What an excellent novella! I love it when historical romance balances both aspects while keeping true to the setting the story takes place in and Gold Mountain doesn't disappoint. Sometime ago I was researching around the setting and time period depicted in this story. It mentioned the rise of the Chinese immigrant males taking African American wives and I loved that the author centered around this not only as a way of writing about that true aspect but to center on a type of couple that isn't given much spotlight.
Gold Mountain focuses on Quiang, a Chinese railroad worker, and Leah, an African American woman who runs a laundry/store with her best friend Clara. They meet one day when Quiang comes to the shop one day to have his shirt cleaned. Although they each speak a different language, both the hero and heroine take time to communicate with each other and of course the most basic communication, that of the heart, begins to bring them closer together. As they battle the social obstacles of their time and try to navigate just how to live each day, Quiang and Leah grow closer and find out just how much they need each other.
I loved this book! I was a little nervous about reading it because the publisher is known for kinkier fair but Gold Mountain was sensual and sexy without going over the edge to crudeness. Kudos to Ms. Cullars for writing such an engaging tale that had me on the edge of my seat, fascinated by the history and cheering for the hero and heroine all at once. I really love her voice and the way she takes time to build chemistry between the leads. There are some scenes of violence in the story but they definitely complement the story and give the reader and idea of what the leads had to go through and how harsh the conditions were for them. Overall, my only complaint is that I wish the story were longer!
I really hope Ms. Cullars writes more historical romances. We definitely need these types of stories to show more of how minorities lived and fell in love thoughout the ages and with Cullar's masterful storytelling, it'll be all the more interesting. In the mean time, I'll happy grab some goodies from her backlist and start reading them as I wait for her next release. This is going on my best of 2010 release reading list.
If you love historical fiction and/or romances, definitely check out Gold Mountain!