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Review ❤️ Rebel by Beverly Jenkins

May 29, 2019


Valinda Lacy’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.

Release Date: May 28, 2019
Series: Women Who Dare
Book: 1
Heat Level: Hot
Publisher: HarperCollins
Imprint: Avon Books
Price: $6.99


Valinda Lacey is a northern schoolteacher in New Orleans, helping newly freed slaves learn how to read. She encounters danger as many in the town are not welcome to the new opportunities that are afforded to the newly freed. She meets Drake Le Veq and his family as they help her out of a jam.

Her path is set. She will marry a man of choosing who is currently away in Paris for a business venture. Drake’s continuously flirting with her makes it hard for her to focus on trying to find her way in the south. She starts to love it there and envisions a future that is not quite like the one she thought she wanted.

This story is heavily focused on the sexual tension between Drake and Valinda. The romance is there but it comes a bit later which is unusual for a Beverly Jenkins’s novel. One of the main conflicts surrounding Val’s desire to stay in New Orleans was the fact that her intended, Cole, was to arrive early and take her back home to wed.

He finally does show up and the issue is handled with one conversation. We learn of their true relationship so I never understood why it would be an issue since Val knew early on that she was in love with Drake. With the departure of Cole, Val is worried her family won’t approve of her plans to stay in New Orleans. When they arrive it is dealt with in a page or two at the end with a quick resolution after a bit of a twist.

The issue of the hate group harassing Val went nowhere as well. I truly love Ms. Jenkins’s stories but this is not my favorite. The sexual pull and the intrigue of the town learning how to move forward after the war kept my attention.

Overall, Beverly Jenkins is the best in the game for American historical romance featuring African Americans. I would still say it is enjoyable but not completely satistifying. I’m willing to move forward with the rest of the series.

~ Samantha

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