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The House of Five Fortunes

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For readers who like historical fiction with a bit of a love story. While Xiu peddled pipe dreams, a nightmare was waiting. Sensual and exotic, San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1870's was filled with temptation and greed. Raised in this quagmire of vice, Xiu Jung caters to wealthy thrill-seekers with her elegant opium den, The House of Five Fortunes. With the help of Madi For readers who like historical fiction with a bit of a love story. While Xiu peddled pipe dreams, a nightmare was waiting. Sensual and exotic, San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1870's was filled with temptation and greed. Raised in this quagmire of vice, Xiu Jung caters to wealthy thrill-seekers with her elegant opium den, The House of Five Fortunes. With the help of Madison Hayes, the illustrious actor, she makes it the most fashionable salon on the West Coast. But a string of murders is sweeping the city, coming closer and closer to Xiu. Madison said he would protect her, but could this mysterious outsider be trusted? From Chinatown to Deadwood, Amanda Hughes once again takes you on a page-turning adventure of a lifetime.


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For readers who like historical fiction with a bit of a love story. While Xiu peddled pipe dreams, a nightmare was waiting. Sensual and exotic, San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1870's was filled with temptation and greed. Raised in this quagmire of vice, Xiu Jung caters to wealthy thrill-seekers with her elegant opium den, The House of Five Fortunes. With the help of Madi For readers who like historical fiction with a bit of a love story. While Xiu peddled pipe dreams, a nightmare was waiting. Sensual and exotic, San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1870's was filled with temptation and greed. Raised in this quagmire of vice, Xiu Jung caters to wealthy thrill-seekers with her elegant opium den, The House of Five Fortunes. With the help of Madison Hayes, the illustrious actor, she makes it the most fashionable salon on the West Coast. But a string of murders is sweeping the city, coming closer and closer to Xiu. Madison said he would protect her, but could this mysterious outsider be trusted? From Chinatown to Deadwood, Amanda Hughes once again takes you on a page-turning adventure of a lifetime.

30 review for The House of Five Fortunes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Another quick read, not sure about this one. As quickly as the plots thicken, it fizzled out. Xiu was a strong female character at times, yet weak at other times . The best characterization in the whole book was made by Madison on his feelings about women “Above all, Madison believed in their potential. They were bursting with possibilities and ideas, an untapped resource waiting to be unleashed on the world. He was certain this Amazonian strength and capacity were the reason men had imprisoned Another quick read, not sure about this one. As quickly as the plots thicken, it fizzled out. Xiu was a strong female character at times, yet weak at other times . The best characterization in the whole book was made by Madison on his feelings about women “Above all, Madison believed in their potential. They were bursting with possibilities and ideas, an untapped resource waiting to be unleashed on the world. He was certain this Amazonian strength and capacity were the reason men had imprisoned them for centuries. Intimidated by their power, many saw women as a force that must be contained, a storm to be subdued.” — The House of Five Fortunes by Amanda Hughes http://a.co/eF4iSg

