2021 Book 42: WILD RAIN by Beverly Jenkins

Wild Rain, Women Who Dare #2, by Beverly Jenkins
ISBN: 9780062861719 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780063075153 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062861726 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780062861733 (digital audiobook)
ASIN: B07ZTVKBPW (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B07ZP1NLD8 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Avon Books
Release Date: February 9, 2021

The second novel in USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins’ compelling new Women Who Dare series follows a female rancher in Wyoming after the Civil War.

A reporter has come to Wyoming to do a story on doctors for his Black newspaper back east. He thinks Colton Lee will be an interesting subject…until he meets Colton’s sister, Spring. She runs her own ranch, wears denim pants instead of dresses, and is the most fascinating woman he’s ever met.

But Spring, who has overcome a raucous and scandalous past, isn’t looking for, nor does she want, love. As their attraction grows, will their differences come between them or unite them for an everlasting love?

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Read an excerpt here.
 
 I was rather late in discovering Beverly Jenkins, but when I did I rapidly devoured every title of hers I could find. I’m a huge fan of her contemporary fiction the “Blessings” series (and it’s being developed into a television show). But I was introduced to her via her historical fiction and I reread all of them every year. (Yes, you read that correctly. I re-read all of her historical fiction titles every year!) I kicked off this year by re-reading her “Old West” series, and I’m glad I did because book three of that series introduced us to the Lees of Wyoming, Dr. Colton Lee, his sister, Spring Lee, and their cantankerous grandfather, Lee. Although it wasn’t necessary to read Tempest before reading Wild Rain, it helped to refresh my memory a bit. (Hey, you try reading 450+ books a year and see if you can remember all of the details of every book read!)

Wild Rain is the second book in the Women Who Dare series and the action takes place a few months after Tempest ended. Tempest featured Colton Lee and his relationship with his wife, Regan Carmichael Lee. Wild Rain centers on Spring Lee, her developing relationship with Garrett McCray, a reporter from the East trying to help his father’s sundown newspaper survive by bringing in stories of intriguing people of color from the US territories, namely Dr. Colton Lee. However, once Garrett McCray arrives in Wyoming territory, he finds that he is ill-prepared for riding horseback most of the day, days filled with snow, and his encounters with the unique Spring Rain Lee. Spring winds up saving Garrett on numerous occasions and introduces him to the folks in and around Paradise. Just when it seems as if Garrett is beginning to acclimate himself to life in Paradise and spending time with Spring, someone from her past makes an appearance in town and revives stories that belittle and demean her as a woman of worth. Can Garrett accept his attraction to a woman willing to stand up for herself and go against the norms of the time or will he succumb to his family wishes and return to D.C. and a life filled with constraints?

Although I had been looking forward to the next installment in the Women Who Dare series by Beverly Jenkins, I had no idea it was centered on a character from a previous book. Yes, I should have known and would have known if I had just read the synopsis. But all I saw was a new Beverly Jenkins book, historical fiction, and it was “hey, count me in!” Readers were introduced to a bit of Spring Lee’s backstory in the book Tempest, but Ms. Jenkins provides quite a bit more in Wild Rain. We’re also provided more information about Colton and Spring’s paternal grandmother, and parents. It was quite nice getting to know more about Spring and her family heritage and it helped to explain why she made the decisions made in the past and why she lives as she does in the present. To say that Spring had a bit of a harsh upbringing after her parents’ death would be a major understatement and most of that rests with her paternal grandfather, Ben. Garrett McCray was an interesting male protagonist. He was a former slave, former sailor during the Civil War, a skilled carpenter, and a reporter for a sundown newspaper (a newspaper that people worked on part-time basis after they worked their full-time jobs, usually after the sun went down). Initially, Garrett was taken aback by Spring’s lack of a male guardian, the fact that she owned and operated her own ranch, wore what he considered male clothing meaning denims, and went into saloons, but he grows to respect and love her for exactly who she is. Ms. Jenkins always provides interesting tidbits of Black American history in her fiction and her books usually feature an author’s note at the end with a list of suggested reading (just one of the many reasons I enjoy reading her books). Wild Rain is a romance so of course it has a HEA, but you’ll need to read it to find out how the couple arrives at their “Happy Ever After.” There’s plenty of drama and even trauma before they get there. If you’ve read Tempest, then you’ll definitely want to read Wild Rain. If you read Rebel, book 1 in the Women Who Dare series, then you should grab a copy of Wild Rain to read. If you enjoy reading historical romance or simply well-crafted romance, then I suggest you grab a copy of Wild Rain to read. For all you Ms. Bevy fans, I don’t have to tell you anything because I know you already have this one on your TBR list or you’ve pre-ordered it. I’ll be ordering a print copy to give to my 86-y.o. mother now that I have her hooked on reading Ms. Bevy’s books. Hope you enjoy reading this one as much as I did.
 

