Review: Tempest by Beverly Jenkins

Reviewed by Sara

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I love Historical Romances. The majority of the Historicals I read and have read are set in Western Europe. In the past, I’ve found North American Historicals, which, let’s be honest, are more often than not Westerns, to be problematic or even a complete whitewash of history, emphasis on the “white.” However, when I saw a sale on the much esteemed Beverly Jenkins’  highly praised novel Tempest, it seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.

This the third book in Jenkins’ Old West Series, follows Regan Carmichael as she arrives in Wyoming Territory to be the mail order bride to town doctor and widower Colton Lee. Regan is excited for an opportunity for adventure as much as she is the prospect of marriage and family. However, her first first impression leaves something to be desired. Thinking Dr. Lee is a bandit, her first interaction with the doctor comes through the barrel of her Winchester in the form of a bullet to the shoulder.

Colton, who is expecting an educated, cultured and demure woman to marry and make mother to his daughter Anna, isn’t sure what to make of Miss Carmichael.  He certainly wasn’t expecting to come to bodily harm or for the beauty to be so forceful with her feelings and opinions. Colton quickly puts aside his misgivings and marries Regan for Anna’s sake, but will have to learn to reconcile the independent, spirited woman Regan is with the modest and retiring woman his late wife was if the marriage is going to survive.

With many outside forces conspiring against Regan, Colton and their family, the newlyweds will need to learn to trust each other and the feelings slowly growing between them if they have any hope of thriving in the harsh Wyoming Territory.

I really enjoyed Tempest and the main reason is that it turned a number of the Historical Romance conventions on their head. In most Historical Romances, the hero has the power, resources and the sexual experience over the heroine. She is almost always at the whim in some way or other of the hero. Here, Regan Carmichael is very clearly not less than Colton in anyway. Regan is significantly more wealthy than Colton. She is able to protect and care for herself and is not only not a virgin, her philosophies about sex are far more liberal than her husband’s. Regan doesn’t lord these differences over Colton, but instead, her differences from the average Historical Romance heroine create a more equal partnership between her and Colton.

This upturning of the normal Historical Romance conventions isn’t just vomited on the page to make Regan into an anachronistic character. Beverly Jenkins’ uses her considerable story-telling talent to intricately weave all of the aspects of Regan, her past, her education, where she grew up and the history of the time, to create a really genuine, historically accurate character. Regan is truly a breath of fresh air in a subgenre often full of young, simpering ingenues.

Full of history, action and romance, Tempest is a fantastic novel. Although part of a series, it can most definitely be read as a standalone. An excellent novel for anyone looking for something different from the ordinary.

Rating A

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Beverly Jenkins
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Avon

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