Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Wallflower most wanted - Manda Collins

A dedicated painter, Miss Sophia Hastings is far more concerned with finding the right slant of light than in finding Mr. Right. But when an overhead conversation hints at danger for another local artist, Sophia is determined to get involved. Even it means accepting help from an impossibly good-looking vicar who insists on joining her investigation—and threatens to capture her heart…

Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle knows that Sophia is no damsel in distress. But he won’t allow her to venture into peril alone, either. . .especially since he finds Sophia’s curious, free-spirited nature so alluring. But protecting her from harm is becoming more difficult than the vicar could have expected as he and Sophia confront their fiery mutual passion. Who could have known that the art of love would prove so irresistible? 


Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Studies in Scandal #3
Historical romance
NG

My thoughts:
There once was a castle given to 4 remarkable women. They all also got letters telling them to do certain things.

Sophia is an artist and she does not care for silly things like portraits or whatever nice things women should paint. She stumbles upon a strange plot including ill deeds and painters and is in the case. Just as the heroines in previous books had their plots to uncover. Whatever that old lady thought I do not know. THis is dangerous business!

Lord Benedict is a hot vicar. I know right, whaat. I do not come across many vicars in historical romance. And he does not do one single reverend thing to be honest. Which I also liked. And he was nice, hot and fell for her hard.

So there is the suspense plot. There is these two falling in love. We meet the previous heroines and the future one (I think that will be a fun one, heads will fall!).  We meet the most annoying man, grrrrr, *hits him over the head*. And in the end, I did not see things coming.

A cute romance.


Tuesday, 30 January 2018

TMST


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.

January 30th: What were some of the big best seller books that disappointed you?

Well honestly I have no idea which books are big bestsellers so I will just assume a few hyped books are and take it from there.


It won best YA of 2017 and nope, can't see it.  It tried too many things. It should have settled with just her POV.

At least the book above this one was actually good, this one was an ok mess

This one was one of those hyped ones that left me utterly disappointed


Ha, oh yes the long ago hyped Graceling. Ugh that heroine!

Oh I do not know. So here are a few hyped ones that disappointed me. The common theme was YA...haha, weird

On another note, I do not seem to give one dang on what is on the best seller lists since I have no idea of what I have read have been there.



Monday, 29 January 2018

The Resurrection game - Michelle Belanger

Calling upon his abilities as one of the Anakim—a tribe of angels trapped on Earth—Zack dispatches the hideous creatures and seeks to depart before the police can arrive. Then he sees something that chills him to the bone… A man wearing his face. 

When a connection emerges between Zack’s doppelganger and a series of ritualistic murders, Zack must call upon his every ally to find this murderer before he can strike again. For all of them are targets, and the sadistic serial killer won’t stop until all are dead. 

Paperback, 304
Published November 28th 2017 by Titan Books (UK)
Shadowside #3
Urban fantasy
In exchange for an honest review

My thoughts:
I got this and I did not read it at once, because I had not read book 2, so I was unsure. I mean UF should be read in order. But then I thought, why not and gave it a go. And it did work, and mostly cos the main character has amnesia, so he is rather clueless about his place in the order of things.

Zach is an angel, but, he does not really know a lot. There are different tribes. They usually kill each other. He has made friends from different ones. Something happened and he does not what.

But right now he has other things to think about. Someone looking like him is going around killing people. His friends are in danger and someone sure wants his attention.

I mean sure, yes it would have been much better to read in order, now I had a review book and did not do that. So totally start with book 1, obviously.

And I so wonder about things. What was he? I mean, angel, duh, but what else is going on. WHy doesn't he know anything?

COnclusion:
Good. But should be read in order.


Sunday, 28 January 2018

Joint Discussion: White Chrysanthemum - Mary Lynn Bracht



Hello all! Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "White Chrysanthemum" by Mary Lynn Bracht. I am in red and Carole 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.

Okay!

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.
So...finished?

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, 27 January 2018

Carole's Saturday movie: Godzilla vs Destroyah


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


SUMMARY:

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

TRAILER:





Review:

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, 26 January 2018

Audio: Ready to Run - Lauren Layne

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms. 


ebook, 175 pages
Published August 22nd 2017
I Do, I Don't #1
Contemporary romance
This review copy was given to me in exchange for an honest review

My thoughts.
Jordan is ready to get her man! For a show that is.

Jordan was, oh who would not like it. Smart, knew what she wanted and just nice. She comes into to town to get a certain fireman to be a "Bachelor", but is one tough sell.

Luke is a hunky firefighter who has left three brides the altar...wait, say whaaat?! I sure did not get that since everyone in town liked Luke, and he was so nice (well except when he was grumpy and told Jordan no.) So he sure did not sound like a guy who leaves three women hanging, and early on we do meet a bride and she is all Luke is the best too. Yes, there are stories there and Jordan does her best to find the truth.

And this small town rocks. I want to go there. I want to be in Book club! Hang out at the pub. Be friends with these women and check out a hottie firefighter or two.

He runs, she runs after him. She is everywhere. And sparks fly. And after a bit of drama they live happily ever after.

Conclusion:
A cute little story


Narrator
Amy Melissa Bentley
A nice narrator that made the town sound so fun and everyone so welcoming. I must go there.


Thursday, 25 January 2018

The real Katie Lavender - Erica James

At 30, Katie Lavender thinks she is better than most when it comes to dealing with life's surprises. But when she gets a request to visit a solicitor, she's not expecting the dramatic turn her life is about to take. There, she receives a letter from her deceased mother that literally changes everything she ever knew about herself...

