by Stephanie Laurens

October 1997
ISBN: 0-380-79455-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Captain Jack’s Woman, I understand, is Ms. Lauren’s debut title – and it’s terrific! If you’ve read her Cynster saga, you’ll probably recognize the Cynster-like qualities in Jack and Kit, and pretend that they’re the ancestors of the Cynster family! (Of course, it’s not possible since the time period is the same!)

Kit, after six boring years in London, has finally returned home to the country. Cranmer Hall is where she calls home, and where her doting grandfather Spencer, the love of her life, has been waiting for her to return. Kit takes up where she left off – visiting old friends and riding her mare alone in the countryside… in breeches! And by accident, she discovered smuggling and became the leader of an inept smuggling gang.

Captain Jack is leading the rival gang in the county. But apart from his pirate looks and commanding presence, he’s really not a smuggler – and he won’t tell you anything else. However, he’s forced to make a merger with Kit’s smaller gang in order to control the smuggling in the area – to which the locals are heavily dependent on. And dealing with a female passing herself off as a male (a boy really!), brings on a whole passel of trouble for Jack.

Like I said, Jack and Kit are most likely blueprints for the Cynster heroes and heroines. And although Jack is just as alpha and sexy and skilled in the sensual arts, and Kit, stubborn, independent to a fault and intelligent, they’re not entirely fleshed out as characters. It’s hard not to compare them to Ms. Laurens’ Cynsters because they’re so much alike! Kit is a bit more introspective, taking time to consider her actions towards Jack – not as impulsive. In fact, there is not really all that much dialogue between Jack and Kit – but lots of steamy scenes in the bedroom that inexcusably steal Kit’s common sense and powers of speech away. It seemed that every time Kit needs to berate Jack, or even try to talk to him about something, she’s being kissed and made love to senseless and, well, there goes that….

But still, it’s a very enjoyable read and it certainly showed a lot of promise that Ms. Laurens has now achieved. Although Captain Jack’s Woman is worth a read, you probably won’t miss it if you decide to pass it up in favor of those Cynster books.

Reviewed in February 2003 by Veronica.

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