own chapters.

A sweeping historical novel that spans Germany, England, and the United States and follows a young couple torn apart by circumstance leading up to World War II-and the family secret that may prove to be the means for survival.

Love brought them together. But only time can save them...

1931, Germany. Bookshop owner Max Beissinger meets Hanna Ginsberg, a budding concert violinist, and immediately he feels a powerful chemistry between them. It isn't long before they fall in love and begin making plans for the future. As their love affair unfolds over the next five years, the climate drastically changes in Germany as Hitler comes to power. Their love is tested with the new landscape and the realities of war, not the least of which is that Hanna is Jewish and Max is not. But unbeknownst to Hanna is the fact that Max has a secret, which causes him to leave for months at a time—a secret that Max is convinced will help him save Hanna if Germany becomes too dangerous for her because of her religion.

In 1946, Hanna Ginsberg awakens in a field outside of Berlin. Disoriented and afraid, she has no memory of the past ten years and no idea what has happened to Max. With no information as to Max's whereabouts—or if he is even still alive—she decides to move to London to live with her sister while she gets her bearings. Even without an orchestra to play in, she throws herself completely into her music to keep alive her lifelong dream of becoming a concert violinist. But the music also serves as a balm to heal her deeply wounded heart and she eventually gets the opening she long hoped for. Even so, as the days, months, and years pass, taking her from London to Paris to Vienna to America, she continues to be haunted by her forgotten past, and the fate of the only man she has ever loved and cannot forget.

Told in alternating viewpoints—Max in the years leading up to WWII, and Hanna in the ten years after—In Another Time is a beautiful novel about love and survival, passion and music, across time and continents. 

Sunday, March 24

Book Review: Gold Digger by Rebecca Rosenberg

Gold Digger, The Remarkable Baby Doe TaborAuthor: Rebecca Rosenberg 
Title: Gold Digger
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
Expected publication: May 28th 2019
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

One look at Baby Doe and you know she was meant to be a legend! She was just twenty years old when she came to Colorado to work a gold mine with her new husband. Little did she expect that she’d be abandoned and pregnant and left to manage the gold mine alone. But that didn’t stop her!

She moved to Leadville and fell in love with a married prospector, twice her age. Horace Tabor struck the biggest silver vein in history, divorced his wife and married Baby Doe. Though his new wife was known for her beauty, her fashion, and even her philanthropy, she was never welcomed in polite society.

Discover how the Tabors navigated the worlds of wealth, power, politics, and scandal in the wild days of western mining.

I was instantly drawn in by the cover and then the summary. That is a lovely cover and the story sounds sooooooo good. 

The story follows Baby Doe,  born Elizabeth McCourt, who would become a legend of Colorado! Things do not start off so great. She thinks she finds her true love but is abandoned pregnant and no money. However, she kept pushing. Things happen and she meets Tabor who would move the Earth for her. 

I felt so bad for Baby Doe. She was treated like crap by that jerkface! Ugh. He didn't deserve her. I'm glad Baby Doe realized this and got a divorce even though it went against her religion and society. But he didn't love her and she deserved better for sure. 

Honestly? I wasn't a huge Tabor fan at first. It took eons for me to really warm up to him. Maybe it is because I didn't trust him? I'm not sure but I was constantly worried that he was going to hurt her. She really deserved happiness! I adored her. She was not only beautiful, but she was smart and strong. 

I liked Billy at first, but grrrr he was a snot. 

The writing was beautiful! I had enjoyed a previous novel by the author a while back and adored the writing style. This was the same. Simply lovely. It really hooks you into the story and characters. 

The ending was cliff-hanger-ish...but not at the same time. I liked how it ended. You can leave as is or move forward. It was very nice, but it did make me sad at the same time. Oooo the feels. 

I had no major issues at all. I really enjoyed the story. I highly recommend it for historical fiction lovers. I'll stamp this with 5 stars.