TBR Challenge–New to Me

Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins (Jan 2016)

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read Beverly Jenkins so she was my “new to me author” this month.

Though published in 2016, this is an old-school romance. And I mean that in a good way. Jenkins builds a community here with a wonderful cast of secondary characters who enrich not only the story, but the lives of the main characters as well.

forbidden2I loved the premise of this story. The heroine Eddy is an independent woman who decides to move from Denver to San Francisco. While she encounters some kind and generous strangers along the way, she also meets a not-so-nice stranger and ends up stranded in Virginia City, Nevada. The hero, Rhine, is a former slave who fought for the Union Army in the Civil War. His mother was a slave; his father the slave owner. After the war, Rhine decided to pass as a white man and has built up his fortune and reputation in Virginia City.

As Rhine and Eddy fall for each other the main conflict is that he is supposedly white, she is black, and any relationship between them is fraught and marriage is illegal. I was hoping for an emotion-filled story that would include a gut-wrenching climax for this couple. Unfortunately that’s not what I got. I was underwhelmed by how their story played out and was hoping for much more for these characters I cared about. The ending was rushed and the “villain,” Rhine’s scorned ex-fiancée, felt tacked on.

I liked Jenkins sense of humor and her descriptions. I think if I read another I would choose something from her backlist.


5 thoughts on “TBR Challenge–New to Me

  1. It does sound like an interesting premise. Sorry it didn’t work for you, but glad you’ll try more of her books. Confession — I’ve never read any of her books either! 🙂

  2. What I really enjoy about Jenkins’ work are her heroines (she writes heroines with gumption) and her world building. So many of her books, I think, have huge crossover potential to small town contemporary fans. She’s very good at writing communities.

    Unfortunately I tend to get hung up on her pacing. I wish it were tighter, or she takes a direction I wasn’t expecting (goes light when I want angst, goes for angst when I want light etc.). I’ve read maybe 3 or 4 of her books so far and they’ve all been mixed reads for me. The stuff I liked, I really liked – and then there was stuff that didn’t work as well for me. Of the ones I read, Topaz has been my favorite so far. I’ve heard raves about Indigo – but that’s one I haven’t read yet.

    • That may be part of the problem–I’m not a fan of small town contemporaries. I also struggled with the pacing but really liked her heroine. Not an ounce of self pity in the woman’s blood. Gotta admire that. I will check out Topaz and Indigo and see if they might work better for me. Thanks for the rec!

  3. I love Beverly Jenkins but I haven’t read this one. It’s somewhere on my TBR list. I have a very bad habit of picking up historicals and then they languish on my Kindle for a long, long time. Eventually, I get to them. Eventually being the key word in that sentence. 🙂

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