Also in this series: Indigo, Through the Storm
Series: Women Who Dare #1, Le Veq Family #4
Published by Avon on May 28, 2019
Genres: Historical Romance, Reconstruction Era
The first novel in USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins' compelling new series follows a Northern woman south in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War...
Valinda Lacey's mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But soon she discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.
As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a deeply personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda's determination. And he can't stop admiring—or wanting—her. But when Valinda's father demands she return home to marry a man she doesn't love, her daring rebellion draws Drake into an irresistible intrigue.
Rebel is the first book in the Women Who Dare series and is also part of the Le Veq Family series as well. I was super excited to see that this book is set in New Orleans, in the reconstruction era. Beverly Jenkins is pure talent when it comes to writing historical’s, especially intensely accurate ones. What I really appreciated about this book is how much you learn in such a short period of time. Ms. Bev surely knows how to write such fantastic books that blends a delightful romance with great authentic historical facts that comes alive on the pages.
Rebel begins with our heroine, who has come down to New Orleans as she waits on her fiancee who is in France for a printing press to start his newspaper shop. Valinda is a teacher and is hoping to help those that are in need of a education both children and adults. But when she finds her school trashed, and she is almost raped and then rescued by a military officer…Captain Drake Le Veq. But now Valinda has seen the kindness from Drake and when she is tossed out of her current living residence, she goes to the only person she knows….Drake and his family’s home. Valinda has never known such graciousness or generosity or love that she has seen in the Le Veq home or felt such a strong connection to anyone like Drake. She is about to be married to a friend but has never felt passion like she feels with Drake. Valinda will have to make a decision to marry her friend to protect him so he can be with the man he loves or…..be with the man she loves and live in a place that calls to her.
I blame you and your pirate kin. I was fine until I met your family with all its love and passion.
Rebel is such a well-written story that had me in TEARS especially towards the end. There was so much heartfelt emotion that we see in this book and you know I never expect it but Bev Jenkins surely knows how to work me in a story and boy she worked my emotions so well in this book. I first want to discuss the setting that we have in this book. Its set in New Orleans shortly entering in the Reconstruction Era and boy the things that we see are heartbreaking and it really brings bigotry and racism so close to home for me. The way in how seeing the social injustices and seeing the fight that these people had to gain their independence, freedoms and education and more. To fight for a chance to live their own lives and not to be raped, abused, or murdered for it. It really made me realize that there is so much work today that needs to be done.
So we get to see so many delights from the Le Veq family and now I know I just need to re-read this series because boy I love them all…such a hoot. I love the bantering between the brothers and we finally get DRAKE’s book. I have been wanting it ever since I fell in love with Indigo and got my first introduction to this family. I love the way that this family works together and how they defend their own. I honestly had so much love for Drake as the hero of the story, because is the epitome of a hero. If you are looking for an AVENGER of the Reconstruction era, he is that. He does what he can with the people in his life.
Our heroine is such a passionate and full of life character and I just loved her so much and all that she does here. She is so strong willed and a fighter. She is a teacher, and has such a drive for education and helping others. I love what she wants to do with her knowledge and see what she is capable of. She never gives up on what is right, no matter how hard or challenging it is. Valinda (such a gorgeous name) has never really seen love or passion in her life and doesn’t believe it exists in a marriage. But her world gets turned upside down when she meets the Le Veq family and I loved seeing this change in her.
“What’s your dream, cheri?”
“To head up a school where girls who, like me, have no interest in embroidery or playing the piano, can learn as much about whatever they want: mathematics, botany, the stars. They can study animals or anatomy. And I’d have the money to provide excellent teachers who don’t believe learning will damage them.”
The relationship between Drake and Valinda is pretty insta lust, there is a powerful chemistry that sparks between them from the very beginning and I adored the growth from the sexual sparks and which developed into something more vibrant and full of emotion. The adaption of their relationship was so poignant at times, and love seeing how their relationship deepens through their challenges and seeing what they both overcome.
If you do leave New Orleans, I’m keeping your smile so I can pull it out and look at it whenever I think of you
Rebel is powerfully portrayed love story that takes us back to New Orleans, a story of sacrifice, passion and what love can do at the right time, right place and with the right person!! TRULY A TREASURE TO HOLD ONTO!