BREATHLESS - Beverly Jenkins
Harper Collins/Avon Books
REVIEWER: Beverly Jackson| RATING: A+
REVIEW: Portia Carmichael, a straightforward ebony-skinned beauty, is grateful for many things in her life. She is most grateful for her aunt and uncle rescuing her and Regan, her sister from an unwholesome lifestyle and ensuring they were raised in a loving protective environment. Now, living in the Arizona Territory, Portia is the manager of the family’s successful hotel known for its fine food and luxurious accommodations. Appreciating her aunt and uncle’s faith in her abilities, Portia is committed to ensuring its continued success. So, Portia has no time for foolishness, including her many interested suitors who expect her to meet their expectations of womanhood.
It has been fifteen years since Kent Rudolph has laid eyes on the young girl he nicknamed “Duchess” because of her stiff-backed and distant attitude and he is immediately taken by the confident attractive woman Portia has become. When Portia’s uncle offers Kent employment, he sees the opportunity to settle down and establish himself. Now daily contact with the ruggedly handsome Kent has Portia’s body experiencing unanticipated desires. Portia asks Kent for a kiss hoping that it will put her desires to rest. Kent understands Portia’s skittish attitude towards men and knows to be patient with her. Kent knows he has his work cut out for him to prove that he respects her as an equal and finds her intelligence and business acumen as sexy as her luscious kisses.
Ms. Jenkins, a mesmerizing storyteller, hits all the right notes once again with another gorgeously written action-packed romantic story brimming with emotional depth and sexual tension, intriguing historical detail, characters that leap off the pages, and witty repartee. Portia is a heroine who will pull at your heartstrings, inspire and have readers cheering her on. Due to her childhood, Portia understands the importance of being independent and not to be at the mercy of preying men. Though she is witness to her aunt and uncle’s loving marriage and her sister’s dream of being swept for feet, Portia is still haunted by her mother’s actions is willing to forgo love and concentrate on her dream of owning a bookkeeping business. It was a joy to watch Portia relish in owning her sensuality as she and Kent become a couple. While Kent presents a charming and gentlemanly persona, he carries a heavy heart being estranged from his family and has taken several missteps in his life, but once he makes up his mind that Portia needs to be part of his future, he uses all his life experiences to woo her. As a couple, it is trust and respect with a healthy dose of passion that is their foundation.
BREATHLESS is the second book in the phenomenal Old West series. While the reader is captivated by the heartwarming romance between the heroine and hero, we are also treated to the magnificent landscape of the 1880s Arizona Territory and the fascinating history of the times as real life characters make cameo appearances. The race, class, and gender issues of the time are well integrated into the storyline and the characters’ lives.
Overall, BREATHLESS is a delicious satisfying read with spot-in characterization, sizzling love scenes, some wickedly western action, and a tinge of mystery that hold readers spellbound to the very end. Ms. Jenkins keeps raising the bar in the historical romance genre and keeps on exceeding our expectations. I am eagerly waiting for the next book in the series.
7th February 2017 | firstname.lastname@example.org