Friday, April 27, 2018

Book Review: 'Captive of Her Heart' by Charlotte Boyett-Compo


Maxim is not a man to be trifled with; Sairin is a woman used to getting her way. The two together create a powerful team determined to be together despite the dangers and threats to their happiness.
Sent on a mission to bring back a fugitive suspected of hiding out on an √Čigipt, Maxim embarks on the assignment with full intention of carrying out his orders, one way or another. What he doesn’t anticipate is how attractive the queen of an √Čigipt is. As soon as Sairin sweeps through the door, his thoughts go from demanding she surrender the fugitive he’s sure she’s hiding, to throwing her across the table and seating himself deep inside her. Though he’s been married several times, those unions were only to further his career and had nothing to do with love. In fact, he despised his current wife who’d undermined and embarrassed him on multiple occasions. Her preference for the same sex only added to the insult. Now, for the first time in his life, Maxim feels an emotion he never thought he would. He’s not sure if he should run like hell, or embrace this sassy female and hang on for dear life.
When she finally meets Maxim face to face, Sairin is ready to give him a piece of her mind. How dare he come to her planet and demand anything? The so-called fugitive is a man she knows is innocent. If Maxim takes him back to the emperor, her friend will be put to death for a crime he didn’t commit. What she doesn’t expect is the instant and overpowering attraction she feels for him that has her wanting to give him more than just her anger. But rumors of his part in the demise of his past wives had reached all areas of the Megaverse and Sairin isn’t so sure Maxim is a man she can trust with her body or her life. Men had used her in the past to acquire power and status; she did not intend to let this one do the same. When her heart overrides her head and she realizes she wants Maxim for more than a quick romp, she’s willing risk all to go after and even rescue him from the very man who sent him to her doorstep in the first place.
Even though she frequently acts like a spoiled brat, I thoroughly enjoyed Sairin’s sassiness as well as her strength. Most strong women wield a sword and can kick any guy’s ass if need be, but this one used her will and wit to get her way. She made for a very interesting and entertaining heroine.
There was no doubting Maxim’s capability as a leader—he’d earned the respect of his men through years of hard work—yet, he struck me as a man who was tired of being so hard all the time. He seemed unhappy and unfulfilled. I could really tell a difference in him every time he was with Sairin compared to when they were apart. Many of the secondary characters added a lot of depth to the plot. There were no fillers, so to speak.
There were a few parts where I felt like important things were kind of rushed through. While they certainly added to the plot, they changed the pace of the story. I felt like I was going along at a certain pace, then fast-forwarded through about eight months of time, then decelerated back to the regular pace. This kind of left me off balance for a few chapters and had me wondering why the author hadn’t taken a bit more time with those sections. The one in particular that threw me was Maxim’s marriage to the emperor’s sister.
I also thought there was some unfinished business, particularly with Sairin’s oldest son who has an intense hatred for Maxim. I honestly didn’t understand why he hated Maxim so much. The reasoning focused on his mother’s virtue, but she was obviously happy being with Maxim so it seemed out of place for her son to want to kill the man, knowing it would devastate his mother if he did so. Probably one of the things I disliked the most about this story is the head-hopping. There were several instances where you’re in one character’s point-of-view, then there’s something thrown in from the other character’s point-of-view. I found myself having to re-read some things to make sure I hadn’t missed something or wasn’t mistaken. I was a bit surprised by this as it wasn’t something I’d noticed in previous works by this author.
All complaints aside, I’ve always enjoyed Ms. Boyette-Compo’s stories. Her writing is free and uninhibited. Her tales push boundaries that others are afraid to cross. It’s a refreshing and exciting change of pace when I find myself getting bored with reading. Captive of Her Heart hooked me right from the get-go. The characters were dynamic and interesting. Almost every page had something exciting or dangerous going on; the story didn’t have much lag time. It’s definitely a book worth checking out.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.