Author: Beverly Jenkins
What I’m Talking About:
Val traveled from New York to New Orleans to teach the newly freed Blacks. Dealing with roadblocks including bigotry, lack of funds, and the loss of a school and a place to live, Val is thankful to Drake LeVeq, who saves her from a potentially brutal attack and gives her a place to live with his mother.
Drake, a former captain with the Louisiana Native Guard, works at the Freedmen Bureau. He is beyond frustrated with the new office supervisor who doesn’t take the plight of the freedmen seriously and shuts the office often, leaving so many in need, without. After his supervisor refuses to report the murder of a Black man by former slave owners, Drake quits and makes it his mission to help Val start her own school.
Drake, a man of means, is attracted to Val from the start, but doesn’t think he wants a relationship. And although she’s promised to another (her fiancé is abroad), Drake flirts heavily with Val, putting the moves on her constantly. This bothered me at first. As Drake and Val shared their first kiss, I wanted to feel their passion, but the fact that she has a fiancé and he didn’t want a relationship, prevented that for me. It’s not that I felt she belonged to the other man, but she’s confused by her feelings and needed to figure out what she wants. I didn’t like that Drake inserted himself so heavily in that process.
However, at about the midpoint of the book, things started to gel for me. We meet Cole, Val’s intended, and I really liked him. There is much more to Val and Cole’s engagement than meets the eye, and after learning this and the pair dissolving their engagement, Val and Drake can give themselves to one another fully. At this point, I really enjoyed the story as the focus was more on their relationship. Additionally, the pair deals with problems as a team, strengthening their bond and the story.
Overall, I enjoyed Rebel. I’ve never been a fan of US History, especially earlier than WW1, which generally keeps me from reading books set in United States’ history. Rebel gave me insight to what life was like for Blacks in the South post Civil War. Not only did I enjoy the romance, but it got me looking up names and events that Ms. Jenkins referenced in her story, enjoying the history I never used to care for.
My Rating: B, Liked It
About the Book:
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.
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Series: Women Who Dare #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Format(s): paperback (384 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds
Amazon (affiliate link)