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Cover image for Rebel
1st ed.
Physical Description:
373 pages ; 17 cm.
Valinda Lacy's mission is to help the newly emancipated survive and flourish in post-Civil War New Orleans. When thugs destroy her school and target her, she runs for her life--into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq. An architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake admires Valinda's determination but when her father demands she return home to marry another man, her daring rebellion draws Drake into an irresistible intrigue.


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The first novel in USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins's compelling new series follows a Northern woman south in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War . . .

Valinda Lacy'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.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

This winning historical romance lays the groundwork for an exciting series. In post-Civil War New Orleans, New Yorker Valinda Lacy strives to teach freedmen, but both her work and her safety are imperiled by the racial hostility still plaguing the nation. When business owner Drake LeVeq saves Valinda from racist attackers, he's immediately taken by the spunky beauty. Both were born free, and they make it their life's mission to assist ex-slaves. Valinda, whose fiancé is in France on business, is only in New Orleans temporarily, but the chemistry between her and the hunky Drake is as hot as the spicy foods they share. When Valinda's attackers come looking for revenge, Drake keeps her under his protection, and when she's evicted, Drake's mother takes her in, making it even harder for them to keep their distance. Finally Valinda breaks her engagement to stay in New Orleans, and then she has to deal with her overbearing father, who believes women have no business being on their own. Meanwhile, Drake gets involved in taking dangerous vengeance for the death of a friend. Jenkins (the Blessings series) addresses sensitive, serious issues in a tactful, realistic manner, and she brilliantly balances the real sorrows of history with a shimmering romance. This is a grand tale of finding happiness in hard times. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Love and longing in Reconstruction-era New Orleans.It's 1867, and Valinda Lacy has traveled from New York to Louisiana to teach former slaves. After a series of misfortunesthe barn she's using as a schoolroom is overrun by vagrants, she's assaulted by soldiers, and her landlady throws her out onto the streetVal is welcomed into the LeVeq family. Jenkins fans may remember the name LeVeq from an earlier trilogy (Captured, 2009, etc.). Now, the author returns to New Orleans to launch her Women Who Dare series. Val is a winning heroine, and Capt. Drake LeVeq is an excellent match. He admires her sense of independence, she respects his kindness and generosity, andof coursethey are both wildly attracted to each other. The evolution of their romance has an organic flow. Jenkins doesn't create elaborate contrivances to keep her characters apart. Val has been raised to expect neither love nor passion. Even when Drake introduces her to pleasure she's never imagined, she's reluctant to give away her freedom. For his part, Drake is wounded that she doesn't immediately return his affections when he makes his devotion to her known. As Jenkins' readers will expect, the love story is interwoven with a great deal of historical detail. She offers a vivid portrait of life during Reconstruction, and New Orleans is revealed as the unique place it is. There is colorism and classism and tension between old Creole families and former slaves, but there is also a great deal of opportunity for ambitious women. This is a huge part of the city's appeal for Valthis, and the amazing food. So often, stories drawn from the African-American past deal largely with struggle, and Jenkins does not shy away from depictions of injustice and violence. But she also gives us characters who are able to thrive and love and find their ways to happy endings.A satisfying start to a new historical series from one of romance's finest writers. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Review

Teaching recently emancipated children and adults to read and write in the still-seething South is not for the faint of heart, but for New York-born freedwoman Valinda Lacy, it's a dream come true. Aside from the stifling heat, New Orleans is a flavor-laden, sensory paradise, and working with her students is pure joy. She is also out from under the thumb of her controlling, self-serving father. But not everyone is happy with the way the war ended, and when Val is threatened by bullies and her classroom vandalized, she fights for her life, just as Capt. Drake LeVeq rides up and lays down shots at the feet of her attackers. Part of an old powerful New Orleans family and a volunteer for the Freedmen's Bureau, Drake has no patience for the current unrest and the supremacists' threats, and coming to the aid of someone who needs help is just what he would do. Still, the fiery, outspoken woman he rescued fascinates him, and although she's currently promised to another, he's not about to give up so easily. A rebellious, independent heroine and a bold hero with pirate roots find each other despite major obstacles in a sensual romance graced with an appealing cast and remarkable historical detail. VERDICT Post-Civil War New Orleans comes to violent life in the hands of a veteran writer and delivers a vibrant, instructive, totally romantic historical tale that will resonate with many readers today. Beautifully done. Jenkins (Second Time Sweeter) lives in southeastern Michigan.

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