My thoughts:
The book starts with Katie finding out that her dad was not her real dad. Her mother's letter explains it at all, and now, does she want to find him? Well duh, the book is almost 500 pages of course she goes to find him and there is a lot of drama.

She meets a bitchy family, I mean seriously, they acted like 4 year olds. "My dad wont love me anymore!" Omg, pull it together, you are a grown woman! I get that it was done for drama but I wanted to slap those horrid siblings.

It really is a family drama and follows her "new" family and cousin's family. Things are happening, I will not say more there. But we get a short insight into everyone. They do have their issues.

Katie has her own issues. Her job, her boyfriend that is pretty meh, being alone in the world with no family and then this big secret coming out.

Conclusion:
There is drama, there is romance and there is one messy family. I enjoyed it, even if I wanted to slap the S%¤t out of a few people.

Cover
eh

Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Orion
Women's fiction
Own


Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Audio: After the Kiss - Lauren Layne

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.

Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants. 

My thoughts:
If Michell had not played his own game then this would have been a no no. But as it was now, they both were to play and that is ok in my book.

Julie is the Dating Girl, and now she has to write about a relationship. Omg Julie, srsly! No no. Yes, she decides to take a guy for a spin, start a relationship and ditch him. She SO did not think this through.

Mitchell is the Relationship guy, and now he wants a fling since no one thinks he can do it. So he thinks she will be perfect for that, and yes there is a bet involved. Oh Mitchell! That is not cool!

See, both are idiots. Both get irritated by each other. Her game is all wrong. His game is non existent. But damn those sparks sure fly!

She is all wrong for him, and he wants her.
He is all wrong for her, and she sure wants him.

Conclusion:
It was amusing to see these two try and play a game and fall in love instead.

Narrator: Samantha Cook 
I liked how she played her parts and it was fun listening too. Another one that should be listened too so you do not analyze their game too much. 


Audio CD, 6 h 30 min
Expected publication: January 24th 2018 by Tantor Audio (first published January 1st 2013)
Sex, Love & Stiletto #1
Contemporary romance
I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review. 


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

TMST: 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.

January 23rd: How do you beat the winter blues?

What winter blues? Winter stars in October and ends in April (of course when Baby S was born in May it snowed). At their shortest the sun is up for 4 hours. You have to make the best of it.


                                                            April hike


March. Skiing is always fun

February. Long walks can be tough

January. Brings the cold

December. You hardly make it out before the sun is gone

Cranky Baby! No Nov. Must go

October. WInter is coming



Monday, 22 January 2018

Audio: The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris - 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...

Conclusion:
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, 21 January 2018

Carole's Sunday Post: The Lion of the South - 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.






Saturday, 20 January 2018

Carole's Saturday Movie: The Last Jedi


Film Title: Star Wars - The Last Jedi
Length: 2 h 32 min
Released: 2017
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci.fi
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Watched at the theater



SUMMARY:

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.

TRAILER:




Review:

Let me get out of the way and say this first….I am not a huge Star Wars fan. Not at all. I actually found the majority of the old movies boring. This is the first Star Wars film I watched from beginning until end. All the rest I have watched pieces here and there. Normally I would walk into the room with a friend or family member watching and I would watch from wherever they were until the end. So yes, not a huge fan here…so take that into mind before reading my review. 


I really, really liked this film. This wasn’t a cut-and-paste of one of the past movies and that made me happy. I know a lot of people worried and they kept their word. Sure there were a couple similar parts scattered throughout the movie. But it felt fresh overall. 



This was for sure lighter in a lot of ways compared to a lot of the past movies. However, there were some dark moments that kept it from being light and fun. There was a nice balance between light and fun and dark and serious. I also really enjoyed the little jokes throughout the movie. They made me smile and chuckle. Heck…even serious, sad Luke got a couple good moments. 



The biggest joy I found in the movie was Kylo Ren. I know I am getting a lot of “huhs” right now…but I enjoyed this character. I didn’t like him in the movie before this, but after learning about him some more…I realized he is one complex character. I felt he was very 2D in the last film, but this one the writers really did some magic and now he is one of the most complex characters I have seen in a while. The internal conflict he is having is tearing him apart. I loved it. Well…I feel bad and I reallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly want him to come back to good side, but I enjoyed seeing him on screen battle himself, his enemies, and his feelings. Very good. On a shallower note…I think he is hot ;) 



Finn was better...Rose was a hoot and a nice edition...Rey is just Rey (a certain character is in lurve with her it makes me a hair jelly)....Holdo was annoying at first, but she turned into a badass at the end...Poe was cute and funny...Leia seems deflated and tired...Luke was annoying until the end...and the rest of the cast was just there. I did enjoy Kylo's commander because I feel like he is going to be a problem for Kylo later on. A character potential. 



The little creatures were cute. I liked the little puffin-seal things. I want one to stick by Chewie’s side. I know some people thought it was too much, but I adored all the cuteness. More darkness is always nice, but I felt there was a good balance in this one. I fear the next movie is going to get REALLY, REALLY dark so I will take this cuteness while I can. But yes...a little more blood is always good for the soul. 



There were some scenes and parts that made me sigh and roll my eyes. I can’t say WHAT precisely without giving out some spoilers. But some parts were indeed cheesy and not realistic. People will defend those parts, “BUT THE FORCE!” >_> meh is my reply to that.

I also hated the ending. Sure…I get what they did, but NO. Not cool. Well…it was cool, but the result was NOT OKAY! 


In the end, I am actually curious to watch the next film. I wouldn’t mind going to the theater to watch it again. Maybe this was the film to turn me into a super fan. Well…maybe not…I have no plans on rewatching past movies willingly. Haha. I shall give this…mhmmmm….4 stars. 







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