Johanna Lindsey was my favorite author when I was young (as in middle school young). The first book I read of hers was a Mallory Family novel and I was hooked (Gentle Rogue, btw…and I’m still a fan of James Mallory). Sadly, I was disappointed in the last Mallory novel I read, so I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to like this one.
A smuggler looking to be pardoned boards a ship to America, not realizing that he’ll be traveling with a young woman he just can’t ignore. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.
The Good Stuff
It took me a few chapters to warm up to Judith and Jack, the daughters of Anthony and James Mallory respectively, but when I did, I really enjoyed them. I liked the contrast between them: Judith’s femininity and quiet to Jack’s tomboyishness and brash nature. I especially liked what I hoped was a glimpse at Jack’s story.
Overall, I liked this book. It took me back to the things I loved about the earlier novels, including fun banter, a sweet “we shouldn’t be together” romance, and angst galore. Nathan was delightful, and I enjoyed the damsel in distress twist the story took, as well as the light, but important mystery that added to the story.
Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
The Mallory saga has gotten so big, that I found much of the book to be exposition and weird dialogue meant to remind the reader of all the different members of the family. I found this somewhat distracting, and at times a little weird. There were conversations that rehashed something about a past character that didn’t feel like a real conversation. Seriously, if both people were in a situation, why rehash the whole thing? Oh yeah…to remind the reader about it.
The Romance Factor
I thought Nathan and Judith were adorable, though Judith pissed me off a bit when she pulled the distrust card. On one hand, it added to the delicious drama, but on the other hand…seriously, girl….get it together! To be fair, he was a smuggler. Still, I guess true love couldn’t conquer all too early. 3/5
The Steam Factor
Once again remembering when I was young, I thought these books were so scandalous. Now that I’m older and have read a varied amount of steamy romance and erotica, I realize just how tame these are. There are no dirty details, but there is just enough of a description to let you know what’s going on, and it manages to give a hint of sensuality. 3/5
I was happy to find that nostalgic feel of the original Mallory novels with this one. I even give it a bonus thumb up because it pulls from backstory that may have been forgotten by most readers. Now, I play the waiting game because I really want to see what happens with Jack.