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Titanic Tuesdays: Titanic and Gamblers — Meet Captain Lord James ‘Buck’ Blackthorn

meet the handsome lord gentleman gambler who saved Ava aboard the Titanic

Titanic and Gamblers

When the Titanic hit the iceberg on April 14, 1912 at 11:40 p.m., a gentleman in the second class smoking room joked about getting ice from the berg for his drink.

Other gents barely noticed when the ship struck the iceberg.

They were too busy playing cards.

According to reports from survivors, several gentlemen went down with the ship playing their last hand. Whether or not it’s true, what is true is that gambling was a popular pastime during the maiden voyage of the Titanic.

So popular that the chief steward relaxed the White Star Line rule of ‘no gambling on Sundays’.

Gambling on board, however, didn’t come without its dangers.

And I don’t mean a losing hand.

Boatmen’ or professional gamblers were a notorious group of cardsharps who traveled the North Atlantic route relieving wealthy male passengers of their ready cash (women were not allowed in the smoking room).

It was such a problem that a notice was posted in the first class Smoke Room warning passengers about ‘Games of Chance’ and the likelihood of professional gamblers looking for easy pickings at high-stakes card game.

No one paid any attention, including the hero of my story, Captain Lord James ‘Buck’ Blackthorn.

We first meet his lordship after the ship leaves Cherbourg, France on April 10th after picking up passengers and mail—

If there was one thing that made Captain Lord James ‘Buck’ Blackthorn smile more than holding a pretty woman in his arms, it was a winning hand at cards.

To his dismay, at the moment he had neither.

‘I’ll raise you, gentlemen,’ Buck said, stretching his long legs under the green topped playing table. He didn’t relish playing against boatmen, professional gamblers who followed the sea, but he was in desperate need of funds thanks to a voluptuous blonde in Mayfair.

Smoking a cigarette out of an amber holder, Lady Irene Pennington had sought his protection, appealing to his chivalrous nature, though he had no doubt her plea was an act. Still, the gilded lily with the seductive smile made a man believe he was a king.

And not the second son of a duke without home or hearth to offer her.

Find out what Captain Lord Blackthorn can offer our Irish heroine, Ava O’Reilly, when he rescues her aboard the Titanic… pub day March 17th.


Next time on Titanic Tuesdays:  How I found Ava O’Reilly’s Irish voice in me 

THE RUNAWAY GIRL, is on schedule for a March 17 pub date.

Two women holdo the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…

When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.

Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.

As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…

A sweeping historical romance set aboard the Titanic, from the author of Christmas Once Again.

Praise for Jina Bacarr:

‘A delightful holiday romance that has all the charm of a classic Christmas movie. Christmas Once Again is perfect for anyone who loves a holiday romance brimming with mistletoe, hope, and what ifs.’ Andie Newton, author of The Girl I Left Behind

‘A breathtaking holiday romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’

‘A mesmerizing holiday romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’

‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’

THE RUNAWAY GIRL is now up for pre-order:


Barnes & Noble


Apple Books

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