Beverly Jenkins returns to the blog with the start of a new series featuring characters you may have met before. Set in Reconstruction Era New Orleans, the perspective of what was becomes an interesting juxtaposition when compared to today…..
Set in reconstruction era New Orleans, Valinda Lacy has travelled from New York to New Orleans to teach the freedmen and their children in hopes of providing them a ‘leg up’ in the newly changing world. This is all against her father’s wishes, but she’s earned a reprieve as her finance is in France with his business partner hoping to gather funds and support for their own venture into a newspaper. With a small but enthusiastic group of students, children and adults alike, Valinda has gathered together a meagre supply of primers, slates, paper and pencils, and found a small unused building in which to hold classes. Until that building is ‘taken over’ by white troublemakers, attacking Valinda in the process.
Drake LeVeq, former captain with the Louisiana Native Guard, freedman and scion of black society in New Orleans is working at the Freedman’s Bureau, in hopes that he can encourage or even hustle the office’s supervisor, Josiah Merritt, recently appointed by the army and clearly unwilling to fulfill the purpose of his office. Drake is frustrated and angered by this behavior, and his bad temper has pushed him to the edge of his patience. But, his sister-in-law has returned after time away, and he must make the family celebration to welcome her home at his younger brother’s hotel. On the way, he comes across Valinda and the men set on attacking her: rescuing her and seeing her safely to the room she’d rented, he made an impression on the sheltered young woman, one that will bode well for them both.
Jenkins uses Valinda’s history with her parents, her slow recognition of her own worth, and Drake’s admitted charms to bring these two together, even when Valinda isn’t sure of either love or marriage. She’d only chosen her fiancé, a longtime friend, when her sister was bartered off to a man many years her senior, and her happy demeanor faded. Through struggles with finding a place to teach, the supplies needed, making a place in New Orleans and her increasing sense that this is the place she is needed the most, the story is both a quick read and one that shows the challenges that faced everyone, black and white, in the city in the aftermath of a war that tore the country in two. As Valinda becomes more of her own woman and finds her own strengths, she comes to see that Drake is a solid and integral part of her future, and that together there are few things that will keep them from achieving their goals. Lovely characters, clever insertions of history and characters that leap off the pages, this is a wonderful start to a new series.
Author: Beverly Jenkins
Series: Women Who Dare #1
Genre: African-American, Civil War Era, Historic Elements, Historical Romance, Setting: American, Slavery, Sociological Relevancy, Southern
Published by: Avon
Published on: 28 May, 2019
Source: Avon Addict, Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 39 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
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.
A copy of this title was provided via Avon Addict, Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.