Women Who Dare

Book - 2019
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Valinda Lacy's mission is to help the newly emancipated survive and flourish in post-Civil War New Orleans. When thugs destroy her school and target her, she runs for her life--into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq. An architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake admires Valinda's determination but when her father demands she return home to marry another man, her daring rebellion draws Drake into an irresistible intrigue.
Publisher: New York : Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2019]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780062861689
Branch Call Number: FIC JENKINS 2019
Characteristics: 373 pages ; 17 cm


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Feb 26, 2021

3-3.5 Stars
This was my first reading experience by Beverly Jenkins and it was a fun little gem. The biggest hardship within this story was reading about the trials for freed slaves immediately after the Civil War. I knew it wouldn’t be a dark read, but there were still a few gritty parts that surprised me. Those few lightly harrowing moments might have been surprising, but they didn’t cast a melancholy pall over what was essentially a light historical romance.

Rebel was book one of a new series, but this first book featured Drake LeVeq and some of his extended family from Jenkins's previous LeVeq Series. This being my first, I obviously hadn't read any of those stories, but I enjoyed meeting the LeVeqs and would be interested in possibly reading more. While I enjoyed the story arc and getting to know the characters, I was a little surprised by the fairly simplistic writing style. The dialogue and story flowed well, but it had a quick pace that didn't allow for a lot of extra detail and story depth. I felt there were many opportunities where the author could have expanded the story and allowed even more investment into the characters and their outcome.

This next bit is about a pet peeve I have with some historical romances, in general. Although it happens in this book, by no means is it exclusive to this author or book alone. Please bear with me or ignore if you couldn't care less about a lone reader's opinion. Drake was very honest and vocal in his overtures and what his intentions would be towards Valinda if she wasn't already betrothed to someone else. This was where the story lost some credibility with me. Valinda was brave and a little feisty, but also very innocent. Because of that innocence, I felt she recovered too quickly from Drake's highly suggestive spoken and subsequent physical advances without hardly batting a shy, shocked, or embarrassed eye. I’m not sure if authors do this in order to hasten the romantic plot, but it often makes me question the historical validity of the heroine’s response and therefore draws me out of the story.

Overall, it was an entertaining story, but the the author's simplistic writing style and pacing has me longing for a little more character and story depth.

Jan 01, 2021

An amazing romance with the right balance of real-world issues affecting us still today and a romance with a couple I was rooting for since the first chapter. Im just mad at myself for not reading any Beverly Jenkins sooner. I hope that some days these stories would grace the small screen since I would love to see Drake and Valinda's romance grow. 5 out of 5 stars

Aug 28, 2020

Oh my heart! I never thought I'd love a romance book so much! Such a great read!

Feb 04, 2020

What a beautifully executed book - I just love how Beverly intertwines history with romance in a beautiful dance! Loved it!

RandomLibrarian Jul 24, 2019

Review excerpt: "The weaving of history and love story is masterfully done here. I don’t like infodumps in my historical romances, but I do enjoy a book with a solid sense of time and place. It’s a fine line, though, so I’m happy that Rebel, with the exception of one or two instances, was far from feeling like a lecture. It’s more a vivid portrayal of history."


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