Cheyenne Captive by Georgina Gentry is the first book in her very long-running Panorama of the Old West series. It’s a strong romance with a well-researched portrayal of the Cheyenne tribe.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Sweet Savage Flame earns a small percentage from qualifying purchases.Cheyenne Captive by Georgina Gentry
Illustrator: Ray Kursar
Imprint or Line: Zebra Heartfire
Book Series: Panorama of the Old West #1
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Bodice Ripper Lite, Historical Romance, Native American Romance, Western Romance
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
TOTAL SPOILER ALERT ⚠
Texas Iron Knife
The book starts in September 1858 in Texas. It is here that Summer Priscilla Van Schuyler, the heroine of the book, is running away from her strict Boston father over a scandal there. She boards a stagecoach, which is attacked by Cheyenne Indians.
The guard is killed, and Summer is captured and injured by a Cheyenne, Angry Wolf; however, she is saved by another Indian, Iron Knife, the book’s hero. (Iron Knife is half-white, half-Cheyenne.) Iron Knife takes Summer to the Cheyenne village, where he lives.
While there, he treats Summer’s injury—Angry Wolf slashed her, and the wound has become infected—and they fall in love. Two people are not happy about this: one is Angry Wolf, and the other is Gray Dove, an Arapaho woman who wants Iron Knife for herself.
Summer and Iron Knife face many challenges, some human and some from nature. Iron Knife cuts off the ear of a Comanchero who tries to rape and kill Summer, tracks down the Pawnee chief who killed his father, and kills the man.
Soon after Iron Knife returns, Summer is kidnapped when the Army leads a raid on the camp. Among those who come into the camp is Jake Dallinger, an Army scout with a long history of bad blood between him and Iron Knife. In the attack, Iron Knife is shot, and Summer believes he’s dead.
Summer Back East
Summer is returned to her family in Boston, consisting of patriarch Silas, who owns a shipping concern; her mother Priscilla, who spends her days drinking and taking opium; her twin brother David, who is at Harvard, though not happily; and their younger sister Angela, who, although beautiful, is cold and soulless.
Also in Boston is their cousin, Austin Shaw, who is David’s best friend and is also in love with Summer. Summer initially agrees to marry Austin. However, after receiving financial help and talking to an unexpected ally, Summer decides to return West.
Back in the Cheyenne camp, Iron Knife is shot and wounded but is nursed back to health by Gray Dove, who tries to seduce him. When Iron Knife rejects her, she confesses to her role in the Army attack.
Gray Dove is banished from the camp, then brutally assaults Dallinger after he rapes her, and goes to the newly minted town of Denver to open a brothel.
Summer decides to travel west with Austin, who is searching for his missing brother, Todd. Leading their group is… Jake Dallinger!
Iron Knife finds them, and a violent confrontation ensues. Iron Knife bests Dallinger but doesn’t kill him. Instead, he leaves Dallinger with less than everything he was born with.
Afterward, Summer is faced with a choice: Austin or Iron Knife.
She chooses the latter, and they are happy together.
For now, anyway.
Cheyenne Captive is a well-researched book. It is clear that Ms. Gentry did her homework on the Cheyenne tribe and their customs.
Summer and Iron Knife are both strong characters, but this is the rare book where I liked the hero more than the heroine. As a man reading romance novels, I generally view romance novel heroes as a necessary evil.
Iron Knife checks all the romance hero boxes but also adds one: vulnerability, something rarely seen in a romance hero. This is largely due to his past, which is hinted at in the paragraphs here.
Sadly, it appears Ms. Gentry didn’t write a full story about Iron Knife’s parents. That is a shame, as there is a lot of material to mine there, but their stories will be folded into other stories in future books.
Summer is a strong character, although a bit impetuous and naive at times.
In Chapters 1 to 4, Summer hates Iron Knife and wants to return to white society. In Chapter 5, she is madly in love with Iron Knife and wants to stay with him forever. This change of heart is neither set up well nor is it realistic.
There are multiple love scenes involving Summer and Iron Knife.
Although the scenes are fairly sensual, they do not reach an erotica erotica-level.
Be forewarned: there is a lot of violence here and in the series.
In this book, there are depictions of assault, battery, knifing, shootings, attempted rape, rape, and killings—both of humans and animals.
The violence is mildly graphic.
Bottom Line on Cheyenne Captive
Those who decided to ditch Cheyenne Captive early missed out on a great book by Georgina Gentry.
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*The 1987 Zebra Heartfire paperback edition illustrated by Ray Kursar OF THIS BOOK is hard-to-find. Average PRICE $20+
When Headstrong, golden-haired Summer ran away from home, all she could think of was leaving her strict father behind. But after a vengeance-seeking Indian attacked her stage threatening her with a fate worse, than death, the tempestuous girl yearned for her parents’ overbearing rules….until the savage’s cruel grip changed to a tantalizing touch! His sensuous caress banished all ties to the past, the exciting things he did with his lips made her yearn for an unknown fulfillment. From that moment the spirited innocent knew that her future was bound to his – and she’d cherish whatever relationship the uncivilized brave decided to have with her.
FORBIDDEN DESIRESCheyenne Captive by Georgina Gentry
From the years he was forced to live in Texas, the handsome half-breed Iron Knife knew how deceptive palefaces could be. Surely this creamy-skinned, blue-eyed beauty was no different. But even as he tried to brutally punish her for her heritage, he was ensnared by the hip-length strands of wheat-hued tresses, enchanted by the firm curves of her nubile white body. Before the ruthless warrior could control himself, he was whispering of love, swearing there’d be no others. He could never marry this ignoble slave, but he’d sooner slay her than ever give up his bewitching….CHEYENNE CAPTIVE.