Captain Jack's Woman, by Stephanie Laurens

>> Friday, February 20, 2004

I finished Captain Jack's Woman, by Stephanie Laurens only a few minutes ago, but I felt so strongly about it that I needed to write my review immediately.

They meet in a clash of swords, drenched in the moonlight of Britain's rugged eastern coast: Captain Jack, his handsome features etched in silver and shadow, his powerful physique compelling Kit Cranmer to surrender. He is her dream lover come vividly alive, and his command of the smuggling gang is abosolute. His all-knowing gaze penetrates her disguise as the "lad" leader of a rival gang with frightening ease--and his punishment with kisses leaves her maidenly modesty in tatters.

Suddenly, Kit finds she's only too delighted to explore with Jack the pleasures normally reserved for married ladies...little knowing what dangerous forces she's unleashing. For even as Kit revels in midnight gallops and cottage rendezvous, Captain Jack is laying a gentle trap that will curtail her freedom...and bind her to him with a ring, a promise...and ties of devotion and desire.
The reason I've liked this author's books in the past is that her heroes tend to be people who have a real respect for their heroines. The hot love scenes are nice, as is the Cynster family, but that isn't what brings me back for more, it's the caring heros. Unfortunately, Jack, the hero in Captain Jack's Woman wasn't like that, and so the book gets a D+.

The first indication that he was a bastard came when I saw the difference between his attitude towards Kit when he thought she was illegitimate and his attitude when he realized she wasn't. He was made to see the light near the end, but for too long he insisted on archaic ideas of what a wife's role should be in his life, and though this might be realistic and true to the times, I despised him for it.

And then there was Kit, for whom I lost all respect when I saw the way she allowed herself to be manipulated and distracted by sex. She actually forgot to confront Jack I don't know how many times about his dealing in spies, even though this was supposed to be something she felt strongly about. And of course, up until the end, she allowed herself to be convinced of just about anything and let Jack completely dominate her through lovemaking. Idiotic nitwit!

Luckily this was an early book, so I don't have to fear Laurens will go in this direction with her next books. I already know she's got better at creating characters I can respect, as attested by the grades I've given to the first 6 Cynster books.


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