My Bonny Light Horseman by L.A. Meyer
Well, it has finally happened. Jacky Faber, lieutenant in his Majesty''s royal navy, Belle of the West, card shark, sometimes lady, and one-time pirate has been captured once again by the British, heading to England for what is sure to end at on a hangman's noose. This would be her fate too if she hadn't agreed to work as a spy in France, thwarting the plans of Napoleon and his armies. Despite her deep reluctance, Jacky does so, first as a dancer in Paris and then later as a messenger in the army. But Jacky is torn between her allegiances for in the end the only people she cares about are her friends and the wars between countries mean little to her.
In the last book, Mississippi Jack I was highly disappointed, with far too many vignetted stories to form a cohesive whole. I said in my last review that I thought perhaps book 5 was unnecessary and I still think that is true. There was very little in Mississippi Jack that really played into this novel beyond her new card shark abilities and a short visit to New Orleans. All that said, this book is so much more focused than the last.
L.A. Meyer loves to weave history into his stories and this one is no exception. Napoleon's army invaded Berlin, Germany (Prussia) on October 27, 1806 and Jacky Faber is in the thick of it, leading the charge. Although it is difficult to determine how much is fact and not without reading an entire book on the Napoleonic wars, I was completely entranced.
Once again Jacky's virginity always seems to be up for grabs and I found myself always rooting for her maidenhood. Come on Jacky, you can do it. That said, why do all the men like Jacky so much. Yes, she is smart and conniving and has one serious knack for always knowing the right thing to do and say, but it seems that every young man she meets wants to not only marry her but to bed her. Poor guys, for Jacky will do everything (and I mean everything) but have sex with them, leaving them love lorn and sometimes dead. I do love Jacky, but she really needs to keep it in her pants in a manner of speaking.
Although there are three major things that happen in this book, I was rather pleased to see that they all connected to one another, never felt forced, and kept me on the edge of my seat. If you were one of those who thought to quit reading because the last book was just too much, I can assure you, this one is right on track.