Review: Tempest
TEMPEST - Beverly Jenkins
Harper Collins/Avon
BUY

January 2018
Historical Romance
REVIEWER:  Brenda Larnell | RATING: A
The Queen of African American Historical Romance, Beverly Jenkins, concludes her Old West Series with TEMPEST, the story of the adventuresome Regan Carmichael. When the story opens, Regan is embarking on a new chapter in her life. She is leaving the safe and comfortable confines of the Fontaine Hotel located in Arizona Territory where she lived with her Aunt Eddy, Uncle Rhine and sister, Portia to meet her prospective husband, Dr. Colton ‘Colt’ Lee, and his young daughter, Anna, in the Wyoming Territory of a town called Paradise as a mail order bride.

Regan is an independent young woman who is as comfortable in her best dress as she is in a pair of denims. She rides, mucks stables, sets a beautiful table, speaks Spanish, and knows her way around a Winchester rifle. Consequently, it’s the rifle that gets her in hot water with Dr. Lee. She accidentally shoots him. No spoilers; you’ll discover how that happened when you read the story. In spite of a very shaky initial meeting, Dr. Colton Lee cannot dismiss the beguiling heroine. I loved Colt and Regan together. Their lives are enriched as they become a family of strong nurturers to Colton’s daughter, Anna. This story has remarkable characters, wonderful pacing, heart-felt romance, and historical references that validate the strong storyline.

The secondary characters who populate the novel are instrumental in moving the story along. I liked Spring, Colt’s sister, who is a ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ woman who marches to her own beat. Then there is Ben, Colton and Spring’s father, whose stubborn ways alienate him from his family. Another character, Ed Prescott, is one of Colt’s best friends. Even though he does not have a major role in the story, I believe his backstory is significant. On the other hand, the villains have no redeeming qualities, and their fate is well justified.  You’ll get that when you read the book. This story offers so much. One of the best features of a Beverly Jenkins Historical is the way fiction is so skillfully meshed with history. There is always something to learn.  For example, The Rock Springs Massacre, a captivating and tragic incident in history, and a little-known physician, Dr. Alexander Augusta, who became a professor of medicine are just two of the references in the story.

TEMPEST is a captivating story that quickly becomes a page-turner. I highly recommend it. While it can be read as a stand-alone, I urge you to read the two books that precede it: FORBIDDEN and BREATHLESS. They will offer invaluable continuity.

2nd February 2018 | romcol@caribsurf.com