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jane Silhouette

    'The House Of Five Fortunes' by Amanda Hughes. Synopsis: While Xiu peddled pipe dreams, a nightmare was waiting. Sensual and exotic, San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1870's was filled with temptation and greed. Raised in this quagmire of vice, Xiu Jung caters to wealthy thrill-seekers with her elegant opium den, The House of Five Fortunes. With the help of Madison Hayes, the illustrious actor, she makes it the most fashionable salon on the West Coast. But a string of murders is sweeping the city, 'The House Of Five Fortunes' by Amanda Hughes. Synopsis: While Xiu peddled pipe dreams, a nightmare was waiting. Sensual and exotic, San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1870's was filled with temptation and greed. Raised in this quagmire of vice, Xiu Jung caters to wealthy thrill-seekers with her elegant opium den, The House of Five Fortunes. With the help of Madison Hayes, the illustrious actor, she makes it the most fashionable salon on the West Coast. But a string of murders is sweeping the city, coming closer and closer to Xiu. Madison said he would protect her, but could this mysterious outsider be trusted? My thoughts: As I sit here holding a cup of tea with its aroma of cinnamon, I realized it has been a year since my last book review. With a pencil in my hand and the book, 'The House Of Five Fortunes' by Amanda Hughes, I am pondering on the cover illustration, and asking myself why am I reading this time-period which I do not usually do unless it's a mail-order bride genre. Loving the feel of this book, the colour of white font and the vibrancy of its background. Review...I always write down five words that pertain to my understanding and thoughts as I process in my mind the novel I am reading. Words that best describe to me what the story is foretelling, the emotions evoked by the author's storytelling. I take delight in circling sentences that I find intriguing, funny or descriptive...you know, captivating! I also write my thoughts within the pages of the novel. My first word: Painting...Amanda Hughes's description throughout the storytelling is expressive...it is an exquisite painting with captivating layers of substance. I can imagine her words coming to life, but, her words evoked more than imagination, I envisioned, as if from memories, re-living...walking down the block, the raining falling, the feeling of the texture of silk, traveling on a train, the morning sunrise and the hidden emotions, they are like the layers of paint. This painting held a depth of loneliness and hurts, as I read each characters' history unfolding, as if stripping the layers of paint from it's canvas. One could not walk away from viewing quickly, you would study its warmth, its vitality. its endurance. Second word: Family...Grateful, that this story depicts children, the siblings and their caring parents. Fearful and apprehensive that they would come to harm as I read page after page. Contented to see devotion to God, the community and their children, but, at what cost? It influenced my mind to recall memories passed. The love that was seen for this family was shown in ways one is not familiar with because one parent or the other was deterred to help the community's occupants first. The love still existed and at moments I caught tears rolling down my cheeks for it was not recognized as such, the assisting/rescuing of others throughout this novel hid layers upon layers of wanting, of wanting happiness, joy and desire. The relationships with the siblings showed a cry for the need to be heard and cared for. The need/want to say, 'I love you' was a parent's struggle with great obstacles thus determination. So, much saddness and little joy as each character searches and reaches out for compassion, companionship, looking for happiness then gratified by money and greed...against the odds of society and it's bigotry. This family struggled to survive in a world of violence, sexual need for self gratification, kidnapping, piped dreams and discrimination while constantly searching for more, not comprehending what. Third word: Hardships...enduring so much within this young girl's life, complications one after another, was the reality for so many, they carried the burden of pain, saddness and the mindset of no way out from under, The Barbary Coast ...the negativity keeping pace with one's livelihood and the necessity of not just living, but, survival. Then, parallel their hopes, dreams and desires of wanting more all with the boundaries of a harsh environment. The characters once acknowledging this, grows courage and strength while finding difficulty in trusting on others for help. Fourth word: Emotions...throughout this novel is a history of emotion, Xiu depicted such depth and range, the difficulty in wanting to be loved and loving others was draining for her. Madison also held a history of vast and turbulent emotions with difficulties in expressing them. They were heartfelt and knowing. Fifth word: Cruelty...How does one survive in a world of cruelty and search for happiness? Not only cruelty, but, deception, bigotry, harshness, the list goes on! Xiu and her friends had to be bold! Within these pages was a quest, to persevere with strength and courage, to more than just endure...there was also suspense, mystery and murder... My thoughts while reading of the first two murders was of a stalker/serial killer, I was agast of its conclusion and dumbfounded, surprised...chapter after chapter, Amanda Hughes's novel builts an awesome climax until the ending, I wanted an epilogue, actually, I needed a novella, a page and a half wouldn't and did not do for an ending. I wanted to continue reading about Xiu and Madison's new adventures as they search for fulfillment and happiness. Brava, to you, Amanda Hughes!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chele Kispert

    Amanda Hughes, to quote your own bio, "she spends more time in heroic daydreams than in the real world." This, I believe. In another of her fabulous tales, she takes us to 19th century Chinatown, San Francisco. She keeps the tale so interesting, that it just makes you go, "oh man, that's the end?" when you finish it. I had a hard time putting it down to go to bed. I wanted to finish. But am disappointed that it's complete. As a fan of historical everything, and with Amanda's writing style, she k Amanda Hughes, to quote your own bio, "she spends more time in heroic daydreams than in the real world." This, I believe. In another of her fabulous tales, she takes us to 19th century Chinatown, San Francisco. She keeps the tale so interesting, that it just makes you go, "oh man, that's the end?" when you finish it. I had a hard time putting it down to go to bed. I wanted to finish. But am disappointed that it's complete. As a fan of historical everything, and with Amanda's writing style, she keeps me sitting on the edge of my chair for her next tale to be printed. I, for one, am glad she daydreams in another era and that she has the ability to put down the words. There really is a reason Amanda Hughes is an award-winning author. She deserves them. You keep writing, I'll keep reading.

