This was my first romance by Beverly Jenkins. Set during the immediately pre-civil war era in Michigan, the romance centers around Hester Wyatt, a freed slave, and Galen Vachon, a free man of color from an extremely wealthy New Orleans family. Hester is active on the Underground Railroad, which assists in the escape of enslaved black men, women and families from the southern slave states north to Canada.
Jenkins did a fantastic job developing her characters. Hester is a heroine well worth rooting for, and Galen is the sort of handsome, wealthy playboy that will become the billionaires of contemporary romance about a decade later (this book was originally published in 1996). There is nary a Duke to be seen in this refreshing romance.
The history in this historical romance was heartbreaking. It is not for Ms. Jenkins to pull her punches on the misery that slavery produced, and she does a great job reminding the reader of the horrors that it caused - family separation; rape; abuse; emotional abuse; child abuse, just imagine any kind of abuse and it was present - in a way that adds to the story. She does not romanticize the culture that produced slavery (and nor should she), nor does she romanticize the heart-stopping terror that results from fighting slavery, even while she does provide a satisfying romance and believable HEA between her hero and heroine.
I found myself completely immersed with this small band of people, quietly doing the work of heroes at great personal risk and with great humility. If you are a romance reader at all, I highly recommend reading this book.
Let's start off by saying this is a fairly new author for us and we really enjoyed our second read by them .The only thing we disliked is we wish that the author had written and Epilogue. I strongly dislike authors that end books just like this author did as we love seeing a glimpse into the future especially if the romance was a rocky road to get to a happily ever after.Just a personal pet peeve of mine.
We really loved the character's Ariel/Raven and Falcon (love their names) they were a lot of fun and both of them had vibrant personalities which we love.Falcon the man whore who has women falling at his feet and then you have the feisty Black haired raven who is mouthy as all get out and we loved her sassiness and her spunk as she made us laugh time and time again. Raven's character's was a hoot ! We found her to be strong,successful,smart,independent,caring funny,and one of those women who doesn't even know her own sex appeal."We loved her from the very beginning!"
Falcon-We love his name! We found Falcon to be way to cocky for his own good,sexy as sin ,was confident ,had this dangerous aura than surrounds him, is dangerous but, he could also be playful and tease but, not one who gives up the chase quite so easily.
We love the other character's as well like Darby,Echo,Creed all had different personalities some of them light and funny,others all serious like and others dark and dangerous.We loved Tracey and Chad as they livened things up and were tell it like it is kind of people the perfect friends who will have no problem giving you a kick in the a** when you need it. grinning.....
The plot was a lot of fun we loved the cat a mouse chase going on between these two Falcon and Raven ,we loved their banter and we even loved Falcon's cockiness because his antic's really made us smile throughout the whole story.We loved to that we saw that he had some vulnerability to him and the whole relationship was a new learning platform for him.That saying is true for Falcon "When the Fall they Fall Hard " because his besties new he was in love even before he did or at-least they suspected it because of his actions and deeds .Raven and Falcon had some major chemistry for sure and just one taste of one another will never be enough but, with these two stubborn and strong willed people will never make falling it love easy but, their journey will gives us tons of laughs and smiles along the way.
Some favorite quotes of ours from this story
"Stop stealing my kisses.” … “Those kisses are being begged to be stolen. So, I’ll keep stealing them each and every time.”
"He told me he wanted me to be his first, last and everything in between.”
"Falcon is like a fine wine, while you have him you have to savor him.”
Overall the story was quite enjoyable and we loved getting to know all the character's and we can't wait to read Darby's,and Creed's story.This was one fun read that was full of tons of chemistry and had really hot sexual interludes as well as making us laugh out loud time and time again.I really think we are really going to love this series. We recommend the read to all ! We are looking forward to reading more of this author's works !
I will likely finish this tonight, after I get home!
Hester is a fantastic character. I also really like Galen's aunt, Racine, although we haven't really gotten to know her much.
Galen seems a bit shallow, but I think that's the point - his love for Hester will add depth to his character. I love the Underground Railroad connection, and the Michigan community where the abolition work is being done is absorbing.