May 28, 2019

Review: Rebel by Beverly Jenkins

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Review: Rebel by Beverly JenkinsRebel by Beverly Jenkins
Published by Avon on May 28, 2019
Genres: African American, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

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 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.

The first book in Beverly Jenkins’ new series, Women Who Dare, is Rebel. This novel is set in one of my favorite cities, New Orleans, and it features one of my favorite fictional families, the LeVeqs.

“Dreams can’t come true if you don’t have them.” – Valinda Lacey

Valinda Lacey is a teacher from New York who makes her way to New Orleans to get from under her father’s thumb and create some independence for herself, even if it’s only temporary.

This book is set during the Reconstruction era, post Civil War and tensions are high. The government is not supportive, people are struggling and ugliness is still rearing its ugly head.

Valinda and Drake meet after he saves her from an almost brutal attack. Subsequent events lead her to his family’s doorstep and they help her in a time of need. She intrigues Drake but she’s promised to another man. She only has plans to be in New Orleans temporarily as once her fiance is back in the country, she will probably have to leave NOLA behind – though she soon finds out that that may be harder than she initially thought.

Try as they might, Drake and Valinda can’t fight their attraction to each other and their feelings are soon hard to ignore. A fortune teller told Valinda that she would “lose a love, reject and a love and find love.” I won’t go into detail about the first two but she definitely finds love with Drake LeVeq. She wasn’t one to believe in love matches or passion, for that matter, but being with and around Drake changed her mind. He allowed and championed for her independence and dreams while still being protective of her. While his family is all for their relationship, the same can’t be said for everyone.

While Raimond from Through the Storm is still my favorite LeVeq, Drake is a close second. He is fiercely protective while perhaps being the most kindhearted of the brothers. For those who are familiar with the LeVeq family, Rebel takes place before Winds of the Storm as Archer is still single in this novel. If you haven’t read about this family, no need to worry, this book can definitely be read as a standalone.

Rebel has its brutality and darkness but Drake and Valinda’s love is sweet and a little playful. Once again, Beverly Jenkins weaves facts and fiction together as only she can. There’s history to be reminded of, causes to fight for, and love to hold on to.

A solid novel that both longtime fans and newcomers of Beverly Jenkins will appreciate.

four-half-stars

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Natalya

Natalya is an Account Manager by day and an editor and author's assistant to passionate creatives by night. When she is not adding to her enormous book collection or stationery supply, she is catching up on her favorite television shows.

Natalya is the author of All The Things I Never Said, a soul-stirring collection of short stories, prose and love letters for the soulful wanderers, the brokenhearted and the hopeless romantics.

You can follow her rantings and occasional sparks of brilliance on Twitter @NatalyaMuncuff.
Natalya