Review: Rebel
REBEL - Beverly Jenkins
Harper Collins/Avon Books

May 2019
Historical  Romance
REVIEWER:  Brenda Larnell | RATING:  A+
REVIEW: Prolific writer, Beverly Jenkins launches a new series with REBEL. What a treat for her followers (me included) to discover that the story is set in New Orleans, home of the LeVeq family. The woman who dares is Valinda Lacy, a school teacher in the post-Civil War period known as Reconstruction. Valinda, a New York native, realizes that teaching the newly freed slaves to read and write will greatly benefit them as they strive to become financially independent and productive citizens. To assist her in her efforts to educate her people is none other than Drake LeVeq, the third oldest son of Julianna LeVeq Vincent, brother to Raimond Leveq, the “Brats”, and brother-in-law to Sable Fontaine LeVeq. Now that’s some Beverly Jenkins’ lineage facts for you. If it does not resonate with you, then I suggest you become acquainted with the dynamic African American Historical Romance novels of Ms. Jenkins, the slayer of words.

Beverly Jenkins adeptly portrays the chaotic, dangerous and unpredictable New Orleans Reconstruction Era through her precise historical insights, spot-on characterizations, and engaging storyline that keeps the reader turning pages. In spite of the almost insurmountable odds that our heroine, Valinda, comes up against, she does not give up. She dares to pursue her dream of educating the men, women and children of post war New Orleans. Of course, she has the resourceful and loving LeVeq family for support. With the exception of her grandmother, Valinda’s New York family offers no such support, and you will understand why when you read the story. You will also understand why Valinda is so adamant about not entering into a relationship with the charming Drake. It is indeed complicated, controversial, and one of the highlights of the novel. It involves her relationship with her betrothed, and her father. Get ready; you are going to be blown away! The confrontation between Valinda and her father is another unforgettable scene. That man is a piece of work. Although Valinda is promised to another, the chemistry between her and Drake sizzles until it boils over. That ‘pirate’ charm is hard to ignore. You’ll get that when you read the story.

The memorable side characters instrumental in propelling the storyline along are Coleman “Cole” Bennett, Valinda’s intended, Cole’s “business partner”, Leonard “Lenny” Carson, and Valinda’s father, Harrison Lacy. The HEA is gratifying and compliments the story.

REBEL is an enjoyable and at the same time educational read. Ms. Jenkins is a genius at blending facts and fiction that equal an entertaining and enduring story. I highly recommend it.

9th May 2019 |
Award of Excellence