Sunday, September 28, 2014

Crimson Gold (Traci Hall)

Crimson Gold
Traci Hall
Kendelle Press
Fiction, Historical Fiction/Romance
** (Bad)

DESCRIPTION: In 1881, Candice Crimson rides into the frontier town of Spokan Falls with her maid, her wardrobe, a hydraulic drill, and the deed granting her part-ownership of a nearby mine - her only worldly possessions. After her father's murder, her cold mother tried to marry Candice off to an elderly lecher for money, then disowned the young woman when she refused to go along with the plan. Now, she means to make her own fortune like the true suffragette that she is, vowing only to marry for love - if then.
Braxton Dimitio struggles to pull a living from the Crimson Gold mine he co-owns with a Boston investor. It's hard going, and he hasn't struck the mother lode yet, but he's invested too much blood, sweat, and tears to give up. His drunken father left his family destitute on a dying California vineyard; he needs to make enough money to see them through before he can even begin to think about his own comfort. Besides, his own dreams of happiness abandoned him at the altar years ago, taking with her any naive notions of romance. What he needs most is better equipment, and what he needs least is a headstrong lady too full of darn-fool notions of equality and adventure to know her place. Unfortunately, the former - a vital hydraulic drill - comes with the latter.
When Candice and Braxton meet in the dirt streets of Spokan Falls, their partnership seems doomed from the start. Soon, they realize that they'll have to work together, not just to make their mine a success, but to survive... because someone will do anything to keep the Crimson Gold Mine from prospering, even if it takes a bullet to stop them.
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: A pampered yet independent heiress struggling to regain her lost family honor, a jaded yet honorable man struggling to resist his own heart's yearnings, set against the rugged backdrop of the Pacific Northwest frontier... this should've been a decent read, but it failed me on too many levels. Both Candice and Braxton experience the expected hot and cold moments as their unwanted yet inevitable relationship blooms, but to unbelievable degrees. It reached the point where I simply could not believe in the characters as anything other than flimsy contrivances of the plot. Within the space of a couple paragraphs, they go from swearing off each other as a bad cause to wallowing in oceans of self-pitying tears over their hopeless passions. I lost track of how many times they declared their love for each other, only to spurn it mere breaths later... not to mention the number of times I stared at the Kindle screen and decided that neither of these two idiots deserved to find love, ever. But, then, none of the other characters were much more than set pieces, and the plot itself quickly degenerated into weak melodrama as Candice's scheming mother becomes far too involved in the mine's woes. After a series of disasters, romantic and otherwise, the tale wraps up in an eye-rolling anticlimax. There were hints of possibility now and again, but in the end I just couldn't suspend my disbelief here.

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