Book Review by Melody Charles
Author: Beverly Jenkins
A San Francisco brothel, visionary roots woman and fugitive prostitute are rarely the ingredients of a hot romance, but that’s what exactly what award-winning romance writer Beverly Jenkins cooks up in the second of her Destiny-themed historical romance novels, DESTINY’S SURRENDER (the debut novel in the series, Destiny’s Embrace, was released in 2012).
Returning to the ever-expanding 1880s and focused on the exploits of Andrew Yates, the second oldest son of the esteemed and wealthy Yates family of Sacramento, CA., “Destiny’s Surrender” introduces readers to a fiery and fearless hooker named Wilhelmina “Billie” Wells, a 20-something-year-old woman who intimately entertains Andrew every chance she gets and secretly pines for the wealthy lawyer and ranch heir. The loud and lusty encounter that opens the novel leaves Billie pregnant, and months later, when she realizes who the father is, a deal she made with the b!tch of a brothel owner to cover her expenses becomes untenable and she flees. Too bad that by the time she arrives, it’s right in the middle of Andrew’s engagement party to another woman (!) and the love of her life doesn’t believe that he’s the father or in the tale of danger that brought them both to his family’s doorstep in the first place.
Adding those tense moments, prophecies of love and death, class and race struggls as well as a murderous madman and you get doses of steamy sex and vicious violence that will keep pages flying and eyes scanning every word as if it’s from the dialogue of a modern-day reality series.
As common as romance novels are, Ms. Jenkins continues to make hers outstanding due to hearty heroines (in other words, Billie ain’t no punk), the historical facts of the times and the people strewn throughout (Andrew’s being a Hispanic lawyer, for example, doesn’t make his clients’ dilemmas regarding the 1848 Hildalgo Treaty easier to resolve) and the nearly-tangible connections created between the couples in her books. Sure, the relationship certainly doesn’t start off golden, but please believe that Drew and Billie both have something they’re holding on dearly to that will be released to turn their intimacy into an abiding true love.