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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 2020-06-22 16:08
Destiny's Surrender
Destiny's Surrender - Beverly Jenkins

Wow. Not much to say except this and the third book in the "Destiny" historical romance series are so good. You can tell Beverly Jenkins did research in the time and place this book takes place (California in the 1800s). I thought that Jenkins did a wonderful job of not sugar coating what Billie did for a living (she's a prostitute) and the realities of her life. Billie and Drew worked for me as a romance couple and I loved that it took them some time to open up to each other. I have to say that Billie was probably one of the best romance heroines I have read in some time. 


"Destiny's Surrender" follows Billie Wells and Andrew (Drew) Yates. The two have a monetary relationship when Drew is in town and he buys time with Billie. Over time the two of them have settled into a routine of sorts with Drew teaching Billie about opera and reading. Billie though she likes Drew, doesn't think of him in a romantic way since of course the two of them could never have a future together. When Billie finds out she is pregnant, she refuses to take a drink that can cause a miscarriage. Billie decides to have the child and give it up for adoption. However, as time goes on, the first birthday of her son is approaching and she knows she can't give him up. She realizes upon birth that her son Antonio is also Drew's son due to an identical birthmark. Seeking him out to deliver their son to him so she can disappear, things change when Drew's mother finds out about the boy and then Billie and Drew are thrown together in a marriage that neither one wants.


I have to say that Billie is hands down awesome. She's a prostitute and makes no excuses for it. She enjoyed sleeping with Drew, but we know she also sees other men until she gets too big to continue to provide her services to other men. Her seeking out Drew is what she has to do when she realizes the man she made the deal with is a murderer who is intent on paying Billie back for past actions.

I thought that the character of Drew was good too and of course he is left wondering if Antonio is his son due to him knowing about Billie's profession. When he is forced to marry her he is of course angry and wants nothing to do with her or their son. It was nice to see things slowly wearing down his resistance though. 


I thought that Jenkins also did a nice job of including a lot of the mess that was going on in California at that time. Since Drew is of mixed race, he is being prevented from practicing law. Due to that he is left angry about the current laws of the day and how that is going to affect a lot of his clients. Billie of course knows that polite society won't admit her into their company, but I liked how she held her head up and how her in-laws would not put up with anyone saying anything against her.


The ending was really good I thought and I loved that we have a heroine that saves herself time and time again. 

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review 2020-04-05 17:14
Destiny's Embrace
Destiny's Embrace - Beverly Jenkins

Mariah was abused by her mom. Her mom was a seamstress and Mariah learned how to do so too. In addition, she draws designs that her mom would sell and pass on as her own. After being hit (again), she decides enough is enough and leaves. With the help of her aunt Libby, she answers an ad for a housekeeper in CA.
Logan is a rancher and shares property with his (step)mom. He also doesn't want to marry and likes his life just so. His house is also a pigsty (in both looks and smell). It also doubles as the tack shed (since the last one burned).
Needless to say, there is friction between Logan and Mariah. Mariah blossoms and becomes someone who speaks her mind and doesn't put up with bullshit. It was glorious! I liked how Logan eventually changed and re-evaluated his life and what he wanted. I enjoyed Alanza and liked her forward thinking. I'm hoping something happened with Max. I also liked his brothers Drew (Andrew Antonio)-a lawyer (and womanizer) and Noah (a sailor) even if they were not on the page. My only compliant would be the ending felt rushed; I wanted more. The ending also opens what (I assume- I haven't read the synopsis for book 2 yet) the plot for the next brother's story will be.
There is also some of CA history and a recommended reading list for more info.
I read this for Romance-opoly The Cobbles moon track

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review 2020-02-05 18:45
Destiny's Embrace
Destiny's Embrace - Beverly Jenkins

Ohh la la. Seriously though I am loving these historical romances by Jenkins. This one is the first book in her "Destiny" series. I loved the hero and heroine and cannot wait to read more books featuring the Yates brothers.


In "Destiny's Embrace" we follow Logan Yates and Mariah Cooper. Mariah Cooper is living in Philadelphia with her rage filled mother. Mariah wants to get married, but is shunned due to the color of her eyes (golden) and the fact that her mother refuses to let anyone too close to her. When Mariah suffers one more beating by her mother, she flees to her aunt who tells her her mother's past. Mariah's aunt pushes her to answer an ad for a housekeeper in California. Logan causes his mother fits. His house is a mess (and it smells) and all she wants is for him and his two brothers to settle down and give her grand babies. When Mariah come along the two go together like oil and water. She pushes his buttons and vice versa. Since Logan is up front about never marrying and only wanting a woman long enough to be a mistress, we get to follow him as he is shut down by Mariah and her not wanting to be another notch on his bedpost.


I loved the transformation of Mariah from cowed to queen in this one. She also made me laugh about her matter of fact way of enjoying Logan's kisses, but not being foolish enough to think he means anything by it. I also loved her relationship with his mother. 


Logan and his brother and best friend's fits at him not knowing what to do about Mariah was hilarious. That's all I got.


The setting in this time period is interesting. I liked that Logan's mother Alanza (step-mother really) is descended from a different side of California that many don't think of When California was a Spanish and Mexican colonial at some points during the decades. You get to see how that place seemed to be more forward thinking of mixed race people. 

The ending was great though it felt a bit rushed. I can't wait for book #2!


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review 2020-02-04 22:16
Breathless - Beverly Jenkins

Well I loved the fact we get to see the HEA for characters we met in the first book, while focusing on new love interests in this one. "Breathless" follows Eddy's niece Portia. 

Portia is now in charge of her family's bookkeeping at the hotel they run in the Arizona territory. The family had to flee after her uncle Rhine admitted his mixed race heritage. Portia doesn't think she will ever find a love like her Aunt Eddy an is happy to just focus on her job. However, old family friend Kent Randolph finds Rhine again and asks for a job. Rhine agrees to let him work for him. Kent and Portia have sparks flying with Portia wondering if she can just kiss Kent and forget about him. We get some introduction to new characters as well as revisiting with the older ones.

Jenkins did a great job of making me think that Portia and Kent had feelings for each other and how suited they were with each other. Portia is easily understandable based on how her mother sent her and her sister away in order for her to have a better life. Portia's mother does pop up again, but it's a plot hole I expect is resolved in book #3. I also loved the back and forth with her and her sister Regan. Though I will roll my eyes a bit that all of their talk was mostly about getting married and what man. They both are strong women and I wish that Jenkins had thought to do a novella of them growing up in Arizona. The tales we are told via other characters about them learning to ride horses, do shingling, etc. were so interesting. 


I also loved how Kent's life changed once he pushed back against his father's expectations of him being a doctor too.


We get secondary characters and definitely get to see that old adage, not all of my skinfolk are kinfolk in this one. 


Also thankfully we have Jenkins acknowledging the times of the day with the women's suffrage movement and how it was excluding women of color. I also loved how we hear about Geronimo (and he even makes an appearance). I also could not believe that men of color could not be deputized and if they were murdered or stolen from there was nothing they could do unless a white man or sheriff came along and pressed the issue. 


The book ties things up neatly with Portia and Kent, but things are left open about Regan. I am definitely going to find and read book #3!

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