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on 21 April 1999
For those of you who despair at the fact that Stephanie Laurens Cynster heros are perfect, here she has created a hero who is flawed, and must face that by the end of the novel. Kit is a delight as a heroine, though she does shift halfway through the novel into something a little more tame, moving her passion from adventure to perfecting her husband. This was a great read. Not as good as the Cynster series, but still a well written and adventurous tale.
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on 15 September 1997
In 1811, Katherine "Kit" Cramer, sick of the marriage mart of the Ton and the machinations of some of her relatives, moves to Norfolk to spend time with her beloved grandfather. Before long, Kit becomes the leader of the local smuggling ring, whose members think she is just a brilliant, intrepid lad. At the same time, working for Whitehall, Lord Jonathan Hendon reprises his old war persona of "Captain Jack" so he can become the leader of the Hunstanton smuggling gang.

The first evening that Jack meets the disguised Kit on the smuggler's beach, he quickly realizes that the charismatic leader of the rival gang is a woman, not the youthful lad that everyone else thinks she is. He finds her mysterious and alluring, and decides to expedite her from her nocturnal activities on the shore so that she can share his bed as his mistress. She thrives on her secret role and would never give it up, especially for a man, even if he stimulates her blood and is the most exciting person she ever met. What happens when these two highly spirited, adventurous beings continue to have their worlds collide? A love match ensues, but will the twosome stop their bickering long enough to
allow a lifetime relationship to grow?

CAPTAIN JACK'S WOMAN is an erotic, passionate, and action-packed historical romance that will thrill readers of the sub-genre. The lead protagonists are a wonderful pair filled with flaws that make them seem human, and the support cast adds a wild bunch type element to the tale. Stephanie Laurens scores big time with this sizzling romantic thriller that has this reviewer's highest

Harriet Klausner
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on 30 January 1998
The story started off interesting with Kit masquerading as a leader of a gang of smugglers and her escapades challenging Captain Jack and gang. However, the story sort of went flat after Kit succumbing to Jack's charm. She loses her adventurous spirit. It was not surprising that after the marriage, she was like another person. Everything became too predictable at the end and I almost could not finish reading the book. Erotic and passionate - Yes, but not exciting enough to maintain the thrill throughout.
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This book is the prequel to the "Bastion Club" romances, and, despite also being the most nonsensical, is also far and away the most entertaining of the nine books in the series.

In fact it is jointly (with Four in Hand) my favourite Stephanie Laurens book.

The Bastion Club series starts immediately after the battle of Waterloo, as described in "The Lady Chosen: Bastion Club Series, Book 1," as seven officers who have served Britain during the Napoleonic wars, first in the guards and latterly as spies, agree to support one another in time of peace. And particularly, as most of them need to marry, they found the Bastion Club as a place where they can meet away from the "matchmaking mamas" of the Ton and ensure that each has the best chance of finding the wife who is right for him, not some simpering miss thrown at him by society.

In the that book and the following six, all set between 1815 and 1816, each of the seven Bastion Club members finds his bride, as follows:

1) The Lady Chosen, Tristan Wemyss and Leonora Carling
2) A Gentleman's Honor, Tony Blake and Alicia "Carrington"
3) A Lady of His Own (Bastion Club), Charles St Austell and Penelope Selborne
4) A Fine Passion (Bastion Club Series), Jack Warnefleet and Clarice Attwood
5) To Distraction (Bastion Club Series),Jocelyn Deverell and Phoebe Malleson
6) Beyond Seduction (Bastion Club), Gervase Tregarth and Madeline Gascoigne
7) The Edge of Desire (Bastion Club Series), Christian Allardyce and Letitia Randall.

And in the last volume Mastered By Love (Bastion Club), we find out who their mysterious former boss, the spymaster "Dalziel" really is: and it is his turn to find his lady.

This book is set a few years earlier, in 1811, and fills in a story hinted at in "A Gentleman's honour" when it was mentioned that Tony Blake, hero of that book, had been rescued from drowning in mysterious circumstances by Kathryn (Kit), the heroine of this one.

At the start of this book, Kit Cranmer returns to the Norfolk home of her grandfather, Lord Cranmer, after several unsuccessful London seasons during which her aunts kept trying to marry her to men she despised to suit their husbands' ambitions.

Riding around the Norfolk coasts she dresses as a boy, and through a series of ironic twists of fate becomes the ringleader of a gang of smugglers. At this point we hit the main fault in tbe book: it contains an implausible assumption made by an astonishing number of female regency romance writers, that a beautiful woman in riding clothes whose breasts have been bound and hair hidden can pass for a boy - except, perhaps, to the more discerning eye of the hero.

Not if she has anything remotely resembling a good figure she can't!

A young lady might get away with passing for a boy in loose clothing, but by definition an attractive woman has curves at the hips which we men are biologically programmed to notice, and in close-fitting clothes like riding breeches those curves will draw male attention as an ultra-high-power electromagnet draws metal.