  4. 4 out of 5

    AF Michael

    This is my first reading of any book authored by Amanda Hughes. I am so NOT sorry to have read one of her works. This book was magnificent. Filled with texture, color, character studies with a plot that is twisted, intricate with things that will surprise you along the way and satisfy you at the end. This book is worth reading and it is a book I will read again and again. You will be touched by Xiu, astounded by Madison and Nuan and fall in love with them and others as they are braided in and ou This is my first reading of any book authored by Amanda Hughes. I am so NOT sorry to have read one of her works. This book was magnificent. Filled with texture, color, character studies with a plot that is twisted, intricate with things that will surprise you along the way and satisfy you at the end. This book is worth reading and it is a book I will read again and again. You will be touched by Xiu, astounded by Madison and Nuan and fall in love with them and others as they are braided in and out and in and out again of the tale. This story was constructed in a strange period in American history. It is an often times unrecognized for the brutality that was so flagrantly used against human beings from outside this country who worked hard and made this country their home. Well done, Ms. Hughes. I look forward to reading more of your work and enjoying it thoroughly. Thank you for making it available on Goodreads. It is a treasure.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sunhawk

    Best forgotten. Amazon has invented a new genre, and this is a pretty good exemplar: the cheap serial bodice ripper. I guess it keeps certain ladies busy cranking, but I wish they'd (1) write what they know or do their research thoroughly, and (2) get someone literate to give them a critical read. This book, while telling an interesting, if marginally believable, story (assuming one knows some San Francisco and Western Geography and Railroad History), has just enough annoying bits that the reader Best forgotten. Amazon has invented a new genre, and this is a pretty good exemplar: the cheap serial bodice ripper. I guess it keeps certain ladies busy cranking, but I wish they'd (1) write what they know or do their research thoroughly, and (2) get someone literate to give them a critical read. This book, while telling an interesting, if marginally believable, story (assuming one knows some San Francisco and Western Geography and Railroad History), has just enough annoying bits that the reader never completely forgets the author, who is presumable busily at work writing, sprezzatura style, the fifth novel in her series. (Sprezzatura, my poetry prof told me, is poetry that sounds like it was written while falling off a horse.) Amanda, the Rockies are NOT one overnight by train east of San Francisco. One does not "lay" in bed; one "lies" in bed, unless, of course, one is laying tile. And numerous other niggling little shots of stupid that spoil what could have been a mindless summertime read. The story was fun enough to keep me reading (and cringing), just.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stanley McShane

