REBEL – Beverly Jenkins
Women Who Dare – Book 1
Avon (May 28, 2019)
May 28, 2019
New Orleans, 1867
Valinda Lacy has traveled to New Orleans from New York to teach Black children and adults to read. Her classroom is in an old barn and her mission is supported by the local Catholic Church. One day she finds the barn's interior in shambles and her few books burned. Leaving the barn, she is confronted by three men, and when she runs from them, they attack her.
Witnessing an attack on a woman while traveling in a wagon with his sister-in-law, Drake LeVeq shoots at the three men and saves the woman. Within a short time Valinda stirs his body and mind. She is a strong-willed woman who fights for her own views and freedom, but he discovers she is waiting for her intended to return from France. Drake is from an old family in New Orleans who earned their wealth pirating. He served in the Union Army during the war and now volunteers at Freemen's Bureau, but already things are changing. Many Whites want to return to the ways before the war, and the new superintendent of the bureau is not running it timely or efficiently, adversely affecting the lives of many of their clients. Drake and his brothers Archer, Raimond, Beau, and Phillip help fight the attacks from hateful groups.
When Drake learns Valinda arranged her own marriage to prevent her overbearing father from choosing a husband for her, he must decide how far he will go to show her a marriage based on love is far better than one based on convenience.
Author Beverly Jenkins' novel takes the reader to what it must have been like in the South after the war. Hatred and danger prowl freely but the love and strength of Valinda, Drake, and his family provide shelter.