Anyway, Kit soon comes into contact with a much bigger gang of smugglers run by the handsome and mysterious "Captain Jack" - a man with even more secrets than Kit has ...

Stephanie Laurens has a brilliant pen, but she is in danger of becoming to the genre of Georgian Romances what Douglas Reeman is to Royal Navy fiction or Robert Ludlum to spy thrillers. E.g. a highly competent and entertaining writer, who has successfully published many best-sellers, but whose plots are so similar as to put her at risk of being accused of bringing out fifty variants of the same book.

In no small measure, some of my enjoyment of this book was because "Captain Jack's Woman" isn't yet another minor variation of the same standard plot which Ms Laurens has used in three quarters of her recent novels. I'd better not try to list the differences because that would give the story away but I was pleased to read something a little different. The tale is utterly nonsensical for a whole host of reasons which, again, can't be explained in detail without spoiling the story, but not quite so much so as to make it impossible to suspend disbelief and enjoy the novel.

I can warmly recommend this book.
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on 10 March 2005
i got this book because id heard it was a good book and it was ... at first. it starts off promising and with great potential as the main characters meet over a clash of swords. it is also amusing how, because she dresses as a man and he feels an instant attraction to her, he finds out that she is a woman. he then becomes her lover only because he thinks she is illegitimate. when he later finds out who she really is he decides to marry her whereas before she would just have been his mistress. he is worried when she gets shot and after that his chauvenistic side shows through. throughout the remainder of the book the main theme is of him trying to turn an independent woman, who (horror of horrors) has a mind of her own, into the perfect dutiful wife. he does not pay attention to any of her worries or thoughts on any matter instead when she tries to make her point known he decides to kiss her and because she is sooo helpless against this attack she instantly gives in and forgets what she was going to do. in fact the only independent thing she does is to run to her cousins in london and leave him. when he finds out that she has left he thinks that she will return because she obviously cannot bear to be without him and when she does not return he gets angry. when he finds her she is pining and he takes her to his ship when there he "punishes" her for doing something he did not agree to and she accepts it!!!! the offer he makes her is one that is totally onesided and matches his ideas on a woman's place.
for a book with such great potential it really did take the biscuit so to speak. i have never felt so let down by a book as i was with this one as i just could not see why after being ok about her being independent before he married her he objects after, then tries to change her and objects when she protests. i also hated the way that when he protests he decides to seduce her and instantly she cannot even stop him to make her point clear and she even goes so far as to forget what she was thinking of. even at the end when she had his attention she agrees to an offer that still leaves him as the dominant force rather than an equal one. this book was not only sexist but unrealistic aswell. i would advise people who have not read her books before to read some of the cynster and bastion club novels and to leave this one well alone as it was nothing like the brilliance of her other works.
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on 12 December 1999
This story is a delight. The two main characters meet with a clash of swords,and continue sparring throughout the book as the feisty heroine leads her handsome, masterful hero in a merry dance. Definitely a keeper.
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on 8 April 1998
I really enjoyed this well written fast paced book. I thought all the characters in this story interesting, not just the lovers Jack and Kit. I also got the impression that these two adventurous souls were meant to be together. They were going to meet and marry it was only a question of when. It just so happens they meet with blades drawn. It's wonderful romp, this book is a definite keeper. After my 25 years of romance reading Stephanie Laurens is a wonderful new voice.
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on 10 March 1999
I loved the idea of this book, and it had all the potential to be great, but it just sort of fizzled and died. I thought that it was pretty sexist too, Captain Jack was too shovanist for me and the heroine played right in to that. YUCK. But despite the absence of two characters who were equals and him really respecting her, it was a fun read, just not as great as it could have been if the hero and heroine had been better developed characters.
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on 21 October 2010
The book starts out well, with a good idea, strong characters and plot. Then the plot ends up drowned under the sexual relations of the hero and heroine, and the characters weaken. The sex scenes are very well written, but the hero becomes a dominating bully with little character, and the heroine, the strongest character at the beginning of the book, becomes a doormat, mindlessly serving the sexual needs of the hero. The last quarter of the book ends up promoting this dominant-submissive relationship before an unsatisfying conclusion in which neither of the characters shows any signs of growth. Other books by the same author have been charming, and I finished them with a smile on my face (why else read romances but for the happy ending?) This book left me feeling weak, and angry.
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on 14 November 2006
Stephanie Laurens has managed to turn a good idea into something painful to read. the idea's good and i started the book with high hopes, however we get very little of the action. what little we do get, is a very brief sumary before the sex scenes.

the story consists of them having sex repeatedly. in fact the actual story line seems to dissapear halfway through. kit, sudenly no longer the charachter she was. from not wanting to marry she's very calm when he arranges her marriage, completly curtailing the freedom that was so important to her. there's no chemistry beteeen the charachters. there's more to romance than sex for an author that's got the balance right try Gaelen Foley or Judith Mcnaught
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