    This carefully crafted and well-researched narrative regarding the Chinese community in San Francisco 1867-1876 tells the story of Xiu Jung, the eldest of the two Chinese children of her foster parents Day. Xiu (she-you) was often called upon to help with her two younger siblings, her own sister Lei, and Peter, an issue of both the pastor and Dolly Day. Her mother had set up a thriving business and when Xiu lost both foster parents, took over raising her sister and brother as well as the work in This carefully crafted and well-researched narrative regarding the Chinese community in San Francisco 1867-1876 tells the story of Xiu Jung, the eldest of the two Chinese children of her foster parents Day. Xiu (she-you) was often called upon to help with her two younger siblings, her own sister Lei, and Peter, an issue of both the pastor and Dolly Day. Her mother had set up a thriving business and when Xiu lost both foster parents, took over raising her sister and brother as well as the work in the House of Five Fortunes, an opium den. Later with successful but mysterious actor Madison Hayes who financially backs a remodel, they create an exclusive and fashionable salon. Unfortunately, as her sibling's age, they each become a problem about the same time anti-Chinese sentiment begins to manifest in overt hostilities. The author weaves such a dramatic tale of the old west, San Francisco in the height of the Barbary Coast days when brothels, gambling dens, opium houses, and saloons went wild with sailors disembarking in search of good times. Additionally, the gold strikes northeast burgeoned the city with a population ill-prepared to handle the growth. The atmosphere of the city is laid open, raw with the sights, smells, and the cacophony of frantic development. A crisis with Peter forces a change in direction from which recovery may not be capable, but evolves the relationship with Michael--another very dangerous development. The reader is immersed with the engaging and well-developed characters, both main and support characters, the strongly atmospheric tale swirling in your head, creating a beautifully technicolored mind-movie. Dialogue pulses with accent nuance and the reader becomes totally invested. I received this well-plotted and fast-paced ebook download from the author with no expectation of a review, although it's a book I thoroughly enjoyed and shared with the CE. He also adds his review to the full review found at https://rosepointpublishing.com/2019/...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I recommend the book. This book opened slowly but midway gathered steam making the last pages interesting. The author's writing mechanics were excellent. There were times when I thought she was spending too time on throwaway characters and events, but she connected everything in the end. The book is chiefly about a Chinese woman living in San Francisco in the latter years of the nineteenth century. The history of that era is a perfect backdrop for an otherwise romance novel. I liked reading about I recommend the book. This book opened slowly but midway gathered steam making the last pages interesting. The author's writing mechanics were excellent. There were times when I thought she was spending too time on throwaway characters and events, but she connected everything in the end. The book is chiefly about a Chinese woman living in San Francisco in the latter years of the nineteenth century. The history of that era is a perfect backdrop for an otherwise romance novel. I liked reading about the transcontinental railroad and the burgeoning city of San Fransisco. Many Chinese had emigrated to San Fransisco to and parts east of the city to either work on the railroad or service the people working on the railroad. When the railroad was finished, a movement against the Chinese began. They did not have all of the civil liberties that were privy to white men. The citizenry was not completely protected by law enforcement. Where that situation exists, a non-law abiding group will take hold and execute their powers. Thank you, Ms. Hughes, for a good read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina Sellers

    This book was amazing. I hope the others in the series are as good. From what I understand, each book has a different set of characters and a different protagonist. This one is about a young Chinese girl, adopted by Americans when she was young, who grows up in 1800's San Francisco, when many Chinese were brought to America to work on the railroads. The story is rich in history and color, and describes the anti-Chinese sentiment in the city then, and the rags-to-riches-to-rags story of the prota This book was amazing. I hope the others in the series are as good. From what I understand, each book has a different set of characters and a different protagonist. This one is about a young Chinese girl, adopted by Americans when she was young, who grows up in 1800's San Francisco, when many Chinese were brought to America to work on the railroads. The story is rich in history and color, and describes the anti-Chinese sentiment in the city then, and the rags-to-riches-to-rags story of the protagonist. She was indeed a bold woman and there is so much to be admired in her. She never gives up, or lets go, or whines about how hard things are, she just gets the job done and in a beautiful way. The House of Five Fortunes is, of all things, an opium den, and is the most beautiful and respected such place in the city, and all thanks to her and her hard work. I can't wait to read the next book in the set.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marescha

    Note : I got this book for free I stopped reading halfway chapter three because I just couldn't get with the writing style. It's not bad, it just kept reminding me that I was reading a book instead of tagging along with a character. There was a lot of telling, and the telling was often tidbits that either didn't need to be mentioned or were things that a 10yo protaganist probably wouldn't know. I didn't give it one star because the parts I read weren't awful, I just couldn't concile myself with th Note : I got this book for free I stopped reading halfway chapter three because I just couldn't get with the writing style. It's not bad, it just kept reminding me that I was reading a book instead of tagging along with a character. There was a lot of telling, and the telling was often tidbits that either didn't need to be mentioned or were things that a 10yo protaganist probably wouldn't know. I didn't give it one star because the parts I read weren't awful, I just couldn't concile myself with the writing of this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    A good read This is a solid story and overall I enjoyed reading The House of Five Fortunes. I loved the cast of strong female characters, and wish they could have been even stronger, but I will allow that for the time period of the book it makes sense and was fitting. I would have given it a higher rating if it had lived up to its potential a bit more. Parts of the plot felt disjointed or too abrupt and it just needed to flow more smoothly. Minimal errors in the editing as well.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I only read this book because I found it on my Kindle and thought it was there because my husband read and recommended it. As other reviewers noted, it started off well, but ended in something that seemed like a blown up soap opera. Both the plot and the writing style deteriorated to a point that I kept reading just to see how much worse it could get. (Kind of like how you keep listening to our current POTUS.) Not recommended. Author has a good theme going, but undecided if I'll give her another I only read this book because I found it on my Kindle and thought it was there because my husband read and recommended it. As other reviewers noted, it started off well, but ended in something that seemed like a blown up soap opera. Both the plot and the writing style deteriorated to a point that I kept reading just to see how much worse it could get. (Kind of like how you keep listening to our current POTUS.) Not recommended. Author has a good theme going, but undecided if I'll give her another chance.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alma