Happy Reading, y’all!

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2019 Book 148: REBEL by Beverly Jenkins

Rebel Women Who Dare #1 by Beverly Jenkins
ISBN: 9780062861689 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780062861696 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780062861702 (audiobook)
ASIN: B0796SHBJ6 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Avon Romance
Publication Date: May 28, 2019


The first novel in USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins’ 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.






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Valinda Lacey was born into freedom in the North. Although she has always known freedom as a woman of color, she hasn’t been allowed the opportunity to pursue her dreams of furthering her education. Valinda’s father feels that an advanced education is wasted on women and educated women won’t be able to have children. Valinda doesn’t agree with her father, but since she can’t study without his permission she does the best she can. When the opportunity arises to get “engaged” to a childhood friend then travel South, Valinda does just that. Her fiance and his business partner travel to France seeking funding for their business and Valinda heads to New Orleans. The war between the states may be over, but there are still former slave owners that don’t feel the need to pay wages to their workers despite signed contracts. There are still bad feelings toward Northerners and Blacks, especially freed Blacks, and it doesn’t help that Valinda is a Northerner helping freed Blacks learn to read. Valinda has difficulties with one of her landladies, difficulties getting paid the small stipend she was guaranteed for her work, difficulties getting the supplies necessary to teach her students (children and adults), and then her school is targeted and destroyed. Fortunately for Ms. Lacey, she had come across one of New Orleans’ infamous LeVeq sons during an unfortunate run-in with some soldiers. Now Drake LeVeq and the entire LeVeq family is willing to help Valinda when things take a turn from bad to worse. Over the course of just a few weeks, Valinda has to make some serious decisions. Will Valinda marry her fiance even though she doesn’t love him and he doesn’t love her? If she foregoes a loveless marriage will she be forced to return North by her fierce and overbearing father? Can she turn her back on her growing attraction to New Orleans and Drake LeVeq?

I read Rebel the first in the Women Who Dare series by Beverly Jenkins in just one afternoon. Although I was dealing with a migraine that was rapidly progressing from a moderate to a severe level, along with some allergy and asthma issues, I could not put this book down. I love reading Queen Beverly’s books, and I do mean all of her books. Seriously, I reread a portion of her books at least once every other year. Rebel is a historical romance set in late 1860s in New Orleans during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War. Blacks that have been freed from the bounds of slavery are searching for loved ones that were sold away. They’re trying to find gainful employment and, for the first time for many, learn to read and write. Although Valinda isn’t a trained educator, she can and does help freed Black adults and children learn to read and write. She also helps writes letters, reads letters, writes newspapers advertisements, and does whatever she can to help reunite families. Yes, Valinda is idealistic but she is also realistic having grown up in the North where slavery is outlawed but Blacks were still treated as less than. For the first time ever, Valinda feels needed and when she meets Drake she is more than a little bit infatuated. The great thing about reading romance novels is that you know that there will be a happy-ever-after (HEA) ending no matter what trials and tribulations the couple may go through, but it’s those trials and tribulations that make the story interesting. One of the many things I enjoy about reading Ms. Jenkins’ historical romance is that she weaves a lot of historical tidbits into her stories, the bitter along with the sweet. I enjoyed the characters, the settings, and the action. Yes, there are bad guys but the good guys prevail (yay!). So this is for my romancelandia readers, if you’ve previously read any books in the LeVeq series by Beverly Jenkins, then I strongly encourage you to grab a copy of Rebel to read. If you haven’t read any of the books in the LeVeq series, go and read those then grab a copy of Rebel to read. For those of you that don’t read romance, I encourage you to start (you don’t know what you’re missing), and Rebel is a good book to start you off. Seriously, Rebel is another fine addition to the long list of great reads by the one and only, “Slayer of Words,” Beverly Jenkins. I look forward to reading more in the Women Who Dare series by this author.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2018 Book 34: TEMPEST by Beverly Jenkins

