Reviewed by Heather C
Title: Her Wicked Captain
Author: Sandra Jones
Series: The River Rogues #1
Genre: MF Historical Romance
Length: 267 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Possessing uncanny people-reading skills like her mama, Philadelphia “Dell” Samuels has spent thirteen years in her aunt’s rustic Ozarks home, telling fortunes over playing cards and trying to pass as white. But the treacherous Mississippi River childhood her mama dragged her away from finally catches up to her on a steamboat captained by her old friend Rory Campbell.
Known to his crew as the Devil’s Henchman, Rory is a gambler in need of a miracle. Following the cold trail of his boss’s wife and bastard daughter, Dell, Rory has only one goal in mind: saving his crew from the boss’s cruelty by ruining him. The only one who can defeat the Monster of the Mississippi is the man trained to take his place. Rory’s convinced he can lure his boss into a high-stakes game against a rival, and with Dell’s people-reading skills, the monster will lose everything.
Under Rory’s tutelage and protection, Dell agrees to the tortured captain’s plan. Passion and peril quickly bring them together as lovers. But when Rory’s plan goes awry, the lives of the innocent depend on Dell’s ability to read the situation correctly—and hopefully save them all.
Warning: There’s not enough moonshine on the Mississippi to keep this fortuneteller from saving The Devil’s Henchman, a high-stakes gambler—and her childhood friend—from his boss’s cruel attentions. Touches upon issues of child abuse, revenge, and redemption.
Wow, I was immediately drawn to the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?! Then I was sucked in by the blurb. A historical romance set on the Mississippi River! There’s gambling and boozing and dueling… and romancing.
I absolutely loved the set up for this story! There was so much going on I don’t even know where to begin.
First, you have Philadelphia. Years ago, when she was a young child, Dell’s mother took her away and left her step-father, Quintus Moreaux AKA the Monster of the Mississippi. Not long later, Dell’s mother passed away, leaving Dell to the harsh life of working at her uncle’s whiskey still…but not before teaching Dell the tricks of her trade: reading-people and knowing their every thought and move.
Then there is Captain Rory Campbell, the monster’s protege and righthand man. Dell remembers Rory from her time on the riverboats, but when he shows up in her small town, Dell fears that Rory will out her biggest secret…that her real father is black and she not ALL white. But Rory has a different plan. He needs Dell to return with him on the Mississippi and help him ruin the monster.
Okay, that is just the basic set up; there are way too many things happening in this book, and for me to go into much more detail, well, that will just spoil all the good parts.
The Romance: Rory and Dell were great together. There was some really good sexual tension and the sex scenes were pretty steamy. At first, I thought that Dell was going to be one of those whiny heroines, but she really wasn’t. She was quite intelligent and I loved how she was always able to read Rory…when it was important. Rory had his demons, but honestly, I didn’t find that he was as “depraved” as he made himself out to be. I do feel that the BIG SCENE where Dell tried to “liberate” Rory from his darkness lacked a bit of intensity and passion. I don’t know how to explain it, but I wasn’t as moved as I hoped to have been.
Dell’s Skills: I must say that I really enjoyed seeing Dell use her talents. Those scenes were very well planned out and all the pieces fit together perfectly. My only problem is that it was quite a bit far fetched to imagine that Dell’s mother was able to teach Dell so many of her skills before she died, since Dell was very young at that time.
The Suspense: Like I said earlier, there was a lot going on here. There’s a big, complicated scheme to bring down Quintus and all the cards have to fall perfectly…pun intended. Rory and Dell each have there own plan and I loved seeing how it all came together in the end.
The Sequel? Looks like this is the first book of The River Rogues series and I can’t wait to read more of this time period and setting. I hope Kit’s story will be next.
Overall Impression: I Really Liked It
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*