by Beverly Jenkins
Series Women Who Dare
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date May 28, 2019
The first novel in USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins’s compelling new series follows a Northern woman south 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.
“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 was really excited to get a chance to read the first book in Ms. Jenkins’ new series, Women Who Dare. It’s set in Reconstruction Era New Orleans, and I have to admit just the setting had me sold. Throw in a schoolteacher heroine and a hero descended from pirates? Yeah, I’m a goner.
I loved Drake’s family–their closeness, the way they are all up in everyone’s business, the way they generously give back to those around them–and didn’t realize until I was pretty far into the book that the family actually stars in an earlier series by the author, the LeVec Family series, from the late 1990s/early 2000s. You can absolutely start with this book if you haven’t read those, though, and not having read them yet you have something to occupy your time until the next book in this series comes out 😉
I have to say I wasn’t totally surprised to see just how much of the details about living in the South during Reconstruction were left out of my textbooks over the years–I mean, I knew there were major issues–but reading this book is eye-opening. Fortunately, Ms. Jenkins tempered the hardship and the difficulties with some truly lovely characters who have each others’ backs and are determined to stand up for what’s right–not to mention a lovely romance.
I can’t wait to see who will star in the next book, and to see Drake and Valinda again!
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured in both the documentary Love Between the Covers and on CBS Sunday Morning. Since the publication of Night Song in 1994, she has been leading the charge for multicultural romance, and has been a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, and NPR. To read more about Beverly, visit her at www.BeverlyJenkins.net.
To celebrate the release of REBEL by Beverly Jenkins, we’re giving away a paperback copy of Tempest by Beverly Jenkins to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Tempest by Beverly Jenkins. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books. Giveaway ends 6/10/2019 @ 11:59pm EST.