Tempest (Old West #3) by Beverly Jenkins
ISBN: 9780062389046 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780062389053 (ebook)
ASIN: B0713W4425 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: January 30, 2018 
Publisher: Avon Books


From USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins comes a new novel in a mesmerizing series set in the Old West, where an arranged marriage becomes a grand passion . . .

What kind of mail-order bride greets her intended with a bullet instead of a kiss? One like Regan Carmichael—an independent spirit equally at home in denims and dresses. Shooting Dr. Colton Lee in the shoulder is an honest error, but soon Regan wonders if her entire plan to marry a man she’s never met is a mistake. Colton, who buried his heart along with his first wife, insists he only wants someone to care for his daughter. Yet Regan is drawn to the unmistakable desire in his gaze.

Regan’s far from the docile bride Colton was expecting. Still, few women would brave the wilds of Wyoming Territory for an uncertain future with a widower and his child. The thought of having a bold, forthright woman like Regan in his life—and in his arms—begins to inspire a new dream. And despite his family’s disapproval and an unseen enemy, he’ll risk all to make this match a real union of body and soul. 



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Regan Carmichael has an adventurous soul. When she lived with her Aunt Eddy and Uncle Rhine she drove the mail wagon locally and was always up for the next new adventure. When her sister Portia gets engaged, Regan knows that she needs to get away from home to begin her next adventure as a mail-order bride. After Portia’s wedding, Regan leaves the comfort of friends, family, and the familiar in Arizona to travel to Wyoming to marry a local doctor with a young daughter. All is going well until the wagon coach she’s traveling in is attacked by would-be robbers and Regan helps thwart their attempts by shooting at them. Moments later another group of riders approach the coach and once again Regan begins shooting. Unfortunately this time she’s shooting at the good guys and actually hits her intended. Dr. Colton Lee was expecting someone as docile and passive as his deceased wife and that’s definitely not Regan Carmichael. To say their relationship starts off on the wrong foot is a massive understatement. It continues in a downward spiral when Dr. Lee’s grandfather decides he doesn’t like Regan even before he meets her, Dr. Lee is upset to find out that Regan isn’t a virgin, her mother was a prostitute, she has opinions of her own (not to mention her own money), and she thinks that a husband and wife should share the same bedroom. The only plus in all of this is that Dr. Lee’s daughter, Anna, and his sister, Spirit, both like Regan and want her to stay. After deciding to get married for the sake of his daughter, the question becomes can they make the marriage work and become a united family or will Regan’s adventurous nature destroy their chance for marital success?

Tempest is the third book in the Old West/Rhine Fontaine series by Beverly Jenkins, aka Queen Bevy aka Slayer of Words. These books are all set in the West after the Civil War when the country was growing by leaps-and-bounds and the rights of freed Blacks and other people of color were sorely being trampled upon. Each book in this series presents historical tidbits that make me increase my TBR list by at least 2-3 books. Tempest presents historical information about the founder of Howard Medical School as well as information about germ theory in medical treatment, something radically new at the time. Tempest also presents a fiery relationship between Regan and Colton, interesting family dynamics for both Regan and Colton, details of the hard life in the West for minorities and women, and more. Ms. Jenkins can always be counted on for providing an intelligent, steamy historical romance, but she also imbues her characters with such charm and essence that they become part of the family. It has been fascinating watching Regan grow from her first presentation in Forbidden through Tempest, as well as watching the unending romance between her aunt and uncle throughout all three books. There are scoundrels, robbers, kidnappers, and more in this story and if you want to find out just what happens you’ll need to read the book. If you haven’t read Forbidden and Breathless, the first two books in this series, I strongly encourage you to grab copies of those to read along with a copy of Tempest. Seriously, if you’re into historical romance or romance you’ll want to read this series. Just in case you couldn’t tell, I enjoyed reading Tempest and am wondering if we’ll be seeing more in this series next year. I can only hope this isn’t the end of the Old West series (hint, hint). If it is, I’ll simply spend a few days next year revisiting Eddy and Rhine in Forbidden, Portia and Kent in Breathless, and Regan and Colton in Tempest to get my Old West reading fix in.


Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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2017 Book #31: BREATHLESS by Beverly Jenkins

Breathless (Old West #2) by Beverly Jenkins 
ISBN: 9780062389022 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780062389039 (ebook)
ASIN: B01FD9AZJ8 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: January 31, 2017 
Publisher: Avon Books

A strong-willed beauty finds herself in the arms of the handsome drifter from her past, in this second book in the sizzling series set in the Old West, from USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins

As manager of one of the finest hotels in Arizona Territory, Portia Carmichael has respect and stability—qualities sorely missing from her harsh childhood. She refuses to jeopardize that by hitching herself to the wrong man. Suitors are plentiful, but none of them has ever looked quite as tempting as the family friend who just rode into town…and none has looked at her with such intensity and heat.

Duchess. That’s the nickname Kent Randolph gave Portia when she was a young girl. Now she’s a stunning, intelligent woman—and Kent has learned his share of hard lessons. After drifting through the West, he’s learned the value of a place to settle down, and in Portia’s arms he’s found that and more. But convincing her to trust him with her heart, not just her passion, will be the greatest challenge he’s known—and one he intends to win…



We were first introduced to Portia and Regan Carmichael, their aunt Eddy and her husband Rhine Fontaine in Forbidden (if you haven’t read this one, run and grab a copy today to read…seriously!). The action in Breathless takes place fifteen years after Eddy and Rhine married and Portia and Regan came to live with them. Due to hostilities in Nevada caused by Rhine’s living as a White man, the family was forced to flee Virginia City and are now living in Arizona Territory. Rhine and Eddy have a prospering hotel in the territory. Both Portia and Regan have received college educations and returned to live in Arizona with their aunt and uncle. Now in her late twenties, Portia has resigned herself to living as a spinster and is happy to be working as a bookkeeper for her uncle and assisting in the management of their hotel. Or she was happy until an old face from the past returns, the former bartender for Rhine’s saloon in Virginia City, Kent Randolph. The last time Kent saw Portia she was a somewhat standoffish twelve-year-old girl, now she is a beautiful and highly intelligent young woman and he’s definitely attracted to her. Fortunately for Portia, Kent has ample appreciation for her intelligence, independence, business acumen, and wit, not to mention her latent sensuality. To say that sparks fly between Portia and Kent is a major understatement, but will they be able to conquer the divide that separates them and build a successful relationship together?

First, if you’ve never read any of Beverly Jenkins’ historical novels and you are a romance reader, you have no idea what you are missing. These novels, including Breathless, combine great writing with amazing stories, little known Black American historical tidbits, historical locales, strong characters, plenty of intrigue and danger (no, I won’t tell you what kind of danger, read the book!), and scorching romance. Second, it was so nice reading about known and beloved characters, namely Eddy and Rhine Fontaine, and see that their romance is still going strong. It was beyond nice reading about the attraction and burgeoning romance between Portia and Kent. Ms. Jenkins always provides the perfect ratio of drama and romance to make the stories page-turners. Breathless is a historical romance with well-developed characters, plenty of personal and interpersonal drama, and sensuality that kept this reader’s eyes glued to the page. I enjoyed reading Breathless so much that I had to grab my copy of Forbidden to reread it. Just in case you couldn’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Breathless and strongly recommend it to all romance readers, especially those that enjoy historical romance. (It is possible to read Breathless without reading Forbidden, but again, I urge you to read them both.) I look forward to reading the third book in this series and until then I’ll satisfy my Beverly Jenkins historical romance needs by rereading some of her earlier stories and perhaps rereading Forbidden and Breathless (yes, they are just that good).

Disclaimer: I received a free digital advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes via Edelweiss. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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