Series: Women Who Dare #1
Author: Beverly Jenkins
Length: 384 pages
Date Of Publication: May 28, 2019
Publisher: Avon Books
Rating: 5 Stars
The first novel in USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins' compelling new series follows a Northern woman sobookh in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War...
Valinda Lacey's mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But soon she discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.
As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a deeply personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda's determination. And he can't stop admiring—or wanting—her. But when Valinda's father demands she return home to marry a man she doesn't love, her daring rebellion draws Drake into an irresistible intrigue.
Please enjoy this excerpt from...
“Is it a love match?”Val paused. It was now her turn to study him. She replied truthfully, “No, it isn’t. I take it you believe there is such a thing?”“I do. You?”“There are no love matches in my family or in the families of my acquaintances, so I err on the side of saying no.”“Raimond and Sable have one, as did my parents, as did our great-grandparents Dominic and Clare.” He added softly, “Love is real, cheri.”The passion he put into the words, coupled with his accent were such a heady combination, if he professed the moon was made of ice cream she’d ask for a bowl and spoon. She eyed his full lips and remembered the gentleness of his fingers on her scraped cheek. Common sense urged her to get up and run from him like her slips were on fire because Drake LeVeq was dangerous in ways an engaged, untouched woman like herself couldn’t even imagine, but lord help her, she was drawn to him.
I can't tell you how delighted I am as a blogger, Historical Romance fan, and as an African-American woman living in the South. To read Beverly Jenkins' Rebel.
This book allows readers to see in its hero and heroine. Educated proactive people. Willing to do whatever they must to right the wrongs of institutionalized racism and bigotry. In a freshly war ravaged land. Full of people lost and clinging to whatever vestiges of comfort and familiarity there is to be had.
For teacher, Valinda Lacey. A woman trying to escape the prospect of marriage to an older man that she doesn't know. Arranged by her father.
Only to find herself a target of racist army officers. When she tries to establish a school in her newly adopted home of New Orleans.
Enter Captain Drake LeVeq. A ranking officer in the Army, an architect, and the son of an affluent family of color in New Orleans. He is just the right person to help Miss Lacey navigate both the bureaucratic pitfalls surrounding her attempts at establishing and maintaining a school meant for the education and betterment of not only students of color. But anyone wishing to educate themselves. As well as the societal dangers of a woman alone in unfamiliar territory.
What neither of the two count on however. Is the attraction that their continued interactions seem to encourage.
An attraction that they are powerless to deny.
An attraction that they both know has the stuff to become so much more.
This is a romance that is so much more than a romance. Providing social commentary, historical truth, thrills, chills, and so much more.
The perfect "against all odds story.
Tailor-made to enlighten, inspire, intrigue, and nestle securely within the hearts of all who read it.
***This book is the first of an interrelated series. Which may be read as a standalone. Or as part of its intended series.
Thanks to Avon Books, Edelweiss, and Netgalley for providing the review copy upon which my critique is based.
Ms. Jenkins is the nation's premier writer of African American historical romance fiction and specializes in 19th century African American life. She has over thirty published novels to date.
She has received numerous awards, including: five Waldenbooks/Borders Group Best Sellers Awards; two Career Achievement Awards and a Pioneer Award from Romantic Times Magazine; a Golden Pen Award from the Black Writer's Guild, and in 1999 was named one of the Top Fifty Favorite African-American writers of the 20th Century by AABLC, the nation's largest on-line African-American book club.
She has also been featured in many national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Dallas Morning News and Vibe Magazine. She has lectured and given talks at such prestigious universities as Oberlin University, the University of Illinois, and Princeton. She speaks widely on both romance and 19th century African-American history and was the 2014 featured speaker for the W.W. Law Lecture Series sponsored by the Savannah Black Heritage Festival.