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The Art of Love

(The Golden City #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  475 ratings  ·  73 reviews
This is an alternate cover edition for ISBN 9780991508907

How Much Would You Sacrifice for Love?

With nothing but a strong back and a barrel full of ambition, August Wolff finds wealth beyond measure in the frozen wilderness of the Klondike. Success, however, comes at an unbearably high price. Now Gus walks alone, and all the money in the world can’t buy him what he needs.

Paperback, 362 pages
Published May 3rd 2014 by Red Trumpet Press
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  475 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm happy to have read this mediocre book, as it confirms my belief that my ratings -- mostly 4s -- are fair. How lovely, to have so many good books to read!
But this isn't one of them. This is a run-of-the-mill Bodice Ripper that attracted my attention because it centers on The City -- San Francisco -- that's dearest to my East Bay born heart. The book isn't bad; it uses many of the tropes common to Bodice Rippers, including the author's apparent discomfort with writing about actual Bodice Rippi
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of life’s great pleasures is finding an author with a body of work that I can follow for a while to feed my appetite for reading. Often I find an author late in their career and I am sorry I missed seeing them sooner but I’m glad that I can binge on the backlog. A friend recommended A.B. Michael’s, The Art of Love. It grabbed me from the first page and had me staying up way too late to read just one more chapter, again and again. When I finished I wanted more and was sad to realize I will ju ...more
Barbara D. Mason
Mar 03, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The historical setting was interesting, but the author didn't stay true to the portrayal because she imposed modern language, activities and societal standards. I suppose she was trying to appeal to today's reader, but this is what I found to be beyond plausible:
1)Gus goes for a jog and goes to the gym. Really? This is turn of the century! Yes, gyms did exist (I googled it), but they were boxing gyms. I could be wrong, but jogging is a relatively modern exercise. It would have been more likely f
Anemone Flynn
Four out of five stars. The Art of Love: Origins of Sinner’s Grove by A.B. Michaels is a romance novel chronicling love between two art lovers in San Francisco at the beginning of the 20th century. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a sedate, slow story!

The book is written in three parts. Part one introduces Augustus Wolf on his claim during the height of the gold rush. It has a wonderful wild west feel to it, which I suppose is only to be expected given the setting. The second pa
Jennifer Lara
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Art of Love is the first book in The Golden City series by A.B. Michaels. The story opens in May 1896 as August “Gus” Wolff works a claim in the Klondike. His wife, Mattie, has decided that life in the Klondike is not want she wanted and decides to return to Seattle with their one-year old daughter, Annabelle. Against all odds, he does strike gold and he travels to join them in Seattle, only to find out they are no longer there. No one seems to know where they have gone and despite his best ...more
Doreen Prentiss Gabriellini
‘The Art of Love’ by A.B. Michaels is a wonderful piece of historical fiction. This wonderful story takes us from the Yukon to New York and lastly San Francisco in the late 1800's.
The story drew me in during the first chapter and had me staying up late to read ‘just one more chapter’ When I finished I wanted more. There was hope however since the cover of the book says The Golden City #1.

Both the main characters Gus and Lia are extremely complex characters who have both survived failed relation
Virginia Tican
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An engrossing read despite my reluctance to read about divorce. The author has presented another aspect of such a solution to the intolerable situation that Lia, George and Emma are in (in Part 2) by way of introducing Amelia Ruth Bennett's story. I can not also fault Lia in choosing her own path (though painful by her leaving Little Georgie) but that was the best option so that George and the newly widowed Emma can be together and Lia can pursue her art. What I cannot fathom is why did Emma not ...more
Nanette Littlestone
History and passion come alive!

From the icy fields of the Yukon to the rich abodes of New York to the growing beauty of San Francisco and the redwood forests, A.B. Michaels captures the history and aliveness of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in her heroes Lia and Gus. I shivered through Gus's gold mining attempts in the Yukon and wondered how any man or woman could exist there. Then my heart bristled in outrage at Lia's unfortunate turn of events among the wealthy patronage of New York.
Sue Woodruff
This book by A.B. Michaels is the first in a series of books. It had a high rating from Goodreads, and it was only $1.99, so I decided to try it. It is historical fiction which is set in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Gus, Mattie, and Lia are the main characters, although there are many interesting people that show up in the book. At the start of the novel, Gus and his wife, Mattie, are up in the Yukon Territory where Gus is hoping to strike it rich during the Yukon Gold Rush. Mattie, his wife, ...more
Kristy Day
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A turn-of-the-century novel based upon upper society in San Francisco

This is an excellent novel based upon San Francisco elite. The author doesn't write what's expected about upper class society, yet about the struggles one man goes through to get what he wants, happiness. The book is well written, week developed and well paced. Scenes are described so vividly they can be easily pictured. Characters are believable and emotions are heartfelt. An excellent book, highly recommended.
Debbie Shoulders
More romance that historical fiction, A.B. Michaels attempts to relive the era of late 19 Century San Francisco. Gus makes a fortune through some luck in the Yukon and a lot of hard work. But he loses his wife and daughter to his ambition. Lia, an artist is born to a family, high in status but low in wealth, finds herself wed to her sister's love. Locating a way to escape, she takes herself to San Francisco and quickly becomes attracted to the wealthy August Wolff. The descriptions of Bay Area i ...more
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book one of the Golden City series and I want to read the next book. Businessman August Wolff and talented artist Amelia Starling meet and find that the love they feel for each other just keeps growing, but Gus is hiding something from his past that can tear them apart. I know I want to read the next book in this series. I recommend this book. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Susan Zollmann
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Art of Love lives up to its name!

