Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

May Books 33) Jewel, by Beverly Jenkins

Browsing through LibraryThing one day, I noted that Beverly Jenkins, of whom I had not heard, was one of the highest rated authors by the owners of her books - not many, but enough to reassure me that this was not astroturfing. Her particular subgenre - African-American historical romance - is not one that I had ever considered sampling, but I thought, what the heck, and BookMooched a couple of her books.

Jewel is actually a rather nice book. I particularly appreciated the historical setting, a Black community in the northern USA (specifically, Cass County, Michigan) in the 1880s. It's not an environment I had ever thought much about, and Jenkins has clearly done her homework: the book is perhaps intended partly as a didactic device to educate readers about that period of Black history, especially the increasingly important role of journalism, and I was happy to be educated.

I'm not a connoisseur of romance novels so feel less qualified to judge the plot. I found the setup a bit implausible (the eponymous heroine, a 24-year-old virgin, agrees to pose as a friend's wife and then finds inevitably that the fiction becomes reality). But the execution was entertaining, with lots of sexy newlywed moments. There were no really nasty characters in the book except for the husband's ex-girlfriend, and she is suitably dealt with. An uplifting and cheering read.
Tags: bookblog 2009, poc, writer: beverly jenkins
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