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,
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Watched at the theater


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.



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. 

Friday, 19 January 2018

Starflight - Melissa Landers

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe... 

My thoughts:
It started good enough, ok who am I kidding. It was a decent start filled with plotholes, crappy worldbuilding and more. But it was cheesy light and so YA. So I read on. But then the next day all those annoying things got to be too much. But then I had already read half the book and was all fffff! So I finished it, or more or less skimmed since it got to be more silly. The romance grew between the bully and the one he had bullied and I was all, how are these suddenly in love? Also their personalities suddenly sure change. 

The ending was fast and srsly...srsly...*snorts* No.

I guess the author tried to go for a cool firefly vibe. That did not work for me, I could see none of these people on the ship, well except for the captain and that thief I guess.

It just went bad fast for me. It would have been a dnf, but when I have read too much of a book it's just too hard to go back and admit defeat. 

Yeah, I would not recommend it. But if you want silly YA with a bit of fighting and romance, then go ahead.

This one was actually nice

Hardcover, 369 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Starflight #1
YA sci-fi romance

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Blog Tour Review: Aphrodite's Tears - Hannah Fielding

In ancient Greece, one of the twelve labours of Heracles was to bring back a golden apple from the Garden of Hesperides. To archaeologist Oriel Anderson, joining a team of Greek divers on the island of Helios seems like the golden apple of her dreams. Yet the dream becomes a nightmare when she meets the devilish owner of the island, Damian Lekkas. In shocked recognition, she is flooded with the memory of a romantic night in a stranger’s arms, six summers ago. A very different man stands before her now, and Oriel senses that the sardonic Greek autocrat is hell-bent on playing a cat and mouse game with her. As they cross swords and passions mount, Oriel is aware that malevolent eyes watch her from the shadows. Dark rumours are whispered about the Lekkas family. What dangers lie in Helios, a bewitching land where ancient rituals are still enacted to appease the gods, young men risk their lives in the treacherous depths of the Ionian Sea, and the volatile earth can erupt at any moment? Will Oriel find the hidden treasures she seeks? Or will Damian’s tragic past catch up with them, threatening to engulf them both? 

Paperback, 624 pages
Expected publication: January 25th 2018 by London Wall Publishing
Romantic fiction
for review

My thoughts:
I think the 70s setting fitted this book, cos if she had written it to take place today, wow, *me hitting men in the head* Hehe. Just say some of the men were very old school, but for the most they were cool. But it was the 70s, it was Greece, it was a island where most were farmers or fishermen. And it was fitting. I do hate when they try to make things like the times wasn't. Like come on, do not shy away cos if it, how do you think someone would react if you swim around in a bikini in a place where women wear shawls and black clothes. So this guy points out that a one piece is better, that is it.

So Oriel comes to Greece to work. She is an archaeologist. She is good and tired of mud. Oh and she had this hot one night stand ages ago.

Damian rules the Island, yes I told you they are old school, he is also an archaeologist (match made in heaven). And honestly, he so fits the persona I would think from some 70s Greek, lol, ok I have read too many Mills and boon books, but hey in those the guys are still like that. Oh and he is the guy who seduced her and still has the hots for her.

So he is her boss. She is all, nope, I should not fancy him. There is a cousin who, yes, that woman has issues! She was the most old school of them all. In the end she might be the only one in fact. Ugh that woman.

But, the book was too long to be honest, I am so pressed for time these days, and 600 p is a lot. In that time there is drama, discoveries, jealousy, old flames, diving and happily ever after.

A true Greek drama, with a happy ending.

Aphrodite’s Tears is out in paperback on 25th January for £7.99.

About the Author

Following her huge success as one of the UK’s leading romance authors with total sales of over 130k, Aphrodite’s Tears follows the award winning success of Hannah Fielding’s previous novels Burning Embers, Echoes of Love, Masquerade, Legacy and Indiscretion. Echoes of Love won Romance Novel of the Year at the IPB Awards in 2012 and Burning Embers was Amazon’s book of the month in 2011, while Hannah’s novels have been translated into 13 languages. With its spectacular setting and deep emotional drama, Aphrodite’s Tears will appeal both to fans of her backlist, as well as lovers of atmospheric travel writing including Santa Montefiore, Penny Vincenzie, Victoria Hislop and Lucinda Riley. 

Egyptian by birth Hannah is fluent in French, English and Arabic and has lived all over the world, she currently lives between her writing retreat in the South of France and her rambling family home in Ireland.  Hannah’s grandmother, Esther Fanous, was the revolutionary feminist writer in Egypt during the early 1900s.

Twitter: @fieldinghannah



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