I just love me the writings of A.B. Michaels! Though this is only the second novel of hers that I've read, I'm even more gratified than I was after the first. Her character development, historical setting & plot line is such that I am totally enthralled. I read alot & it's been years since I've come across an author who displays such finesse at her craft. I highly recommend this author & can't wait to read more of her work.
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this as a lighter read between my normal dystopian novels. I tend to avoid romance as they don't normally prescribe to what I consider a healthy relationship. For me, this book was enjoyable, but I found Gus to be unrealistically forward for the time period. He touches Lia's face on the first time they met and would talk considerably dirty to her even before they were courting. As I said, it was enjoyable, but romance is not my favorite genre. ...more
Kasia Szpakowska
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book-it was a good solid enjoyable read. I didn’t give it 5 stars because I reserve that for books that stay with me, or that I may reread. But this book did make me want to read others on the series. While I could predict what would happen, that in no way deterred my enjoyment. The time period was we’ll researched and accurate. San Francisco is my favorite city (was home!) and this did the city’s history and its people justice. A lot of fun to read and would highly recommend!
B Gail
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I struggled through this book. As others have commented, the plot is thin and the characters, for the most part are pretty weak. But the biggest problem for me was the lack of dénouement. The book ends abruptly in the middle San Francisco earthquake leaving the fate of most of the characters completely unresolved. It was as though the author finally thought “I’ve had enough of this“ and wrapped it up and closed it off. Bummer.
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great historical romance

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The details were great and I liked that the author kept the novel as historically accurate as she could. It was a marvelous love story that tugged at my heart strings. I recommend reading this novel if you enjoy historical romances and happy endings! Also, the best part about this novel is that even though it is book one in a series, all the books can be read as a standalone.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He made it rich and now he hopes to go find a new place to try to get over his missing wife and daughter. Will he ever find out what happened to them he meets another who is just as lost as he is. She is an artist. Can two broken people find a new way to live? Find out what they will do

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story. The author describes the history of many historical things in San Francisco. There is an amazing love story with lots of drama. I thought the book was full of emotions with great characters. I think the author did a wonderful job of making you feel the characters pain and love. A great book to read.
John Pope
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put it down until I finished the book.

This book was wonderful as a romance but just as engrossing as a history of the gold rush in California and the Klondike. Viewing it through the eyes of a woman from the privileged yet structured life of New York society to the freedom of starting her own journey was doubly satisfying.
EvilAntie Jan
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A true San Francisco treat

What an extraordinary book on the golden era of San Francisco. ST is a real treat and A.B. Michael's story does the city by the bay real justice. Looking forward to all the novels in the two series. San Francisco was that wild city flourishing to great heights. All the characters are bigger than life but that's want makes them real SF treats.
Willie. Van Den Hoek
A really interesting story full of love and courage.

I like the way this book is written. It goes between past and present but in a very pleasant way. The characters are so real and lovable and down to earth and it is a facinating tale with historic details woven throughout. Excellent and uplifting message message.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author took us on a well written trip to the gold mining era. I liked the story and the characters. I was surprised by some of the things in the book, but I also was intrigued. The storyline was fascinating. It was a well written trip into the past.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful romance novels !!

I could not put this book down. It had a lot of romance and a little of everything else. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a love story that keeps you on the edge of your seat !! I can't wait to read book 2 of this series.
Loved this! Can't wait to read the others in the series. Romance + San Francisco + Gilded Age - winning combination. The romance was predictable but the main characters' circumstances were a little out of the ordinary for romances, which bumped this from 4 stars to 5 for me. ...more
Maureen Hetzel
I have mixed feeling about the book. A panoramic story the starts in the Alaskan gold rush, the moves to high society in New York to create the backstories of the main characters. Then we are in San Francisco. The historical Background in each section is welcome. The story itself could have been edited in a way that increased its impact. It was just a tad too long and drawn out. Enjoyable but an effort.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book! One of the best ones I've read in a while.
Loved it that the story was in 3 parts and how all of it played out.
Also it was very romantic but also kept me on the edge of wanting to read more.
Charlotte Lowe
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Art of Love

The process of the story, telling the individual life story of Gus, then Lia, was masterfully done. Their eventual meeting and falling in love still was not without its problems.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Art of Love

The Art of Love was an historical fiction book about the Klondike, striking it rich, losing your first love and finally making it big and finding true love in San Francisco.
Maryam J.
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

What a great story. The characters are well described and interesting. The plot is well written and directed. The places are also well described. I enjoyed reading this book and loved the end.
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A native of northern California, A.B. Michaels earned masters' degrees in history and broadcasting, and worked for many years in public relations and marketing. Now that she's an empty nester, she has time to write the kinds of stories she loves to read. Her historical series, "The Golden City," follows characters who make their way in turn of the twentieth century San Francisco. "I love creating ...more

Other books in the series

The Golden City (6 books)
  • The Depth of Beauty (The Golden City, #2)
  • The Promise (The Golden City, #3)
  • The Price of Compassion (The Golden City, #4)
  • Josephine's Daughter (The Golden City Book 5)
  • The Madness of Mrs. Whittaker

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