Stormy Persuasion by Johanna Lindsey

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.

Stormy Persuasion

One-Sentence Synopsis
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


Final Thoughts
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.

Goodreads Review: Grave Mercy (by Robin LaFevers)

I really want to get back into reviewing and blogging about books, but it’s one of those hobbies of mine that come and go. However, I wanted to share this one because I really liked this book! Even moreso, I liked the fact that it was outside my usual genre and it still did a good job of holding my attention

Also, I am a sucker for romance, and after coming off of some pretty hardcore steamy contemporaries recently, the sweet subtlety of the love story in this book was a nice change. This was the first in the trilogy, and I’ve already started the second, so I hope to report that the trilogy stays strong. Stay tuned.

Note: As with many of my book reviews, I’m not good about summarizing the plot since I can’t do it as well as Goodreads can, so just click the link to read the synopsis. 

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book and the second in the series (review to come soon) through NetGalley. I’m not a huge fan of historical or political novels, so the fact that I really enjoyed this novel (which is both) speaks to how well-written and entertaining it was.

The premise of daughters/assassins of a death saint was interesting, and the religious angle of the story was interesting, well thought out, and helped lay the foundation for the actions of the main characters. I especially liked the aspect that an assassin didn’t have to hide the fact that they would have to kill someone marqued by the lord of death. It turned out to be a quirk of the world that had a bigger part later in the story.

The characters themselves are well written, and the author did a good job of maintaining the mystery of who some of the good guys and bad guys were. There were characters I would have liked to see more of, though I’m assuming they’ll be part of the other books in the trilogy.

The author was careful to include just enough politics to keep the intrigue of the story and to keep the plot moving. There were times that dragged a bit for me, not in the pacing, but in the content since the genre isn’t my first choice. What made up for it was the romance that threaded through the story and the sweetness with which the hero and heroine found themselves coming together through the novel. By the end of the novel, though, I was caught up in the whole plot and am excited to read the next book.

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Goals, Cemeteries, and Zombies

Today was a good day.

We slept in a little bit but were out of the house by 10, which was later than we wanted to be out, but it was still early enough to accomplish something. Our first stop was the Wamego rec field to walk our second day of C25K.  When we’d originally planned to do this, we thought we’d be up before it got too hot. It didn’t work out that way, so this walk was tougher than it might have been had we gone back to the mall.  As hard as it was, we still finished, though the urge to just go home after that was pretty strong.  Right now, we’re just picking up the walking pace. It’s going to be killer if we ever graduate to running.

Along the way, we found one of the geocaches we hadn’t been able to find previously, so that was pretty awesome. While I’m working up to doing the whole 30 minute set without breaking, I’m not quite there yet, so stopping to search was a nice break.

We decided to go ahead and hit some more geocaches in the area before heading into Manhattan. Today was a day for cemeteries, including one called the Vieux Family Cemetery.  The area was interesting and a little creepy, not because of the graveyard, but because of the hidden shelter through the trees.

Go ahead...go in. I dare you.
Go ahead…go in. I dare you.

The graveyard was beautiful but sad.  The history there was amazing, but the graves were mostly for children who didn’t live much past the age of one, if that. There were also several that were marked “unknown.” Not sure if it was that fact or if the place just held a sad energy, but it made me cry, so we didn’t linger too long.

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A little further up the road, we found another one. It was another one of the tiny ones, which crack me up at how cute they are.

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We drove all over the place and got lost in some sketchy back roads, but we found five caches today. In the last cemetery, we even saw some wildlife: a snake and a ginormous rabbit, as well as some lizards running around on the road. The creepiest wildlife we saw, however, was the giant fuzzy caterpillars all over the road.

Later on, we took another video of a cache are we found a few weeks ago. Warning: spoilers.

We finally decided to head into Manhattan to grab a late lunch at Cox Bros BBQ. I was craving a BBQ Brisket sandwich.  While there, we signed up for their customer card and got a free jar of hot sauce and some free mac and cheese. We also got a picture of two raccoons paddling a canoe, which is pretty adorable and only slightly disturbing.

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After that, we went to Game Hounds to put up another Tengaicon flyer. While there, Jon bought me Dead Island: Riptide. I’ve been talking about renting it, but since we gave up our GameFly account, I would have had to rent it and commit some time to finishing it. This way, we can actually play it at our leisure, and since we bought it used, it was way less than paying full price for a brand new copy.

Our last stop was the gym. This was a double workout day because we set dual fitness goals: the first was to train for a 5K by finishing the Couch to 5K program, and the second was to make it to the gym at least three times a week in order to evaluate if we were going to keep our memberships or not. We ended up taking a couple rest days this week (fyi, our week is from Tuesday to Monday to compensate for the “rest” we took the Monday back from Gen Con), so in order to fit all our goals in, we doubled up today. It wasn’t so bad. We managed to fit in another 20 minutes of cardio, and I started watching The Missing on Netflix.

Once we got home, I played some DI:R, then uploaded pictures and organized things out of my Dropbox. I have yet to shower, so I think that’s next on the list. Then it’ll be either more video games or maybe some reading and an early night to bed. Plans for tomorrow include going to buy new shoes (walking and possibly another pair for hiking), laundry, and the gym to get our third day in for the week.  Since we’ll be in Topeka, we’ll probably hit up some geocaches there.

Maybe bed is needed, because I think I’ve planned another full day for tomorrow.