My Bonny Light Horseman

by L.A. Meyer
Series: Bloody Jack #1
448 pages, Suspense
Reviewed by Kristi

A rollicking good read, but strong language and sexual situations.


Jacky Faber, wanted on charges of piracy by Great Britain, is finally captured. She is doomed to hang, she supposes, but makes the best of the sea voyage from America, forming new friendships and renewing old ones along the way, and waiting for her chance to escape. But when she finally reaches England, she finds that she is not to be hung, but rather pressed into service as a spy in France. With the lives of her friends and fiance hanging in the balance, Jacky faces the one adventure she said she'd never take.


Once Jacky gives her word, she won't break it, and she won't abandon her fellow sailors during a battle, even though it may mean her own execution later. She is always true to her friends. She lies frequently throughout the book, mostly as part of her cover as a spy.

Spiritual Content

Jacky attends a service at St. Paul's Cathedral, deeming the sermon not entirely boring, as it was on the sin of pride, something she needs to address in herself.


Some violence. Jackie is at the forefront of one of Napoleon's battles in Prussia, where some deaths and the general horror of war are depicted. A man is stabbed in the back. A woman shoots her philandering husband in the groin.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Wine, rum. Jacky generally avoids strong drink because of previous experiences with alcohol, though her reasons for abstinence are not discussed in this story. She does partake of the wine and lifts her ban on strong drink once. Landanum, stimulants, and an opium concoction are also used, both for medical reasons and to drug some of Jacky's opponents.

Sexual Content

Homosexuality, kissing, brothels, prostitution. Women are referred to as 'slattern', 'sl-t', and 'wh-re'. Jacky is basically told that she's expected to be intimate with men as needed in order to be an effective spy. But Jacky is clever, and saving herself for marriage to her fiance Jaimy. That is, she's mostly saving herself for Jaimy. She flirts with, kisses, and does a bit more with a couple of other men in the book. As she puts it in her mental letters to Jaimy, "I've been a good girl, mostly." In one scene she bares her chest.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

A lot of the characters are sailors, and they swear like it too. D--n, taking the Lord's name in vain, h--l, slattern, sl-t, g-dd--n, g-dd-mit, wh-re . Jacky nearly moons an enemy crew. She uses the word 'bless' in place of the F-word throughout a long diatribe against a pair of British Intelligence officers.


A rollicking good read in the way of entertainment, Jacky is the kind of irrepressible heroine I always wanted to write about when I was a girl. Unfortunately, the language and sexual situations in the book make a significant dent in the quality of the read.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 2
Written for Age: adult

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