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review 2020-06-22 16:24
Destiny's Captive
Destiny's Captive - Beverly Jenkins

Having some issues posting to Booklikes, will post there when I get a chance.


Trigger warning: Rape and PTSD


So "Destiny's Captive" is the third and last book in the Destiny series. I have to say that the main reason why I didn't give this five stars is that I thought that Jenkins didn't do a great job with exploring the whole PTSD story-line. I know that this was of course written in consideration of the times of the day, but I thought everyone was acting way too much like [redacted] should just get over things. We get a glimpse into what happened and it's shocking and heart-breaking so I thought that everyone could have been more sympathetic. That said, I loved the love story between Noah and Pilar. The two of them worked well together. I also have to say that once again Jenkins does a good job of tying things into the time that the book was written. We get some ugly looks at segregation in this one with the two characters having to ride a train and being forced to segregate because they are not white. We also see how women even if they are capable, would not be able to run a business like the daughter of one of Noah's potential business partners wants to.


"Destiny's Captive" follows the Noah Yates. We have heard and seen glimpses of him in the first two books, but not much. We know that he is gone a lot and that his family misses him. We also heard in the first two books how he was kidnapped (or crimped) and forced to work aboard a ship before his family found him. Noah feels adrift and knows that he is not the same person he was before this happened and his family feels pained that he keeps them at a distance now. When Noah's ship is stolen though by a female pirate (Pilar), he promises to find her and get his ship back. When Pilar is almost captured she and her family make their way to her uncle in Florida. Pilar is wondering what is next for her when in walks the man whose ship she stole!


I thought that Jenkins does a great job of setting up Pilar and Noah. I do think as some other reviewers noted there's a bit too much going on in this one. And though I liked how Pilar and Noah eventually get together, I wish that we had more interactions with the brothers and sister in laws in this one since this was the last book. I thought the writing was really good and I did enjoy the romance scenes between Pilar and Noah. The flow worked for the most part until we got towards the end.


The setting of this book seems even more brutal than the previous books in this series. Jenkins includes the practice of crimping or shanghaiing in this one and we get to read what was done to Noah and others. I read up on crimping or shanghaiing and was shocked it took to the 1900s before the practice was outlawed. We also get to read a bit about Cuba's efforts to liberate due to Pilar's backstory.


The ending I think wrapped things up too quickly. We go from Noah being hurt to all of a sudden a secret being revealed and no one really getting a chance to deal with things. I also didn't like the fact that everyone acted as if [redacted] was in the wrong.

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review 2020-03-31 16:08
In Five Years
In Five Years - Rebecca Serle

So the main reason why I gave this four stars is this is styled as a romance and there is not a happily ever after or even a happily for now when we finish this book. I understand why Serle did this, but since this is in the romance genre I frowned about that. Another reason why I gave this four stars is that parts of this novel dragged. I also wish we had gotten a bit more character development for certain characters. However, in the end I thought Serle told a wonderful love story, just not about who readers may think she is telling us about.  


"In Five Years" follows Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan. Dannie is happy and living with her long-term boyfriend David. She is off to interview for what for her will be the best job in the world. Dannie already knows that David plans on proposing that night so everything on her life plan list is coming together. Dannie and David are simpatico on what they want their future to look like. After David proposes, and she accepts, they return home. When Dannie falls asleep that night she wakes up five years in the future in an apartment she doesn't know with a man named Aaaron. When Dannie falls asleep again she wakes up back in the past and wonders what is going on. This incident leaves Dannie shaken and wonders what went wrong in her life that five years from now everything is so different. 


The book follows Dannie as we get a fast forward of the five years where she thinks her "doom" lays. We get to see some insights into Dannie, her long-term relationship, and her long-standing friendship with her best friend Bella. 


I have to say that this was an interesting premise. Serle does a very good with the magical elements aspect of this story. She doesn't try to over explain it. It just is something that happens to Dannie. Because of this incident though, Dannie is stuck in her life. You keep reading and you realize she is waiting for the shoe to drop. And then it does when she finally meets Aaron in her present and his connection to someone close to her.


I will say that Serle should have built up Dannie's relationship with her long term best friend Bella more. We get more of that development towards the middle and definitely the end of the book. I wonder if that was a choice though. Since we know the character of Dannie is regimented and has her "plans" we don't see her start to thaw out until we get towards the ending. 


And I am going to offer another bit of criticism, we initially have Dannie enthralled and in love with her boyfriend David. You can see why she loves him. But then we do the time jumps and one wonders how much the future incident affected things between them. We do get some insights into other characters that are introduced, but it's quite fleeting. 


The setting of this book is New York in 2020. We jump ahead four years and follow Dannie again at the start of 2025. I do have to say that with everything going on in the world right now it made my heart a bit heavy. I wonder how other readers feel about futuristic settings of books? Weirdly enough though the book doesn't seem to touch on any cultural events. I wonder if Serle did this on purpose to enable readers to read this book at any time and not feel like it's dated? 


I have to say that I am glad this book did not follow "One Day in December" (BTW I did not like that book) or "One Day" (ditto). I think Serle did a great job threading the needle since at times I know readers are not going to like Dannie at all. I thought the ending of this book was true and we now know what type of event would have propelled Dannie into the future. 

Finished this for Snakes and Ladders 2020. 


1. Author is a woman (thankfully I have a lot of current reads that fit this square). 

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