My favorite historical romance, by far, is courtesy of the queen of historical romances; Beverly Jenkins. I can’t remember how or when I finally stumbled across Beverly Jenkins. All I know is that ever since I downloaded that first ebook, I have been a fan.
I read Vivid and Midnight first and thought they were good. It wasn’t until I read Indigo years ago though that I questioned what I was doing with my life. The fact that I didn’t know much about Beverly Jenkins before then made me question how, in good conscience, could I consider myself a book nerd 🙂
As a child, Hester Wyatt escaped slavery, but now the dark-skinned beauty is a dedicated member of Michigan’s Underground railroad, offering other runaways a chance at the freedom she has learned to love. When one of her fellow conductors brings her an injured man to hide, Hester doesn’t hesitate…even after she is told about the price on his head.
The man in question is the great conductor known as the “Black Daniel” a vital member of the North’s Underground railroad network. But Hester finds him so rude and arrogant, she begins to question her vow to hide him.
When the injured and beaten Galen Vachon, aka, the Black Daniel awakens in Hester’s cellar, he is unprepared for the feisty young conductor providing his care. As a member of one of the wealthiest free Black families in New Orleans, Galen has turned his back on the lavish living he is accustomed to in order to provide freedom to those enslaved in the South.
However, as he heals he cannot turn his back on Hester Wyatt. Her innocence fills him like a breath of fresh air and he is determined to make this gorgeous and intelligent woman his own…
Yet…there are traitors to be discovered, slave catchers to be evaded and Hester’s heart to be won before she and Galen can find the freedom that only true love can bring.
Indigo simply took my breath away. I laughed, I cried, I mourned and I got very angry. Jenkins took me on a rollercoaster of emotions as I read this book. The problem I had with the historical romances I read prior to Jenkins’ was that I couldn’t connect to them. There weren’t many characters in these books that looked like me. In Jenkins’ books, I felt every struggle, and every triumph because had I been born in another time, this would have been my life.
Indigo does a perfect job of balancing the history we all needed to know and the romance we couldn’t tear our eyes away from.
Hester was a very intelligent and brave woman, who deserved all of the love and happiness that life had to offer. Branded with indigo stained hands and feet, she thought that she would never be seen as more than a former slave woman. That color marked her and she was vigilant to not let many people see it. Galen didn’t see it as something that tarnished her. It was a part of her past, and there wasn’t any reason to be ashamed of what she had to do in order to survive. Galen showed Hester that she was a woman meant to be loved, cherished, and desired.
Let’s talk about that Galen. Ms. Beverly, you know you crafted a beautiful man when you wrote Galen! He was a very proud man and until he met Hester, a ladies’ man to the highest order. He was wealthy and arrogant but also had one of the most compassionate souls around. He draped himself in the finest of clothing but wouldn’t hesitate to go undercover to free as many lives as he could, constantly putting his own life in jeopardy. He was intimidating yet alluring; confident and sharp but with just a tiny pinch of humble (only when it came to Hester).
Hester wasn’t Galen’s type but the ones we tend to fall head over heels in love with hardly are, are they? At first, he only sought for her to become one of his mistresses. But time and a series of events, one including where her death was almost imminent, showed him that he was wrong. Galen needed Hester in his life forever; as his wife, partner, and friend. He pushed, and she pulled away. He professed his love to her, she refused to believe him. In many ways, Hester didn’t think she was worthy of his love or that someone of his stature would willingly settle down with her. Galen called her bluff and set out to prove that she was the only woman for him.
Filled with deep history and a love for the ages, Indigo changed the way I looked at historical romances forever.