    Though this book is in the Bold Women of the 20th Century series, I didn’t see Xiu as very bold. Her mother was strong, but I saw Xiu as weak and easy to manipulate. I thought her mother, Nuan, and Dandan the cook were strong female characters, not Xiu. In fact the strongest character in the book was Madison, and he was a man! Read the rest of the review on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.... Though this book is in the Bold Women of the 20th Century series, I didn’t see Xiu as very bold. Her mother was strong, but I saw Xiu as weak and easy to manipulate. I thought her mother, Nuan, and Dandan the cook were strong female characters, not Xiu. In fact the strongest character in the book was Madison, and he was a man! Read the rest of the review on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress....

  13. 4 out of 5

    Beth McGee

    Riveting! What an explosive book! This story covers many of the biases of earlier generations and highlights how hard it was for Chinese immigrants in our young nation. But, thankfully, not everyone shared those biases and love somehow finds its way in this sweet love story. This book is full of surprising twists and you will find it hard to put down. Compelling!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Cacek

    Fast-paced tale of the gold-rush era. Very original. A fast- moving story, believable, full of excitement, intrigue and treachery. Added to all of this, realistic characters with a historical wild-west background. A great read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ann Marie Curry

    Four stars!! This was a very busy story..... Xui and Madison finally getting away from the insanity of Chinatown. It was an enjoyable story even though a bit convoluted. I recommend this to anyone that enjoys a suspenseful love story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Weiping Yin

    fine story and good writting Read like a chapter of Amy Tan’s book, vivid characters, lovable personality and interesting story. At least, the author didn’t try to over describe Chinese culture and society.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Hetzel

    Plot is very complicated and lengthy. The number of Disasters that face this young Chinese girl/women to just too hard to believe. It seems a compilation of stories rolled into one. Just not totally believable.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeannette Modesto

    The novel started with a very interesting plot but it lost it's place after the trip to the mountains. I did not even bother to finish the book even though I was 30 pages from the end.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    2.75 Parts of this good, and a lot of disjointed, far-fetched, random stories. Just didn’t hang together all that well.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Magil

    The story started out interesting, then deteriorated to a predictable romance.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Echols

    Intriguing Story A good story that held my interest. Lots of action in spite of the passive voice. Enjoyed the characters and descriptions.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amy Samin

    Note to self: you stopped reading this book less than halfway through because you were not enjoying it. Don’t start reading it again - life is too short.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This story of an Chinese woman making her way in San Francisco was historic in its anti-Chinese sentiment and Tong power descriptions. Ultimately, it was a love story involving trust and acceptance.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Good read, easy. Enjoy the period of history depicted and characters were decently developed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    An easy enough read, enjoyable, but one star off for being unbelievable.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Spearman

    really enjoyed this book I really enjoyed th I book

  27. 4 out of 5

    Angie Cory

    History Repeats Xiu, such a brave, intrepid woman. Overcoming racism, disillusion and poverty, builds her life. Her adventure takes her from the West coast into the wild.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dot

    A splendid read A lovely book, well balanced with all the elements. The writing is easy and the tale interesting. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Francesca

    Great read. Well written.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Penny Paterson

    I cannot write reviews without spoiling thw book for others. LOVED this

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